During STX Entertainment's CinemaCon presentation in Caesar's Palace's Coliseum on Tuesday morning, the studio proudly emphasized the diversity of their work and screened footage from their upcoming slate of films.
If you're not familiar with STX, it's because the studio is less than two years old. With four films released to date, including The Gift, Hardcore Henry, and The Boy, the studio has 8 films planned for the rest of 2016 and is aiming for 12 more in 2017, including an unnamed project involving Sylvester Stallone, as revealed today.
The first film STX showcased was Free State of Jones, which stars Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight, a little known civil war hero. The footage, which was extremely visceral and impressive, dove into an emotional moment from the film and an action-packed trench warfare sequence. A description is below, but be warned, it contains spoilers for the film.
Newton encounters a young man in the woods. He's crying. Newton asks what happened. The boy tells him, "they" took all of his things and told him he's been drafted. He asks to stay with Newton and Newton will have him. The young boy gets more worked up as he describes wht happened and Newton embraces him. The boy asks if Newton will be there with him tomorrow and Newton tells him he will be.
Cut to the next day, it's day time and an army is preparing in trenches. Newton prepares the boy for battle and tells him he has to listen to him - what he says, when he says it. He concludes with, "It ain't no different from shootin' a bear or a deer." Bombs land all around them s they run through the trenches. A man lays dead on the battlefield in the distance. Newton slaps the boy and they run across the field through explosions and into another trench. They find a man there and Newton quickly dispatches him with his rifle. He waves his hat to see if it draws fire and it does. He takes cover again and the two start towards another cover spot and encounter another group. They tell Newton they're going to run and the group attach bayonets to the gun. Newton doesn't go with them but the bo stands up. He is suddenly shot in the stomach and falls to the ground. Moments later, Newton carries him across the battlefield, promising to save him, evading explosions. The run seems endless. He finally reaches an infirmary but can't get a doctor to tend to him. He continues his search. They're outside and the boy repeats himself, saying he's very thirsty. Newton carries him under a tree and lays him down. The boy cries in fear. Newton starts asking the boy, who he reveals to be named Daniel, if he loves God. The boy says he does but he is scared. Newton tells the boy several times, "You're not dying," as the life slips away from him.
The costume design would have easily been the most impressive, if not for the equally fantastic grit and performances. This is a film we'll be talking about in February.
Free State of Jones hits theaters June 24.
Next up was The Space Between Us. In it, Gary Oldman played a scientist who sends a team of six astronauts to Mars, where they will live. One of the scientists turns out to be pregnant and while she is able to deliver a healthy baby, she dies during childbirth. That child, though, grows up on Mars for 16 years with very limited human interaction and a lot of questions about Earth. He does, eventually get to Earth, but the gravity is too much for his heart to handle. As scientists search for him in an effort to help, he explores the world as a hopeless romantic having the fun every teenager dreams of.
Other films showcased included The Bye Bye Man, The Edge of Seventeen, Desierto, The Foreigner and Bad Moms.
Desierto featured The Walking Dead's latest addition, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, in a terrifying villain role. A group of Mexican immigrants trying to cross the border into America were picked off one by one by his sniper and eventually hunted by his character, who is full of spine chilling hate, and his vicious dog.
Under the temporary title, The Foreigner, Jackie Chan plays a father who had his family taken from him in a bombing. He all but becomes The Punisher in an effort to hunt down those responsible, so when Pierce Brosnan's special agent character might have the name, he becomes a target for Chan's character as he seeks his family's killer. The biggest take away from the early trailer - Jackie Chan has still got it.0comments