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Ahoy, squirts! Quint here from my room in Paris... the hotel, not the city. I spent the morning at a rather dry panel on 4k projection, the much talked about superior digital projection system, as well as walking around the floor of the trade show.

I've noticed something in the scant 24 hours I've been attending this show... There is much talk about the amazing freebies given out and the huge events, but there is a catch. In order to be one of the cool kids you need a ShoWest "passport." These are very literally passports, except that instead of using them to get from one country to another, you use them to gain access to big events and to get these famous goodie bags. You get a stamp each time you pick up a goodie bag. Get it?

I've noticed those with "passports" are having much more fun than those without. Me, I got enough crap, so I really don't need any more, but I'd be lying if I said the curiosity bug didn't bite every time I see someone handing out an overstuffed bag to attendees. I just want to know what's in those things! I've seen full-sized backpacks bulging, some animated cow movie-themed duffel bag, bursting at the seams. What the hell could possibly be in those?

Anyway, other than that the trade show is lame as hell, at least for me. There are about a dozen rows of brand new theater seats, popcorn bags, new and improved popcorn salt in a variety of flavors, concession candy of all sorts, cleaners, ice cream machines... I don't know what I was expecting, but the only frame of reference I had was San Diego's Comic-Con, which is amazingly cool. I didn't expect ShoWest to be as big as Comic-Con, but I guess I had expected more studios to be there pushing their films on these theater owners.

As it was, there was one corner of the building that felt like Comic-Con. It had a ton of pics up on the walls, a secret M:I3 area (I'll get to that in a minute) and a wrestling ring with NACHO LIBRE stuff all around it, including Nacho's transport. Take a look at Nacho's ride here:

They also had the NACHO LIBRE confessionals running. Have you folks seen the "teaser" yet? Check it here for the teaser glimpse... I've seen a couple of them and they're great... Jack Black had the camera during all his downtime on the NACHO set and just pretty much used it as a confessional during the shoot. The waxing one is funny as hell, yet not a copy of 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN.

Anyway, there was a wall of movie stills as well. Most of them were old, but I found a few that were new to me, although it's entirely possible they are all out there somewhere. Below you'll find stills from Aardman Studio's FLUSHED AWAY, the live-action CHARLOTTE'S WEB, FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, PERFUME and ZODIAC.

There was one really cool thing there that I was able to enter without a "passport," and that was this set-up that had a 5 minute presentation for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3. Standing guard at the gate to this structure was a big security guard who didn't talk to anyone. In fact an Exhibitor asked him a question and like those dudes with the big, fuzzy hats the security guy didn't even acknowledge this person. It was actually pissing the Exhibitor off. Kinda funny, though.

My group of about 6 people was let in by another, more friendly, security guy who told us we were walking through the underground tunnels directly beneath the Vatican, which had been there for centuries. He led us to a door (this is all enclosed, mind you... think of a really expensive and elaborate haunted house) with a security camera above it. He waved, the camera blinked and then he typed in a code at the keypad next to the door. The door slid open and we were led into a room with monitors and tons of (working) technological equipment as well as 3 guys working them.

We were inspected by the man in command, while world news scrolled on the in the background, Rumsfeld holding a press conference on one of the monitors, flooding on another one. The commanding officer looked at our badges, passed me up and started interrogating the Asian man next to me who didn't really speak much English. "What's your name? Where are you from? Where's your passport?" Satisfied with the broken answers, he turns to another Exhibitor and starts asking him the same questions. "I have 2 theaters in Ohio." Or was it Iowa? Something like that. Anyway, the man in charge grabs this guy and pulls him out of the room. There is a room with a shared window next to the room we were in and we saw the Exhibitor that was taken to and put in that room.

One of the monitors turns on and Tom Cruise is there. "This is Ethan Hunt, reporting in." He's all seriousness, focused in and then he glances up and pauses. He looks back down at the guys sitting at their desks. "Who are those people standing back there? What are they doing here?!? They look like... Exhibitors..." His demeanor cracks gradually and he starts to laugh, then he welcomes us ShoWest attendees to this special footage from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 and thanked us (by us I mean theater owners) for helping to make M:I3 one of the biggest movies of the year. He also said something like, "By now one of you have been pulled away..."

What they showed was a behind the scenes montage followed by the new trailer. The behind the scene montage was essentially Cruise telling us how great a movie it was going to be and JJ Abrams telling us how Cruise did almost all his own stunts. Then Philip Seymour Hoffman popped up to tell us how important it was that Cruise was doing his own stunts. All this inter-cut with Cruise sliding down the glass face of a building's exterior, running from helicopters firing missiles at him and jumping off buildings.

The new trailer was essentially the old trailer combined with the Japanese Trailer (Click here if you haven't seen that one), but with some added action bits (including Cruise nearing being run-over by a jack-knifing big-rig) and Laurence Fishburne talking to a lady who says something like, "It's Ethan Hunt." Fishburne replies (in that great, cold voice of his), "I know it's Ethan Hunt." Pretty exciting, eh? hehe There was also a little bit of Tom Cruise yelling at Philip Seymour Hoffman, telling him he was NOT going to get what he wanted.

So, that was my day. I have the big day tomorrow with the big WB panel where we'll see footage from SUPERMAN RETURNS, HAPPY FEET, POSEIDON and LADY IN THE WATER. I know I can get into that without a "passport," so no worries there. I also had many interviews fall through on this trip, but I was able to nail one really super interview, so keep an eye out for that one, too.


Readers Talkback
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  • March 16, 2006, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Kids! Pigs! Nic Cage taking emotional inventory!

    by Nadine_Cross

    Now, let's talk about that popcorn salt.

  • March 16, 2006, 3:43 a.m. CST

    I am fucking sick of Dakota MFing Fanning...

    by Tubbs Tattsyrup

    ...god damn it.

  • March 16, 2006, 3:49 a.m. CST

    So, is that the first Zodiac thing anyone's seen?

    by zikade zarathos

    I'm really excited about that movie, more than any other this year except for probably THE DEPARTED. Knowing Fincher, though, it'll get delayed to 2010.

  • March 16, 2006, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Web Slinger

    by Jedibobster

    Heres hoping that Charlotte's Web is every bit as charming and heart-warming as it should be.

  • March 16, 2006, 5 a.m. CST

    by purplewarrior

    I'm kind of nervous about what they've done to charlottes web...That's kind of one o fmy fonder childhood memories in both book and animated form, you know?

  • March 16, 2006, 5:03 a.m. CST

    "one really SUPER interview"

    by Acne Scarface

    is that a clue?

  • March 16, 2006, 5:55 a.m. CST

    Dakota Fanning is catching up to Samuel L. Jackson

    by I Dunno

    And is she ever going to grow up? Maybe it's the sheer number of movies she's been in but it seems like she's been 11 for 5 years now. Maybe they keep her frozen in carbonite between shoots and press junkets.

  • March 16, 2006, 6:47 a.m. CST

    But what happened to the exhibitor?

    by zacdilone

    The dude that was taken into the other room...was he tortured in cruel and inhuman ways?

  • March 16, 2006, 6:52 a.m. CST

    ZODIAC-pictures here....

    by Koola_Norway

    I had sort of seen all these pictures before... and concerning Zodiac; there's more and better quality ones here: Quint... is it just me... or does ShoWest actually sound a bit.... boring?

  • March 16, 2006, 7:05 a.m. CST

    Stop complaining about Dakota Fanning

    by moondoggy2u

    After all, She's Zuckerman's Famous Kid!

  • March 16, 2006, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Cruise as an action hero?

    by Gary Busey's Upper Half

    That's the REAL Mission Impossible. M:I2 was just embarrassing, perhaps the worst film of his career. Most of the audience I saw it with audibly LAUGHED at the dove metaphors and ridiculous slow-motion action scenes. This one looks better, but the series will always be hampered by Cruise's insistence that these be vanity projects that focus solely on the Ethan Hunt character instead of the ensemble pieces they should be. I suspect the Tomster will end up like Harrison Ford - craggy and earring-laden, with real and screen wives half his age, and taking increasingly ill-fitting roles that perpetuate his illusion that he's still an action star.

  • March 16, 2006, 7:31 a.m. CST

    that mi3 thing sounds so weird.....

    by misnomer

  • March 16, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Dakota Fanning Has A Beer And Cheets On That Pig

    by Kubla_Khan

    There you go, a talkback headline hitting all the best categories: it's retro, it's got a kid, it's got animals, alcohol, and implied bestiality. The question is...if that was a film would you watch it? With Rob Scheider as the pig?

  • March 16, 2006, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Holy shit, the Hoff might not get what he wants

    by DannyOcean01

    Is anyone else shitting their pants at how good MI3 is going be? And Lawrence Fishburn playing Guess Who with a woman..that scene is going to fucking rock!!!

  • March 16, 2006, 8:53 a.m. CST

    The Dakota Fanning haters...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Where does this shit come from? She's a cute kid and not a bad actress for her age. Maybe she's a little bit robotic, but she's like ten friggin' years old. Cut the kid a break.

  • March 16, 2006, 8:57 a.m. CST

    I dunno - where does that girl get the time to eat?

    by AnimeJune

    Oh wait, they don't want to her to grow up to have luscious Lindsey Lohan curves, because they don't want to have to explain the extreme weight loss that will result later on. Oh, and you wanna know Dakota Fanning's real name? Hannah. Hannah Fanning. Am I the only one who thinks that's a cuter and more memorable name than Dakota? C'mon! Hannah Fanning! Say it with me!

  • March 16, 2006, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Bahamut-kun, I assume you've heard about Isaac Hayes

    by AnimeJune

    ....That ass quit his job as Chef from "South Park" because of "bigotry" regarding the infamous Scientology episode. He says it's a mockery of human rights, but Matt Stone rightfully shoved Isaac's final paycheque up his ass by saying he departure was ENTIRELY because he was a Scientologist, and that in the seven years he's been on the show, he hasn't had any trouble making fun of Christianity and other relgions. "He's just a man, who no one understands except his mamaa....and Tom Cruise!"

  • March 16, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    I'm surprised the

    by Purgatori

    geat cult of scientology didn't get Fishburne replaced by Isaac Hayes, since he's now out of work due to his "strong beliefs in not ridiculing religion" cause South Park JUST started doing that.

  • March 16, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST

    What you get with a passport at ShoWest

    by AshFett

    Quint: In 2003 I went to ShoWest and had a passport. I came home with more free crap then I'd ever thought possible. Most of it was t-shirts. I remember getting t-shirts for everything from Hulk, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Pirates of the Caribbean, Finding Nemo, Dumb and Dumberer to 13 Grams. It was like every movie coming out that year had a t-shirt. Also ended up with random note pads and stuff like a 20th Century Fox computer mouse. And an Anger Management teddy bear who was all bandaged up. Random, I know. So I got a couple of cool movie t-shirts, a shitload of bad movie t-shirts and some pretty great bags. I mean the actual bags the stuff came in, which were like nice luggage shoulder bags. I have a small Universal one from that year that had made a perfect Gym bag. Oh and Paramount must always be the one studio to do something big like the MI3 thing you saw this year, because I remember back then they had this big Tomb Raider 2 temple thing you could go into. Of course the main thing I came back with from ShoWest was more freaking free candy then I ever thought possible!

  • March 16, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Cruise action hero

    by expert24

    I agree with the person up top M:I-2 was embarrassing and is one of Cruise's worst film and performance and i think alot of his earlier work is pretty good. Like I said before M:I-3 will be all commercials and no substance just like 2, which had the best trailor of all time but was the most boring movie i remember seeing since The Hulk four years later. I remember M:I-2 came out my Prom weekend and my best friend and I took our ex-girlfriends at the time, everyone seemed to genuinely dislike but I vouched for the fact that it had an amazing FACE/OFF style finale but instead was extremely disappointed. M:I-3 will do the same all trailors/commercials no entertainment.

  • March 16, 2006, 11:40 a.m. CST

    speaking of dakota fanning

    by purplewarrior

    see...she ruined war of the worlds. I actually resorted to watching the fucking film with the subtitles on and the sound muted because I couldn't stand her screaming every five minutes. I actually found myself PRAYING that they'd kill her, instead of whatever the fuck the other token kid was called. But then, let's face it, steven spielbergs not got an interest in making a decent movie unless it has a jewish angle these days.

  • March 16, 2006, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Ford is ready to do Indy IV

    by performingmonkey

    Just read a little piece from a German magazine that Harrison Ford did an interview with. He says that he and Spielberg now have a script on their hands that they like and want to go ahead and shoot it. "I believe that we can start with the filming soon" kind of goes against Spielberg's recent cryptic comments that made people think he would be taking a year off and shooting it in 2007. JUST SHOOT THE MOTHERFUCKER!!! Ford is 63. Any older and he'll need the whip to get out of bed in the morning. He said he's been practising with the whip but needs to do more. Honestly...does anyone else think that him running around as Indy now with the whip and all might look really stupid? We shall see. And fuck off to whoever said Spielberg only does movies with a Jewish slant on them.

  • March 16, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    God I'm sick of the constant bullshit about Ford's age

    by I Dunno

    How come no one says anything about Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Lee or the LOTR queer? Why pick on Ford? No, he probably won't get dragged by a truck in this one but there's nothing he did in Last Crusade that he can't do now.

  • March 16, 2006, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Im totally sick of the prejudice around here.

    by moondoggy2u

    Steven Spielberg doesnt just make movies for jews. Not everyone who likes Steven is a jew!! Oi Vey!!

  • March 16, 2006, 1:22 p.m. CST

    by purplewarrior

    it's not prejudice at all, I'm merely pointing out that the last batch of films that spielbergs directly had a personal interest in have all been themed around the holocaust, and yet when it came to AI and War of the worlds, just for example, both movies fucking sucked because his heart wasn't in it.

  • March 16, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST

    I've never been to this site before...

    by Billy_Batts

    But my daily Google searches for "Dakota Fanning washing a pig" have finally paid off!

  • March 16, 2006, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Billy Batts, if that is the kind of humour you will be

    by jim

    bringing to this site then by all means I welcome you. That was funny!

  • March 16, 2006, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Spielberg made one movie about the holocaust

    by I Dunno

    and one movie about modern jews and terrorists. That's 2 Jew movies. What is this obsession with Jews that Spielberg's supposed to have?

  • March 16, 2006, 4:58 p.m. CST

    I went to Showest in 2004

    by CoursinLarry

    The only bag of goodies I got was from the big Paramount dinner where they announced that they were "back!" Sure, Paramount had some trouble in the past, but they were proud to present their reel of surefire smash-hits such as Sky Captain, Alfie, Sahara, Stepford Wives, and the Prince and Me. Unfortunately, time would soon tell. And Paramount was in the hole three million dollars for the lavish dinner party the threw. Complete with gifts of crystal paper-weights with the Paramount gates lazer engraved into them, Spongebob Squarepants dolls, the first three books in the Lemony Snicket series, and more shirts than you could possibly ever want to wear. For some reason, I have still never quite felt the need to parade around town wearing a Coach Carter t-shirt.

  • March 16, 2006, 6:47 p.m. CST

    hey I dunno...

    by purplewarrior

    take a look at his side projects.

  • March 16, 2006, 7:09 p.m. CST

    enough of the dakota fanning shit

    by Soth

    Im fortunate enough to live in Melbourne(sporting capital of the world at the moment with the Commonwealth games to You Americans that would not have known about world events unless you were bombing there) and have several friends who worked on the shoot. From all reports Dakota has nailed her performance, wait until wilbur et al are sorted out during post and check IMDB for the voice talent - there is a lot of love for this film. It will not fail to deliver !!!!!!

  • March 16, 2006, 10:30 p.m. CST


    by Silver777

    She has been the same age for the past 9 years.

  • March 17, 2006, 4:30 a.m. CST

    probably not. look how young drew stayed for 20 years.

    by purplewarrior

    with that annoying voice

  • March 17, 2006, 8:02 a.m. CST

    She allways nails it. I think that's the main complaint

    by Curt Jurgens

    She plays same robot in every film. She would be perfect in AI. But why does Ford give an interview to germans before consulting with George. Discrepancy.

  • March 17, 2006, 8:40 a.m. CST

    no the main complaint...

    by purplewarrior

    Nah Haley Joel Osment was a much better robot. Neither little bastard can act though, even by ten year old standards.

  • March 17, 2006, 2:27 p.m. CST

    That's bullshit,

    by Novaman5000

    Fanning is a great actress, especially considering her age. I think she's going to be one of the few child stars who's going to break into an adult acting career easily.

  • March 17, 2006, 9:23 p.m. CST

    yeah thats right

    by purplewarrior

    cause she's as talented as jodie foster was at that age, right? do a quick comparison, I think you'll find foster was better