"In this very moment, you have to grow up." HBO has released the official trailer for a film titled Icebox, which first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this year. Adapted from filmmaker Daniel Sawka's award-winning short film of the same name from 2016, Icebox is about a young boy seeking asylum who becomes trapped inside America's rigid immigration process. Young actor Anthony Gonzalez stars as Oscar, with a full cast including Genesis Rodriguez, Omar Leyva, Johnny Ortiz, Matthew Moreno, and Jessica Juarez. This very timely, very upsetting film shows just how horrible they treat these people, kids included, who are just trying to life a better life in America. Even though it may be infuriating, this is worth a watch.
"What's important is: what are you going to do about it?" Gravitas Ventures has released an official trailer for a new boxing drama titled 12 Round Gun, the feature directorial debut of actor Sam Upton, who also stars in the film. It originally had the title of Gun, won an Audience Award at the Beverly Hills Film Festival last year, and is now getting a VOD release. Upton plays a washed up, alcoholic ex-prizefighter who makes a comeback to boxing after his top heavyweight contender son is wrongfully blinded in the ring. Also starring Mark Boone Junior, Kate Vernon, Jared Abrahamson, Cassi Thomson, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Holly Gagnier, and Jay Acovone. This looks just like every other boxing film, with nothing new to offer.
"What are you doing in Goa?" Les Films du Losange has revealed the first official trailer for the indie drama Maya, the latest film made by acclaimed French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve (of Father of My Children, Goodbye First Love, Eden). This film is mostly in English, as it's about a French war journalist who makes it home after being held captive in Syria. He travels to Goa, India where he meets an intelligent young woman and spends time trying to recover. Roman Kolinka stars as the French man, and Aarshi Banerjee stars as Maya, with a small cast including Suzan Anbeh, Judith Chemla, Anjali Khurana, and Pathy Aiyar. I saw this at the Toronto Film Festival where it premiered (read my full review), and it's a bit low key, but still contains all the uplifting, honest emotions that make Mia Hansen-Løve's films so wonderful. See below.
"Unexpected things happen to test us… It isn't safe." Netflix has revealed an official trailer for an acclaimed tech-driven psychological thriller titled Cam, which has been playing at film festivals this fall. The film won Best Screenplay and Best First Feature at the Fantasia Film Festival this year, and also stopped by Fantastic Fest. Alice, an ambitious online camgirl, wakes up one day to discover she's been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself. Things get weirder and weirder as she tries to figure out who she is and what's going on. Madeline Brewer stars, along with Patch Darragh, Melora Walters, Devin Druid, Imani Hakim, Michael Dempsey, Flora Diaz, Samantha Robinson, and Jessica Parker Kennedy. There has been quite a bit of buzz about this at the festivals, it definitely looks totally wild and trippy and twisted.
"You're not the only one going through something." Freestyle Digital Media has released an official trailer for an indie romantic drama titled You & Me, which premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival earlier this year. The intimate, honest film is about a deaf woman who meets a man who has recently gone blind, and they slowly begin to fall for each other while struggling with daily life. This is one of the first films to star disabled actors in both leading roles - Hillary Baack as Ella, and Paul Guyet as Tony. It's described as a "funny and moving love story about life’s universal challenges and joys." Also starring Brendan O'Malley, Natasha Ofili, Sally Struthers, Bill A. Jones, and James Tang. This unique indie film is worth a look.
"I want them to stop having children!" Sony Pictures Classics has unveiled an official US trailer for the film Capernaum, also known as Capharnaüm, from Lebanon. One of the best international films of the year. Directed by actress-filmmaker Nadine Labaki, it premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival (and won the Jury Prize there), and it also played at the New Horizons, Melbourne, Sarajevo, London, and Toronto Film Festivals. Capernaum takes place on the streets of Beirut, following a 12-year-old boy who decides to sue his parents for bringing him into the world. We follow him as he escapes and runs around, trying to survive by begging and stealing, showing us a disheartening, depressing side of the world we tend to ignore. This was one of the best films I saw at Cannes this year, and ever since I've been doing my best to tell people to go see it. Opening in US theaters this December in the middle of awards season. Starring Zain Al Rafeea as Zain.
"It's like we're the only two people left in the world." Ping Pong Film has released their first trailer for an indie horror comedy titled Zoo, the latest film from young Swedish filmmaker Antonio Tublen (aka Antonio Steve Tublén of LFO previously). The film is about a married couple struggling with their relationship who end up stuck together in their apartment when a zombie apocalypse breaks out. They can't go anywhere else, so they must figure out how to deal with each other in order to survive. Until others show up. It's a good concept, but the execution is awful. Zoo stars Zoë Tapper and Ed Speleers, with a small cast including Jan Bijvoet and Antonia Campbell-Hughes. The film just premiered at the Sitges Film Festival, where I saw it and did not like it one bit. I really wanted it to be better, but unfortunately it's a disaster in every way.
"I don't know, I've never felt like that…" Orion Pictures has released an official trailer for an indie romantic drama titled Maine, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. While solo thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, a married woman from Spain's journey to reclaim her identity becomes sidetracked when a lone American hiker pursues her. Laia Costa (from Victoria, Newness, Life Itself) stars in the film, with Thomas Mann, and a small cast including Pete Burris, Jeremy DeCarlos, Pat Dortch, Yossie Mulyadi, and director Matthew Brown. I quite like this trailer, it's a bit unconventional and patches the footage together in an interesting way. This romance story isn't new, but it is always heart-wrenching to see.
"How'd it go? Any weirdos?" Sundance Selects/IFC have debuted the first trailer for an indie drama titled DriverX, which premiered at a few small film festivals last year. The film is about a stay-at-home dad who decides to take a job driving for a hip rideshare company called DriverX, an obvious reference to Uber/Lyft. At first it seems like a fresh new start, but low pay and wild LA nights put an even greater strain on his marriage. Patrick Fabian (from "Better Call Saul") stars as Leonard, and the cast includes Tanya Clarke, Desmin Borges, Oscar Nunez, Travis Schuldt, and Melissa Fumero. This trailer makes it seem like this film will end with them saying hey, these apps are good, look what kind of new life it can give you! But I'm not sure. This is also lightly humorous, riding down the middle of the genre road without picking a lane.
"I'd appreciate it if you deposit your weapon in the receptacle by the swinging doors." Netflix has debtued a second trailer for the new Coen Brothers film, though it's actually six new Coen Brothers films, as part of their western anthology feature The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Netflix will be releasing this in select theaters (on November 9th) before it arrives on Netflix for everyone else to watch. This premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year, and also played at NYFF. I saw this in Venice loved it, saying it's "thoroughly amusing and compelling to watch; none of the six stories is any worse than any other, they're all top notch." The huge ensemble cast includes Tyne Daly, James Franco, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Heck, Grainger Hines, Zoe Kazan, Harry Melling, Liam Neeson, Jonjo O'Neill, Chelcie Ross, Saul Rubinek, Tom Waits, Clancy Brown, Jefferson Mays, Stephen Root, and Willie Watson. Along with Tim Blake Nelson playing the titular musician/gunslinger Buster Scruggs. Excited for this to be released soon.
"I have finally found something that makes me happy, and you want to mock it? Instead of – maybe – learning something." Orion Classics has debuted the official trailer for the indie drama Jinn, arriving in limited theaters later this month. The film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival this year, and played at a bunch of other festivals including AFI Fest. From writer/director Nijla Mumin, the film is about a 17-year-old carefree black girl named Summer whose life is turned upside down when her mother converts to Islam and becomes a completely different person. "With this film, we are trying to create awareness, acceptance, understanding and form a conversation." Zoe Renee stars as Summer, with a full cast including Simone Missick, Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Dorian Missick, Hisham Tawfiq, and Kelly Jenrette. This looks like a very powerful, beautiful, and resonant coming-of-age film that's worthy of being discovered. Watch below.
"So twisted. Full of secrets." Samuel Goldwyn Films has released the first official trailer for an indie noir thriller titled Back Roads, which first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Back Roads is also the directorial debut of English actor Alex Pettyfer, who also stars in the film as a young man stuck in the Pennsylvania backwoods caring for his three younger sisters after the death of his abusive father and the arrest of his mother. When he strikes up an affair with a local married woman, long-dormant family secrets bubble to the surface in this "back roads" thriller. The film's full cast includes Jennifer Morrison, Nicola Peltz, Chiara Aurelia, Hala Finley, June Carryl, Robert Patrick, with Juliette Lewis. This looks like a gritty, sweaty backwoods noir film for sure - and I'll admit that it doesn't seem so bad. Worth a watch.