"I'll set you up so you can do your thang, you know!" RLJE Films has debuted an official trailer for an indie romantic comedy titled Plus One, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival just last month. This fresh take on the still-single-at-friends-wedding comedy is about two longtime single friends who agree to be each other's plus one at every wedding they've been invited to. Set over a summer of weddings – Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid star as Alice and Ben, respectively. And the cast also includes Beck Bennett, Rosalind Chao, Perrey Reeves, and Ed Begley, Jr. This looks and sounds and seems like pretty much every other singles romantic comedy where they realize that yes, as they literally say in this trailer, waiting for someone perfect doesn't lead you anywhere. And the right person is right in front of you. These are always the same.
"It's going to take a while for people to get used to you being back." Saban Films has revealed the official trailer for an indie crime / sports drama titled Bottom of the 9th, based on the true story of a man named Bobby Stano. A tragic mistake lands 19 year old baseball phenom Stano, played by Joe Manganiello, in jail before his burgeoning professional baseball career gets off the ground. Now age 39 and fresh out of prison he works to win back his respect, his family, his lost love, and just maybe continue his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Also starring Sofía Vergara, Burt Young, Denis O'Hare, James Madio, Michael Rispoli, Yancey Arias, and Vincent Pastore. This looks pretty basic, another former inmate redemption story mixed with a older-player baseball film. Might intrigue a few people, mainly baseball fans.
"You're a blade, and I'm sharpening you." Bleecker Street Films has released the full-length official trailer for the indie dark comedy The Art of Self-Defense, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival this year to some great reviews. This film is the latest from director Riley Stearns (of the film Faults previously) and it's hitting limited theaters starting in July this year. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Casey, a fragile man who enlists in a local dojo after being attacked at random on the street. What he uncovers is a sinister world of fraternity, violence and hypermasculinity, and a woman fighting for her place in it. Sounds delightful. The small cast includes Alessandro Nivola as the Sensei, plus Imogen Poots, Steve Terada, and Phillip Andre Botello. One SXSW review says it's an "uproariously comical and hypnotically unnerving" film that gives "a hilarious middle finger to toxic masculinity." Really excited to seeing this one, it looks damn good.
Her song will not be silenced. IFC Films has finally unveiled an official trailer for one of the best films to debut last year - Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale. This originally premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won two awards, and went on to show at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year as a special presentation. The Nightingale takes place in the 1800s on the island of Tasmania of the coast of Australia where a young woman played by Aisling Franciosi sets off seeking vengeance for horrific acts committed against her family. The film explores the misogyny, racism, sexual violence and classism of the era as well as the price of chasing revenge. It was my #1 film of 2018, and I interviewed Jennifer Kent at Sundance earlier this year. It is not an easy watch, but it is an essential watch. The full cast includes Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman, and Ewan Leslie. This is a must watch trailer for a phenomenal film.
"I don't want to hide anymore…" Well Go USA has released the first official trailer for an indie sci-fi thriller titled 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. 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. But we've seen a lot of films about this recently (like Fast Color) so it might get lost in the mix. Check it out.
"It's time to wake up and smell the justice." Lionsgate has debuted an official trailer for a lighthearted indie comedy titled Supervized, from Ireland about senior superheroes now living in a retirement home. Yes it looks as goofy and extremely cheesy as it sounds so watch out. The set of elderly superheroes include Tom Berenger as Maximum Justice, Beau Bridges as Shimmy, Fionnula Flanagan as Madera Moonlight, and Louis Gossett Jr. as Total Thunder. The full cast also includes Clive Russell, Fiona Glascott, Ned Dennehy, Elya Baskin, and John Kavanagh. The four ageing heroes come together for one last hurrah, as always happens. It reminds me a bit of Mystery Men, with a few old fogey superheroes in that film, too. This doesn't look so good, which explains why it's headed straight to VOD for release. Give it a look anyway.
"Prepare to get bashed!" Annapurna has dropped a hilariously wild final red band trailer for the high school coming-of-age comedy Booksmart, the outstanding feature directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde. This "female Superbad" has been knocking people out left and right ever since it premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, and now it's finally hitting theaters everywhere later this week. Don't miss it! Go see this! 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. Also stars Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, and Jason Sudeikis. This looks like one of the best comedies of the summer.
"I mean, of course there's a reason - it's called crime." North of Two has debuted an official trailer for an indie ensemble comedy film titled Stuck, which premiered at a few small film festivals last year. This is the feature directorial debut of an actress-turned-filmmaker named Jillian Armenante. Comedian Heather Matarazzo stars as Darby, who finds herself in trouble with the law, and is sentenced to house arrest. Now she must serve 30 days in the home she used to share with her ex-boyfriend Mo, that he now shares with his new fiancee. Sounds like fun, right? The cast includes Amir Talai, Kate Flannery, Joel McHale, and Paul Scheer. Looks like a stoner comedy, a relationship comedy, and a life-lessons drama all rolled in one.
"Better than Titanic!" Yellow Veil Pictures has debuted an official promo trailer for an indie dark comedy horror thriller titled Harpoon, the latest feature from Canadian filmmaker Rob Grant (Mon Ami, Desolate, Alive). This just premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival this year and is on the hunt for distributors at the Cannes Market, which is where this trailer comes from. Rivalries, dark secrets, and sexual tension emerge when three best friends find themselves stranded on a yacht in the middle of the ocean due to suspicious circumstances. Sounds a bit like Holiday or The Boat, but maybe not entirely. Starring Christopher Gray, Munro Chambers, and Emily Tyra. The best part about this trailer is the ridiculous fake quotes they use throughout, mocking all the ridiculous quotes that usually appear in most trailers anyway. Ha. Good stuff.
"When I'm dancing I block out the world." "I know what you mean…" Entertainment One UK has debuted a new UK trailer for Gurinder Chadha's Blinded by the Light, the joyous musical comedy about a teen from England who loves Springsteen. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to universal acclaim, and it's going to be a big hit when it opens later this summer. Inspired by a true story, based on Sarfraz Manzoor's memoir, the film is about a Pakistani boy named Javed who finds his own voice and his identity after being introduced to Bruce Springsteen growing up in the 1980s in the UK. This stars Viveik Kalra as Javed, including Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra, Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura, Hayley Atwell, and Dean-Charles Chapman. It was one of my favorite films from Sundance this year and one of my quotes (from this review) is featured in the trailer + on the new UK poster. Rock on. Have a listen below.
"What brings you to Mongolia?" Vertical Entertainment has debuted a new trailer for an indie adventure comedy titled Burn Your Maps, from writer/director Jordan Roberts. This first premiered at film festivals back in late 2016, and has taken three years to finally get an actual US release. No idea why, but this trailer might give you a hint that it's just not all that. Burn Your Maps is about a family in emotional turmoil that is taken by surprise when an eccentric 8-year-old American boy, Wes, has an existential epiphany - he believes that he is in fact a Mongolian goat herder. So they travel to Mongolia and things get even crazier, of course. Jacob Tremblay stars with Vera Farmiga, and a cast including Virginia Madsen, Marton Csokas, Jason Scott Lee, Suraj Sharma, Arielle Rombough, Ramon Rodriguez, and Glynis Davies. This looks cute but also awkward and just strange, not sure what to make of it or why it was delayed for so long.
"We started out with nothing… you built all of this!" Breaking Glass Pictures has debuted the official trailer for an "arthouse thriller" titled She's Just a Shadow, a new film by director Adam Sherman set in Tokyo. This "modern, dreamlike take on the gangster genre" is an action-packed story about "a matriarchal crime family engaged in a vicious gang war. A deranged killer is leaving his victims on railroad tracks all over Tokyo, and the only thing more dangerous than him is the vicious love triangle within the family itself." Three stories involving multiple characters collide in this Japanese gangster flick. Starring Tao Okamoto, Haruka Abe, Mercedes Maxwell, Haruna Ayane, Noriko Arai, plus Japanese musician Kihiro, and Kentez Asaka. I'd say this is a hyper-stylized, neo-noir, but I'm not even sure that does it complete justice.