LFF Review: Brett Morgen's 'Jane' Documentary is Sublime & Inspiring

Jane Documentary Review

Oh my do I love this documentary. It's as close to perfection as any film can get, and it will fill you with hope and happiness. Jane is a documentary made by filmmaker Brett Morgen (of The Kid Stays in the Picture, Chicago 10, Cobain: Montage of Heck) that's about the groundbreaking work of animal lover and activist Jane Goodall. As we all know, Goodall went out in the jungles of Africa in the 1960s and 1970s and lived with chimpanzees, studying them and observing how closely related to humans they really are. They shot tons of footage of her, but most of it was lost for years, until it was found recently. Morgen and his crew went through thousands of hours of this old footage and created this wonderful film about Goodall, about her work, about chimpanzees, and about her relationship with photographer Hugo van Lawick. It is sublime.

 Posted October 12 in Documentaries, Review | Comments

Sitges Review: Zombie Christmas Musical 'Anna and the Apocalypse'

Anna and the Apocalypse Review

Brains roasting on an open fire; zombies nipping at your nose; yuletide carols being sung by the undead. Anna and the Apocalypse is a horror comedy film from Scotland that is, as far as I know, the first ever zombie Christmas musical. Yes, indeed, you heard that right – a musical set at Christmas about a zombie apocalypse – and it's awesome. Well, it's not perfect, but it is damn good and the whole thing is just so much crazy fun, that I can't help but say I enjoyed this film from start to finish. It takes a little while to get going at the start, but once we get into it, Anna and the Apocalypse becomes an instant blood-splattered smash hit. It's worthy of being called Shaun of the Dead meets La La Land, with wonderful songs and kills galore.

 Posted October 12 in Horror, Review | Comments

Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena in 'Blockers' Red Band Trailer

Blockers Red Band Trailer

"Our girls are not thinking things through!" Universal Pictures has released a new red band trailer for the new comedy titled Blockers, formerly known as The Pact, the feature directorial debut of writer/producer Kay Cannon. The plot is awful - three parents discover their children are planning to lose their virginity on prom night, and set off to go stop them. If you don't get it, the title is a reference to "cockblocking" and they even hint at that directly in the title card at the end of this trailer. Starring Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Indira Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlan. I'm just going to say it - this looks so terrible, like really, really bad. It does not look funny at all. Stay away, stay far far away.

 Posted October 12 in Comedy, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailers for 30th Anniversary Re-Release of 'The Princess Bride'

The Princess Bride Trailer

"The story of a man and a woman who lived happily ever after. Even though the courtship almost killed them." Two new trailers have debuted for the upcoming 30th anniversary special re-release of the romantic fairytale comedy classic The Princess Bride, directed by Rob Reiner. This open in limited release back in 1987 and didn't make that much at the box office, but it has gone to become a cult classic that fans still rave about nowadays. The story centers on Buttercup, played by Robin Wright, a former farm girl who has been chosen as the princess bride to Prince Humperdinck of Florian. But she does not love him, and still laments the death of her one true love, Westley, played by Cary Elwes. The ensemble cast includes Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, and Billy Crystal. If you've never seen this in theaters, now is your chance this month. Enjoy.

 Posted October 12 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Second Trailer for 'All I See Is You' Starring Blake Lively & Jason Clarke

All I See Is You Trailer

"Now, try to keep your eyes open…" Open Road Films has debuted a second trailer for All I See Is You, the latest from director Marc Forster (of Stranger Than Fiction, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace, World War Z). This was on the schedule all year, but we barely got the first trailer a few weeks ago. Blake Lively stars as a woman who was blinded in a near-fatal car accident when she was young. She now lives in Thailand, happily married to her husband, played by Jason Clarke. When she receives implants and can see again, their lives and relationship are upended by the truths that come to light. Also starring Yvonne Strahovski, Danny Huston, Ahna O'Reilly, and Wes Chatham. Still don't know what's going on here.

 Posted October 12 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailer for Writer Doc 'Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold'

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live." Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary titled Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, profiling the life and work of literary icon Joan Didion, who is currently still alive at 82 years old. Directed by actor Griffin Dunne, who is Didion's nephew, the film dives deep into the 50-year career of this acclaimed and beloved writer, exploring her style and desires. She was most prominent in the 1960s and 70s counterculture movement, publishing a number of best-selling books and magazine essays. She also wrote a few screenplays and wrote about various topics from politics and the drug culture to the Charles Manson murders and the Patty Hearst trial. This doc seems to go into her personal life as well as her career, profiling the talented, inspiring woman in all her facets. Take a look.

 Posted October 11 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Official Trailer for RZA's Slam Poetry Film 'Love Beats Rhymes'

Love Beats Rhymes Trailer

"I need more than potential to sell records." Lionsgate has released the first official trailer for the new film directed by RZA titled Love Beats Rhymes, a musical drama about a struggling rapper who turns to slam poetry. Azealia Banks plays Coco, who takes a poetry class and tries to impress her teacher with her rhymes. Instead, she learns to dig deeper and discovers her "true voice." This film also stars Hana Mae Lee, Method Man, John David Washington, Common, Lorraine Toussaint, Lucien Laviscount, and Jill Scott and Professor Dixon. This reminds me of the film festival hit Bodied, about rapping, but it also seems to have its own nice vibe to it that might make for good entertainment and creative inspiration.

 Posted October 11 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Crazy Fun Trailer for Action Comedy Spy Show Film 'Espionage Tonight'

Espionage Tonight Trailer

"We'll send you on missions - and then you guide us through your adventure." The Orchard has launched a trailer for a film titled Espionage Tonight, which we've never heard of before now. This action-comedy satire is about a reality show that is created about spies, following them on real missions and broadcasting it. The ensemble cast includes Joe Hursley, Saïd Taghmaoui, Sean Astin and Lynn Whitfield. The trailer gives a quick introduction to the plot, and then the rest plays out almost like a twisted reality TV show, or something. This actually looks cooler than expected, but perhaps a bit too wacky. Honestly I'm not really sure what to make of it. But I might want to watch it sometime to see if it's any good. Fire it up below.

 Posted October 11 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Anya Taylor-Joy & Olivia Cooke in Teaser Trailer for 'Thoroughbreds'

Thoroughbreds Trailer

"How did you find me?" Focus Features has launched the teaser trailer for an indie dark comedy thriller called Thoroughbreds, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The film is one of Anton Yelchin's other final films, but really stars two young actresses as the leading ladies: Anya Taylor-Joy & Olivia Cooke. They play two upper-class teen girls in suburban Connecticut who rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. When they get together again, they make plans to take out their stepfather - which they both hate. The full cast includes Paul Sparks, Francie Swift, and Kaili Vernoff. I'm curious about this, but it didn't exactly get the best buzz out of Sundance. Check it out below.

 Posted October 11 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Teaser Trailer for Doc 'The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story'

The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story Trailer

"No one really knew if it was going to end up being successful." A teaser trailer has debuted online for a documentary titled The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story. Yes, indeed, this is a doc film about Nickelodeon's amazing golden age era where they were known for their iconic orange logo. The film profiles Geraldine Laybourne, the visionary who turned the company into an $8 billion juggernaut, focusing on her "kids first" strategy. As someone who grew up a part of this generation, I'm definitely interested in seeing it. "More than just a history lesson or a 'where are they now?' special, the documentary explores the network's revolutionary approach to storytelling, the impact it had on a generation of youth, and aims to find out of why these shows have stayed in the hearts of so many people." That sounds great! Get your first look below.

 Posted October 10 in Documentaries, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Maika Monroe in Trailer for 'The Tribes of Palos Verdes' Surfer Drama

The Tribes of Palos Verdes Trailer

"I'm worried about you…" IFC Films has unveiled an official trailer for director brothers Brendan & Emmett Malloy's new film The Tribes of Palos Verdes, a surf drama about "young Medina" who "attempts to surf her way to happiness." If that logline doesn't make your eyes roll, some of the "life is tough" footage in this trailer definitely will. Though it actually doesn't look as bad as it sounds. The Tribes of Palos Verdes stars Maika Monroe as Medina, a young surfer woman from Palos Verdes, as well as Jennifer Garner as her mom, plus Cody Fern, Alicia Silverstone, Noah Silver, Elisabeth Rohm, Goran Visnjic, Justin Kirk and Joely Fisher. This looks like it's packed full of drama galore. It is "set amidst the sun-kissed beaches and crystal blue waters of the California coast" which may be enough to get a few folks into theaters.

 Posted October 10 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Official Trailer for Indie Drama 'My Friend Dahmer' with Ross Lynch

My Friend Dahmer Trailer

"Hey Dahmer, what's in the bag?" FilmRise has released a new official trailer for a creepy new indie thriller titled My Friend Dahmer, which has been playing at numerous film festivals all year long. The film is based on an acclaimed graphic novel and tells the early, teen story of the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys in the Midwest United States between 1978 and 1991 before being captured by police. Before he became that killer, though, he was a shy, alcoholic teen who never quite fit in. This is the true, haunting "story before that story" of Dahmer in high school. Ross Lynch plays Dahmer, and the cast includes Anne Heche, Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts, Vincent Kartheiser, Miles Robbins. I saw this recently and it's good, but much more of a high school drama than a serial killer thriller. Still worth a look.

 Posted October 9 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

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