ENJOY THE SHOW
"Only designated people may be hunted at the manor." Universal has unveiled a teaser for the "mysterious social thriller" titled The Hunt, the latest film from clever filmmaker Craig Zobel (of Compliance, Z for Zachariah). This project has been kept secret for a while, even while in production, but now they've revealed what it's about. There's a manor where "elites" go to hunt other humans for sport (another spin on The Most Dangerous Game). This time, one of the 12 people being hunted knows the game better than the hunters, and starts to fight back. Betty Gilpin stars as Crystal, with an ensemble cast including Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts, Justin Hartley, Glenn Howerton, Amy Madigan, Macon Blair, Steve Coulter, and Hilary Swank. This teaser doesn't have much real footage, more of an in-universe viral teaser to shock us into remembering this while we wait for a full trailer to arrive. So did it get your attention? Check it out.
"Miauw!" Time for something fun. Catastrophe (which an emphasis on the "Cat" part of the word) is an animated short film that runs just over two minutes. Written and directed by Dutch filmmaker Jamille van Wijngaarden, this is her first animated short, after working in live-action before this. Catastrophe tells the story of "an orange cat whose owner has only one request: Don’t kill the bird. The unfortunate mess that results is a visual playground of color, sound, and humor that starts and ends before you can fully process what you’ve just witnessed." This has been playing at film festivals for years, but has just arrived online for everyone to enjoy - premiered by Vimeo Staff Picks. Featuring music composed by Hans Nieuwenhuijsen. It's a funny, cute, easy-to-watch short film that will leave you with a smile. Just the way a good short should.
"Who was it? Tell me! Now!" Cinedigm has debuted an official trailer for an indie drama titled Teacher, the feature directorial debut of producer Adam Dick. The film is about an English teacher who tries to fight back against a bully at the school where he works. David Dastmalchian stars as James Lewis, a teacher who decides to defend his favorite student from being constantly bullied by a rich, privileged, asshole kid. But he ends up going to disturbing lengths to protect them when he must confront the kid's well-connected, wealrgy father, played by Kevin Pollak. The cast includes Matthew Garry, Curtis Edward Jackson, Esme Perez, Helen Joo Lee, Alejandro Raya, Cedric Young, and Ilyssa Fradin. This seems like it might be inspired a bit by Falling Down, about a man who spirals out of control for vengeance. It's intense.
"I know you're going to write your next masterpiece here. I'm sure of it." Artsploitation Films has debuted an official trailer for the indie horror comedy Blood Paradise, a horror comedy that marks the feature directorial debut of German filmmaker Patrick von Barkenberg. Midsommar isn't the only film about a crazy experienced in Sweden - this one also follows a woman to Sweden who quickly discovers she feels out of place. Reeling after her latest novel flops, a best-selling crime writer named Robin Richards is sent by her publisher to the Swedish countryside to regain inspiration. Totally out of place in her new surroundings, she discovers just how dangerous farm life can be. Andréa Winter stars as Robin, and co-wrote the script, and produced the film. The cast includes Christer Cavallius, Patrick von Barkenberg, Martina Novak, Ingrid Hedström, Ellinor Berglund, and Lars Brunnström. Looks super kinky and weird - watch out.
Hello there! Toho Animation has debuted an official trailer for a new Japanese animated movie - this time a CG animated feature based on the manga series Lupin The Third. The new movie is being titled Lupin III: The First, and it's the very first time they've ever turned Lupin into a 3D CG animated character (after numerous other anime movies before it - including one earlier this year). The trailer even plays this up! You don't need to understand Japanese to recognize that this actually looks pretty awesome. The original Lupin creator, Kazuhiko Katō (aka "Monkey Punch"), passed away earlier this year but saw the work in progress on this and stated: "I've taken a look at the characters and story: it looks like this Lupin will come packed with new sensations, and I'm getting excited just thinking about how the film will turn out." Worth a quick look.
"Once you read the book, you can't unread it!" Cinedigm has unveiled the first official trailer for the film Madness in the Method, an autobiographical feature film starring and directed by Jason Mewes (aka Jay Mewes) - the actor best known as "Jay" from Kevin Smith's filmography. This stars Jason as himself, Jay, and is about his attempt at trying method acting in order to gain more respect for himself in Hollywood outside of his "Jay" role he's most known for. He discovers a secret method acting book, but slowly descends into madness. Kevin Smith also co-stars, and the full cast includes Gina Carano, Jaime Camil, Vinnie Jones, Danny Trejo, Mickey Gooch Jr., Brian O'Halloran, Teri Hatcher, as well as a brief cameo by Stan Lee (his very last!). The looks kooky and potentially fun, an amusing mockery of that Hollywood life.
"Black Mirror meets Die Hard." Signature Entertainment has debuted an official trailer for an indie horror thriller titled Feedback, a new film "from the creators of REC and The Shallows." This film is actually the feature directorial debut of a Spanish filmmaker, and is about a radio star who experiences the worst night of his life when stalkers assault the radio station where he's working. It seems to be a contained thriller at a radio station when hooligans take over. Eddie Marsan stars as Jarvis Dolan, with a cast including Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coopersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head, Alana Boden, and Nacho Aldeguer. It's next premiering at FrightFest in the UK coming up soon, which is what this trailer is promoting. This looks intense and terrifying - might be a good one. "You're on the air!"
"I drove like I've never driven before." 1091 Media has debuted an official trailer for a thrilling documentary titled Blink of An Eye, a shortened version of the title of the book this is based on about NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip - "In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything". The story begins when Michael leaves his small Kentucky town to follow in the footsteps of his brother. He gets help from the legendary Richard Petty, but proceeds to race 462 times without a win. The longest losing streak in NASCAR. Despite this, Earnhardt puts him in one of his cars in the 2001 Daytona 500. On the last lap, the running order is Michael in first, Earnhardt's son "Jr" in second, and Earnhardt himself in third. Earnhardt blocks the 40 cars, but is swept up in what looks to be a minor crash that ends up killing him. Michael still wrestles with that guilt today. This doc is that untold story being told by the people involved. Check this out.
"No one can be trusted in this village." Lionsgate has released a trailer for a very cheesy Italian action film titled The Tracker, made by filmmaker Giorgio Serafini. The film stars Dolph Lundgren, completing his move away from anything with any real substance or worthwhile content, into the world of campy Italian B-movies. He's already been there for a while, but why not churn out a few more of these films for no one to watch. What is this one about? A mysterious stranger travels to a remote village where, 15 years earlier, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. Lundgren plays some kind of veteran marksman who gets revenge on the criminals who took his family. Also starring Cosimo Fusco, Anna Falchi, Marta Gastini, Bruno Bilotta, and Marco Mazzoli. This film looks as forgettable as they come, not even worth it for Lundgren.
"Data is the most valuable asset on Earth." Netflix has finally unveiled an official trailer for a documentary titled The Great Hack, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Netflix has been planning a release for this since before the festival, and I've been anxious to get a look at it, since it's right up my alley. This new doc is co-directed by one of the filmmakers behind The Square, and "uncovers the dark world of data exploitation, offering astounding access to the personal journeys of key players in the explosive Cambridge Analytica / Facebook data scandal." The film looks at this specific "hack" - what happened, who controls our data, what they're doing with it, and why it's such a major part of our modern world. "Award-winning filmmakers Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim continue their tradition of exploring the seismic ripples of social media with this riveting, complex film." Looks scary - a wake-up for everyone.
"Look what you've done!" "I saved us!" Well Go USA has debuted the second official trailer for an indie sci-fi thriller called Freaks, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and played at the Sitges Film Festival. This indie superpowers film is very similar in concept to Room, but if the kid trapped inside actually had special superpowers - which she doesn't really know about. Chloe is locked in her home by her protective father, but when Mr. Snowcone lures her out, she discovers a whole new world and learns more about her special powers and how they can be used. Lexy Kolker plays Chloe, with a small cast including Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Amanda Crew, and Grace Park. I saw this film at Sitges last year and it's solid, a well-made indie thriller about superpowers. This trailer is much better than the first one - giving a better taste of the action and the mystery surrounding who she is and what's going on in the world. Dive in.
"Are we going to do this… or what?" Don't mess with artificial intelligence! Watch Room is a sci-fi short film premiered by the sci-fi channel Dust, directed by Noah Wagner, written by Michael Koehler. The short is about an A.I. program being developed by three friends in a garage. They name the program "Kate", developing it safely within virtual reality, hoping it will help talk a suicidal person to step back from a ledge. When the A.I. fails to work they decide to shut her down, but Kate has other plans… Of course! Watch Room stars Jacob Batalon (best known as Ned from the current Spider-Man movies), Mamoudou Athie, and Alice Kremelberg, with Natalie Paul as Kate, plus Gary Teitelbaum. The filmmaking team "consulted with AI scientists to try and properly represent the nature of conversations… focusing on the relationship between human and machine, and what happens when those lines are blurred." This is cool - worth a watch.