"About his discussions with a frog..." Stage Russia has debuted an official trailer for a documentary titled Rezo, a film about the famous Georgian writer, artist and puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze. Rezo is best known as the screenwriter of the iconic Soviet movies Mimino and Kin-dza-dza. He has been awarded the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature in France, and New Yorker recognized his Stalingrad as one the best theatrical performances of 2010. His sculptures adorn the streets of Saint Petersburg and Odessa. Timur Bekmambetov also produced the film, and says about it: "Rezo has become family for me. This movie is my homage to a senior colleague and a sign of the deepest recognition of his identity, talent and incredible charm. There is no room for indifference in his stories. They cut directly to the heart." Half of this film is drawn by Rezo himself, a mix of classic doc storytelling & animation. I will say ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 13, 2019, 7:23 pm
"We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey..." Universal Pictures has debuted the magical first official trailer for the new Dolittle movie, titled in full (originally) The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. However, they are sticking with only the short title of Dolittle officially, based on the classic stories of the famous physician who discovers that he can talk to animals. Robert Downey Jr. stars as the Doctor, with a live-action cast including Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley, Antonio Banderas, Ralph Ineson, plus Jim Broadbent. The animal voice cast features Tom Holland as Jip, Marion Cotillard as Tutu, Rami Malek as Chee-Chee, Ralph Fiennes as Barry, Emma Thompson as Polynesia, Kumail Nanjiani as Plimpton, Selena Gomez as Betsy, John Cena as Yoshi, Octavia Spencer as Dab-Dab, Carmen Ejogo as Regine, and Craig Robinson as Fleming. This looks wildly imaginative, and adventurous, almost like a Disney movie - but is isn't. Although the music choice in this trailer is horrendous, ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 13, 2019, 7:01 pm
"Daniel is simply an aspect of your mind." Samuel Goldwyn Films & Shudder have unveiled a full official trailer for Daniel Isn't Real, a horror-thriller which has been playing on the festival circuit all year after originally premiering at SXSW. From writer / director Adam Egypt Mortimer (Some Kind of Hate), and adapted from Brian DeLeeuw's novel, the film is about a college freshmen named Luke who resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel to help him cope. But he ends up in even more trouble. Miles Robbins stars as Luke, with Patrick Schwarzenegger playing his friend Daniel, plus Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, and Mary Stuart Masterson. This looks super trippy and totally wild, definitely "mind-bendingly freaky" as the quote says. Reviews so far are good; it's an intense trailer that should put this on your radar. Here's the full-length official trailer for Adam Egypt Mortimer's Daniel Isn't Real, from SGF's YouTube: You can still watch the first teaser trailer for Daniel Isn't ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 12, 2019, 5:36 pm
"Might be taking these letters a little too seriously..." Epic Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for the indie horror comedy Red Letter Day, which will be available to watch this November after premiering at numerous film festivals earlier this year. A typically quiet suburban community descends into chaos and paranoia after the delivery of mysterious red letters. A recently divorced mother and her two teens receive the letters, instructing them each to kill or be killed. As the bloodshed begins, they find themselves in a race against time to protect the ones they love from the people they thought they knew. This looks quite twisted. Starring Dawn Van de Schoot, Hailey Foss, Roger LeBlanc, Tiffany Helm, Kaeleb Zain Gartner, and Peter Strand Rumpel. It's a wicked concept, that definitely brings out the worst in people. Have fun. Here's the official trailer (+ two posters) for Cameron Macgowan's Red Letter Day, from Epic's YouTube: While adjusting to a new life in ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 12, 2019, 5:10 pm
"Who are you?" "Just a courier." Lionsgate has debuted an official trailer for the cheesy action film The Courier, an "intense action-thriller" that unfolds in real time. If you haven't had enough of the Transporter movies, there's even more in this. Olga Kurylenko stars as a badass female motorcycle courier who must fight off a sadistic crime boss' henchmen in order to protect the one witness that can bring him down. She discovers that one of the packages might not be as harmless as she was told. Also starring Gary Oldman, Dermot Mulroney, William Moseley, Alicia Agneson, Craig Conway, Amit Shah, Lee Charles, and Joel Michaely. I'm digging Oldman with the eye-patch, but the rest of this looks terrible - derivative, and bland, and cliche. What's with the voices sounding so weird? Might as well skip it, doesn't look so good. Here's the first official trailer (+ UK version / poster) for Zackary Adler's The Courier, from YouTube: This intense action-thriller film ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 12, 2019, 12:18 am
"Go and find him!" Sony Classics has unveiled a trailer for the film The Song of Names, an emotional drama that spans two continents and half a century. This just premiered at the Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals, and will be opening in the US on Christmas Day at the end of this year. The Song of Names tells the story of a prodigy violinist from Poland, who moves to London to study music at the beginning of WWII. The film splits the time between his youth, and years later when him and his British friend are both adults. Tim Roth stars as the adult Martin, attempting to find his friend Dovidl who disappeared years ago right before playing a major concert in London. Clive Owen also co-stars, with a cast including Jonah Hauer-King, Gerran Howell, Catherine McCormack, Saul Rubinek, Richard Bremmer, Misha Handley, Luke Doyle, and Eddie Izzard. It's a lovely film, with a gorgeous music and strong ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 11, 2019, 5:02 pm
"You booked a river cruise and you can't swim?!" Disney has unveiled the first teaser trailer for the Jungle Cruise movie, an "adventure-filled, Amazon-jungle" voyage from director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Non-Stop, The Shallows, The Commuter). This is the next big Disney franchise based on a theme park ride, inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean, taking us all on another exciting adventure with a cast of charismatic characters. Dwayne Johnson stars as the riverboat captain, joined by Emily Blunt as an explorer. Also with Edgar Ramirez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Veronica Falcón, Andy Nyman, and Paul Giamatti. There's tons of footage in this even though it's out next summer, but boy does it look like a whole boat-load of fun. It starts out like Mary Poppins, but becomes something else that looks wildly entertaining. Here's the first official trailer (+ poster) for Jaume Collet-Serra's Jungle Cruise, from Disney's YouTube: Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Jungle Cruise is an adventure-filled, Amazon-jungle ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 11, 2019, 3:15 pm
"It's not a hobby, mother... I have to do it! I'm compelled to put down everything. I need to capture a way of life." Cleopatra Entertainment has debuted the first official trailer for an indie biopic titled Mrs. Lowry & Son, the latest from acclaimed British director Adrian Noble (of the films A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Importance of Being Earnest). The very talented Timothy Spall continues his famous painters series by starring as L.S. Lowry. The film is a portrait of Lowry and his relationship with his mother, Elizabeth, who tries to dissuade him from pursuing his passion. The cast includes Vanessa Redgrave, plus Stephen Lord, David Schaal, Michael Keogh, John Alan Roberts, & Wendy Morgan. Why do artists always live such tormented lives?! Always so much struggle and pain, but perhaps this is where great art comes from. I like the way this trailer shows his paintings after sharing the scenes they're inspired by. Check it out. Here's the ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 11, 2019, 3:00 pm
"We work outside the rules, in secret, together. You may not know we exist... but we are always watching." Sony has launched the second official trailer for the new Charlie's Angels movie, directed by Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2) - who also stars as one of the "Angels". This fresh reboot of the 2000 action comedy is based on the 1970s television series of the same name. We featured the first trailer a few months ago but it wasn't that impressive. When a young engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie's Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all. The Angels this time: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, with Elizabeth Banks. This also stars Luis Gerardo Méndez, Jonathan Tucker, Noah Centineo, Sam Claflin, Djimon Hounsou, Chris Pang, Nat Faxon, plus Patrick Stewart as Bosley. This looks bad. It's all glitz & glamour and no real substance, nothing but fun. Here's the ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 11, 2019, 2:37 pm
"It's just the kind of terrible story that always happens to someone else..." An official trailer has arrived for an indie, low budget horror film titled The World is Full of Secrets, the feature directorial debut of NY-based filmmaker Graham Swon. This screened at BAMcinemaFest earlier in the summer, and it has played at numerous other festivals including Sarasota, Montclair, and the Champs-Élysées Film Festival. During a sleepover one night, teenage girls share stories with each other about things that frightened them. The film stars Ayla Guttman, Alexa Shae Niziak, Dennise Gregory, Violet Piper, and Elena Burger. This is one of those extra artsy films that is supposed to have that vintage look and feel. Too much blending in this trailer for me, not enough storytelling substance. Will it actually be scary or only eerie? Check it out below. Here's the first trailer (+ poster) for Graham Swon's The World is Full of Secrets, direct from Vimeo: An old woman's voice recalls ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 10, 2019, 9:34 pm
"But I don't know what I'm supposed to do!" A festival promo trailer has debuted for an indie drama titled Drowning, the second feature directed by actress Melora Walters. She writes, directs, and stars in the film, which is premiering at the Austin Film Festival later this month after first showing at the Rome Film Festival. Drowning tells the story of a mother trying to come to terms with the emotions and intense grief associated with her only son going off to war, directly inspired by Walters' own experience. The cast includes Mira Sorvino, Gil Bellows, Jay Mohr, Joanna Going, Christopher Backus, Steven Swadling, and Jim O'Heir. There's tons of emotion in all those intimate, close-up shots. Looks like a tough film to watch. Here's the first promo trailer (+ teaser poster) for Melora Walters' Drowning, originally from Variety: The film tells the story of a mother (Melora Walters) coming to terms with the emotions as her only son is deployed to ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 10, 2019, 9:09 pm
"What was done to your daughter, doesn't come cheap..." Netflix has debuted the first official trailer for a psychological horror-thriller called Rattlesnake, a very plain title for this film since it's about a rattlesnake (bite). Talented actress Carmen Ejogo, who we last saw in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, stars in this Netflix film. When a single mother accepts the help of a mysterious woman after her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, she finds herself forced to make an unthinkable deal to repay her debt. Described as a "pulse-pounding, psychological horror" also starring Theo Rossi and Emma Greenwell. This seems to be borrowing from (and then twisting) the Monkey's Paw concept, except it's only one thing that the mother must do in exchange for her daughter's life being spared. Might be good? Especially with Ejogo in the lead. Here's the first official trailer (+ poster) for Zak Hilditch's Rattlesnake, direct from Netflix's YouTube: Katrina (Ejogo) is a single mother driving ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 10, 2019, 6:52 pm
"This doesn't look like anything I've ever seen." Witness Films has debuted the official trailer for an indie thriller titled Night Sweats, the latest feature from filmmaker Andrew Lyman-Clarke (of Have You Seen). This pharma thriller is about a skateboarder whose roommate mysteriously dies one night. Attempting to figure out what happened, he uncovers the inner-workings a self-help company, and the pharmaceutical lab behind it. Starring Kyle DeSpiegler, with Mary Elaine Ramsey, Brett Azar, Allison Mackie, John Wesley Shipp, Jason Abrams, and Trey Gibbons. This looks like one of those cautionary tales where they borrow real-world issues (like big pharma's obsession with opioids) and turn it into some horror-esque film as a way of expressing frustration. Unfortunately, I don't think this has much of anything else to offer. Here's the first official trailer (+ poster) for Andrew Lyman-Clarke's Night Sweats, direct from YouTube: A skateboarder named Nick (John Wesley Shipp) investigating the mysterious death of his roommate is led into the inner ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 10, 2019, 3:02 pm
"Dad was a wizard!" Disney has finally debuted the first full-length trailer for Pixar's Onward, their next original project that's both written and directed by Dan Scanlon (of Monsters University before this). This new Pixar movie arrives in theaters March of 2020, their first of two original movies next year. Onward is set in a "suburban fantasy world" and follows these two elf brothers who could not be more unalike. Tom Holland voices Ian Lightfoot, and Chris Pratt voices his brother Barney Lightfoot. The only other voice cast announced so far includes Octavia Spencer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The two brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there. The plot reveal in this trailer - about the half man revival - is a bit wacky and just makes me think of Weekend at Bernie's. Maybe this will be fun? Check it out below. Here's the full-length official trailer (+ poster) for Dan Scanlon's Onward, direct from ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 10, 2019, 2:12 pm
"What don't I not know?!" Epic Pictures has debuted an official trailer for an indie romance mystery thriller titled The Fare, which seems like it could be a taxi cab horror but is actually a time loop drama about a driver and his fare. From director D.C. Hamilton (The Midnight Man), the film is about a taxi driver who picks up a woman. He is entranced by her, until she suddenly disappears and he has no idea what's going on. "He and Penny find themselves trapped in an endlessly looping ride that changes their lives forever." Starring Brinna Kelly as the woman, Penny, with Gino Anthony Pesi as the driver, Harris, plus Jason Stuart, Jon Jacobs, and Matt Fontana. This is a fascinating trailer, especially with the change to color (and back) halfway through. A time loop taxi film? I'm intrigued, it looks like a cool filmmaking experiment. Here's the full official trailer (+ new poster) for D.C. Hamilton's The Fare, ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 9, 2019, 8:27 pm
"I thought we should talk." Grab our latest podcast episode for a discussion about film festivals, embargoes, cinema, and our favorites from this fall season so far. For this episode of The First Word podcast, Alex is joined by film industry journalist Daniel Joyaux for a debate about embargoes (in relation to Alex's Venice letter) and a talk about the best films we've seen at the fall film festivals so far - from Toronto and Venice. Friends Alex Billington (@firstshowing) and Mike Eisenberg (@Eisentower30) team up to bring you a podcast providing in-depth discussion, analysis, and interviews about the latest movies, and some old ones too. This episode we had to take a moment to talk openly about film festivals, so join us and listen in below. Download or listen to The First Word podcast episode #27 below - hosted by Podbean. Subscribe to The First Word podcast on iTunes here. > You can also subscribe to the show on Pocket Casts, ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 9, 2019, 8:06 pm
"I don't go in that part of the house..." Universal has debuted an official trailer for a horror movie titled The Turning, the latest from Italian director Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways). This creepy new the-kids-are-not-alright thriller is a modern take on Henry James' novella "The Turn of the Screw". A young governess, Kate, is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents. But not everything is as it seems. Starring Mackenzie Davis, with Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince, Mark Huberman, Barbara Marten, Niall Greig Fulton, Kim Adis, Denna Thomsen, and Karen Egan. This is a seriously unsettling trailer, with some wickedly disturbing shots - mainly involving spiders. Which freaks me the hell out - and makes this a very scary trailer to watch at night. Tread carefully. Here's the first official trailer for Floria Sigismondi's The Turning, direct from Universal's YouTube: The Turning takes us to a mysterious estate in the ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 9, 2019, 6:07 pm
Nothing like a good ol' fashioned monster movie. After Midnight is the latest film written and co-directed by filmmaker Jeremy Gardner (of The Battery and Tex Montana Will Survive!), produced by fellow genre filmmakers Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead. This collaboration, and the resulting low budget horror flick, feels a bit like the early days of the Duplass Brothers. I remember seeing their early films (like Baghead in 2008) at the Sundance Film Festival. I just wanted them to keep making more, because even though they didn't make the best films, there was a kind of remarkable creativity within their filmmaking. The way they made all these fun films on a tiny budget, using bland throwaway locations and not much else besides their own ingenuity to tell a story on the screen. Sometimes that's all you need, as is the case with After Midnight. After Midnight is a couple of different films all rolled into one - it's a breakup drama ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 9, 2019, 3:41 pm
"That's the way to do it!" Picturehouse has debuted the first official UK trailer for an indie comedy titled Judy & Punch, the latest Blue Tongue Films production (from the Edgerton Bros - Nash & Joel). Written and directed by Australian actress Mirrah Foulkes, marking her feature directorial debut, the film originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It's also playing at the London Film Festival now, and it stopped by the Sydney, Bucheon, New Zealand, Melbourne, and Sitges Film Festivals. Set in the old town of Seaside (nowhere near the sea), puppeteers Judy and Punch are trying to resurrect their marionette show in an an anarchic town on the brink of mob rule. It's a clever commentary on how women are treated, and how we can do better. Starring Mia Wasikowska as Judy & Damon Herriman as Punch, along with Benedict Hardie, Eddie Baroo, Tom Budge, Virginia Gay, and Don Bridges. A strange, wacky film. Here's the ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 9, 2019, 3:00 pm
"We have something no one else could share... Don't you know that?" Netflix has unveiled the first official trailer for an indie thriller titled Earthquake Bird, which is premiering at the London Film Festival this month. The latest from English filmmaker Wash West (Quinceañera, Still Alice, Colette), the film is about a young woman living in Tokyo who becomes the prime suspect in a horrific murder when her friend goes missing in the wake of a tumultuous love triangle. Alicia Vikander stars as Lucy Fly, with a cast including Riley Keough, Naoki Kobayashi, Kiki Sukezane, Yoshiko Sakuma, Kazuhiro Muroyama, Ken Yamamura, Crystal Kay, Akiko Iwase, and Jack Huston. This looks like yet another standard peculiar love-triangle murder-mystery psychological thriller, but it doesn't seem the Japanese locale makes much of a difference. I wish this looked better than it does so far, because the idea for it does sound quite appealing. Here's the official trailer (+ poster) for Wash Westmoreland's Earthquake Bird, ...
Author: Alex Billington
Posted: October 9, 2019, 2:34 pm