A Game of Drones – Trailer for Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill

Will Andrew Niccol’s latest capture the imagination and box-office in a similar fashion to American Sniper? On the surface, both films share a number of commonalities, not the least of which are soldiers having to kill their enemies from afar, with a certain unquestioning detachment. Niccol has made a career out of questioning the emotional and psychological significance of where we are and where we are going in terms of technology and its applications; from the sci-fi genetics drama Gattaca (also starring Ethan Hawke) to synthetic actors in S1Mone, to his screenplay for Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. Here he gets to play in the theater of the current Middle East and drone warfare. I think Good Kill will be better than American Sniper, but likely ignored by the public at large due to a falsely perceived copy-cat-itis.

In an air-conditioned shipping container somewhere in the Nevada desert, a war is being waged. Behind a door that reads “YOU ARE NOW LEAVING THE USA,” five flight-suited US Air Force officers operate drones that hover above “zones of interest” in the Middle East. At the press of a button, tiny targets viewed on computer screens vanish in plumes of smoke, as in a videogame. Egan (Ethan Hawke) used to live to fly. Now, he spends eight hours each day fighting the War on Terror by remote control and the remaining time at his suburban home, where he feuds with his wife (Mad Men’s January Jones), and numbs his boredom, rage, and guilt with alcohol. When Egan and his crew are told to start taking orders directly from the CIA — which selects its targets based not on personal profiles but patterns of activity — the notion of a “good” kill becomes even more maddeningly abstract, and Egan’s ability to comply with his superiors’ directives reaches its breaking point.

We’ve got the trailer below.

Trailer for Monsters Sequel: Dark Continent

It is no co-incidence that the trailer for the Monsters follow-up is released the same week that Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla hits the cinema. The micro-budgeted creature-feature Monsters was likely the reason why Edwards got the big blockbuster job.

Monsters: Dark Continent is directed by Tom Green (no, not that Tom Green) and appears to be in the ‘War is Hell’ sub-genre (instead of the lost tourist in trouble sub-genre of the first one.) Will this one have the flavourful subtext and atmosphere of the first film or just be cash-grab noise? The trailer ain’t too bad and the film certainly looks like they had more money to play with than the first time around. It is still not selling me on the idea that a sequel is necessary or will be of any real interest.

Trailer: Big Bad Wolves

Turning heads on the festival circuit, Big Bad Wolves envisions a gradient of bad and worse men as a metaphor for the sticky politics of justice and retribution in the region or at least a juicy punch of black comedy on the ugly side of human nature. The Israeli modern fairy tale is not perfect, but it is certainly shot with a remarkable eye for visual style and more than a little grim wit towards setting up situational humour. You can see for yourself from the trailer below.

series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.

VIFF 09 Review: Nomad’s Land – sur les traces de Nicolas Bouvier

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NomadsLandMovieStillIn today’s technology rich world, it’s nearly impossible to believe that anyone could go “off the grid” for any extended period of time but in Nomad’s Land – Sur les traces de Nicolas Bouvier, Swiss filmmaker Gaël Métroz proves that it’s not only possible but fairly easy to do.

The adventure began as a self-finding mission. With the works of Swiss traveler Nicolas Bourvier as a guide, Métroz set off with a camera on a self guided tour of the Middle East and Asia, a trip that nearly killed him but which also provided the young man with an intimate understanding of humanity. A travelogue of intense power, Métroz shares much with his icon Bouvier and his deeply personal connection to Bouvier’s adventures affect both his choices and observations, providing an interesting and intimate account of life in that region of the world.

Would you like to know more…?