ENJOY THE SHOW
"I want to pick my own team, I want my own gear, and I need a jet." Lionsgate has debuted a trailer for a new action movie starring Steven Seagal, and if you've seen any of his other recent work, you know what to expect with this (which means - not much). Contract to Kill stars Seagal as a CIA enforcer investigating Arab terrorists captured in Mexico. His team includes actors Russell Wong and Jemma Dallender, and they're chasing after Ghassan Bouz as Abdul Raouf. This looks like a very low-rent Mission Impossible-meets-The Expendables, with all the typical cliches you'd expect. Including the "Islamic terrorists are our worst enemy" trope. This looks pretty awful, I'm surprised it's being released in theaters at all. Have a look.
"Your Destiny Is In Your Blood." 20th Century Fox has released a second official trailer for the adaptation of the video game series Assassin's Creed, starring Michael Fassbender, giving us yet another look at this action movie. Fassbender plays Callum Lynch, who is sent back in time as his ancestor Aguilar. The cast includes Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Callum Turner; plus Ariane Labed. This trailer highlights more of the impressive action in this, but also spends time introducing us to the futuristic framing of the movie - Lynch being involved in this program. Perhaps playing off of the hype for Westworld a bit, maybe? Either way, this looks damn good - I'm excited to see it.
"Whatcha eating?" Janus Films is re-releasing a Japanese film from 1985 titled Tampopo, from director Jûzô Itami, highly acclaimed by critics and foodies as one of the best films about a love for food. Described as a "ramen western", it's about a truck driver who stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. Tampopo is played by Japanese actress Nobuko Miyamoto. The film also has a few vignettes about the relationship of love and food. I only recently fell in love with authentic Japanese ramen after moving to New York and traveling to Japan a few years ago, and now I desperately want to see this. The 4K re-release will play in a few select cinemas (listings here) and I'll definitely be eating ramen after seeing it. For a full guide on ramen in Japan made in partnership with the re-release, click here. Enjoy!
"I'd love to talk a little, we haven't done that very much." Another intriguing and well-made short film to feature this month. The Best of Intentions, also known as Han som ville henne så väl in Swedish, is a Swedish suspense thriller short film directed by actor Emil Jonsson - who also stars in this film. Famous Swedish actor Per Ragnar, seen in Light the Right One In, co-stars as a father of a disabled woman who comes to confront one of the workers at the care home where she lives. It's described as a thriller "in the vein of old Twilight Zone episodes" and definitely has that feel. The two lead performances are outstanding, and the tension building is impressive. It's a thought-provoking thriller cleverly addressing moral dilemmas.
"It is hard to take your eyes off the fire that burns deep under our feet." Netflix has unveiled the official trailer for Werner Herzog's other new documentary this year, titled Into the Inferno, which premiered at the Telluride & Toronto Film Festivals. Into the Inferno is Herzog's investigation into volcanoes, along with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer. They travel the world and explore various cultures and concepts related to volcanoes. It's one of Herzog's best, and is definitely worth seeing, I totally loved it. Not only does he have some jaw-dropping footage, but it's fascinating to follow his tangents and side stories. I wrote in my review that it "examines the act of creation, with vivid imagery and utterly engrossing discussions." Watch below.
"Fine, I can talk. Now let's see if you can listen." DreamWorks Animation has released the first teaser trailer for their next new comedy movie, titled The Boss Baby, from the director of the Madagascar series and Mastermind. Alec Baldwin voices the adorable little baby, seriously called just "Baby" in the film, who is a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying kid that teams up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. Other voices include Miles Bahski, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, and Steve Buscemi. This teaser makes it look like there is quite a bit of tension between the baby and his brother, but it seems like they'll probably end up friends by the end. What do you make of this?
"People are the virus. And we are the cure." Signature Entertainment has debuted an official UK trailer for a very freaky abduction horror thriller titled Rupture, featuring Prometheus star Noomi Rapace as an "ordinary woman" and mother of a boy who is randomly abducted on a highway. She wakes up strapped to an operating table and is forced to undergo a series of terrifying psychological experiments. The film also stars Peter Stormare, Kerry Bishé, Michael Chiklis, Ari Millen, Lesley Manville, Percy Hynes White and Morgan Kelly. It's made by the same filmmaker who made Secretary over a decade ago. This looks very stylish yet also creepy, almost like Saw with a psychological twist. Horror fans should watch this.
This is a wonderful, heartbreaking short film that everyone needs to see. Borrowed Time is an animated short film from directors Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj. It's about an aging Sheriff going back to retrace the steps of the location where an accident took place years ago that he can never forget. Coats and Hamou-Lhadj explain in the making of video that they wanted to tell a more "adult" story with animation that "contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically." The bigger theme of forgiveness is very potent in this, but there is also a focus on the emotions of overcoming hardship and letting go of your past. I've been thinking about this short every day since I first watched it. Don't miss this.
"This case is about exonerating our entire community." There's a brand new film from the director behind Ebert's Life Itself and the classic documentary Hoop Dreams. Steve James' latest documentary is titled Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, and it first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is playing at the New York Film Festival next. Abacus is about the Abacus Federal Savings Bank in Chinatown in New York City, which was one of the few banks labeled as "small enough to jail" during the mortgage crisis. They were targeted by the Manhattan District Attorney, despite that all the bigger banks were given free passes and government support. This doc examines how Abacus, a family-run bank, is fighting to stay alive and clear their name. This isn't a full trailer, but it is our first look - this seems to be another unique doc worth seeing.
"The challenge is how you make cinema evolve, how you make cinema fresh." This is about to premiere at the New York Film Festival, and they're showing it in 3D at 120FPS, so get ready for some wild reactions. Sony has released a new featurette for Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, examining the decision to film at a high framerate. This is exactly what I've been waiting to see, as it shows some of the cameras they used and spends time discussing the decision with Ang Lee - who defends his choice to use 3D and 120FPS (in a few scenes) by stating: "it's about intimacy… You lose your judgment, you really get sucked into that world." Joe Alwyn stars as Billy Lynn, a soldier who returns home from the Iraq war and struggles with PTSD. I'm very curious to hear reactions from NYFF and get a look at this (in 120FPS) myself.
"Before Harry Potter. Across an ocean. A new world of magic awaits!" Warner Bros + IMAX have released an extended 4-minute featurette with tons of new footage for the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, directed by David Yates, in theaters this November. A special fan event was held in IMAX theaters around the world on October 13th, where fans were treated to footage and Q&As with cast & crew. To celebrate the occasion, they put out a featurette which explains this new storyline better than any other trailer. Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who accidentally lets loose a suitcase full of magical creatures in New York City. This also stars Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, and Samantha Morton. Fire up the footage below.
"If I don't take a photograph, I've made a terrible mistake." Magnolia Pictures has debuted a trailer for a documentary titled Harry Benson: Shoot First, about the life and work of famed photographer Harry Benson. He gained notoriety in the 60s when he was assigned to shoot The Beatles during their inaugural trip to the United States in 1964. He has since gone on to photograph many famous musicians, politicians, and celebrities, and is still working today at age 86. There have been some superb docs about photographers recently (The Salt of the Earth, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Smash His Camera, Finding Vivian Maier are the best of the bunch) and this looks like yet another fantastic profile of a talented artist. Enjoy.