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Quint has seen the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trailer and 12 minutes of RATATOUILLE at ShoWest!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here, having narrowly gained access to the opening remarks at ShoWest, featuring Jerry Bruckheimer and Brad Bird. The ShoWest people (read Rogers & Cowen) told me I could definitely not attend, but I went to the door anyway, hoping maybe they were wrong. They weren't. I was turned away, but I luckily bumped into a mysterious beauty who gave me a blue slip to gain entrance, something that should have been more than enough to get in just by itself. Once again, I went to the door and once again I was told I couldn't go in. I ended up standing with Robert Sanchez of IESB and we talked about how much we dislike ShoWest. I will not come back next year. The footage is always good, but they don't want us here, plain and simple. Which is fine. This is for theater owners. I get that, but when the studios ask people like Robert and myself to come out and cover their presentations and ShoWest has a press center, but they deny us access to anything... what's the point? The studio people are always nice, but helpless and the ShoWest people are always rude and unhelpful. Needless to say, it gets a little frustrating and I'm quickly learning it's not worth the hassle. That having been said, today has started off well. I've locked down at least one good interview for tomorrow, I've locked down my seat at the Lionsgate lunchion, which means I'll get to see everything they're showing... I'm expecting Saw stuff, Hostel stuff and got a press release saying I'll be seeing some footage from 3:10 TO YUMA. And a press relations guy finally showed up, getting an earful from the Reuters lady who was absolutely livid, before he told the dickhead security guys that we were supposed to be inside and ushered us in. I was able to get a seat right before Jerry Bruckheimer took the stage. And before he showed the trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END. Here are my impressions... firstly, the trailer kicked ass. Bruckheimer said that PIRATES 1 and 2 were ours hors d'oeuvres for the 3rd flick and the trailer does represent that. It begins much like the last film’s trailer with the creepy little girl singing Yo-Ho Yo-Ho a Pirate’s Life For Me and then we see footage from the end of DEAD MAN’S CHEST, namely Barbossa’s reintroduction and the set-up for third film. The new footage begins with a wreck of a ship sailing through icy waters. The design is very asian-influenced and on board we see Barbossa, ice in his mustache and beard. The next shot is of that ship heading towards a huge waterfall as Naomi Harris, the voodoo lady, narrates again about goin’ “to dee ends ub dee urff…” We don’t see how Captain Jack is rescued or saved, but our first look at Depp is onboard a ship, looking around at all the familiar faces from his previous crew and Kiera Knightley and Orlando Bloom. Sparrow says, “Did no one save me just because they missed me?” And everybody kind of looks around guiltily, then the zombie monkey raises his hand. The main thrust of the trailer was to set up the goal of Lord Beckett to wipe out all pirates, so that his greedy and corrupt corporation can have complete control of the seas and that all the pirates have to band together to stop him. There are four groups, each from a different corner of the world, including a glimpse of Chow Yun Fat. Then the big stuff hit, epic shots of fleets of pirate ships engaging an enemy, cannonballs ripping wood. I was a little worried that we didn’t see any Davy Jones in the trailer, hoping they didn’t just kind of throw his character and arc to the side, but then I caught a glimpse of him in a quick cut, Sparrow smacking him upside the head. Then I caught more than a glimpse of him. This is my favorite shot from the trailer. The camera circles around Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones as they duel. The kicker is they are up in the rigging of one of the ships, standing face to face on the mast… probably the Black Pearl, but I didn’t get a close enough look. I was more drawn to the fast and furious sword play. Looked great, like the best parts of the PHANTOM MENACE lightsaber duel with Maul and Obi-Wan. Maybe not as fancy, but definitely as furious. The trailer ended with Jack Sparrow standing beside a cannon, holding a flame to the fuse as someone says, “Are you mad?” He replies, “If I wasn’t then this probably wouldn’t work,” and ignites the fuse, firing the cannon, which somehow releases a rigging somewhere and the rope Sparrow was holding yanks him up and off the deck of the ship. Big applause and Bruckheimer said that there would be a big event to unleash the trailer in 25 cities March 19th. I think you might be hearing a little more about that soon… Then Brad Bird came out and introduced a 12 minute section of RATATOUILLE. He had to do some set-up because this sequence came from about 20 minutes into the movie. Basically, we know our lead rat, Remy, has a taste for gourmet foods and finds himself in Paris. We know the rat has seen TV and been inspired by a famous chef whose motto was “anyone can cook.” We also know this chef is dead and his restaurant is the one we’re looking at when the clip opens. The chef appears to our rat like an Obi-Wan Kenobi… whether it’s a ghost or a mental projection I’m not sure, but he pops up next to the rat as he looks down throw a window into the kitchen. The chef, floating and blue-ish and still in his uniform, chef hat and all, quizzes the rat on who is who in the kitchen. That’s the sauce chef, that’s the main chef, that’s the assistant, that’s the garbage boy, etc. etc. A good way to introduce the audience to the goings on in a fancy kitchen. We see that the clean-up boy, a tall skinny redhead, accidentally knocks over the soup, spilling most of it, and tries to fill it back up with water and various ingredients. Remy is furious! “He thinks he can be a chef? He’s just a garbage boy!” The ghost reminds him that anyone can cook, why not him? Remy ain’t buyin’ it, though. He’s also not watching where he’s standing and the window flips open under his weight, sending the rat straight down into the kitchen sink. He gasps for air, but has to avoid all the people in the restaurant, so he ducks under again as one passes by. Remy plops out of the sink and onto the floor, scurrying under tables and stoves, trying to keep from being discovered, avoiding stomping feet and igniting stoves. He sees a window open next to the newly created garbage boy soup, still bubbling on the stove and runs for it. He’s denied and somehow ends up on a cart that goes out into the restaurant, giving us a look at the difference between the crazed world of the kitchen and the serene, calm upper scale restaurant. The waiter reaches under the cart to grab the salt and grabs Remy instead. Remy squeaks and the waiter’s eyes widen. He lets go, without a sound, and Remy jumps onto another cart heading back into the kitchen. He makes his way to the window again, almost getting locked in the oven on the adventure over there, but he gets there. He’s running on the shelf above the soup and is nearly to freedom when his nose catches a whiff. Remy nearly vomits, it smells so bad and he stops… considers… then he scurries around and throws in some ingredients. A pinch of pepper, some spices, etc. He sniffs again, a little more satisfied and runs to the open window. I actually jumped when the fat chef spirit thing popped up in front of Remy, telling him to finish the job. He knows how to make it a fine soup, so do it. Remy can’t resist and goes crazy. This sequence was actually a lot of fun as Remy grabbed handfuls of salt and pepper (pinches to us) and threw in potato and onion and pepper, using a ton of tricks… like running up the ladle handle to get to the rim of the pot to taste. He gets it right and the camera spins around to show the garbage boy has been watching him the whole time, mouth agape. Remy sees him, freezes with the last bit of salt in his hand… he releases the salt into the soup and darts for the window. The Garbage boy slams a colander down over him, trapping the rat. He smells the soup and is about to take a sip when the main chef, a short, crooked-toothed French man catches him. “You dare to cook!” During this chew-out scene, a bowl of the soup is ladeled and taken out to the kitchen, the garbage boy trying to alert the angry chef. He points and the chef sees the doors to the restaurant swing closed. He runs out after the soup, but freezes when he sees the commotion is having an affect on the restaurant, so he scurries back in, grabs a small stepladder and climbs up to the port window and looks out. A woman takes a sip and calls for her waiter. The chef is freaking out. The waiter returns and says the woman wants to speak with the chef that made the soup. The small, angry man composes himself and walks out, but not before firing the garbage boy. Of course, the soup is great and the woman wasn’t just a customer, but a critic and she loved it. The chef is still pissed at the kid, though. A woman in the kitchen stands up for him, repeating the motto of the dead owner to the little man. He relents, but says he’s going to expect the garbage boy (I think his name was Linguini, but don’t quote me on that) to repeat his cooking performance and will be keeping a sharp eye on him. Remy hears all this in the colander, but figures a way out and tries to escape once more, this time noticed by the angry little chef. The kitchen goes into panic mode, everybody trying to kill the rat. The garbage boy catches him in a jar and is told to take the rat out of the kitchen and kill it. He leaves and we get a beautiful look at Paris at night, foggy, by the water. The gangly kid takes the jarred rat and holds him over the river water. Remy is terrified and is able to connect with the kid, looking him in the eye, putting his little hands on the glass. The kid is frustrated. He pulls the rat back over and is talking to himself. “I’m not a good chef, am I?” Remy shakes his head no. Then the kid gets a little crazy. “You can understand me?” Remy nods his head. He quickly comes to the decision that the only way they can both survive (he made it clear he couldn’t lose this job) is to work together. “You can really cook?” Remy give a kind of I Guess So shrug and the kid lets him out of the jar. Of course, Remy takes off, laughing. He’s free! But he looks back at the kid, head hanging low as he morosely walks to his bike. Remy pauses and then heads back, his eyes bright, reflecting the light as he walks back to the kid under the dark bridge. The kid notices him and that’s where the clip ended. I loved it. I can’t really get across the character detail and nuance, but every single character felt right and real in the world. It’s something that was missing from CARS, which is a movie I really liked, but it was hard to connect to the characters. Here it’s instantaneous. You’re on Remy’s side straight away. I also love the little detail Pixar put into the rat. Small stuff, like his chest rapidly moving, since his heart would be beating much faster than a human’s. Small stuff like that. If anything, this footage got me more excited to see the flick. Okay, the bitching at the beginning of my article will cease for the rest of the coverage. I’ll hold my tongue, see what I can see and be content that this’ll be my last year dealing with the ShoWest people. Be back later tonight with the goodies I see this afternoon. -Quint

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