INDIE FILMS

Full Trailer for Tribal Battle Action Film 'The Veil' Starring William Levy

The Veil Movie Trailer

"When I was young, I fought to survive. But with time, everything changed…" Vertical Entertainment has debuted a trailer for an action film titled The Veil, set in a "war-torn land where tribal factions live in fear of annihilation." Cuban actor William Levy stars as a deadly warrior who is betrayed and left for dead by his own tribe. He is healed by a mysterious princess and taken in by a secret tribe, only to go back and wage war against his own people. This seems like one of those cliche "tribal battle" movies that doesn't have much to offer. The cast includes Serinda Swan, William Moseley, Nick Tarabay, Adam Gregory, and Billy Blair. I don't feel like anyone actually watches these kind of action movies anymore, but what do I know?

 Posted 13 hours ago in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Teaser Trailer for Todd Haynes' Wonderful Film 'Wonderstruck'

Wonderstruck Teaser Trailer

Meet Rose and Ben. Amazon Studios + Roadside Attractions have debuted the first teaser trailer for the new film from Todd Haynes, titled Wonderstruck, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. The film tells two different stories set 50 years apart, following two kids who venture into New York City. One of them is a deaf girl who escapes home and tries to find her mom. The other is a young deaf boy who escapes home in search of a room at the Natural History Museum. Millicent Simmonds stars as Rose, and Oakes Fegley (from Pete's Dragon) stars as Ben. The full cast includes Julianne Moore, Cory Michael Smith, James Urbaniak, Damian Young, and Lauren Ridloff. It's an inspiring film. I wrote in my Cannes review it's "as much about the magic of New York City as it is about the magic of connection".

 Posted July 20 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First US Trailer for Egyptian Crime Thriller 'The Nile Hilton Incident'

The Nile Hilton Incident Trailer

"Sir, I saw what happened at the Hilton." Strand Releasing has debuted the first official trailer for Tarik Saleh's The Nile Hilton Incident, an intense political thriller set against the back drop of the Egyptian Revolution. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and the film won the top Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic competition during the festival. The story is about a police office investigating the murder of a woman at the Hilton hotel, who discovers there's much more going on than it seems. The cast features Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Yasser Ali Maher, Slimane Dazi, Ahmed Selim, Mohamed Yousry, and Hania Amar. This seems like it has the vibe of an old school noir mystery, but with modern sensibilities and context. The film looks like it's definitely worth catching in theaters this year.

 Posted July 20 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Full-Length Trailer for 'Brigsby Bear' Shows the Power of Imagination

Brigsby Bear Trailer

"Try to imagine a hero…" Sony Classics has debuted the second trailer for indie film Brigsby Bear, one of the breakout hits of the Sundance Film Festival this year. This full-length trailer gives away most of the film (so watch out), but it's still a great trailer. Brigsby Bear stars Kyle Mooney (from SNL) as a kid who has grown up in an underground bunker, watching one and only one TV show over-and-over - called Brigsby Bear. One day everything stops, and he has to deal with the real world. The full cast includes Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear, Claire Danes, Ryan Simpkins, Andy Samberg, Michaela Watkins, Jane Adams, and Chance Crimin. The film played at Sundance and Cannes (read my review) and it's an excellent film, most of all because it's a lover letter to the power of storytelling. I hope people take a moment to go see this.

 Posted July 19 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Second Trailer for Taylor Sheridan's 'Wind River' with Jeremy Renner

Wind River Trailer

"This isn't the land of backup, Jane, this is the land of 'you're on your own.'" The Weinstein Company has debuted a second trailer for the indie thriller Wind River, the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (of Sicario and Hell or High Water previously). This film is a "snow-noir" thriller about a murder mystery set in the snowy mountains of Wyoming, mostly around an Indian Reservation where the locals clash with the government authorities. Jeremy Renner stars, with Elizabeth Olsen as a FBI agent sent to investigate. The cast includes Jon Bernthal, Martin Sensmeier, Julia Jones, Kelsey Asbille, Graham Greene, and Gil Birmingham. This excellent film has been playing at film festivals all over the world, from Sundance to Cannes to Sydney to Seattle (here's my review). I saw it for a second time at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and it's still as good as it was the first time around. Add this to your watch list.

 Posted July 17 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Keith Stanfield in Trailer for Wrongful Conviction Film 'Crown Heights'

Crown Heights Trailer

"The whole neighborhood know you grabbed the wrong guy…" Amazon + IFC have debuted the official trailer for the indie drama Crown Heights, telling the story of a horrific wrongful conviction in New York in the 1980s. The immensely talented Lakeith Stanfield plays Colin Warner, a boy from Brooklyn who is taken into custody after a teenager is shot in the street. The police pressure a kid to testify as a witness and before he can do anything, Colin is thrown in prison with a life sentence. His friend dedicates his life to learning how to become an attorney in order to one day, eventually, free him. And it took over two decades. The film received a huge standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival, where it went on to win the main Audience Award. Featuring Nnamdi Asomugha, Nestor Carbonell, Natalie Paul, Bill Camp, Amari Cheatom. I highly recommend seeing this film, even if it makes you upset, it's worth it for this true story.

 Posted July 17 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Natalie Portman & Lily-Rose Depp in New US Trailer for 'Planetarium'

Planetarium Trailer

"Things are so different since you came into my life." Vision Films has unveiled a new official US trailer for the release of the French film Planetarium, which premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals last fall. Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp star as sisters in Paris in the 1930s who have the mysterious supernatural ability to connect with ghosts. The two of them start to put on performances in the city and make films, but end up in some other trouble. The full cast includes Emmanuel Salinger, Amira Casar, Pierre Salvadori, and Louis Garrel. I'm not so sure about this, as I never heard anyone raving about it, there doesn't seem to be much good buzz. It looks intriguing, but also kind of all over the place. Take a look.

 Posted July 17 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Full Trailer for 'The Incredible Jessica James' Starring Jessica Williams

The Incredible Jessica James

"Jessica - I really like you." "Of course you do! Everybody does. I'm friggin dope!" Netflix has debuted the full-length trailer for The Incredible Jessica James, the latest film from talented indie filmmaker Jim Strouse (of Grace Is Gone, The Winning Season, People Places Things - all three are great films). This upbeat indie comedy stars Jessica Williams from "The Daily Show" in a major breakout role as Jessica James, an aspiring playwright living in New York City struggling with the dating scene and the career scene. She meets a goofball guy that she slowly starts to fall for, played by Chris O'Dowd. Also starring Lakeith Stanfield, Noël Wells, Megan Ketch, and Zabryna Guevara. I saw this film at its Sundance premiere and it's wonderful, not only a fantastic performance from Jessica Williams, but an optimistic, light-hearted, enjoyable film to put you in a good mood. Just see it. Swipe Right To Meet…. The Incredible Jessica James!

 Posted July 14 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Official Trailer for Brooklyn-Based Indie Action Movie 'Bushwick'

Bushwick Trailer

"Some people know better than to stick around in a war zone?!" RLJ has unveiled an official trailer for the action film Bushwick, a very low budget project that first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the Midnight category this year. This has a cool concept - it plays out as one single shot following a woman, Brittany Snow, who emerges from the subway in Brooklyn, NYC to discover the city is being invaded by the military. The backstory is that Texas is seceding from the US, and NYC is under attack. She runs around trying to get home and befriends Dave Bautista. The cast includes Christian Navarro, Arturo Castro, Jeremie Harris, and Jeff Lima. As cool as this may seem, it's actually a terrible film. I saw it at Sundance and hated it, does not live up to expectations at all. I suggest skipping this, it's really not worth your time.

 Posted July 14 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

New Trailer for That Controversial Bruce Lee Film 'Birth of the Dragon'

Birth of the Dragon Trailer

"Sooner or later, gunna have to fight him." BH Tilt has just unveiled a brand new trailer for Birth of the Dragon, a fictional feature based on the true story of the legendary Bruce Lee. This film is controversial because it's not an accurate depiction of the events or history of Bruce Lee, and had a white main character but this new edit is apparently much better. Starring Philip Ng as a cocky, young Bruce Lee living in San Francisco training and teaching his kung fu skills. He is confronted by a legendary Shaolin monk named Wong Jack Man, played by Yu Xia, who is upset that he is sullying the art and spirituality of kung fu. The main white guy is played by Billy Magnussen, with a cast including Jin Xing, Jingjing Qu, and Simon Yin. The publicist is keen to point out that this is a brand new cut of the film, not the version seen at TIFF.

 Posted July 13 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Trailer for Indie Crime Comedy '68 Kill' with AnnaLynne McCord

68 Kill Trailer

"Deranged human beings doing awful things." IFC Midnight has revealed a trailer for a film titled 68 Kill, a crime comedy from actor/director Trent Haaga. The quotes in this trailer seem to describe it better than anything else: "a white-trash, punk-rock, blood-soaked romp" and "brilliantly, utterly insane." The film stars Matthew Gray Gubler as Chip, and AnnaLynne McCord as his girlfriend, who comes up with a plan to rip off her rich sugar daddy. Of course, everything falls apart and Chip tries to straighten things out but ends up on a wild ride. The cast includes Alisha Boe, Sheila Vand, Sam Eidson, Michael Beasley, James Moses Black, David Maldonado, Ajay Mehta, Hallie Grace Bradley, and Lucy Faust. This definitely looks insane, like something to watch late on a weekend after you've had a few beers with friends.

 Posted July 13 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Recap of My Experience at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in Czechia

Karlovy Vary Film Festival

There are film festivals that take place in big cities, with screenings at huge performance venues, and lines that go down the block. Then there's festivals that take place in tiny towns, where dedicated cinephiles go to discover amazing films big and small. The Karlovy Vary Film Festival is one of these outstanding little festivals that takes place in a small spa town in the Czech Republic Czechia. This was my first year attending Karlovy Vary, which I had heard great things about from many colleagues for years, and it lives up to the hype. It's an excellent festival in a beautiful town nestled in the hills, and they show tons of stellar films. Coincidentally, I'd already seen many of their big centerpieces (A Ghost Story, Wind River, The Big Sick, Columbus) at other festivals but was still happy to stop by for a week of catching up with other great films.

 Posted July 12 in Indies, Karlovy Vary, Review | Comments

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