ENJOY THE MOVIES
"Why is that witch going on a witch hunt?" Well Go USA has revealed an official US trailer for a Korean mystery thriller sequel titled The Witch 2 - The Other One, also known as The Witch: Part 2 - The Other One, from director Park Hoon-jung. Arriving on VOD in the US this November after first opening in Korea. A girl wakes up in a gigantic secret laboratory. When the girl escapes from a laboratory, she stumbles upon Kyung Hee, who is trying to protect her house from criminal gangs. When the girl comes face to face with a criminal organization approaching Kyung Hee's house, the girl overpowers them with overwhelming power, and in the meantime, they start chasing her in the secret laboratory. Who is this mysterious girl and why is she being chased? A follow-up to The Witch: Part 1 - Subversion - which is available to watch now. Part 2 stars Shin Sia, Park Eun-bin, Seo Eun-soo, Jin Goo, Sung Yoo-been, Jo Min-soo, Lee Jong-suk, and Kim Da-mi. Strange that this isn't so much about a horrror witch, more of a sci-fi superpowered hero.
"What they don't know, is that we're the best hunters there is." RLJE Films + Shudder have revealed an official trailer for an indie film titled Slash/Back, which first premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. This radical little indie sci-fi is about a group of teenage Inuit girls from Pangnirtung, Nunavut (see Google Maps) - a town way, way up on the North East coast of Canada - closer to Greenland than anywhere else. When Maika and her ragtag friends discover an alien invasion in their tiny arctic hamlet, it's up to them to save the day. Utilizing their makeshift weapons and horror movie knowledge, the aliens realize you don't mess with girls from Pang. Starring Tasiana Shirley, Alexis Vincent-Wolfe, Nalajoss Ellsworth, and Chelsea Prusky. It was co-written with Ryan Cavan with Nyla Innuksuk, making her feature screenwriting and directorial debut. It's landing in theaters in October! This is pretty much The Thing meets Attack the Block meets the arctic town of Pang. I heartily recommend it! You'll have a blast watching this one. Enjoy.
"Your power crushed my life and my personality as well." Film Forum in NYC has revealed a trailer for the first narrative film from acclaimed doc filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. It's called A Couple, also known as just Un Couple in French, and it's not really a film - a 63 minute chamber piece. A Couple follows a long term relationship between a man and a woman. The man is Leo Tolstoy. The woman is his wife, Sophia. It's nothing more than an hour of a woman reading letters and dairies written by Sophia, his young wife, who he didn't seem to love. French actress Nathalie Boutefeu portrays Sophia as a "determined, loving, angry woman who recognizes the limitations of long-term marriage to a man of world-renown." Which is to say that she didn't really understand that she was married to someone who didn't really care about her. It premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, where I ranked it as the worst film of the festival. Barley even a film. But that's just my opinion and others might enjoy this poetic film about love and longing. Take a look.
"I did it all for God… I'm not finished yet." Now that's scary. Utopia has revealed the official US trailer for an acclaimed, award-winning indie film made in Iran titled Holy Spider, which originally premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. It won Best Actress there for star Zar Amir Ebrahimi - who really is tremendous in this one. It's the next film from an Iranian-Danish filmmaker named Ali Abbasi, who earned acclaim for his excellent Swedish troll film Border. This film is about a journalist who travels deep into the dark underbelly of the Iranian holy city of Mashhad as she investigates the serial killings of sex workers by the so called "Spider Killer", who believes he is cleansing the streets of sinners. Based on a true story, which is especially freaky. Holy Spider stars Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Mehdi Bajestani. I wrote in my Cannes review: "it's brutally realistic, unflinching look at murder in modern times." It's a very dark film.
"Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by emotion?" Focus Features has debuted the main official trailer for TÁR, the latest feature from filmmaker Todd Field - director of the films In the Bedroom and Little Children. This his first in 16 years since last making Little Children in 2006. Set in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár - as played by Cate Blanchett. She is widely considered one of the greatest living composer / conductors and she was also the first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. The character of Tár is fictional, perhaps inspired by a number of different real life conductors. The cast also includes Mark Strong, Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, Sylvia Flote. This premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, where Blanchett won the Best Actress award. It was my favorite film at the fest and will be on my Top 10 this year - one of the best films of 2022. This is such a terrific trailer - doesn't give away too much. Don't miss this when it opens.
"You are… a good neighbor." Signature Ent. in the UK has revealed the official trailer for an indie comedy titled My Neighbor Adolf, made by a Russian-Israeli filmmaker. Based on a true story, set in Colombia in the 1960s. Polsky is a lonely and grumpy Holocaust survivor who is now living in the remote Colombian countryside. He mostly spends his days playing chess and tending to his beloved rose bushes. However, when a mysterious old German man moves in next door he begins to suspect his new neighbor is… Adolf Hitler. Since nobody believes him, he embarks on a detective mission to find the evidence. But, in order to prove his suspicions, Polsky will need to be closer to his neighbor than he would like – so close that the two could almost become friends. Starring David Hayman as Polsky and Udo Kier as his neighbor, along with Danharry Colorado and Olivia Silhavy. This looks quit good! Not as strange as it sounds. I'm intrigued by the relationship they build together, and how the story plays out with them. It might be worth a watch.
"Don't worry, because I'm coming with you - we're going to do it together." Netflix has revealed an official trailer for My Father's Dragon, the latest film made by the outstanding animation studio Cartoon Saloon - creators of The Secret of Kells, The Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner, and Wolfwalkers. This premieres at the 2022 London Film Festival before it lands of Netflix in November this fall. My Father’s Dragon adapts the eponymous Newbery-honored children's book from author Ruth Stiles Gannett. The story centers on a young boy who is struggling to cope after a move to the city with his mother. In his frustration, Elmer runs away in search of Wild Island and a young dragon waiting to be rescued. The boy's adventures see him experience encounters with ferocious beasts, a mysterious island, and an enduring friendship. With a huge voice cast featuring Jacob Tremblay, Gaten Matarazzo, Golshifteh Farahani, Dianne Wiest, Rita Moreno, Chris O'Dowd, Judy Greer, Alan Cumming, plus Jack Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, & Ian McShane. This looks like a blast!! Not just for kids either. Looking forward to watching it in a few months.
"If the camera is predatory, then the culture is predatory as well." Kino Lorber has unveiled the official trailer for a documentary film titled Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, which originally premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. After playing at a festivals around the world, it's ready to open in theaters this October. The film investigates the politics of cinematic shot design, and how this meta-level of filmmaking intersects with the on-going twin epidemics of sexual abuse/assault and employment discrimination against women. It's a deep-dive into patriarchal power, and how it even seeps into every last shot in cinema. Featuring over 175 movie clips from 1896 to 2020. The film also features interviews with an all-star cast of women and non-binary industry professionals discussing all of this, including: Julie Dash, Penelope Spheeris, Charlyne Yi, Joey Soloway, Catherine Hardwicke, Eliza Hittman, Rosanna Arquette. The result is an electrifying call-to-action that will fundamentally change the way you see – and watch – movies.
"He's a sensitive dog, and you iwll have to become sensitive, too. Lean into that connection." Nova Vento Ent. has unveiled an official trailer for an indie true story film titled The Year of the Dog, which is not a documentary but a feature based on real events. The film is made by Rob Grabow, who sold his condo and put everything into making this. He spent years in Alaska, working around and meeting people, including a dogsled musher who was having a difficult journey with alcoholism and addiction, who credited his sobriety in large part to one of his dogs; a high-spirited Alaskan husky. This is that story turned into a film. A loner alcoholic finds a path to recovery when he meets a stray dog with a unique talent. The film stars Michael Spears, Rob Grabow, Jon Proudstar, Alyssa Groenig, and Jeff Medley. Awww! Of course this looks wonderful - it's a dog movie! It looks a bit rough around the edges as an indie film, but it has all the heart and soul it needs, especially with an adorable husky leading the way. Keep an eye out for this coming soon.
"It's a hard time to be going through right now." IFC has revealed an official trailer for an award-winning documentary called Bad Axe, which first premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. It won the Audience Award for Best Doc and a Special Jury Prize for "Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling" at SXSW, and tons of other awards at festivals throughout this year. Bad Axe tells the story of a Cambodian family who owns a restaurant in rural Michigan throughout 2020. Filmmaker David Siev heads home and films them during 2020 - the tumultuous year the family faced their business being shut down during the pandemic. They also experienced a big increase in racism due to their Asian heritage, dealt with harassment by anti-vaxxers, and the various family members had different reactions to the rise of the BLM movement in their conservative town. The film unveils the complex dynamics within the family, especially between the different generations and each of their takes on all the political strife that we all experienced in 2020. "They're all as passionate as they are flawed and the film beautifully captures both aspects." This looks like a very heartfelt, moving film.
"You can't hide from an evil that lives within." Lionsgate has revealed an official trailer for a psychological horror thriller titled The Inhabitant, from filmmaker Jerren Lauder. This is actually a weird re-imagining of the classic axe murderer Lizzie Borden story – but about one of her descendants, a young woman named Tara. As Tara begins to hear voices and have paranoid visions of butchering her family, people in her small town are attacked and killed — and all evidence points to her. Of course. Can she confront the past and her own family history to find out the truth and stop more bloodshed? The film stars Dermot Mulroney, Leslie Bibb, Odessa A'zion, Lizze Broadway, Ryan Francis, and Michael Cooper Jr. Unfortunately this looks pretty bad - no wonder they're dumping it on VOD in a few weeks. Doesn't look worth your time.
"What is going on between you guys?" "Nothing is going on, okay?" Vertical Ent. has revealed an official trailer for Game of Love, a passionate romantic drama set in Italy. The logline for this is quite tantalizing: "An accident will force Vivien and Roy to come to a stop and reclaim their lives, one minute at the time, and finally start living in a present that perhaps will prove to be more exciting than any predefined." But this ends up looking like just another cheesy romance anyway. Roy and Vivien arrive in Sicily to prepare for the sale of Roy's family estate. During the visit, a mysterious woman arrives and befriends Vivien, much to Roy's displeasure. Tensions build & lines are crossed as secrets from Roy's past force them to face new questions. Starring Bella Thorne and Benjamin Mascolo, along with Alma Noce, Francesca Inaudi, Simone Coppo, Bruno Di Chiara, and Barbara Giummarra. Looks extra cheesy & dramatic - not my cup o' tea.