ENJOY THE SHOW
"I'm the dying guy!" "I'm the other guy!" Netflix has released the first full trailer for an indie comedy titled Paddleton, the latest feature from the director of Blue Jay. The film is premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in a few weeks, then arrives on Netflix in February. Paddleton is about the unlikely friendship between two misfit neighbors when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer. They go on an emotional journey together, chasing emus and getting into all kinds of wacky trouble, of course. The film stars Ray Romano and Mark Duplass, who co-wrote the screenplay with the director. The small cast also includes Marguerite Moreau, Christine Woods, Alexandra Billings, and Matt Bush. This looks pretty good.
"It's just a story. It's just a story…" Another chilling horror short film to give you a thrill if you need it. The Candlelight Witch is a new horror short from the filmmakers behind other horror shorts including Your Date is Here and Where Is It and Mikus. Directed by filmmaker Becca Flinn-White, this short is about three siblings who tell a scary story one night that ends up becoming a bit too real. Which is truly one of the worst nightmares when you're a kid. This is suggested for those who love the Are You Afraid of the Dark? series, inspired by that kind of harmless storytelling. Starring Brooke Sorenson, Presley Richardson, Connor Kalopsis, and Emily Burkart. I like these shorts because they're so simple yet still so effective.
"It's not your boy." Wildcard Distribution has debuted the first official trailer from UK/Ireland for the indie horror film The Hole in the Ground, which is premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in just a few weeks in the Midnight section. The film is the feature debut of Irish director Lee Cronin, and is set on the fringes of a backwood rural town. The description from Sundance sets this up quite well: One night, Sarah's young son disappears into the woods behind their rural home. When he returns, he looks the same, but his behavior grows increasingly disturbing. Soon, Sarah realizes that the boy who returned may not be her son at all… The film stars Seána Kerslake, James Cosmo, Kati Outinen, Simone Kirby, Steve Wall, and James Quinn Markey. The giant hole in the ground from the title looks gnarly. Looks like a good thriller.
"The only option I have is to not give up." Freestyle Digital Media has debuted an official trailer for a new documentary titled Sharkwater Extinction, the latest doc by Canadian filmmaker / activist Rob Stewart. This follow-up to Stewart's 2006 doc Sharkwater is once again all about sharks, but this time it's about the billion dollar illegal shark fin industry and the political corruption behind it. By exposing the truth behind all the illegal fishing, he also looks at how this industry that threatens the survival of the world's sharks. "Shark finning is still rampant, shark fin soup is still being consumed, and endangered sharks are now also being used to make products for human consumption. Stewart’s mission is to save the sharks before it’s too late." This looks like it's trying to be Blackfish but for sharks with the hope of actually causing real change.
"A long, sad, moving swan song." KimStim has debuted the full-length official US trailer for Hu Bo's highly acclaimed Chinese drama An Elephant Sitting Still, which is finally getting a theatrical release starting in March. This is Hu Bo's first & final film, as he tragically took his own life after finishing the film. This premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize and a Best First Feature "Special Mention", and it has also played at numerous other festivals including New Directors/New Films in NYC, plus the Sydney and Edinburgh Film Festivals. The film actually runs nearly 4 hours in total, and tells a story spanning one full day in a small rural Chinese town, linking their interactions and following various characters throughout the area. The focus is on bullying and the way people affect each other and treat each other. Starring Yuchang Peng, Yu Zhang, Uvin Wang, and Congxi Li. This is a must see for cinephiles.
"I had to lie to the police for you." GVN Releasing has debuted an official trailer for an indie crime mystery titled A Violent Man, from writer/director Matthew Berkowitz. This premiered at Oldenburg Film Festival and will finally be released next month. The film is about a struggling MMA fighter who becomes an underdog champ overnight. But he finds himself in a fight for his life after his one night stand is found dead in her home. A blackout, a dead body, and incriminating circumstances puts Ty in the middle of a mystery. The description compares this to Humphrey Bogart's noir classic In a Lonely Place, which should raise an eyebrow. Starring former football star Thomas Q. Jones, UFC hall of fame legend Chuck Liddell, and legendary actors Bruce Davison and Isaach De Bankolé, A Violent Man "delivers hard hitting punches." Also starring Denise Richards, Khalilah Joi, Jon Skarloff, and Mike Sorrentino. Take a look below.
"You're not going to get obsessed with me, are you?" Freestyle DM has released the first trailer for an indie relationship dramedy title Untogether, featuring an ensemble cast of pretty people. Set in Los Angeles, the film tells the story of Nick & Andrea, whose one night stand evolves into something more, though the exact parameters are blurry and undefined. She shares her home with her sister, who is dealing with relationship issues of her own as she slowly slips away from her boyfriend Martin, who gave up his Australian fame as a rock 'n roll god to be with her. And her way of acting out is to lose herself in religion and seek solace in a charismatic Rabbi. The cast includes Jemima Kirke and Lola Kirke (real-life sisters playing sisters in the film) plus Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn, Billy Crystal, Jennifer Grey, Scott Caan, and Alice Eve. This looks like pretty much every other beautiful-people-having-relationship-problems film before it.
"We'll take a better way." Umbrella Entertainment + SBS have released another official international trailer (from Australia) for the survival thriller Arctic, the feature debut of filmmaker Joe Penna. We featured the first trailer for this just a week ago, and this new one has a few shots of extra footage. This premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and it's one of the best survival movies I've ever seen. I saw this at Cannes (read my review) and really loved it, and even though there have been plenty of terrific survival films over the years, this landed on the top of my list as one of the best. Mads Mikkelsen stars as the survivor of a plane crash in the arctic. The film also features Maria Thelma Smáradóttir as a helpless young woman he tries to save. This was filmed mostly in Iceland, and features a really wonderful score by composer Joe Trapanese. Both trailers are damn good, with minimal dialogue focusing on Mads' incredible performance.
"Closer to.. Lord of the Flies than Coachella." Netflix has unveiled an official full-length trailer for the new documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, a film about the infamous, disastrous music festival known as the "Fyre Festival". This documentary is the latest from filmmaker Chris Smith, who previously made the fantastic Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond also for Netflix. So the story goes that in 2017, Fyre Media found Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule tried to put together an exclusive music festival on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma set to take place over two weekends. But it was soon discovered that the whole thing was a scam, and McFarland was then arrested and found guilty of defrauding investors and defrauding ticket buyers. This is the story of what really happened. Yeah, I'm definitely curious, even though I think the whole thing was stupid to begin with. I just want to see them give us all the real dirt in this doc.
"You've got two days, got it? If you don't pay it by then… it's gonna turn ugly…" The Match Factory has debuted an official trailer for a Russian drama titled Ayka, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year where it won the Best Actress award. Samal Yeslyamova stars in the lead role as Ayka, a woman who just gave birth to a child, but has no money or job or any way to properly raise her child. The small cast includes Aleksandr Zlatopolskiy. Newcomer Samal Yeslyamova won the coveted Best Actress award in Cannes, and the film has picked up numerous awards at other festivals throughout last year. It's still seeking US distribution, so this is just a promo trailer to drum up interest in the film. This has some striking visuals, but seems so depressing and brutal in portraying a young woman struggling to survive in the chill of Russia.
"This kind of power has to be invited…" Vertical Entertainment has debuted a new official US trailer for an indie horror thriller from New Zealand titled The Changeover, which is finally getting a release in the US almost two years after it first opened in NZ. Based on the novel by Margeret Mahy, the film is about a teen living with her mother and brother in a poor suburb on the edge of a partially demolished Christchurch. Laura is drawn into a supernatural battle with an ancient spirit who attacks Jacko, her brother, and slowly drains the life out of him as the spirit becomes ever younger. Laura discovers her true identity and the ability within her, and must harness it to save her brother's life. So it's kind of a superhero story mashed up with some horror. Starring Erana James, Timothy Spall, Melanie Lynskey, Lucy Lawless, Nicholas Galitzine, Kate Harcourt, Benji Purchase, Thomasin McKenzie, & Claire Van Beek. Worth a look.
"No originality. No courage." Netflix has debuted the first official trailer for an indie drama titled Velvet Buzzsaw, which is premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in just a few weeks. Velvet Buzzsaw is the latest feature from screenwriter-turned-director Dan Gilroy, following up Nightcrawler and Roman J. Israel, Esq.. He teams up with Jake Gyllenhaal again for a film that is described as "a thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce." That sounds quite enticing and very provocative. The film's cast includes Rene Russo, Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge, Natalia Dyer, Daveed Diggs, Billy Magnussen, and John Malkovich. Ahahaha this looks so killer, totally wild and wicked and mysterious. I really can't wait to see this and find out what's really going on here. You have to check out this vivid trailer.