"Did he seem nervous when you asked him to dinner?" This small indie film playing on the festival circuit is a worthwhile discovery and still needs a distributor. Fourteen is the latest film made by American indie filmmaker Dan Sallitt, and it first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year before playing all over the world (at Uruguay, Melbourne, Vancouver, Mill Valley, Vienna, Thessaloniki Film Festivals). Tallie Medel and Norma Kuhling star as two friends struggling with the realities of adult life. The film takes place over a decade, showing us only a few disparate scenes between them when they reconnect and converse. The cast also includes Lorelei Romani, C. Mason Wells, Dylan McCormick, and Kolyn Brown. This earned some rave reviews from critics at festivals; it's a unique, low-key drama that will connect more with some than others. These teasers were released during its festival run; we're still waiting to see a full-length trailer.
"It's over!" "It's not over ’till I say it's over." Madman Films has debuted the first official trailer for Guns Akimbo, the totally insane, totally badass action movie from New Zealand filmmaker Jason Lei Howden. The concept for this is crazy: in a near-future world where a live deathmatch video game rules the internet, one online troll find himself in deep shit when he wakes up to find two pistols bolted onto his hands. Things get even worse when he's pulled into the game and forced to battle one of the meanest players to ever exist. Described as "hilariously dark, viciously violent, and potentially — chillingly — prescient." Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Ned Dennehy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Hanako Footman, Mark Rowley, Set Sjöstrand, and Rhys Darby. I first caught this in Sitges and fully enjoyed it, totally nuts but awesome to watch (read my review). Genre fans & action geeks - you do not want to miss this! Lock 'n load.
"Were you ever afraid of what people thought of you?" Disney+ has unveiled an official trailer for a super cute YA romance film titled Stargirl, adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name written by Jerry Spinelli. The story is about a boy who moves to Arizona and becomes intrigued by a mysterious and quirky student named Stargirl, spending his time trying to learn more about her. Graham Verchere stars as Leo, and Grace VanderWaal stars as Stargirl, with a cast including Giancarlo Esposito, Shelby Simmons, Darby Stanchfield, Karan Brar, and Maximiliano Hernández. While the story isn't particularly new, this does look like a very charming and magical film about all the emotions of young love. It's worth a look.
"One way or another, I'm going to be with that clique!" Sony Pictures Classics has revealed a teaser trailer for Charm City Kings, a feature drama premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this month. The film is a feature adaptation of the acclaimed documentary 12 O'Clock Boys, which premiered in 2013, and opened in theaters in 2014. The film is about a 14-year-old boy named Mouse who joins a notorious dirt bike gang in Baltimore. Sundance describes this as an "electric feature that pulses with teen gusto, thumping hip-hop, and amazing bike tricks. Soto directs an astonishingly talented cast to create a narrative bursting with pitch-perfect performances and intoxicating emotion." Starring Jahi Di'Allo Winston as Mouse, plus Meek Mill, Will Catlett, Teyonah Parris, Donielle Tremaine Hansley, and Kezii Curtis. This looks crazy good!! One hell of a teaser to build hype before Sundance. Check this out and catch 12 O'Clock Boys as well.
"This is a fragile boy, and you need to understand that." Saban Films has unveiled an official trailer for an indie thriller titled The Night Clerk, which is arriving in theaters this February despite not premiering at any festivals or elsewhere. While on duty, a young, socially challenged hotel clerk witnesses a murder in one of the rooms but his suspicious actions land him as the lead detective's number one suspect. This is written and directed by an award-winning playwright – Michael Cristofer – making his third feature film, his latest since Original Sin in 2001. Tye Sheridan stars as the hotel clerk Bart Bromley, with a cast including Ana de Armas, John Leguizamo, Helen Hunt, Johnathon Schaech, and Jacque Gray. This reminds me a lot of Bad Times at the El Royale, but doesn't look anywhere near as good as that film. Take a look below.
"Join them! Frolic!" Sony Pictures has released the full-length official trailer for the live-action CG hybrid sequel Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, the follow-up to Sony's Peter Rabbit movie from 2018. Director Will Gluck returns, along with James Corden as the voice of the pesky Peter Rabbit. Old tricks. New mischief! In this sequel, Peter leaves the old garden to head to the city, finding himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated. But when his family risks everything to come looking for him and bring him home, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be. The full cast includes Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki, with Margot Robbie and Daisy Ridley as Cotton-Tail. Maybe kids will enjoy it, but this still looks as boring and forgettable as the first movie. It's worth skipping.
"This mission requires the very best." Netflix has debuted a trailer for Sergio, an indie drama premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this month. Inspired by a documentary also titled Sergio, the director of that doc makes his first narrative feature telling the story of a UN diplomat working in the world’s most unstable regions. The film is set in the chaotic aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, where the life of top UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello hangs in the balance during the most treacherous mission of his career. "Inspired by a true story, Sergio is a sweeping drama focused on a man pushed to his physical and emotional limits as he's forced to confront his own divisive choices about ambition, family, and his capacity to love." Starring Wagner Moura as Sergio, with Ana de Armas as his love interest, plus Garret Dillahunt, Clemens Schick, Will Dalton, Bradley Whitford, and Brían F. O'Byrne. This looks like a solid drama, with a dash of political commentary, but mostly a story about perseverance and the challenges of being a diplomat.
"People deal with the loss of a loved one in a lot of ways…" The first official trailer has debuted for an indie revenge drama titled A Patient Man, marking the feature directorial debut of veteran editor Kevin Ward. Tom has been in a terrible car accident. After four months of recovering from his injuries, he starts the long process of putting his life back together again. And also begins planning revenge on the person responsible. It's pretty obvious from the trailer what's going on, so it's not really a spoiler or anything, but this does look like a tricky setup for a film to make you wonder what's really happening. Jonathan Mangum stars with Tate Ellington, plus a small cast including Kelsey Scott, David Jahn, Elaine Loh, and Amir Talai. This looks like a low key psychological drama that may be worth a watch. I also dig the minimalistic poster.
"At the end of the day, we're all Monsters, aren't we…?" Net Films, Dreamfilms, and Asgard International have unveiled the first official trailer for an experimental new take on the "Frankenstein" story from Greece, titled simply Frankenstein, or Φrankenstein. Directed by Costas Zapas, it is described as "an enticing, refreshing take of the classic novel that re-introduces its iconic characters in a gothic film for an entirely new viewers generation. A haunted fairytale in a graphic novel film." The plot follows a young woman who interviews a theatre troupe in town to perform "Frankenstein", confronted with the dark heroes of the novel. Starring Elli Tsitsipa, Andonis Goritsas, Dimitra Hatoupi, Vassilis Bisbikis, Danai Papoutsi, Demetre Georgalas, and Nikolitsa Drizi; with Louis Mandylor. This looks way too experimental and way too stylized, lacking much substance. Maybe watch Larry Fessendens's Depraved instead? Check it out.
"You are MY weapon!" Sony has launched a second "international" trailer for upcoming action sci-fi movie Bloodshot, due out in just a few months. This is yet another comic book adaptation, about a slain soldier who is re-animated with superpowers based on nanotechnology injected into him. It's based on the comic book character known as Bloodshot, published in various Valiant Comics, the first appearance in 1992. Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero "Bloodshot" by the RST corporation. This seems to be a twisted mix of Upgrade and RoboCop, along with some of the usual Vin Diesel tropes you might expect. The full cast includes Guy Pearce, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Lamorne Morris, Talulah Riley, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, and Siddharth Dhananjay. This looks like a killer action movie - derivative but still badass nonetheless.
"Natasha, my sister. After all this time - what brings you home?" Disney has revealed a new "Special Look" TV trailer for Marvel Studio's Black Widow movie, kicking off the summer on May 1st. It's good timing as this trailer is also out on the same day as Scarlett Johansson's double Oscar nominations, not to mention Florence Pugh's nomination, too. This new stand-alone solo movie is directed by Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland (of Lore, Berlin Syndrome), and is set between the Civil War and Infinity War movies. Scarlett Johansson stars as Natasha Romanoff, returning from the previous Marvel movies. The cast also includes Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff, David Harbour as Red Guardian, plus William Hurt, Ray Winstone, O-T Fagbenle, and Michelle Lee. Well this is looking damn good.
"He found an exactly taped path out of the trap called 'The Bridge to Freedom.'" 1091 has released a trailer for a documentary called Over the Rainbow, which premiered at the Melbourne Film Festival last year. This trailer is for the film's NYC premiere as part of the Film Comment Selects series happening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center this month. It will be screening with a Q&A followed up by Mother! on 35mm. I'm sold! The film isn't just another film about Scientology, it's a reflection on how perceptions of reality can be warped. "Across a decade, Peixoto gained the trust of some in the church, and some who have left, and builds a platform for them to speak. Their unadorned observations are refracted through the observations of an alien abductee expert, an archivist of American religion, a journalist, and other [people] investigating the fringes." Allowing us to examine how and why people get sucked so deeply into religion. Take a look below.