Watch an Exclusive Clip From ‘I Declare War’

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I Declare War is a great indie that takes an unusually perceptive look at the games kids play, and how they can be a lot more than a simple way to pass time. The film follows two factions of kids playing “war” in the woods, and sees the game through their eyes — so sticks and balloons used as weapons are visualized on screen as guns and grenades.

Sure, it’s all a game, but the meaning behind it, and the ways the kids interact as they try to nab a win, turns into pretty big deal for each one as they try to forge and fit into friendships.

The film made its debut at Fantastic Fest last year and is on VOD/ iTunes/ digital download now, and in theaters on August 30. We’ve got an exclusive clip below.

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ABCs of Death

The ABCs of Death film concept is back with 26 more ways to die based on letters of the alphabet. A sequel to the 2012/2013 release is well under way aiming at a 2014 release. Much like the approach taken with the first film, the producers are now in search of an unknown filmmaker to fill the 26th spot.

Along with the contest to pin down the final director, the rest of the full director list has been revealed. It expands on the already announced names such as animator Bill PlymptonDay of the Beast and The Last Circus director Álex de la IglesiaRoom 237 director Rodney Ascher, Japanese director of Cold Fish Sion SonoVincenzo Natali (Splice), indie icon Larry Fessenden and The Collection‘s Marcus Dunstan. Read more about both below. Read More »

the-congress-new-1

Though most of us haven’t had a chance to see the film yet, hopefully you remember Ari Folman‘s movie The Congress. After years of development, the movie premiered at Cannes back in May, and scored a US distribution deal from Drafthouse Films. The movie features Robin Wright as an actress who sells her likeness to a film studio, and Folman uses live-action scenes and some really wild animated sequences to explore her life. (Paul GiamattiJon HammKodi Smit-McPheeHarvey Keitel and Danny Huston also star.)

The first trailer for the film was pretty mind-blowing, and now we’ve got two featurettes that explore specific parts of the film in just a bit more depth. They’re both quite short, but one shows one of the film’s dystopic visions, and how that slipstreams from live-action into animation. The other shows the basic elements of constructing the set for Wright’s character’s house.

The dystopian glimpse is the one you’ll really want to check out, since it shows off some new animation. Check out both below. Read More »

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Cheap Thrills is a great movie not just for the fact that it is freaky and unsettling in a very realistic way, but because it will make you look at the film’s four major actors in a new light. Ethan Embry and Pat Healy play two guys who need cash, and David Koechner and Sara Paxton play a rich couple with money to burn.

The four people collide at a bar, and the rich couple is soon paying their two new “friends” to engage in a bit of anti-social behavior. It begins in a relatively innocent manner, but things quickly get crazy. Really, crazy, and very bloody. This first international trailer will give you a creepy, messy idea of what the movie has in store, without giving too much away. Watch it below.

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‘I Declare War’ Trailer and Poster

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I Declare War is a good indie about kids whose game of “war,” played in the forest near their home, turns very serious. Perhaps not quite as serious as the trailer would suggest — while kids are running around with real guns in their hands this is no Red Dawn scenario. Rather, the film lets us see what is in the head of each kid as they fight in the game. So a stick becomes a rifle or a bazooka thanks to the imagination of each player.

While the weapons are imaginary, the power struggle and final stakes are very real — this game will be the way that many of the players start to grow up. I really enjoyed I Declare War when it played Fantastic Fest. In part because it is a weird, entertaining movie, but also because it deals with those moments of maturity in a way that really works for the characters. Check out the new trailer below.  Read More »

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As we’ve said before, Ben Wheatley is among the most interesting genre directors working right now. Kill List was a wild thriller, but also a fantastic explosion of ideas of masculinity and impotence; Sightseers is a fantastically funny, bloody comedy that also plays with the extreme results of frustrated creative impulses.

His next film is A Field in England, a fairly small production about a few guys who flee the front lines of the English Civil War in the mid-1600s. They’re captured by two men, one of whom is an alchemist, and pressed into assisting in the search for a treasure. But that treasure may in fact be something that drives them totally crazy (at least for a while).

This new teaser really ups the psychedelic factor — it is an almost assaultive collage of color, sound, and shapes. For the audience that is already pre-disposed to respond to a film like this, the trailer is going to be pure crack.  Read More »

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Drafthouse Films has been on a roll out of Cannes. The relatively new distributor bought both Nothing Bad Can Happen and the very weird, appealing Borgman (trailer here) at the festival.

Now Drafthouse has partnered with Films We Like to pick up North American distribution rights to Ari Folman‘s The Congress. The film stars Robin Wright as a version of herself; in the film she’s an actress who sells her digital likeness to a movie studio. The film opens with live-action scenes, but quickly goes into animated flights of wild imagination. Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, Kodi Smit-McPheeHarvey Keitel and Danny Huston also star.

Drafthouse will handle the film in the US and Films We Like will take care of Canadian distibution. Sadly we have to wait until 2014 for the theatrical and VOD release. Check out the trailer below.  Read More »

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I know no one who has emerged unscathed from The Act of Killing. The film might be one of the strangest ever made, as it forces men to confront their actions by recreating them in movie form. But these aren’t just any men — they’re guys like Anwar Congo who, as death squad leaders during the “Thirtieth of September Movement,” staged a coup d’etat in Indonesia in 1965, and then committed genocide through an anti-Communist purge.

Estimates of the death toll vary widely, from 80,000 to one million. By any standard, these are heinous crimes. ”War crimes are declared by the winners,” Anwar Congo says, before happily proclaiming “I’m the winner!”

Today Anwar and other death squad leaders have not been tried as criminals; rather, they hold positions of some social standing. The Act of Killing features their full cooperation. It invites the death squad leaders to recreate their actions as genre movies — westerns, musicals, and so on — and in so doing bring their past back to life. The trailer below shows you some of the effect, and even in this abbreviated form it is deeply chilling. Read More »

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