The third day of CinemaCon closed out with a reel gift of a presentation from Sony Pictures. The studio, which wisely hosted a cocktail reception before the event to help put the audience in a festive mood, packed their presentation with extended trailers for no less than nine of their upcoming films, along with more than a half hour of footage from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."
The full list of films included were: "Fury," "22 Jump Street," "Deliver Us From Evil," "Sex Tape," "Think Like a Man Too," "The Interview," "When The Game Stands Tall," "The Equalizer," and "Annie." Here are the highlights:
David Ayer's based-on-a-true-story, WWII tank action epic sells itself on the cast alone. With a line-up that includes Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal, you almost don't need to show much of the film. However, Sony hit several general audience sweet spots in showcasing key moments from the movie. The action is real and raw with an end-of-the-world feel, which is to be expected from director Ayer ("End of Watch," "Sabotage"), who has proven his ability to bring audiences into the story in such a way. When we meet the team of weary, muddy, hardened soldiers (led by Pitt's character) toward the end of the war, we feel an almost instant connection to and interest in their plight, even if we don't know why just yet. Lastly, the footage showed that there is love in war, as evidenced by a quietly moving scene away from the battlefield involving Pitt's character, toned and tan and shirtless, and Lerman's character visiting two women and talking about life and love.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
Hot on the heels of the recent screenings of footage for media in Los Angeles and New York, Sony unleashed the same 30-minute reel of the film for CinemaCon. The footage does a great job of setting up several key components of the film: A) Spider-Man's extraordinary abilities in crime-fighting whilst web-slinging and swinging from building to building are particularly exciting and immersive in 3D. B) The chemistry between Spidey/Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) continues to be the most compelling and grounded element of this new franchise. We see the two exes try really hard to not be attracted to/forever in love with one another and it's adorable. C) The villainous bromance between Blue Man Group-esque Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) will be the best of the summer, maybe the year. Their shared hatred of Spider-Man is so serious and uniting, it's electric (yeah, pun intended).
Really all that needs to be known about this film is that it stars James Franco and Seth Rogen (who also co-wrote and co-directed it with "Pineapple Express" scribe Evan Goldberg) as a talk show host and producer who land an interview with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un and are then asked by the CIA to assassinate him. The extended trailer drives home the ways in which this plot line is perfect for this comedic duo.
In case we needed to be reminded that Oscar-winner Denzel Washington is a badass, the extended scene shown from "The Equalizer" is a great refresher. We watch him take down a group of Russian thugs in less than 30 seconds — it's gory, fast-paced, and impressive. This movie could very well do for Washington what "Taken" has done for Liam Neeson. Oh also, Chloë Moretz makes an appearance as a Jodie Foster "Taxi Driver"-type working girl who doesn't want to be rescued but will be.
Fans of the original film and/or Broadway musical should look forward to seeing the vignette that was screened here because it was all about showcasing the adorable orphans and their "Hard Knock Life." The young ladies are sweeping and mopping and showing childlike optimism, all while singing the famous tune. Sony should craft all of their future trailers around the familiar musical numbers.