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"Nobody knows that we are fun!" Annapurna has debuted the first official red band trailer for the high school comedy Booksmart, the feature directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde. The film just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival to rave reviews, including some calling it a masterpiece and others saying it's one of the best high school party comedies since Superbad. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein star as two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high school graduation, realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls decide to try to cram four years of fun into one night. The cast includes Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, and Jason Sudeikis. This looks crazy fun and wildly hilarious, and based on the early buzz, an instant favorite.
"You were dying yesterday, and you're gonna be dying next week. In the meantime, you should be dancing your ass off." Step aside, Book Club - it's time to make way for Poms. STX Entertainment has debuted the first fun trailer for a movie titled Poms, a summer comedy opening in early May this year about geriatric cheerleaders. From director Zara Hayes, Poms is a comedy about a group of women who decide to form a cheerleading squad at their retirement community, proving that you're never too old to "bring it!" (They're description, not mine.) Diane Keaton stars as Martha, along with Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Charlie Tahan, Rhea Perlman, including Celia Weston, Phyllis Somerville, Charli Tahan, Alisha Boe, and Bruce McGill. This looks very goofy and cliche in every possible way, but perfect for your parents to enjoy.
"It seems like a bit of a stretch…" Well, now. This is a rare example of an Oscar campaign actually resulting in something remarkably interesting that will last beyond just the awards season. GQ profiled rock climber Alex Honnold, the subject of the Oscar-nominated (and incredibly tense) documentary Free Solo (watch the trailer). As part of their coverage, they asked Honnold to analyze and break down various iconic rock climbing scenes from Hollywood movies. You know where this is going - it's all so fake and exaggerated. Of course! But nothing everything. Honnold critiques scenes in movies like Point Break, Star Trek V, Failure to Launch, The Dark Knight Rises, Vertical Limit, and Cliffhanger. That last one is known as the epitome of Hollywood fakeness ever since it debuted in 1993, but it's still a fun movie. All these movies are fun anyway.
"We have a situation…" Lionsgate has debuted the first official trailer for the summer comedy Long Shot, formerly known as Flarsky, the latest film from director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness, 50/50, Warm Bodies, The Night Before). Seth Rogen reteams with Levine (after 50/50 and The Night Before) and goes after an entirely unattainable woman, played by Charlize Theron. Fred Flarsky, an unemployed journalist battered by his own misfortune, endeavors to pursue Charlotte Field, his childhood crush and babysitter who now happens to be one of the most powerful and unattainable women on the planet - she's the current US Secretary of State planning to run for President. The supporting cast includes Alexander Skarsgård, June Diane Raphael, Andy Serkis, Randall Park, O'Shea Jackson Jr., James Saito, Ravi Patel, and Gabrielle Graham. This looks kind of funny, and very relevant to the times in a clever, amusing way.
"Come on over." Feeling lonely? Need a good laugh? Want to hate text messages even more than you already do? Fire up this short film Girl, Interrupted, a three-minute comedy short directed by Jake & Will (aka Jake Bradbury & Will Blank). This is a pretty basic short with a premise that you'll understand as soon as you start watching. Starring Traci Doering as the "girl". This funny short film is one of the first as part of a new project created by comedians Jake & Will called 20th Century Faux, in which they're making a series of comedy shorts (the way they want) using very limited resources, delivering 16 in total. You can also listen to a behind-the-scenes podcast for this short here. As we've noted before, this goes to show how much fun you can have with pretty much no budget. If you enjoy this, there's plenty more from this team on the way soon.
"Who's the mark?" United Artists & MGM have revealed the first trailer for summer comedy The Hustle, a gender-swapped remake of comedy classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels from 1988. In this one, Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway star as two "down-and-out" con artists, one low rent and the other high class, who team up to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them. The original movie involves the two of them participating in a secret "loser leaves town" contest to see who can out scam the other. This one seems to twist that concept a bit, and move it to a different high roller town. Also starring Tim Blake Nelson, Alex Sharp, Ingrid Oliver, Emma Davies, and Douggie McMeekin. The original is a classic, and the way the two play off of each is brilliant. I'm not sure this one will live up to that, but it looks absurd enough.
"Do as I say, or we're both dead." Momentum Pictures has debuted a trailer for a new action comedy titled Welcome to Acapulco, made by Cuban filmmaker Guillermo Iván (of Bolaetrapo, Blue Family, Habana Instant). The tropical crime plot involves a kid who ends up in landing Acapulco, Mexico instead of New Mexico. As soon as he lands, he finds himself on the run from high-powered criminals, deadly hitmen and the Feds, all looking for a mysterious package that he has allegedly smuggled through customs yet knows nothing about. Mike Kingsbaker stars as Matt Booth, and the cast includes Michael Madsen, William Baldwin, Bradley Gregg, Ana Serradilla, Ana Layevska, Zach Rose, Guillermo Garcia, Maria Elena Heredia, and Loris Curci. This looks ridiculous (and we've seen before anyway) but entertaining.
"You're supposed to be looking after his property!" Vertical Ent. has debuted the first trailer for the comedy Drunk Parents, directed by the writer of Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2 - which should give you a good idea of what to expect, and it explains why this title is so blunt. The plot follows two alcoholic parents who attempt to hide their ever increasing financial troubles from their daughter and their social circle through elaborate neighborhood schemes. Salma Hayek and Alec Baldwin star as the parents, and the full cast includes Joe Manganiello, Bridget Moynahan, Treat Williams, Jim Gaffigan, Aasif Mandvi, and Ben Platt, with Michelle Veintimilla as the daughter. This is one of those comedies that is so dumb and so absurd it might actually be entertaining, but probably not. You already know what to expect to see here.
"Are we cops or a chicken joint?" CJ Entertainment has debuted an official US trailer for an action comedy titled Extreme Job, made by South Korean filmmaker Lee Byeong-heon (Cheer Up Mr. Lee, Twenty, What a Man Wants). The goofy comedy is about a team of narcotic detectives who goes undercover inside a fried chicken joint to stake out an organized crime gang. But things take an unexpected turn when the detectives’ chicken recipe suddenly transforms the rundown restaurant into the hottest eatery in town. Starring Ryu Seung-yong, Lee Hanee, Jin Sun-kyu, Lee Dong-hwi, and Gong-myoung. I'm happy that CJ brings these Korean films to the US and puts them in theaters at the exact same time they're available in Korea, without a delayed release. Though I'm not sure I can say this one is really worth going out and seeing. Enjoy.
"What was granny thinking? I don't like dogs!" Screen Media has released an official US trailer for an indie comedy titled Patrick, about a spoiled pug named Patrick who gets bequeathed to a young woman who is having some romantic troubles in her British life. As expected, the goofball pup provides some good laughs and plenty of pain, but he also helps her get back on track - with falling in love. This already opened in the UK last year, and we featured the UK trailer previously. Beattie Edmondson stars as Sarah, and the cast includes Ed Skrein, Emilia Jones, Jennifer Saunders, Meera Syal, Gemma Jones, Emily Atack, and Peter Davison. This looks super cute and kitschy, and perhaps just the perfect amount of campiness.
"Be cool, demon! Demon, be cool!" This is why you don't mess with black magic! One more creative, well-made, funny short film to end this year. We Summoned a Demon, from writer/director Chris McInroy, has played at over 120 film festivals since 2017 (including at Fantasia, FrightFest, HollyShorts) and is now available online. The short is about a couple of dudes who accidentally summon a demon, and don't want to admit their mistake. Starring Kirk Johnson, Carlos Larotta, and John Orr. This short is also the third and final in a sort-of linked trilogy of gory horror comedy shorts from McInroy, and it might just be the best.
"Which side are you on?" Saban Films has unveiled a new official US trailer for heist comedy The King of Thieves, the latest film from British filmmaker James Marsh (The Theory of Everything, Man on Wire, Project Nim). We featured two other UK trailers for this through the year, but it's finally getting released in the US in late January. The film tells the "incredible true story" of the Hatton Garden diamond robbery in London, which took place in April of 2015. A group of retired thieves decide to pull off one of the biggest heists ever in London robbing safe deposit boxes - and they got away with roughly £200 million, but were eventually caught. Michael Caine leads the fun cast, with Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Charlie Cox, Michael Gambon, and Ray Winstone. I've been waiting to see this all year! Glad it'll be out soon.