ENJOY THE SHOW
"Let's get monster hunting!" Netflix has unveiled the first official trailer for a fun adventure horror comedy called A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting, a new movie from the director of Tank Girl! Adapted from the popular scary book series of the same name. A young babysitter is recruited into a secret monster hunting society and embarks on a mission to bring back a child she is babysitting who's been abducted by monsters. Tamara Smart (seen in Artemis Fowl and "The Worst Witch") stars in this as Kelly, and the full cast includes Oona Laurence, Alessio Scalzotto, Ian Ho, Tamsen McDonough, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Lynn Masako Cheng, Ty Consiglio, Ashton Arbab, Crystal Balint, Ricky He, along with Indya Moore and Tom Felton. This is described as an "action-packed adventure about working together to overcome your fears" and looks like Harry Potter + Men in Black + monsters. Which seems like good fun.
"Give the parrot his medicine." Studiocanal has unveiled a new trailer for the 4K restoration and re-release of The Ladykillers, celebrating the film's 65th anniversary. This "flawless" black comedy first opened in 1955 in London, and is considered one of the best British comedies ever made. A 35mm 3-strip Technicolor print was used as a reference for the colour grade to ensure the new HDR Dolby Vision master stayed true to the films original 1950s "Colour by Technicolor" look. Five oddball criminals planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians. The film features an all-star line-up of the finest comedy actors of the era: Alec Guinness plays mastermind "Professor Marcus"; Cecil Parker is Claude otherwise known as "Major Courtney"; Peter Sellers is Harry aka "Mr Robinson"; Herbert Lom is Louis aka "Mr Harvey" and Danny Green plays One-Round also known as "Mr Lawson". Topped off by an exquisite Katie Johnson as their landlord "Mrs. Wilberforce". The footage in this trailer is pristine, and as always, restorations are a perfect way to catch up with classics.
"Now our ship is abandoned by the gods already." Oh no no no no. Another new official trailer has arrived for the freaky deaky Chinese horror film Abyssal Spider. We featured the first teaser trailer last month, but the footage didn't have a single shot of any spider in it. A new trailer from Taiwan has been found online and it's packed with spiders - small ones and a few medium size ones. And there's probably one giant one that they battle at the end. The Chinese release title for this is offiically Mad Spider Sea, which is just as cool as the other title Abyssal Spider. Most of the film takes place on a fishing boat vessel, starring Sunny Wang, Cheng Jen-Shuo, Ke Jiayan, Li Liren, Li Kangsheng, Lian Kai, Xie Peien, Jiu Kong, and Chunfeng. After complaints about "no spiders" in the first trailer, the screenwriter went on Twitter to say that there will be plenty of them. And they've delivered on that promise! Only 60 seconds of footage and I'm already shaking with fear. I hate spiders so much. They are clearly CGI spiders, but this still looks scary AF.
"The Breakfast Club meets Waiting for Godot…" Now that's a funky pitch. But sounds good, kind of? Check out the official trailer for an indie comedy titled 18 to Party, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Jeff Roda. This originally premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival last year, and also played at the Florida Film Festival this year. It's set in 1984 and takes place outside a small-town nightclub, where a group of 8th graders gather, grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. Described by the festival as "a spot-on love letter to Gen X, awkward teenagers, and the transcendent power of friendship." The film stars Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood, Oliver GIfford, James Freedson-Jackson, Nolan Lyons, Sam McCarthy, Ivy Miller, Taylor Richardson, and Erich Schuett. It looks like classical indie filmmaking in a good way - no-budget project with a clever script about a time long gone.
"I don’t want to go back to the life I had before you…" Love is a powerful force. And love can be a beautiful thing, especially when it connects two people who don't have any interest in love. But true love is also rare, and honestly hard to find. As hard to find as a complete, unbroken fossil hidden inside a rock, just waiting patiently for millions of years to be discovered. That is the primary metaphor in this film, and it's a lovely metaphor. Ammonite is the second feature from British filmmaker Francis Lee, following his breakout debut God's Own Country a few years ago. It was selected for the Cannes Film Festival this year, but instead is premiering at the Toronto & London Film Festivals this fall (following Cannes' cancellation). I was lucky to catch the film, as Lee only wants to show it in a cinema. Rightfully so - it's worth to wait to see it properly.
"Why would I want to be like everyone else?" "Because it has to be better than this." Freestyle Digital has released an official trailer for an indie drama / dark comedy titled Ms. White Light, which first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year. It also then played at the Torino Film Festival in Italy, where it won the Audience Award a year ago. Roberta Colindrez (seen on the TV shows "Vida" and "The Deuce") stars as Lex Cordova, a young woman who counsels terminally ill clients that have trouble letting go. While uniquely talented in her ability to connect with the dying, Lex is at a total loss when it comes to dealing with everyone else. Until she meets a woman named Valerie. The indie cast also includes Zachary Spicer, John Ortiz, Judith Light, and Taylar Fondren. This actually looks quite intriguing, not only with all the wide shots of offices and hospital rooms. But the performance and the whole premise seems to offer something special.
"Do we continue to fight, or do we heal each other?" Together Films has released an official trailer for an indie documentary titled The Ground Between Us, made by two conservationists / filmmakers named Zeppelin Zeerip & Galen Knowles. Since 2017, public lands throughout America have faced unprecedented threats. Bears Ears National Monument was shrunk by 85%, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was opened to oil exploration, and the Elliott State Forest in Oregon was nearly privatized. Throughout this, Americans from both side of the political spectrum have stood up and made their voices heard in support of protecting these areas. The Ground Between Us presents these public lands debates alongside the day-to-day realities of three families who hold vastly different connections and perspectives on public lands. In our extremely divided America, The Ground Between Us shows that public lands can be a uniting factor. An important doc about nature and about how we can save this land and protect it for everyone to both enjoy & benefit from.
"These aren't just restless spirits. These are malevolent entities!" Amazon has released an official trailer for a new comedy series debuting this October titled Truth Seekers, about a podcast paranormal investigation team. Again we're breaking our no-TV policy just because this is Simon Pegg & Nick Frost re-teaming again on a TV series (the first since Spaced!) and this looks fun. It's worth a look. Truth Seekers is a supernatural comedy drama series featuring Nick Frost, Samson Kayo, Simon Pegg, and Emma D'Arcy. A group of part-time paranormal investigators team up to uncover a deadly conspiracy. This instantly reminds me of the underrated indie gem Extra Ordinary, a funny horror comedy from Ireland about a woman who can see ghosts. And there have been tons of other small-time paranormal investigators horror films over the years, too. The cast includes Malcolm McDowell, Susan Wokoma, and Julian Barratt. Check this out below.
"There is no stronger wine than a wine made in a region where there is war." An official trailer is out for a documentary film titled Wine and War, about the history of winemaking in Lebanon and the resilience of the Lebanese entrepreneurial spirit seen through the lens of war and instability. Inspired by the award-winning book Wines of Lebanon by Michael Karam, the filmmakers set out to tell a mesmerizing story and "change the perceptions of the Middle East". The astonishing stories tell of bravery, determination, and survival and how wine can be a unifier and a metaphor for life, hospitality, civilization, and above all, a force for good in a region defined by turmoil and animosity. Above all, it is a compelling story that has not been told about a region that is not automatically associated with wine, one that shows the best side of Lebanon, its history, its tradition of hospitality, and its generosity of spirit. Sounds good to me! Will be watching this.
"You first responsibility is to preserve the hearing you have." Amazon Prime has finally debuted an official trailer for Sound of Metal, an acclaimed indie drama about a rock band drummer who begins to lose his hearing. The film first premiered at the Toronto and Zurich Film Festivals last year to rave reviews, and is open in select theaters later this fall. Riz Ahmed stars as Ruben, a heavy-metal drummer whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. The full cast includes Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric, Chris Perfetti, and William Xifaras. So far this looks as good as I've heard. Have been forward to watching it ever since the TIFF buzz dropped last year. One great review states: "Riz Ahmed turns in a spectacular performance that overcame my fears of disability appropriation."
"When death comes, as it does for us all… Life is changed, not ended… They are never truly gone, for the spirit remains." A very unique short film to watch - now available online. Fred, stylized as f r e d, is a short film written and directed by British filmmaker Alexander Jeremy. It premiered at a few festivals last year and won an award for a spontaneous musical dance sequence. A woman struggles to come to terms with the loss of her fiancé, but below the surface, a darker story lurks. "Almost two years ago one of my best mates passed away. I decided to make a short film and dedicate it to him." Starring Samuel Woodhams as Fred, plus Susie Kimnell, Shaun Prendergast, & Nathan Gordon. "We are proud that we made something that is original, bold and unique," Jeremy states. And it certainly is. "Give yourself a half-hour and sink in."
"Sometimes bad things happen to good people." Lionsgate has debuted an official US trailer for the action thriller superpowers movie Mortal, made by Norwegian horror filmmaker André Øvredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe). Described as "Chronicle meets X-Men meets Thor," this "origin story" is about a young man, Eric, who discovers he has God-like powers based on ancient Norwegian mythology. Nat Wolff stars along with Iben Akerlie as Christine, a young psychologist trying to figure out what really happened when the authorities go after him. They both go on the run, and Eric finally figures out who, or what exactly, he really is. The cast includes Priyanka Bose, Arthur Hakalahti, Anna Sedunova, and Per Egil Aske. This trailer isn't as polished as the first UK one, but it's still a good tease. Is he the God of Thunder, or is he something else? That line about "bad things" is intriguing. Can't he use his powers for good? Perhaps he can.