Whereas most film festivals tend to focus their efforts on catering to potential distributors, the annual ShoWest gathering in Las Vegas differs in that major Hollywood studios use the occasion to wine and dine what many would argue are their most important customers: movie-theater owners. After all, without first drumming up the support of exhibitors, where would upstanding citizens like ourselves go to see our favorite first-run movies each and every weekend (besides our home computers, that is)? At this year’s ShoWest, some of the tentpoles being previewed for the nation’s popcorn pushers include Sherlock Holmes, GI Joe, and Terminator: Salvation; follow along as we round up some of the early reactions.
• Probably the biggest story thus far involves the decidedly mixed reactions to Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. A lot of people seemed to be concerned that the trailer they saw is steering too close to comedy territory (CinemaBlend: “Overall the trailer focused a lot more on the comedy than I would have expected, and I still can’t figure out any plot motivation for all that focus on the shirtless boxing”), and others seemed concerned about Robert Downey Jr.’s ability to pull off an English accent. Also, anytime a film is described as being “wacky,” that’s a red flag. [Playlist]
• Also, bad news for GI Joe fans. First Showing described the five minutes of footage they saw thus: “Everybody remembers The Mummy Returns, also directed by Stephen Sommers, and how they just threw in everything they could into that to beef it up and it made it so damn cheesy? S[a]me sort of thing here, except that instead of mummies, we’ve got Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans wearing ridiculous-looking armored suits with helmets that emulate the Iron Man visor … Quite a cheesy let down.” [First Showing]
• The dudes over at Collider had a total nerdgasm when they saw footage from Tron 2 (formerly TR2N) in 3-D: “This was my first time seeing the Tron footage and it absolutely blew me away. If you’re a fan of the original, this sequel looks so amazing you are going to freak out when you see it in 3-D. Seriously. It will rock your world. This was easily the best thing I saw at the convention and I don’t know what else is going to come close.” [Collider]
• And for all of McG’s insistence that the heart of Terminator: Salvation will be derived from its most dramatic elements, Screencrave found those elements falling short from the WB sizzle reel: “Terminator looks like a big action film and that’s about it. They did feature some new Anton Yelchin scenes and Sam Worthington’s slightly odd accent. Other than that, I think that we can be assured that there will be a lot of cool action, but I’m not sure about what else.” [Screencrave]
• Disney announced that they will be re-releasing Beauty and the Beast in 3-D next February. [/Film]
• And on a business-related note, National Association of Theatre Owners president John Fithian expects to see studios cut back on new releases by 5 to 10 percent as the year goes on, which he sees as good news. Considering that over 600 movies saw theatrical openings in 2008, Fithian said that “we had some weekends when we had five new releases. That’s too much. We could stand to have a slight reduction.” [USAT]