'Fright Night', 'War Horse', 'Real Steel' And 'The Help' Footage Screened At Cinema Con

It is the second day at CinemaCon, the Las Vegas based movie theater convention formerly known as ShoWest. This morning DreamWorks Studios held their presentation, showcasing footage and talent from Steven Spielberg's War Horse, Shawn Levy's Real Steel, Craig Gillespie's remake of Fright Night and the big screen adaptation of The Help. After the jump you can watch a video blog I recorded with Steve from Collider, giving our spoiler-free reactions of the footage screened.

Here are my quick impressions:

  • War Horse: They screened a featurette which showed a bunch of behind the scenes footage, which was essentially in the structure of a trailer, taking us through the plot of the film. I really didn't know much about this story, so I was surprised at the expansive scope it takes.   I will admit, when it was announced, I wasn't as excited about this project as I was about the filmmaker's other prospective titles. (It's Spielberg, so I'm going to see it no matter what.) But after seeing the footage I see why he was attracted to the story and it has more mainstream appeal than I first thought.
  • Fright Night: We saw an 8 minute sequence which begins with Anton Yelchin's character Charley Brewster, his girl friend Amy Peterson (Imogen Poots) and mother Jane Brewster (Toni Collette) are trapped inside a house with vampire Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) trying to get inside. Jerry is able to lure them out (I won't ruin how) and a car chase ensues. What followed was a 3-4 minute shot that takes place inside their car as they try to escape. The camera moves around the car, in movements which would be impossible in reality, reminiscent of the car sequence in Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men. But the difference is — this is in 3D. This is one case where the 3D really immerses you in the action. You feel trapped in the car with the characters as Farrell's character attacks the car with his vehicle. I can't express how thrilling this sequence is.
  • Real Steel: A film like this can die on the computer generated special effects. In the extended featurette we were shown, the robotic boxers looked realistic. The story is being pitched to be more of a dramatic father/son story than you might have expected from a sports film about robot boxing. I'm definitely excited to see more.
  • The Help: Looks better than I expected. My one observation is that Emma Stone's sometimes contemporary performance and mannerisms seem somewhat out of place in this period story. It's not really a problem, but it is worth noting considering everything else I saw in the featurette seemed to nail the time period.
  • Video blog: