Trailer: Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth

Paolo Sorrentino has been a darling on the festival circuit in the past few years with both 2008’s Il Divo and 2013’s The Great Beauty. The latter of which walked home with the Best Foreign Language Oscar of that year.

Here he has oldsters, played by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel ,struggling with retirement (or rather, impending retirement) at a boutique hotel in the Alps. The trailer for his latest, Youth, angles it as both an emotional and a pedantic experience. That sounds about right. Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda also star.

The film certainly looks gorgeous, was well received at Cannes, is playing on this side of the pond at TIFF, and opens commercially in December.

Fred and Mick, two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children’s confused lives, Mick’s enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again.

Another Trailer For Ridley Scott’s The Martian

This is the one where Sean Bean and Jimi Hendrix show up.

By now, whether you have read Andy Weir’s surprise hit, self-published novel or not, you know that an astronaut, played by Matt Damon, gets accidentally stranded on the Red Planet. Left to his own devices and remaining gear scattered about, he has to ‘science the shit’ out of his situation while a rescue operation can be put together by both his fellow crew members currently headed back to Earth, as well as NASA mission control. The trailer has a lot of familiar beats from previous ones, but also has a fair bit of new footage as well. Nice to see some can-do American spirit on display without rampant flag-waving. Go Science!

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission.

The Martian will bow at this years Toronto International Film Festival, before receiving a wide theatrical release in early October.

Trailer: By The Sea

Husband and wife seem to have trouble enjoying their vacation in a swanky hotel on the Maltese coast. Angelina Jolie wrote and directed By The Sea, and it stars in it with her husband Brad Pitt. They slap each other a lot, and look very unhappy and it is all very 1970s glamour. Make of that what you will.

Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.

Fantasia 2015 Review: Dark Places

1985.

In a rural community of Kansas there was a young teenager Ben Day (Tye Sheridan channelling Ezra Miller) who was very into the punk rock outfit The Misfits. He filled his sketchbooks with inked antichrist art, and was accused of molesting several of the girls in his volunteer art class at the local primary school. Eventually he was convicted for the murder of his mother (Christina Hendricks), two of his sisters, and possibly his girlfriend (Chloë Grace Moretz) as part of a satanic ritual. The lynch-pin in the ensuing trial was Ben’s surviving sister Libby, who pointed the finger squarely at her bother (after heavy coaching from the prosecution) to tie neatly off the “Kansas Prairie Massacre.”

Emotionally engaging and effortlessly surprising, Dark Places is a narratively complex, fictional amalgamation of all the lessons learned from the so-called Satanic Panic of the 1980s. The film reunites Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult shortly after their very metal mega-adventure along George Miller’s Fury Road. Coincidentally enough, both actors are playing similar roles: that of tough-as-nails survivor (albeit Theron has all her limbs) and almost-innocent neophyte (albeit Hoult has hair) who is looking for truth in a broken world.

The actual events of this horrible evening (and the frazzled motivational strings that lead up to it) are given a measured reveal analogous (albeit cinematically polished) to the case of the West Memphis Three from the mid-1990s; where took decades of work and a plethora of news stories and documentary films to get even a misty picture of the truth. Ditto for the expensive and lengthy McMartin daycare trials of the 1980s and the facts coming to light in the influential auto-biography of Satanic Ritual Abuse, “Michelle Remembers”. In Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s (Sarah’s Key, Walled In) adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name which amalgamates of all these narratives into the type of tale now reserved for season-long prestige television along the lines of True Detective (fun fact: The first season’s story was based loosely events involving The Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula, Louisiana), thick real-crime books such as Errol Morris’s “A Wilderness of Error,” and investigative podcasts such as NPR’s Serial. It is a testament of the screenwriting, acting and editing here that it comes together so satisfyingly. It pleases me that in light of migrating to other media, this kind of filmmaking the investigative thriller, has not completely disappeared.

Would you like to know more…?

A Trailer for a Trailer is Better than the Trailer: Dead Pool

Reminiscent of both the wonderful teasers for John Woo’s Face/Off and Katherine Bigelow’s Strange Days, this polished advertisement for the soon to be released trailer for Marvel’s Dead Pool, has Ryan Reynolds convincingly mugging as the Merc-with-a-mouth.

I wish more movies studios did these kinds of trailers, and not just as a trailers for a trailers, because actual trailers for blockbuster tentpoles mostly suck these days, precisely because they have no personality and are cut pretty much the same.

Here, Reynolds has personality plus, even as he is undoubtedly catering to the Comic Con crowd, on his so-called “E-Harmony date with destiny.” This is how it is done, foul language and all.

Trailer: 007 in SPECTRE

Synchronicity

“It was me, James. The author of all your pain.”

Lots more Christoph Waltz as Blofeld…er…Franz Oberhauser here, a lot of showcase of cars, computers and locations, specifically Mexico City on the Day of the Dead, London, Icy Wilderness reminiscent of foggy Scotland in Skyfal. There are few ‘wow’ moments in the trailer, as the Daniel Craig era of 007 settles into what is is. Not that this is in anyway a bad thing, just familiar. Have a look at the trailer below.

Trailer #3: American Ultra

American Ultra

If there is one thing that stoner-super-spy comedy American Ultra is doing right, it is with passive understatement, and the casting of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart seems perfect in this case. Also digging the Molly-Day-Glo set-piece. It only has to overcome the fact that this concept (without the pot) has been done hundreds of times at this point.

After three trailers, are you ready for The Bourne High-dentity? (Sorry, that one is mine.)

Trailer: The Revenant

leorevenant

Rev·e·nantˈrevəˌnäN,-nənt – noun
a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead.

Hot off the success of last year’s Best Picture winner Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu is shifting gears with The Revenant. The film is a period piece revenge thriller adapted by Iñárritu from Michael Punke’s 2003 novel based on the true story of 19th century fur trapper Hugh Glass.

Over the years, the project has gone through quite a few hands before ending up on Iñárritu’s lap. At one point, Park Chan-wook was attached to direct with Samuel L. Jackson to star. Later on, John Hillcoat and Christian Bale were in negotiations.

As you’ll see in the trailer, with the final product, Iñárritu has crafted what appears to be a spectacularly beautiful film starring Leonardo Dicaprio as the weary protagonist hellbent on revenge against his companions (one played by Tom Hardy) who rob and leave him for dead after he’s attacked by a grizzly. Needless to say, it looks fucking awesome.

The Revenant drops into theaters stateside on Christmas Day 2015.

Comic Con Trailer: Suicide Squad

suicidesquad

Earlier today, we posted the trailer for Batman v Superman that premiered at Comic Con. Now, we have the Comic Con trailer for Suicide Squad, which exists inside the same connected film universe.

There’s no doubt about it: they are going for something completely distinct from the Marvel cinematic universe. Which according to many commenting so far… that’s a good thing. As for the views on these popular characters be punk rockified? That remains to be seen.

We have over a year until this drops into theaters on August 5, 2016–but needless to say, after these past few days, the internet is abuzz with moviegoers who are really curious as to where this film universe is headed.