Trailer: The Shallows

American Honey

I wish more trailers were cut this good. Somehow we missed Sony’s colour-saturated, tiny shark survival movie starring Blake Lively, when it first popped up online. But with its soundtrack, voice-over and smooth edit, this is one of the best trailers I’ve seen this year, and too damn good not to post; hence, we offer it now. The film, at least in Canada, opens this weekend, even if the trailer says June 29th.

The Shallows is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, who was responsible for two underrated Liam Neeson action flicks (I know, I know, there is a glut of these), Non-Stop and Run All Night

Trailer #2: The Birth of a Nation

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Nate Parker’s ‘taking back the title’ historical drama, The Birth of A Nation is an important corrective measure in American cinema, coming to cinemas 100 years after all the damage that D.W. Griffith’s epic blockbuster of the same name enabled back in 1915 — not the least of which is resurrecting a near-extinguished KKK. Griffith’s film also is considered the first mega-sized film produced, and kicked off the ‘bigger is better’ mentality that has been the rhythm of Hollywood almost ever since.

If 2016’s The Birth of A Nation looks like Oscar-bait, that is because it is. But not the cynical, play the game Hollywood boutique kind, that of an earnest, passionate voice looking to come to the table on his own terms. This is what Oscar-bait should look like if we are to take the derogatory connotation away from the phrase. The challenge of this picture is to come out from the long shadow of Steve McQueen’s extraordinarily shot and acted, 12 Years A Slave.

The Birth of a Nation won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being picked up by Fox Searchlight. The film hits theaters stateside on October 7, 2016. And the second trailer is below.

Trailer: Andrea Arnold’s American Honey

American Honey

I like the word “Youthquake” that critic Owen Gleiberman applied to the film when he caught it at Cannes this year. American Honey gives the vibe of what you would get if Spring Breakers was directed by a Brit instead of an American. That’s my two cents, but don’t let me oversimplify, there is some incredible energy, cinematography, intimacy and overall film-making going on at work here. I can’t wait to see the latest film from the director of Fish Tank and Red Road. In fact, I’m due for a full Andrea Arnold marathon pretty soon.

Kinda Trailer – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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Entertainment Tonight released what they call a trailer of the new Jack Reacher film. Really it’s a bunch of clips along with commentary from the hosts. Still, it’s a good look at what to come for Tom Cruise.

Mainly I wanted to post this just to go to bat for Jack Reacher. I loved the concept of the character. He’s not a hero. He’s not a bad guy. He’s not a memory-loss case like Jason Bourne. And he’s not Ethan Hunt. He’s just a guy really good at being… whatever he is and does what he thinks is right; even when it means carrying out some suspect actions.

I actually think that Jack Reacher was one of the more refreshing takes on the action “hero” genre in a long long time. Sure I like the fun of Taken (the first one anyway) or Mission Impossible or The Bourne Ultimatum; but Reacher is something totally different – even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what that is. Which is probably why it got very mixed reviews from fans and critics; they just didn’t know what to do with it. Which is why it’s awesome.

Have a look at some sneak peak scenes from the second chapter of the cinematic version of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, in theaters this October.

 

Trailer: “31” from Rob Zombie

I sort of enjoy Rob Zombie’s bat-shit insanity in his horror films. He has a great director’s eye for horror and has some cool concepts and characters. But the writing is usually atrocious. And why does Sherrie Moon Zombie have to be the lead in every damn one of these things? I don’t know; I feel like I should like his stuff a lot more than I do. And to be honest, this trailer just looks kinda… dumb. A real shame.

Poster: Kevin Smith’s Yoga-Hosers

What’s going on in the View-Askew universe* in the last couple years has mostly escaped me. Kevin Smith has run aground with interesting creations as far as I’m concerned; so I had no idea that his next project (which already screened at Sundance) was a kids film in which a couple of teen yoga enthusiasts battle “an evil presence” (something to do with miniature, Nazi Canadians).

Reviews have been less than great and if this marketing is anything to go by, I guess I’m not surprised. That said, this movie probably wasn’t made with the usual Smith fanboys in mind. It’s a film that appears to be geared towards younger teenage girls to OMG about – the critics voices maybe shouldn’t be taken as gospel at this point.

Still, judging by the trailer and the poster featured below, I feel like there is an intentional campiness on display from Smith here. Did he just not care about the project or are the effects supposed to look like an early 1990s after-school special and the poster supposed to look like early 2000s straight to DVD cover? I don’t know what’s going on here, but if I had to venture a guess, Smith has just given up.**

yoga-hoser-poster

You’ll be able to judge the movie for yourself (or not) on July 29th. The starring leads are Lily-Rose Melody Depp and Harley Quinn Smith (yes, that is Kevin Smith and Johnny Depp’s daughters), and also features the likes of Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith, Haley Joel Osment, Vanessa Paradis, Adam Brody, Justin Long, Tony Hale, and Jason Mewes among others.

*I realize that not all of his movies are View Askew productions. That’s just what I call Kevin Smith movies.
** I’m pretty excited about Clerks III though.

Trailer: Prityazhenie (aka Attraction)

attraction-posterAttraction is something that I can’t tell for certain what the vibe of this one is going for. I like another Russian Blockbuster director’s stuff in Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Black Lightning), but something about this has a more Neil Blomkamp vibe (e.g. District 9); part of that feel might be because of the marketing poster and the synopsis given below. Yet some of the visuals and sound effects feel more like Michael Bay’s toy robot movies or the lesser seen Skyline from the brothers Strause.

All of that is a round-a-bout way of saying this looks pretty cool. Not sure what kind of theatrical release this will see in North America in January of next year but at this point I can safely say they’ve got my money even if at this point I’m not really sure what to expect.

Attraction is directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk and is the highest-grossing non-U.S. foreign film in China.

An unidentified falling object from outer space changes our view of humanity and life beyond Earth. As local residents of a Moscow residential district gather to see the fallen object, it forces mankind to question existing civilization and the potential for learning more.

Have a look at the trailer below and see if this your thing or not.
 

 

Friday One Sheet: Wiener-Dog

Todd Solondz has been rather quiet in the past few years. Cinephiles in the 1990s immediately warmed to the tone of his awkward-by-design black comedy, Welcome To The Dollhouse, which featured a shy tween girl, Dawn Wiener (aka Wiener-Dog), getting into unpleasant situations. Now, 20 Years later, Solondz has made this sort-of sequel cum anthology film. Dawn Weiner (now played by Greta Gerwig, not Heather Matarazzo) is in one of the parts, but the film is not named after her. The wiener dog is quite literally present here, not just a nasty nick-name, and is the one element that binds the four stories together. The eponymous canine, or at least its hind quarters, are featured on the rather minimalist poster for the film,

The quite funny, and talent loaded trailer is also tucked under the seat, for the curious.

Would you like to know more…?

Trailer #2: Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

Less Kate McKinnon (sad-face), more ghosts (happy face). The new trailer continues the aspect of the marketers addressing the online imbroglio about gender (and concert stage diving in the 21st century). If you have not had the pleasure, it seems that conversation on the internet about this forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot quickly veers into mass hysteria; please keep it civil in the comments section, folks.