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"I hope it's both a reward for the fans, and a new experience." Let the fight begin! Warner Bros has debuted a making of featurette for the new Mortal Kombat movie - watch the first trailer here. The video takes us through all of the main characters and actors who play them. This reboot based on the classic fighting video game has been in the works for years, ever since that short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth shook up WB and got them to start working on it. The main cast: Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Mehcad Brooks as Jax Briggs, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, and Max Huang as Kung Lao. This is looking SO good! Big action, big performances, big sets, epic fights. Can't wait! The film's opening is now set for April 23rd, despite what the posters say.
"If this were to spiral out of control…" Saban Films has released an official US trailer for the indie horror Initiation, the latest from director John Berardo (also of The Labyrinth). This premiered at the Sitges & Screamfest Film Festivals last fall, and it will be arriving on VOD this May. Whiton University unravels the night a star-athlete is found murdered in his dorm during pledge week, kicking off a spree of social media slayings that force the students to uncover the truth behind the school's hidden secrets and the horrifying meaning of an exclamation point. What does it all mean, Basil?! Lindsay LaVanchy (who also co-wrote the script) co-stars with Jon Huertas, Isabella Gomez, Froy Gutierrez, Gattlin Griffith, Patrick Walker, Bart Johnson, Shireen Lai, Kent Faulcon, Yancy Butler and Lochlyn Munro. This looks like some crazy campus serial killer horror, not so much any commentary on university culture. Check it out.
"He's a hunter, he wants to seduce me first!" Focus Features has unveiled an official US trailer for an indie computer screen thriller titled Profile, from filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov. This originally premiered back in 2018 at the Berlinale & SXSW Film Festival, which is when I first saw it (here's my positive review). The content might be exactly why it has taken so long for it to finally open. An undercover British journalist infiltrates the online propaganda of the so-called Islamic State, only to be sucked in by her recruiter. The film basically asks "how could a woman be seduced and tricked into joining ISIS and becoming a sex slave?" Well, you have to watch to find out. The unconventional thriller plays out entirely on a computer screen in the Screenlife style. Starring Valene Kane & Shazad Latif, plus Christine Adams, Morgan Watkins, Amir Rahimzadeh, and Emma Cater. This is a chilling cautionary tale, but comes highly recommended.
Even though 2021 continues to be as strange and meandering as 2020, the awards season rolls on. The 27th annual SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild Awards) honor the greatest performances from 2020, as chosen by other actors which means this is one of the most definitive lists of the best performances. Actors know their profession better than anyone and are very particular about good performances. The four individual winners are an impressive set of people of color winners, the first time in SAG history that has happened. The other major winner was The Trial of Chicago 7 - taking home the coveted "Best Ensemble Cast" award. Overall, the nominees across all the categories are more impressive than any one winner. Read on for more.
"You're not big on trust, are you?" Marvel + Disney have revealed a full-length official trailer for their next new series titled Loki, debuting on Disney+ streaming starting this June. They know how to keep the flow going! After Wanda Vision and Falcon & The Winter Soldier this year already, they're moving right into Loki and his mysteries and madness. The series takes place after/during the events of Avengers: Endgame when Loki steals the Tesseract. He's brought to the mysterious Time Variance Authority after traveling through time altering human history, but finds himself trapped in a crime thriller of his own making. Tom Hiddleston returns to star as Loki, with a cast including Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku, Richard E. Grant, Sasha Lane, and Erika Coleman. This looks like SO much devious time travel fun, and I dig Hiddleston's Loki! Looking forward to this amusing time-circus.
"Don't read the comments." Film Movement has revealed yet another new US trailer for the Dutch revenge thriller The Columnist, from filmmaker Ivo van Aart. This premiered at numerous genre film festivals last year including Fantasia, FrightFest, and the Telluride Horror Show. Columnist and author Femke is flooded with anonymous nasty messages and death threats on social media. One day she has enough and decides to take revenge. A "cautionary tale" about what happens when someone decides to go after the mean comments online. Starring Katja Herbers as Femke, with Genio de Groot, Rein Hofman, Bram van der Kelen, and Achraf Koutet. This looks so wicked, twisted, and provocative. From Zofia's review: "The Columnist is a thought-provoking, controversial picture that is an absolute must watch." Oh I really need to see this film.
"Standard procedure's gonna kill that kid!" Oscope Labs has released a trailer for a film titled Silo, which originally premiered in 2019 and is finally getting a "virtual cinema" release this May. Disaster strikes in a small American farm town when teenager Cody Rose becomes the victim of a grain entrapment accident. As corn becomes quicksand inside of a 50-foot tall silo, the town locals must put aside their differences to save Cody from drowning in the crop they harvest. "Silo is the product of an extensive collaboration between city-based filmmakers and the rural American community. The entire creative team spent years working with farmers, fire/rescue workers, and trusted agricultural institutions to ensure the authentic portrayal of the all-too-common danger of grain entrapment… A reminder of the importance of agricultural safety — it is also a testament to what communities can accomplish when they work together." Starring Jack DiFalco, Danny Ramirez, and Jeremy Holm. This looks way better than expected, might be a worthwhile watch.
"I just really need the world to see what I can do." Vertical Ent. has debuted an official trailer for an indie film titled Reefa, based on the true story of Israel "Reefa" Hernandez Jr, a young Colombian immigrant and talented artist. Tyler Dean Flores stars as Israel, spending his last summer in Miami with friends, family and his new girl Frankie before moving to New York City. While Israel and his friends skateboard the city streets and spray paint the walls of Wynwood, Miami's graffiti Mecca, anxieties emerge twofold: Israel and his family nervously await their Green Cards while he desperately seeks recognition for his work. When he spray paints one last wall with art that will earn him great respect with his peers, an encounter with a police officer leaves everyone devastated, the Miami community outraged, and the nation reeling from yet another case of police brutality. This also stars George Sear, Clara McGregor, Cinthya Carmona, Ricardo Chavira, and José Zúñiga. This doesn't look so bad. Another tragic story instilled with some fresh hope.
"A true warrior, above all else, prays for peace… But today we fight for the future of Japan!" Netflix has unveiled a teaser trailer for a new anime series titled Yasuke, from artist / creator Lesean Thomas (of "The Boondocks", "Black Dynamite"). Yasuke is a six-episode series set in alternate fantastical Japan during the feudal era. The story is about a samurai warrior who must return to his life of violence in order to protect a mysterious girl. When a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport the child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords. The story of Yasuke, the first African samurai who actually served with the legendary Oda Nobunaga, will be released to the world. Featuring the voice of LaKeith Stanfield as "Yasuke". This is a first look teaser but it's awesome introduction to this new creation, and that's why we're featuring this new series trailer anyway.
"We have to go back to where it all started." Disney reveals one more trailer for Marvel's Black Widow, which was delayed from its opening last May for more than a year due to the pandemic. It's now set to open in July and will be available on Disney+ in addition to theaters at the same time. This is the fourth (and final, final) trailer for the movie after three others last year before the shutdowns. This new stand-alone solo movie is directed by Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland and is set between the Civil War and Infinity War movies. Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Scarlett Johansson stars as Natasha Romanoff, returning from the previous Marvel movies. The cast also includes Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff, David Harbour as Red Guardian, plus William Hurt, Ray Winstone, O-T Fagbenle, and Michelle Lee. This trailer is really overselling all the action - let's hope the rest of the movie kicks ass, too.
"I know what you're looking for… a Dream Team!" Warner Bros has revealed the first teaser trailer for the long-awaited sequel Space Jam 2, also known as Space Jam: A New Legacy, directed by Malcolm D. Lee (of Barbershop: The Next Cut, Girls Trip, Night School). The original Space Jam first opened in the summer of 1996, combining live-action with Looney Toones animated characters. This time, NBA superstar LeBron James teams up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes crew to escape a virtual space run by a rogue algorithm that won't let him out unless he plays basketball. The cast includes Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe, Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, plus lots of real NBA stars; along with voice-actors Eric Bauza, Jeff Bergman, Kath Soucie, Bob Bergen, and Gabriel Iglesias. This actually looks like a Tron sequel more than anything else, which is crazy but cool. I'm in, seems like it's going to be serious fun.
"How could you navigate this world without any roots? It would be like roaming this Earth lost if you did not know who you were…" Another excellent short documentary about a place most of us have never heard of before. Seawolf is a short made by Canadian filmmaker Alexander Sworik, taking us on a journey to the Great Bear Rainforest located on the coast of British Colombia up near Alaska (Google Maps). This particular land is a "a naturally rich and diverse land home to many First Nations People. Like other areas in the country rich in natural resources, the land and its people have been and continue to be threatened by government regulation, restriction, and resource extraction." The doc spends time with two locals discussing their history and their connection with this land and the people from there. Not only does this feature tons of beautiful shots, but it's an invigorating story about Native people fighting for what's truly theirs anyway.