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WonderCon: Sony Pictures Presents “Spider-Man 3” & “Surf’s Up

by  in Movie News, TV News Comment
WonderCon: Sony Pictures Presents “Spider-Man 3” & “Surf’s Up

Sony Pictures unveiled a specially-cut trailer of the year’s most eagerly awaited sequel at WonderCon. A standing-room-only crowd gathered to see clips from the much-anticipated “Spider-Man 3.”

First, however, Sony unveiled scenes from its new summertime animated movie, “Surf’s Up,” featuring a cast of penguins and other aquatic creatures voiced by Shia La Beouf, Zooey Deschanel, James Woods and Jeff Bridges. Director of Animation David Schaub delivered a PowerPoint presentation that outlined the history of the project and gave a glimpse of the state-of-the-art techniques that distinguish Sony’s second fully-animated feature.

Directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck, “Surf’s Up” is slated to open nationwide on June 8.

The audience at first seemed dubious that the movie-going public needs another penguin movie after “Happy Feet,” “The March of the Penguins” and “Madagascar.” Nevertheless, clips from the story of Cody Maverick (LeBeouf), a pint-sized rock hopper penguin from “Shiverpool” who dreams of becoming a championship surfer, earned a few big laughs with some clever sight gags and off-beat voice work.

The look of “Surf’s Up” is truly unique. Shot in a faux-documentary style that mimics reality television and features supposedly “found” footage from home movies and commercials, “Surf’s Up” is impressive in the way it depicts the ocean environment, particularly gigantic, surf-worthy waves.

As Schaub’s presentation neared its 30-minute mark, the crowd was clearly ready for the main event, the new trailer for “Spider-Man 3,” opening May 4. In a brief video introduction, producer Avi Arad expressed greetings from director Sam Raimi, who is busy with post-production, and then promised that today’s clip would be seen by only by WonderCon attendees.

The trailer opened with Eddie Brock, Jr., played by Topher Grace, praying in a church for the death of Peter Parker. A frenetically cut sequence then offered quick glimpses of the movie’s presumed highlights: an aerial chase with Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) and a bomb-throwing New Goblin (James Franco), a tense encounter between Spidey and Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and a lab experiment in which Dr. Curt Connors (Dylan Baker) demonstrates an oozing black substance that is “attracted to aggression.”

The trailer culminates as the ooze drips from Spider-Man’s now jet-black costume and lands on Eddie Brock in the church. After a title that reads “A Hero Must Face the Venom Within,” Brock completes his transformation into the snarling, fang-faced villain.

The clip’s final sequence shows Peter Parker in a ripped, half-red, half-black costume being snatched up by Venom lurking overhead.

Audience reaction to the trailer was loud, approving and highly spirited. So far, “Spider-Man 3” is delivering exactly what fans want.

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