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"We live in a world that's full of risk." Lionsgate has released the official trailer for an indie noir thriller titled The Poison Rose, from writer/director George Gallo. Inspired by classic film noir stories, the film stars John Travolta as Carson Phillips, an ex-football star turned private eye working in Hollywood, who's got a soft spot for a lady in distress. He's recruited to go back down to his hometown of Galveston, Texas to search for a missing woman, ending up in all kinds of trouble. The impressive cast also features Morgan Freeman, Famke Janssen, Brendan Fraser, Peter Stormare, Ella Bleu Travolta, Kat Graham, Robert Patrick, Nadine Lewington, and Nick Vallelonga. I don't really know how this got made, and it looks exactly as it's described, without anything interesting or unique about it. Still might be a fun watch?
"Something's going on here." STX Entertainment has finally debuted the first official trailer for an intense NYC action thriller titled 21 Bridges, formerly known as 17 Bridges. The title is a reference to the decision in the movie, during a citywide manhunt, to shut down and block off all 21 bridges that access Manhattan (and all the tunnels and trains and everything). Chadwick Boseman stars as a disgraced detective who gets a shot at redemption, jumping into the massive manhunt for a cop killer which leads him to discover a massive conspiracy that links his fellow cops to a criminal empire. The big ensemble cast includes Taylor Kitsch, Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons, Keith David, Stephan James, Dale Pavinski, Gary Carr, Victoria Cartagena, and Toby Hemingway. This does look pretty slick, and I'm curious about the twist.
"First they bite you, and then they turn into you." Gravitas Ventures has debuted an official trailer for an indie sci-fi horror titled Assimilate, also known as Replicate, from filmmaker John Murlowski (of Killer Caregiver, Nightmare Best Friend). The film is about three friends making a web series about their small town who discover that their neighbors are being killed and replaced by creatures who are perfect copies of their victims. Sounds creepy - a bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Species, something like that. Starring Joel Courtney, Calum Worthy, Andi Matichak, Katherine McNamara, Cam Gigandet, Mason McNulty, Terry Dale Parks, Vito Viscuso, and Jennifer Pierce Mathus. This looks horrific.
"Are you suggesting we try the most powerful weapon in the galaxy for fun?" Sony Pictures has revealed the second official trailer for Men in Black International, the fourth movie in the Men in Black series, which seems to be more of a reboot than anything. This one introduces us to two new MIB members: Chris Hemsworth as Agent H, and Tessa Thompson as Agent M. The plot involves them tackling the "biggest, most global threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization." This gives us a better idea of what to expect than the first trailer, but it still doesn't look that great. The cast also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Laurent Bourgeois, Larry Bourgeois, plus Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson. This seems to have lost the intelligent coolness it used to have for much more goofy humor.
"And now I want the truth…" Kew Media has debuted the first trailer for an indie film titled Rattlesnakes, described as a "neo-noir psychological thriller adapted from the acclaimed stage-play" by Graham Farrow. The film, written and directed by Julius Amedume (A Goat's Tail), tells the story of California life guru and family man Robert McQueen. What begins as a typical day of meetings and therapy sessions takes a turn for the worse… He's ambushed by three masked men and held hostage. McQueen is accused of sleeping with each man's wife. He pleads his innocence, but faced with being tortured, what he reveals will change their lives forever. Jimmy Jean-Louis stars, with a cast including Jack Coleman, Kathleen McClellan, Jay Acovone, Christian Oliver, and Rya Kihlstedt. There's not much to see here, but check this out anyway.
"Bringing someone like Fred onto the team is a little reckless." Lionsgate has debuted a quick new trailer for the comedy Long Shot, from director Jonathan Levine, opening in theaters in just a few weeks. Seth Rogen reteams with Levine (after both 50/50 and The Night Before) chasing after an entirely unattainable presidential candidate, played by Charlize Theron. Flarsky, an unemployed journalist battered by his own misfortune, attempts to pursue Charlotte Field, his childhood crush and babysitter who has become one of the most powerful and unreachable women on the planet. The cast includes Alexander Skarsgård, June Diane Raphael, Andy Serkis, Randall Park, O'Shea Jackson Jr., James Saito, Ravi Patel, and Gabrielle Graham. This isn't the best trailer (the first one still rocks) but it's some extra footage to remind everyone that this comedy is hitting theaters in the first week of May. And everyone says it's worth a watch.
"You need to open up yourself to complete reprogramming." Breaker has debuted the second official trailer for a trippy indie sci-fi thriller titled Perfect, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year (watch the first trailer). This experimental, retro-ish sci-fi project is about a boy who goes to a mysterious genetic-engineering clinic, only to discover the price of perfection will cost him everything, including his mind, body and his soul. Garrett Wareing stars as the boy, Vessel 13, with Abbie Cornish, Courtney Eaton, Tao Okamoto, Martin Sensmeier, Leonardo Nam, Alicia Sanz, and Maurice Compte. This is executive produced and presented by Steven Soderbergh, directed by Eddie Alcazar, featuring music by Flying Lotus. This does look totally wild - some very hypnotic, mesmerizing social commentary laced with a big hit of acid.
"I'm thinking of calling Barragán's ghost." Oscilloscope Labs has debuted the first trailer for a provocative, fascinating documentary titled The Proposal, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, and played at Hot Docs and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Made by artist Jill Magid as her directorial debut, the film is about an award-winning Mexican architect named Luis Barragán. His work, including all his artwork and more, is aggressively "protected" by its Swiss copyright holders, at the expense of public access. Barragán's professional archive - including the rights to his name and work - was acquired in 1995 by Swiss furniture company Vitra. The film explores the contested legacy of the late Barragán by attempting to gain access to his work, starting a debate in Mexico on his archives. This looks like such a captivating story - need to see it.
"How did you survive it?" "Almost didn't…" Bleecker Street has debuted the first official trailer for an indie drama titled Brian Banks, the latest from director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, Patch Adams), his first feature since making Evan Almighty in 2007. This premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year, and just played at the Cleveland Film Festival earlier this month. The controversial film, based on a true story, is about a 16 year old football player who All-American high school football star who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, sent to prison after going through the broken legal system. Aldis Hodge stars as the titular Brian Banks, with a cast including Greg Kinnear, Melanie Liburd, Tiffany Dupont, Sherri Shepherd, Matt Battaglia, Xosha Roquemore, Dorian Missick, and Dean Denton. This looks an upsetting, poignant film lead by the very talented Aldis Hodge.
"What are we going to do?" "Fight the damn devil!" Cinelou + Cranked Up Films + Good Deed Ent. present a brand new horror anthology feature containing five horrifying short films made by a handful of excellent filmmakers. Nightmare Cinema has a character called "the Projectionist", played by Mickey Rourke, who "preys upon souls" who go to his abandoned cinema "with his collection of disturbing films." Featuring five different segments: The Thing in the Woods directed by Alejandro Brugués, Mirari directed by Joe Dante, Mashit directed by Ryûhei Kitamura, This Way to Egress directed by David Slade, and Dead (along with The Projectionist framing) directed by Mick Garris. The ensemble cast also includes Annabeth Gish, Elizabeth Reaser, Maurice Bernard, Richard Chamberlain, Sarah Elizabeth Withers, and Zarah Mahler. This looks pretty gnarly and brutal, a must see for any and all horror fans out there. Enjoy.
"The painting is asking you to participate, to investigate with your mind." Film Movement has debuted an official US trailer for an art documentary titled Bosch: The Garden of Dreams, which is finally getting a release in the US this May after originally opening in Europe in 2016. The film takes a closer look at the iconic Hieronymus Bosch painting known as "The Garden of Earthly Delights", an incredibly famous and evocative work of art, a medieval triptych originally completed between 1490 and 1510. Even though it may seem a bit odd to make an entire film about one painting, this one painting in particular offers plenty to discuss and analyze and critique. There's something very mystical and magical and strangely powerful about this work, and many people are attracted to or affected by it. Not to mention that little is really known about Bosch, who exactly he was, and how he was able to create such incredible, nightmarish artwork. Take a look.
"Your ascent is stable." Time for a short film that's just a little bit trippy. The YouTube sci-fi channel Dust has launched a short film online titled On/Off, a French sci-fi film from writer/director Thierry Lorenzi. This has been playing at film festivals since 2013 and has just now debuted online for all to watch, which is a bit of a lengthy delay but it's a good short nonetheless. Carole Brana stars as Meredith, an astronaut who is plagued by mysterious voice in her head. She will face its paradoxical condition in order to stay connected to his humanity. Also starring Arben Bajraktaraj. This is clever and fascinating, and has a realistic feel to it. Though the reveal is a bit derivative, something we've seen plenty of times before. Give it a watch anyway.