While attending a film festival it's always exciting to hear buzz about films that may not have been on our radar before. One film in particular at Sundance 2014 that I kept hearing my colleagues raving about was actually a documentary, one called The Overnighters. It took a little while but I finally caught up with the film after the fest and was so taken aback, so impressed and surprised and genuinely moved by what I saw, I couldn't help but write about it. Overnighters is a refreshingly modern documentary, an utterly compelling, nuanced film that precariously balances the big questions of one of the great dilemmas of this day and age.
"A minimum requirement of black friends to not seem racist has just been raised to two." Just last month, a quick teaser trailer debuted for the upcoming indie Dear White People, a racially charged comedy that debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Now a full theatrical trailer has arrived showing even more of the hilarity in the film starring Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonha Parris, Brandon P. Bell and Dennis Haysbert. This seems like a provocative and amusing comedy with biting racial humor and political satire done extremely well, and that's not always easy to do. Watch the trailer below!
"We're going to college and we're still virgins." In the kind of film you would expect from the Sundance Film Festival, actresses Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning star in the sexy indie Very Good Girls. Olsen and Fanning play best friends who vow to lose their virginity before heading off to college (we've heard that one before), but they both end up having eyes for the same handsome, ice cream stand guy (Boyd Holbrook) at the beach. What follows is the traditional loss of innocence and drama that will make or break this friendship. It doesn't seem to have anything special, but the performances seem solid. Watch!
This year's leading performance from Aaron Paul in the video game adaptation Need for Speed was less than stellar (and we're being kind). But maybe it's because the "Breaking Bad" star didn't have much to work with due to a senseless, stupid and unexciting script. But he'll get a chance to redeem himself with the Sundance selected drama Hellion. Paul again takes the lead as Hollis, a father who has essentially abandoned his sons after his wife's death. When Child Protective Services removes his son Wes to live with his Aunt Pam, Hollis and his other son Jacob must face their culpability as they try to get Wes home. Watch!
One of the best comedies from the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year was undoubtedly Land Ho! In what's probably the funniest geriatric comedy since Grumpy Old Men, the film follows two ex-brothers-in-law (Paul Eenhoorn & Earl Lynn Nelson) adventuring through Iceland, meeting an interesting assembly of characters and learning more about each other along the way. Not only is the film laugh-out-loud funny, but it has gorgeous scenery shot on location all over the beautiful country. This is absolutely an indie treasure, and it's one you can enjoy with the whole family, especially your grandparents. Watch!
Following a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Calvary, the latest film from John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) is coming to theaters late this summer, and the theatrical trailer has just arrived. Brendan Gleeson, who also starred in The Guard, leads the film as Father James, a good priest in a small town who only wants to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral and even amusing problems. However, for some reason he still feels some kind of dark forces closing in on his life. This looks like another dark sort of comedy in the same vein as The Guard, but maybe not as good. Watch!
If you haven't yet watched the UK trailer for the 2014 Sundance selected comedy Frank, you should probably rectify that immediately. Michael Fassbender stars in the film as the titular, mysterious band leader who wears a massive fake, cartoonish head and never takes it off. And Domhnall Gleeson plays the odd little band's latest member, who is keen on showing their strange musical direction to the world. The film arrives in theaters in August, and now there's an extensive 10-minute featurette with Fassbender talking about acting under the head and Gleeson talking about the intimidation that came from that. It's a great look behind the scenes at a charming and unique comedy that must be seen to be believed. Watch!
After splitting sides at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the romantic comedy parody They Came Together starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, is finally coming to theaters this summer, and the first trailer has arrived to show off the goods. Along with some huge laughs, there's also glimpses of the incredible supporting cast that includes Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, Christopher Meloni and a whole slew of hilarious cameos. Director and comedian David Wain has hit a home run with a parody that calls back to classics like Airplane and Young Frankenstein. Watch the trailer!
After some recent photos showed the aging of actor Ellar Coltrane from 2002 to 2013, the first trailer that shows off the coming-of-age epic Boyhood from director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Midnight) has arrived, and it's glorious. Touting the unique production angle that had Linklater shooting this film for 11 years, using the same actors, including Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, the trailer is basically a highlight reel of a film that perfectly encapsulates what it's like to grow up, without hitting all the cliche trials and tribulations that we've seen countless times before. It's a masterpiece. Watch!
Though summer is a couple months away, that doesn't mean we can't look forward to the films hitting theaters during the best season of the year. After all, blockbuster summer kicks off next Friday with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but this time we have the trailer for one of the more low key, but fantastic releases: Ping Pong Summer. Set in 1985, the film follows a young teen, living in the glory days of the 80s with a love for moonwalking, parachute pants, beatboxing, hip-hop and more. His summer is made all the better when he meets another kid with his same passions, and try to dominate a ping pong table at the local arcade. Alex loved the film at Sundance, as you can see from his quotes in the trailer, and it looks fantastic.
While many are used to seeing Michael C. Hall kill someone with no problem on the now completed Showtime drama series "Dexter," his role as a killer in the Sundance selected drama Cold in July is a little different. Complete with a terrible haircut, Hall plays Richard Dane, a man who ends up fatally shooting a home invader to death. But the real tension begins when the dead intruder's father (Sam Shepard) is released from prison, and seeks out revenge by targeting Richard's young son. This looks like quite an intense thriller, with a solid performance from Hall. We missed it at Sundance, but will certainly seek it out.
After loving the comedy Obvious Child at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, we're happy to report the film is hitting theaters this summer, and the first trailer has just arrived. Former "Saturday Night Live" star and "The Kroll Show" regular Jenny Slate delivers a charming, hilarious and spectacular breakthrough performance as Donna, a Brooklyn comedian who gets dumped and takes solace in a one night stand and ends up pregnant. It throws her whole life into upheaval, not to mention her struggle with telling the would-be father about the mishap, including her plan to get an abortion. Not only is the film funny, but it's genuine and as I wrote in my review, "everything that romantic comedies wish they could be." Watch!