Cinemacon 2016: Paramount Pictures shows off Baywatch, Jack Reacher, & more!
Paramount Pictures put on their presentation at Cinemacon 2016, showing off their wares for the rest of the year and into 2017. I had the opportunity to talk to a few of the stars of their upcoming slate of films, including Megan Fox and Will Arnett for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS and JJ Abrams and Simon Pegg for STAR TREK BEYOND, which we'll have up later this week, but first I've got a rundown of my thoughts on the presentation itself with my reaction to the footage and what you can expect before you get a peek for yourself.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS
We saw the newly released trailer for the Michael-Bay produced sequel, although an extended version that showed off more from the Turtles' infiltration of the C-130 plane. After boarding the plane, the Turtles are confronted by Rocksteady, Bebop, and a tank, which is used on the gang INSIDE the plane, causing some significant damage and sending the plane plunging to the ground. The entire sequence is reminiscent of the snow escape in the first film, filled with some over-the-top, crazy action stunts (and I got a kind of A-TEAM vibe as well...maybe it was the tank-plane aspect) that ended with the plane splashing down in a river. If a lack of action was a problem for you with the first one, then this may be more your bag. That said, I know there are detractors of this rebooted series that simply cannot be convinced, but for me, as a fan of the comics, the cartoons (now and then), and prior films, I'm happy to take another jaunt with these guys in what looks like a 90's nostalgia explosion, especially with Shredder, Baxter Stockman, Casey Jones, and Krang in the mix. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS opens on June 3rd, 2016.
This is a tough sell for those that are latched onto Charlton Heston's classic version, but I think there's room for another interpretation. They showed us the currently released trailer with an extended look at the chariot scene in the arena, complete with some serious smash-and-crash damage and brutality, which seemed to do more harm to the (surely digital) horses than anything. We also got a peek at Rodrigo Santoro's Jesus interacting with Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and a bit more from Morgan Freeman's character (okay, mostly him yelling "Go!") Timur Bekmambetov looks to have made, if anything else, an entertaining romp more so than a film that's attempting to dethrone Heston's classic. I think one could enjoy both on their respective levels, but I'll leave that up to you guys. BEN-HUR opens on August 12th, 2016.
The long-delayed reboot of the popular franchise returns and it appears that they're taking it...to the skies. We were shown a teaser that brings back the mythology of the TV-crawling villain Samara with an all new screen to haunt...airplane monitors! That's right, the teaser for RINGS picks up with a passenger talking to another and telling her all about how he was shown a tape and was then warned that he had seven days to live...then proceeding to tell her that it was now day 7...at 10,000 feet in the air. Naturally, all hell breaks loose and Samara's familiar well is seen on all the plane screens, including the cockpit monitors which she uses to make her grand entrance. Overall, it looks more FINAL DESTINATION than THE RING, but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing. It feels like a more commercial approach, but there's certainly a chance that director F. Javier Gutiérrez may have a few tricks up his sleeve. RINGS opens on October 28th, 2016.
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
If you're a fan of Tom Cruise or JACK REACHER or both, then, well, this is for you. And really, who doesn't want more JACK REACHER? The sequel, directed by Ed Zwick (THE LAST SAMURAI) has all the appeal of the first film, with the grizzled former Military Policeman back in trouble and fighting to clear his name, while taking down an unknown enemy. Joining him in the action thriller is Cobie Smulders, whose character is now occupying Reacher's former military job and is enlisted to help him in his current predicament. In a video message, Cruise calls Reacher an "analogue character in a digital world" and in the trailer shown we see that he's still up to his ass-kicking, gun-blasting ways. But, don't count out Cobie, who shows more of her Maria Hill style fighting skills in the trailer and does most of it in uniform, making it that much cooler and sexier. The first film is criminally underrated and this follow up just looks like a pure blast to fill in the gaps between MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE films, which Cruise assured that he and Christopher McQuarrie would begin filming in the fall. JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK opens on October 21st, 2016.
Robert Zemeckis, Brad Pitt, and Marion Cotillard team up for a WWII spy thriller that looks every bit like...a WWII spy thriller. In an early peek trailer for ALLIED, we see a clean cut Pitt, working as a secret agent for the U.S., while Cotillard's character is a U.S. spy undercover with the Nazi party. As romance blooms between the two, there's a series of mysterious hints that elude to one or the other being on the wrong side or, even worse, their own government working against them. And, that's the point of a film like this, which looks like a really solid venture for all involved. Pitt is seen flexing some action muscle as well, touting a gun and maneuvering through some harrowing sequences, giving him a role that seems fitting for his caliber of star power. Zemeckis is one of the best filmmakers of all time, so having his pedigree on this film, especially for a much different genre than we're accustomed to from him, looks to be a solid win and potential Oscar contender for the principals involved. ALLIED opens on November 23rd, 2016.
STORY OF YOUR LIFE
The most intriguing of all the films on Paramount's upcoming slate. Directed by SICARIO's Denis Villeneuve, this alien invasion flick looks nothing like what we've come to expect from the genre, taking a more grounded and realistic approach, while still pumping up the sci-fi elements. We saw a trailer for the film, which stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner as a team of linguists tasked with communicating with aliens aboard a parked spacecraft (and multiple others all over the world) attempting to decipher their language and start a dialogue. There's some serious suspense and enthralling footage here, especially as we see Adams and Renner enter the craft to make contact with the aliens. From there, it looks to unfold as a mystery sci-fi flick in the vein of early M. Night Shyamalan, but with the consistently awesome Villeneuve at the helm. If STORY OF YOUR LIFE can live up to the greatness of PRISONERS or SICARIO, then this could very well be the commercial hit that puts him on the map in a big way, especially with the BLADE RUNNER sequel next on his agenda. STORY OF YOUR LIFE opens sometime in 2016.
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
Director Stephen Frears adapts the true story of the real life singer Florence Foster Jenkins as played by Meryl Streep in what looks like a comedic period piece with another Oscar-worthy performance from the actress. Hugh Grant and Rebecca Ferguson join the shenanigans in what looks like the one movie your grandparents will see this year. FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS opens on August 12, 2016.
While no footage was shown, the announcement was made that Denzel Washington would be acting and directing in an adaptation of FENCES, based on August Wilson’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play, for which Washington and Viola Davis starred in together in 2010. The story revolves around a once-promising baseball player turned garbage man in Pittsburgh and the relationships around him. Having never seen the play it's hard to say if this is something worth getting excited over, but both Washington and Davis are two of the best actors working today, so there's something to look forward to. FENCES begins filming this month.
We got an early peek at a trailer for the in-production adaptation of the long-running TV show and it became very evident what kind of tone this series would be taking and it's 100 percent 21 JUMP BAYWATCH. I say that in good spirits as the last thing we needed was another movie about a bunch of people in awesome shape saving lives. We've already got plenty of superhero films out already. Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera make up the cast of the film and it's very evident that this will be a fun, comedic action romp that doesn't take itself seriously by a mile...which is a good thing.
Full of F-bombs and self-referential humor, including Daddario asking why women's bathing suits ride up their asses and both Johnson and Efron mimicking how their testicles would sound if they talked. Also, explosions, flexing, tire flips, ass shots, ab shots, bicep shots, slow motion, boats, more ass shot...in slow motion. It's got all the appeal you could want for both sexes (or sexuality), so that's a big plus. Really, this is the kind of BAYWATCH movie you'd want to see if they told you they were making a BAYWATCH movie and they're making a BAYWATCH movie so this IS the one you want to see. Surprisingly, this could very well end up being a bigger hit than they anticipate if everything gels together. BAYWATCH is slated to open on May 19, 2017.
And that's it for Paramount Pictures presentation! Which films are YOU most excited to see from their upcoming slate?
Look for more of our Cinemacon coverage, including interviews, reaction videos, and presentation coverage all this week!
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