ENJOY THE SHOW
"I don't think your mom is just a regular mom." Netflix has revealed an official trailer for a family comedy titled The Sleepover, the latest from director Trish Sie, of Step Up All In and Pitch Perfect 3. When two siblings discover their seemingly normal mom is a former thief in witness protection who has been forced to pull one last job, they team up to rescue her over the course of an action-packed night. Joe Manganiello stars as an ex-flame of their mom who gets involved and helps the kids pull off this job and save the day. Starring Sadie Stanley, Maxwell Simkins, Ken Marino, Cree Cicchino, Lucas Jaye, Karla Souza, Enuka Okuma, Erik Griffin, with Malin Akerman. This looks so cheesy and absurdly fun, like the kind of Hollywood comedies they used to make in the 90s. But, uh, made by Netflix now. Still looks entertaining.
"There are no good people in there - no saints, only sinners." Lionsgate has released an official trailer for an action thriller titled Seized, the latest from B-movie action filmmaker Isaac Florentine (who also made Acts of Vengeance with Adkins). MMA action star Scott Adkins plays a former Special Forces agent whose son is kidnapped and must now wipe out three dangerous crime syndicates if he wants to see him alive again. Adkins has been starring in endless action movies recently, none of them worth watching, but he still keeps making them - he's also in Debt Collectors and Legacy of Lies this year. Seized also features Mario Van Peebles with a killer cowboy hat, Steven Elder, Karlee Perez, James P. Bennett, David Fernandez Jr., Luis Gatica, and Mauricio Mendoza. Another day, another mindless bland action movie to ignore.
"From now on, no one will tell us what we can and can't do." Quiver Dist. has released an official trailer for the indie drama I Am Woman, telling the inspiring story of Australian singer and activist Helen Reddy. This first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and also stopped by the Busan Film Festival - we featured the first teaser last fall. Australian actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey stars as Helen, with a full cast that includes Danielle Macdonald (from Patti Cake$), Evan Peters (from X-Men), Matty Cardarople, Dusty Sorg, Toks James, Gus Murray, and also Rita Rani Ahuja. Reddy's most famous song is one called "I Am Woman", which quickly became the anthem for the women's movement in the 70s. The film is a story of fearless ambition and passion, of a woman who smashed through the patriarchal norms of her time to become an international singing superstar. This looks dazzling! An inspiring smash-the-patriarchy story.
"We wanted audiences to feel like they could reach through the screen and touch this world." One of the best stop-motion animation studios is celebrating 15 years this year! Laika Animation originally opened in 2005 and worked on their first feature film Corpse Bride. The first film made entirely by the studio was Coraline, which opened in theaters in 2009. They followed up with four more outstanding stop-motion animated films: ParaNorman in 2012, The Boxtrolls in 2014, Kubo and the Two Strings in 2016, and Missing Link in 2019 - just last year. To celebrate the anniversary, Fandango released a 5-minute long behind-the-scenes celebratory featurette, looking back at their history and their work. I'm a big fan of Laika and almost always enjoy their movies (my personal favorite is still Kubo, also ParaNorman). This wonderful video shows how much work goes into each project and all the people crafting every piece of the production.
"Something is wrong here…" 101 Films has released an official trailer for an indie supernatural thriller titled Widow's Point, adapted from the book of the same name. This originally premiered at a few small genre festivals last year. Widow's Point follows a writer who spends a weekend locked in a haunted lighthouse to help promote his next book, where he is targeted by supernatural forces. Of course - haunted houses usually are haunted! Ha. Craig Sheffer stars in this as Thomas Livingston, along with KateLynn E. Newberry, Dominic Luongo, Kaelin Lamberson, and John Renna. This sounds like it could be thrilling, but the footage in this trailer is really bad. Then again, it's direct-to-DVD so it's not that surprising it looks this bad.
Holy turtle! This looks absolutely gorgeous! Lucan Studio, an animation studio based in Cape Town, South Africa, has released an official trailer for an animated series they are developing entirely in-house. The show is called Isaura - an animated kids series set in Mozambique with strong conservation messaging wrapped up in an epic tale of good vs evil. The story is about a young girl who discovers a talisman, which in her possession allows her to become a guardian of the ocean. This definitely has a Studio Ghibli feel to it - and io9 points out the trailer "was created by blending 3D environments, hand-drawn characters, and Unreal Engine." Very impressive. We don't usually feature trailers for shows, but the production quality here is so much better than most animated features we couldn't not share it anyway. In addition to how good it looks, I just love seeing a nice story about cleaning up our oceans, and how heroic it is to really care about nature.
"Please, Kat. It was always just a dream…" Trinity Creative Partnership has released an official trailer for a rock band comedy from the UK titled Kat and the Band, marking the feature directional debut of British filmmaker E.E. Hegarty. Seventeen year old, music-obsessed school girl Kat Malone tricks her way into managing struggling band Dollar Days, pretending to be a band manager in her twenties. Featuring original music by the real band Some Velvet Morning. The indie film stars Ella Hunt, the lead in cult classic horror musical Anna and the Apocalypse, along with Dougie Poynter, Callum McGowan, Idris Debrand, and Katherine Kelly. This looks clever and upbeat, something to watch with friends on the weekend. Have fun.
"Photographs break down the idea that these people are somehow different from us." Focus Features has released an official trailer for a photographer profile documentary titled The Way I See It, all about the former White House photographer Pete Souza. Based on his own book Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, the film tells Souza's two stories working as the Official White House Photographer for President Ronald Reagan (1980-1988) and also President Barack Obama (2008-2016). The film discusses his journey as a person with top secret clearance and total access to the President. And what he has learned watching both of these individuals working as President of the United States of America. From Academy Award, BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning producer Evan Hayes of Free Solo, Academy Award and Emmy Award-winner Laura Dern, and with her Jaywalker Pictures partner Jayme Lemons, in association with Platform One Media; and directed by the talented doc filmmaker Dawn Porter. This looks great! Refreshing positivity and good vibes.
"Where is that money today?" "My money's gone…" Virgil Films has released an official trailer for a very personal documentary titled The Blech Effect, a film profiling the former "King of Biotech" named David Blech. Made by editor-turned-filmmaker David Greenwald, the film spends time with David to tell his own rise and fall story, an attempt to save his legacy before it's too late. David Blech wanted to be remembered for creating an industry that saves millions of lives. Instead, he finds himself $11 million in debt, struggling to keep his family afloat and awaiting a possible jail sentence. Mental illness and addiction are the powerful nemeses that threaten to bring down the one-time biotech titan as he races to develop a potential cure for Alzheimer's Disease that could reverse his fortunes and rebuild his legacy. It's an odd trailer, but the poster is fantastic. What an evocative design, capturing that free-fall feeling of having money and then losing it all.
"Killer's in the house!" Rezinate Pics has unveiled a trailer for an indie horror film called Murder in the Woods, which is finally releasing this fall after first premiering a few years ago. This "cabin in the woods" horror is about a group of teens who arrive at a mysterious cabin and soon discover the dark secret it holds, which forces them to fight for their lives. Director Luis Iga explains his intentions: "This film showcases the talents of our young diverse cast and I'm proud to say that we have made the first 'All American Slasher' with a full diverse cast in non-stereotypical roles." This stars José Julián, Jeanette Samano, Chelsea Rendon, Catherine Toribio, Kade Wise, Jordan Diambrini, Soledad St. Hilaire, and Rolando Molina, plus Danny Trejo as Sheriff Lorenzo. In my opinion, it looks especially unoriginal and redundant.
Surprise! Look who's back with something to help make 2020 better! Out of nowhere, beloved Austin, TX-based animation filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt has debuted a teaser trailer for his latest project - World of Tomorrow Episode Three. The full title, as revealed in this trailer, is officially World of Tomorrow Episode Three: The Absent Destinations of David Prime. Which is a reference to Emily Prime from the previous episode. Yes, he's back with another profound World of Tomorrow story to tell - but that's all we know so far! Hertzfeldt tweeted out today that "it's almost time" - which is good to hear. There's no other information currently available, and we don't know when this will arrive or where it will premiere, but this is an enticing tease nonetheless. Especially for any who've been waiting for something new from Hertzfeldt, who debuted his last short film World of Tomorrow Episode Two in 2017. Check out the first teaser below.
"You won't get away with this!" Amazon Prime Video has released an official trailer for an indie highlands comedy titled Get Duked!, which won the Midnighters Audience Award at last year's SXSW Film Festival. Formerly known as Boyz in the Wood, it has been given a new title for its US release this month. Set deep in the Scottish Highlands, the film follows wild teenage friends out on a character-building camping trip. With plans to do nothing but get high in the woods, the boys must face a shadowy force hell-bent on extinguishing their futures. From writer-director Ninian Doff comes an anarchic satire of generational politics, hip-hop loving farmers and hallucinogenic rabbit droppings that pits the youth of tomorrow against the status quo of yesterday. Starring Samuel Bottomley, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben, Viraj Juneja, Kate Dickie, Kevin Guthrie, Jonathan Aris, Georgia Glen, Alice Lowe, Brian Pettifer, with James Cosmo and Eddie Izzard. Heard nothing but great things about it, and the trailer gets me even more excited to watch.