THE 'WEST' FEST
For all its eye-glazing star power, ShoWest, the annual Las Vegas convention where movie studios suck up to, er, woo the nation’s theater owners, is like nothing if not a large wedding. There are lots of stilted speeches, too many overly ambitious chicken dishes, and wholesale filching of the floral centerpieces. Of course, somewhere in there the studios try to hype their summer movies. Here are some highlights: *The sure thing: That Batman Forever will be wildly successful is a foregone conclusion. ”Come on, Jim Carrey as the Riddler?” says one envious marketing person at New Line Cinema. ”I don’t see how it could miss.”
*Table you wished you were seated at: Warner Bros. assembled a lunchtime dais that included Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris O’Donnell, Jim Carrey, Val Kilmer, Nicole Kidman, Sylvester Stallone, Julianne Moore, Steven Seagal, Whoopi Goldberg, Gerard Depardieu, Clint Eastwood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
*Now here’s a cute little number: The darkly atmospheric trailer for Seven, New Line’s September thriller, showed Oscar nominee Morgan Freeman grimly chewing scenery, chilling glimpses of gruesome murders, and, oh yeah, Brad Pitt. Guess what that adds up to?
*And…Action! One thing is clear: 1995 will not see any shortage of shoot-‘ em-up, mow-’em-down, destroy-everything-in-sight movies. From Warner Bros.’ Under Siege 2: Dark Territory to Disney’s Judge Dredd and Crimson Tide to New Line’s Mortal Kombat, every major studio has at least one mega-action film in its arsenal.
*Hosts with the most: Disney pulled out all the stops for exhibitors who made the trip to the studio’s Burbank lot for the convention’s finale. Guests were treated to a staged gunfight starring Stallone, a visit by an 8,000- pound elephant, appearances by Demi Moore and Ellen DeGeneres, and an extended glimpse of the crown jewel in Disney’s summer lineup, Pocahontas. The exhibitors, to understate the matter, were impressed. -Albert Kim, with additional reporting by Anne Thompson