ENJOY THE MOVIES
One day you will wake up. And you won't recognize where you are. You will need to find your way back. But can you? This entrancing short film is called Wake and it follows a man's experience of the aftermath of losing his wife and soon-to-be daughter. This touching short is made by filmmaker Martin Klapperbein and writer / cinematographer Liam Higgins. It's gorgeously shot and heartfelt and moving. Starring Michael Wamara as the man who wakes up. Sometimes it's better not to explain and over-analyze short films, and to just let them wash over you, and let them affect you any way they might. This is one of those shorts that I want to recommend, but I don't want to say anything else about it before. It's best to just dive in and spend a mesmerizing 7 minutes with this artistic creation. Learn more about the short below and enjoy the journey.
"If anybody's listening, please say something." Mill House Motion Pictures has released a festival teaser trailer for the indie contained sci-fi thriller film The Abandon, made by filmmaker Jason Satterlund. This will be premiering at the upcoming 2022 Mammoth Film Festival in just a few weeks, playing as the Closing Night film. It seems to be a combination of two other sci-fi films - Source Code and Cube. A wounded soldier awakens in a strange cube that tests his physical and mental limits as he attempts to find a way to escape against a ticking clock. The cube room begins to change: fluctuating extreme temperatures, random shifts of gravity, and strange writing appearing on the walls. Starring Jonathan Rosenthal, with Tamara Perry as the voice of the woman on the phone. From this teaser my guess is he's in some sort of coma or machine to keep him alive, kind of like Source Code. But it's hard to tell if it's this or something else like aliens or VR.
Yo ho, a criminal's life for me. Maybe doing something illegal might actually be better than working a "real" job? There's clever commentary worked into this new film about the inherent problems with capitalism and corporate culture, ultimately hinting that the quickest and easiest way to earn money might actually be the best way. Which is why so many people choose this path instead of a formal career. Emily the Criminal is a slick, engaging credit card scam heist thriller starring Aubrey Plaza - who also produced the film. This is one of the final premieres at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and it's a late fest highlight, one of my faves. It remains hyper focused and never wanders, with a 96 minute runtime that is just right for this story. A few critics have compared it to Uncut Gems, but I'd say it's much more similar to the black jack scam movie 21.
"Do not come looking, do not worry about me, I will having the time of my life." An early festival teaser trailer has debuted for an indie "coming-of-age horror" film set to premiere this week - playing at the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival (the smaller Sundance spin-off). The film is called Honeycomb and it was filmed on Cortes Island, British Columbia in Canada. Five girls stray from society on the hunt for something more special… you can find them if you follow the sound. "A beautiful and raw love letter to youth, Honeycomb is a bold and promising feature debut for Fast, who shares writing credit with Emmett Roiko." The film stars a breakout cast of young talent including Rowan Wales, Sophie Bawks-Smith, Jillian Frank, Destini Stewart, and Mari Geraghty. Not the best teaser, but it seems like a good one to keep an eye on anyway.
"Federova's plan is bigger than the banks." NBC has unveiled an official trailer for The Endgame, a new heist thriller series from creators Jake Coburn and Nicholas Wootton. We're breaking our usual no-TV rules to feature this because so many series are being made for streaming these days, and because this is directed by a major movie director - Justin Lin, of Better Luck Tomorrow, Tokyo Drift, Star Trek Beyond, and F9: The Fast Saga most recently. Endgame is high-stakes thriller about Elena Federova, a very recently captured international arms dealer and brilliant criminal mastermind who even in captivity orchestrates a number of coordinated bank heists, and Val Turner, the principled, relentless and socially outcast FBI agent who will stop at nothing to foil her ambitious plan. Morena Baccarin and Ryan Michelle Bathé star as Elena & Val, with Costa Ronin, Kelly AuCoin, Noah Bean, Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Kamal Angelo Bolden, and Mark D. Espinoza. It kind of looks like Now You See Me with Baccarin. Bow to the Queen.
"Do you remember the moment of your birth?" "Has anyone ever answered yes to that question?" Apple Park Films has revealed the first teaser trailer for The Mire, an intriguing indie thriller about a cult. Made by Apple Park Films and Familiar Stranger Studios. On the eve of a mass suicide, the charismatic cult leader Joseph Layton must convince his two most loyal followers that he intends to go through with their plans. A battle of wits ensues across one evening. The film stars Antony Knight, Holly McLachlan, and Joseph Adelakun. It's hard to judge based on the little bit of footage in this trailer, but I'm curious to see more. In the meantime, if you're itching for more cult thrillers we'd recommend Midnight Mass if you haven't seen it.
There's something wrong with Maggie. She is not who she seems. But I'll get back to that. Resurrection is an exceedingly eerie thriller premiering at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and it's one of the best films I've seen at the festival this year. This meticulously crafted film follows in the footsteps of Yorgos Lanthimos' The Killing of a Sacred Deer as an unsettling film that gets crazier and crazier as it carries on. There are no easy answers, in fact there are no answers at all. The film hides many details in almost every single frame, and there's a foreboding feeling that builds throughout. I think a key part of my enjoyment experiencing this film is not knowing anything about it before watching. Festivals offer us this very special opportunity to discover films that have never been shown publicly before, there's no marketing or PR around them yet, all we have to work with is a vague synopsis and photo. The rest we discover as the film unveils at its premiere.
"When you start acting, really dig into your character." Well Go USA has revealed an official US trailer for a Chinese comedy titled Too Cool to Kill, a sort of comedy of errors about a comedian who gets mixed up in some kind of crazy plots. This is opening in the US starting in late February right around the same time it also opens in China. In order to fully realize his dream of being a comedian, Wei Chenggong accidentally broke into a dangerous scam under the "persuasion" of actress Milan. But Wei Chenggong didn't know he was already involved in another real & ridiculous plot. He's left to rely on only his good luck and (somewhat questionable) acting skills to survive. Starring Wei Xiang and Ma Li, with Lun Ai, Minghao Chen, and Gianluca Zoppa. It looks like some goofy crime comedy fun, with lots of wacky characters. Worth a look.
"It's a story you may think you know, but uh, you don't. Not really." Netflix has revealed a first look teaser for Pinocchio, the new film from Guillermo del Toro following Nightmare Alley's released last month. This is set to arrive on Netflix in December later this year, and I expect it to show up at film festivals before then. Del Toro reinvents Carlo Collodi's classic tale of the wooden marionette who is magically brought to life in order to mend the heart of a grieving woodcarver named Geppetto. This stop-motion musical follows the mischievous & disobedient adventures of Pinocchio in his pursuit of a place in the world. Directed by del Toro & Mark Gustafson, the film features an all-star voice cast with Ewan McGregor as Cricket, David Bradley as Geppetto, and Gregory Mann as Pinocchio. Along with Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, Christoph Waltz, and Tilda Swinton. Have a look.
"That was the dream - hear your song coming out of the radio." Today we're debuting the official trailer for the documentary film titled Worst To First: The True Story of Z100 NYC. From Gunpowder & Sky, this entertaining doc film portrays the against-all-odds story of the launch of the iconic and most successful radio station in history, New York City's Z100. Elvis Duran, the top rated morning radio personality in America, has produced a film about the birth of one of America's most iconic radio station, Z100, and how the legendary Scott Shannon took it from "Worst to First". With an all star cast of musical legends including Clive Davis, Nile Rodgers, Joan Jett, Jon Bon Jovi and many more. "Capturing the times, personalities and music of the era," Worst To First is the story of the Z100 station and "the people behind the legacy that endures and continues to grow, reaching eight-digit audiences daily." Take a journey back to music history.
This is a knock out! There is nothing wrong with enjoying sex. But we still live in a world that pushes back against this. There's still many people who believe it is this taboo, private thing, and the only real use for it is creating children. Or something that they don't have control over because they never learned about their own body. This film finally pushes back against this misunderstanding and intolerance, and reminds us that we all need to learn to appreciate and enjoy sex more. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is a lovely little revolutionary film about sex and pleasure, directed by the Australian filmmaker Sophie Hyde (director of Animals previously), from a screenplay written by Katy Brand. It's a beautifully intimate, honest one-room drama about a woman who, at age 55, finally wants to have some real, good sex. And though she's afraid of it, and has never had an orgasm, with the right conversation and right touch, she's finally ready to open up.
"Picabo put ski racing back on the map." Peacock has released this new docu series titled Picabo on their streaming service this weekend. Just in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics kicking off soon in China. The documentary chronicles the life of 1998 Olympic alpine skiing gold medalist Picabo Street, a name many will recognize as she was very famous in the 90s. It features an emotional interview with Street and fellow skier Lindsey Vonn and tons of archival footage. "Picabo Street is a true sporting pioneer who I’ve looked up to as long as I can remember," said Vonn speaking about the film. I've been lucky to be able to call her not only a mentor but a friend. I wanted to play this forward by documenting her incredible story in Picabo – I hope it will inspire the next generation of barrier-breaking athletes." This is produced by Frank Marshall and it's directed by him and Vonn. It covers her unorthodox childhood in Idaho to her Olympic successes, dramatic recoveries from ill-timed injuries, and her arrest in 2015. Looks like there's plenty this will discuss.