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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.
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).
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"If there's a paranormal problem - we're the ones to answer the call." Sony has debuted the second official trailer for Paul Feig's new Ghostbusters movie, which is very vibrant and action-packed with funky ghosts, proton packs and ectoplasm galore. We've already met the new team: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, along with their new secretary, played Chris Hemsworth, who is revealed in this trailer to have a bigger role than expected. This is definitely an improvement over that first trailer, however some of the jokes are a bit cheesy, and some of the ghost effects look a bit glossy, perhaps on purpose. I'm sure opinions will be rather divisive, but it still looks like it's worth checking out. Have fun.
With the conversion to digital cinema nearly complete worldwide, will 35mm still live on somewhere? This documentary is proof that yes, a love for film and 35mm projection will live on forever, even in the most remote places in the world where it's hard to even get electricity. The Cinema Travelers is a documentary made by directors Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya and it profiles a traveling cinema in India, which shows up in desolate places of the country with very basic projection rigs to show classic films to swarms of people. It is absolutely wonderful to discover, capturing so spectacularly the joy and wonder that movies bring to people of all ages. It evokes the same emotions as Cinema Paradiso, but this is all real life.
"ASH-393 is considered to be the most sophisticated humanoid ever created by man. He's the leader of the rogue humanoid rebellion." This is one of those weird little films we've never heard of, and yet it actually looks pretty cool. 2307: Winter's Dream is a futuristic sci-fi film set in 2307, of course, about a soldier sent on a mission to hunt down the leader of the humanoid rebellion. It was pointed out to me by the guys at Quiet Earth and pitched as a "Mad Max on ice", which is actually kind of accurate if you think of the very first Mad Max film. The cast includes Paul Sidhu, Branden Coles, Brad Potts, Anne-Solenne Hatte and Arielle Holmes. This looks like one of those sci-fi B-movies you'd get on VHS at the local video store.
Not even snozzcumbers can fix this film. Why did it feel so bland and so pointless? It's hard to make sense of it. Steven Spielberg's latest film, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic book The BFG, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Oddly, it seems very out of place here. It's definitely a kids movie, to a fault, as it's the kind of kids movie that you can't really enjoy unless you're younger than 16 years old. And that's not the case for most kids movies (see: Pixar). Spielberg does his best to bring stunning visuals and great performances to the film, but it lacks that magic touch of his previous work, and seriously lacks an actual story. There's a young girl, a friendly giant, lots of snozzcumbers, the Queen of England, but not much else.
"Yes, we can pull these orcs off." Universal has released a new featurette profiling the work VFX studio ILM did on Duncan Jones' Warcraft movie, which is mostly CGI considering the Orcs are humans performing on set with motion capture rigs. ILM says their facial capture technology for this movie is groundbreaking, and pushes the boundaries of filmmaking beyond what we've seen with Avatar and the recent Planet of the Apes movies. A couple of movie websites recently visited ILM to see first hand what they're doing, but for everyone else, there's now a video featurette out that shows and discusses some of this technology. It's very impressive to see how much they're really challenging themselves with this movie, and I'm excited to see it. As I've been saying all along - seeing the final fully rendered version of this movie is going to look incredible.
"Witness the birth of a terrifying ego." The first trailer has debuted for a film called The Childhood of a Leader, which is the feature directing debut of the talented actor Brady Corbet, who has appeared in a number of excellent indie films over the last decade. Loosely inspired by the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre and Margaret MacMillan, the film tells a coming-of-age story of a young French choirboy whose father is a diplomat assisting President Woodrow Wilson in the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Tom Sweet plays the boy, and the cast includes Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Yolande Moreau and Robert Pattinson. This certainly does look like something we've never seen before. Take a look below.