ENJOY THE MOVIES
"Ready to have some fun?" Netflix has revealed an official trailer for the next horror comedy from writer / director Christopher Landon, best known as the creator of Happy Death Day and Freaky. His latest is titled We Have a Ghost, launching on Netflix this February. Finding a ghost named Ernest haunting their new home turns Kevin's family into overnight social media sensations. But when Kevin and Ernest go rogue to investigate the mystery of Ernest's past, they become a target of the CIA. The best part about this is that David Harbour (from "Stranger Things", Hellboy, and Violent Night) stars as the titular ghost, Ernest, based on a short story by Geoff Manaugh. The cast also includes Jahi Winston, Tig Notaro, Erica Ash, Jennifer Coolidge, and Anthony Mackie, plus Faith Ford, Niles Fitch, Isabella Russo, and Steve Coulter. This does look funny! Landon keeps delivering with his funky fresh horror comedy ideas. I'm in.
"There's something out there… Something alien." Sony has debuted another new official UK trailer for the epic sci-fi dinosaur movie 65, arriving in theaters in March 2023 in just a few months. The first official US trailer landed last month, this one is a bit different with a few extra shots of the dinosaurs they encounter. An astronaut who crash lands on a mysterious planet discovers that he is not alone. It turns out he crash lands from the future back on Earth – 65 million years ago – and encounters dinosaurs as they try to find a ship to escape on. All his fancy new tech will be used to keep them alive. Adam Driver stars with Ariana Greenblatt (the girl seen in this footage) and Chloe Coleman. Produced by Sam Raimi, who also gets name dropped in this new trailer. This does look like it might be a very entertaining dino movie. Especially with Adam Driver in the lead, look gritty and super pissed trying to escape alive and not get eaten. Fire it up.
"Your world will not survive this!" Warner Bros revealed a second official trailer for their superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods, now opening in theaters in March. It was previously set for December, but then they moved it back again - probably a better strategy after Black Adam didn't do so well. From New Line Cinema comes Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which continues the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word "SHAZAM!," is transformed into his adult Super Hero alter ego, Shazam, played again by Zachary Levi. In this next one he will confront Hespera & Kalypso, daughters of the Greek god Atlas, while introducing us to an entire Shazam! family of (young) heroes. In addition to Levi, the new cast features Helen Mirren as Hespera, and Lucy Liu as Kalypso, Rachel Zegler, Meagan Good, Grace Fulton, and Marta Milans; with Djimon Hounsou, Asher Angel, and Jack Dylan Grazer returning from the first one. This looks like a much darker sequel, though it still seems like one big CGI fest with more than half this trailer being full CGI scenes. That big dragon looks cool, and the rest of it seems entertaining.
I did not know what I was getting into with The Deepest Breath. I did not know I was about to watch one of my favorite documentaries of the year. I went on a journey with all these people and can never forget this experience. The Deepest Breath is a extraordinary and awe-inspiring work of cinematic art. I was lucky to attend the world premiere screening at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival of this A24 / Netflix co-production, directed by Irish filmmaker Laura McGann. This exceptional documentary film is this year's Fire of Love (nominated for an Oscar!) – both films follow the beautiful story of a couple, examining their lives living on the edge and doing something radical that few other people on this planet do. The Deepest Breath is about a freediving couple and the incredibly dangerous sport of freediving - the act of holding your breath for long periods of time while diving or swimming. It moved me beyond words, I was wiping away tears by the end.
"You can't just pluck people out of their lives and then throw them back in with nothing." Good Deed Ent. has revealed an official trailer for a low budget indie sci-fi called TwoTwo, the latest from a filmmaker called Jun Hoskulds. This premiered at a few small festivals last year and will be out on VOD in February for anyone to watch. David had the dream life… Good education, suit-and-tie job in the corporate world, an apartment with a view. His life collapses when he loses his job. He randomly encounters a homeless man who makes David an offer: to "give it all up, in order to find it all over again," in a mostly similar, but much better, parallel universe. Intrigued? "TwoTwo is a fantasy film, a metaphor about life, purpose, connecting, spirituality, love, creativity, parallel universes, and the unseen presence of a power always watching." The film stars Joel Ballard as David, Morgan Makana as the woman called "22", Kenneth Best, and P.K. Simone. The acting in here is really bad, and it looks like the sci-fi concept is much bigger than the budget.
"You know what's on his hands? More rings than fingers." Netflix has revealed an official trailer for a two-part documentary titled Bill Russell: Legend, profiling the basketball icon and his life & career. This will be streaming on Netflix starting in early February, just before the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. On the court, Bill Russell was a force to be reckoned with - a champion who sacrificed himself for his teammates and love of basketball. Off the court, Bill Russell was a force in the fight for human rights - marching with the great Martin Luther King Jr., pioneering NBA boycotts and fighting against racism. From Sam Pollard, Bill Russell: Legend tells the remarkable life and legacy of an NBA superstar and civil rights icon. Featuring the last interview with Russell prior to his passing in 2022. Narrated by actors Jeffrey Wright and Corey Stoll and interviews with his family & friends as well as Steph Curry, Chris Paul, "Magic" Johnson, Larry Bird, Jim Brown and more. Looks damn good! No surprise from Pollard, he always makes must watch docs.
"Because everybody has one." Yep. One surprise Oscar nominee announced yesterday was a short film with a provocative title - My Year of Dicks. This animated short premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival last year, won the Cristal Award at Annecy in the summer, and is now online for everyone to watch. It's one of the five shorts nominated at the 2022 Academy Awards in the Best Animated Short Film category. If you want to give it a look, watch below. Directed by Sara Gunnarsdóttir, the film is written by and based on the memoir of Pamela Ribon, telling stories about her time as a teen in 1991 - the year she tried to lose her virginity by chasing a number of different boys. Pam tries very hard to lose her virginity and always searches for "the one". She's not alone, her best friends are with her. The voice cast includes Brie Tilton, Jackson Kelly, Klarissa Hernandez, and Chris Elsenbroek. The short runs a bit long - it's 25 minutes in total - but it's a delightfully quirky, amusing, and honest look at young love and the wacky choices we make. Enjoy.
"Let's try not to die tonight." Mainframe Pictures has revealed an official trailer for an indie horror comedy titled She Came from the Woods, opening in limited US theaters starting in February soon. It first premiered at FrightFest last year, but didn't hit any other fests in the fall. In this ode to '80s slasher horror, a group of dumb camp counselors accidentally unleash a decades' old evil on the last night of summer camp. As the mayhem and madness turn bloody, the staff of "Camp Briarbrook" are forced to confront what stories are worth telling and what secrets worth keeping. The horror comedy stars Cara Buono (from Stranger Things), William Sadler (Bill & Ted), Spencer List, Clare Foley, Michael Park, Tyler Elliot Burke, Adam Weppler, Ehad Berisha, Giselle Torres, and Dań Leahy. This looks, ahem, campy and not that scary but fun, another throwback riff on 1980s horror - there's always more of these to watch. Have a look.
"You write songs about who you wish you were, not who you are." Prime Video has revealed a new official trailer for a streaming series coming this March titled Daisy Jones & The Six, about a (fictional) rock band from the 1970s. It's made by director James Ponsoldt and the writers behind 500 Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now. The series follows the rise of rock band Daisy Jones and The Six through the '70s LA music scene on their quest for worldwide icon status. While the story is presented in a documentary style, including background interviews with the band, this is an entirely fictional story that captures the essence of creativity in the erratic, wild world of the 1970s. "It's time to hear the real story." Daisy Jones & The Six stars Riley Keough as the titular Daisy, Sam Claflin, Camila Morrone, Suki Waterhouse, Nabiyah Be, Will Harrison, Josh Whitehouse, Sebastian Chacon, and Tom Wright. This looks damn good! The faux documentary style makes it even more intriguing, they really went all out telling this band's story.
Everyone remembers that one teacher they had growing up that changed their lives. There is always at least one teacher who goes above and beyond, who approaches teaching as something more than just a job, or a chance to make kids remember some facts. My favorite teacher growing up was one named Mrs. Richards. Radical is a remarkable film from Mexico made by a filmmaker named Christopher Zalla, best known for his Sundance 2007 film Padre Nuestro before (I actually watched this one at Sundance and reviewed it way back then). He returns to Sundance again 16 years later to premiere his latest film, based on a true story about a "radical" Mexican teacher in a small border town called Matamoros (see Google Maps). Going into this film, I was initially expecting a light-hearted comedy, about kids feuding with their teacher. What I was not expecting was to discover a generous, warm-hearted, emotional story about a teacher and his students working together to overcome adversity and carelessness. Education matters, but teachers matter the most.
Is this what dating is really like these days?! I can't believe it. I don't want to believe it. This cannot be real. Can it…?? I'm not one to be extra negative about a film, but I must get this off my chest. Cat Person is bad, really bad. It's one of the worst films I've seen at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, not necessarily because the filmmaking is bad, but because the entire film is misguided. I didn't think they could extend the cringe and awkwardness of the original story (from New Yorker) this much and make it even more awkward to sit through. But somehow they did… It's such an uncomfortable watch. The film only features annoying idiotic cringe for two hours with absolutely nothing interesting or worthwhile to add or explore or consider or think about. I am shocked by how much of a mess this film is. It's not really about toxic masculinity, it's actually about a young woman who keeps making unbelievably stupid choices and never learning a thing from them. Her best friend is constantly trying to keep her from making mistakes, but she never listens to her… Ever.
"When you become a mother, you feel like you are split in two." XYZ Films has revealed the official trailer for the indie Mexican horror titled Huesera: The Bone Woman, opening in US theaters this February. It first premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival last year and has been earning rave reviews at other fests including Neuchâtel, Bucheon, Edinburgh, Bergen, Fantastic Fest, and Sitges. Huesera follows the story of Valeria, a young woman expecting her first child who becomes cursed by a sinister entity. Plunged into a terrifying and dangerous world, a group of witches emerge as her only hope for safety and salvation, but not without grave risk. Natalia Solián stars as Valeria, with a cast including Alfonso Dosal, Mayra Batalla, Mercedes Hernández, Aída López, and Martha Claudia Moreno. This looks insanely scary once the trailer gets going, lots of freaky footage in that second half! That part of the crib breaking viscerally like a bone is just terrifying. Horror fans must watch out for this one! Arriving in select theaters and on VOD soon.