"As soon as the tangerines are sold, I will leave." No, not Georgia the state. This film is from the country Georgia, next to Turkey and Armenia. Samuel Goldwyn has debuted their own trailer for a Georgian film called Tangerines, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar this year (though it lost to Ida, of course). Starring Lembit Ulfsak as Ivo, the film takes place in 1992 during the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists. Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines, but encounters two injured soldiers of opposite sides who he takes in. It also stars Elmo Nüganen, Giorgi Nakashidze and Misha Meskhi. This looks solid and got great buzz (a few reviews), so it might be worth checking out.
Even though Simon Pegg will return to the final frontier for Star Trek 3 next year, for which he's also co-writing the script, this year he's heading back to romantic comedy territory. Man Up is a new romantic comedy slated to hit the United Kingdom this summer which sees Pegg starring opposite Lake Bell (In a World) in the story of two people who mistakenly come together on a blind date that never should have been. It looks like standard romantic comedy fare, but the presence of Bell and Pegg certainly elevates it a bit, and it might be a good one to see. At the very least, it's fun to see Pegg outside of sci-fi and fantasy fare.
Filmmakers are very crafty storytellers. The best ones know how to use the visual medium known as cinema to not only tell a story, but make us feel emotions of all kinds, and empathize with characters and people we have never met before. Filmmakers are also adept enough to link themes and patterns in the story through visual cues. In this video essay from Jacob T. Swinney titled First and Final Frames, he shows us how important the opening and closing shots are in every movie. At first you may think they have no connection, but it'll really hit you when you see the Gone Girl moment and it builds from there. This montage of over 50 films, showing the opening/closing shots side-by-side, also features the music "Any Other Name" by Thomas Newman from the American Beauty soundtrack. It's much more mesmerizing than I was expecting.
Experience a life lived without limits. I LOVE this documentary. No seriously, I really love, love, love it with all my heart (read my perfect review at NYFF last year). Sunshine Superman is a must-see thrillseekers documentary about Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE-jumping movement, the man who started the sport of jumping off of buildings. It's an incredible, heart-wrenching, remarkable story of a man who dared to dream as big as possible, who never let anything scare him, and who truly lived. It's so inspiring because Carl, a goofy lovable character, has such a big heart and really doesn't let anyone get him down, even when they start to claim "this is a crime!" He still has that smile on his face, and he still keeps jumping. Rock on.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular characters from the big screen in 2014 was Rocket Raccoon, the feisty, anthropomorphic creature with big guns and even bigger attitude in Guardians of the Galaxy. Bradley Cooper gave the character his signature voice, but a whole crew of people helped bring the little guy to life, and now a short little featurette from the visual effects company Framestore shows how they made it happen. From shooting on set with a stuffed raccoon or a guy in a blue unitard with Rocket's face on it, to pre-visualization and other visual effects, it's a quick progression of how we got the final product. Watch!
"The Avengers. How could you possibly stop me?" The whole team assembles in a new one-minute TV spot for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Each character gets a nice little one-liner in this new look that is pretty much all new footage, including some awesome action beats with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) turning Captain America's (Chris Evans) shield into an even stronger projectile by hitting it into some of Ultron's robots with Mjolnir. We also get a glimpse at the scene when Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) decides to fight for the good guys, and also Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) shows off a Russian accent. Watch!
"People will always need guys like me, right?" Jason Statham is no longer The Transporter, and instead the franchise is going in a new direction with Ed Skrein as Frank Martin, the most skilled man in his dangerous profession, in The Transporter Refueled. Known to his employers only as "The Transporter," he will transport anything, no questions asked, always on time. Skrein is doing his best gruff, intimidating voice, but it comes off as a weak impersonation of Statham, and it just makes me miss him. All the ridiculous action is here, but without Statham, this just feels like a terrible straight-to-DVD sequel. Watch?
"She was inarguably the most gorgeous creature that God had ever created." After getting a first look at the film yesterday, the trailer for the adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns has arrived. This looks like a nice change of pace from the usual teenage romances, and a nice spin of the coming-of-age, self-discovery kind of stories that dominate the independent film world. Nat Wolff has his life changed when his dream girl (Cara Delvingne) who has lived across the street for years finally enters his life, but disappears from it just as quickly. The question is what happens if he finally finds the girl he's waited for his whole life. Watch!
Since 20th Century Fox just bumped up the release of their horror remake Poltergeist to a late May release, it's time for the onslaught of TV advertising to begin to get people interesting in this retread of a horror classic. Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt star as the heads of the haunted family this time with Jared Harris (The Quiet Ones) being their paranormal guide. Here in the first TV spot, we get some fancy new effects shots, and an ominous voiceover touting that this isn't just another ghost story. And using a little kid to whisper the title at the end is a nice touch. Could this actually be a decent remake? Watch!
"Animals can come down with post-traumatic stress the same as people can." If for some reason you thought American Sniper would be better with a dog than Bradley Cooper, we have some good news. Max is just that, as the film from Remember the Titans director Boaz Yakin follows a dog who has just returned from being a military canine in Afghanistan, but has trouble adjusting to life back in a family's home. It's literally the same kind of war drama we've seen before, but through the eyes of man's best friend. It has some flares of E.T. and Air Bud along with the typical PTSD drama, but it does look pretty cheesy. Watch?
"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.
The first glimpse at this summer's 8-bit invasion in Pixels just debuted, and it's a pretty cool trailer. But aside from the cool visuals and video game characters, there was also another little hint at something else we haven't yet seen in any of the footage. In the film, there will be an arcade game called DojoQuest featuring a heroine named Lady Lisa fighting dragons, ninjas and whatnot. Within the trailer there was a quick frame with a link to the game's website where you can watch the trailer for the game which can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. And it seems Lady Lisa comes to life. Look!
"Some alien life force has sent real-life video games to attack us." You've never seen an alien invasion quite like this. Pixels is coming this summer, a sci-fi action comedy starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage that sees aliens taking the form of classic arcade game characters from Donkey Kong, Centipede, Space Invaders and Pac-Man and wreaking havoc on the world. And that means only a group of gamers from the 80s can stop them. This easily looks like it could be Sandler's best film in a long time. It's even more epic than we thought, but there's definitely some humor here too. Watch below!
We're pretty big fans of LEGO sets around here, and we'll always go out of our way to feature cool movie-related stuff involving the classic building brick toy. There's a LEGO version of WALL-E on the way, and a massive S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier available now, and you can also get one of those LEGO Oscar statues if the project gets pushed through at LEGO Ideas (vote right here). And now a father and daughter who are fans of Jurassic Park have pooled their LEGO resources and gathered up over $100,000 worth of LEGO pieces to re-create an abridged version of the Steven Spielberg's modern classic, and it's pretty damn cool. If nothing else, it's something fun to keep us excited for this summer's release of Jurassic World. Watch it below!