"I'm just a guy who says… 'I can do some good here.'" Discovery+ has released the first official trailer for a documentary called Citizen Penn, indeed about the actor Sean Penn. But this is about the time in 2010 he decided to gather aid workers and fly down to the Caribbean nation of Haiti to help with recovery after a massive earthquake hit the island. After a devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in 2010 aid workers from around the world went to help. After a few weeks, Penn stayed much longer and created an organization called J/P HRO (now CORE) that took over managing a rescue camp. Over the past few years, CORE has expanded efforts across the U.S., most recently organizing free COVID-19 testing sites around the country and running the nation's largest vaccination site in LA. Citizen Penn highlights the team and their current projects and history. Love him or hate him, this actually looks like a compelling, no-bullshit profile of the actor and his humanitarian work. Featuring an original score by Linda Perry, and an original song by Bono.
"What do you think they must be hiding there to pay such a price to keep it secret?" Good question… CMC Pictures has released an official trailer for Cliff Walkers, the latest film made by Zhang Yimou following his martial arts epic Shadow a few years ago. He's back with another historical epic set in the 1930s. In the puppet state of Manchukuo (founded in 1932 after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria), four Communist party special agents, after returning to China, embark on a secret mission… Sold out by a traitor, the team finds themselves surrounded by threats on all sides. A historical spy thriller starring Zhang Yi, Qin Hailu, Yu Hewei, and Zhu Yawen. This isn't an international trailer - it's actually CMC's official trailer for the US (+ Canada / Aus / NZ) release coming up at the end of this month. Yes! They're debuting this one right away! No waiting years for a new Zhang Yimou film. I quite like the snowy setting of this, a wintry spy noir.
"I love him, and he loves me, too." Urtext Films has released a trailer for documentary We Don't Deserve Dogs, which was initially set to premiere at last year's SXSW Film Festival. Another wonderful film in the growing doggie doc subgenre along with Stray and Los Reyes. A contemplative odyssey across our planet, looking at the simple and extraordinary ways that dogs influence our daily lives. Former child soldiers in Uganda. A pub in a Scottish town. A dog walker on the streets of Istanbul. A kaleidoscope of unconventional portraits from fascinating locations. People need dogs, and perhaps they need us, but what do humans do to deserve the unconditional love they provide? A very good question… From the filmmakers: "We were very fortunate to travel the world to discover the unique bonds between dogs and humans." And the result is this sublime film. I'm quoted in this trailer near the end from my glowing SXSW review last year. Worth a watch.
"There will never be another time like it. Ever." More 80s sci-fi!! A second promo trailer has launched for the nostalgia documentary In Search of Tomorrow, journalist / filmmaker David A. Weiner's follow-up to his doc about 80s horror called In Search of Darkness. In Search of Tomorrow focuses on the treasure trove of science fiction films made in the 80s. "A four-hour-plus retrospective of '80s sci-fi movies featuring interviews with actors, directors, writers, SFX experts, and composers." We featured a trailer last year, but now they've got over 75+ interviews taped, and tons of stories / revelations. This trailer features just a taste of the interviews spliced with footage from all of your favorites including Star Trek, The Last Starfighter, Bill & Ted, Flight of the Navigator, Tron, Earth Girls Are Easy, Weird Science, Starman, Innerspace, and many others. They're running one last Indiegogo campaign with final plans to release in December this year.
"They're smarter, they're faster, they're organized…" Netflix has dropped the full-length trailer for Army of the Dead, the bloody new Zack Snyder movie that he co-wrote and directed in 2019 before the pandemic hit. This project has been in development for over a decade, originally as a direct sequel to Zack's Dawn of the Dead (from 2004), and Snyder finally finished it and it's landing on Netflix in May. Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted. The full ensemble cast includes Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, Ana De La Reguera, Theo Rossi, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Arnezeder, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, Tig Notaro, Raúl Castillo, Huma Qureshi, Samantha Win, Richard Cetrone, and Michael Cassidy. Zombie tigers! Big guns! Zombie elvis! This looks like so much mad zombie fun. I really dig Snyder's "smart zombies" meets Vegas heist concept. This is going to be a blast!
"We can do this! He's coming back to us…" RLJE Films has released an official trailer for a super freaky new horror thriller titled Anything for Jackson, from filmmaker Justin G. Dyck. This originally premiered at the Fantasia and Nightstream Film Festivals last year, and it's arriving on VOD soon. A bereaved Satanist couple kidnap a pregnant woman so they can use an ancient spellbook to put their dead grandson's spirit into her unborn child but end up summoning more than they bargained for. This looks like a crazy twist on the unusual "we want to bring back our kid" story, involving grandparents and some truly messed up evil, making them regret their resurrection. The film stars Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos, and Yannick Bisson. This looks like it has unsettling scares and crazy twists once it gets going.
"I promised my therapist: no bodyguarding!" Lionsgate + Millennium Media present the first teaser trailer for The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (also known as Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard without the "the"), a sequel to that action movie a few years ago. Did we need a sequel? No! But they made one anyway! So have fun. The wacky odd couple is still completing missions, but this time they get entangled with Sonia Kincaid, played by Salma Hayek. The trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman villain played by Antonio Banderas. Both Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson return, with a cast including Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Caroline Goodall, Rebecca Front, Gabriella Wright, Alice McMillan, Kristofer Kamiyasu, Tom Hopper, Blake Ritson, and featuring Richard E. Grant. This is an amusing teaser introducing us to the stakes and some of the action, and letting Ryan Reynolds run the show with all his kooky comedy. Fire it up.
"You need to get on social media, pronto." Screen Media has revealed an official trailer for the indie comedy Eat Wheaties!, a strange adventure in shaming and stalking starring the one-and-only Tony Hale (the voice of Forky!). This hasn't hit any festivals but it is arriving on VOD at the end of this month for anyone looking for some good laughs. Sid Straw leads a dull life until he accidentally stalks famous college friend, Elizabeth Banks, on social media. Stuck at a crossroads and determined to rediscover the best version of himself, Sid hires an inexperienced lawyer to help clear his name. With each new failed attempt to prove he knows her, he rediscovers more of himself and the true meaning of friendship. The fantastic ensemble cast includes Paul Walter Hauser, Danielle Brooks, Lamorne Morris, Robbie Amell, David Walton, Sarah Burns, Elisha Cuthbert, Sarah Chalke, Sarah Goldberg, & Alan Tudyk. Well, this looks like wholesome fun. And there's so many great mustaches in this they could win their own Oscars. Worth a look.
"Do not let yourself be blinded!" Focus Features has released an official trailer for Final Account, a eye-opening and frightening look back at Nazi Germany. And oh yes it definitely has an important connection to the events of nowadays. "Everyone knew, but no one said anything." Filmmaker Luke Holland (who sadly passed away last year) interviews nearly 300 elderly perpetrators and witnesses of the Holocaust from the Nazi side. His goal was to create an urgent and definitive portrait of the last living generation of everyday people who participated in Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. Presenting a film that "raises vital, timely questions about authority, conformity, complicity and perpetration, national identity, and responsibility." Indeed. We need to be hit hard with this honesty, because everyone always likes to ask that cliche "how did all those Germans let it happen?" question. So let's ask them and find out. Oooh this documentary looks damn good.
"Something is happening… Something is wrong… I'm seeing things…" Blue Fox Entertainment has released an official trailer for an indie horror film titled The Mad Hatter, set to be released sometime this summer. The film marks the feature directorial debut of a storyboard artist on Scott Derrickson's movies (Sinister, Deliver Us from Evil, Doctor Strange) now making her first feature. Henry, and three of his classmates, encounter mind-bending ghostly terrors when they volunteer for a weekend study with their psychology professor in the haunted 'Mad Hatter' mansion. Supposedly haunted by those who died at a lavish party in the 1880s. I dig the smoldering embers look of all the ghosts, just hope the rest of it lives up to that potential for something really cool. The film stars Armando Gutierrez, Samuel Caleb Walker, Isadora Cruz, Nick Miller, Michael Berryman, and Rachel Brunner. This does look extremely creepy - check it out.
"We never thought it would happen to us." Three years later, and they still didn't think it would happen! Ha. Magnolia Pictures has debuted a new US trailer for the US release of the Swedish disaster-thriller titled The Unthinkable. This originally premiered in Sweden back in 2018, and we featured a trailer years ago, but it's only now showing up in the US three years later. It's midsummer and Sweden wakes up to a state of emergency. All the networks are down, and before anyone realizes what's behind the collapse, a series of unexplained attacks take place around the country. Alex returns to his childhood village, and as old feelings come back to the surface, more mysterious attacks plunge Sweden into chaos & confusion. The Unthinkable is "about time running out, and protecting what matters most." Starring Christoffer Nordenrot, Lisa Henni, Jesper Barkselius, Pia Halvorsen, and Magnus Sundberg. No idea why this took so long to get a US release, but it does look like it has some fun apocalyptic thrills. I really hope it's not a big let down.
"I just thought of us as family." HBO Max has revealed an official trailer for a documentary titled Lucy The Human Chimp, which looks like the perfect double feature with the doc film Jane. The film recounts the story of a chimpanzee raised as a human in the 1960s in an experiment conducted by psychologists from the University of Oklahoma. It then follows Lucy and Janis Carter, the woman who took on the task of helping to give her freedom by living with her in the wild. Directed by Alex Parkinson, the doc film showcases home movies, archival film and photographs from the personal collection of Jane Temerlin, the psychologist who initially raised Lucy, and Janis Carter, much of which has been previously unseen. Carter is considered the only human ever to live as the leader of a group of wild chimpanzees. Lucy is the only ape raised as human ever to live in the wild. "Janis has waited 40 years to tell this story. It takes us back to a very different time, but it has a powerful message for today." This looks a heartfelt and compelling story to see told in this way.