Trailer: Five Fingers For Marseilles


 

The Western is alive and kicking. Having been adapted to Southern Europe in the 1960s with a flood gate of Italian and Spanish ‘Spaghetti’ entries, and more recently to northern Europe with 2005’s Belgian Vincent Cassel vehicle, Blueberry, and also this year, Let The Corpses Tan. Australia and New Zealand (The Proposition, Red Hill and Slow West) have gotten into the mix in the 21st century, as has Asia (South Korea’s Kimchi-Western The Good The Bad And The Weird, and the recent Japanese remake of Oscar winner, Unforgiven). Now it is time for the classic American genre to drop its saddle bags in Africa.

Near the colonial town of Marseilles in the rugged Eastern Cape of South Africa, a group of rebellious friends dubbed the Five Fingers use well-placed eggs and slingshots to drive off the oppressive police force. But when the cops seize quick-tempered Tau’s childhood love, Lerato, he goes from throwing eggs to shooting bullets. Scared of capture or worse, Tau flees, returning 20 years later to a town, and friends, transformed by the violence caused that day. With the crooked cops now replaced by a caustic gang, Tau must marshal what remains of the Fingers to once again defend their home.

South Africa’s Five Fingers for Marseilles is burning up with style and intensity. If I were attending TIFF this year (sadly, I am not) it would be high on my list of things to see. The trailer is below.

 

Trailer: The Shape Of Water

 

Beautiful and emotional and quiet. The latest film/fairy-tale from Guillermo del Toro, features a deaf Sally Hawkins tentatively courting a merman (Doug Jones) a Cold War 1960’s government laboratory where she works as a janitor. Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg are the G-Men, and Octavia Spencer Richard Jenkins, in full beard, are the nice folks. But really, the star as always is the visuals and the tone that the director is aiming for. Remember all those parts where Hellboy hangs out with Abe? This appears to be the feature length, even more romanticized version, and it looks wonderful.

The Lure, Disney’s live action remake of The Little Mermaid, Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman in Justice League, and now The Shape of Water. Mer-people are clearly in vogue at the moment. And while on that subject, so is sign language. The War For The Planet Of The Apes, and Baby Driver also made good use of sign as quiet character building.

Trailer: The Snowman

 

At one point the big film adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s serial killer novel, The Snowman, was to be directed by Martin Scorsese. Eventually the job went to Thomas Alfredson, a Swedish director who is no stranger to murder set stories in the ice and snow, as he stormed onto the global stage in 2008 with coming-of-age vampire drama Let The Right One In. This trailer mixes almost repetitive exposition with some really intense images, and a cool soundtrack. It’s hard to get a read on whether the story (one of many featuring the authors lead detective, Harry Hole) will be more Zodiac or Seven, but all things point to the latter. Rebecca Ferguson, Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer, Chloë Sevigny, J.K. Simmons, and Charlotte Gainsbourg ensure the film will have no shortage of acting talent, combine that with a Hossein Amini (Drive, The Wings of the Dove and Alfredson’s exceptional directorial chops, and this has prestige written all over the gruesome subject matter.

Trailer: The Disaster Artist

 

Based on Greg Sestero’s best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy Wiseau’s cult-classic, The Room, which has taken the title of the “Best Worst Movie Ever Made” from other inept stalwarts like Plan 9 From Outer Space, Troll 2, Fateful Findings and Manos: Hands of Fate, The Disaster Artist looks, from this trailer, to strike a good balance between the personalities of its stars, James Franco and Seth Rogan, and actually having a script (written down and everything) this time.

It has been impressive to see the cult of The Room grow over the past decade, but cinephiles are kidding themselves if they think the vast majority of moviegoers are even aware of Tommy Wiseau’s odd romantic tragedy. This new comedy tell-all stands a good chance of kicking things (or rather, casually tossing the football) into the widest popular culture frame. I like this trailer in particular, in that it is essentially just one scene from the movie, both The Room and The Disaster Artist, and a scene that fans of will know pretty well. It encapsulates everything that one might imagine behind the scenes, but everyone gets the humour of the situation instantly, it appears that this could indeed stand confidently beside American Movie, Ed Wood, and not just be another throwaway Rogan-Franco spliff.

The film debuted to excellent reviews at the SXSW Festival and will be released by A24, wide, on December 1st, 2017.

Trailer: Robodoc

 

The epic sized documentary and oral history of Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Porno-Violent’ American Jesus picture, 1987’s Robocop gets an equally epic sized 5 minute trailer. This project was a kick-starter from a couple years ago and has continually grown, but it appears that the creative team behind it have wrestled all the interviews and multimedia to the ground enough to cut the first trailer. Shoot-from-hell anecdotes, political satire, and other topics abound, and I am sure the documentary feature will be touring the festival circuit shortly.

This retrospective covers the making of RoboCop and its sequels as well as the cultural impact over the last 30 years and has been supported with over 90 of the original cast and crew.

Since I personally chipped in a few shekels to the campaign, I can confidently say, “I’d buy that for a dollar!”

Second Trailer: Blade Runner 2


 

If you want action and chases and a lot more Jared Leto, well then, this recent trailer for the Blade Runner sequel is probably tailored to your liking. Sure it sells it like a more conventional action-blockbuster, which I am confident it will not be, but there is your marketing department for you.

Also getting a healthy amount of trailer time are Robin Wright and David Bautista, but the real star here is the production design by Dennis Gassner and the cinematography by Roger Deakins.

Trailer: A Wrinkle In Time

 

Disney and Ava DuVernay are giving the world another film version of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic science fiction story, A Wrinkle In Time. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, André Holland, Zach Galifianakis and Chris Pine star, along with a very hefty amount of production value that reminds me a little be of Gore Verbinski’s brand of sunny off-kilter weirdness. I like the look of this movie, a lot, like Tomorrowland but with more teeth. I’ve never read the novel, but have heard many praises sung for its mix of hard sci fi with pulp fantasy. The book has certainly stood the test of time, as it has been in print for more than 50 years, and this is the second feature film adaptation (the first was made in Canada in 2003 with Alfre Woodard.)

Trailer: Lucky

Happy 91st birthday Harry Dean Stanton! And the man keeps working, from his cameo in the Marvel Comic Universe, to reprising his part in the Twin-Peaks-verse (Fire Walk With Me) in Season 3. All those fine performances he gave to David Lynch over the years, here in this indie film Lucky, he gets to act along side Lync and get the rare starring role! Turtles, Ed Begly Jr., Tom Skerrit, Beth Grant, Ron Livingston and Barry Shabaka Henley also appear. This sun baked, crusty existential crisis (comedy) look marvelous, now can we talk about the bonus situation?

(Riiiiight!)

‘Lucky’ follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having out lived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment.

Trailer: Stronger

If Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day wasn’t your thing, and you are yearning for a less ‘rah-rah-rah’ story about the Boston Marathon bombing, well, I am not entirely sure you will get that with David Gordon Green’s survivor story, Stronger. While it focuses less on ‘finding those responsible’ and more on ‘dealing with the trauma’ of these incidents, it is definitely swinging for the fences in terms of Oscar-bait kind of performances. Nothing wrong with that when you have Jake Gyllenhaal doing the heavy lifting. Gyllenhaal has proven over the past decade that he one of the best American actors working today, whether it be in a weird arthouse thriller like Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy or Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, or in mainstream Hollywood adult movies such as Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoner, or Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition.

Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin. While waiting for her at the finish line the blast occurs, and he loses both his legs. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, his battle has just begun as he tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family.

Trailer: American Assassin

The Keaton resurgence keep coming and lately he’s been saying nerts to the aging process and getting a little more badass. I’ll probably be skipping the Spider-Man rebootmake but ironic that he plays a super villain with wings after the concept of his hit Birdman. But I digress.

Keaton is back as an aging super combat hero now under the employ of the government(?) to train new recruits into covert agents/assassins. Basically this is just an excuse to make another Bourne/John Wick clone but ultimately I have no problem with that as long as it looks good and the cast is interesting – which it is here. I can’t say I know much about Dylan O’Brien as I never watched The Maze Runner series, but he does look interesting here. Throw in Keaton and Kitsch and whole slew of reasonably fresh faces along with a boatload of Tom Clancy-esque action and you’ve got my attention; and money.

Have a look at the trailer below and tell us what you think. American Assassin opens in the U.S. along with back to school daze. See you there. At the theater that is, not school. This is a new kind of school.

Trailer: Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja

To rave reviews (and this trailer is not afraid to splash a lot of them on screen) at Cannes, Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja is currently enjoying a very successful release in South Korea. It will play Netflix world-wide on June 28th. The first teaser, along with Tilda Swinton’s viral-style teaser, was to guarantee mandatory viewing spot for this year. To those who really want to get a look at the ‘super-pig’ at the heart (emphasize on heart) of the story, this trailer offers that in spades. It also features a curiously sweet cover of Nine Inch Nails “Something I Can Never Have,” which I like a lot more than the usual, ‘slow choir cover’ of an angsty pop song. The trailer also features a lot more Paul Dano, but mainly the focus remains on An Seo Hyun and her creature. Fun fact, to those who watch all the credits here, British Author, Jon Ronson (“So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”) who writes about empathy in an sharp and accessible way, is also the co-writer of the screenplay.