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CinemaCon 2017: Sony presentation - Dark Tower, Jumanji, Spider-Man & more!

Sony Pictures kicked off CinemaCon 2017 with the first presentation and brought a cavalcade of goods from their current and upcoming slate. In addition to reaction videos, we'll also include a brief rundown on what we saw for those looking for a little more in-depth analysis, so you can check that out below.

BABY DRIVER - The show opened with the opening sequence to Edgar Wright's BABY DRIVER, which kicks off with Ansel Egort's "Baby" jamming to some music in his getaway car, while co-stars Jon Hamm, John Bernthal, and Eiza Gonzalez rob a bank. When they exit the bank, cash in hand, he immediately begins his getaway in a lengthy car chase with the cops in pursuit. It's at great scene and Wright's signature whip-smart editing is on full display with some solid car choreography to boot (no CGI or green screen, according to him). Wright says he pitched the movie as "a car movie driven by music" and the term "visceral" was used throughout the presentation. Although this already premiered at SXSW, there's still tons of us who haven't seen it and there's more good news as they announced that the release date would be moved up to June 28th.

THE DARK TOWER - We've already seen tons of images for this one, but nothing by way of moving pictures and Sony debuted a slightly unfinished version of the trailer and, even in that state, it still looked sharp as hell. Idris Elba as
Roland Deschain is every bit "The Gunslinger" in this, showing off some badass shooting skills, particularly in his tactical reloads (complete with a belt stocked with cylinders, ready to be loaded). The imagery itself is very much in a fantasy realm, but with a kind of INCEPTION feel to it as well. It definitely feels like it's jumping worlds and this is coming from someone who has never read the books, so I have no real insight into what it "should" look like or if it wholly succeeds as it is. I do know this: There's no question that I'll be seeing it.

Matthew McConaughey is menacing as hell as The Man in Black and has a number of deliciously evil lines throughout the trailer and he really seems to be having fun here. At some point both he and Roland will face off and there's a scene where they trade bullets for telekinetic powers in a heated battle that shows some real promise. Overall, this looks like a really fun flick and, if nothing else, a terrific badass-in-the-making role for Elba, who is long overdue for something like this.

ANIMATION SLATE - We got a quick look at Sony's upcoming animation slate, which includes SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE, THE EMOJI MOVIE, THE STAR, and PETER RABBIT. Outside of SMURFS, the other projects are in a state of early development, so we saw a lot of concept art for each or unfinished sequences. None of it left a particularly exciting feeling, to be honest, and I'll heartily admit that I'm not the demographic for these, but as films that WILL be marketed to kids (including my own), there wasn't too much incentive to make me want to bring them out to these. Now, I also have to be fair and say that (minus SMURFS), none of them were in a finished enough state, so it would be uncool to dismiss them outright, but they simply aren't inciting anything in these early peeks.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Ah, now this was absolutely the most cool and promising-looking of the bunch. Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic has already teased us with an early teaser, but tonight we got a look at the upcoming full second trailer and it's every bit as mysterious, kinetic, and visually exotic. If you know Villeneuve's style then you know what he's capable of and it's on full display here. We see a bit more Harrison Ford (but not much) and it really feels like this is all about Ryan Gosling's character more than anything else with the same kind of allusions to him being a replicant, but done in a manner to make us question it. We also see Jared Leto's character for the first time, who is some kind of replicant "creator" who "welcomes" a newly born one (who comes sliding out of a bag in a lab) and wishes it happy birthday. He's got a great air of creepiness, which should be fun. We also see Robin Wright as the straight-laced boss of Gosling's character, as well as Dave Bautista's character rocking some old man glasses. What I loved more than anything was that the trailer filled me with questions and has me even more intrigued than before. It really feels like they've nailed the look and atmosphere of Ridley's film, while adding a whole new level (and new characters) into the mix. One of my most-anticipated of the year by far.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - Everyone was excited to see more from the ol' webhead and Producer Amy Pascal, star Tom Holland, and the MCU mastermind himself, Kevin Feige took the stage to introduce the new trailer for the upcoming "reintroduction" of Spidey to the MCU proper. Feige explained that their approach was simple, "The whole idea was that he’s [Spider-Man] been there the whole time.” He went on to explain that basically, Peter Parker was around age 3 when Iron Man became Iron Man, etc., and is now at the point in time where he emerges as a superhero. It makes perfect sense and I think it's the easiest and most sensible approach.

The new trailer was fun and gave us a deeper look at the overall story, as well as some cool costume bits. We see Peter putting the suit on and it's basically like a really baggy pair of pajamas and then he hits a button and it tightens to his body. Very cool. We also see the spider on his chest dismount as a drone. Michael Keaton's Vulture has more scenes and dialogue to chew on and he really seems to be having a blast as the bad guy. The mechanics of the Vulture suit are really cool as well and we see him armoring up (and out) of it. There's a clever and funny nod to Captain America in CIVIL WAR that I won't spoil here and Peter seems to be toiling over his role as Spider-Man as an Avenger, rather than just "your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man".

At one point, Spider-Man tries to save a ferry that's blasted in half by The Vulture, which prompts a save by Iron Man. Later Stark tells Peter he needs the suit back as Peter shouldn't need the suit to be Spider-Man. This is when we see Peter go back to his homemade costume and square off with The Vulture again, this time on top of a flying plane. It's a cool direction to go, I think, making Peter go "back to basics" and essentially "earn" the moniker (and costume proper) of Spider-Man again. It's a challenge I didn't see coming for the film, so it has me more intrigued for the film, where I was mostly in a "sure, I'll see it" kind of mode with it thus far.

FUTURE SLATE: They then went into a quick flash of projects on deck, including a Denzel Washington/Colin Farrell film from Dan Gilroy (still untitled), CADAVER starring Shay Mitchell (a creepy supernatural flick set in a morgue), what appears to be a SMOKIN' ACES spin-off with Taraj P. Henderson called PROUD MARY, which shows footage of her from the Joe Carnahan film as that character and then some other quicks shots of assassin gear, etc. Unless they just chose to use that footage to tell us she's playing an assassin, it sure seems like this is a SMOKIN' ACES spinoff. Lastly, we saw a full trailer for FLATLINERS (although they didn't use that title during the presentation). The trailer was very much in the vein as Joel Schumacher's original, with Ellen Page taking on the Julia Roberts role and gathering up a group of medical school friends to "die and come back" to see what they find on the other side. Sadly, this looks more like a horror film than a supernatural one, which was always the cool thing about the original. Still, it doesn't look awful and if they tap into the ugly dark side that the original had (which was the human drama that arose from their unresolved issues) then they may have something. We also got another look at Scarlett Johansson's ROUGH NIGHT, but it was the same trailer that's already hit online.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE - Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas took the stage to introduce JUMANJI (now with the added "Welcome to the Jungle" in the title) with Kevin Hart joining via video. After some joking around they played the debut trailer and it looks...surprisingly good. I came in with low expectations, but the approach is actually quite clever and fun. Ultimately, the main actors are avatars of video game characters, being played by high school kids who discover the game while in detention at their school. After getting sucked into the game (and now inhabiting very different bodies), they have to beat all the levels to get free of the game. It's a fun riff on the original concept and there's even mention of Robin Williams Alan from the original game in there. Seeing the actors basically portray teenagers in avatar bodies is a fun angle and it works quite well (in the trailer at least). Jack Black as a normally popular hot girl is sure to bring the laughs (or get annoying real fast. You decide). Ultimately, JUMANJI looks like a lot of fun and certainly takes on a life of its own, while honoring the legacy of the first film.

And that's it for Sony! We'll have more presentation write-ups and reaction videos to follow while we're here at CinemaCon, so be sure to check back each day for the next one. CLICK BELOW FOR ALL OUR CINEMACON 2017 COVERAGE!

Source: JoBlo.com

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