Studio picks pics over dogs and ponies at confab presentations
LAS VEGAS — Sony went minimalist with its CinemaCon presentation Wednesday, letting its reels do the talking — and there were many of those — while hitting high notes with the stylish Whitney Houston vehicle “Sparkle” and Josh Brolin’s spooky channeling of Tommy Lee Jones in “Men In Black 3.”
Sony distrib topper Rory Bruer was the only studio suit to take the Colosseum stage for what turned out to be a strictly no-stunts, no-stars affair. After his remarks, Sony let fly with reels from a dozen or so movies, likely the most of any studio at this year’s confab. It was a brisk ride through each film, starting with one reboot in “Total Recall” and ending with another in “The Amazing Spider Man,” from which Sony has been teasing out footage for months.
Points between were packed with new sneaks, including two Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicles (bike-messenger thriller “Premium Rush” and time-travel brawler “Looper,” with Bruce Willis); the Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones dramedy “Hope Springs”; and Kevin James MMA-themed laffer “Here Comes the Boom.”
Brolin plays a younger version of Jones in the time-travel-tinged “MIB3,” and it’s a dead-on take, injecting a fresh comedic vein into the franchise that hasn’t seen the screen in a decade. And “Sparkle,” starring “American Idol” champ Jordin Sparks and Houston in a supporting role, perked up the crowd with its twirl through lavish period sets and cool score, eliciting a spirited skitter of applause at the end.
But Sony set aside the most time for “Total Recall” and “The Amazing Spider Man,” with a few clips from the latter that appeared to go beyond the extensive sneaks that Sony presented theatrically to both press and fans earlier this year. The “Recall” footage, meanwhile, reveals a kinetic sic-fier, touching on some iconic scenes from the 1990 original (and yes, that includes a woman built to handle triplets).
Sony also presented vidgame-based sequel “Resident Evil: Retribution” (which, as it’s still being worked on, used a track straight from the “Tron: Legacy” score for the sizzle reel); madcap monster stop-motion toon “Hotel Transylvania,” for which Sony stalwart Adam Sandler voices Count Dracula; and Sandler laffer “That’s My Boy.”