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› Once Upon a Time in Venice
› Justin Chadwick's Tulip Fever
› Kingsman: The Golden Circle
› Leveaux's The Exception
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› James Mangold Dir. of Logan
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First Teaser Trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Here:
"If that prosecution goes through, that bank is going to go out of business." PBS has released another new official trailer for the latest documentary from Hoop Dreams director Steve James, titled Abacus: Small Enough to Jail. This doc premiered at film festivals last fall and has been playing around the world at festivals ever since. Abacus tells the story of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. They had to spend five years defending themselves and their bank's legacy when they became the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. We've been following this doc since last year, and it will open in NYC starting this May, with a nationwide roll-out over the summer. This does look like an "exemplary piece of filmmaking", as is expected from Steve James.
"What are you doing?" "I gotta go steal back some drugs for these gang guy so I can get my dog back." RLJ Entertainment has released an official trailer for a new action comedy titled Once Upon a Time in Venice, starring Bruce Willis and John Goodman. This film seems like a straight up John Wick rip off, but maybe it's not even that, perhaps it's a John Wick spoof, a "SoCal John Wick". There's a badass guy in disguise, and someone steals his dog, so to get him back he has to bust some heads. Simple as that. The cast includes plenty of cool people: Jason Momoa, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Röhm, Kal Penn, Adam Goldberg, Thomas Middleditch, Stephanie Sigman, and Wood Harris. This kind of looks fun, but it also seems like it could be terrible, hopefully not. It's from the same writer as Cop Car, for reference. Enjoy.
"She has a rare beauty…" The Weinstein Company has unveiled another new trailer for the romantic drama Tulip Fever, which has been delayed from release for over a year now. This was originally scheduled for release July of last year, but TWC pulled it, then set it again for the fall, then pushed it back again all the way until August of 2017. Hopefully this will be the official date. Alicia Vikander stars as a Dutch woman married to a rich and powerful merchant, played by Christoph Waltz, who begins an affair with a young painter, played by Dane DeHaan. Set in 17th Century Amsterdam, this also stars: Holliday Grainger, Jack O'Connell, Zach Galifianakis, Dame Judi Dench, Matthew Morrison, Tom Hollander and Cara Delevingne. This looks as mediocre as it did last year, but maybe there's something to it. See below.
"I hope you're ready for what comes next…" 20th Century Fox has finally released the first trailer for the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, once again directed by Matthew Vaughn, bringing back Taron Egerton as the British superspy known as "Eggsy". We've been waiting for this, and it's finally here and it actually looks fun. Colin Firth also returns, with Mark Strong as Merlin, and a cast featuring Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Vinnie Jones, as well as Hanna Alström, and Sophie Cookson. This seems to be a riff on America, as the Kingsman guys end up working with an American agency. I'm digging all the action so far, and I'm wondering if this could be a surprise hit.
"Can an officer have a loyalty to anything greater than his country?" A24 has unveiled a trailer for a WWII romantic thriller titled The Exception, based on a novel by Alan Judd titled "The Kaiser's Last Kiss". The film stars Jai Courtney as a German soldier investigating the Dutch resistance in Holland, looking for a spy in the home of Kaiser Wilhelm. He meets a young Jewish Dutch woman played by Lily James and falls in love with her, hence the title (she's "the exception"). The full cast includes Christopher Plummer, Ben Daniels, Janet McTeer, Eddie Marsan, Mark Dexter, and Martin Swabey. This honestly doesn't look half bad, but I'm not sure it seems that good either. Lily James is great, but Jai Courtney not so much.
"Try acting like a hero, Winston, and then maybe people will believe that you are one." Cohen Media Group has debuted a new US trailer for one of the other Winston Churchill movies in the works. This one is called simply Churchill, from Australian director Jonathan Teplitzky. Brian Cox stars as Churchill in the film, which examines a narrow frame of time in 1944 around D-Day and the decisions he was burdened with. The cast includes John Slattery, Miranda Richardson, Ella Purnell, James Purefoy, Richard Durden, and Julian Wadham. This is a very powerful trailer, with a number of strikingly bold shots of Churchill. There's great cinematography, a moving score, it seems like this might actually be worth watching when it opens. We're not sure when the other Churchill film will arrive, but this one hits theaters this June.
"The most mysterious man in Gotham City wasn't in a mask and cape." Hulu has released an official trailer for a documentary titled Batman & Bill, which will premiere exclusively on Hulu starting early May. The documentary "unmasks" one of the greatest secrets in the comic industry - that Batman wasn't created by Bob Kane alone, it was primarily Bill Finger who created the iconic superhero. This seems like a fascinating doc with plenty to offer for comic book fans, including inside stories and excellent art from the early days of Batman. It's cool to see a doc like this that actually looks worth watching on Hulu. They've been collecting some of their own original docs recently, including a James Bond one called Becoming Bond. Take a look.
The wait continues! Over the weekend, 20th Century Fox updated a few release dates for upcoming projects, and also announced a new set of release dates for the Avatar sequels. We've been waiting years, and years, for these sequels and we're not sure when exactly they will show up… But maybe this time it's official? Only Cameron knows. Fox has announced the first Avatar sequel (Avatar 2) will open December 18th, 2020, followed by Avatar 3 on December 17th, 2021, continuing three years later with 4 on December 20th, 2024, and finally concluding with 5 on December 19th, 2025. It starts three years from now, and goes for 5 years to see it all play out. Oh boy. This is worse than waiting a few years for Lord of the Rings! But this is expected from James Cameron, and at least they've announced something - we'll see if it holds up this time.
It's difficult to say which is sharper in Ben Wheatley's latest film, Free Fire: the bullets being fired by the nefarious characters found within or the witty jabs those characters tend to fling at one another between the continual barrage of deadly gunplay. One may kill you, but the other may actually hurt your feelings. As with his previous films, Wheatley presents Free Fire with a gleefully dark sense of humor, the ridiculousness of events playing out made all the more senseless when you take into account where everyone's mindset is at. That sense of humor – not to mention the aberrantly comical characters – washes the onslaught of violence down all the easier, though, and, with Free Fire, Wheatley once again proves to be a unique voice
"I'm not doing too well, mum." Another outstanding short film to watch. Sometimes it's the moments you least expect when you are suddenly forced to reflect on your life choices. This short Forever After, made by writer/director Charlotte Scott-Wilson, follows a woman who wakes up after a drunken one-night stand and must take the dread "walk of shame" back home. Along the way she begins to feel the heavy emotions of reality, and has many moments of reflection that make her start questioning what she's doing. I really like this short, it's meaningful and makes you think about your own life, while keeping our attention throughout.