› Alex Winter on Making Docs
› Aust. Filmmaker Jennifer Kent
› Shadow Director Zhang Yimou
› Darya Zhuk on Making Films
› S2BY Director Boots Riley
› Leigh Whannell of Upgrade
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"What I'm about to tell you will not make sense right now… But I'll explain." Dust has premiered a new sci-fi short film titled Box 616, a proof-of-concept short written & directed by filmmaker Mitch Glass - who made this with only three people and less than $1,000 budget. It's a solid, captivating, genre short that ends with a good twist. After his father's death, Malcolm inherits an old bank vault that couldn't be opened for 70 years. Inside, he finds a strange device and a recording asking him to complete a series of requests. Box 616 stars Nick Rua and Gary Bristow. This short is all about the concept - mixing a handful of genres with a dash of originality. Makes me wish they'd make National Treasure as a sci-fi thriller with clues like this box.
"Do you believe that we have the right to be happy if it hurts other people?" Film Movement has debuted an official US trailer for the acclaimed Guatemalan drama Tremors, not to be confused with the monster movie cult classic of the same name. Originally titled Temblores in Spanish, the film is about the coming out of an evangelical patriarch, which shatters his family, his community and uncovers a profoundly repressive society. This first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, and has stopped by numerous other major festivals including Seattle, Outfest, San Sebastián, Athens, Vancouver, London, and Chicago. Starring Juan Pablo Olyslager, Mauricio Armas, Diane Bathen, María Telón, and Sergio Luna. This has been receiving rave reviews from critics, who say it has "extraordinary nuance [and] compassion." Definitely worth a look.
"They've been manipulating you… What you think is real, sometimes ain't." Sony Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for action sci-fi movie Bloodshot, another comic book adaptation, this one about a slain soldier (and mobster?) who is re-animated with superpowers. It's based on the comic book character known as Bloodshot, published in various Valiant Comics, the first appearance in 1992. Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero "Bloodshot" by the RST corporation. It seems to be a twisted mix of Upgrade and RoboCop, which might actually be awesome. The cast includes Guy Pearce, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Lamorne Morris, Talulah Riley, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, and Siddharth Dhananjay. So far, so good! Looks massively entertaining, though it seems like a story we've seen so often before (see: Source Code, Edge of Tomorrow).
"The Apollo has always represented truth." HBO has debuted an official trailer for the documentary titled The Apollo, the definitive doc film about (the past and present of) New York City's iconic Apollo Theater venue located in Harlem. The Apollo first opened in 1914 (as a burlesque theater) and has survived over 100 years, still operating today as an NYC entertainment mainstay. Located on West 125th Street (here) between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (Seventh Avenue) and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (formerly Eighth Avenue) in Harlem. The Apollo Theater represents the ongoing struggle of black lives in America, and The Apollo doc demonstrates the elemental role that art plays in that struggle by highlighting the broad range of African American achievement that has been discovered, championed, and thrived on its stage. Check it out.
Sony released Ang Lee's new sci-fi action movie Gemini Man in theaters a few weeks ago. Aside from the HFR cinematography, the film is boasting "groundbreaking" technology with its de-aging VFX. Gemini Man is about the world's best assassin, played by Will Smith at his current age (51), attempting to retire until he's pursued by a younger version of himself. He soon learns that they actually cloned him, and this younger "Junior" is exactly like him in every way. To create this character, Ang Lee filmed Will Smith in a motion-capture rig (with face-capture cameras) and then let the VFX artists work on their computers to de-age him. A few videos have arrived online over the last few weeks explaining the process, and showing before/after shots as well as a glimpse as the techniques they're using. I highly doubt these videos will convince anyone to see the movie, but they're fascinating to watch nonetheless because it's an advance process. Most of the de-aging VFX work was done by Weta Digital in New Zealand, still the best at what they do. Watch below.
"I'm telling you, man, it's a war out here. Going to be us against them." Screen Media Films has unveiled an official trailer for an indie thriller titled Crown Vic, which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Written & directed by Joel Souza, the title is a reference to the cop car that most police drive around America - known as a "Crown Vic" because it's a Ford Crown Victoria. This film tells the story of one memorable night in the life of LAPD officer Ray Mandel while hunting two cop killers on the loose. The two cops, one a rookie, must contend with a city about to boil over. Starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank, with David Krumholtz, Bridget Moynahan, Gregg Bello, Scottie Thompson, and Josh Hopkins. Looks like a very intense, gritty film about how incredibly hard it is to work as cops in a big city.
"I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it's a comedy." On this episode of The First Word podcast we sit down for a full-on discussion about the controversial, box office smash, R-rated comic book movie Joker, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic Gotham villain. Everyone else has been talking about it, we had to speak our minds about it, too. Friends Alex Billington (@firstshowing) and Mike Eisenberg (@Eisentower30) team up to bring you a podcast providing in-depth discussion, analysis, and interviews about the latest movies, and some old ones too. For this episode, we're joined by film writer Katie Smith-Wong based in London as our guest for a discussion about Joker - and all the good & bad sides. Is it a great movie? Is there "nothing" it has to say or is there something? Listen in.
"I gotta take care of my family…" Dark Star Pictures has debuted an official trailer for an indie romantic drama titled Angelfish, which is headed straight-to-VOD in November. Set in The Bronx in 1993, the film is about a young couple from two completely different worlds, who fall in love over a summer that reshapes their lives and the way they view the future ahead of them. Marking the feature directorial debut of Peter Andrew Lee, who also wrote the screenplay. Angelfish stars Destiny Frasqueri, also known by her rapper name "Princess Nokia", plus Jimi Stanton (seen in November Criminals, Netflix's "The Punisher") as Brendan, her love interest. Also with Stanley Simons, Erin Davie, Rosie Berrido, Sandy Tejada, and Claire McClanahan. This looks like it has the rawness and realness of Like, Crazy, but set in NYC instead.
"He's the most lethal Terminator ever created." Paramount has released one more extended red band TV trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate, running 80 seconds with some awesome footage packed in. This new Terminator movie is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, starting up the day after Judgement Day. We're only a few weeks away from the release, so Paramount is trying to build up interest any way they can. Badass actress Linda Hamilton returns as the first Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is also back, with Edward Furlong as the original John Connor. Cameron is producing and is credited on the story. The full cast includes Natalia Reyes, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta, Alicia Borrachero, Steven Cree, and Claudia Trujillo. Opening in theaters everywhere starting November 1st.
"I don't even know what I'm doing with myself anymore…" RLJE Films has released an official trailer for an indie drama titled Adopt a Highway, which initially premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. The film marks the directorial debut of actor Logan Marshall-Green, born in South Carolina, who doesn't appear in the film. Adopt a Highway stars Ethan Hawke as a man just released from prison after serving 21 years for a 3rd strike conviction for possessing an ounce of marijuana. Everything changes when he finds an abandoned baby in a dumpster behind the fast food restaurant where he works… Also starring Elaine Hendrix, Diane Gaeta, Mo McRae, Chris Sullivan, and Betty Gabriel. Early reviews describe it as "an emotionally resonant and lyrical tale delivered in the most compassionate of tones." Have a look.
"Did you see the look on that lady's face?!" Samuel Goldwyn Films has debuted an official trailer for an indie horror film titled Extracurricular, the latest feature from filmmaker Ray Xue (Transcendent). This horror-thriller originally premiered at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival last year, only now getting a direct-to-VOD release in January for those still interested. Four overachieving high school students and best friends have a secret pastime: planning and executing murders (while wearing different masks). But when one of their plans goes shockingly awry, the relationship between them is put to the test. Starring Keenan Tracey, Brittany Raymond, Spencer Macpherson, Brittany Teo, Stephen Bogaert, Emmanuel Kabongo, and Luke Goss. This looks way darker than expected, not much comedy, nothing but murders.
"You're not just a dog, buddy, you're StarDog!!" Kaleidoscope Entertainment in the UK has unveiled an official trailer for an indie animated "fun for the whole family!" feature titled StarDog and TurboCat, which is as cheesy as it sounds. Launched into space by his scientist owner, a loyal dog and a vigilante cat embark on a "space age voyage" to find their way home. It's described as "a hilarious animated adventure about friendship, heroism and belief in the human capacity for good that introduces the whole family to the greatest heroes ever unleashed." It's the first feature made by Red Star 3D, a company that usually makes theme park "4D" short films. Featuring the voices of Luke Evans, Nick Frost, Gemma Arterton, and Bill Nighy. Maybe this will be fun? Probably not…? But who knows, have to give it a chance anyway. Right?