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› Bing Liu of Minding the Gap
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› Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky
› Lake Bell Talks Making Films
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Listen to the Newest Episode of The First Word Podcast:
"We didn't need to be rescued." Bleecker Street has released the first trailer for Leave No Trace, the new film from Debra Granik (Winter's Bone), which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to some rave reviews. Leave No Trace is a story about a father and daughter, living off the grid entirely in the forests of Portland, Oregon. It's a bit similar to Captain Fantastic from a few years ago, but a much more intimate and personal story of this father and his daughter. Ben Foster stars along with newcomer Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, who is indeed a revelation. The full cast also includes Jeff Kober, Dale Dickey, Isaiah Stone, Dana Millican, and Ayanna Berkshire. This is also heading to the Cannes Film Festival next, and is one of the better films coming out of Sundance this year. Make sure it's on your radar.
"Look, I know what I saw. And I'm going to prove it!" Warner Bros has released the second official trailer for their animated movie Smallfoot, arriving in theaters this fall. This is a new full-length trailer to follow up the first teaser, which didn't exactly have a lot of footage. The story follows a "bright, young" Yeti whose life changes when he discovers something that shouldn't exist—a human. This discovery throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their own snowy village, in a story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery. Channing Tatum stars as the voice of Migo; the cast includes Zendaya, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi, Jimmy Tatro, Ely Henry, and LeBron James. This actually does look amusing, and it looks like it will have a good message about accepting others, maybe it will be worth watching after all. Catch the latest Smallfoot trailer below.
"Why are you so angry?" "Why are you not angry?" HBO Films has revealed the first official trailer for the indie film The Tale, a controversial but still very remarkable, important film from filmmaker Jennifer Fox. This first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, with many calling it the best of the festival (including me - it really is a stunningly bold work of cinema). The Tale is the true story of a woman who looks back on her youth and a sexual relationship she had with a man who coerced her into loving him. Laura Dern stars as Jennifer, and Isabelle Nélisse plays her as her younger self. The cast also includes Jason Ritter, Ellen Burstyn, Common, Elizabeth Debicki, Laura Allen, and John Heard. This film is unlike anything before it, and is a very courageous, eye-opening look at sexual abuse. It's going to be one of the most talked about films of the year - for good reason because it's so utterly brilliant. Watch below.
"Why do you keep lying?" Cinema Guild has released the official US trailer for one of the latest films from prolific Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo, this one titled The Day After. This premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Those who know Hong Sang-soo know he's always making new films. He premiered another one at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, titled Grass, and released two others in the last few years including Claire's Camera and On the Beach at Night Alone. The Day After tells the story of a married man struggling with an affair who just left him. His wife suspects something, and attacks his innocent new secretary. It "begins as a darkly hilarious look at a man embroiled in extramarital entanglements but soon shifts - in a way only Hong can manage - into a heartfelt portrayal of a young woman on a quest for spiritual fulfillment." Starring Yunhee Cho, Ki Joabang, Min-hee Kim, Sae-byeok Kim, and Hae-hyo Kwon.
"The only battle I've fought against is insignificance." "So live long." A24 has debuted the official trailer for an indie drama titled Woman Walks Ahead, the latest feature from filmmaker Susanna White (Nanny McPhee Returns, Our Kind of Traitor). The film tells the remarkable true story of Catherine Weldon, played by Jessica Chastain, a portrait painter from Brooklyn. In the 1890s, she travels to the Dakota Territory to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull and becomes embroiled in the Lakota peoples' struggle over the rights to their land. The cast includes Michael Greyeyes as Sitting Bull, Chaske Spencer, Sam Rockwell, Ciarán Hinds, Michael Nouri, and Bill Camp. This looks exceptional, and seems to have come out of nowhere but it did premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. I really want to know what Sitting Bull and her talk about.
"Ants are incredibly resilient - all we did is splice them with alien DNA and grow them to supersize." The Orchard has released a new official trailer for the very cheesy sci-fi horror film It Came From the Desert, adapted from a video game in the 1980s about giant ants. The game is obviously inspired by the sci-fi classic Them! (also about giant ants) and really this is almost just a remake of Them!, but it looks way way worse. The film "features rival motocross heroes and heroines, kegger parties in the desert, secret underground military bases, romantic insecurities…and of course giant ants." This stars Mark Arnold, Harry Lister Smith, Vanessa Grasse, Alex Mills, James Alper, Claudia Trujillo, Callum McGowan, and Aino Sirje. It doesn't look that good, but it does seem crazy violent and action-packed, that's something at least.
"You should be extremely afraid." Get ready, Venom fans!! This is what we've waited to see. Sony Pictures has debuted the second, official trailer for the Venom movie, a new sort-of spin-off from the Sony Spider-Man universe, focusing on the fan-favorite symbiote villain character. Tom Hardy stars as journalist Eddie Brock in this anti-hero movie, directed by Ruben Fleischer (of Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad). The first teaser trailers were terrible, but this trailer finally shows us what we've all been waiting for - an actual, clear look at Venom and damn does he look good. That tongue! Those eyes! Wow. The full cast includes Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Riz Ahmed, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Lee, Sailor Larocque, Reid Scott, and a rumored appearance by Tom Holland as Spidey. This looks like it has some awesome action scenes and an impressive cast for this dark anti-hero thriller. Now they have my attention.
"What happens when you secretly pay someone to romance your Mom?" Freestyle Media has debuted an official trailer for a cute New York-set indie romantic comedy titled Born Guilty, from writer/director Max Heller. The ensemble comedy is about a mother and her son, both intervening in their lives a bit too much. Acclaimed actress Rosanna Arquette (of Pulp Fiction, After Hours, The Whole Nine Yards, Desperately Seeking Susan) stars as a "lonely and frazzled New York social worker." Her son is played by Jay Devore, and he decides to setup his free-spirited Australian friend Rawl, as played by David Coussins, with his mother - all the while trying to balance his own relationship, too. The cast includes Keesha Sharp, Anna Lore, Jay Klaitz, John Lavelle, and Xander Berkeley. This looks pretty bad, but have a look anyway.
"Shots fired! Shots fired!" Momentum Pictures has released the official trailer for an action thriller titled 211, or #211, which is a reference to the police code "211" - meaning a robbery in progress. Inspired by one of the "longest and bloodiest bank heists in history", the film is described as a combination of End of Watch meets Black Hawk Down. Does it look like that description? See for yourself below. Nicolas Cage stars as a police officer who takes a civilian on a ride along, then gets caught up in this violent bank robbery heist. In addition to Cage, it also stars Cory Hardrict, Michael Rainey Jr., Ori Pfeffer, Weston Cage, Sophie Skelton and Alexandra Dinu. This looks like an all-out, action-packed, very intense bank robbery movie.
"These people aren't just rich, they're CRAZY rich." Warner Bros has unveiled the first official trailer for a new comedy titled Crazy Rich Asians, the latest film directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Now You See Me 2), which is actually more of a romantic comedy. The film features an international cast, led by Constance Wu and Henry Golding - making his feature film debut; along with Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Harry Shum Jr., Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remi Hii, Nico Santos, and Jing Lusi. The story follows a not-so-rich woman from New York who accompanies her boyfriend to a friend's wedding in Singapore, only to discover his family is extremely wealthy and his mom doesn't like her. This doesn't look as great as I was hoping, but at least it looks entertaining and way smarter than most comedies.