"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Last year at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox previewed very early footage for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. Attendees at the presentation were floored, and the buzz on all the blogs was that Pi was an Oscar contender. Some argued that April was too early to be calling for possible Oscar contenders, and they were probably right. We all know how that turned out.

This year Fox arrived in Vegas bearing another special preview: between fifteen and twenty minutes of the Ben Stiller-directed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. (Stiller also stars.) Again, it’s April, it’s too early to make such claims, but the Oscar buzz has begun.

After the jump you can read my thoughts on the footage screened from Mitty, or watch a video blog I recorded with Alex from Firstshowing talking about presentations of footage from The Wolverine, Epic, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie.
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Monsters University Mike
Sometimes movie studios come to CinemaCon (formerly ShoWest) to screen early cuts of their films. Dreamworks Animation came to Vegas in 2008 with an early cut of Kung Fu Panda with temp score and sequences of storyboards or unfinished rendered animation. A few years back Disney arrived at the convention with an early cut of Toy Story 3, with unfinished animation and lighting. Both of those worked out well enough.

This year Disney was confident enough in the latest Pixar effort to bring it to the convention. On the surface, Monsters University doesn’t seem like much of a gamble. It’s a sequel (errr prequel) to a blockbuster film from years ago, which brings beloved furry and one eyed franchise characters back to the screen. But the movie is very different from the original.

See spoiler-free video and written reactions, after the jump.

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Man of Steel
Okay, so I know you’ve already seen the trailer for Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. Snyder was in Las Vegas at CinemaCon to premiere the trailer, which was exactly timed with when the video went online.

The Warner Bros presentation this year was kind of underwhelming, it may have something to do with all the bad buzz they got last year with their preview of early 48fps Hobbit footage. Whatever the reason, they kept most of their presentation safe, sticking mostly to trailers or previously cut footage (for instance the Pacific Rim reel already played at WonderCon). The Man of Steel trailer was very impressive, and they also screened the first trailer (or was it a teaser trailer?) for Alfanso Cuaron‘s Gravity, which was breathtaking. I’m not sure when Warner Bros will be officially releasing this trailer, maybe on Oblivion?

We recorded a video blog giving quick reactions to both of these trailer, and failed in our attempt to discuss them in less time than the source trailers themselves. Watch the video now embedded after the jump.

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RIPD

Day 2 at CinemaCon began with a presentation from Universal Pictures.

Last year Universal arrived in Las Vegas with many goods — even previewing footage from films in production for only a few days — showcasing their line-up up until December 2013. This year they came to CnemaCon with a more conservative approach, screening footage only from their slate scheduled through this summer.

After the presentation I receorded a video blog with Alex from FirstShowing, giving our brief reactions to footage screened from R.I.P.D., Despicable Me 2 and Fast & Furious 6. Watch the video blog embedded after the jump.

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PAIN AND GAIN

It’s that time of year again. We’re in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, an industry-only convention (formerly called ShoWest) for movie theater owners and distributors. The Hollywood studios come here each year with their biggest stars and clips from upcoming films, hoping to impress the theater owners into booking their “products” in the coming year. For example, last year we saw footage from films that were in production and weren’t set to be released until late 2013. Some studios also present unfinished cuts of their films super-early. This year Pixar is screening Monsters University, for example.

The opening night of CinemaCon 2013 featured a presentation by Paramount Pictures. They screened a reel with brief clips from a ton of upcoming films including Darren Aroofsky’s Noah and Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. They also presented 18 minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness in 3D, three clips from World War Z, and Michael Bay premiered his film Pain & Gain. After the jump you will be able to read my first reaction to Bay’s latest, along with a video blog I recorded with Alex from FirstShowing giving our thoughts about everything screened.
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On the first official day of San Diego Comic Con 2012, Walt Disney Pictures presented a panel which included footage from their upcoming video game animated feature Wreck It Ralph, Sam Raimi‘s Wizard of Oz prequel OZ: The Great and Powerful, and the first production teaser trailer for Gore Verbinski‘s Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp. After the presentation, I took to the outside of Hall H and recorded a video blog reaction alongside Russ, Angie and Germain. Watch it now embedded after the jump and find out what we thought.

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Thursday morning at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox presented footage, clips and trailers from their upcoming 2012 line-up. Included in the reel was 10-15 minutes of Ang Lee‘s adaptation Life of Pi, an extended trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, new footage from Prometheus, clips from  Neighborhood Watch, and our first look at Taken 2. Per usual, I recorded a video blog after the presentation with Alex from FirstShowing and Frosty from Collider. We give our reactions to the footage without spoilers or in depth descriptions. Watch the video blog now embedded after the jump.

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Wednesday night at CinemaCon, Sony Pictures presented footage, clips and trailers from their upcoming 2012 line-up. Included in the reel was the first teaser trailer for Skyfall, a new sizzle reel for The Amazing Spider-Man, clips from Men In Black 3, An extended trailer for Looper, and some extended sequences from Total Recall. Per usual, I recorded a video blog after the presentation with Alex from FirstShowing and Frosty from Collider. We give our reactions to the footage without spoilers or in depth descriptions. Watch the video blog now embedded after the jump.

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At the Disney presentation at CinemaCon 2012, Pixar announced a new project: Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson are working on “a wholly original Pixar Animation Studios film that delves into the vibrant holiday of Día de los Muertos.”

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