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At Cannes - The World Comes Together to Experience Cinema History

Cannes Film Festival

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.

 Posted May 21 in Cannes 16, Editorial, Indies | Comments

Must Watch: Full Theatrical Trailer for Justin Lin's 'Star Trek Beyond'

Star Trek Beyond Trailer

"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.

 Posted May 21 in SciFi, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Cannes 2016: Asghar Farhadi's 'The Salesman' is a Solid Morality Tale

The Salesman Review

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.

 Posted May 20 in Cannes 16, Review | Comments

New Trailer for Alex Gibney's Terrifying Cyber Warfare Doc 'Zero Days'

Zero Days Doc Trailer

"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.

 Posted May 20 in Docs, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Watch: Trailer for High Level Investment Banker Indie Drama 'Equity'

Equity Trailer

"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.

 Posted May 20 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Final Trailer + New TV Spot for 'Ninja Turtles 2' Finally Reveals Kraang

TMNT2 - Kraang

"Doesn't seem so tough!" Paramount has released a final trailer plus a new TV spot for the sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadow, directed by Dave Green, with the Turtles returning and Megan Fox as April O'Neil. They really went all out, bringing in every fan-favorite TMNT character: Casey Jones, Shredder, Bebop & Rocksteady, and the iconic villain Kraang (spelled with two A's apparently). Brad Garrett voices Kraang, and after holding back in all of the previous trailers they're finally showing some footage of the squishy villain. Will Arnett also returns, with a cast including Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, Tyler Perry, plus Gary Anthony Williams & Stephen Farrelly as Bebop & Rocksteady. Enjoy.

 Posted May 20 in Hype, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Trailer for Mike Birbiglia's Improv Indie Film 'Don't Think Twice'

Don't Think Twice Trailer

Love improv comedy? This film is for you. Love good stories about friends? This film is for you. The Film Arcade has released the first trailer for Mike Birbiglia's second feature film, titled Don't Think Twice. It's about a six-person improv troupe that performs at a small venue in New York City. When things seem to be going bad for everyone, one of the members breaks out big and makes it onto the "Weekend Live" show (aka SNL) disrupting the friendship dynamic of the group. Mike Birbiglia stars, along with a cast of genuinely awesome comedians: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher and Kate Micucci. The film got rave reviews at Tribeca and is worth catching when it comes your way. Take a look.

 Posted May 19 in Humor, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Cannes 2016: Refn's 'The Neon Demon' is Wickedly Vivid Subversion

The Neon Demon

This film is going to piss off some people, and I love it even more because of that. Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn returns to the Cannes Film Festival again after his previous film, Only God Forgives, was panned by critics in 2013. His latest, titled The Neon Demon, was booed at the press premiere yet again - but I'm on the opposite side as all of those people. This film admittedly doesn't have much of a real story to follow, but it does have oh so much more to offer. The Neon Demon is a totally wicked, totally messed up, neon-drenched study on vanity/narcissism featuring one hell of an exhilarating synth score. It's subversive and Refn knows it, so much so that he's almost laughing at the audience (and the people who hate his films).

 Posted May 19 in Cannes 16, Review | Comments

Full Trailer for Skateboarder Indie 'The Land' Featuring Moises Arias

The Land

"You have to do something with your life. What are you good at?" IFC Films has debuted this excellent full-length trailer for Steven Caple Jr.'s skateboarder indie drama The Land, which we featured the teaser trailer for just a few weeks ago. The film is about four teenage boys who spend their summer trying to figure out how to escape the streets of Cleveland, but end up caught in a drug deal gone bad. The cast features Erykah Badu, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Ezri Walker, Machine Gun Kelly, & Kim Coates. This seriously looks damn good, don't skip it just because you don't think you'll be into it. The Land looks like a stylish coming-of-age indie gem poised to break out.

 Posted May 19 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Watch This: Goofy Animated Short Made to Promote 'The Nice Guys'

The Nice Guys Animated Short

"Dedicated to truth, justice and the bustling small business." The marketing for this movie just gets better and better. The final video from Warner Bros before it opens in theaters everywhere is an "animated short" for The Nice Guys. It's basically a mini recap of the movie and the trailers we've seen so far, so if you want to go in fresh maybe you should stay away. But then again, why not dive in and have fun. The Nice Guys is the new Shane Black action comedy starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, as well as Angourie Rice and Matt Bomer. It's getting great reviews and is worth seeing if you love laughing your ass off. This is only 1 minute long, and I wish they would've made a short with its own unique story, but it's fun anyway.

 Posted May 19 in Hype, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

Latest Trailer for Hilarious R-Rated Animated Comedy 'Sausage Party'

Sausage Party

"I'm so happy the Gods put our packages together." "It's because we belong together…" Sony has released the second official trailer for the R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party. This trailer isn't as good as the first red band trailer, since they have to hold off on the language and the truly raunchy content, but it does still make me want to see it. The huge voice cast features Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, David Krumholtz and others. This seems like so much ridiculous fun and I cannot wait to watch. Enjoy.

 Posted May 19 in Animation, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Second Trailer for Horror Sequel 'The Purge: Election Year' Revealed

The Purge: Election Year Trailer

"What's you doing outside on Purge night, Senator?" Universal has released the second official trailer for The Purge: Election Year, the latest sequel in the crazy horror franchise the started in 2013. Frank Grillo returns for this one as the head of security protecting Senator Charlie Roan, played by Elizabeth Mitchell. The full cast includes Raymond J. Barry, Mykelti Williamson, Betty Gabriel, JJ Soria, Ethan Phillips, Sparrowhawk, Edwin Hodge and many others. I'm not really a fan of this series, so this trailer just looks totally wacky, totally crazy, and not necessarily in a good way. All those funky masks just look like weird masks, and I'm not even sure what that guillotine has to do with anything. Have at it.

 Posted May 19 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailer for Werner Herzog's Online Filmmaking MasterClass

Werner Herzog's Online Filmmaking MasterClass

"There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need." Anyone want to learn filmmaking tips directly from Werner Herzog? This is your chance. The MasterClass website has launched a trailer and pre-regisration for an upcoming course being taught by legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog. Apparently the course will include 20 videos on "storytelling, cinematography, locations, self-financing, documentary interview techniques, and how to bring your ideas to life," plus more topics. This goes hand-in-hand with many of the brilliant pieces of advice from Herzog that can be found online, like this list of "24 pieces of life advice" or this poignant "no-nonsense advice" for filmmakers. More below.

 Posted May 19 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Cannes 2016: Michael Dudok de Wit's 'The Red Turtle' is Magnificent

The Red Turtle

What a magnificent one-of-a-kind animated film. The Red Turtle is animated film from director Michael Dudok de Wit, produced by the legendary Studio Ghibli with Isao Takahata involved as an artistic consultant, even though the animation was finished in France. The film is about a man who washes up on a desert island after a destructive storm, and every time he attempts to build a bamboo raft and escape, a red turtle appears out of nowhere and demolishes it. He finally gives up and accepts his fate and explores the island. The film is very simple and tells an inspiring story without any dialogue, only a few shouts of "hey" and other noises, but that's it. It's so simple yet so beautiful; I honestly was moved to tears by a few scenes.

 Posted May 18 in Animation, Cannes 16, Review | Comments

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