"To pull this job off, you'll need a twist." Saban FIlms has released an official trailer for a new twist on the Charles Dickens' classic Oliver Twist called Twist, of course. The film is a modern day take on the story, set in London, this time about a gifted graffiti artist who joins a street gang headed by Caine's Fagin. This was originally released by Sky Cinema in the UK last year, and it was panned by critics over there, but opens anyway in the US this July for whoever is still interested. The film stars Michael Caine, Rita Ora, Sophie Simnett, Jason Maza, Franz Drameh, with David Walliams and Lena Headey and introducing Raff Law. Unfortunately it also includes Noel Clarke, who has multiple sexual assault allegations against him. The rest of the film looks quite good, though a tad on-the-nose and cheesy with all the updated London crime-thriller tropes and flashy shots. Not sure it looks like this will be a hit in the US, but it's worth a look.
"We left because we wanted something more." IFC Midnight has unveiled the first trailer for an intriguing sci-fi western thriller titled Settlers, which is premiering at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival in the next few days. On a remote homestead amongst the Martian frontier, a refugee family from Earth clings to hope for a better life. But when strangers appear in the surrounding hills and attempt to run them off, they must deal with the truth about who they really are. Starring Sofia Boutella, Jonny Lee Miller, and Brooklynn Prince as the family, plus Nell Tiger Free, Ismael Cruz Cordova, and Natalie Walsh. Settlers was filmed on location in the isolated desert area of Vioolsdift, situated in the Northern Cape in South Africa. The film is actually producer / filmmaker Wyatt Rockefeller's feature directorial debut, and it's among the NYU Production Lab's supported projects. As a sci-fi geek, I am definitely very into this - the whole setup of settlers on Mars is clever. And the rest of it looks damn good. Though the trailer really does show too much.
"I heard you had great abilities, sir." Kino Lorber has released an official US trailer for the strange Polish drama Never Gonna Snow Again, which first premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year. We ran a teaser and a full trailer last year in the fall. On a gray, foggy morning outside a large Polish city, a masseur apparently from Ukraine named Zhenia enters the lives of the wealthy residents of a gated community. With his hypnotic presence and quasi-magical abilities, he is able to get a residence permit and starts plying his trade. The well-to-do residents in their own cookie-cutter suburban homes seemingly have it all, but they all suffer from an inner sadness, some unexplained longing. The attractive and mysterious newcomer's hands heal, and Zhenia’s eyes seem to penetrate their souls. Starring Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Katarzyna Figura. I'd say that comparison to Twin Peaks and Teorema in this trailer is spot on. Not even sure how to properly describe the film - very odd yet very "beguiling" indeed.
"To live on with her, I shall stay defiant!" GKids has unveiled the first official US teaser trailer for a new Japanese anime film titled The Deer King (the final English title), originally known as 鹿の王 ユナと約束の旅 in Japanese (which translates to Promised Journey with Yuna, the King of Deer). This teaser is timed with the film's premiere at the 2021 Annecy Film Festival in France this month, and it's set to open in Japan in September later this year. No US date has been announced yet. The Deer King marks the directorial debut of the acclaimed animator Masashi Ando. Ando has previously worked as a character designer, animation director, and key animator with the famed Studio Ghibli, and also with directors Satoshi Kon and Makoto Shinkai. Masayuki Miyaji is best known for directing the 2009 series Xam'd: Lost Memories. The fantasy film, adapted from a novel, is about a battle of empires. Shinichi Tsutsumi voices the lonely warrior Van, who survives a deadly and mysterious disease; Ryoma Takeuchi voices the genius doctor in search of a cure; Anne plays a skilled female warrior named Sae, who is attempting to track down Van. Get a first look.
"Can we keep her?!" Netflix has unveiled a teaser trailer for the new stop-motion creation from Aardman Animations called Robin Robin. It will premiere as a "work-in-progress" at the Annecy Film Festival this month, and is scheduled to arrive on Netflix this November. Described as a stop-motion animated "future Christmas classic." Created by its Directors Dan Ojari and Mikey Please, Robin Robin is the endearing story of a robin (voiced by Bronte Carmichael) who is adopted by a family of burglar mice when her egg rolls into a rubbish dump. She sets off on the heist to end all heists to prove to her family that she can be a really good mouse, but ends up discovering who she really is. Both Gillian Anderson & Richard E. Grant are among the voice cast in this charming stop-motion animation about a robin who goes on a journey of self-discovery after being raised by a family of mice. The character design in this is just so cute! I love it already.
"Therapy works! It's empowering!" Apple TV+ has unveiled the first teaser trailer for a new series debuting later this fall titled The Shrink Next Door, based on a true story. Inspired by the true story of Marty and the therapist who turned his life around… then took it over. When he first meets Dr. Ike, Marty just wants to get better at boundaries. Over 30 years, he'll learn all about them—and what happens when they get crossed. The series, directed by Michael Showalter & Jesse Peretz, stars Will Ferrell as Marty, and Paul Rudd as Dr. Ike Herschkopf. The series also stars Kathryn Hahn as Phyllis, Marty's younger sister, and Casey Wilson as Bonnie, the wife of Dr. Herschkopf, plus Gable Swanlund, Sarayu Blue, and Kesia Brooke. This sounds a lot like the same concept in the comedy movie What About Bob? from 1991, about a guy who invades his psychiatrist's home and befriends his family after "feeling better". Perhaps inspired by the same true story? Nonetheless, this cast is pretty much perfect and I'm looking forward to seeing more from this.
"I'm looking for a truffle pig. Someone stole her." Neon has unveiled a trailer for the highly anticipated new Nicolas Cage movie titled Pig, which has been on the schedule for a while but hasn't premiered just yet. The film follows a truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness who must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she's kidnapped. Pig is directed by Michael Sarnoski and stars Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin, and Gretchen Corbett. The Italians usually use dogs for hunting truffles in Alba, but pigs are also just as common and have great noses, too. This looks like Nicolas Cage as a vegan John Wick getting back at the bastards who stole his prized truffle pig. Take them down!! This looks especially gnarly, and I can't wait to see it. I love how soft this trailer is, and his animals speech.
"It's like an existential scavenger hunt for your soul." "Yeah, I guess…" MGM Studios has unveiled a trailer for an indie comedy titled How It Ends, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year (here is Zofia's review). The film was made during the pandemic last year and it follows Zoe Lister-Jones as she roams around an empty Los Angeles meeting her friends for brief and strange encounters. In this feel-good apocalyptic comedy, Liza embarks on a hilarious journey in hopes of making it to her last party before it all ends, running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way. She's joined by a physical manifestation of her younger self, played by Cailee Spaeny. The huge ensemble cast features Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Whitney Cummings, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Helen Hunt, Nick Kroll, Lamorne Morris, Bradley Whitford, Colin Hanks, Tawny Newsome, Finn Wolfhard, Logan Marshall Green, Raymond Cham Jr., Angelique Cabral, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, and even Pauly Shore. So how do you think it ends?
"There is no place like home." Dark Star Pictures has released the new US trailer for an Argentinian horror thriller titled Rock, Paper and Scissors, originally the same in Spanish, Piedra, Papel y Tijera. This initially premiered in 2019 at FrightFest in London and the Morbido Film Fest in Mexico. Jesus and Maria José are siblings living in the house of their recently deceased father. Their usual routine is interrupted by the arrival of Magdalena, their paternal half-sister. After many years without being with her other siblings, she comes from Spain to claim her share of the house inherited from their father. However, these siblings, who do not want to sell it, start playing wicked games with her, in which it is difficult to distinguish who has the stone, who has the paper and who has the scissors. This stars Agustina Cerviño, Valeria Giorcelli, Pablo Sigal. Looks like another unsettling, creepy Argentinian horror film to catch this summer. Disfrutar.
"A haunting exploration…" Dogwoof in the UK has unveiled a new official UK trailer for a doc called The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, which initially premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year (watch the first trailer from then) and also played at the Hong Kong & Cleveland Film Festivals. In 1971, at the world premiere of Death in Venice in London, Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti proclaimed Björn Andrésen, the teen star of his latest film, "The most beautiful boy in the world." This is the story of a boy who was thrust to international stardom for his iconic looks and lived a life of glamour. A shadow that today, 50 years later, weighs Björn Andresen's life. The film is by Swedish filmmakers Kristina Lindström & Kristian Petri. "Being immortalized as an iconic boy meant that Andrésen spent most of his adult life trying to be invisible, refusing to have his identity shaped by a shallow fantasy about who he was." Indeed. This is a remarkable and awe-inspiring doc about just how bad it is to be proclaimed "the most beautiful boy in the world" and how it has been so hard for him ever since. I saw this during Sundance and highly recommend it.
"Is it true there's a drug that gives you superpowers?" Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for an action thriller titled How I Became a Super Hero, marking the feature directorial debut of French filmmaker Douglas Attal. This originally premiered at last year's Deauville Film Festival in the fall. And it's set to arrive streaming on Netflix this July. Set in Paris in a world where superheroes are perfectly assimilated within society and want to be famous at all costs. A drug that gives super powers to mere mortals is spreading all over town. Moreau & Schaltzmann are investigating the case with the support of two ex-superheroes, Monte Carlo and Callista. They'll do whatever it takes to dismantle the drug traffic ring. Starring Pio Marmaï, Vimala Pons, Benoît Poelvoorde, Leïla Bekhti, and Swann Arlaud. There are so many films trying to reinvent the superhero concept and make the stories more gritty and realistic, but they all still look the same. And the problems with superpowers in our world are always the same - things get out of hand quickly.
"She's still in the house." Screen Media has released the first official trailer for an intense survival horror thriller titled Till Death, marking the feature directorial debut of S.K. Dale. Arriving this July in just a few more weeks. Megan Fox has been making quite a comeback in all kinds of off-kilter films recently, including Rogue and Midnight in the Switchgrass. The premise for this is just as crazy: After a romantic evening in their secluded lake house, Emma awakens handcuffed to her dead husband. Trapped and isolated in the dead of winter, she must fight off hired killers to escape her husband's twisted plan. Starring Megan Fox as Emma, with Callan Mulvey, Eoin Macken, and Jack Roth. This reminds me of the Stephen King story Gerald's Game, with a much darker side in the two guys there to take her out. Doesn't look half bad, I'd say.