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Listen to the Newest Episode of The First Word Podcast:
"I'm here about the puzzles." Sony Pictures Classics has revealed a trailer for the lovely indie film Puzzle, from producer + filmmaker Marc Turtletaub, his second feature film that he's directed. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and ended up being one of my favorites of the fest, it's just so very delightful and elegantly inspiring. The supremely talented Kelly Macdonald stars as a suburban mother who discovers she has a knack for putting together puzzles fast. She befriends Irrfan Khan as her puzzle partner and he helps her grow and break out of her monotonous existence. The cast also includes David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, and Liv Hewson. I raved about it in my Sundance review, praising "how such a simple story told with such humility and sensibility, can result in a wonderful film." It really is quite special.
"Drones - those things are evil." SYFY Films has debuted a new official trailer for an interesting sci-fi film titled Hover, about a drone-filled future where A.I. drones operate as police to manage the few humans left after a deadly, catastrophic drought. Finally, we have the one of the first ever films about evil drones! Well, there's probably been a few others, but now they've made a cheesy SYFY one about bad police drones in a dystopian future. Hover stars Cleopatra Coleman, who also wrote the screenplay, and features Shane Coffey, Craig muMs Grant, Fabianne Therese, Rhoda Griffis, Leo Fitzpatrick, Beth Grant, and Rhonda Johnson Dents. This unfortunately doesn't look that good, surprise surprise from SYFY, but it is still an interesting concept for a film. And they're actually giving it a theatrical release anyway. Take a look.
"Ask yourself, where does your loyalty lie?" Another appealing new trailer for a film that is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar. Birds of Passage is the latest film made by Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent, The Wind Journeys, Wandering Shadows), co-directed with Cristina Gallego. The film's cast is a mixture of professional and non-professional actors, including Natalia Reyes, Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, and José Vicente Cotes. The film is shot in the La Guajira desert in northern Columbia and tells the story of an indigenous Wayúu family throughout the smuggling and cannabis boom of the 70s. Guerra says, "it was a major production, we had thousands of extras, a large crew. It's an epic story. We have never attempted something so complex before. It demanded a lot from everyone." This trailer is an incredible introduction, with some seriously impressive footage here.
"We can't control what we can't see." Another new international trailer has debuted for the indie sci-fi film Anon, written and directed by sci-fi storyteller Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, S1m0ne, Lord of War, In Time, The Host). We posted another trailer earlier this year, and it still looks very intriguing. The film is about a near-future where there is no privacy or anonymity, where even private memories are recorded in an effort to cut down on crime. Clive Owen plays a cop investigating a series of unsolved murders, who meets a hacker woman known as "The Girl", played by Amanda Seyfried. She has no identity, no history and no record. Also starring Colm Feore, Sonya Walger, Mark O'Brien, Joe Pingue, Iddo Goldberg, and Sebastian Pigott. I'm usually interested in whatever Niccol makes, especially if it's full-on sci-fi, and I'm fascinated by this. That digitized filmmaking style with augmented reality POV is crazy cool. Check this out.
"What is that thing?" "They made it…" Universal has released a third official trailer for J.A. Bayona's epic new dinosaur movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the action-packed blockbuster sequel to 2015's Jurassic World, now featuring the tagline: "The Park is Gone". But where'd it go? The volcano blew it away. The more we see from this, the more excited I am to see it. Really, it looks so cool and hugely epic, going in a bit of a new direction than we all thought - with the island exploding first and then the twist with the freaky man-made, deadly dino wreaking havoc. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return as co-stars, along with "Ian Malcolm" himself, Jeff Goldblum, also starring BD Wong, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, James Cromwell, Geraldine Chaplin, and Rafe Spall. I am so so so ready for this! It really seems we're in for a much different film than everyone is expecting, can't wait to find out how it all plays out. Bring on the dinos!
"Who are these people?" Sony Pictures Classics has released an official trailer for an amusing road trip film titled Boundaries, from writer/director Shana Feste. It just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, and stars Christopher Plummer as Jack. The story follows Laura and her son Henry who are forced to drive Jack, her "estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father", across the country after he is kicked out of his nursing home. The film's cast includes Vera Farmiga as Laura, Lewis MacDougall as Henry, plus Christopher Lloyd, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Fonda, and Dolly Wells. I don't recall hearing much about this during the festival, but it does look like a fun road trip film. Always up for another kooky performance from Plummer, plus Vera Farmiga is always enjoyable to watch. Take a look.
"It's a very interesting time now, and boy you don't know what's going to happen." Marvel Studios has released a very exciting, nostalgic look back at their 10-year legacy in a new 5 minute featurette. If you're a Marvel fan or superhero fan or movie lover, you'll definitely want to watch these featurettes. Included below is also a "Behind the Frame" featurette from IMAX. Both of these are promoting the massively epic, "it's all come to this" movie Avengers: Infinity War, opening in theaters in less than two weeks. And we really don't know what's coming - it's going to be huge. They just keep hyping it up even more and more. I like how much behind the scenes footage there is in these videos, featuring a look back at Jon Favrau's Iron Man, and going through all of the movies, including Kevin Feige talking along with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson and Chadwick Boseman. See both Marvel videos below.
"Thus begins the little big brother's fantasy-filled adventure." An official trailer has arrived for animated film Mirai from Japan, the latest work from filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda ("Samurai Champloo", The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast). Mirai is a sort of fairy tale about a young boy who encounters a magical garden which enables him to travel through time and meet his relatives from different eras. He is guided by his younger sister, Mirai, from the future. The film's voice cast includes Haru Kuroki, Moka Kamishiraishi, Gen Hoshino, Kôji Yakusho, Kumiko Asô, and Yoshiko Miyazaki. This is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival next month, and I'm looking forward to seeing it there. The footage in this trailer looks quite lovely, could be something special. Enjoy the first look.
"I promise not to quit if you don't." Check out this trailer for a little indie film profiling the life of a BMX rider from Glasgow, Scotland. Ride is about BMX pro John Buultjens, played by Shane Graham. Raised by a white supremacist family, John spent most of his youth locked up in a juvenile detention center. He eventually gets introduced to a foster family, only to discover his new father is black, but together they work through to overcome his racism and "form a bond that helps thrust him down the path to BMX glory." The cast includes Ludacris, Sasha Alexander, Blake Sheldon, Jessica Serfaty, Ali Afshar, Nic Luken, Christina Moore, and Zaire Adams. This is premiering at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and should hit theaters later this summer. This looks very good, featuring a sport we don't usually see on the big screen.
"I know this isn't where you imagined yourself at this age." Vertical Ent. has unveiled an official trailer for an indie romantic comedy titled Social Animals, from writer/director Theresa Bennett. Not to be confused with the documentary also titled Social Animals, which just premiered at SXSW, this is a quirky rom-com about a young woman who is trying to get her life in order. Noël Wells (from Infinity Baby, Mr. Roosevelt, Happy Anniversary) stars as a "childless, single, broke, stoner" who attempts to salvage her failing business and love life while falling for a married man. Josh Radnor also stars, with Aya Cash, Carly Chaikin, Fortune Fiemster, and Samira Wiley. This "honest, uncompromising comedy of modern relationships" looks like pretty much every other movie about modern relationships, but as usual, it still seems enjoyable.