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"We're not stealing any treatment, we're gunna steal the cure." RLJE Films has unveiled an official trailer for an indie, low budget sci-fi action film titled Kill Mode, the latest from Dutch director Thijs Meuwese (also of Molly previously). Set in a gritty near future in 2031, an ex-freedom fighter reluctantly returns to the fold after discovering a disturbing secret that could bring down the evil pharmaceutical corporation, called The Company, that owns the world. There's a big reveal where the secret isn't a thing, but a person, hint at in this trailer. And then the plot really gets going. The cast features Dave Mantel, Julia Batelaan as Molly, Yasmin Blake, and Cyriel Guds. This looks crazy cool! It has big action scenes, major fights, those mini mech suits, a hover-copter, and more. It doesn't look good, but I also can't say it looks bad either.
"I can't get involved in some kind of conspiracy." Vertical Entertainment has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama titled Human Capital, which initially premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and it also played at the Hamptons Film Festival. The lives of two different families collide when their children begin a relationship that leads to a tragic accident. The film seems to also be a bigger commentary on how money is often valued more than humanity, and how this can lead to tragedy and other existential problems. Starring an ensemble cast including Liev Schreiber, Marisa Tomei, Peter Sarsgaard, Maya Hawke, Fred Hechinger, Betty Gabriel, and Alex Wolff. Despite good intentions, this film doesn't seem that impressive in any particular way. And I'm sure we would've heard more buzz for it if it really was that great.
"How long would the others look for me?" Berlinale has debuted a promo trailer for the highly anticipated Colombian feature called Los Conductos, which premieres this month in the Berlin Film Festival's new "Encounters" section. It's described as "visionary, physical and elastic as the 16mm celluloid on which it was shot." The film is set in Medellin, Colombia and is about a man on the run named Pinky. "The deeper Los Conductos dives into the nightmarish and the hallucinatory, the tougher, more political and hungrier for reality the film becomes. In a narrative downward spiral, it conveys with the utmost precision the survival instincts of a character who is unwittingly fighting to liberate an entire country, perhaps even a continent. [It] uses the medium of cinema to transform an allegorical exploration of one's roots into an irrepressible desire to change the world." Sounds major. Starring Luis Felipe Lozano and Fernando Úsaga Higuíta.
"You need me." Lionsgate has revealed the first trailer for a psychological thriller called Run, the second feature film made by filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty, who broke out big a few years back with the fantastic screen-based thriller Searching. His next film is about a home schooled teenager named Chloe, who begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her. Starring Sarah Paulson as the mother, and Kiera Allen as the daughter, along with Pat Healy and Erik Athavale. The way the aspect ratio condenses, and the way "run" appears everywhere in the second half is quite clever. Definitely makes this an intense trailer.
"I didn't give you the itch, I just helped you scratch it." A short film with some style! But perhaps just a tad too much style? Give it a watch! Scratch is a slick, compelling 10-minute short film directed by New York-based filmmaker Ronan Jorah, dipping his toe into filmmaking again after helping in post-production for years. Here is the quick pitch for this: "On the night of a double murder, a mysterious patron of a roadside diner has a date with the Devil." It's described as boasting a "Sin City type feel with supernatural and crime elements tying it together." And that is pretty dang accurate. The short stars Mark Delabarre, Carey Van Driest, R.J. Foster, JR Carter, Peter Daniel Straus, Tiffany Peach, and Rob Eigenbrod. Featuring cinematography by Shannon Madden, winner of the Emerging Cinematographer's Award. Watch this below.
"Listen patiently… We, who are the last men, earnestly desire to communicate with you." Films Boutique has released the first promo teaser for the experimental feature Last and First Men, which is premiering at the Berlin Film Festival this month. This is the only feature film directed by iconic Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who made this before he died in 2018. Featuring narration by Tilda Swinton. This feature is a repackaged version of the video Jóhannsson made for his touring concerts, inspired by Dutch photographer Jan Kempenaers' 2010 art book "Spomenik" about oddly shaped war monuments. It was shot on 16mm B&W film by acclaimed Norwegian cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (DP on the films Victoria, Rams, Shelley, Wendy). Indiewire describes this as "Jóhannsson’s own artistic riff on the avant-garde style of Koyaanisqatsi," although it seems to be something else quite unique. There's not much to this teaser so far, but have a look anyway. I am certainly curious to check this out - it runs only 70 minutes long.
"I'm tired of hurting people… I don't know how to stop." Samuel Goldwyn Films has unveiled the trailer for an indie drama titled Endings, Beginnings, the latest feature made by filmmaker Drake Doremus (of Like Crazy, Breathe In, Equals, Newness). It follows a 30-something woman navigating through love and heartbreak over the course of one year. During that time, she will unlock the secrets to her life in a sudden turn of events and in the most surprising of places. This kind of intimate film all about romance and love is Drake's knack, he keeps making them, and they continue to be astonishing and heartbreaking and thrilling. Shailene Woodley stars, also with Jamie Dornan and Sebastian Stan, plus Matthew Gray Gubler, Lindsay Sloane, and Kyra Sedgwick. This one is worth a look, especially if you're a fan of these actors.
"We're going to the races!" Bleecker Street Films has unveiled the first official trailer for the Dream Horse movie, based on the true story of an underdog race horse raced by a small town that challenged the racing elite. Toni Collette stars as Jan Vokes, a local cashier and bartender, who decides to breed a race horse in her Welsh village. As the horse rises up through the ranks, Jan and the townspeople are pitted against the racing elite in a race for the national championship. This is the same story told in the documentary Dark Horse, and both films (this and the doc) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Also starring Damian Lewis, Howard Davies, Joanna Page, Nicholas Farrell, Peter Davison, Siân Phillips, and Owen Teale. This looks like a very sweet, amusing, and inspiring feature film version of the locals vs elites story.
"You do this and you're dead!" "I'm already dead." Briarcliff Entertainment has debuted an official trailer for a historical epic film titled Emperor, yet another outlaw slave who fights back after escaping the chains. Dayo Okeniyi (from "Shades of Blue", Terminator Genisys, Run Sweetheart Run) stars in the true story of Shields "Emperor" Green, a descendant of African kings, who escapes to the north and fights back in hopes of freeing his family. The cast includes Naturi Naughton, Kat Graham, Mykelti Williamson, Keean Johnson, Mykelti Williamson, James Cromwell, Paul Scheer, along with Bruce Dern. We've seen these kind of films before, one of the most prominent being The Birth of a Nation, but it's still badass to see these stories brought to the screen. The best part of this trailer is the bell tower explosion at the end. Enjoy.
"Instead of looking for the cure, we need to cure inside ourselves." Abramorama has debuted a trailer for a documentary called The Mindfulness Movement which, go figure, is about the "mindfulness movement" currently sweeping the world. From executive producers Jewel and Deepak Chopra, this inspirational doc "examines the growing number of people throughout society who believe mindfulness – a peaceful quality of attention anyone can develop by simply focusing on the present moment in a non-judgmental way – is the key to creating a healthier, happier world. For them, mindfulness is the way for anyone to make more moments matter in their lives." You've probably heard about it, maybe even read some articles about mindfulness, now you can learn more about it. The film profiles four people (including the musician Jewel) who explain their path to mindfulness, and includes moments to practice yourself. A good introductory doc.
"Kids are supposed to make mistakes. That's what the whole point of being a kid is." Hulu has debuted an official trailer for the indie coming-of-age comedy Big Time Adolescence, which originally premiered in-competition at the Sundance Film Festival last year. It received mostly positive reviews, but didn't end up with tons of buzz coming out of the fest. Hulu has dropped a red band trailer, in addition to a regular one, and will be releasing this in a few limited theaters before it's available streaming on Hulu. Griffin Gluck stars as Mo, a shy teenager who "comes of age" under the destructive guidance of his best friend, an aimless college dropout. Co-starring comedian Pete Davidson as his friend Zeke, with Sydney Sweeney, Colson Baker, Emily Arlook, and Jon Cryer. It's a good modern comedy, not the best, but it's pretty damn good.
"The entire ocean has begun moving." GKids has unveiled an official US trailer for the Japanese anime film titled Children of the Sea, which has been playing at a few film festivals last year (after initially opening in Japan in the summer). This is the latest feature made by Japan's Studio 4°C (known for Tekkonkinkreet, MFKZ, Mind Game, Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight, and others), and is directed by Ayumu Watanabe, with a score by award-winning composer and longtime Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi. The story involves a young girl named Ruka who is drawn into a mystery involving sealife around the world, in which two mysterious water-connected boys are involved. Of course, she falls in love with one of them. Starring the voices of Mana Ashida, Hiiro Ishibashi, Seishû Uragami, and Win Morisaki in the original version. It's a funky film, with a few quirky, odd moments, along with the usual cute, fun moments in so many anime films these days. If the visuals catch your eye, you might as well check out this film when it opens in spring.