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"This equipment is far superior to ours!" There's an object that appears in many sci-fi films from the 70s and 80s that really has no use, and just "looks cool" - it's known as "Blinking Tubes Without Function". (Read more about it here.) A YouTube channel has created a series of supercut videos with all the footage of these blinking red tubes from every TV show & film it appears in. The funniest thing about this is noticing how the exact same prop appears over and over, almost like they just wheel the thing around to different sets and some guy plugs it in and everyone goes "oh, wow." It's in everything from Star Trek (of course) to V to Knight Rider to Trancers to Airplane II, even in one Austin Powers. I'm glad it doesn't appear anymore, but I wonder if it's in the background of some sci-fi show? Maybe. All three of the videos can be seen below.
"Getting into that party is the only thing that matters." "Boys – we're going on a mission." Picturehouse in the UK has unveiled an official trailer for an indie flick called Pirates, just that, Pirates and that's it. This is being billed as "the world's shortest road movie", following three eighteen-year-old friends on their journey from North to South London on New Year's Eve 1999. They drive through London in their tiny Peugeot 205 pumping out a live garage set from the stereo and arguing about their Avirex jackets and Naf Naf imports. Determined to see out the century with a bang they drive from place to place in a desperate search for any tickets for the best millennium party ever. Starring Elliot Edusah, Jordan Peters, and Reda Elazouar, with Kassius Nelson, Youssef Kerkour, Rebekah Murrell, and Aaron Shosanya. Ohhh yeah, this looks rad! Always fun to take a journey back in time and hang out with some youngsters just trying to party.
"We make the facts." Rock Salt Releasing has already debuted this German film in cinemas in the US, but we're catching up with it now. Operation Curveball, also known as just Curveball, originally premiered at the 2020 Berlin Film Festival, but got in trouble because of the title. One of the other alternate US titles is Curveball - A True Story, Unfortunately. The film tells the grotesque, at times even surreal, true story of how the Iraq war was started based on nothing but fake intelligence and the involvement of the German government. It's a very awkward, dark comedy from Germany about how how they provided false details to the Americans that lead to the start of the Iraq War in 2003. The name "Operation Curveball" is actually the real name given to the Iraqi asylum seeker they used as a source, even though he didn't know anything and just wanted a German passport to stay. Curveball stars Sebastian Blomberg, Dar Salim, Virginia Kull, Michael Wittenborn, Thorsten Merten, and Franziska Brandmeier. The film kind of follows in the footsteps of Adam McKay using humor to tell a true story about political mishaps and big governmental lies.
"This was your idea from the start!" Vertical Ent. has released a trailer for an indie romantic comedy titled Mark, Mary & Some Other People, directed by actress / filmmaker Hannah Marks. This premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and is out to watch this November. Newlyweds Mark and Mary reluctantly decide to give ethical non-monogamy a try as their lives get increasingly complicated. "The decision changes things for the couple and opens a lot of personal questions for both as Mary starts to realize she's more traditional than she thought whereas Mark starts to open up and [begins to see] the world differently through Mary and a polyamorous lens." Quite interesting, an perhaps the expected results. Ben Rosenfield and Hayley Law star as Mark and Mary, with a cast including Nik Dodani, Matt Shively, Sofia Bryant, Kelli Berglund, Esther Povitsky, Joe Lo Truglio, and Haley Ramm. Not the first contemporary romance to get into the polyamory game, with Ma Belle, My Beauty and Lust Life Love this year as well. But this looks much better.
"Now I'm suspicious of everyone… We're so terrified of stepping out of line." IFC Films has just unveiled a second official trailer for The Beta Test, a seductive, provocative thriller from filmmaker Jim Cummings (of Thunder Road and The Wolf of Snow Hollow). The first UK trailer arrived a few weeks back, time for another look. Cummings teams up with actor PJ McCabe to co-write & co-direct this film, which initially premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this year. It's opening in the US in art house cinemas starting in early November. A married Hollywood agent receives a mysterious letter for an anonymous sexual encounter and becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, infidelity, and digital data. It's partially a commentary on the world of agents in Hollywood, and partially a commentary on the disruptive nature of sexual provocation, how easily it can tear things apart. The film stars Cummings & McCabe, plus Virginia Newcomb, Kevin Changaris, Olivia Grace Applegate, Jessie Barr, Malin Barr, Christian Hillborg. Have a nice time.
Let's dance? Netflix has revealed a teaser trailer for an animated adventure from Australia titled Back to the Outback, following a group of animals that escape and try to make their way home. This was made by Netflix Animation and Reel FX Creative Studios, arriving on Netflix in December. Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they're monsters, a group of Australia's deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback. Leading the group is Maddie (Isla Fisher), a poisonous snake with a heart of gold, who bands together with the self-assured Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), a lovelorn hairy spider Frank (Guy Pearce), and a sensitive scorpion Nigel (Angus Imrie). But when their nemesis — Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), a cute but obnoxious koala — unexpectedly joins their escape, Maddie and the gang have no choice but to take him with them. Also featuring the voices of Rachel House, Keith Urban, Celeste Barber, Wayne Knight, Lachlan Ross Power, and Jacki Weaver. This teaser is just a fun introduction to all the characters, but um yeah, I definitely want to see more of this.
"Could this have been normal love?" Greenwich Ent. has released an official trailer for a documentary film called Love It Was Not, telling the "incredible" true story of a Jewish prisoner during World War II who ends up in a romantic relationship with an SS officer at a concentration camp. "A tragic love story between a prisoner and her captor." But that's not the end of the story. This premiered at the IDFA and Docaviv Film Festivals last year, and opens in a few art house cinemas in the US starting in November. A young Jewish woman named Helena Citron is taken to Auschwitz, where she develops an unlikely romantic relationship with Franz Wunsch, a high-ranking SS officer. Thirty years later, a letter arrives from Wunsch's wife asking Helena to testify on Wunsch's behalf. Faced with an impossible decision, Helena must choose. Will she help the man who brutalized so many lives, but saved hers? I believe there's an obvious answer to this question, but I'm intrigued to learn what actually happened, and how this doc examines this situation and their love.
"What happened down there?!" Okay this short rules. Two Puddles is a very clever dark comedy / horror short made by filmmaker Tim Keeling. This originally premiered back in 2018, but we're catching up with it now and it's still definitely a good recommendation. It also goes through a lot in only six minutes, which is an impressive feat in and of itself anyway. In Two Puddles, a family's peaceful day of picnics and hiking in the woods is interrupted when they stumble upon two puddles that will test the strength of their bond. It stars Luke McGibney as Evan, Amy Keen as Jamie, Julia Florimo as Alice. Filmed on location in The Chilterns, UK. I always love a good short that makes you think about the concept and what it's going for. I won't say anything else, as this is best experienced going in fresh. It's worth a few minutes of time to watch.
"You can't force these soldiers to become political." 1091 Pictures has revealed an official trailer for an indie drama titled The Drummer, from filmmaker Eric Werthman. This first premiered last year, and is out on VOD this fall - timed to honor Veterans Day. Set in 2008, The Drummer revolves around active and former members of the U. S. military. With the US engaged in a seemingly perpetual war, the devastating traumas that soldiers suffer abroad continue to be felt at home. The film stars Danny Glover as a Vietnam veteran who has become a lawyer and political advocate for soldiers who've suffered mental health issues. Glover's statement: "My brother was a Vietnam vet, given to the recent announcement that there are more veterans suicide than soldiers killed in Iraq makes the film The Drummer more timely than ever." The cast includes Prema Cruz, Sam Underwood, Daniel K. Isaac, Camilla Perez, Frankie J. Alvarez, Jennifer Mudge, and Lillias White. This looks heartbreaking and meaningful, a story with an important message.
"Dying isn't simple, is it?" Strand Releasing has unveiled an official trailer for an acclaimed indie film titled I Was A Simple Man, which originally premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The film is made by a Hawaiian filmmaker named Christopher Makoto Yogi, his second feature, and it earned some rave reviews from critics. It's a gorgeous slow burn work of art. A family in Hawai'i faces the imminent death of their eldest as the ghosts of the past haunt the countryside. The director explains: "It was always the goal to make it feel honest to my experience growing up in Hawaii. When I think back to my childhood, I was always surrounded by ghost stories… it's very much a vibrant part of the culture. They are told in the same ways that one would trade memories." I Was A Simple Man stars Steve Iwamoto and Constance Wu, with Tim Chiou, Kanoa Goo, Chanel Akiko Hirai, Hau'oli Carr, and Nelson Lee. This looks stunning! I missed it at Sundance, and have been looking forward to catching it ever since then.
"You can't hold me responsible for what the spirits say." Munro Films has debuted a new official UK trailer for an indie comedy titled Sideshow, from filmmaker Adam Oldroyd. The film follows two criminals who after breaking into the home of a washed-up psychic, get much more than they bargained for, because "The All-Seeing Stupendo" is a genuine master of the dark mystic arts – at least that's what it says on his poster. "It's a hilarious, perfectly-pitched and thoroughly silly way to spend 90 mins." With hilarious performances from British legends Les Dennis and Anthony Head, as well as April Pearson and Nathan Clarke. Oldroyd states: "Sideshow is my modern take on the black humour of the old Ealing comedies. Les was the perfect pick to play ageing psychic Stuart Pendrick, his years of experience as one of the nation's best-loved entertainers was the ideal material to draw from." It looks like it might actually be funny enough to watch.
"You want to buy a house… so you can never be kicked out." Look At The Moon Pictures has revealed an official trailer for indie drama Women is Losers, marking the feature directorial debut of San Francisco filmmaker Lissette Feliciano. This originally premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and it also played at the Cinequest, Oxford, Cleveland, and Maryland Film Festivals. In 1960s San Francisco, a once-promising catholic school girl, Celina Guerrera, sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future for herself that sets new precedents for the time. Inspired by real women and the Janis Joplin song of the same title, Women is Losers played at SXSW this year as one of the most-watched of the festival. The film stars Lorenza Izzo as Celina, with Simu Liu (yes, Shang-Chi!), Bryan Craig, Chrissie Fit, Steven Bauer, Liza Weil, Cranston Johnson, Alejandra Miranda, Shalim Ortiz, and Lincoln Bonilla. This looks like an empowering and honest film about a woman making a life for herself in the 60s.