"Can't be unseen." STX has dropped another wild & crazy red band trailer for The Happytime Murders, an R-rated puppet murder mystery neo-noir movie. The first red band trailer was totally insane and filled with lewd and demented footage, this one doesn't have as much footage but still packs a punch (to the gut). Directed by Jim Henson's son Brian Henson, the film is basically like Who Framed Roger Rabbit but with puppets and even more lewd humor. The full cast mixing live-action actors with puppets includes Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Jimmy O. Yang, Leslie David Baker, Ryan Gaul, and Elizabeth Banks. I actually really like that they're embracing the absurdity of this whole wacky concept by including all the tweets in this trailer, even if it does look totally WTF insane. Bring on the raunchy puppets.
"Emergency services. Hello?" Magnolia Pictures has debuted the official US trailer for the highly acclaimed, award-winning Danish drama The Guilty, from director Gustav Möller. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, where it won the Audience Award in the World Dramatic Competition section, then went on to play at the Rotterdam, Seattle, Montclair, Dallas, Sydney, and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals. Set entirely inside of one place - a 911 call center in Denmark - the film is about a police officer demoted to work for a day in the call center receiving calls, who has a life-changing experience when a woman calls to report that she has been kidnapped. Jakob Cedergren stars in one of this year's best performances. I saw this at Sundance and loved it, saying in my review that it's "an exhilarating thriller." I can't recommend it enough.
"Say whatever you gotta say to close the deal, don't you?" RLJ Ent. has released the official trailer for an indie dark comedy action film titled Arizona, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year in the Midnight category. Arizona is directed by filmmaker Jonathan Watson, who has previously worked as an assistant director for Michael Bay, John McTiernan, Frank Darabont, Damien Chazelle, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, and many others. Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler, a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder. Rosemarie DeWitt stars, along with Danny McBride, Luke Wilson, Kaitlin Olson, David Alan Grier, and Elizabeth Gillies. This looks like a wild & crazy good time, it's definitely worth a watch.
"We have to tell the truth about what has happened to us." Netflix has debuted a new trailer for an indie documentary titled City of Joy, which will be available for streaming starting in September. In 2011, the "City of Joy" opened its doors in Eastern Congo with the goal of building a peaceful and transformational community for women survivors of violence. The film follows the first class of students at this remarkable leadership center in a place often referred to as "the worst place in the world to be a woman." These women have been through unspeakable violence spurred on by a 20 year war driven by colonialism and greed. They band together with the three founders of this center: Dr. Denis Mukwege, radical playwright and activist Eve Ensler ("The Vagina Monolgoues") and human rights activist, Christine Schuler-Deschryver, to find a way to create meaning in their lives even when all that was meaningful to them has been stripped away. See below.
"If you're pushing the edge, eventually you find the edge." Yeah, this looks awesome. National Geographic Documentary Films has unveiled the first, full-length official trailer for a documentary titled Free Solo, following rock climber Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever "free solo" climb Yosemite's 3,000 ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history in June of 2017. This documentary captures his climb and the hype surrounding it, giving us an edge-of-the-seat, mind-blowing glimpse at the incredible talent and strength involved in pulling this off. The film is made by the filmmakers behind the acclaimed mountain climbing doc Meru, and features some stunning footage. As a big fan and life-long supporter of extreme sports, I really can't wait to see this.
"This mission requires that we stay cool." GVN Releasing has debuted the official US trailer for a conspiracy thriller titled just Armed, which will finally be available in theaters + on VOD starting this September. The film is written, directed by, and stars Afro-Mexican actor Mario Van Peebles, who plays a US Marshall struggling to put his life together after a raid gone wrong. A colleague reappears in his life and explains all of the survivors of his unit are suffering the same symptoms and there may be a larger conspiracy at hand. Also starring Ryan Guzman, Columbus Short, Jemma Dallender, Laz Alonso, and William Fichtner. From the looks of it, this has way more action than is necessary for this story, plus way too much intensity.
"I can't send you back… Look, these equations - they're still unsolved!" Gravitas Ventures has released an official trailer for a time travel indie romance titled Another Time, from filmmaker Thomas Hennessy. The film seems to be a riff on About Time and The Time Traveler's Wife, but looks nowhere near as good as those two films. The story follows a man who travels back in time for a chance at love, who meets a woman who might be the one, even though she's not the original one he wants. Of course. Justin Hartley (from "This Is Us") stars as Eric, along with Arielle Kebbel, James Kyson, Chrishell Stause, Mark Valley, Jake McLaughlin, Alan Pietruszewski, and Tucker Smallwood. I can't even begin to describe how terrible this looks, everything about it seems so awful and repellent. Thankfully the trailer is free to watch.
"This girl can drive!" Disney has revealed a new 60-second sneak preview (aka TV trailer) for the animated sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. The footage introduces us to the "Slaughter Race", and the character of Shank, the gritty, leather-clad street-racing star voiced by Gal Gadot, of course. John C. Reilly returns as the voice of Ralph, the "bad guy" who is really a good guy, from the first Wreck-It Ralph released in 2012. This time he follows Vanellope, voiced again by Sarah Silverman, into the internet and there they meet the "netizens", getting in all kinds of trouble and, as the title says, they wind up breaking the internet. The full cast features Taraji P. Henson, Kelly Macdonald, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Alan Tudyk, Jane Lynch, Idina Menzel, Jack McBrayer, and Jodi Benson. This trailer also has a fun moment with Princess Merida, the main character from Pixar's Scottish fairytale Brave. Buckle up.
"Oh no… I think I cut myself!" Netflix has released another official trailer for their comedy The Package, which is now available, the latest film 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. This looks so, so bad and I don't even know why Netflix is pushing it with two full trailers, but here we go anyway. Have at it.
"The church would rather ignore a miracle than validate a sham." Music Box Films has released an official US trailer for an indie religious drama title The Apparition, which premiered at a few minor film festivals earlier this year. The latest film from French filmmaker Xavier Giannoli (of When I Was a Singer, In the Beginning, Superstar, Marguerite), the story is about a journalist who is sent by the Vatican to investigate a young girl claiming to be visited by the Virgin Mary. "Jacques gradually uncovers the hidden motivations and pressures at work and sees his beliefs system profoundly shaken." Vincent Lindon stars as Jacques, and the cast includes Galatéa Bellugi, Patrick d'Assumçao, Anatole Taubman, Elina Löwensohn, Claude Lévèque, Gérard Dessalles, Bruno Georis, Alicia Hava, as well as Candice Bouchet. Even though the title makes this seem like a horror, it's much more of a religious thriller with some unique twists.
"If you stay curious, then you can see the world however you want." Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for an indie drama titled The Kindergarten Teacher, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It won the U.S. Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance, and will play at the Toronto Film Festival next month. Described as a "tense psychological thriller", this film is actually a remake of an Israeli film also titled The Kindergarten Teacher. The story follows a teacher who gets obsessed with figuring out how to support and accentuate a gifted young boy who recites poems out of nowhere. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars, with Parker Sevak as the boy, plus Anna Baryshnikov, Rosa Salazar, Michael Chernus, and Gael Garcia Bernal. This is a very compelling, thought-provoking film with some strong performances, and it played to great reviews at Sundance. I really hope it finds an audience and begins many discussions.
"Next summer - the fear goes deeper." Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures has debuted the first teaser trailer for 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter, shamelessly riding on the coattails of this year's shark movie The Meg, in theaters this weekend. This was originally supposed to be titled 48 Meters Down, obviously enough, but they got cold feet and have decided to call it 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter - which is an unbelievably lame title for a sequel. The cast hasn't been revealed yet. The film's director says he "would describe it as The Descent underwater," about "six or seven people trapped in the caves in Brazil, an underwater city." With an angry shark, of course. This looks so awfully cheesy, I don't even care to see more.