CinemaCon 2017: STX presentation w/ Valerian, Molly's Game, Bad Moms & more!

CinemaCon 2017 is underway and we've got a full dance card for the next few days. This morning's festivities were kicked off with STX, the now 2-year-old studio that's commited to bringing more affordable A-list style films to the masses. They previewed their upcoming slate with some first looks and announcements, including a new trailer for VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, MOLLY'S GAME, RENEGADES, UGLY DOLLS, THE FOREIGNER, A BAD MOM'S CHRISTMAS and more! You can check out our video reaction and/or read a more detailed description below.


We got a peek at a quick scene and the already released trailer for THE CIRCLE, the upcoming "timely" tale starring Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and John Boyega from author Dave Eggers. The scene we saw was a job interview for Watson where she was being evaluated for her answers to some choice questions before they launched into the trailer. A talented group involved in the film, but I can't help but feel that it's one that will sail under the radar, even with the clout of Hanks and Watson there. I'll be curious to see how reviews are for the film, which may well sway the masses to check it out, but if they hover around mediocre, I think this one will probably escape most audiences.

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS - We saw the new trailer for the film (which will debut online tomorrow) and it's an even more colorful, vibrant, and imaginative look than we saw before (although we saw EVEN more last summer at ComicCon, which was also amazing). The term "feast for the eyes" is often overused, but it applies here very fittingly. The focus was opened up more to the aliens and otherworldly creatures, showing off some stunning and inventive creatures, some of which look like they blur the line between practical and CGI. It's like a Moebius comic comic to life and director Luc Besson's style and visual flair are ever present here, something many of us have missed since he showed so much promise in the genre with 1997's THE FIFTH ELEMENT. While it would help to see more interactions and peeks into the characters of Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) the visuals alone are enough of a sell for me and my hope is that it's every bit as fun, quirky, and cool as Besson's last venture to space.

RENEGADES - Luc Besson also wrote this low-budget/high-concept actioner about a group of Navy SEALS (led by 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE's Sullivan Stapleton) who band together to steal some gold from a city buried beneath a lake in Bosnia, where they end up hunted by the local military there. Tanks, explosions, one-liners, machine guns, and a yelling/swearing JK Simmons are abound in a flick that looks like a fine distraction on Netflix, but not necessarily something you'd rush to the theater for.

MOLLY'S GAME - The pairing of Aaron Sorkin with Jessica Chastain really is a perfect match-up and it looks like both talents will be utilized to their best strengths in this true life tale about Molly Bloom, an entrepreneur who started one of the biggest high stakes poker games and was known as the "Poker Princess". We saw an early trailer that highlights how the tale will unfold and it appears that the film will flash back and forward (much like Sorkin's THE SOCIAL NETWORK) in telling Bloom's story. While we didn't get an abundance of Sorkin-esque dialogue, there were plenty of little teases that let us know we're in his playground and it looks to give Chastain a performance opportunity that we haven't really seen since her stellar work in ZERO DARK THIRTY. Co-star Idris Elba, Michael Cera, Chris O'Dowd, and Kevin Costner are also seen in the trailer, but outside of Elba it's all a tease in how they'll play out. Definitely one to watch out for.

UGLY DOLLS - Last year at CinemaCon they announced that STX had acquired the Ugly Dolls property to develop into an animated feature, but we hadn't heard anything about talent involved. Today, we found out that Robert Rodriguez and his Troublemaker Studios would be the crew behind bringing this property to life and got an early look at the animation and development of the film, which is currently in production. Rodriguez first discovered the toys when they first came out and has been a fan ever since. This will be the first feature-length animated project from Rodriguez and Troublemaker and is aiming for a 2019 release.

ANIMATION SLATE - We got word of some additional animated pics that were on the horizon, including a new one from Adam Sandler and Happy Madison (although nothing was mentioned outside of their involvement) and a new Eddie Murphy animated film about a Bull that wants to be a circus clown. So, yeah. Also, it was announced that the long-running Broadway show JOSEPH AND THE TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT would be getting the animated film treatment with the musical talents of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Tim Rice and Elton John.

DEN OF THIEVES - We got an early look at the crime thriller DEN OF THIEVES, starring Gerard Butler, O'Shea Jackson Jr.Pablo Schreiber, and 50 Cent, which reminded me a lot of last year's TRIPLE 9 with a twist on the old cops vs. robbers model, as you never really know who the good guys or bad guys are (although there's a scene where Butler's cop character tell's another that it's the good guys that are the real bad guys). The film isn't due until 2018, but so far it looks like it could be a standard crime thriller or potentially (and hopefully) a more hardcore and tough genre film. Too soon to tell.

MILE 22 - Director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg took the stage to announce their latest project together, MILE 22, which is meant to be the start of a new action franchise for the duo, who have been working on true-life stories of late (DEEPWATER HORIZON, PATRIOTS DAY, and LONE SURVIVOR). Berg said it would be an "intelligent" film, but with a lot of "muscle" and that ultimately it would be "a big ass action movie". These guys definitely have a connection and have made some great efforts thus far, but it's nice to see them go down a less serious route for a change and just have some fun. I've missed the Berg of THE RUNDOWN, so hopefully MILE 22 taps back into that spirit. You can get more plot details here.

THE FOREIGNER - Last year we got a peek at the trailer for this Jackie Chan/Pierce Brosnan action thriller about a man (Chan) seeking vengeance for his family's deaths from an Irish mobster (Brosnan). That may seem like a fairly straightforward action vehicle, but add in director Martin Campbell, who revived the Bond franchise with CASINO ROYALE and it sweetens the deal a bit. Then again, he also directed GREEN LANTERN, so there's that. However, the film does look promising with Chan playing a very beaten, but determined man, using his wits more so than his physical prowess (but don't worry, there's still plenty of ass kicking) and Brosnan chewing up scenery as a baddie. Could go either way.

A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS - Lastly, Mila Kunis took to the stage to talk about the success of last year's BAD MOMS (highest grossing R-rated comedy of 2016) and the progress of A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS, which goes into production next month, reuniting Kunis with her gal pals Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn. Obviously, they didn't have anything to show from the film, but they did play a reel of real-life Christmas videos of good times gone hilariously bad, which shows the potential and direction that the follow-up will no doubt exploit. There's plenty of room to for another Christmas comedy and I'm game for these ladies to bring their shock and charm to the holidays.

And that's it for STX! Some interesting stuff coming from the up-and-coming studio and a diverse array of titles that appeal to everyone

Source: JoBlo.com



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