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"Natasha, my sister. After all this time - what brings you home?" Disney has revealed a new "Special Look" TV trailer for Marvel Studio's Black Widow movie, kicking off the summer on May 1st. It's good timing as this trailer is also out on the same day as Scarlett Johansson's double Oscar nominations, not to mention Florence Pugh's nomination, too. This new stand-alone solo movie is directed by Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland (of Lore, Berlin Syndrome), and is set between the Civil War and Infinity War movies. 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. Well this is looking damn good.
"He found an exactly taped path out of the trap called 'The Bridge to Freedom.'" 1091 has released a trailer for a documentary called Over the Rainbow, which premiered at the Melbourne Film Festival last year. This trailer is for the film's NYC premiere as part of the Film Comment Selects series happening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center this month. It will be screening with a Q&A followed up by Mother! on 35mm. I'm sold! The film isn't just another film about Scientology, it's a reflection on how perceptions of reality can be warped. "Across a decade, Peixoto gained the trust of some in the church, and some who have left, and builds a platform for them to speak. Their unadorned observations are refracted through the observations of an alien abductee expert, an archivist of American religion, a journalist, and other [people] investigating the fringes." Allowing us to examine how and why people get sucked so deeply into religion. Take a look below.
"Don't you want to get married before I die?" Blue Fox Entertainment has unveiled an official trailer for an indie romantic comedy titled A Simple Wedding, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2018 and also played at the San Diego & Austin Film Festivals. A Simple Wedding is the feature directorial debut of Iranian-American filmmaker Sara Zandieh, telling a personal story about an Iranian-American woman who meets a bisexual man and falls in love with him. When she tries to plan the wedding, things get chaotic when her parents discover they're already living together before marriage. Starring Tara Grammy, Christopher O'Shea, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rita Wilson, Maz Jobrani, Peter Mackenzie, James Eckhouse, Houshang Touzie, and Jaleh Modjallel. This looks extra cheesy, but still charming and fun.
"Are we homeless?" "We're no more homeless than anyone else here." Vertical Entertainment has debuted an official US trailer for the indie drama The Kindness of Strangers, the latest film by Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (of An Education, One Day, The Riot Club, Their Finest). This originally premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year as the opening night film, and is getting a small US release on Valentine's Day coming up. The ensemble drama is one of those films where various characters around a city eventually all come together. The main character is a young woman named Clara, played by Zoe Kazan, who takes her kids and runs away from an abusive husband who also happens to be a cop. She finds solace in "the kindness of strangers", staying at a shelter and at a church while she tries to figure out what to do. Also stars Andrea Riseborough, Tahar Rahim, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel, Bill Nighy, and David Dencik. It's a nice film that tries very hard to be moving and inspiring, but critics have not been so kind to this one.
"I feel more alive than ever - increase strength and speed, the ability to use echolocation." Sony Pictures has revealed the first full-length teaser trailer (more of an actual trailer, less of a teaser) for Morbius, co-produced by Marvel Studios starring Jared Leto as the "superhero" known as Morbius the Living Vampire. A bit like Doctor Strange, the story follows a brilliant biochemist named Michael Morbius who tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, but he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead. And thus he becomes "the living vampire". The cast also includes Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, Charlie Shotwell, and Tyrese Gibson. This looks a lot like Batman Begins, with Bats and a rich guy doing weird things, except he actually becomes a vampire rather than just acts like a bat. Strange.
The complete list of nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (from Oscars.org). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees this morning via live broadcast. Looking back on it, 2019 was a particualrly exciting year for cinema, with a set of extraordinary films - many of which (but not all!) are thankfully getting honored with well-deserved nominations. There's no need to spend any more time introducing, let's get right into it! This year, The Academy selected a total of nine Best Picture nominees, including: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, and Parasite. What a day for Parasite! Without further ado, review the full list below.
"In order to wish for something you need, you gotta wish for something you fear. Otherwise that first wish goes away." Yet another tense, low key horror short film from Todd Spence & Zak White. The two have been cooking up under-5-minute, low budget horror shorts for the last few years - including Where Is It and last year's Your Date is Here. Fear Wish is their latest short and it's about a desperate man trying to wish for something he needs. Starring Nathan Sutton, with Scott Whyte and Amy McRoberts. I really enjoy their shorts because they're so simple but effective, taking a jump scare and clever concept and wrapping it with some quality writing. They're not reinventing the horror-short-wheel, but they are always fun to watch.
"She hits that ball harder than her momma does." Pull Shot Productions in association with Cascia Films has debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary titled Foosballers, produced, edited and directed by Joe Heslinga. As the title indicates, this film is indeed about the people who compete in the table soccer game known best as foosball. "Most people know foosball as the game they used to play in their parent's basement, but for some die-hard fans, foosball isn't just a game… it's a way of life. Enter the underground world of professional foosball, a sport that's been around for over 40 years but no one knows exists." The doc follows six of the best table soccer players in the world as they prepare for the sport's most prestigious event, The Tornado World Championships. Looks like an amusing, crazy, compelling doc to catch sometime.
"When you're hurting', where do you go lookin'?" Samuel Goldwyn Film has released an official US trailer for indie romantic comedy Top End Wedding, an Australian film that premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival. This "heartwarming, feel-good comedy" is set against the spectacular natural beauty of the Northern Territory. The story follows a newly engaged couple, Lauren and Ned. They are in love, and they have just ten days to find her mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the remote far north of Australia, in order to reunite her parents and pull off their dream wedding. Starring Miranda Tapsell (from The Sapphires) & Gwilym Lee (from Bohemian Rhapsody) as the two lovers, plus Huw Higginson, Ursula Yovich, Elaine Crombie, Shari Sebbens, Kerry Fox, and Dalara Williams. Looks charming and fun.
"If you kill me, she dies too." Well Go USA has debuted an official US trailer for Jiang Ziya, another new epic animated Chinese action fantasy film (see: Ne Zha) with demons and gods and fights galore. Thankfully they're bringing this one to US theaters in February, same time as in China, to give everyone a chance to see it. Atop the ruins of war, top commander Jiang Ziya is given the task to banish the Nine-tailed Fox Demon who threatens all mortals' very existence. When he discovers the Nine-tailed Fox's life linked to the soul of an innocent girl, he is faced with a challenging decision - follow the will of heaven or find his own path to righteousness. Featuring the voices of Zheng Xi as Jiang Ziya, Yang Ning, Yan Meme, Ji Guanlin, and Jiang Guangtao. This looks pretty damn cool, let's hope there is a good story to go along with the visuals.
"We are the cleaners. As were our fathers. We purify the world. One day our children will breathe…" Neill Blomkamp's experimental sci-fi filmmaking collective Oats Studios has surprised us all with a brand new short film titled Migrants. After making their own series of short films, Oats sort of moved on because they couldn't secure enough funding and figure out how to move forward independently. But they're back again with what they've self-described as "Oats Studios Presents Short Films From Artists We Love." Migrants is a short film by Paul Chadeisson, a concept artist who has envision a three-minute short with some stunning CGI visuals of spaceships and space stations hovering above a planet awaiting immigrants. As a space nerd, this is my kind of sci-fi: Isaac Asimov references, and a lovely poetic voiceover about colonizing the cosmos.
"I want you to close that door and lock it!" Because that will save you! Lionsgate has released a trailer for a horror thriller titled Hunter's Moon, a direct-to-VOD werewolf film from an executive producer of Live Free or Die Hard, 16 Blocks, and Hostage. This is also known as The Orchard, before the new title change, because it takes place at an orchard, of course. A sheriff makes a strange discovery when he's gets called to an orchard where three teenage sisters have been attacked by a band of young delinquents. But it's not just the kids that are tearing people apart. Hunter's Moon stars Thomas Jane as the sheriff, plus Jay Mohr, Sean Patrick Flanery, Katrina Bowden, Amanda Wyss, and India Ennenga. Check this out below.