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"How far does a scream travel out here, Wyatt?" "Not too far…" IFC Midnight has debuted the trailer for the "pure-pulp thrill ride" Carnage Park, directed by Mickey Keating. The film premiered in the Midnight section at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and is described as a "gritty, grisly homage to the glory days of grindhouse cinema." Carnage Park features Ashley Bell and Pat Healy as well as James Landry Hébert and Michael Villar. This trailer definitely has a grindhouse vibe with the saturated look, and seems like a great film to see at midnight in some old junky theater with a big bag of popcorn. Dive in.
"Is it dangerous?" "What kind of question is that?!" Open Road Films has unveiled the first trailer for the action thriller Collide, starring Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones. This isn't the same as that sci-fi film Collider, instead it's a rather generic-looking action movie with a stellar cast. Besides Hoult & Jones, the cast includes Anthony Hopkins (as a mob boss) and Ben Kingsley (looking wacko), plus Nadia Hilker and Clemens Schick. The story is about an American backpacker caught up in a drug smuggling ring while trying to pull off a heist, taking him "on the run from his employers across Munich's high-speed Autobahn." If that doesn't interest you, I'm not sure what else will. This does look like it may be entertaining. Fire it up.
"What if I told you I did conquer it? Time, that is. Would that be something you were interested in?" Now this is cool. Tempus is a new short film co-directed by Jes Bickhart and John Bashyam that is being pitched as a proof of concept for a feature. The concept involves a device that allows those connected to slow down time for 60 seconds. It's not a completely original sci-fi concept, but the short film is very impressive. There's a cinematic feel to it that really makes a difference, the VFX work is excellent, and the whole film has this nice coming-of-age vibe to it (a bit like Chronicle) that makes me want to see more. Check this out.
"Our friend is in there, lost and alone!" Disney-Pixar has debuted a new trailer for their upcoming animated sequel Finding Dory, directed by Andrew Stanton and co-directed by Angus MacLane. Everyone is back for this follow-up, including Albert Brooks as Marlin, and Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, with plenty of new voices like Idris Elba, Michael Sheen, Dominic West, Diane Keaton and Kaitlin Olson. This new trailer is much more emotional and reveals large amounts of the story, and it really looks wonderful. The opening hints at where the movie begins and the story about Dory looking for her family. The rest of it takes place at the aquatic center, where Dory befriends an Octopus named Hank. I really really can't wait to see this, Pixar is better crafting the emotional core of their movies than just about any other animation studio.
"This show is not going to save your theater!" Universal has debuted a new full-length 3-minute trailer for Illumination's new animated movie titled Sing, starring Matthew McConaughey as a Koala who decides to host a singing competition. This is obviously inspired by "American Idol" and all the numerous singing competitions around the world. It also seems to be a bit like Zootopia set in a diverse world of animals, with a story where some of them are going to break the mold of what's expected of their specific species. The cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly. It's a "musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us." Sing apparently features more than 85 hit songs, a few of which can be heard in this trailer below. Have fun!
"For our children, and their children's children." Fight the power! STX Entertainment has released the second trailer for Civil War action thriller Free State of Jones, about the story of a Southern farmer who rebelled against the Confederacy. Recent Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey plays Newton Knight; he's joined by a cast featuring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, Jacob Lofland, Mahershala Ali and Sean Bridgers. The first trailer for this film was pretty solid, and this one is also an engaging and emotional trailer. There's tons of action in this one, which they seem to be playing up in hopes of drawing in some audience. This is an interesting film to compare to The Birth of a Nation, which isn't set during the Civil War but also deals with a resistance movement, though this film seems to have a much bigger budget.
"We never had a chance…" "We didn't last time, either." Unite the world! 20th Century Fox has released an extended 5-minute trailer for Roland Emmerich's sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, arriving in theaters this June. This is their full-on final push to make audiences excited for this and I have to say it looks kind of awesome, I am excited to see it. The epic sci-fi sequel stars Jeff Goldblum, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vivica A. Fox and Sela Ward. We've already seen a couple of impressive trailers so far, but this time they show even more of the massive new ships arriving as well as new scenes with one of the aliens and President Whitmore. Enjoy!
Be our guest! Disney has debuted the first teaser trailer for the new live-action version of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle. Dan Stevens stars as the Beast, who isn't seen at all in this footage. Is he under make-up or CGI? The cast includes Luke Evans as Gaston, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Josh Gad as Lefou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. The film will include new recordings of the original songs written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. Have a look.
Cannes once again makes a political statement - as they did with Dheepan last year and Winter Sleep (from Turkey) the year before. Winners of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival awards, including the coveted Palme d'Or, were revealed at a glamorous ceremony in Cannes featuring Donald Sutherland and George Miller. The big winner is Ken Loach for his film I, Daniel Blake, about an aging man in the UK who struggles to get welfare because of a very broken system. This is the second Palme d'Or for Ken Loach, who won for The Wind That Shakes the Barley in 2006; he has also received four other awards in Cannes previously. A few of my other favorites, including The Red Turtle and Captain Fantastic, also won awards this year. See below.
When covering film festivals in the press, most reports are about the many films (with hundreds of reviews published daily) or the celebrities on the red carpet or the business deals being made in the market. Rarely is there any discussion about the people who attend the festival, the die-hard cinephiles from all over who spend two weeks in the South of France watching films. Whenever I'm asked to describe the Cannes Film Festival, there's always one thought that comes to mind first - it's the most well known film festival in the entire world. Sundance draws mostly American crowds, with some international coverage. But Cannes is the place where the world comes together to experience cinema history. I'm inspired by the way this unites us.
"It isn't uncommon, you know. It's easy to get lost in the vastness of space." Paramount has debuted the new full theatrical trailer for Justin Lin's sequel Star Trek Beyond, the latest in the new version of the Star Trek series. The full cast includes all the returning Enterprise crew members: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin. Newcomers this time are Joe Taslim, Sofia Boutella, and Idris Elba. This new trailer features tons of sci-fi action, lots of aliens, and it actually looks awesome. A big improvement over the first trailer. Now they've got my attention again.
Anyone who isn't familiar with this filmmaker yet needs to start watching his films. Asghar Farhadi is an Iranian filmmaker with quite a few films on his filmography already, including most recently A Separation (which won the Academy Award in 2011) and The Past. Farhadi returns to the Cannes Film Festival with his latest film, titled The Salesman (originally titled Forushande), and while it doesn't top A Separation it's a very solid morality tale that deals with the issue of revenge and fear. The first film that comes to mind that handles this topic similarly is The Revenant, another story of revenge where the lesson is that revenge is an empty pursuit that doesn't provide satisfaction, only more pain or suffering. A lesson learned the hard way.
"Something as simple and innocuous as this becomes a challenge for all of us to maintain accountability control…" Magnolia has debuted a second trailer (see the first one here) for the documentary Zero Days, the latest from Alex Gibney, profiling the "Stuxnet" virus. The documentary premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year (read my review) and it's actually about the beginning of the cyber warfare era that we've quietly entered. This trailer barely scratches the surface of what they get into with this doc, though it does feature some of the really chilling lines and moments where you start to realize this is a global issue. This doc is terrifying in the way it makes you feel out of control with what's happening in this world. Enjoy.
"I'm so glad that it's finally acceptable for women to talk about success." Sony Classics has unveiled the trailer for an indie drama titled Equity, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It's a film written and directed by women, produced by women, starring mostly women, about women kicking ass in high level investment banking jobs. Anna Gunn plays an investment banker navigating a tricky deal in hopes of impressing her boss. The cast includes James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner and Craig Bierko. I saw this at Sundance and sadly, it's not very good, at all. The story is weak and it's all about backstabbing, plus Anna Gunn's performance isn't that impressive. I wish it was better. Give it a look.