Watch: 'One Small Step' Animated Short About an Astronaut Dreamer

One Small Step Short Film

"For those who support our dreams." Another wonderful short to brighten up your day (or week, perhaps?). One Small Step is the first short made by a brand new animation studio called Taiko Studios. Founded by Shaofu Zhang, who worked at Disney for years on films including Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and Moana, the studio is a powerful new animation house that operates between America and China. Co-directed by Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, who worked with the animators in China from their offices in Burbank, is about a Chinese-American girl with great big dreams of becoming an astronaut. This definitely borrows a bit from the Pixar and Disney playbooks, but it's still charming and beautifully animated anyway. Watch below.

Trailer for 'Lessons From A School Shooting: Notes From Dunblane' Doc

Lessons From A School Shooting: Notes From Dunblane Trailer

"This is one of those moments where presence is the answer." Netflix has unveiled the trailer for a short documentary (only 22 minutes) debuting later this month titled Lessons From A School Shooting: Notes From Dunblane. That's quite a provocative title, but the film is exactly as it says - about how two people corresponded regarding their experiences with school shootings. In the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that took the lives of 20 first graders and their teachers, local clergymen Father Bob Weiss receives a letter from a fellow priest in Dunblane, Scotland, whose community suffered an eerily similar fate in 1996. From across the Atlantic, the two priests forge a bond through the shared experience of trauma and healing. This is made by the same filmmaker who made the documentary Newtown, about the town recovering from the shooting. This looks like a sad, somber, but very moving film about communities.

Jason Patric & Danny Trejo in First Trailer for Action Western 'Big Kill'

Big Kill Trailer

"See to it you pass through quickly." Archstone Distribution has released the official trailer for an action western thriller titled Big Kill, the latest feature from Texas-born filmmaker Scott Martin (Battle Force). The pitch for this one actually sounds pretty good: A tenderfoot from Philadelphia, two misfit gamblers on the run, and a deadly preacher have a date with destiny in a boom town gone bust called Big Kill. Starring Christoph Sanders, Jason Patric, Michael Pare, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Hummel, K.C. Clyde, Stephanie Beran, and Danny Trejo. This ain't no Coen Brothers western, but then again nothing is. It's a nice twist the town is named "Big Kill". This looks like it has some grit, but I'm not too sure about it.

Jessica Barden in Official Trailer for Indie Comedy 'The New Romantic'

The New Romantic Trailer

"Maybe relationships aren't supposed to be for love…?" The Orchard has revealed the trailer for an indie romantic comedy titled The New Romantic, from first-time Canadian filmmaker Carly Stone. Jessica Barden (from "Penny Dreadful and "The End of the F***ing World") stars as Blake, a young college senior who decides to become a "sugar baby" and date an older man in exchange for gifts, rather than love. "As she documents the adventure in the hopes of winning a journalism award with a generous cash prize, she sets out on a quest to figure out if society is right to judge these woman and if her own self worth comes with a price." I'm sure we all know what lessons she's going to learn. The cast includes Hayley Law, Brett Dier, Timm Sharp, Avan Jogia, and Camila Mendes. This premiered at SXSW, and it looks spunky and cool.

Hilarious Full-Length Red Band Trailer for Ike Barinholtz's 'The Oath'

The Oath Trailer

"I just think the three of us should go for a ride." Following two great teasers, Roadside Attractions has debuted the full-length official red band trailer for the holiday-themed, political comedy titled The Oath, the feature directorial debut of actor-writer-comedian Ike Barinholtz. Barinholtz also stars as Chris, who's married to a woman named Kai, played by Tiffany Haddish. The film is set around Thanksgiving time and is about a controversial White House "Oath" that turns family member against family member. Described as a "savagely funny dark comedy about surviving life and Thanksgiving in the age of political tribalism." Bring it on and all the savagery. The cast includes Billy Magnussen, John Cho, Meredith Hagner, Carrie Brownstein, Nora Dunn, Jon Barinholtz, Chris Ellis, and Priah Ferguson. I really enjoy how this trailer starts out with all the madness, and then plays back through everything. Can't wait to see this movie.

Lovely Full-Length Trailer for Barry Jenkins' 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

If Beale Street Could Talk Trailer

"These are our children, and we gotta set them free." Annapurna Pictures has debuted the new full-length official trailer for If Beale Street Could Talk, the latest exquisite film made by very talented filmmaker Barry Jenkins (of Moonlight and Medicine for Melancholy). Based on James Baldwin's 1974 novel of the same name, If Beale Street Could Talk is about a woman in Harlem desperately trying to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while she is carrying their first child. Kiki Layne stars as Tish, along with Stephan James as her fiancé "Fonny", and the exceptional full ensemble cast includes Teyonah Parris, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Dave Franco, Ed Skrein, Michael Beach, Finn Wittrock, Aunjanue Ellis, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, and Emily Rios. I saw this film at TIFF and it's pure bliss - I wrote: "it's a gorgeous film, visually and emotionally, and I didn't want it to end." A must see.

Third Trailer for Disney's 'Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2'

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

"Who knew there were so many babies & cats in the world?" Disney has revealed another full-length official trailer for the animated sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, following the second trailer unveiled in June. Arriving in theaters in only two more months! John C. Reilly returns as the voice of Ralph, the "bad guy" who is really a good guy, from the first Wreck-It Ralph movie released in 2012. This time he follows Vanellope, voiced again by Sarah Silverman, into the internet and there they meet the "netizens", getting in all kinds of trouble and, as the title says, they wind up breaking the internet. The full cast features Taraji P. Henson, Kelly Macdonald, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Alan Tudyk, Jane Lynch, Idina Menzel, Jack McBrayer, Jodi Benson, as well as Gal Gadot. The more we see from this sequel, the better it looks! I'm really impressed by this footage, it seems like a super fun time at the movies.

My Favorite Films of the 75th Venice Film Festival - First Man Scruggs

Venice Film Festival

Give your soul to the dance. Give your soul to the cinema. The fall movie season is well underway, kicking off with all the big film festivals - Venice, Telluride, and Toronto. I returned for my second year to Venice to attend the 75th Venice Film Festival and watched a total of 26 films in eight days before flying over to TIFF to catch a few more. The films I saw in Venice really stood out above the rest, better than almost every else from earlier this year (give or take other Sundance & Cannes films). This iconic festival is known as the very first film festival, and they have a legacy to live up to by bringing the best films from around the world every year. The fest is over, the awards have been handed out, but the films will still live on. To wrap up my coverage of Venice, here's my favorite films of the festival - those films that have remained on my mind.

Watch: Short Comedy 'Ciao Lola' Filmed in Venice, Starring Jane Levy

Ciao Lola Short Film

"Who are all these people?" Nothing like a funny short film set in a romantic city to brighten up your day! Ciao Lola is a short comedy made by producer / filmmaker Oscar Boyson, running only six minutes in total. It was filmed in Venice back in 2016, and is now available to watch online. The short stars Jane Levy (from Fun Size, Evil Dead, About Alex, Don't Breathe, Monster Trucks) as Lola and Thomas McDonell as Peter, a couple visiting the gorgeous Italian city. There's some unexplained subtext to this that isn't implicit, but you'll figure it out as it goes along. I like the playfulness of this, and all the lovely shots of Venice. Enjoy!

Official US Trailer for Luis Ortega's Argentinian Crime Drama 'El Angel'

El Angel Trailer

"We all have a destiny." The Orchard has unveiled an official US trailer for the Argentinian crime biopic El Angel, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year. The film also played at the Sarajevo and Toronto Film Festivals, and will next stop by Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX. El Angel tells the story of one of Argentina's most notorious criminals, a boy known as "The Angel of Death" because of his cherubic looks. It all starts with Carlitos at age 17, when he meets a friend in his high school named Ramón and together they form a dangerously charming duo. The young man with the golden curls and the deadly aim was arrested in 1972, having just turned 20, with 11 homicides and over 40 thefts to his name. Starring Lorenzo Ferro as Carlos, along with Chino Darín, Daniel Fanego, Mercedes Morán, Luis Gnecco, Peter Lanzani, and Cecilia Roth. This looks like another fascinating and slightly scary portrait of a serial killer. See below.

Meet Her Majesty - First Trailer for HBO's 'Queen of the World' Doc

Queen of the World Trailer

"53 countries, oh my goodness! It'll keep us busy." HBO has debuted a trailer for a new documentary titled Queen of the World, from director Matt Hill, which will be available (in the US) through HBO in just a few weeks. This is described as the "landmark documentary" about Queen Elizabeth II, a "rare look inside the life of Queen Elizabeth II featuring footage from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's private film archives." The film includes behind-the-scenes moments with The Queen and other major members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles & Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Princess Anne; Prince William & Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; Prince Harry & Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; and the Countess of Wessex. It's a look at what it takes to be the "Queen of the World" and what it's like inside the hallowed halls of her various estates. This is a very brief and light trailer, they know the audience they're playing to with this film.

Official Trailer for Award-Winning Documentary 'Shirkers' from Netflix

Shirkers Poster

"How could it have disappeared!?" Netflix has debuted the trailer for the documentary titled Shirkers, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year and won the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award. It was also one of the most talked about documentaries of the festival, and it will finally be arriving on Netflix (and in theaters) in later October. Shirkers is the story of a group of friends from Singapore who made a film in 1992. After shooting wrapped, their American mentor vanished with all the footage. Years later, Sandi Tan returns home to Singapore after discovering the 16mm film canisters in New Orleans, to confront the past and piece together memories. "A kaleidoscopic punk rock ghost story!" It's a hard story to describe, but apparently it's incredible to see how everything works out in this doc film. It is a must watch.

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Alex's Top 10 - 2017
1. Call Me By Your...
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4. Florida Project
5. Dunkirk
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9. Never Really Here
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1. mother!
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