Empire Presents… BIG SCREEN: Day 2

From extended footage of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to the first glimpse of Titanic 3D, Empire Presents… BIG SCREEN was literally bursting with movie goodness. I also caught four screenings – Cowboys & Aliens, The Change-Up, the European fans’ premiere of Conan the Barbarian and the UK premiere of Fright Night – and will review them in separate posts.

Kicking off the morning sessions was Entertainment One Films (eOne). Trailers and exclusive footage included a world exclusive from The Three Musketeers introduced by director Paul W S Anderson, UK exclusive footage from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 introduced by MyAnna Buring who plays Tanya, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and an exclusive sizzle reel from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows introduced by director Guy Ritchie.

I’m not going to lie, I will watch The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 as I have read all the books and watched all the films. I adored Twilight and have watched it several times since on DVD. However, I wasn’t as keen on New Moon and Eclipse. I’m interested to see what Breaking Dawn – Part 1 will be like. Of course, one thing is a given – Taylor Lautner’s six pack!

The big screen in the Indigo2.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance looks… erm… fiery! Nic Cage is back Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider and the trailer we saw was certainly action-packed! Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was action-packed, too. I thoroughly enjoyed 2009’s Sherlock Holmes and cannot wait to see A Game of Shadows. The relationship between RDJ and Jude Law was great fun and made the film that much more enjoyable. A Game of Shadows will be released in the UK 16th December.

After eOne it was the turn of Warner Bros. The first film up was Contagion, followed by Happy Feet 2, The Dark Knight Rises, the opening scene of Final Desination 5 and, finally, the latest webisode from the set of The Hobbit (which, being the Tolkienite I am, I’d already seen).

I’m really looking forward to Contagion. It has a stellar cast – Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Lawrence Fishburne – and looks really solid. Cast posters were recently released. Check them out over at Anomalous Material. It’ll be out in the UK 21st October.

I watched a lot of 3D footage over the three days and I have to say that the opening scene of Final Destination 5 was the best. Sorry, Titanic 3D! It really did look as though the guts, blood, etc was coming at you. I don’t think I’ll be watching it though, the Final Destination franchise isn’t really my bag…

Costumes from the London Film Museum.

Hot on the heels of Warner Bros was Optimum. The UK distributor had brought along footage from Kill List, which was introduced by director Ben Wheatley. The British indie has certainly been generating a lot of interest though, I must admit, it didn’t do a lot for me. The story follows Jay, a contract killer, and what happens when a job in Kiev goes wrong. Seveal lengthy clips were shown and, being out of context, it was quite hard to follow. It does look very interesting, however. Neil Maskell (Jay) took to the stage along with his on-screen wife, MyAnna Buring who had graced the stage an hour or so earlier with Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

Following Kill List was footage, and an introduction, from Guillermo del Toro’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Del Toro gleefully explained how the film was originally meant to have a 13 certificate but has since been given an R. The film is quite a creepy tale and follows a young girl as she moves in to a new house with her family…

Sony was next and brought footage of Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, Total Recall, Anonymous and The Amazing Spider-man.

A hugely mixed bag, I was most taken by Arthur Christmas and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, which are the new releases from Aardman Animations. Arthur Christmas was introduced by its screenwriter, Peter Baynham, who explained that he has spent about eight years working out how Santa manages to deliver all the presents on Christmas Eve. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists looks hilarious and stars the vocal talents of Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven and Brian Blessed. Arthur Christmas will be out in the UK 11th November while The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists will be out 28th March 2012.

One of the stands at Studio City.

The Total Recall footage was introduced with a video message from director Len Wiseman and Colin Farrell, who explained that the footage was still quite raw and featured CGI imagery. I know about the original with Arnie Schwarzenegger but have never seen it. From what I’ve seen of the remake, it looks pretty good. What do you reckon – should I watch the original before seeing the remake?

Anonymous was introduced by its director, the legendary Roland Emmerich. Starring Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and Rafe Spall, it furthers the theory that William Shakespeare did not write his plays, Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, did. While the plot is interesting and Ifans looks fantastic as the Earl, I don’t think I’ll see this film: Spall, as Shakespeare, has a hugely irritating accent and every second he was on screen, I was looking away until he went off! I’ll wait and see what future trailers will be like…

The Sony showcase was the last one we saw. We missed the Icon and Momentum showcases as they overlapped with our Aardman Animation session. However, as this was running 20 minutes late, we then had to leave that early as we needed to hot foot it over to the Industrial Light and Magic session which, you’ve guessed it, was also running late. Sadly, both sessions weren’t that exciting. What we saw of the Aardman Animation mainly featured what we’d already seen in the Sony showcase. The ILM session was presented by Anthony Daniels along with two men from the special effects team. However, it was basically the trio going through what is on the new Blu-ray DVD…

After the Aardman Animation and ILM sessions we headed to a screening of The Change-Up. Review to follow…

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4 thoughts on “Empire Presents… BIG SCREEN: Day 2”

  1. You need to watch the first total recall. Very good. Classic Arnie, well made, some great lines and a very young Sharon Stone.

    1. I know what you mean. Perhaps in a few years Big Screen will have more pulling power so more stars will go along?

      That’s what I love about films, everyone has a different perspective about EVERYTHING! 😀

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