The four-and-a-half-day Cinemacon experience starts today. My flight to Las Vegas (a suffocating plastic nightmare realm that I hate with every fibre of my being) leaves at 10:30 am from Burbank. Hollywood journos go for the product reels — for a clearer, more specific notion of what the coming movie year will amount to. I trust it’ll be worth the trouble. Two years ago I gave up the first day when my suitcase was stolen by an idiot who mistook their bag for mine. I finally got it back but God, what an ordeal. My story was titled “Alfred Hitchcock’s The Wrong Bag.”
I plan to attend all the distributor presentations and tech shows that seem to matter, and otherwise just hunker down and file from my room at Bally’s hotel & casino. No tables, no drinks, no heaping piles of food…a spartan approach.
The problem is that Cinemacon product reels are almost always about megaplex idiot fare. Sony’s 2012 Cinemacon presentation, for example, didn’t even mention Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal‘s Zero Dark Thirty, which was easily the most exciting and praise-worthy Sony film of that year. (Here’s my piece about their presentation.)
But that’s Cinemacon and the distributor mindset for you — i.e., previewing ultra-primitive, power-slam, bass-thump CG stuff for the core theatrical audience these days — under-educated simians, schmoes, donkeys, ESPNers, teenagers, what-the-fuckers, the family trade, gamers and others whose taste buds have been systematically coarsened and lowered over the last 25 years, which is roughly when theme-park movies began to be embraced big-time by the major studios.
As the crow flies Bally’s would be a five-minute walk from Caesar’s Palace if it weren’t for the crowds, staircases, elevated walkways, escalators and all the other obstructions. I’m a simple man, a New Yorker, a European. I just like to walk somewhere without all the bullshit. But bullshit is what you get when you come to Vegas.