ENJOY THE SHOW
"My client has a very delicate product that he needs transported…" Pic4 Studios has debuted a trailer for a short film titled The Shipment, which is playing at the Tribeca Film Festival this month. It premiered at a few other genre festivals last year and is expected to debut online this summer. The Shipment is a 30-minute long sci-fi, space epic short film with a budget of $1 million, which is crazy for a short but why not. It's the directorial debut of VFX veteran (and the owner of Elite Home Theater Seating) Bobby Bala, who made this with his daughter. "My goal was to create my first film with my daughter. I felt this would be a memorable experience…" The story is about a widowed cargo hauler who ends up stuck with his daughter in a wretched spaceport. Stranded and broke, he must make a difficult choice in desperate attempt to provide a better life for her. Starring Aleks Paunovic, Ishana Bala, Robert Maillet, Omari Newton, Adrian Petriw, and Jacques Lalonde. This looks fun, but definitely seems like an expensive home video more than anything.
"You…ugly…butt…lump!" Time for something just a bit funky, and all kinds of weird. Song of a Toad is a short film made as a student project at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg based in Southern Germany. Written and directed by Kariem Saleh, it took three years to develop and animate with a team of nearly 50 students and volunteers. The short film went on to win "Best in Show" at the Siggraph Computer Animation Festival in 2017. The Filmakademie presented the short on YouTube, and we just came across it recently. It's so odd and wacky and amusing that I couldn't help featuring it. Presented in German with English subtitles, featuring the voices of Andreas Mannkopff, Benjamin Hille, Gerald Friese. Saleh's Song of a Toad is about a human "carrying his unbeloved childhood right on his head – an old choleric toad." Give it a watch.
"From that point on, everything changed." Abramorama has debuted an official trailer for another rock doc titled Parallel Love, or rather in full: Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury. Yet another film about a long lost band that isn't actually lost - they're still around, still rocking, just in a different way. In the 1990s, alt rock band Luxury is skyrocketing toward national fame, until a life-threatening tour bus wreck shakes each band member to his core. Today, Luxury is led by three orthodox priests, and they're still playing music. "Through interviews and archival footage, Parallel Love tells the gripping and poignant story of Luxury and documents the making of a new record, now as priests." Appearances by Chris Foley, Glenn Black, Jamey Bozeman, Lee Bozeman. Looks especially intriguing because of what happened to them.
"She's not Jean anymore." 20th Century Fox has revealed the third & final trailer for Dark Phoenix, the next X-Men movie focusing on Jean Grey as she becomes the "Dark Phoenix". This might just be the best trailer yet, saving the best for last, after a few other mediocre trailers released in the last year. This movie is still connected to the previous X-Men series, and brings back most of the actors from the most recent films, but it also looks like Fox is positioning this as a grand finale (following in the steps of Avengers: Endgame opening earlier in the summer). Young actress Sophie Turner replaces Famke Janssen as Jean Grey. The cast includes many old and new members: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, plus Jessica Chastain, Ato Essandoh, and Scott Shepherd. This epic action in this does look pretty dang cool, but it also looks like they're desperately trying to pull this together after so many major reshoots and delays. Maybe it'll be okay?
"Does she make you want to write or live?" "Both." Thunderbird Releasing has debuted an official UK trailer for a film titled Vita & Virginia, a romantic drama inspired by the letters written between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. "A daring celebration of an unconventional bond, and a vivid exploration of gender, sexuality, creativity and passion, Vita & Virginia details the love story of two women - two writers - who smashed through social barriers to find solace in their forbidden connection." The film stars Gemma Arterton as Vita, and Elizabeth Debicki as Virginia, and is set in the 1920s in London. Despite the odds, the magnetic Vita and the beguiling Virginia forge an unconventional affair, set against the backdrop of their own strikingly contemporary marriages - which inspired one of Woolf’s most iconic novels, "Orlando". The cast includes Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones, Peter Ferdinando, Emerald Fennell, Gethin Anthony, Rory Fleck Byrne, and Karla Crome. This looks lovely, and romantically inspiring.
"The world is full of terrible people…" Indeed it is. Brainstorm Media + Great Point Media have debuted an official trailer for a film titled We Have Always Lived in the Castle, an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's classic novel of the same name. This creepy Gothic mystery thriller is about two sisters who live in a large manor, caring for their deranged uncle - as played by Crispin Glover (perfect casting for Crispin, I'd say?). Merricat, Constance and their Uncle Julian live in isolation after experiencing a family tragedy six years earlier. When cousin Charles arrives to steal the family fortune, he also threatens a dark secret they've been hiding. Alexandra Daddario and Taissa Farmiga co-star, with a cast including Sebastian Stan, Paula Malcomson, Bosco Hogan, Peter O'Meara, Joanne Crawford, as well as Glover. Take a peek below.
"She can see the colors." Liongsate + Codeblack Films have released a second and final trailer for the indie film Fast Color, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year. The acclaimed film is about a young woman who is forced to go on the run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home. Talented actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as Ruth, with a small cast including David Strathairn, Saniyya Sidney, Lorraine Toussaint, and Christopher Denham. Fast Color is opening in limited theaters this week, and pretty much every review for it has been positive, making this a indie gem worth watching. Get a final look below then get your tickets.
"I had never seen anything like this before…" Abramorama has debuted the official trailer for a profound documentary titled The Serengeti Rules, which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year. This fascinating, beautiful nature documentary is about a group of scientists in the 1960s who traveled all over our planet, "driven by an insatiable curiosity about how nature works." After traveling to some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth, they discovered a single set of rules that govern all life. "This film is about more than the ecology of place. Collectively, the fact that scientists have found nature working the same way all over the planet tells us that Bob (and the others) discovered something fundamental about life. Predators and keystone species may become our greatest allies in the coming fight to protect our biosphere."
"Merrily we roll along, roll along! Catching at dreams…" Time for another fascinating video highlighting the books (and music) seen in a film. H. Nelson Tracey has unveiled another "Reading List" video for Greta Gerwig's Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird, pointing out various books and book passages and references throughout. He made one of these for Captain Fantastic a few years ago, and is back again with a new one for Lady Bird, and it's chock full of great (and not-so-great) books and music and magazines and more. It's a video essay, per se, though more of a pop culture / visual reference guide. I want more of these breakdown videos for pretty much every movie released every year, they're so mesmerizing and so well done. Enjoy this.
"This spirit - she is determined, very powerful, rage surrounding her." Vertical Entertainment has unveiled an official trailer for an indie horror thriller titled Isabelle, which premiered at the Busan Film Festival last year. Isabelle is the latest horror from Canadian filmmaker Rob Heydon, and is hitting VOD + a few theaters in late May. After moving into the perfect New England neighborhood, an all-American couple's dream of starting a family is shattered when they encounter an evil spirit that wants nothing more than to take their lives. Amanda Crew stars with Adam Brody, and a full cast including Zoë Belkin, Sheila McCarthy, Booth Savage, Michael Miranda, Dayo Ade, David Tompa, Zoe Doyle, and Shanice Banton. This looks like your standard paranormal horror with the usual terrifying scenes and a freaky red-eyed ghost girl.
"Heroes… it's an old-fashioned notion." We're just over a week away. The final countdown is on. It's almost here. Are you ready? Disney has debuted one more final trailer for Avengers: Endgame, and it's the best one yet. This is technically a TV spot, but it runs a full 2 and 1/2 minutes, making it pretty much a trailer even though they're technically not releasing any more. This one combines bits of footage from all 22 Marvel movies so far, every last one of them, bringing them together for this epic cinematic event. And it's exciting as hell. Engame stars everyone in the MCU: Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Tessa Thompson, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Josh Brolin, Chris Evans, Cobie Smulders, Paul Rudd, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, and many more. Fire it up and enjoy this glorious trailer before the movie opens next week.
"Over the last several months, a number of citizens vanished into thin air." Studiocanal UK revealed the official full-length trailer for yet another adventurous animated movie based on toys, called Playmobil: The Movie. If it isn't obvious enough, this is based on the Playmobil toys + various characters, made by a German conglomerate called the Brandstätter Group. This whole thing is a Lego rip-off in so many different ways, and it looks like an absolute disaster of a film. "Packed with humor and excitement the film combines endearing and hilarious characters, thrilling adventure and breathtaking scenery in this original, animated heart-warming tale." Featuring the voices of Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Bateman, Adam Lambert, Kenan Thompson, Meghan Trainor, and Daniel Radcliffe. It's pretty amazing they even ripped off The Lego Movie concept where real humans are playing with the toys. And then she gets sucked into their world. Seriously?! Is there anything original or interesting about this movie?! It looks so, so awful.