Awards season is over and 12 Years a Slave and Gravity went home with the biggest accolades from the 86th Academy Awards (check out the full list of winners right here). But if you didn't catch the live broadcast of the ceremony hosted by Ellen DeGeneres last night, we've got some of the highlights that you should take the time to watch, including acceptance speeches from winners like Lupita Nyong'o winning Best Supporting Actress in the aforementioned Steve McQueen directed drama, and a great speech from Matthew McConaughey who won Best Actor and again delivered the signature phrase we all love. Watch!
"That's what's so special about stories - they're not predictable." During the Oscars show on ABC, Google aired a commercial they call "We're All Storytellers", a wonderful 60-second spot build mainly around a part of the speech Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton (who won Oscars for Wall-E and Finding Nemo) gave in a TED Talk in 2012. I will fully admit that the TV spot made me tear up, just because it's so beautifully put together, and I don't care that it's a bit cheesy or a bit prophetic, I love it, and I admire what it's saying. Google knows how to make stellar ads built around stories, and here they show they know the dynamics of great storytelling. A perfect ad for the Oscars, and worth a highlight of its own. See the full Google ad below.
"If you don't bring this man back, I'll find ya and put you in the ground." Today's indie trailer is for a Civil War dramatic thriller titled The Retrieval, which won a Breakthrough Performance Award at SXSW 2013. Ashton Sanders plays a boy assigned by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted freedman, played by Tishuan Scott, and bring him back to the South. The two begin to form a bond and things get complicated. The cast includes Keston John, Bill Oberst Jr and Christine Horn. I'm not sure how we just found this film now, but it looks fantastic - stunning cinematography, powerful story, heart-wrenching performances. Wow.
"What is so unique about him?" Magnolia has debuted a full theatrical trailer for Richard Ayoade's latest, the sci-fi Dostoyevsky mind-bender The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg - twice! Eisenberg plays both James and Simon, the latter of which goes crazy when his exact copy/doppelganger suddenly shows up. We've seen plenty of trailers for this indie already, but another one won't hurt, especially when it's a trailer as magical as this one. The cast includes Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor and appearances by Craig Roberts & Yasmin Paige of Ayoade's Submarine. This was one of my favorites out of TIFF last year and can't recommend it enough. "So, that's it?" "That's it."
Just last week, we highlighted a new edit of Close Encounters of the Third Kind that Topher Grace screened for a small audience, including Peter Sciretta at SlashFilm. However, the first time Grace chose to re-edit a well-known piece of sci-fi pop culture, our own Alex Billington was in attendance. That event had Grace showing off an edit of the Star Wars prequels that he touted as Star Wars: The Editor Strikes Back. After the response to his Close Encounters remix last week, the actor has released the trailer he sent as an invite to his Star Wars screening. It's a very cool tease for the much shorter Darth Vader origin story.
"Up until about an hour ago I didn't know this house existed...!" Our friends at ShockTillYouDrop have debuted a trailer for a new indie horror film called Dark House, starring Tobin Bell who you might know as Jigsaw from the Saw series. However, the main focus is on a kid named Nick Di Santo, played by Luke Kleintank, who is haunted by the ability to touch someone and see exactly how they will die. The film is directed by Victor Salva, of Jeepers Creepers 1 & 2, Rites of Passage, Clownhouse, that one film Powder. I'm not sure this lives up to his past work, but it doesn't look too bad. The trailer may seem tame at first, but the action ramps up in the second half with lots of axe violence. In select theaters March for horror lovers.
For whatever reason, everybody loves Kevin Bacon. After all, he can be linked to anybody by way of The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and he's just an all around good guy. Lately, Bacon has been busy on the small screen on the Fox serial killer drama series "The Following," but across the pond, he's been appearing on TV in another capacity. As many actors do, Bacon has partaken in an international advertisement, but this one is awesome because it has him reprising his roles from films like Apollo 13, A Few Good Men, Hollow Man, Animal House and even Friday the 13th. Why can't all advertisements be this clever and great?
"You've been searching for one thing your whole life... and she's down there." I cannot wait for this. But maybe that's just me. Another trailer for the Wachowskis' new sci-fi movie, Jupiter Ascending, has just debuted. This Japanese version of the original trailer doesn't feature too many changes aside from being a shorter, more condensed version of that first trailer with more of a focus on Mila Kunis, including maybe one or two new shots of her barely spliced in. I think this looks absolutely crazy and wacky, in all the best ways possible, with sci-fi extravagance galore and such a unique visual splendor to it all. Yes, Channing Tatum looks a bit odd, but I don't think that will matter in the end. Fire it up if you want to see this version.
"We saw some beautiful things here... some things we'll never forget." Let's kick off the Oscar weekend with something a bit fun. Annapurna Pictures, started by youngster Megan Ellison, has been producing some of the best films of the past two years. Looking back they've released an Annapurna: Year Two video called the 2014 "Hustle" Reel, looking back at Spike Jonze's Her and David O. Russell's American Hustle. I love Her and was a fan of Hustle. This also includes clips for Spring Breakers and The Grandmaster, two more Annapurna films which were released in 2013. The video (with the music "Firewater" by Django Django) was edited by our old friend Kees van Dijkhuizen, behind many retrospectives of years past. Enjoy!
Anyone who saw Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues in theaters last year, or plans on seeing the R-rated alternate cut in theaters for one week starting this weekend, already saw Kanye West on the big screen looking like Michael Jackson decked out in red leather. But now we'll get a chance to see the boisterous rapper in his element as a teaser trailer just popped up on the Grammy winner's official website with the appropriately loud announcement, "YEEZUS FILM DIRECTED BY HYPE WILLIAMS COMING TO THEATERS." It's not hard to imagine West yelling that out, and the teaser is a pretty trippy video. Watch!
We've seen plenty of cool sweded versions of trailers for big budget blockbusters like Iron Man 3, Pacific Rim and The Avengers, but now CineFix has decided to swede a scene from a beloved 90s film. Hook is a staple in the childhood of many kids born in the late 80s and early 90s, and you'll often find that a group of twentysomethings will have no problem yelling "Rufio!" when prompted. And now Rufio is back, literally, because this sweded version of the big fight scene in the third act of Hook features Dante Basco reprising his role, and it looks like he had fun. Someone should help them do the whole movie like this. Watch below!
"Everyone knows the sequel's never quite as good." Following the new UK trailer for the Disney sequel Muppets Most Wanted, we've got a clever new music video featuring Kermit the Frog and the whole gang spelling it out for everyone. In what looks like it could just as easily be the opening music number of the sequel, The Muppets sing the catchy song "We're Doing a Sequel," which is something that pretty much every studio in Hollywood could be singing after every summer blockbuster. It's a glimpse into the clever new songs director James Bobin and songwriter Bret McKenzie are cooking up for this fun follow-up.
"I'm not telling you it's gonna be okay. Because it's not." The most recent red band trailer for Sabotage showed off plenty of blood and action in the latest action thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and now a new trailer from the UK dives a little more into the plot. This time we get the hint that someone on Schwarzenegger's skilled DEA team might be responsible for some of them being hunted down and killed after a pivotal drug cartel bust. Could Joe Manganiello, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard or Mireille Enos be the bad guy here? We'll find out when the film hits theaters early this spring. Watch it!
Last year, Calvin & Hobbes and the comic strip's creator Bill Watterson got their own documentary called Dear Mr. Watterson. Now a new documentary called Stripped goes a little more broad by focusing on Jim Davis, Cathy Guisewite, Mort Walker, Mike & Jerry, Matt Inman and Jeff Keane, the names behind comic strips like Garfield, Cathy, Beetle Bailey, Penny Arcade, The Oatmeal and Family Circus respectively. And there's plenty more cartoonists interviewed in this documentary looking into the art of comic strips. We love how it spans from the oldest newspaper strips to today's online comics. In addition, the poster below is the first comic strip illustration Watterson has made in 18 years. Check it out!