ENJOY THE SHOW
"Magic is such a universal thing." Who doesn't love a little bit of magic? If you're in the mood for something inspiring, and fun at the same time, check out this short documentary from The Verge about a small town in Michigan called Colon (Google Maps). Dubbed the "Magic Capital of the World", the doc takes a light-hearted look at a lovable town that contains three fabulous home-brewed magic shops/manufacturers, and hosts the annual "Abbott's Magic Get Together", a convention (that reminds me of Fantastic Fest) for magicians, illusionists and entertainers. Never heard of this place? Neither have I, but that's why it's such a memorable introduction. A nice little slice of Americana packed into an entertaining short doc. Have a look.
"If it's in a word. Or it's in a look. You can't get rid of..." IFC Midnight has debuted one more full trailer for Jennifer Kent's The Babadook, the Australian horror-thriller that is winning over audiences. The film just played at Fantastic Fest earlier this week, after premiering at Sundance in January. One tweet review from the fest called it: "Powerful. Beautiful/horrifying imagery matched [with] a potent human story." It'll finally be hitting theaters and VOD starting this November, and it's one of the best horror films to catch this year. The trailer does show a lot, as expected, but it's a great setup to intrigue those not yet interested. Everyone should be, it's a fine example of how compelling original horror can be. "It's just a book... it can't hurt you."
"We'll find a way. We always have..." The countdown is at T-minus 44 days until Interstellar arrives in theaters. With the hype growing more and more every single day, fans are starting to show their love for the wonderful world of sci-fi in exciting ways. I was sent this video, made by FS.net reader Robbert Doelwijt, titled Voyage that is an Interstellar-inspired tribute to space exploration. It's a quick video focusing mostly on the recent space exploration movies hitting theaters, though there are nods to 2001 and Apollo 13 in here. It's simply an enthralling reminder of the awe and great mystery of space. Can I visit out there yet?
Wait - Paul Schrader, screenwriter of Raging Bull & Taxi Driver and director of American Gigolo, cast Nicolas Cage in his new film? This has to be a joke? Nope. It's real, and it's already shot and finishing up for 2015 release. Schrader's new "mid-budget indie", which he wrote and directed, is titled Dying of the Light executive produced by fellow filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn. What a team-up this is: Schrader, Refn, Cage. Who else? Well, the cast includes Anton Yelchin (also seen in the photo), Alexander Karim and Irène Jacob. I won't deny that I'm curious about this. Take a look at the image below, which doesn't reveal much about the way this will play. Of all the recent Cage films, this is the one I'm most interested in.
Meet Xavier Dolan from Quebec, Canada. He's currently 25 years old with five films under his belt, four of them premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. I've been following Xavier closely since catching Heartbeats, his second film, at Cannes back in 2010. At Cannes this year he premiered Mommy, an exhilarating story of a mother and her troubled son and the relationship they strike up with their neighbor (watch the trailer that we're quoted in here). I loved the film, one of my favorites this year, and have been looking forward to meeting Xavier. What would he be like in person? Could I get honest answers out of him? (The answer: yes.) He lets loose in this two-part 20 min chat about making movies, his cinematic style, and career as an actor.
"You don't even know what it's capable of! Or what it's doing." Wow - this is one of the best shorts I've seen in a while - David Weinstein's Envoy, uploaded to his Vimeo recently. Stellar VFX combined with an emotional, compelling story - a kid and his robot, think Transformers with a little The Iron Giant. And I love that it goes all out, never shying away from showing the robot and some awesome action scenes, and it follows through until the very end. Envoy is under 10 minutes and is worth a quick watch, it's refreshing to see something so good for a short film like this. Someone let this guy make a movie, I don't want this to end.
"We still love each other, right?" It's here! Roadside Attractions has debuted a brand new official US trailer for Xavier Dolan's Mommy, the fifth feature from the young Quebecois filmmaker who won a Jury Award at Cannes this year. Mommy stars Anne Dorval as the mother of a wild, young teenage boy named Steve, played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon. He moves in with her and things start to get better, especially after they meet their neighbor played by Suzanne Clément. I saw the film at its Cannes premiere and raved about it in my review, which ended up being quoted in this trailer - I call it a "modern masterpiece". It's one of my favorite films of the year, and I highly recommend catching it as soon as you can - at a festival or in theaters.
Good news for one of my favorite films of the year. Mia Hansen-Løve's Boyhood-esque film Eden, about a French house music DJ, has been acquired for US release by a brand new distributor called Broad Green Pictures (aka BGP). The indie distributor recently acquired Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes and Isabel Coixet's Learning to Drive, but has yet to release any of the new films. Eden premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is also playing at the New York Film Festival this fall. I've seen it twice, once at both festivals, and it's one of my top films of the year, even though not everyone may be into it, it's fleeting like Boyhood spanning almost 20 years of time. But I really, really love this film so damn much. It really connected deeply with me.
"Manners maketh man." 20th Century Fox has debuted another excellent new trailer for Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service, his latest comic book action movie adaptation about an unsuspecting street kid known as "Eggsy", played by Taron Egerton, who is recruited to a top secret spy agency. His mentor is Colin Firth, who kicks a lot of ass, as we saw in the very first trailer (and in this one, too). But we finally get a better glimpse at the real villain, Samuel L. Jackson, who does indeed talk with a lisp and looks like a hilariously awesome addition to this action extravaganza. The trailer also features a new song from Iggy Azalea featuring Ellie Goulding, plus the girl with the blades for legs. Oh yes, she looks killer. Enjoy!
"You have no idea of the effect you have, do you?" It's time for yet another Monthly Must See feature film that we highly recommend you watch. This one may be one a few have seen already, considering it's rotating through the Top Movies list on iTunes. The film is titled Ida starring the lovely Agata Trzebuchowska, from Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski. This intriguing Polish drama first premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last year, before playing at festivals all over the world and eventually arriving in US theaters for a limited release back in May. Shot and presented in black & white in the 1.37:1 'Academy ratio', this stunning film tells the story of a young nun named Ida in 1960s Poland discovering herself and the world.
"Tokyo Tribe, never ever die!" Oh my goodness, this movie is totally insane, wacky, absurd and terrible in every way, but so so so awesome. Do you remember those kind of crazy cult films you'd find in the back of a video store, only one copy on VHS, that you'd lose your shit over discovering and would have to tell your friends about and the next thing you'd know the entire high school would be into this crazy film. Sion Sono's Tokyo Tribe is one of those films, the kind that is really bad in every way, but also insanely awesome in every way. Love it, hate it, it's a can't-believe-this-is-real experience that feels a bit like The Warriors meets You Got Served, even though it's really unlike anything else. Holy sh*t I love this movie, even as bad as it is.
"You are lucky I found you first, child." Catch this dark, impressive fan film from Michael Paris. While there has been some talk of another Spawn movie in development, we haven't seen anything actually come together in years. There hasn't been anything since the Spawn movie from 1997 with Michael Jai White that most people despise. Paris decided to make his own Spawn film and the result is "The Recall", set mostly inside of a grocery story with some really cool scenes. It's impressive work for a fan film and shows just how much potential there is in great characters. Spawn fans will enjoy this the most, but it's entertaining for all.
When it comes to action movies, the good ones seems to be few and far between nowadays. Not only do they lack interesting characters and coherent stories, but the action just sucks, it's never good, it's shot poorly. Thus I must admit that it is completely refreshing to come across an awesome action movie that delivers, yet doesn't try to over deliver. John Wick starring Keanu Reeves as John Wick is the latest movie to join the pantheon of great modern action movies (in the last 10 years), including The Raid 2, Kick-Ass, Crank, Shoot 'Em Up, Wanted (just a few that came to mind while watching this). It's nearly perfect, and is the kind of pure action I've missed. Just a man, his guns, endless henchman, and tons and tons of headshots. Oh yes.
"I remember you." This may be worth your time, even though it's 21 minutes long, it's a good one. There's a short that has been in the works for at least seven years, filming back in 2007 through 2009. And it's finally done and ready for public consumption. The short is titled Similo from Spanish filmmakers Zacarias & Macgregor, set in the distant future about a man and a woman and what each one desires. Explained on their website: "Similo started as a simple yet ambitious idea: to make a realistic science fiction love story. The combination of these two aspects,' science fiction' and 'realism', was quite an exciting challenge for us." The results are something to behold, and it looks gorgeous on top of everything, so fire this up and dive in.