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› Leigh Whannell of Upgrade
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"Maybe he's right - what if we shouldn't be here…" A24 has debuted the first trailer for Joe Talbot's The Last Black Man in San Francisco, one of the best films out of the Sundance Film Festival this year, and already one of my favorite films of the year (not much will be able to top it). Winner of Best Director and a Special Jury Award at Sundance, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a sweeping story about friendship and holding on to your roots in a rapidly changing world. Talbot crafted a gorgeous tribute to hometowns and how they're made—and kept alive—by the people who love them. Jimmie Fails stars as himself, a SF native who travels every day to a house in the city to take care of it. The cast includes Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, Mike Epps, Finn Wittrock, and Thora Birch. This is a beautiful trailer for a beautiful film, and I can't wait for it to arrive in theaters. I wrote a glowing review out of Sundance, and the film already has a guaranteed spot on my Top 10 of the year. A must watch trailer.
"It's all worth the grind." The Orchard has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary titled Baristas, a sequel to the 2015 cult favorite doc Barista. Both films are about the world's best baristas - the people who make coffee and serve it perfectly to you. In this follow-up to the first film, four National Barista champions from around the globe will represent their countries and their craft in an attempt to win the World Barista Championship in Seoul, South Korea. From director Rock Baijnauth, it's a potent and lively look at "the surreal world of coffee competitions and the passionate baristas who compete in them." Aside from that guy explaining what's going on, this seems like a fun and inspiring profile of people who live and breath coffee.
"I know of a shaman who works in the kitchen." Pantelion Films + Lionsgate have debuted the first official trailer for a comedy movie titled My Boyfriend's Meds, officially known as Las Pildoras de mi Novio in Spanish (which just translates to My Boyfriend's Meds). This wacky comedy is about a woman who meets the man of her dreams, then suddenly asks him to join her on a work retreat to a remote island resort. But he forgets his prescription medications and goes just a little bit crazy once they're there. Ahh, the things we put up with for love. Sandra Echeverría stars with Jaime Camil, Ana Belena, Brian Baumgartner, Kevin Holt, Daniel Tovar, Pamela Almaza, Juan Soler, James Maslow, and Brooke Shields. This film looks totally, outrageously crazy in a very fake way, and maybe just a tiny bit funny. Decide for yourself.
"This is the music you don't want your parents to hear." Rolling Stone has debuted the first trailer for an indie rock doc titled Murder in the Front Row. Or rather, in full: Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story. The doc is, as the title indicates, about the rise of the thrash metal scene and the bands that played to wild crowds. "These are just good stories, and they are very human stories," says director Adam Dubin. MITFR follows the story of a group of young kids in Northern California with a shared passion for heavy rock bands like UFO, Iron Maiden and Motorhead. "All these bands were mainly from England, and they never really toured the West Coast… So these young people started creating their own music, starting their own fanzines, booking clubs and trading tapes. These were people who were adamant about music and the bands, but also each other." Featuring interviews with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, and many others. With narration by Brian Posehn. Rock out below.
"How does it feel to be on the outside looking in?" Universal has debuted a second trailer (a new UK trailer) for the psychological horror thriller film Ma, another chilling new Blumhouse production. The first trailer dropped in February, this one is similar. Octavia Spencer stars in Ma as Sue Ann, a woman who befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them hang out in her basement, to avoid drinking and driving. Just when the kids think their luck couldn't get any better, weird things start happening. Her hospitality starts to curdle into obsession. The full cast of this horror film includes Missi Pyle, Luke Evans, Juliette Lewis, Allison Janney, McKaley Miller, Diana Silvers, Dominic Burgess, Victor Turpin, Dante Brown, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Corey Fogelmanis, and Gianni Paolo. This is going to freak out the kids.
"That was the best acting I've ever seen in my whole life." Sony has unveiled the very first teaser trailer for Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, his 9th feature film, titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This one is set in Los Angeles in 1969, right smack in the middle of Hollywood (as the title hints), taking us back to the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age. The story involves a faded TV actor and his stunt double who embark on an odyssey to achieve fame and success in the film industry. The massive ensemble cast features Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Margaret Qualley, Kurt Russell, Rumer Willis, Scoot McNairy, Leslie Bega, James Marsden, Tim Roth, Damian Lewis, and the late Luke Perry. This looks zany and totally ridiculous, exactly what we should expect from Tarantino. So far so good, looks like he is really digging deep into ye olde Hollywood.
"Is it a threat to humanity…?" Time for another strange, but nonetheless intriguing, new sci-fi short film. Seedling is a sci-fi short from Ireland written and directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Stevie Russell, which initially debuted online last month. The concept for this involves a mysterious, unexplainable alien invasion following a huge storm that rages around the world. What are they doing? Why are they there? No one can explain. A young couple experience an incredible encounter which leads them to realize: sometimes scary stuff can be beautiful. Seedling co-stars Niamh Algar and Paul Reid. This isn't the most polished or most impressive sci-fi short, but it is another example of minimal storytelling built around human emotions. And I do like the ethereal alien things and their ships, I just wish we got to see more of them. Watch below.
"You are capable of anything." Cohen Media Group has debuted the official US trailer for the indie Girls of the Sun, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year in-competition. The film is inspired by and loosely based on the story of the late journalist Marie Colvin (who already had a film made about her - A Private War). In Girls of the Sun, a French war journalist named Mathilde H. (basically Marie) meets an all-female squadron of rebel fighters known as the "Girls of the Sun", lead by their fierce leader Bahar, played by the always-exceptional Golshifteh Farahani. They plan a counter-attack in order to regain control over their nearly-destroyed city. Co-starring Emmanuelle Bercot as Mathilde, with Zübeyde Bulut, Sinama Alievi, Mari Semidovi, Roza Mirzoiani, Zinaida Gasoiani, Maia Shamoevi, Nia Mirianashvili, and Evin Ahmad. This is an intense, gripping thriller that once again shows just how horrible war really is.
"Life is so unpredictable, my child." Amazon Studios has debuted the official trailer for the charming indie drama Photograph, the latest movie from one of my favorite directors - Ritesh Batra (of The Lunchbox, The Sense of an Ending, and Our Souls at Night). This first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and it also showed at the Berlin Film Festival. Batra takes us back to India to tell a story of two strangers in Mumbai, Rafi and Miloni, who meet one day when Rafi decides to take her photo near the Gateway of India. At first he convinces her to pose as his fiancee to satisfy his grandmother's wishes, but the two develop a different relationship. I wrote a very nice review of this film at Sundance which is quoted in this trailer. It's a very light, but undeniably uplifting, soul-stirring film, showing how important connections can be. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra, and Akash Sinha. Have a look below.
"The truth is - ghosts are around us all the time." Epic Pictures Group has debuted the first teaser trailer for an Irish indie comedy titled Extra Ordinary, which just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this month. The story is about a sweet, lonely woman in rural Ireland with supernatural abilities, but hates using her "talents" and mostly just stays home. But when a washed up one-hit-wonder rock star makes a pact with the devil, and puts a spell on a local teenager, Rose must overcome her fears and save the day with her own supernatural talents. Maeve Higgins (seen on "Inside Amy Schumer" & "Moone Boy") stars as Rose, with Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia O'Doherty, Terri Chandler, Jamie Beamish, Emma Coleman, and Risteard Cooper. This looks like an amusing new horror comedy in the same vein as What We Do in the Shadows, with ghosts who don't do much scaring, or anything. Looking forward to catching up with this.
"Awww, Sheriff Woody always coming to the rescue…" Disney + Pixar have finally revealed the first full-length official trailer for Toy Story 4, following a number of fun teasers released over the past few months this year. Now we know exactly what this is about. When a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy… Pixar's latest sequel looks like it builds on the emotions in Toy Story 3, taking us on another journey outside of their home. All the other regular voices are back: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kristen Schaal, and Bonnie Hunt, with newcomers Keegan Michael-Key & Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, along with Tony Hale as Forky. Bo Peep is sure lookin' badass, and it seems like quite a heartfelt adventure for all the toys. Enjoy.
"You got to see the vast celestial everything, and it blew your mind." Fox Searchlight has finally unveiled the first trailer for Lucy in the Sky, the feature directorial debut of TV filmmaker Noah Hawley (creator of "Fargo" and "Legion"). Formerly titled Pale Blue Dot before Lucy in the Sky (sans diamonds), this film is loosely based on astronaut Lisa Nowak's alleged criminal activities involving her romance with astronaut William Oefelein. In 2007, after completing her mission in space, she drove from Houston to Orlando and confronted another woman. Natalie Portman plays a fictionalized version of her named Lucy Cola, who has a breakdown and starts to lose her grip on reality after returning. The cast also includes Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, Dan Stevens, Nick Offerman, Tig Notaro, Ellen Burstyn, Colman Domingo, and Joe Williamson. We've all been waiting to get a glimpse at this and, as expected, it looks damn good. I love the difference in the framing when she's in space and on Earth, makes the difference feel that much more grand.