April 1, 2011


While some of the studios at CinemaCon start their presentation in the slow lane, Warner Bros. showed up in 5th gear and opened their panel by world premiering footage from Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, Final Destination 5, The Hangover Part II, Contagion, Green Lantern, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Crazy Stupid Love, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, A Harold and Kumar Christmas in 3D, and a number of other big releases.  For a film nerd like me that’s been looking forward to a number of these movies, it was awesome.

Shortly after the presentation ended, I recorded a video blog with Peter from /Film and Alex from Firstshowing.  Since we decided to just talk about the new footage from Green Lantern and Harry Potter, I’ve also written a bit about the other movies before the video.

While many have been nervous about Green Lantern based on the footage from the first trailer, all three of us were blown away by what WB showed.  Also, the footage will be at WonderCon tomorrow, so fans will get the chance to see it for themselves.  Trust me, after tomorrow’s presentation, the buzz online about Green Lantern is going to be very strong.  Hit the jump for more.

If you’re just here to watch my thoughts on Green Lantern and Harry Potter, here’s the video blog.  For a more detailed recap on what was shown during the entire panel, it’s below the video:

the-hangover-part-2-movie-poster-01Since the video montage of what’s coming in 2011 was very fast and offered only snippets of footage, I won’t be able to recap all the footage shown as a lot of it was out of order and I have no way to place it in the context of the movie.  However, for those curious, here’s all the films, in order, that they showed footage from.  After the montage, that’s when it got interesting…

J. Edgar – It was a scene of Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover testifying before Congress on why there needs to be a central database for fingerprints.  DiCaprio looked fantastic in the role and I was ready to watch the whole film right then and there.

Happy Feet 2 – Rough footage from the movie.  If you liked the first one, it’s more of the same.

The Hangover 2 – A brief shot or two from the film. Nothing special.

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas – This scene brought huge laughter to the theater.  It featured Kumar hotboxing (smoking pot) in a car and filling it with smoke.  Someone pounds on the window. They’re freaking out because their baby is in the backseat.  Cut to the baby.  Huge amounts of smoke around it’s head.  It starts to giggle like it’s stoned.  Everyone laughed.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. – Some quick clips.

New Year’s Eve – A montage of short moments in the movie. Definitely saw Zac Efron dancing.  Mostly focused on all the stars in the film.

Contagion – This one looks to be the real deal.  They showed brief moments of each of the actors with a key scene being Kate Winslet in a hotel asking someone on the phone for everyone who stayed in the room she’s in for the last 24 hours.  She looks very sick. Might be beginning of the film.  Cut to a few scenes of troops moving around and maps of the infection spreading.  Seems like a powerful film about what would happen if a deadly pandemic were to really happen.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – They showed the first footage of Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks and young actor Thomas Horn.  Was a short scene of Bullock and Horn talking but with this cast, you know this movie is going to be huge.

Dolphin Tale 3D – A short scene of Morgan Freeman talking to someone about the dolphin.

Final Destination 5 – A scene of an eye getting stretched out.  We all know what this film is about.

Green Lantern – Mostly footage we had previously seen.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – A few new shots of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law fighting alongside each other in the forest. It looks like the first Sherlock Holmes but bigger.

After the 2011 preview montage, Jeff Robinov (President of WB) took the stage and talked about some of the other movies they have coming up.  Whenever the head of a studio mentions a film, you know they are seriously developing it.  The highlights for me was hearing him say Mad Max: Fury Road, Gravity, A Star is Born, and The Great Gatsby.

Once he was finished giving his speech, the many filmmakers in attendance and some of the stars took to the stage to world premiere their trailers and/or footage from their movies.

Up first was Todd Phillips with The Hangover: Part II.  Since that is now online, I’m moving on.  I will say it played huge.

Next was Green Lantern.  Director Martin Campbell, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively took that stage.  While they warned us the footage wasn’t done and we’d see a lot of imperfections, they were lying.  What was shown actually was so much better than I expected, I was stunned for a few seconds.  While I’ve been looking forward to Green Lantern, after the footage today, I’m now at another level of excitement.  Loaded with action, great looking CGI work, and a story that’s bigger than any previous comic book movie, Green Lantern is the next generation of the genre and fans are going to be blown away when they get a look at it.  While I have no idea if the final film will look as great as the footage today, but if it does, then holy shit.  More on this in the video blog.

horrible_bosses_movie_image_charlie_day_jason_sudeikis_jason_bateman_01The next footage was the trailer for Horrible Bosses.  Starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sedaris, the trailer looked very funny.  I think it’ll be online in the next month or so.

Crazy, Stupid, Love was next.  Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris) and Steve Carell took the stage and talked a bit. While the footage didn’t blow me away, I am a huge fan of the two directors and Carell and I think this is going to be a winner.

The last bit of footage was from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.  Producers David Heyman and David Barron took the stage and showed us about 4 minutes of footage.  Cutting from what seemed like an extended trailer to random bits from the movie, the stuff they showed today was epic.  Since I don’t want to spoil anything for those that haven’t read the books, I’ll just say they showed us some MAJOR stuff from the last 20 minutes of the movie.  Besides key moments from the end of the movie, they showed us the escape from Gringots, looking for stuff in the forest, major chase scenes, and a key moment with Harry and some people that Voldermort has killed off.  Fans of the books, you know what I’m talking about…

As someone that has read the books more than once, the stuff they showed looked like I’d always imagined it and I absolutely think they’ve hit a massive home run.  Fans are going to love the final installment and I think it could be the best film of the franchise.  For more of my thoughts, it’s in the video.

Final Thoughts

Like the last two years at ShoWest (the former name for CinemaCon), Warner Bros. showed why they’re the biggest studio in Hollywood.  With huge tentpole films on the horizon and some awesome looking comedies, WB is poised to stay on top.  In addition, for those comic book fans, we’re on the cusp of a lot more DC movies especially if Green Lantern does huge business.  After the footage today, I’m sure it will.

Again, while I wasn’t sure WB could pull off Green Lantern with all the CGI that needed to be added in, after watching the presentation today, I’m floored by how good it looked.  I really think they nailed it.  As for the other films on their 2011 slate, if the final films are as good as the footage they showed, then Warner Bros. is going to have a very good year.

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