ENJOY THE SHOW
"I would like us to be more than the country that did 'the report', I'd like us to be the country that made it public." Amazon has released a second, short trailer for The Report, directed by veteran screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Informant, Contagion, Side Effects). This first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The timely, fascinating film is in the same vein as Spotlight, telling the story of an investigation and "the report" put together by staffer Daniel J. Jones. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, CIA agents begin using extreme interrogation tactics on those they think were behind it. Years later, the government finally looks into the truth of what happened and if there was any benefit. The ensemble cast is lead by Adam Driver as Jones, plus Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll, and also Maura Tierney, the powerful group "that brings this essential story to life."
"It really does feel like a [Star] Trek movie…" Fathom has debuted a trailer for an indie documentary titled Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary, produced by the company Fandom. The doc film is about the cult classic sci-fi adventure film Galaxy Quest; released at the end of 1999, it flopped hard. Once people actually started watching it, they fell in love with it, growing a massive fan-base over the (nearly) 20 years since its initial release. The doc features the stars and creators of Galaxy Quest, as well as a host of pop-culture commentators, reflecting on why this geek movie has become so beloved. Sigourney Weaver, Tim Allen, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long, Tony Shalhoub, Rainn Wilson, Enrico Colantoni, Missi Pyle, Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, director Dean Parisot, Wil Wheaton and Brent Spiner are just some of those who appear in this endearing, insightful documentary. This will be in theaters nationwide at a one-night event next month.
"These are the end times…" Lionsgate has debuted a full-length official trailer for the film Bombshell, the new project from Oscar-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph (of The Interpreter, Love & Other Drugs, The Big Short). A few brave women decide to take on Fox News boss Roger Ailes and the toxic male culture he presided over at the propaganda network. Based on the true story, the actual real-world scandal, and how it all went down. This seems like the major social-political December release of this year, and early word is that it will make an impact when it releases. Bombshell stars Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Rob Delaney, Malcolm McDowell, and Allison Janney. This is a potent, exciting trailer about a film that is definitely going to stir up some shit. I just don't like that song choice at the end! The rest of it looks very good, though.
"An artist draws. And I… drink." Uncork'd Ent. has released an official US trailer for an indie drama from The Netherlands titled Bloody Marie, which is one of the films that was considered for submission to the Oscars this year. This premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year, and is already available on VOD now. Award-winning German actress Susanne Wolf (also seen in Styx) stars as Marie Wankelmut, a once successful comic artist, who lives among the prostitutes in Amsterdam's Red Light District. Nowadays drunken and bold, she gets into one big conflict after another. A gruesome sobering event at her neighbors forces her to take action. Co-starring Dragos Bucur, Alexia Lestiboudois, Teun Luijkx, Jan Bijvoet, and Therese Affolter. Looks like this gets extra wild in the second half, turning into a crazy crime thriller.
"It takes courage to get back on the bike." Vision Films has released the official trailer for an indie action-thriller titled Nation's Fire, the latest from producer / director Thomas J. Churchill (of Check Point, The Rack Pack). This looks like one of these "how did this even get made?!" kind of terrible films that no one will even see. The former leader of an all-female motorcycle club loses her son in a drug-fueled school shooting caused by a Russian gangster and his daughter. Now she will rally her old gang and their male counterpart's motorcycle club to seek vengeance for her son's death and to prove her son was not the shooter. Sounds… very American. Starring Krista Grotte, Gil Bellows, Bruce Dern, Paul Sloan, Chuck Liddell, Lou Ferrigno Jr., Kristen Renton, Laurene Landon, Tom Proctor, Kyle Lowder, and Wyatt Walter. I don't know whether to condemn this film, or just laugh at it. Looks so stupid, absolutely awful in every way.
"Pashka, a dog, be a dog." Kino Lorber has unveiled the official US trailer for an acclaimed Russian drama titled Beanpole, which first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. After winning the Best Director in Un Certain Regard award in Cannes, the film has gone on to play at the Telluride, Toronto, Hamburg, London, Busan, and New York Film Festivals this fall. Beanpole is made by a 28-year-old Russian filmmaker named Kantemir Balagov. Set in the city of Leningrad (now known as Saint Petersburg), in 1945 at the end of WWII, two women search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins. Described as a "richly burnished, occasionally harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war." Starring Viktoria Miroshnichenko & Vasilisa Perelygina. This definitely won't be for everyone; some critics are flipping for it, others not so much. Worth a look anyway, at least for the distinct "painterly" style.
"Every day could be an adventure…" Disney has debuted another official trailer for their live-action update on the animated classic Lady and the Tramp, which is skipping theaters so it can be used as a Disney+ centerpiece at launch next month. Lady in the Tramp is a lovable dog movie telling the romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt. All of the dogs used in the film are rescues, which means it's not entirely all CGI. Featuring Justin Theroux as Tramp, Tessa Thompson as Lady, plus the voices of Sam Elliott, Ashley Jensen, Janelle Monáe, Benedict Wong; and a human cast including Kiersey Clemons, Yvette Nicole Brown, Thomas Mann, Arturo Castro, Parvesh Cheena, and Adrian Martinez. I said it before and I'll say it again, but doggone it, this movie doesn't look that bad. I'm charmed by this trailer, it's so darn cute and heartwarming. Or maybe I just really love dogs…
"I looked at him, and he ran to me. That's when everything started to get a lot better." First Run Features has debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary titled To Be of Service, the latest doggie doc to arrive this year. From experienced doc director Josh Aronson, To Be of Service explores the remarkable life changes resulting from the introduction of trained service dogs into the lives of military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not all war veterans can get this kind of help, but for the lucky ones who are paired up with a service dog, the unconditional love and support offered by these highly trained canines become the bedrock for them to re-engage with the outside world and to learn to feel again. The film profiles these veterans and their service dogs: Greg Kolodziejczyk and Valor, Sylvia Bowersox and Timothy, Tom Moody and Mako, Brandon Lewis and Booth, Phil Bauer and Champ, Walter Parker and Jackson. Aww.
"Didn't really plan this trip, I just had to… get away." Dark Star has released an official trailer for the film titled Spell, with a screenplay written by the lead actor Barak Hardley. "Featuring a new original song and forthcoming video from Weezer, a fun cameo from Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo, and a 'sparse, icey' score by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, the surreal tale made its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival to great acclaim, bringing home the award for 'Best Ensemble Cast.'" This dark comedy, "bizzaro thriller" is about an American illustrator who runs out of medication while wandering the isolated Icelandic countryside - unsure if his compulsions are related to his disorder or if he's being forced to unlock ancient secrets. Starring Barak Hardley, with Jackie Tohn, Magnus Jonsson, and Birna Rún Eiríksdóttir.
Another unique hand-made short film. I'm OK is an animated short film made by London-based animator / filmmaker Lizzy Hobbs, inspired by the life and art of Austrian Oskar Kokoschka. Following the end of a stormy love affair, Expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka enlists in the First World War. After suffering serious injuries in battle, he experiences a series of memories and visions as medics transport him through the forests of the Russian front. I'm OK explores "the wounds of heartbreak & trauma." The gorgeous short features individually hand-painted frames that put together tell stories about Kokoschka's life and art. "I found the music that [Kokoschka] associated with the period, read his plays, his writing, and studied all his prints and paintings. And then I animated on and around the work," Hobbs explains. View the short below.
"The world isn't how you think it is." "Why not? This is my life." Netflix has debuted an official trailer for an indie film from Italy titled The Man Without Gravity, also known as L'uomo senza gravità in Italian. This film seems similar, in a few ways, to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But instead of a baby being born old, this baby has no connection to gravity. He just floats. A gravity-defying baby raised in seclusion matures into an extraordinary man—and an international celebrity—but he still longs for an ordinary life. Starring Elio Germano as Oscar, with a cast including Michela Cescon, Elena Cotta, Silvia D'Amico, Vincent Scarito, and Pietro Pescara. This actually looks quite charming and uplifting (no pun intended, but it definitely works). Perhaps a little cliche, but still seems like a good story about how to live your own life even when everyone else wants a part of it. I'm curious about seeing this one, might be a good discovery.
"Won't someone help me lose my mind?" Abramorama has debuted the trailer for the music documentary film titled Mountaintop, opening in select theaters this month. The film is a "raw and extremely unfiltered look" at the process of Neil Young working with Crazy Horse to make their first new album in 7 years - titled Colorado. It's another one of these "how we made the music" docs cross-promoting the album, much like Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars – also out this fall. But this one has more curse words. "Providing fans around the world with the opportunity to see how Neil and the band put it all together is a particularly rare and exciting experience," said Abramorama CEO Richard Abramowitz. "Witness the laughter, tensions, crusty attitudes & love of a rock & roll band that's been together for 50 years as they share their passion, first and foremost… for the music." The fish-eye lens footage in this is a bit odd, but maybe that's the point.