"What you see when you look at an archival film, are resurrections taking place…" See the first trailer for a documentary premiering at the 2018 New Zealand Film Festival titled Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen. The film is a profile of the iconic Māori filmmaker and international champion of women in indigenous film, Merata Mita, who passed away suddenly in 2010 at the age of 68. This documentary is made by her son, Heperi Mita, utilizing tons of archival footage and home videos and all kinds of personal stories to tell her story in the best way possible. Mita was the first indigenous woman and the first woman in Aotearoa New Zealand to solely write & direct a dramatic feature film, Mauri in 1988. Thanks to a tip from Taika Waititi, you can watch the first teaser trailer before the film's premiere at the New Zealand Film Fest next month. I love the way this is edited with shots of him working on the old film prints. Looks damn good.
"Are you going to kill me?" "No." The Jokers distribution out of France has debuted the first teaser trailer for an indie film titled Galveston, the latest feature directed by French actress Mélanie Laurent (The Adopted, Breathe). This originally premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, which makes sense considering it's set in/around Texas and it's also Laurent's first American film. Ben Foster stars as Roy, a man on the run after a violent encounter with his boss. He picks up a prostitute named Raquel, played by Elle Fanning, and decides to take her with him as he tries to escape to Galveston, Texas. The cast includes Lili Reinhart, María Valverde, Beau Bridges, Robert Aramayo, and Adepero Oduye. This really looks like a very dark, intense, moody action-thriller more than a drama, with some slick cinematography.
"A faultless romantic epic." Curzon Artificial Eye has revealed an official UK trailer for the award-winning Polish film Cold War (or Zimna Wojna), which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in competition this May. Cold War is the latest from acclaimed Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski (The Woman in the Fifth, Ida) and he also won Best Director in Cannes. The film is about a passionate love story between two people, who are fatefully mismatched. Wiktor, played by Tomasz Kot, falls for Zula, played by Joanna Kulig, and they spend years drifting together and apart. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s. The cast includes Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza, Cèdric Kahn, and Jeanne Balibar. The two leads are stupendous, some of the best performances all year, enhanced by gorgeous B&W shots by Pawlikowski's DP Lukasz Zal. This lovely trailer provides a preview of some of the mesmerizing jazz music from the film.
"Your father owed him money but couldn't pay back." Grasshopper Film has released an official US trailer for an acclaimed crime drama titled Cocote, set in the Dominican Republic and made by a talented up-and-coming Dominican filmmaker named Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias. The film first premiered at the Locarno and Toronto Film Festivals last year, and played at a few other festivals before its upcoming release in limited US theaters later this July. Cocote is about an Evangelical Christian man who attends the funeral services for his father in his small hometown, where he has to participate in religious rites that clash with his beliefs and he finds himself pressured to take revenge on the murderer. Cocote stars Vicente Santos, Judth Rodríguez, and Yuberbi de la Rosa. This looks like a very authentic, riveting film about a man struggling to come to grips with his own reality after the death of his father. This one is for real cinephiles.
"Now matter what happens we're going to make it! Okay?" Netflix has launched one final trailer for an intense end of the world movie titled How It Ends, the latest from filmmaker David M. Rosenthal (Janie Jones, A Single Shot, The Perfect Guy). How It Ends is a post-apocalyptic survival thriller, where they're not sure what exactly is happening and/or what exactly the apocalypse is. The plot involves a desperate father trying to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious event turns everything to chaos. Theo James stars, along with Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham, Kerry Bishé, Mark O'Brien, Nicole Ari Parker, and Grace Dove. This is available on Netflix today, so they're giving it one big push in hopes some of you want to watch this. Or maybe no one wants to escape to an apocalyptic story when it's already so bad. Enjoy.
"Little Italy is not big enough for me and you!" Lionsgate has debuted the first official trailer for a cheesy romantic comedy titled Little Italy, the latest from veteran filmmaker Donald Petrie (Grumpy Old Men, Ri¢hie Ri¢h, Miss Congeniality, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Just My Luck). This film has such a cheesy concept, the kind that makes you roll your eyes it's just so awful. Here's what Little Italy (yeah, even the title is so bad) is about: a young couple must navigate a blossoming romance, amidst a war between their families' competing pizza restaurants. Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen star, along with Alyssa Milano, Danny Aiello, and Andrea Martin. This definitely looks as terrible as it sounds, complete with cliche rain scenes, a cook off (of course), scooter riding, and more ridiculousness. Avoid this film at all costs.
"The most evil film Blumhouse has ever made." Now that's a killer quote. Universal has debuted a second & final trailer for horror sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, produced by Blumhouse, the follow-up to the screen horror movie Unfriended from 2014. The film unfolds in real-time on computer screens, following a guy and his friends who discover something on his new computer. He "discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back." The cast includes Betty Gabriel, Andrew Lees, Colin Woodell, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Connor Del Rio, Chelsea Alden, Savira Windyani, and Stephanie Nogueras. This whole concept still seems way too gimmicky for horror, can't say I'm into this at all. But it might play well with horror fans waiting for something terrifying this summer. Watch out.
"Oh, you do not want to be friends with me. Trust me." After two impressive teaser trailers earlier this year, Lionsgate has finally debuted the full-length official trailer for the mystery film A Simple Favor, the latest from acclaimed director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, Ghostbusters). This is looking better and better the more we see, I'm so very curious. Anna Kendrick plays a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend's sudden disappearance from their small town. Blake Lively co-stars as Emily, and this also features Linda Cardellini, Henry Golding, Rupert Friend, Eric Johnson, Jean Smart, Sarah Baker, and Andrew Rannells. I love the title card saying "From the Dark Side of Director Paul Feig" - a perfect way to describe his switch from comedy to this. I'm so ready for it, bring on the truth.
"Am I crazy, or is your brother indestructible?" Netflix has launched the first official trailer for an animated adventure comedy titled Duck Duck Goose, which is a play on the name of the children's chase game also known as "Duck Duck Goose". The story is about a pompous bachelor goose who is forced to accompany two little lost ducklings as they journey south for the winter. Jim Gaffigan stars as the voice of Peng, joined by Zendaya, Lance Lim, Greg Proops, Reggie Watts, Natasha Leggero, Diedrich Bader, Stephen Fry, Craig Ferguson, Jennifer Grey, Rick Overton, and Carl Reiner. This looks cute and slightly amusing, but definitely for kids. Plus we all know how the story will play out and all the lessons he'll learn.
"How can you clear something that's been shown to be dangerous?" Netflix has debuted the trailer for a documentary titled The Bleeding Edge, the latest eye-opening film made by Academy Award-winning doc filmmakers Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering (The Invisible War, The Hunting Ground). The film shines a light on the unforeseen, dangerous consequences of advanced technological devices used in the medical field. It's a damning exposé on the "unregulated, multi-billion dollar medical device industry" and how their profit-driven incentives put patients at risk daily. This is a compliment to another documentary this year, Mike Eisenberg's To Err Is Human, also about medical errors and deaths caused my misdiagnosis. Both of these docs look like shocking, important, urgent films for our time that should make us think differently about the medical world. They may be scary to watch, but they're both honest presentations of how we can be better.
"For 53 years, Christmas has brought me nothing but misery. I know just what to do…!" Watch out for that Grinch! Universal & Illumination have debuted another fun new international trailer for Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, their new animated take on the classic Christmas story about the lovable green grump the Grinch. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch. The rest of the voice cast still hasn't been revealed yet. "The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous holiday spirit." The exact same classic Dr. Seuss story as we've seen told many times before. They're still selling this with all the extra goofy footage and cheesy Illumination humor, but hopefully it's much more entertaining beyond all that. The only thing about this movie that excites me is Cumberbatch voicing the Grinch, that's all. But maybe I'm just being a Grinch… What about everyone else?
"I was just supposed to be camping!" Netflix has debuted an official trailer for an indie comedy titled The Package, the latest from Funny or Die filmmaker Jake Szymanski (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates). The wacky, stupid comedy is about a group of teenage friends who go on a spring break camping trip, but an accident causes them to change their plans in hopes of saving their friend. Yeah, it's dumb and made for teenagers to get drunk and laugh at. The full cast for this includes Daniel Doheny, Geraldine Viswanathan, Sadie Calvano, Luke Spencer Roberts, Eduardo Franco, Michael Eklund, Gary Jones, Alexander Calvert, Sugar Lyn Beard, and Blake Anderson. These kind of dumb comedies are not for me, way too goofy and stupid and just not funny. But if you're into this kind of humor, then have fun.