Must Watch: Ember Lab's Outstanding Sci-Fi Fantasy Short Film 'Dust'

Dust Short Film

"Outside of these walls, there are no guarantees." Another outstanding short film to watch. Dust is a sci-fi, fantasy short film produced by Ember Labs and directed by Mike Grier. We originally featured the teaser trailer for this short film way back in 2013, a year after it was on Kickstarter getting funding. Now it's finally complete and it's gorgeous, some of the best short film cinematography I've seen all year (by Michael Nie), with some incredible world-building and mythology to draw you deeper into the story. This was shot on location in remote areas of Japan with VFX added later. The film follows a tracker who takes a black-market merchant out into the wilderness to find the source of the "dust" that is poisoning the air. There's all kinds of cool flora and fauna hidden throughout this, and the main character (named Irezumi) is awesome. Enjoy.

 Posted September 19 in SciFi, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

One More Trailer for Netflix's Acclaimed 'Amanda Knox' Documentary

Amanda Knox Trailer

"If I'm innocent, it means that everyone's vulnerable… And that's everyone's nightmare." Netflix has debuted one more official trailer for the Amanda Knox documentary, which has earned some rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month. Now with extra buzz and extra attention, the doc is getting a strong push before it hits the streaming service later this month. The documentary focuses on Amanda Knox specifically, the young woman who was accused of killing her roommate in Italy back in 2007. Featuring extensive interviews with her as well as her former co-defendant and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and Daily Mail reporter Nick Pisa. Which side of the story do you believe? One review from TIFF says that it "makes the case for a larger look at the story it stuffs into a too-short runtime."

 Posted September 19 in Docs, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Jean Dujardin Stars in French Romantic Comedy 'Up for Love' Trailer

Up for Love Trailer

"She's with me now, so move on." This one is for all the short guys out there. This film already hit theaters in France and the UK earlier in the summer, but I just came across this trailer now and it's quirky and – yes – quite charming. The film is titled (in English) Up for Love, which is a fun title because it's about a beautiful women who meets a guy she likes but it turns out he's only 4'6" tall. She has to fight against the "prejudices of society and her own fears" in this very French romantic comedy. Jean Dujardin stars as the lil' guy, named Alexandre, and Virginie Efira stars as Diane. The cast includes Cédric Kahn, Stéphanie Papanian, César Domboy and Edmonde Franchi. This is definitely a bit cheesy, I will admit, but it still looks fun. In real life, Jean Dujardin is 6' tall, so there must be some digital trickery going on. Take a look.

 Posted September 19 in Foreign Film, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Trailer for Growing Up Comedy 'Flock of Dudes' Starring Chris D'Elia

Flock of Dudes Trailer

"You're drunk… You don't want to say something you're not going to be able to take back." Starz Digital has released a trailer for an indie comedy called Flock of Dudes, about a 30-something guy who decides to "break up" with his best buds in order to finally grow up. Chris D'Elia stars as Adam, who is still hanging out with his life-long friends. This also stars Jamie Chung, Hilary Duff, Eric André, Brett Gelman, Bryan Greenberg, Skylar Astin, Hannah Simone, Kumail Nanjiani, Hannibal Buress, and oddly Ray Liotta. I hadn't heard of this comedy before coming across this trailer, so I'm not sure where it came from, but it doesn't look so bad. There's some funny jokes, just hope there's more to it than bros being bros.

 Posted September 19 in Indies, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

TIFF 2016: Natalie Portman is Exceptional in Pablo Larraín's 'Jackie'

Jackie Review

It's never a good time to lose anyone close to you and even worse when the whole world is watching. Every move is watched and scrutinized regardless of context and it's up to you to put your personal feelings aside and keep moving forward. The astounding new film Jackie focuses on one of the biggest icons of class and style in America's history, Jackie Kennedy, and as played by a never-better Natalie Portman we witness the private grief that is human but rarely seen in public. Jackie is the English-language debut of Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (of No, The Club and this year's Neruda) and as the story begins we are dropped right in the middle of the chaotic aftermath following JFK's assassination on November 22, 1963.

 Posted September 18 in Review, TIFF 16 | Comments

Eerie New UK Re-Release Trailer for Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining'

The Shining Trailer

Jack is back. The BFI have unveiled a brand new trailer for the upcoming UK re-release of the horror classic The Shining, directed by the one-and-only Stanley Kubrick. A full 144-minute digitally restored version of the film will be screening in a few UK cinemas around Halloween - you can find theater listings here. While I assume we've all seen this film and are quite familiar with most of it, it's always fun to watch a new trailer for a beloved classic film. Even Rodney Ascher, director of the Room 237 doc, commented on Twitter: "Impressive new trailer!" The Shining stars Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone & Joe Turkel. Redrum. "Demands to be seen on the big screen."

 Posted September 18 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

TIFF 2016: Garth Jennings' 'Sing' is a Crowd-Pleasing Musical for All

Sing Review

An extravagant singing competition brings many different creatures of all kinds together in the animated musical Sing, one of the biggest question marks of this year's Toronto Film Festival. However, it turned out to be an enormous surprise once the closing credits started rolling. It's a huge crowd-pleaser and the best family film since Disney's Zootopia, blending a traditional underdog story with gorgeous animation and of course tons of fun. Sing is also the latest endeavor from Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio responsible for Minions, Despicable Me and this year's The Secret Life of Pets. The company is certainly growing with each new project and Sing could be the breakthrough that makes them a household name.

 Posted September 17 in Animation, Review, TIFF 16 | Comments

New 4K Re-Release Trailer for Gillo Pontecorvo's 'The Battle of Algiers'

The Battle of Algiers Trailer

"We must isolate and destroy them." Rialto Pictures has debuted a new trailer for the 50th anniversary 4K restored re-release of the 1966 classic war film The Battle of Algiers, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. The film presents an accurate historical recreation of the three-year Battle of Algiers, chronicling the escalating terrorism and violence between French military forces and the Algerian independence movement, based on the memoirs of Saadi Yacef, a leader of the National Liberation Front. The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1966, and ended up with three Academy Award nominations (for Best Foreign Film, Best Writing, Best Director) after its US release. The cast includes Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Brahim Hadjadj and Samia Kerbash. Also playing at the NYFF before hitting theaters. See the new trailer below.

 Posted September 17 in Foreign Film, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Review: Effective Scares & Thrills Make 'Blair Witch' a Worthy Sequel

Blair Witch Review

Any verdict on the quality of the actual film aside, Blair Witch is the surprise of the year. It may not be as groundbreaking as when The Blair Witch Project stunned audiences at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival or even when the film stampeded through movie theaters later that summer. The controversy and marketing behind it had something to do with that, but the surprises involved with this latest film, simply called Blair Witch, are undeniable. Thank Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett for this. Their mark on the indie horror scene has definitely been made with hit films like You're Next, The Guest, as well as the V/H/S pair of anthologies. There doesn't seem to be a more perfect union between filmmakers and project

 Posted September 16 in Review | Comments

New Trailer for 'A Street Cat Named Bob' Film Starring Luke Treadway

A Street Cat Named Bob Trailer

"I'm ready… I've got Bob. He'll look after me…" Cleopatra Films has debuted a new official US trailer for Roger Spottiswoode's inspirational film A Street Cat Named Bob, based on the bestselling book about a street musician whose life is changed by an adorable stray cat named Bob. Luke Treadway plays James Bowen, a young homeless busker and recovering drug addict living on the streets of London. The cast also features Bob the Cat (the real one!), Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head, and it was filmed mostly on location around Covent Garden. This looks quite charming and it should definitely find an audience in today's cat-photo-obsessed world. This seems more uplifting and hopeful than most indie films.

 Posted September 16 in To Watch, Trailer | Comments

First Full Trailer for 'The Windmill' Horror Film from The Netherlands

The Windmill Trailer

"Without windmills, there would be no Holland." XLrator Media has debuted the first official trailer for indie horror The Windmill, originally known as The Windmill Massacre, from The Netherlands. The film is about an Australian girl escaping her past visiting The Netherlands, where she ends up on a tourist bus taking people to all the famous windmills in the country. The bus breaks down near an infamous windmill where "legend has it, a Devil-worshiping miller once ground the bones of locals instead of grain" and people begin to disappear. The cast includes Charlotte Beaumont, Noah Taylor, Patrick Baladi, Ben Batt, Tanroh Ishida and Fiona Hampton. This seems like it might be fun, with plenty of gore for horror fans. One review says this film "isn't your average slasher" so don't expect the usual going in. Check it out below.

 Posted September 16 in Horror, To Watch, Trailer | Comments

Interview: Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett On Fear and 'Blair Witch'

Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Interview

The creative team behind the horror films You're Next and The Guest seem like the perfect choices to bring something as groundbreaking and phenomenal as The Blair Witch Project back to modern audiences. That team, director/producer Adam Wingard and writer/producer Simon Barrett, are no strangers to the world of indie horror and all that comes with it and this shows in everything the pair have delivered so far. Taking what they learned in creating the V/H/S series, the filmmakers once again take to the stage of scares for Blair Witch, a direct sequel to the 1999 film that shaped the horror genre that directly after. Their update is relentless in its intensity and loaded with surprises that fans of the original will eat up in droves.

 Posted September 16 in Feat, Horror, Interview | Comments

Joel Edgerton & Ruth Negga in Another Trailer for Jeff Nichols' 'Loving'

Loving Trailer #2

"I'm gunna raise my family here… I don't care what they do to us." Focus Features has unveiled a second trailer for the second Jeff Nichols film out this year, titled Loving, about Loving family from Virginia. The heartwarming film tells the story of the legendary interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, played by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their town in Virginia. The cast includes Alano Miller, Martin Csokas, Nick Kroll, and Michael Shannon. I first saw this in Cannes and wrote in my review that it's a "a tender and heartfelt film." The trailers are as beautiful as the film itself, focusing on their love above all. Go see this film for the story, see it for the performances, see it to be reminded what true love is all about. Just don't miss this film.

 Posted September 16 in Indies, To Watch | Comments

Must Watch: Scouts vs Basilisk in This Incredible Short Film 'Lookouts'

Lookouts Short Film

"Tomorrow holds your final trial as Lookouts…" Short films just keep getting better and better. Lookouts is a homemade short directed by David Bousquet (who is also the film's director of photography) inspired by a Penny Arcade comic series about "Lookouts" scouts who head into a deadly forest to hunt a creature. This live-action short follows one of the scouts, Pehn, who escaped the first attack and is being tracked by the basilisk. You'll be amazed to discover that "the majority of the film is shot practically with live visual effects." They made "sets, costumes, and monsters inspired by Jim Henson's creations from our childhood" and filmed this in Mendocino. It's seriously astonishing how good this is, and you'll wish it was even longer.

 Posted September 16 in Short Film, To Watch | Comments

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