ENJOY THE SHOW
"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.
"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.
"Music is the one thing that we all understand, that we don't understand." Gravitas Ventures has revealed a trailer for a documentary about the work of composers, titled Score: A Film Music Documentary. This played at film festivals all last year and is opening in theaters this June, which is great news because I've been waiting to see this. The doc profiles the work of composers and also examines how important music is to movies. Featuring interviews with composers including Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Trent Reznor, Rachel Portman, Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg), Brian Tyler, Thomas Newman, Bear McCreary, Moby, Garry Marshall, Jerry Goldsmith, and lots more. Hoping this goes deep into the art beyond just some chats.
"A vision of pure magic." How many of you have ever seen this film? If you haven't, maybe now is a good time to get into Tarkovsky. The Film Society of Lincoln Center has debuted a brand new trailer for the digitally restored re-release of Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 sci-fi film Stalker. While this was first released in Russia in 1979, it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980, and didn't hit US theaters until two years later. This 2k digitally restored version was commissioned by the Criterion Collection for a new release, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. And if you live in NYC, you have the lucky chance to catch it on the big screen in early May. Many critics consider this Tarkovsky's masterpiece, for good reason.
"You will see the safe delivery of our holiest relic to Rome. Go with God." RLJ Entertainment has debuted a trailer for an indie action thriller titled Pilgrimage, set in the religious times of 13th century Ireland. The film is about to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month, hence the release of the trailer to build extra buzz. The story follows a group of monks who must escort a sacred relic across the "Irish landscape fraught with peril". There's plenty of gnarly violence in this. Starring Richard Armitage, Tom Holland, John Lynch, Stanley Weber, Lochlann O'Mearáin, Hugh O'Conor, Eric Godon, plus the badass Jon Bernthal as a character named "The Mute". This actually looks pretty cool, consider me interested.
"C'est moi!" Another teaser for the Cannes Film Festival! Kicking off the 70th edition of the festival this May is this film, Ismael's Ghost (or Les fantômes d'Ismaël), from French director Arnaud Desplechin (of My Golden Days). The film stars Mathieu Amalric as a filmmaker named Ismael, who is just about to begin shooting his next feature. However, his long lost former lover suddenly shows up out of nowhere, freaking him out, sending him into a metnal "tailspin". Marion Cotillard plays his former lover, and Charlotte Gainsbourg plays his current lover, who also freaks out. The rest of the cast includes Louis Garrel, Alba Rohrwacher, Hippolyte Girardot, & Samir Guesmi. This looks really good, I'm very curious about it.
"Dorfman is uniquely fascinating… spending the entirety of a film with her is a rare pleasure." Neon has released an official trailer for the documentary The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography, the latest from veteran documentarian Errol Morris. The feature doc profiles the life of Elsa Dorfman, a "nice Jewish girl" photographer who fell in love with large scale portrait photography in the 1980s. She used to photograph all kinds of different people, including famous rock stars and poets, using a Polaroid Land 20×24 camera. Morris' film is a trip into her workplace (and life) to examine what it was like to work with this kind of "analog" medium. The title of "The B-Side" is a reference to the way Dorfman always took two pictures of her clients and kept the rejected one, which she refers to as the "B-Side". This looks wonderful.
"In the beginning there was faith that the egg was the start of all life. Then came reason that the egg must have come from a great chicken." So what came first: the chicken or the egg? The eternal, unanswerable question finally gets addressed in this amusing, wacky short film titled Time Chicken. This claymation short was written, directed and animated by Nick Black, who made it over two years using Canon DSLRs and handmade sets from various objects he found. It's a totally wacky but incredibly enjoyable short film, that does have touches of "Robot Chicken", but still feels like something original. You just need to watch and enjoy because while it might seem odd, it's so much fun and will make you laugh. Plus it's under 6 minutes.