"Allow me to re-introduce myself…" One of our favorite films from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival is coming to theaters this summer, and one of the coolest teaser trailers I've ever seen has just arrived to show it off. Dope delivers the perfect teaser in that it doesn't give much away about the story, but quickly introduces us to the characters and their style. Plus, it immerses you wonderfully in the culture of the 90s, which runs rampant throughout the film despite the fact that it's sent in modern day. This is a star-making turn for Shameik Moore, and if you need anymore convincing, read Alex's Sundance review. Watch now!
"There is life with you, not with me." The idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in a drama called Maggie where he attempts to care for his daughter (Abigail Breslin) as she slowly turns into a zombie sounded like a promising concept, but also with the potential to be disastrous. However, a trailer for the indie that premiered at TIFF last year has just arrived, and this looks surprisingly good. It's very somber and serious, and not in a way that seems insincere or laughable. This has the potential to be Schwarzenegger's best film since he returned to acting. At the very least, it's an original zombie story in a tired genre. Watch?
Let's discover something new. Kicking off this week in New York City is one of my favorite under-the-radar film festivals, called New Directors/New Films. Co-presented by both the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art (two of the best places for movies in the city anyway!), the fest highlights first-time filmmakers and their incredible feature debuts. This is my second year attending, and it's really all about the films, and the spirit of discovery, and first time introductions to filmmakers we'll be hearing about for many years to come. If you want to feel like you're ahead of the class, or you want an early start learning about which filmmakers are on the rise, take a closer look at this festival and its selection. They found them.
One of the more buzzed about titles from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year was The Diary of a Teenage Girl, a provocative coming-of-age tale following a young girl exploring her sexuality in the groovy 1970s. After seeing the film, my review called the film "a wonderful portrait of a teenager girl exploring her body, trying to understand love, and just figuring out the world around her." In addition, I found the film to be "sincere, funny, passionate and easily one of the best female-centric coming-of-age dramas." Now some new photos from the film have emerged featuring breakout star Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard, and hopefully we'll see the first trailer arrive soon too. Look below!
"She will destroy you!" Don't mess with Hailee. We've been curious about this new movie from Fanboys director Kyle Newman, called Barely Lethal, and now we have a first look by way of a trailer. Hailee Steinfeld stars as Megan Walsh in a Hit-Girl-esque story about a young trained assassin who tries to return to normal life (and high school) and fit in. She's joined in the cast by Jessica Alba, Samuel L. Jackson, Dan Fogler, Jaime King, Sophie Turner, and Thomas Mann from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I hate to say it, but this looks a bit cliche though I'm not sure if we should blame the trailer editing or what. I'm still curious to see it but not sure how it's different than the Hit-Girl story we got in the Kick-Ass movies.
Drug addiction has been explored countless times on the big screen, but we may have never seen a story so grimy, brutal and intense as what seems to be on display in the red band trailer for Heaven Knows What. Directed by Josh & Benny Safdie, this film looks like a raw glimpse into the true story of a young woman who lived an unbelievable life addicted to drugs on the streets of New York City. The trailer itself is a bit trippy, giving just a taste of what the film might be like to experience as we follow Harley (Arielle Holmes acting out her real-life story) and her harrowing addiction. This one could be really hard to actually watch.
"We don't want people to see how we live!" An Australian poster for this film from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival arrived not too long ago, and now Infinitely Polar Bear, starring Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana, is poised for release in the United States this summer, and a domestic trailer has arrived. This is a charming, albeit schmaltzy, drama about a husband and father struggling with being manic depressive in the late 70s as he tries to keep his family together at all costs. His daughters seem to be more responsible than him, but he does the best with the mind that he has. Ruffalo really puts in a great performance. Watch!
If you're familiar with Nick Kroll, then you're probably used to his wacky characters that he brings to life on "The Kroll Show," which is in the middle of finishing its third and final season on Comedy Central, or his fantasy football antics on "The League." But in the trailer for the indie Adult Beginners, Kroll shows a less goofy and more serious side in the story of an entrepreneur whose life and career is a mess after a massive failure. In an attempt to figure things out, he moves in with his sister (Rose Byrne) and her husband (Bobby Cannavale) and their little boy. Basically, this looks like something the Duplass Brothers would direct, or even a slightly more accessible Joe Swanberg, and that's definitely a compliment. Watch below!
Briefly: "I've decided to write the story down…" Roadside Attractions & Miramax have confirmed a release date for Bill Condon's Mr. Holmes, starring Sir Ian McKellen as an aging Sherlock Holmes. I've been raving about the film ever since I caught the premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, since it really moved me (read my review) and I can't wait for it to hit theaters over here. Roadside will be releasing Mr. Holmes in theaters starting on July 17th this summer, around the same time as Marvel's Ant-Man and Judd Apatow's Trainwreck. Let's hope it doesn't get lost in the mix. It's a gem of a film, about an older Sherlock Holmes struggling with memory loss and aging, who befriends the young son of a caretaker. Watch the first trailer.
Briefly: A random tidbit of release date news to cover today, as this is one of our favorite films of the year and we hope it goes far when it opens in theaters. Fox Searchlight has moved the release date of Sundance Audience Award & Grand Jury winner Me and Earl and the Dying Girl up from July 1st to Friday, June 12th this summer. A few weeks ago, we reported that Me & Earl, starring Thomas Mann & Olivia Cooke, would be opening on July 1st but now it will arrive in select theaters starting almost three weeks earlier (on June 12th). It will still be a platform release, meaning it'll expand to more theaters throughout the summer but some places probably won't play it until July anyway. It's one of the best indie films this year, so it's worth the wait (we both loved it at Sundance). Stay tuned for the trailer and updates from here.
Briefly: One of my favorite films this year (so far) from Sundance has a release date. A24 has set The End of the Tour, directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now), starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as David Lipsky for limited release starting this July. Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood reports that A24 plans to release The End of the Tour starting July 31st, 2015 before "a long slow build over the summer" instead of the more traditional "fall festival award season rollout". I'm confident that Segel will be talked about for awards all year, so if they're behind him too, then let's roll it out. IFC's Boyhood opened in August of last year after Sundance and ended up six Oscar nominations, plus a Best Supporting Actress win, so anything is possible. We'll keep you updated from here.
A few years back, for the release of his new film, director David Lowery of Ain't Them Bodies Saints (great film) hosted a social media giveaway where they would send prizes to anyone who saw four indie films in one weekend. They sent out some truly one-of-a-kind prizes, including signed scripts and props from the films, but above all just wanted to remind people to support indie films. Well, another filmmaker by the name of Riley Stearns is launching a brand new "Indie Film Giveaway" for three new features that were just released: Lawrence Michael Levine's Wild Canaries, Joel Potrykus' Buzzard and Stearns' Faults. Similar to Lowery's fun giveaway, it's as simple as photographing your ticket stubs and emailing them in.
"I was eight the night they were killed and suddenly I was famous" For those unaware, Gillian Flynn is the author behind the book turned into last year's Gone Girl adaptation by David Fincher, which caused quite a stir. This book, Dark Places, was written before Gone Girl and deals with a different story about a woman who survives her family being killed. The adaptation stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Chloë Moretz, Christina Hendricks and more. This was made kind of under-the-radar by French filmmaker Gilles Paquet-Brenner, and while it doesn't necessarily look bad, it does feel a little generic. Watch?
"Do I look old to you?" Local New York-based filmmaker Noah Baumbach has two new films coming out this year, the first being the wacky While We're Young about a couple growing older (see the trailer), and the other being Mistress America, a sort-of-sequel to his 2012 film Frances Ha. In honor of the upcoming release of While We're Young this spring, a nationwide screening series has launched called "Growing Up Baumbach" recapping at least four of his indie gems from the past decade. This includes The Squid and the Whale (still my favorite Baumbach film so far) and Kicking and Screaming, plus a few other films. Read on.