Hey folks, Harry here with a great update from the Winter NATO event, where previews of just about everything was screened. Sounds like the SHREK 2 preview piece and HELLBOY were the real winners here. Here ya go...
NATO Winter Update - News on Aliens vs. Predator, Shrek 2, Hellboy and more...
I just got back from attending the latest NATO showcase. First of all, maybe last year spoiled me, but man, this year wasn't nearly as impressive as last. Still, I wanted to get the word out on a few films, good or bad, that they talked about there.
First of all, Shrek 2... this is going to be HUGE. We were treated to the voice acting, and later a few actual shots, of Shrek and Donkey running into Puss in Boots played by the one and only Antonio Banderas. and I can only hope the footage of these recording sessions makes it into the public eye. Antonio had a LOT of fun playing the part, and the scene is a riot. If it's indicative of the movie, it's going to be even better than the first.
Basic story - Shrek goes to meet the parents, while Prince Charming comes and finds Fiona already gone. Shrek gets sent on another quest, and comic mayhem insues. I've heard that John Lithgow is back, but he's nowhere to be seen in the trailers... it seems Prince Charming will serve as the film's new nemesis. Some great scenes in here, and I'm looking forward to this one's opening day quite a bit.
Next up, came a rough look at the trailer for Hellboy, and I mean ROUGH. A lot of temp CGI and such, but wow... the make-up looks incredible. I'm ashamed to admit, I know almost nothing about the character, but I'm intrigued by what I saw. I think the big question is, can Ron Perlman carry the movie? Having been a fan of Perlman's for a long time, I think he can, but it'll be interesting to see the verdict when the grosses come in.
One of the best aspects of this trailer is that you don't immediately see Hellboy, as the whole scenario is built up slowly, and it takes a while before it starts to get "strange". The trailer gives it a sort of "Men in Black" vibe, which I'm not sure is what they want to go for, but when the effects are in, I think this trailer will really intrigue audiences and delight fans.
We didn't get to see the rough Spiderman trailer, but we have poster details-Doc Ock and Spidey character sheets, with the reflection of the other in their eyes. Sounds like they'll be nice.
We got to see a rough trailer for Walking Tall, the much maligned Dwayne Johnson(it appears he'll be dropping "The Rock" as his billing with this film) film. Well, it looks like they took the original premise and made it click. The nemesis is an old high school buddy of Chris Vaughn's who runs a local casino, and he's apparently running a drug business on the side. In comes Vaughn, armed with two by four, and even after committing assault and damaging property, he runs for and is elected sheriff. He brings in Johnny Knoxville as a deputy(Knoxville, by the way, is playing a bit more subdued role and, as best one can judge from the trailers, is doing good). Improbable premise, but it looks well shot and Dwayne is continuing his assent, though I think his potential role in the Get Shorty sequel will do a lot more for his career in terms of showing a bit of range.
Okay, on to another film that fanboys might get curious about... AVP. Haven't heard of it? Oh, that's the "hip" billing for Aliens vs. Predator. We were treated to the teaser that will appear on the Alien reissue. They didn't have this footage for the show last week, and we joked that was because they shot it the night before. Tight close ups on the two sides, and then a threat that "Whoever wins, we lose". Nevermind the fact that AVP sounds like an update on a classic convenience shop rather than a long awaiting team-up/battle movie. This trailer is awful, and will get more laughs than Freddy vs. Jason.
Home on the Range will be Disney's last traditionally animated feature, at least for now, and this one looks great, quirky in the same way that Emperor's New Groove was. The three cows are trying to capture an infamous outlaw to save their ranch. Sounds kind of strange? Well, consider this: one of the trailer's best jokes involves the bad guy facing off against the lead cow(played by Roseanne Barr), we see her udder, and she informs us, "Yeah, they're real. Stop staring." If the reactions in the room were any indication, this one might pull in a lot of money, and give traditional animation another shot.
Josh Duhamel. Pronounced "Doo-mel". Get used to saying it, because this guy is going to be a star, and it could happen soon if Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!!! strikes as big as it probably will. The plot follows a famous movie star who has "image problems", and so he and his agent create a contest for him to date a small town girl, Rosalee, played by Kate Bosworth. The date goes well, Rosalee goes home, Tad follows and Rosalee's best friend Pete(Topher Grace) tries to win Rosalee over. Sure, this is nothing new, but judging from the trailer, it boasts a clever script, a talented cast that includes Nathan Lane and Gary Cole, and three charming leads. Duhamel and Bosworth show great chemistry in the trailer, and Grace has some great comedic moments. This is going to be huge, and it's going to make the careers of its two stars.
The Perfect Score looks like a fun, quirky little movie from MTV, that should appeal to a wide audience if it gets the chance. It's about a group of kids who try to steal the SAT, and if they didn't spend all the funny moments in the trailer, it might not be a bad way to spend two hours.
Another movie to look for is Anchorman, with Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate, if only because Ferrell and his castmates seem to have their act down, and it's nice to see Ferrell in something different from his over-the-top antics in Elf.
Finally, a first look at 50 First Dates, with Drew Barrymore playing a victim of short term memory loss and Adam Sandler as the man who loves her, might prove to be a Sandler film to appeal to his Wedding Singer audience.
And I'll close with a few flops(which will assure the studios hate me...)
The Day After Tomorrow, by the ID4 team, goes where The Core already boldly went-showing us that there really isn't a market for diaster flicks. You know, maybe once, people would have liked watching the White House get blown up. For some strange reason, that's not as appealing anymore.
Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington, might not be bad, but judging from the trailer, it seems geared toward a different kind of actor(I get the feeling the script was written with Arnold, Rock or Vin Diesel in mind). Even after Training Day, I can't help but think of Denzel as a nice guy. This might end up being better than I expect, but who knows.
Finally, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Okay, forget about the original. This is its own movie. Sure, it has scenes from the original movie inserted inexplicably into the trailer, but... Yeah. Well, the up side is the film stars Romola Garai, who is absolutely gorgeous. Too bad she's starring in this...
We also got a few trailer dates: Van Helsing's first teaser will appear on Matrix Revolutions, Spiderman 2 should be ready for mid-November, and Shrek 2 should hit about the same time, if not sooner, on Elf. We may also get a new Punisher in mid-November as well.
Other than that, not a whole lot of news... nothing new on Azkaban, Garfield, I, Robot or any of the other big summer releases, though they were mentioned. I also hoped for some kind of official word on the rumored Mega Man movie, but nothing came up... maybe some intrepid spies out there could get digging?