"Your thoughts attract things with a force you cannot see, but is definitely real." Roadside Attractions has debuted an official trailer for The Secret: Dare to Dream, a feature adaptation of the bestselling book "The Secret" written by Rhonda Byrne. "Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions, and philosophies throughout the centuries." Katie Holmes stars in this film as Miranda Wells, a struggling mother of three kids whose life is transformed when she meets a mysterious, charismatic man who believes in the karmic power of positive thinking, specifically the three-step process of asking, believing, and then receiving. The groundbreaking book by Rhonda Byrne has sold over 34 million copies worldwide, which means plenty of people really love this kind of positive thinking trick. The cast also includes Josh Lucas, Jerry O'Connell, Celia Weston, Aidan Pierce Brennan, Sarah Hoffmeister, and Chloe Lee. I don't want to say this is quackery, it's better than religion, but it is a bit kooky. See below.
"It's the biggest heist in modern American political history." Magnolia Pics has unveiled the official trailer for an indie documentary called Slay the Dragon, which is a rather badass title for a film about politics and democracy. This premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, and has been earning some accolades and buzz through the year. Now it's opening in theaters in March - which is important for an important film like this. A secretive, high-tech gerrymandering initiative launched 10 years ago threatens to undermine our democracy. This film, Slay the Dragon, follows everyday people as they fight to make their votes matter. We must fight, as citizens and voters, to end gerrymandering and save democracy. This looks like a well-made, inspiring film that shows us exactly what it will take to change things back, and return power to the people.
"We all fear… But fear can be a gift." A24 has unveiled the first teaser trailer for The Green Knight, the latest film written & directed by David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Pete's Dragon, A Ghost Story, The Old Man & The Gun). This is already scheduled to open in theaters this summer, in late May, despite not yet having any film festival premieres announced. This is a fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, starring Dev Patel as Sir Gawain. He is King Arthur's reckless nephew, who embarks on a quest to confront the gigantic green-skinned stranger. The impressive cast includes Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Barry Keoghan, Erin Kellyman, Kate Dickie, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris as King Arthur, and Ralph Ineson as the Green Knight. Uh, this looks awesome! I'm a huge fan of David Lowery, everything he does is outstanding, and this looks incredible. Might be a perfect teaser trailer.
"I'm trying to distract myself, but I'm still terrified." Saban has unveiled a trailer for a spunky relationship comedy titled Hooking Up, premiering in select theaters and on VOD in March. Produced by and starring Brittany Snow, the film is about a "mismatched duo" that end up on a road trip together. Bailey, played by Sam Richardson, and Darla, played by Brittany Snow, embark upon a misguided and mutually deceitful form of therapy, one in which they must drive across the country re-enacting Darla's colorful history as a sex addict. As their true motivations for the spontaneous road trip come to light, the unlikely pair must force one another to confront their issues, discovering that there might actually be more to love than just sex. The cast also includes Jordana Brewster, Vivica A. Fox, Amy Pietz, Anna Akana, and Rob Moran. This looks like a quirky, fun romantic adventure. I appreciate the honesty and thoughtfulness in all the dialogue.
"When I have the seal of the dragon, I will rule the world!" Signature UK has unveiled an official trailer for a film they're calling The Iron Mask, which is yet another new title for the film originally known as Viy 2: Journey to China. It has also gone under different titles including Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask, or The Mystery of the Dragon Seal in Malaysia, or any shortened version of those. This is actually a wacky Russian adventure fantasy film, co-produced by China, with a big budget, and featuring two major name-brand actors: Jackie Chan & Arnold Schwarzenegger. We posted a short teaser trailer for this back in 2017, now it's finally getting released in the UK this spring. The plot involves English traveler / cartographer Jonathan Green journeying to China and falling into a fantastical adventure. The strange cast also includes Rutger Hauer, Charles Dance, Jason Flemyng, Xingtong Yao, Anna Churina, and Narupornkamol Chaisang. This looks so incredibly bad it might be kind of entertaining in a trashy way.
"No one's ever lived to tell the tale." Scary! You never know what could be waiting out there for you if you breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Hazard is a supernatural horror short film, now available to watch online after premiering at festivals last year. The short was directed by Emmy award winner Gairo Cuevas, based in the Bay Area, who currently works at Pixar Animation Studios as a cinematographer / editor for all the making-of videos. Hazard stars Joanna Kay as Jane, and Adrian Deane as her friend on the phone. Jane's car breaks down in the outskirts of a small-town, and while she waits for her friend, she dares her to try conjuring a local ghost. Don't try this at home. Featuring music by Sylvain Carton & Mouzhan Yousefi. This is an incredibly frightening little short film, just the right kind of horror to give you a genuine scare. Always cool to see up-and-coming filmmakers showcase their talent with scary horror shorts like this one.
"We'll make a lot more money by working together than by shooting each other." eOne has released the official trailer for a crime drama from Quebec titled Mafia Inc, based on the book of the same name. This film is opening in Canada this week, but doesn't have any US release planned just yet. Set in Montreal in the 90s, the film tells the story of the Gamache family, tailors for the Paternò Mafia family for generations. Vince works on behalf of Frank the godfather with his eldest son, and seeks to earn his stripes by impressing him, but goes too far and ends up starting a war. Based on the book with the subtitle: "The Long, Bloody Reign of Canada's Sicilian Clan." Starring Marc-André Grondin as Vince, along with Sergio Castellitto, Cristina Rosato, Benz Antoine, Mylène Mackay, Domenic Di Rosa, Gilbert Sicotte, Mark Day, Pina Di Blasi, Rafael Petardi, & Ali Hassan. This actually looks solid, another good lookin' mafia flick.
"All anyone ever wants is to be respected for who you are." Dogwoof has debuted an official UK trailer for an acclaimed, empowering documentary titled The Australian Dream, which originally premiered at the Melbourne Film Festival last year. It tells the story of an Australian Football League player named Adam Goodes, who is an aboriginal native. Most of us outside of Australia don't know his story, but despite being of the best players this sports has ever seen, he was ousted and made to look like a bad guy after he started calling out racism in Australia. This doc covers the entire story, from start to finish, and examines how the truth got twisted, how the media went after him, and how racist many people in Australia still are. It's one of the best documentaries I saw last year (at IDFA) and it moved me to tears. You can read my full review here. I highly, highly recommend this documentary to anyone & everyone - an important film for all of us to see.
"He makes it all look so deceivingly easy." Samuel Goldwyn Films has just debuted the official trailer for a feature documentary titled Henri Dauman: Looking Up, that is indeed about the photographer Henri Dauman. Directed by Peter Kenneth Jones, the film premiered in 2018 at a film festival and is arriving on VOD to watch this March. "Holocaust survivor and New York City resident Henri Dauman has been called one of the greatest photojournalists of the 20th century." He has photographed Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Miles Davis, Yves Saint Laurent, Andy Warhol, Elvis Presley, JFK & Jean-Luc Godard. The doc tells the entire life story of how he grew up an orphan and rebuilt his own family, establishing an artistic legacy in the process. KP Projects in LA will also be hosting a solo exhibition of Dauman's photos later this month.
"A message from the foreman: one hour to press." Searchlight Pictures has unveiled the first official trailer for Wes Anderson's latest film, titled The French Dispatch. It's inspired by the New Yorker, pulling from real events in history. Described as a "love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in 'The French Dispatch' magazine." Similar to Grand Budapest Hotel, it follows a few different storylines centered around this outlet. The fantastically fantastic ensemble cast includes Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Lois Smith, Christoph Waltz, & Jason Schwartzman. Well this looks absolutely delightful in every way! Very much looking forward to watching.
"Your film is wild, I'm into it." Greenwich Entertainment has debuted an official US trailer for the wacky, weird, killer new film from French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux (of Rubber, Wrong, Wrong Cops). This originally premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year in Directors' Fortnight, and it finally opens in US theaters this March. The film stars Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin as a man who loves his deerskin jacket. Maybe a bit too much. His obsession with this special jacket causes him to blow his life savings and turn to crime. And snuff films? The cast also includes Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy, Coralie Russier, Laurent Nicolas, and Pierre Gommé. I've heard this really is as "bat-shit crazy" as it looks and sounds, and this trailer definitely sells it that way. Along with the new poster - also seen below. Give this new Dupieux a look.
"You look like my type!" Social media can be a dangerous addiction! MJ is a horror thriller short film made by London-based filmmaker Jamie Delaney, creating shorts for years now. Coral Amiga stars as Mary Jane, aka "MJ", a woman obsessed with social media but overwhelmed by her inadequacy. As she becomes increasingly alienated, she develops an addiction to the satisfaction of killing because it's bringing her the attention she craves. "MJ puts a spin on the traditional slasher film while forcing us to consider the lengths that people will go to be seen." We're seeing more and more films like this, including Spree at Sundance this year, about how people will do anything for likes. There's some freaky, visceral moments in this - watch out.