ENJOY THE SHOW
"You've got one job - just keep your deviant mouth shut!" Broad Green has debuted another new full red band trailer for Bad Santa 2, the sequel to the holiday comedy Bad Santa (from 2003), starring Billy Bob Thornton as an alcoholic Santa Clause impersonator who uses his cover to pull off large scale robberies. The first red band trailer wasn't so bad, and this one also seems to promise a fun time. The cast includes Tony Cox (his sidekick/accomplice from the first movie), Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks, Ryan Hansen, plus Brett Kelly back as Thurman Merman. It looks like Kathy Bates is now a part of their crew, which should be amusing. This is packed with lewd humor, but at least they're staying true to the character.
"Is this is the Lost Village?" The little blue guys are back… again. Sony has debuted the first teaser trailer for the new Smurfs movie titled Smurfs: The Lost Village. After two mediocre live-action hybrid movies starring Hank Azaria and Neil Patrick Harris, the studio has decided to reboot and try a fully-CG-animated movie. Smurfs: The Lost Village features the voices of Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, Danny Pudi as Brainy. As indicated by the title, this new adventure takes them to a long lost village where they are said to discover "the biggest secret in Smurf history." What a pitch. This teaser is mostly a re-introduction.
"By standing beneath a spaceship, we are living the impossible." 20th Century Fox has released a new full-length international trailer for the drama Hidden Figures, hitting theaters in January. This film is about three intelligent women who worked for NASA and helped provide some of the math equations and calculations to send astronaut John Glenn into orbit (in 1962). The first trailer had plenty of good footage, and this one has even more. The impressive cast features Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, and Glen Powell. This looks much nerdier than I was expecting, but still totally triumphant - even the music is more inspirational in this trailer. It may perhaps be a nice hidden gem arriving early next year. Take a look below.
"Why'd you join?" There's tons of Star Wars fan films out there, but it's nice to see something brand new that connects directly with The Force Awakens. Jakku: First Wave is a quick, 3-minute short film made by filmmaker Benjamin Eck about three Stormtroopers about to land on Jakku (the desert planet from The Force Awakens) for the Battle of Jakku. It's a simple concept and was made on a very small budget, but it's an engaging and effective little short that provides yet another unique perspective from the Star Wars universe. The dialogue is what stands out the most, with a tiny bit of levity and a lot of emotion. Take a look.
We've all heard the quote before. Jean-Luc Godard once said: "It's not where you take things from — it's where you take them to." Filmmakers are often inspired and influenced by other art, whether it be music or paintings or photography or other films. Sometimes it's easy to spot in films, other times the influence is deeper and more nuanced. There's a series of videos created by editor Vugar Efendi called "Film Meets Art" that highlight various examples of cinema borrowing exact shots or poses or color or composition or clothing (or all of the above) from paintings and other classic art. It is actually an impressive examination of creative influence and how it plays directly into cinema. I wanted to feature both of the videos, with Part II out this week, because there's so much to admire in each of them. I love the shot from There Will Be Blood.
"Hey, what happened to my kiss?" Paramount has debuted a new trailer for Robert Zemeckis' latest, titled Allied, a WWII romantic thriller about the relationship between a French Resistance fighter and a British Intelligence officer. Brad Pitt stars as an officer stationed in North Africa in 1942, who falls for a resistance fighter named Marianne Beausejour. They reunite in London but the war still stands in the way. Marion Cotillard also stars, along with Lizzy Caplan, Matthew Goode, Raffey Cassidy, Charlotte Hope and Jared Harris. The first teaser from a few months ago didn't show that much, but this new trailer gives us a bit more including a huge tease at the end. I'm a sucker for WWII films, so I can't help but say I'm intrigued.
Holy crap, yes!! So this is what Neill Blomkamp has been up to! Ever since Ridley Scott's new Alien movie put Blomkamp's new Alien movie on hold, we've been wondering what he has been working on and if he's been developing another original project. One of his next projects has been revealed. Blomkamp is rebooting the BMW Films series, bringing back Clive Owen, and the first teaser has debuted online (following an Instagram photo Blomkamp posted with Jon Bernthal). Many years ago, BMW put together a series of short films directed by some of the best action directors at the time. I remember going crazy for these shorts, I had everyone in high definition because they were so damn good. And I'm crazy happy to hear they're back for more! This is a short tease, but it's an exciting reminder that a new series of films are on the way. Enjoy.
Well this is something - an indie film about making an indie film. Shooting Clerks is a fictional feature biopic made by Christopher Downie retelling the story of Kevin Smith making his breakout debut film Clerks in 1994. The film stars Mark Frost as Kevin Smith, Chris Bain as Jason Mewes (who has appeared in other films made by Downie about Mewes), Kit Alexander as Brian O'Halloran, and Tom Sullivan as Jeff Anderson. The cast list also includes a cameo by the real Kevin Smith as Larkin Eve. As expected, this is super low budget and almost like a fan-made retelling of the original story, but it also has enough support to get a release. They'll be showing the film on a small screening tour including a showing in NYC, heading to a few other places like Orlando and New Jersey. Give this a look below if you're curious how it turned out.
"They must prepare for the final battle…" Ready for this badass movie already? If you want to see more footage from this movie while we wait for a US release, there's another new trailer to watch. Hitting theaters next year is a Russian "superhero" movie called Guardians, also known as Zashchitniki (Защитники) in Russian. We featured an impressive full-length trailer for this last month, but this new trailer looks like it's just a teaser though still contains more footage we haven't seen yet. The plot is about a "Patriot" program that created a superhero squad, which included members of multiple soviet republics. There's a psychopath who wields sleek curved swords, a telekinetic, an invisible witch, and the most badass one of all, a massive "Werebear" wielding a minigun. There's also a new "trailer" below which is just a fight scene clip. Have fun.
"I have to defend him without knowing all the facts." Lionsgate has revealed the trailer for a film titled The Whole Truth, a legal thriller starring Keanu Reeves as a defense attorney in a murder case. His job is to build a defense to keep his friend's son out of jail, even though it seems his conviction for murder is pretty clear. The film also stars Renée Zellweger, Gabriel Basso, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jim Belushi, Sean Bridgers and Christopher Berry. Maybe I'm just a sucker for anything Keanu Reeves stars in, but this actually looks damn good, with some intriguing questions being asked about how the law works and whether or not someone is trying to cover up the truth. I'm curious. This definitely looks like it'll be worth watching.
"What do we do now?" Sony has finally released the first full trailer for the sci-fi movie Passengers, from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, directed by Morten Tyldum (of The Imitation Game previously). The story is set far in the future entirely on a passenger ship carrying thousands of people to a colony on the other side of the galaxy. Chris Pratt stars as a mechanic whose sleep pod malfunctions, leaving him awake and alone and unable to last the 60 years left on the ship's journey. The cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne. This project has been in development for years and years, once with Keanu Reeves attached to star, and I'm glad we finally get to see it. From the footage in these first trailers below, the movie looks like it's going to be wonderful. So glad it looks this good. Really can't wait to see this.
"Outside of these walls, there are no guarantees." Another outstanding short film to watch. Dust is a sci-fi, fantasy short film produced by Ember Labs and directed by Mike Grier. We originally featured the teaser trailer for this short film way back in 2013, a year after it was on Kickstarter getting funding. Now it's finally complete and it's gorgeous, some of the best short film cinematography I've seen all year (by Michael Nie), with some incredible world-building and mythology to draw you deeper into the story. This was shot on location in remote areas of Japan with VFX added later. The film follows a tracker who takes a black-market merchant out into the wilderness to find the source of the "dust" that is poisoning the air. There's all kinds of cool flora and fauna hidden throughout this, and the main character (named Irezumi) is awesome. Enjoy.
"If I'm innocent, it means that everyone's vulnerable… And that's everyone's nightmare." Netflix has debuted one more official trailer for the Amanda Knox documentary, which has earned some rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month. Now with extra buzz and extra attention, the doc is getting a strong push before it hits the streaming service later this month. The documentary focuses on Amanda Knox specifically, the young woman who was accused of killing her roommate in Italy back in 2007. Featuring extensive interviews with her as well as her former co-defendant and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa. Which side of the story do you believe? One review from TIFF says that it "makes the case for a larger look at the story it stuffs into a too-short runtime."
"She's with me now, so move on." This one is for all the short guys out there. This film already hit theaters in France and the UK earlier in the summer, but I just came across this trailer now and it's quirky and – yes – quite charming. The film is titled (in English) Up for Love, which is a fun title because it's about a beautiful women who meets a guy she likes but it turns out he's only 4'6" tall. She has to fight against the "prejudices of society and her own fears" in this very French romantic comedy. Jean Dujardin stars as the lil' guy, named Alexandre, and Virginie Efira stars as Diane. The cast includes Cédric Kahn, Stéphanie Papanian, César Domboy and Edmonde Franchi. This is definitely a bit cheesy, I will admit, but it still looks fun. In real life, Jean Dujardin is 6' tall, so there must be some digital trickery going on. Take a look.