Sony Pictures took a decidedly different approach to their CinemaCon presentation this year than the other studios before them, pretty much leaving all their talent at home, giving attendees cocktails and hor d'oeuvres for an hour before sitting them down for a tight 50-minute presentation of footage from their 2012 film slate. We're going to go through the movies we cover here at SuperHeroHype and share some of our thoughts with only a couple of cases where we'll do full play-by-plays of the footage.
Total Recall (August 5)
The presentation began with the most consecutive footage we've seen from director Len Wiseman's remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Paul Verhoeven 1990 sci-fi action movie, this one starring Colin Farrell in the role of a man whose life is turned upside-down when he discovers everything he thought he knew was not real. (There may be some spoilers in the below description if you aren't familiar with the original movie.)
This one showed a lot of the story set-up, beginning with Farrell as Doug at home with his wife, played by Kate Beckinsale, in a room talking about how things haven't turned out the way he had hoped, but then he hears about something called Rekall from his friend (Bookem Woodbine), although he tells him not to go there. Doug doesn't listen and he goes to the city's seedier area and is propositioned by this movie's version of the three-breasted hooker! "You'll wish you had 3 hands," she tells him before he spots the sign for Rekall and goes in. Then comes the sequence with John Cho in Rekall that was shown at Comic-Con and in the trailer. After that incident, Doug returns home to his wife to tell her what happened but she tells him he didn't kill anyone and as she hugs him, she sees on TV the shoot-out at Rekall and she starts suffocating him so he smashes her through the window and she comes back and straddles him to take him down. As they fight, he yells, "What are you doing?" he asks and she responds, "My job!" Beckinsale has a really funny line in the interaction where she says, "What can I say? I give good wife," which works on another level since she is actually Len Wiseman's wife. He quickly escapes before she can kill him and she gets on the videophone with Bryan Cranston's character to inform him what's happening. Meanwhile, Doug finds a videotape of someone who looks like him who says "Whatever you remember is not real," to which he responds, "If I'm not me, who the hell am I?"
Doug then goes up the China Fall into the richer higher-tech section of the world and he encounters Jessica Biel's character who tells him to get into her floating car and then a high-speed chase ensues as his "ex-wife" catches up to him and tries to slam them with her car. Biel says "You drive" to Farrell and she does something really cool by sliding the steering wheel from her side of the car to his. He asks if she's strapped in and he takes the car into a dive. He then sees his friend from earlier who tells him he has to return home and that he should shoot Biel, and then Beckinsale is back and they get into a wicked fight on a descending elevator, joined by a robot police officer, before Beckinsale plants a bomb and leaps to another elevator before it explodes.
That's probably all we can remember but there's a lot more footage of what looks like a movie filled to the brim with action. It all really looked fantastic, everything from the production design and world-building to the action scenes, and this footage definitely upped our anticipation for the movie. There was a lot more great stuff than what we saw in the first trailer, which gives us hope that maybe the movie won't be slaughtered by opening against The Bourne Legacy after all.
Men in Black 3 (May 25)
Which was a movie that was actually announced at CinemaCon a few years back. We've been kind of dubious of this one, just because we've learned the hard way more than a few times that the third movie in a film franchise is rarely very good, especially when there's such a long wait between installments. This one looks like it could be fun, starting out with Will Smith's J and Tommy Lee Jones' K in a Chinese restaurant filled with aliens and culminating in a fight with an alien that looks like a giant prehistoric fish, which J keeps from biting him in half by putting a metal tray between his legs. As the fish alien is carted off, J says, "That's what happens when you flush goldfish down the toilet."
We see K in a rooftop confrontation with Jemaine Clement's baddie Boris the Animal and we see how Boris' hands have spikes coming out of them. Just as he's about to fire spikes at K, J arrives on the roof and when he opens the door, it stops the flying spikes as Boris advances on them and they both fall of the side of the building, still hanging onto the door. We then see K sitting in a chair and using a device on himself that causes him to disappear. Emma Thompson's O tells J that K used a time machine to travel to the past, but J doesn't believe that time travel is possible and that if it was, he should have been told, but apparently, it's above his paygrade.
Deciding to go after K, J is at the top of the Chrysler Building being told to jump in order to go back in time for 24 hours to find K and when he finally does it, we see him falling down into an era of dinosaurs, but as he keeps falling, the buildings of New York start building themselves up as time starts moving forward and he lands just inches from the ground.
We then see his first encounter with the younger K, played by Josh Brolin, pretty much as has been shown in the earlier trailers, and though it's the '50s, the "Men in Black" still have some cool vehicles including a couple of one-wheeled cycles that they sit in and can zoom around on, and some really clunky jetpacks that are larger than the agents themselves. There's a funny bit where K is using a really large portable phone that J yells "Don't put that near your head!" ('cause now we know of the radiation in those things) as well as another funny bit where J learns that Andy Warhol, played by Bill Hader, is actually a Men in Black agent, and they get into a bit of a scuffle.
This footage really changed my mind about this movie and I think that it could actually be a great return for Will Smith (who looks like he hasn't aged since the last "Men in Black" movie) and that it will be just as much fun as the first two movies.
Resident Evil: Retribution (September 14)
This expanded upon some of the stuff we saw with the earlier teaser in January with the same scope and scale and it cut together scenes with drastically different color pallettes, including what appeared to be Alice with a young girl as the original outbreak was taking place, since we got to see more of that suburban scene with all sorts of chaos taking place (a bit like the opening of Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead). We also saw quite a bit of Alice fighting and running in the black leather outfit she wore in "Afterlife," really standing out against an entirely white backdrop. Again, there was a lot of visual information coming at us way too fast to make note of everything, but before the presentation, they announced that like "Afterlife," the next "Resident Evil" would be released in IMAX 3D as well.
The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)
They clearly saved the most anticipated movie for last, and though we'd already seen a bunch of the footage shown at the big "Untold Story Begins" event a few months back, there was certainly some new stuff in there, maybe even some that will make it to the new trailer next week.
It opened with a shot of Spider-Man with his mask off looking down over the city with the voice-over saying that it's not an easy job and that he's made enemies as he's put the lives of his loved ones in danger, but the one thing he wants to find out is the truth about his parents. We see brief images like him being chased by the Lizard and burning cars hanging from the Brooklyn Bridge during this narration.
From there, we saw a lot of stuff and a few new things included a brief glimpse of Peter working on his webshooter and webbing exploded in his face, as well as Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker using his skateboard to get around some cars. A couple other new things included a shot of Rhys Ifans' Dr. Curt Connors first jacking up with the experiment that will help him grow his missing arm back, while also turning him into the Lizard. We also saw a lot more of Spider-Man's battle with the Lizard on the rooftops of New York, although it was cut up in a way that meant we only saw very quick and brief shots of the Lizard or various appendages.
We have to say that this footage really makes The Amazing Spider-Man look very much like what Chris Nolan did with Batman in Batman Begins and we honestly don't think that's a bad thing at all, especially if it maintains some of Spider-Man's snappy humor amidst the angst, which it does seem to have. Our hopes is that this movie is more of the Romita-era Spider-Man to Sam Raimi's Steve Ditko.
You can read about more movies that were presented at the Sony event by clicking here!