Monday, 15 August 2011

Big Screen Day 3: On an adventure

Another full day at the O2 for Empire's Big Screen event, which had so much going on that it was impossible to keep up with everything. I started, actually, in Soho with a 10-minute interview with Jason Momoa, the new Conan, who later caused havoc at the O2 for the red carpet premiere. He's a very big guy, extremely friendly, but not hugely chatty - well, at least not at 10am, presumably jet-lagged.

Anyway, I then headed to the O2 and got there in time to see the extended presentation of 3D footage from Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, which still looks a little unfinished. But the action is impressive, and I won't give a verdict until I see the completed effects. This was followed by Paramount's trailer reel, a blinding array of what looked like dozens of movies coming out over the next year, from Star Trek 2 to Madagascar 3. After this, Lionsgate was on stage, presenting a trailer for David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, which looks seriously unhinged. In a good way, then three extended scenes from Ralph Fiennes Coriolanus, a modern-day all-star Shakespeare adaptation that looks eerily prescient. Then they showed four trailers: the smart cancer comedy 50/50, the rather silly-looking Taylor Lautner thriller Abduction, the meaty fight drama Warrior (which already screened here as one of the secret films), and Jason Momoa's growling-posing Conan the Barbarian. And then Sky TV snuck in to offer a preview of the new series of Strike Back, featuring two muscle hunks in various states of undress as they indulge in black ops, racy sex, bare knuckle boxing and naked fights. All very macho! And then the two actors came onto the stage to talk about it - Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester - including much joking about the naked fight scene.

After lunch it was Disney's turn, and they kicked off with a thunderous montage of 2012 releases that shook the seats. Not quite the same Disney from our childhood. The first main event was Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman, and the director Shaun Levy bounded on screen with a bit too much energy to talk us through a pair of trailers and two exclusive scenes. It's not looking hugely promising, but you never know. Then there was an extended video introduction from Andrew Stanton to two extended scenes from John Carter, plus a 3D trailer. And Steven Spielberg also had a special Big Screen video message to introduce world exclusive scenes from War Horse, after which the film's lively young star Jeremy Irvine took the stage to talk about working on the film. This concluded with a series of trailers: a longer, detailed glimpse of The Muppets, then The Help, the most well-received trailer of the weekend with a very cool montage for The Avengers and finally Pixar's Brave.

Then I watched a screening of The Help, which was thoroughly involving. I thought about attending the day's secret screening, but rumour had it that it was a film I'd seen before. Indeed, it was The Debt, with Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen the secret films from Friday (Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton in Warrior) or  Saturday (Ryan Gosling's Drive), but I have press screenings of both in my diary, so I think I'll survive. And that was it for this edition of Big Screen, aka Movie-con IV.

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