"What part of your past as you trying to escape, Halliday?" Warner Bros has released one final trailer for Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernie Cline's book Ready Player One, hitting theaters at the end of this month. This nostalgia-packed, sci-fi action epic just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival over the weekend, and tickets are available to buy now if you want to get them early. If you're planning to see this, you should know what to expect, a super-nerdy movie filled with references and throwbacks, which is the entire point of it. Young actor Tye Sheridan stars as Wade Watts, known in the Oasis gaming world as "Parzival". The full cast includes Mark Rylance as Oasis creator, James Halliday, as well as T.J. Miller, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Letitia Wright, and Kae Alexander. I'm honestly still very excited to see this movie, and I plan to be there opening night to catch it on the big screen. What about you?
Saddle up, boys! Time to round up the bad guys. Watch this amusing 4-minute animated short film titled Cowboyland, made by filmmaker David Stumpf as his Bachelor Film at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. This animated short played at the Annecy Festival and Animation Festival Hiroshima in 2016, as well as a few other fests, and it's finally available to watch online for free. The film is described by Stumpf as an "anti-dressage" story about a drunken cowboy sheriff, who is "unable to realize the steed he's trying to ride is actually a child's wooden horse." He animated this short by hand, with pencil and paper, and it took 6 months to complete: 4 months animating, 1 month coloring and scanning, and 1 month of post-production.
"Part of me wants to know what's going on. Part of me doesn't…" Netflix has released the first trailer for an indie dark comedy titled Sun Dogs, the feature directorial debut of actress Jennifer Morrison. The film premiered at a few smaller film festivals last year, and it will be available on Netflix this April. Sun Dogs is about a young, emotionally unbalanced man from a small town, played by Michael Angarano, who wants to become a soldier to "save lives", fueled by the belief that Al-Qaeda terrorists might be operating in his neighborhood. Melissa Benoist co-stars as his friend Tally, and the full cast includes Allison Janney, Ed O'Neill, Xzibit, Jennifer Morrison, Eric Christian Olsen, J.R. Ramirez, and Niko Nicotera. This looks funky and weird and somewhat amusing, might be an original American indie comedy worth a watch.
"I can create a parallel reality for you, with other Laura's and other Sandro's." This looks like a very fun sci-fi indie. Below is the official trailer for a time travel sci-fi, romantic comedy film titled Melocotones, which translates to Peaches in Spanish, made/set in the Dominican Republic. The film also used the title Mr. Emmett & The Canned Peaches during production, though Peaches is much simpler. This sci-fi features some lo-fi tech and filmmaking tricks to make it feel more unique, including an appearance by an old 5¼-inch floppy drive. Peaches is about a guy named Diego who uses a time travel machine to try and save his relationship with his girlfriend Laura, but things get even worse when her ex shows up. The cast includes Peter Vives as Diego, Joaquín Ferreira as Sandro, María Guinea as Laura, with Frank Perozo and Ramón Langa. This really looks very cool, something about it just seems like the perfect amount of quirky.
"I admired Spots… I would love to have a dog like Spots." Fox Searchlight has released a fun new promo featurette for Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated movie Isle of Dogs, which hits theaters at the end of this month. Every movie records interviews with the cast while on set, to use for promotional purposes later. For this movie, they recorded these interviews with the cast, and then animated their interviews as the dogs they're playing. It's adorable. Anderson explains to Vulture: that after recording spontaneously, "we spent the next several months figuring out how to make those into the cast interviews." Isle of Dogs features the voice of Edward Norton as Rex, along with a huge ensemble: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban. I really, really love this film, mostly because it's all about why dogs are the best. Enjoy.
"I'm not going anywhere without you - come sail with me." STX Entertainment has debuted the first trailer for survival drama Adrift, based on the true story of a sailing couple who barely survive riding through a Category 5 hurricane. Shailene Woodley & Sam Claflin star as Tami Oldham & Richard Sharp, two free-spirits who fall in love and embark on a sailboat journey. The cast includes Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne, and Grace Palmer. The film tells of "a young couple's chance encounter" which "leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime." With a damaged boat and Richard injured, Tami works to keep them both alive as they wait to be rescued, adrift in the Pacific Ocean. This looks like yet another survival-on-the-ocean story, but with a strong core of love keeping it afloat. Hope is on the horizon.
"There's no greater story than life… itself." Amazon Studios has revealed a teaser trailer for a generational romantic drama titled Life Itself, written and directed by Dan Fogelman, creator of the NBC series "This Is Us". Not to be confused with Roger Ebert's documentary Life Itself, this feature film stars Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde as a couple, and spans several decades of time examining passionate relationships and other interactions connected by a single "random moment." It's a "multi-generational and multi-layered portrait" of two families from America and Spain. The impressive cast includes Olivia Cooke, Mandy Patinkin, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Laia Costa, and Antonio Banderas. From the little bit we get to see in this teaser, this looks like it's going to be wonderful and very emotional to watch. Get a look below.
"Sometimes you gotta do a little bad for the greater good." Gravitas has debuted an official trailer for a new neo-noir demon hunter movie titled Corbin Nash, made by director Ben Jagger, starring his brother Dean S. Jagger as Corbin Nash. He plays a rogue police detective in search of his parents' killer who's murdered and reborn the ultimate hunter. The full cast includes Corey Feldman, Malcolm McDowell, Rutger Hauer, Bruce Davison, Richard Wagner, Fernanda Romero, Elizabeth Greer, Patrick Brennan, Chris Pardal, and Thomas Q. Jones. There's all kinds of vampires and drag queens and other "demons" in this, though it looks odd. At least the score is cool. Give it a look if you're curious, but don't expect much.
"Okay, so growing up can be a little scary… and weird." A24 has revealed the first official trailer for Bo Burnham's first film Eighth Grade, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to quite a few rave reviews. The film stars young actress Elsie Fisher as an eighth grader teen dealing with issues of personality and identity as she finishes her last week in middle school. It's a fascinating portrait of modern youth and how mentally exhausting it is to go to public school. The cast includes Josh Hamilton as her dad, plus Emily Robinson, Missy Yager, Greg Crowe, Daniel Zolghadri, Jake Ryan, Imani Lewis, and Deborah Unger. This a really wonderful trailer for an excellent gem of a film, don't miss this.
"We need to learn to listen. Differences always scare us." Focus Features has debuted the triumphant first trailer for Wim Wenders' latest documentary, titled Pope Francis - A Man of His Word, a look at the uniqueness of this current Pope - Pope Francis, originally from Argentina. The doc film is intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him. Instead, it focuses more on his ideas and messages he has spoken about, and his answers to today's global questions. This new Pope is crazy progressive and very intelligent, and has been saying some important things about greed and money and compassion and how we can make things better. It's actually impressive, and this doc might be one of the best stories about this holy man. It seems like a fairly straight-forward doc, still worth watching.
"You don't see the resemblance?" An official trailer has debuted for a dark fantasy sci-fi thriller titled Ayla, from an American director known only as "Elias". The story is about a man haunted by the mysterious death of his 4-year-old sister, who decides to bring her back to life 30 years later as an adult woman - "obsession becomes flesh". Obviously things turn out a bit weird, and only get weirder, and this trailer definitely hints at that. The cast of Ayla includes Tristan Risk as the titular Ayla, along with Nicholas Wilder, Dee Wallace, Sarah Schoofs, D'Angelo Midili, Bill Oberst Jr., and Andrew Sensenig. The footage in this trailer reminds me of Splice, in a way, which seems to be appropriate comparison. I'm not sure what to make of this, seems like it could be good, but it could also be awful and way too experimental. Check it out.
"Things happen like this only in girls' lives, so…" A very lovely official trailer has debuted for an emotional documentary titled A Suitable Girl, which won the Albert Maysles Best New Documentary Director Award at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival last year. The film is premiering on VOD later this month, and it looks like a very important look at the traditions in India clashing with contemporary society and desires for freedom. A Suitable Girl follows three young women in India struggling to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married. The film examines these three women's complex relationship with marriage, family, and society. This looks like a tremendous documentary that examines a controversial cultural aspect of India that is not often discussed in this way. Looking forward to catching this doc myself.