paramount cinemacon presentation

The second presentation of the second day of CinemaCon 2017 came from Paramount Pictures and the studio came to Las Vegas with trailers for and footage from their 2017 and 2018 slate of films. Specifically, we saw presentations on Michael Bay‘s Transformers: The Last Knight, Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing, Seth Gordon‘s Baywatch, and Alex Garland‘s Annihilation. Here’s what you need to know.

Shortly after the presentation, I recorded a reaction video with Steven Weintraub of Collider. Give it a watch or keep reading for my written thoughts.

Baywatch

Baywatch star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was introduced by two dozen men and women in skimpy bathing suits on stage, setting the tone for the footage ahead. They premiered a “fuchsia band” trailer, joking that the “FU” stands for “fucking unbelievable.” I’m still of the opinion that this movie looks pretty lame – it’s trying to be 21 Jump Street (a self-aware riff on ’90s television), but the jokes just aren’t that funny and the movie seems lack the weird touch/genius of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. I love The Rock and I enjoy filthy humor, but this just seems a bunch of lame jokes strung together with dental floss.

Annihilation

Directed by Ex Machina‘s Alex Garland, this adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s (Ed. note: incredible) science fiction novel looks very intriguing. A “first look” from the film screened, which set up the premise: Natalie Portman plays a woman who hasn’t heard from her military husband (Oscar Issac) in over a year and has given up on his return. One day, he shows up at her house and is unable to explain what happened or where he was. He says he doesn’t feel good and begins bleeding from his nose and mouth. We cut to an ambulance ride to the hospital, but they get pulled over by a SWAT team. It is explained to Portman’s character that her husband was sent into a quarantine zone where they believe an extraterrestrial ship had crashed. No one they’ve sent into the zone, including drones or the rest of his team, have returned. He is the only one.

We saw glimpses of the zone, an alien-looking world somehow growing on Earth. The movie is about Portman’s character’s search to find answers about this world and what happened to her husband. The footage we saw has vibes of Arrival and the score sounds similar to Clint Mansell’s work on The Fountain. It’s very promising. Unfortunately, the footage came with the news that the film has been delayed to 2018.

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