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Stay Safe 😷 In Theaters + Streaming on 2021 Schedule⇣
"She was ahead of her time…" "She took it upon herself to defend herself in front of the jury." HBO has debuted a full-length official trailer for their documentary series titled The Lady And The Dale, produced by Mark and Jay Duplass. The doc is launching as a 4-episode series at the end of the month streaming on HBO Max. The Lady and The Dale explores the story of mysterious entrepreneur Elizabeth Carmichael, a trans woman who rose to prominence when she released a fuel-efficient three-wheeled vehicle during the 1970s gas crisis. The series dives deep into the rise & fall of Liz's extraordinary life through fraud, family, identity and the pitfalls of the American Dream. It's described as a "genre-bending" series that details the "amazing true story of [this] 1970's transgender entrepreneur". All the paper craft animation in here is a bit odd, but as a Duplass production, I can dig it. Plus we don't get too many docs with this kind of look anyway.
"What's the wife of a big Hollywood producer doing livin' under a house?" Quiver has unveiled an official US trailer for an indie psychological thriller titled Paradise Cove, the latest film made by the musician / filmmaker Martin Guigui (Beneath the Darkness, The Bronx Bull, Freddy Monday). How's this for a crazy concept? A contractor and his wife move to Malibu to flip his mother's beach house and are terrorized by the deranged homeless lady living under the house. Watch out for the unhinged squatter! The film is described as a "super fun throwback thriller" that seems to be riffing on a lot of the dumb 90s suspense films. Mena Suvari stars with Todd Grinnell, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Eddie Goines, Krista Allen, Horacio Galaviz, and Eddie Rivera. This looks a bit too wild and kooky, not in a good way. But you never know…?
"Do we have any debris close to our trajectory?" Another excellent short film from Australian filmmaker Josh Tanner - who has been entertaining us with top notch shorts, like The Landing and The Rizzle, for years. His latest is called Decommissioned, and it's a space sci-fi horror based on a true story. In 2006, an old Russian spacesuit was decommissioned and turned into a satellite launched into orbit called SuitSat. This really happened. Tanner then takes that and imagines what might happen… next. And it's freaky. His short stars Joey Vieira as Commander Diaz aboard the International Space Station, who encounters the mysterious SuitSat. With David Normand as the voice of "Houston". Watching this I couldn't even figure out how the heck he made this, I'm entirely impressed. And it's a genuine thrill to watch, it looks great and feels real in every way. This fantastic sci-fi short packs a punch in only 6 minutes. Definitely worth a watch.
"I'd never thought I'd be mourning the place itself…" Gravitas Ventures has released an official trailer for a documentary film titled Meltdown, another new look at the climate crisis with a focus on discussing how Greenland is the epicenter of this criss and how art can (or cannot) help us deal with the problem. Produced as a small, intimate conversation set on a large, stunning canvas, Meltdown follows acclaimed photographer Lynn Davis & climate scientist Tony Leiserowitz to the tiny, picturesque town of Illulisat, Greenland (Google Maps), which is "Ground Zero" for the climate crisis. There they discuss the convergence of art + science in how we view the world. This looks + sounds like a different take on climate docs, focusing more on the conversation and how people can work together to make a difference. We just need to stay optimistic.
"One thing that never changes - a bunch of assholes kill me for reasons that remain a mystery." VVS Films + Hulu have revealed the first official trailer for an action thriller titled Boss Level, another time loop sci-fi film borrowing the genre concept. This is the latest from action filmmaker Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin' Aces, The A-Team, The Grey), who hasn't made a new film since Stretch back in 2014. Frank Grillo stars in this as a retired special forces officer who is trapped in a never ending time loop on the day of his death. He must figure out how to escape the sinister program and save his own life, but of course. The film's excellent ensemble cast includes Annabelle Wallis, Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Michelle Yeoh, Will Sasso, Rob Gronkowski, Ken Jeong, Mathilde Ollivier, and Selina Lo. This looks like some vintage action movie fun, exactly what I'd expect from Carnahan. I just hope it's worth the wait and not a let down.
"Why would you make a toy with three heads!?" Disney has unveiled an official trailer for a new collection of short films titled Pixar Popcorn, debuting right away later this week on the Disney+ streaming service. These 10 new short films from Pixar Animation Studios are all brand new, never-before-seen "mini-shorts". Disney has been creating series like this with 90 second shorts for all kinds of franchises - now it's Pixar's turn to have fun with all of its characters. The collection of 10 mini-shorts features characters from Pixar favorites like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Incredibles, in all-new, bite-size stories created by Pixar's talented animators. The only one we're missing is Wall-E! Bring our yellow pal back again, please and thank you. A few years ago, Pixar debuted a set of shorts called SparkShorts, made by filmmakers telling unique stories about their own experiences. These were some of the best shorts Pixar has ever made, and I hope they keep making more like this in addition to bringing back all the characters we know & love already.
"You don't wanna know what's going on in my house." Focus Features has unveiled an official trailer for an indie film titled Boogie, marking the feature directorial debut of famous restaurateur / chef / writer Eddie Huang. Focus is releasing this in theaters at the start of March, despite not hitting any film festivals first. Set in contemporary New York City, the film follows a Chinese-American basketball phenom who struggles to balance the expectations of his immigrant family with his own dreams of becoming a player for the NBA. Taylor Takahashi stars as Alfred "Boogie" Chin, who struggles to make a life as a very talented basketball player. The cast also includes Taylour Paige (from Zola), Pamelyn Chee, Mike Moh, Alexa Mareka, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Perry Yung, and Pop Smoke. No surprise, this looks damn good! An authentic story told by an authentic voice on the experience of being a part of America's "melting pot" culture. Enjoy.
"If you want to live, run away. Otherwise…" Netflix has released a full-length trailer for their debut of the South Korean sci-fi film Space Sweepers, an epic spaceship comedic thriller from director Sung-hee Jo. We featured the original international trailers a few months ago, and the US teaser trailer just a few weeks ago as well. Set in 2092, Space Sweepers tells the story of a crew on board of the spaceship called "Victory", trying to escape the destruction of Earth - and make some money while at it salvaging space debris. After successfully snatching a crashed space shuttle in the latest debris chase, Victory's crew find a 7-year-old girl inside. They realize that she's the humanlike robot wanted by UTS Space Guards, and decide to demand ransom. Starring Song Joong-Ki, Kim Tae-Ri, Jin Sun-Kyu, and Yoo Hae-Jin. I'm so looking forward to watching this! Don't care if it's cheesy or dumb, it looks like future space fun. My kind of big sci-fi movie.
"All they wanted… was a killer night out." Oh what a tagline. Samuel Goldwyn Films has released an official trailer for an indie horror thriller titled Dreamcatcher, not to be confused with the other horror film also titled Dreamcatcher from 2003. This new horror film centers on two estranged sisters who, along with their friends, become entrenched in a 48 hour whirlwind of violence & chaos after a traumatic experience at an underground dance music festival. Sounds intense. The film's cast includes Niki Koss, Zachary Gordon, Travis Burns, Blaine Kern III, Olivia Sui, Emrhys Cooper, Elizabeth Posey, Nazanin Mandi, Adrienne Wilkinson, and Lou Ferrigno Jr. This looks absolutely ridiculous, a strange rip-off of Scream using the Phantom of the Paradise mask set at a rave. Even worse this film just doesn't fit in with the times.
"You can endure it all, my dear Dara." 101 Studios has debuted an official US trailer for the Serbian WWII drama Dara in Jasenovac, made by acclaimed Yugoslavian filmmaker Predrag Peter Antonijevic. This is Serbia's official Academy Awards selection for Best International Feature this year. In the summer of 1942, the family of twelve-year-old girl Dara was taken away and separated into two concentration camps. She is witnessing all the horrors of the Ustashe regime. After her brother and mother are killed, she tries to save the life of her younger brother, hoping that her father may still be alive. The film is set in the Nazi-occupied Croatian Ustasha regime "NDH" in former Yugoslavia during WWII. This is the first modern WWII movie that takes place in or shows this NDH era camp. The cast includes Biljana Cekic as Dara, along with Anja Stanic, Zlatan Vidovic, Luka Saranovic, Jakov Saranovic, Simon Saranovic, Sandra Ljubojevic, Nikola Radulj, and Rajko Lukac. This looks like another harrowing story of perseverance and tenacity.
"There's not a point where we're not reinventing ourselves." Utopia has unveiled a trailer for an indie doc titled Crestone, made by filmmaker Marnie Ellen Hertzler. This premiered at the True/False Documentary Film Festival last year, and stopped by a number of other fests, arriving on VOD in February. In the desert of Crestone, Colorado (on Google Maps), a group of SoundCloud rappers live in solitude, growing weed and making music for the internet. When an old friend arrives to make a movie, reality and fiction begin to blur. The doc film is described in reviews as "the most fascinating intersections between form and content I can remember since Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze fucked with it in Adaptation." That one quote intrigues me more than the synopsis. To top it off, the film also features a score by Animal Collective's Geologist & Deakin. This looks like some wild, gonzo filmmaking that attempts to capture a scene while getting lost in it.
"We're about to have a pool party!" Vertical Ent. has debuted one final official US trailer for the "musical cinematic experience" known as Music, created by pop artist Sia in connection with the launch of her new album this month. The film has been marred in controversy regarding its portrayal of an autistic teen being played by a non-autistic actor. But Sia still wants the film to shed new light on the autistic experience. Zu, played by Kate Hudson, is a newly sober drug dealer who receives news that she is to become the sole guardian of her half-sister named Music, a young girl on the autism spectrum. The film explores two of Sia's favorite themes: finding your voice and creating family. Sia's music is integral to the film's story. Through fantastical musical sequences she paints an alternative world for Music, Zu, Ebo and their community. Ten original songs have been written for the film and performed by the vibrant cast. Hudson stars with Maddie Ziegler, Leslie Odom Jr., Ben Schwartz, and Juliette Lewis. This one will debut on VOD next month.