"In MMA, anything can happen." Screen Media has debuted an official trailer for an MMA fight film titled Cagefighter (not to be confused with The Cage Fighter doc film), written and directed by Jesse Quinones. Another of these cliche fight movies where it's about a champ going up against a rival. Reiss Gibbons is the greatest champion to ever fight in a Legends cage. But when promoter Max Black pits him against wrestling superstar Randy Stone, Reiss finds himself in the toughest fight of his life. Starring Alex Montagnani (Pro MMA Fighter) as Reiss Gibbons, Jonathan Good aka Jon Moxley (AEW Champ, Professional Wrestler, 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown) as his opponent Randy Stone, along with Gina Gershon, Chuck Liddell, Elijah Baker, Luke Rockhold, Jay Reso, and Georgia Bradner. The big twist in this is that it's a professional wrestler taking on a professional MMA fighter, but it's still the same anyway. Train hard and take him down.
"Father started wrestling with this fate… he ended up winning." Gravitas Ventures has released an official trailer for an indie thriller called Fishbowl, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaking siblings Stephen & Alexa Kinigopoulos raised in Maryland. This premiered at the Austin Film Festival in 2018, and it also screened at the Annapolis, Red Rock, and Anchorage Film Festivals. Three sisters. To get to heaven, they'll have to walk through hell. In a small town filled with secrets, three sisters are forced to cling to each other as they cope with loss and a father who's growing increasingly obsessed with the rapture he thinks is coming. As the bell begins to toll for "the rapture", true colors shine through and the mystery of their mom's disappearance is revealed in a "shattering" climax. The film features Emily Peachey, Caroline Coleman, Belle Shickle as the three sisters, along with Judith Hoag, Rick Kain, Delaney Williams, and Maria Broom. This looks extra uncomfortable and super creepy, but I think that's the point. Crazy religious nuts.
"American kids don't want to room with their grandmas." A24 has finally revealed an official trailer for Minari, the outstanding Sundance double-winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the festival earlier this year. A new film from Korean-American filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung, who grew up in rural Arkansas, Minari is about a Korean family that moves to rural Arkansas to start a farm. Steven Yeun stars as the father, but the film's big breakout is Alan S. Kim, who plays their young boy named David. The cast includes Yari Han as his wife Monica, Yuh-Jung Youn as grandma, plus Will Patton, Noel Cho, Scott Haze, Eric Starkey, and Esther Moon. One of the best films from Sundance this year, I wrote in my fest recap that it's a "heartwarming, lovely film" and is worthy of our attention and all the accolades it has received so far. The performances are extraordinary and fill up this film with genuine love. Take a look.
"There's nothing to be ashamed of." Vertical Ent. has revealed an official trailer The True Adventures of Wolfboy, a peculiar indie film marking the feature directorial debut of Czech filmmaker Martin Krejcí. The film takes the "Teen Wolf" concept, exploring what it would be like realistically to be a boy with a "special condition" that makes him look like the "Wolfboy." Paul lives an isolated life with his father in upstate New York. He finds making friends impossible due to a rare condition he has known as congenital hypertrichosis - that causes an abnormal amount of hair all over his face and body. On his 13th birthday, Paul receives a mysterious gift that compels him to run away and find his mother he has never known. Jaeden Martell stars, and most of the film he's wearing prosthetics & make-up, thankfully not CGI. The cast includes Chris Messina, Eve Hewson, Michelle Wilson, Stephan McKinley Henderson, Sophie Giannamore, Chloë Sevigny, with John Turturro as a carnival king. It's a solid film, better than it looks at first glance.
"Don't let that door close behind you." Colossal Content has debuted an official trailer for an indie science fiction / parallel universe film titled Expulsion, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmakers Aaron Jackson & Sean C. Stephens. Scott & Vincent are top recruits at the prestigious Cicero Market Technologies Corp. where they are tasked with the development of cutting edge technologies. They push the boundaries of particle collision science to undiscovered levels stumbling upon a parallel universe with an alternate version of Scott. Of course they discover that others seek their tech to advance their own agendas. Agendas that they intend to fulfill at any cost. Colton Tapp gives a multidimensional depiction by taking on two roles as both the antagonist and protagonist. As his character crosses over to another universe he inadvertently invites a different version of himself home creating a ripple that threatens his very existence. Also starring Lar Park Lincoln. This looks like a Primer wannabe, but nowhere near as smart or as sleek as that indie sci-fi film.
"The Breakfast Club meets Waiting for Godot…" Now that's a funky pitch. But sounds good, kind of? Check out the official trailer for an indie comedy titled 18 to Party, the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Jeff Roda. This originally premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival last year, and also played at the Florida Film Festival this year. It's set in 1984 and takes place outside a small-town nightclub, where a group of 8th graders gather, grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. Described by the festival as "a spot-on love letter to Gen X, awkward teenagers, and the transcendent power of friendship." The film stars Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood, Oliver GIfford, James Freedson-Jackson, Nolan Lyons, Sam McCarthy, Ivy Miller, Taylor Richardson, and Erich Schuett. It looks like classical indie filmmaking in a good way - no-budget project with a clever script about a time long gone.
"Why would I want to be like everyone else?" "Because it has to be better than this." Freestyle Digital has released an official trailer for an indie drama / dark comedy titled Ms. White Light, which first premiered at the SXSW Film Festival last year. It also then played at the Torino Film Festival in Italy, where it won the Audience Award a year ago. Roberta Colindrez (seen on the TV shows "Vida" and "The Deuce") stars as Lex Cordova, a young woman who counsels terminally ill clients that have trouble letting go. While uniquely talented in her ability to connect with the dying, Lex is at a total loss when it comes to dealing with everyone else. Until she meets a woman named Valerie. The indie cast also includes Zachary Spicer, John Ortiz, Judith Light, and Taylar Fondren. This actually looks quite intriguing, not only with all the wide shots of offices and hospital rooms. But the performance and the whole premise seems to offer something special.
"You first responsibility is to preserve the hearing you have." Amazon Prime has finally debuted an official trailer for Sound of Metal, an acclaimed indie drama about a rock band drummer who begins to lose his hearing. The film first premiered at the Toronto and Zurich Film Festivals last year to rave reviews, and is open in select theaters later this fall. Riz Ahmed stars as Ruben, a heavy-metal drummer whose life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. The full cast includes Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff, Mathieu Amalric, Chris Perfetti, and William Xifaras. So far this looks as good as I've heard. Have been forward to watching it ever since the TIFF buzz dropped last year. One great review states: "Riz Ahmed turns in a spectacular performance that overcame my fears of disability appropriation."
"They're just people, no different from you and me." Anyone remember this one? Shout Factory debuted a new trailer for an indie film titled Delirious, now being re-released as a special "Director's Cut" edition after more than 12 years. This originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 (and I reviewed it way back then!) and years later Tom DiCillo has come back to it and secured the rights and restored it to his original version. "Just before its original release some editing choices were forced upon me which I've always regretted. When I finally found the [rights] owner… I jumped at the chance to restore the film to its original cut. I wrote it for Steve Buscemi and he delivers one of his finest performances. I'm thrilled this Director's Cut will give people a chance to appreciate it." Buscemi stars a paparazzi who takes in a strange homeless kid, played by Michael Pitt, under his wing but then he becomes a famous TV star. The cast also includes Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon, Callie Thorne, Kevin Corrigan, and Elvis Costello. I still remember enjoying this film at Sundance, but I'm not really sure if it's worth revisiting all these year later.
"What separates us from animals?" Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a Norwegian post-apocalyptic thriller titled Cadaver, from young Norwegian filmmaker Jarand Herdal. Set in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster, the film is about a family of struggling survivors who discover a hotel that entices them with a free meal and a theater play. When they arrive, the director, Mathias (Thorbjørn Harr), introduces the entire hotel as the stage. Attendees are given masks to help separate them from actors, but the play takes an eerie turn when audience members start to disappear. Starring Gitte Witt, Thomas Gullestad, Tuva Olivia Remman, Thorbjørn Harr, Maria Grazia De Meo, Trine Wiggen, and Bente Børsum. Oh my, this is a super freaky concept combined with intense post-apocalyptic dread - scary in all the
right wrong ways.
"It was like you were singing… just to me." Mental illness, Morrissey and guinea pigs. Vega Baby US has released a new trailer for the indie dark comedy coming-of-age film The More You Ignore Me, a spunky 80s flick from England that already opened there a few years ago. Adapted from Jo Brand's novel and set to the songs of The Smiths, The More You Ignore Me is a darkly funny coming-of-age story of dysfunctional family life in the 1980s. The film focuses on Gina, a young mother, whose efforts to be a loving mother & wife are undermined by her declining mental health. Things deteriorate once she develops an obsession with the local weatherman, which leads to an admission to the nearby psychiatric hospital. Starring Sheridan Smith as Gina and Ella Hunt (from Anna and the Apocalypse), with Mark Addy, Sally Phillips, Sheila Hancock, and Jo Brand. This looks enjoyable, especially because of The Smiths, but it's not great overall.
"Prepare yourselves… for a new form of extra-terrestrial terror!" Bleecker Street has released a fun "retro" trailer for Save Yourselves!, a relationship comedy mixed up with an alien invasion sci-fi. This premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and is opening next month. A young Brooklyn couple heads to an upstate cabin to unplug from their phones and reconnect with each other. Blissfully unaware of what's happening, they are left to their own devices as the planet falls under attack. "What if you unplugged from technology for a week and really reconnected with your partner? It’s not like the world would end, right? Right? Right?" Starring John Reynolds and Sunita Mani as Jack and Su, with a small cast also including Ben Sinclair, John Early, and Jo Firestone. This is a great trailer, I just wish it was only the old B&W trailer and not the bookends. But still! The voiceover is perfect. And the description of the story is hilarious.