"If you're ever making any piece of art, you've gotta be challenging while you're doing it and making sure that it's not something anyone's seen before, otherwise you're wasting everyone's time." One of my favorite films from the 2019 Venice Film Festival was Babyteeth, an exquisite Australian coming-of-age dramedy marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Shannon Murphy. Before she got into filmmaking, she was a theater director - starting her career on stage in Australia. She then moved over to television and has been directing episodes of shows like "Offspring", "Sisters", "On the Ropes", and "Killing Eve". Babyteeth is also originally from the stage - it's a play adapted by its own playwright for the screen. And Shannon jumped at the opportunity to direct it, later ending up in the Venice Film Festival main competition selection as one of two female filmmakers chosen that year (the other being Haifaa Al-Mansour with The Perfect Candidate).
"If what happened here really reaches the public, you're off." Paramount has unveiled an official trailer for an indie dramatic thriller titled Most Wanted, formerly known as Target Number One before this new title change. From Quebecois writer / director Daniel Roby, the film follows the story of real life reporter Victor Malarek who unraveled a twisted drug deal, which conspired to having the wrong guy sentenced to 100 years in a Thai prison. Antoine-Olivier Pilon stars as Daniel, who was forced into a dangerous drug deal against his will and landed himself in jail. Josh Hartnett plays the investigative journalist trying to get to the bottom of the story and free him. The full cast includes Jim Gaffigan, J.C. MacKenzie, Rose-Marie Perreault, and Don McKellar. This looks like a solid film, another tribute to intrepid journalists.
"Why risk your life like that?" Screen has revealed the first promo trailer for an indie cycling drama titled The Racer, made by filmmaker Kieron J. Walsh, and supported by Screen Ireland and Blinder Films. This trailer is to help promote the film as it is being sold at the Cannes Market coming up this month, although it has a US distributor already, but no release date set yet. The film tells the true story of a professional cyclist named Dom Chabol, a Belgian support rider. After being dropped from the team on his last race in 1998, he is reinstated following a doping error. He's always been one of the best support riders ("domestiques") on the Tour de France, but had dreams to win it himself one day. Starring Louis Talpe as Dom, along with Matteo Simoni, Tara Lee, Iain Glen, and Karel Roden. This seems to be distancing itself from all the Lance Armstrong stories, instead focusing on another insecure rider who just wants to prove his own worth.
"If you witnessed it, why didn't you report it?" CJ Entertainment has debuted a full-length official trailer for a Vietnamese crime thriller titled Invisible Evidence in English. The film is opening in Vietnam next month, but doesn't have any other worldwide release dates yet. "Right in the alley she seemed familiar with, right after her mother's call. What is the truth behind this disappearance?" The plot involves a blind woman reporting an incident with a taxi driver that she believes was a murder. But another person comes forward and reports something entirely different. Both are being watched secretly by the assassin, so he can kill the witness. Will she figure out what's going on and stop him before it's too late? The film stars Phuong Anh Dao, Quang Tuan, Otis, Thuân Phát, Ai Phuong, and Anh Tu. This looks extremely intense, with all kinds of scenes in the night and the rain. And, of course, there's probably many twists and turns in the story.
"You're a poor kid pretending to be rich." IFC Films has debuted the first official teaser trailer for an indie drama titled The Nest, which initially premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. This is the long-awaited follow-up to Martha Marcy May Marlene, which was the feature directorial debut of producer / filmmaker Sean Durkin. In this searing film about wealth and family, Jude Law stars as an ambitious, greedy husband who moves his family to England hoping to strike it rich with a major business deal. Carrie Coon co-stars as his wife, who starts to see through all his bullshit. "Soon the promise of a lucrative new beginning starts to unravel, the couple have to face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage." Also starring Charlie Shotwell, Oona Roche, Adeel Akhtar, and Michael Culkin. This has already earned rave reviews, but most of all Carrie Coon deserves awards for her exceptional performance.
"I'm gonna make a big deal of this! Tons of press. Lots of money." Focus has unveiled a final official trailer for Irresistible, Jon Stewart's second feature film following Rosewater in 2014. This trailer is a reminder that this is now going to be released on VOD everywhere on June 26th (it was scheduled for May 29th in theaters, until the pandemic changed that). This is about a Democrat strategist who helps a retired veteran run for mayor in a small, conservative Midwest town. Steve Carell stars as Gary Zimmer, who tries to get an unexpected ex-Marine local elected to office in Wisconsin. Also with Chris Cooper, Topher Grace, Natasha Lyonne, Mackenzie Davis, CJ Wilson and Will Sasso. This looks quite fun (dare I say) or at least the trailer plays up the laughs, but I hope it isn't depressing in the end. Don't let us down, Jon Stewart.
"Wake up, Richard." FilmRise has unveiled an official trailer for a paranoia thriller titled Browse, which hasn't shown up at any festivals this year. This drama finally takes us into the world of digital paranoia, with all of our devices and technology being able to track and observe everything you do. Lukas Haas stars as Richard, a solitary man who becomes convinced that someone hacked into all of his devices and that they're being used to manipulate and control him. "Desperate for clarity, Richard seeks to uncover the truth of who is trying to manipulate him and why, but the more he struggles with his futile investigation, the further he’s cast into an insurmountable web of paranoia." Scary. Also starring Sarah Rafferty, Chloe Bridges, and Bodhi Elfman. This actually looks quite unsettling. Especially with the Clockwork Orange wink at the end.
"When people see me, they…" "Die?" Gravitas Ventures has unveiled the first official trailer for an indie dark comedy called Looks That Kill, which is landing on VOD soon. The film stars Brandon Flynn (from "13 Reasons Why", "True Detective", and John Kander's Kid Victory musical) as a teenage boy dealing with the ups and downs of being lethally attractive. His face kills - literally! Of course, since this is a teenage story, he meets a girl with her own bizarre ailment, who aids him on his self-discovery quest. Julia Goldani Telles co-stars, with Ki Hong Lee, Annie Mumolo, and Tom Proctor. This doesn't look that cheesy, I have to say, there's an earnestness to it that gives it an edge. Though it's still yet another film about beautiful teens.
"All I want to know… is if that's the truth?" Kino Lorber has released a new official US trailer for the indie drama titled Guest of Honour, the latest from Egyptian-Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan. This first premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals last fall, and played at lots of other festivals last year. The film follows a father and daughter in Canada, as they attempt to unravel their complicated histories and intertwined secrets. Veronica wants to remain in jail for a sexual assault she knows she's been wrongfully imprisoned for. Both her and her father, Jim, find themselves acting out of the bounds of good behavior as the past haunts them. Starring David Thewlis and Laysla De Oliveira as Jim and Veronica, along with Luke Wilson, Rossif Sutherland, Arsinée Khanjian, and Alexandre Bourgeois. I saw this film in Venice last year (my review) and it's good, a sobering, depressing story about how deceptive and vindictive we all are. The film will be released in "virtual cinemas" this summer, for those still curious about this one.
"I'm not leaving ’till I find her." Vertical Ent. has released an official trailer for a crime thriller titled The Big Ugly, the latest from American filmmaker Scott Wiper (A Better Way to Die, The Condemned). This revenge film is about a career criminal named Neeyln, who travels to West Virginia from London alongside his boss in order to strike a deal with an American oilman. But once the initial joy subsides, Neeyln is upset to discover that his girlfriend has mysteriously vanished. When he tries to figure out what happened to her, "it become clear that the people he originally thought were his business associates might have more to hide than originally believed." The film stars Vinnie Jones, Ron Perlman, Malcolm McDowell, Nicholas Braun, and Leven Rambin. Looks solid - more of an intense character study than just an action thriller.
"It's a legend in the underworld… a bulletproof casino in the sky." Quiver Distr. has debuted a new official trailer for Money Plane, a crime heist thriller from actor-turned-filmmaker Andrew Lawrence making his directorial debut this year. Adam Copeland (known as "Edge" in the WWE) stars as a professional thief named Jack Reese, and with $40 million in debt and his family's life on the line he must pull off one final heist - rob a futuristic airborne casino filled with the world's most dangerous criminals. Sounds cool, right? If only it looked any good. The film also stars Denise Richards, Kelsey Grammer, Katrina Norman, Patrick Lamont Jr., and Thomas Jane. The concept for this is pretty cool, but it's yet another of these dime-a-dozen terribly cheesy action films they're making way too many of these days. But it still may be fun.
"We deserve to try and have a kid who's…" "perfect?" Monument Releasing has unveiled an official trailer for an indie drama titled The Surrogate, which first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. There are many films all titled The Surrogate (including plenty of horror), this one is about a woman who agrees to be the surrogate mother for a gay couple. Twelve weeks into the pregnancy, a prenatal test comes back with unexpected results indicating the baby will have Down Syndrome, posing a moral dilemma and challenging the relationship between the three of them. The film stars Jasmine Batchelor as Jess, with Chris Perfetti, Sullivan Jones, Brooke Bloom, Eboni Booth, and William DeMeritt. This looks a bit similar to the German film 24 Weeks, also about the same moral dilemma with a pregnancy. Take a look.