STARS OUT IN FULL FORCE AT CINE­MACON

New Straits Times - - News -

LAS VE­GAS: Some of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest movie stu­dios took cen­tre stage at Cine­maCon on Tues­day, wheel­ing out a vast ar­ray of stars to pro­mote their up­com­ing slates of block­busters.

His­toric “ma­jor” Paramount com­peted with new kid on the block STX for the loud­est ap­plause at the an­nual gath­er­ing here for the “ex­hi­bi­tion community” of theatre op­er­a­tors and au­dio and vis­ual tech in­no­va­tors.

And while Dis­ney tra­di­tion­ally keeps back most of its juici­est sur­prises for its own D23 Expo, the stu­dio treated del­e­gates to a world pre­miere of the lat­est Pi­rates of the Caribbean movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Hol­ly­wood de­camps to the Ne­vada desert for four days every year, tak­ing over the iconic Cae­sar’s Palace ho­tel to show theatre op­er­a­tors what they can ex­pect to be mak­ing their money from over the fol­low­ing 12 to 24 months.

STX, in busi­ness for just two years, was first up, putting for­ward leg­endary sci-fi di­rec­tor Luc Bes­son to present footage from his lat­est ad­ven­ture, Va­le­rian and the City of a Thou­sand Plan­ets.

The 58-year-old French au­teur has made a string of hits, in­clud­ing The Fifth El­e­ment, Leon: The Pro­fes­sional, Lucy and Nikita.

But he said his up­com­ing movie had been a pas­sion project since he be­gan read­ing the se­ri­alised 1960s comics from Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres on which it is based.

The US$180 mil­lion (RM795 mil­lion) Va­le­rian — which comes out on July 21 — cen­tres on a dark force threat­en­ing Al­pha, a vast me­trop­o­lis and home to species from a thou­sand plan­ets.

Blacks ops agents Va­le­rian (Dean DeHaan) and Lau­re­line (Cara Delev­ingne) race to iden­tify the ma­raud­ing men­ace and safe­guard the uni­verse.

The au­di­ence was treated to a new trailer, a sur­real but self­aware fever dream in vivid 3-D fea­tur­ing a huge, drool­ing CGI dog-like mon­ster that rips a bus apart, as well of plenty of large Zen-like aliens and desert vis­tas with echoes of Mad Max.

Nu­mer­ous stars, in­clud­ing Jes­sica Chas­tain, Aaron Sorkin, Mark Wahlberg and Mila Ku­nis, took to the stage to dis­cuss up­com­ing projects in var­i­ous stages of devel­op­ment.

Wahlberg in­tro­duced ac­tion flick Mile 22, say­ing he hoped it would be “the thing that de­fines me” while Ku­nis chat­ted about moth­er­hood and the se­quel to smash-hit Bad Moms, due for re­lease in Novem­ber.

The stu­dio launched its twohour ex­trav­a­ganza with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron fronting the seg­ment for Bay­watch, the up­com­ing big-screen adap­ta­tion of the pop­u­lar

1990s life­guard show.

Sur­rounded by 20 scant­ily clad mod­els in Bay­watch beach­wear, Johnson called up Efron, Jon Bass, Alexan­dria Dad­dario and Priyanka Cho­pra, and de­clared: “I give you the Avengers of the Beach, Team Bay­watch.”

Ge­orge Clooney, Matt Da­mon and Ju­lianne Moore took to the stage to present footage from Subur­bicon.

Clooney — who di­rected the noir thriller from a script by the Coen broth­ers — cheek­ily be­rated Paramount and Da­mon for its de­ci­sion to re­lease Subur­bicon on Nov 3, the same day Thor: Rag­narok hits the­atres.

“Who’s Thor?”

Clooney, 55, wanted to know.

“I’m Thor, if I don’t use my thad­dle.

The­ri­ously,” replied

Da­mon.

The 46-year-old was back on­stage later with di­rec­tor

Alexan­der Payne to in­tro­duce Down­siz­ing, a comedic satire based on a world where peo­ple can be shrunk down to save on house­hold bills.

AFP LAS VE­GAS: Film con­ven­tion Cine­maCon here gives Hol­ly­wood stu­dios the chance to show off some of their up­com­ing projects to cin­ema chains and jour­nal­ists ahead of their re­lease.

Sony Pic­tures took ad­van­tage of that op­por­tu­nity to pre­view Spi­der­Man: Home­com­ing — the first Spi­der-Man film to be set in the Mar­vel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse oc­cu­pied by char­ac­ters such as Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Doc­tor Strange.

Bri­tish ac­tor Tom Hol­land re­turns as Peter Parker/Spi­der-Man af­ter mak­ing a brief but ef­fec­tive ap­pear­ance in Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War last year for a movie re­volv­ing around him try­ing to be­come an Avenger.

“This is some­thing we haven’t seen be­fore,” said Hol­land, on the film, the first in the se­ries to fully take place while Spi­der-Man is in high school.

“We’ve seen the soldier, we’ve seen the bil­lion­aire, we’ve seen the god and now it’s time to see the kid.”

Spi­der-Man’s neme­sis in this film is set to be Adrian Toomes, also known as The Vul­ture, played by Bird­man and Bat­man star Michael Keaton.

As op­posed to Spi­der-Man, The Vul­ture is “a reg­u­lar guy”, ac­cord­ing to Mar­vel Stu­dios President Kevin Feige.

“It’s fun to see some­body that didn’t just have some sort of med­i­cal ac­ci­dent that led to su­per­pow­ers. We get to see him lit­er­ally with his own two hands build his fu­ture.”

Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing is out on July 7. Reuters

A scene from ‘Spi­der-man: Home­com­ing Dwayne Johnson Alexan­dra Dad­dario (left) and Priyanka Cho­pra

Matt Da­mon (left) and Ge­orge Clooney Cara Delev­ingne

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