"Went straight from learning how to walk, to learning how to moonwalk." Discovery+ debuted an official trailer for an indie documentary film titled Crutch, years in the making telling the story of artist / dancer Bill Shannon. This premiered at the 2020 DOC NYC Film Festival last fall, and played at the Bentonville Film Festival this year. The film is a profile of Bill Shannon, aka "Crutch Master," who is a multi-disciplinary artist that defies definition and gravity. He lives his life, including dancing and skateboarding, on crutches and doesn't let that stop him. Crutch also dives into Bill's provocative street performances, during which he exposes the hidden world of assumptions disabled people encounter in public, on a daily basis. While the film questions his early exploitation of strangers' good Samaritan impulses, it also marvels at Bill's ability to create solutions and empower others in similar challenges. From a childhood "cripple" to an international provocateur, Crutch is the story of a one-of-a-kind artist's struggle to be understood. This looks super dope.
"Did you know that I was trying to tempt you this entire time?" Film Movement has revealed an official US trailer for the delightful Japanese film Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, from award-winning Japanese filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. This originally premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, and it's one of my favorite films from this year's festival. Hamaguchi also premiered another brand new film in Cannes, titled Drive My Car, which won the Best Screenplay prize. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy also won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize in Berlin this year. An unexpected love triangle, a failed seduction trap and an encounter that results from a misunderstanding, told in three movements to depict three women and trace the trajectories between their choices and regrets. The film features an set of three contemporary love stories in Japan. This stars Kotone Furukawa, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, and Katsuki Mori. I honestly highly recommend this! They're such uplifting and amusing stories of modern romance - it's worth a watch.
"I did you all a favor, and now you owe me money." Netflix has revealed the trailer for a Brazilian drama titled 7 Prisoners, which just premiered at both the 2021 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals this month. Produced by the Oscar-nominated filmmakers Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger), the film is the second feature from director Alexandre Moratto (Sócrates), who confirms his status as a "major new voice of Brazilian cinema." To provide a better life for his family in the country, 18-year-old Mateus accepts a job in a junkyard in São Paulo for his new boss. But when he and a few others become trapped in the dangerous world of human trafficking, he will be forced to decide between working for the very man who imprisoned him or risk his and his family's future. Described as "a tense thriller, one that deepens into a masterful study of power, solidarity and betrayal." This stars Christian Malheiros, Bruno Rocha, Vitor Julian, Lucas Oranmian, Cecília Homem de Mello, Dirce Thomaz, along with Rodrigo Santoro. I recently saw this and it's very good, a tough look at life on the street in São Paulo.
"Don't regret the past… it's what brings us to where we need to be." Lionsgate has finally unveiled a teaser trailer for the sci-fi romantic thriller Needle in a Timestack, from director / producer John Ridley (of Jimi: All Is by My Side). Set in the near future, the film involves some kind of tech that lets people revisit the past somehow. Nick and Janine live in marital bliss until Janine's ex-husband warps time to try to tear them apart. As Nick's memories begin to disappear, he must decide what he's willing to sacrifice in order to hold onto - or let go of - everything he loves. "Can love endure in a future where time is fluid, and all of life may be just an illusion?" Needle in a Timestack stars Leslie Odom, Jr. & Cynthia Erivo, with Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto, Jadyn Wong, Laysla De Oliveira, Hiro Kanagawa, and James Kirk. This seems like it might be good, but hard to tell from this footage, as it's not the first time love has been mixed with time travel (see: The Time Traveler's Wife). The shot of the city disappearing is the coolest shot in this.
"Science meets magical realism." Warner Media / 150 and Labocine have debuted an official trailer for the acclaimed indie drama Son of Monarchs, which originally premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for science / tech filmmaking at the fest, and also won the New American Cinema top prize at the Seattle Film Festival. After his grandmother's death, a Mexican biologist living in NYC returns to his hometown, nestled in the majestic monarch butterfly forests of Michoacán, Mexico. The journey forces him to confront past traumas and reflect on his hybrid identity, sparking a personal and spiritual metamorphosis. Tenoch Huerta Mejía stars in this as Mendel, joined by Alexia Rasmussen, Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez, Noé Hernández, Paulina Gaitán, and William Mapother. This looks like an exquisite and thought-provoking feature, I'm looking forward to watching it.
"Someone must've said something?" Amazon has unveiled a teaser trailer for their new update on the horror I Know What You Did Last Summer, directed by filmmaker Craig William Macneill and exec produced by Sara Goodman. Made by Amazon Studios, Atomic Monster, Original Film, and Sony Pictures Television, this is also based on the 1973 novel by Lois Duncan, same as the hit horror film from the 90s that starred Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar. In this new series, set in a town full of secrets, a group of teenagers are stalked by a mysterious killer a year after a fatal accident on their graduation night. The cast includes Madison Iseman, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman, Ashley Moore, Sebastian Amoruso, Fiona Rene, Cassie Beck, Brooke Bloom, Sonya Balmores, and Bill Heck. It doesn't look like much of an update other than adding more partying + idiots into the mix. I guess that's the all the rage these days.
"Geez, are you sure you want to find this guy?" 1091 Pictures has unveiled an official trailer for an indie crime drama titled The Cleaner, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Erin Elders. This will be arriving on VOD starting in October this year for anyone interested in watching. When a middle-aged house cleaner Buck Enderly takes on an eccentric new client, he gets roped into locating her estranged son. Buck tracks down the disturbed young man but in another twist of fate becomes an accomplice to a violent crime. The film stars King Orba, who also co-wrote the script, along with Luke Wilson, Lynda Carter, Shelley Long, Eden Brolin, and Shiloh Fernandez. This doesn't look like any kind of charming story about a hard working cleaner, more of a gritty thriller about a man caught up in something bigger than him.
"This island is full of surprises, Mr. Rott." Vertical Entertainment has revealed the official US trailer for a film titled The Grand Duke of Corsica, also known as The Obscure Life of the Grand Duke of Corsica. It takes place mostly on the island of Malta, following an architect named Alfred Rott who is commissioned for a highly unusual project. In 1221, a young man is set on his path to become St. Francis of Assisi. A thousand years later an architect must build a mausoleum for a dying billionaire. Separated by history, these men's lives will be forever changed by a pandemic - a deadly malaria epidemic sweeps the island causing panic, but Alfred remains intent to finish the job. Timothy Spall stars as Alfred, with Peter Stormare as the Grand Duke, plus Matt Hookings, Alicia Agneson, Noeleen Comiskey, Lucy Martin, Tim Cullingworth-Hudson, James Mackie, & Elvira Out. Looks like just the right amount of eccentric wackiness to work.
"If you go with him, no one will ever forgive you!" 20th Century Studios has debuted the second official trailer for the exciting new Steven Spielberg remake of the classic musical West Side Story. We also featured a Special Look preview during the summer. This was filmed back in 2019, and is now set for release in theaters (only) this December. The first trailer debuted earlier this year during the Oscars. An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The story focuses on the love story between teens Tony, played by Ansel Elgort, and Maria, played by newcomer Rachel Zegler. The rest of the ensemble cast includes Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Corey Stoll, Brian d'Arcy James, Curtiss Cook, and Rita Moreno. This looks splendid, I have to say! Kamiński capturing all the lights and all the colors of New York City. Looks like this might actually be the ravishing remake only Spielberg could deliver.
"The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves." Another impressive homemade sci-fi short film to check out. Terminator: Hunter Killer is a proof-of-concept short film, set in the future war of the Terminator-movie universe, as the humans struggle to survive in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. It was made entirely by a UK-based concept artist and designer named Jamie Martin, who created this using 3D assets provided for free and with direct inspiration from the first two Terminator movies. He sent this short over to us in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, originally released in July of 1991. While this is obviously a 3D CG short, it has a realistic look and feel, taking us right into this futuristic war against the machines. More than anything it's a mood piece, an example of how you can craft an entire world on your own. Now I'd like to see more stories set in this Terminator-filled warzone.
"He's back in the saddle again." Warner Bros has debuted a featurette for the film Cry Macho, focusing on how Clint Eastwood shifted from being an actor to a director. It's titled "A Director's Vision" and explores his history and his first films as a director, along with his latest work all leading to Cry Macho, one of his most personal films to date. Eastwood stars as a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder. After he loses his family, he sinks into depression. In 1978, he takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man's young son home from Mexico and away from his alcoholic mother, but it's a more challenging job than expected. It also co-stars newcomer Eduardo Minett as Rafa, with Dwight Yoakam, Natalia Traven, Fernanda Urrejola, and Horacio Garcia Rojas. The voiceover in this featurette is a bit grating, but other than that it's an engaging look back at Eastwood's career. Featuring interviews with lots of other iconic filmmakers like Spielberg and Scorsese and Lucas. Honestly, I'd probably watch another hour of this kind of look back.
"Find your own way to slay." Amazon Prime Video has debuted four individual trailers for the next four films as part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse horror series. A "series of unique, unsettling thrillers, that showcase original genre stories from diverse casts and filmmakers," the first four films launched last year. The original concept for Welcome to the Blumhouse was a line-up of eight films - this is the second set of them arriving in October 2021 to finish up this original project. Arriving on Prime Video soon for viewing: Bingo Hell, starring Adriana Barraza, L. Scott Caldwell, Richard Brake, Joshua Caleb Johnson; Black as Night, starring Asjha Cooper, Fabrizio Guido, Mason Beauchamp, Abbie Gayle, Craig Tate, Keith David; Madres, starring Tenoch Huerta, Ariana Guerra, Evelyn Gonzalez, Kerry Cahill; and The Manor, starring Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davison, Nicholas Alexander, Jill Larsen, Fran Bennett. Revisit the first series of films here, and add these next four to your "Watch List" for this year. Bingo Hell looks like it might be the best of the bunch in here, with its demonic bingo, but they all look pretty good. Check out all 4 films below.