Diary of a Teenage Girl UK trailer

After making a splash at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the indie sensation The Diary of a Teenage Girl is coming to theaters next month. The film may not have made our list of the Best of Sundance 2015, but it’s certainly one of those indies worth seeking out this summer.

Now a new trailer from across the pond has surfaced, showcasing a tale of sexual exploration and coming-of-age, driven stupendously by a breakthrough performance from Bel Powley. And coming through with outstanding supporting performances are Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig too. Watch The Diary of a Teenage Girl UK trailer below! Read More »

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Grandma trailer

Right now you can get plenty of Lily Tomlin in the Netflix exclusive series Grace and Frankie, but later this summer she’s also got a new indie hitting theaters, fresh from the Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Festival this year.

The movie is called Grandma, but don’t think that just because Tomlin is old enough to play the title role that she’s some feeble old woman. In the indie comedy, Tomlin just might be the coolest grandmother you’ve ever seen, but she’s got a bit of an attitude problem, making it hard to get along with her granddaughter (Julia Garner of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) when they need each other the most.

Watch the Grandma trailer after the jump! Read More »

Dope review

Note: This review was originally published during Sundance, in January 2015.

Four days in, Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope is the best film I’ve seen so far at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. A coming of age story for the “post hip hop generation” best described as a mix of three films: Doug Liman’s Go, Greg Mottola’s Superbad and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood.  I’m posting this review the morning after the premiere and its being reported that six studios are rabidly bidding to distribute this film — its insanely accessible movie for a Sundance film and will sure to be a hit that lives on past its festival and theatrical runs. Read my Dope review after the jump.

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Rich Famuyiwa Dope header

You can’t make a movie like Dope without a ton of passion. Every frame, every character, every decision comes from a love not just of cinema, but for pop culture as a whole. The film’s writer and director Rick Famuyiwa is a massive film fan and geek who cites Spielberg, Lucas, and calls Back to the Future his favorite movie of all time.

However, looking as Famuyiwa’s resume, odds are you didn’t know any of that. Before making Dope, he directed The Wood, Brown Sugar and Our Family Wedding. Three financially successful films, yes, but none of which are known for Dope‘s sense of youthful exuberance. It feels like, after that formidable foray into filmmaking, Famuyiwa is finally hitting his stride. Dope is a confident film, a fun film, and a great film to discuss.

Which is exactly what we did. We spoke with Famyuiwa on the occasion of Dope, which opens Friday June 19, and talked about the film’s complex tone. Its use of pop culture references, issues with music, how it changed from its Sundance premiere to now, as well as the meaning of “geek” in the film. We broke down two of the best sequences in the movie and found out whether or not the director has been approached to make any major studio blockbusters. Below, read our Rick Famuyiwa Dope interview. Read More »

Stanford Prison Experiment Trailer

If you’ve ever taken an introductory psychology class, you’ve probably heard of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. The idea behind the experiment was to take student volunteers and put them into a simulated jail where some of the students were made to be prisoners and others were made to be guards. The intention was to study human nature, but those conducting the experiment didn’t realize the humanity part of the experiment would go out the window so quickly.

The aptly titled indie The Stanford Prison Experiment chronicles the results of the test as the unfold, and the result is an unnerving drama that shows you how prison, whether you’re a prisoner or a guard, can change a person entirely.

Watch The Stanford Prison Experiment trailer after the jump! Read More »

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl review

Editor’s Note: Below is our review of from the Sundance Film Festival. We’re republishing it now that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is open in limited release. Find theaters here.

On paper, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl doesn’t seem particularly exciting. An adaptation of a book by Jesse Andrews, it’s the story of a high school senior who is forced to become friends with a school acquaintance who is diagnosed with leukemia.

Interesting, yes but not that exciting. Thankfully, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl isn’t merely on paper. It’s a film — in fact, a film that loves film, celebrates film, and is very much about the medium – with beautiful shot composition, tense long takes and elaborate tracking shots. It tells a touching and incredibly funny story with very realistic, honest characters and enough self-awareness to make it all feel modern. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and adapted by Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival this weekend. Read our Me and Earl and the Dying Girl review here. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Twitter logo

I’m as guilty as the next guy. If I’m at a film festival or an early screening of a film I know people are curious about, I try to get a reaction on Twitter as soon as possible. That’s the whole point of Twitter. It’s the world reacting in real time, and if it’s a big time movie, people who can’t be there are dying to know the thoughts of the people who are.

So is a Twitter reaction film criticism? It’s debatable. Thierry Fremaux, head of the Cannes Film Festival, says it is and that Twitter reactions are ruining film criticism. Read his quotes and some thoughts on Twitter movie reviews below. Read More »

99 Homes Trailer

After losing the role of Spider-Man (though we don’t know to who just yet), it appears the bad luck is continuing for Andrew Garfield in the trailer for the Sundance selected indie drama 99 Homes. The film made our Best of Sundance list back in January, and it’s slated to arrive in select theaters this fall.

Now you can see what all the buzz is about in the powerful trailer for the film that also stars Michael Shannon and Laura Dern. Watch the 99 Homes trailer after the jump! Read More »

primary instinct

Briefly: Well, folks, the day is finally here. A little bit more than a year after we first shot a concert film at the Moore Theatre with Stephen Tobolowsky, the World Premiere of The Primary Instinct is finally upon us. Tomorrow, all the people who backed us on Kickstarter will get the opportunity to watch the film with us when it plays at the Seattle International Film Festival.

But there’s good news for those who live near the Seattle area as well: You can still buy a ticket to see the film in personThe Primary Instinct will play at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Capitol Hill for two showings: Friday at 9:45 PM, and Saturday at noon. Stephen and I will both be there to do a Q&As afterwards.

For those who won’t be able to be there and are still interested in seeing the film: stay tuned! We’ll have more exciting news about the film in the near future. In the meantime, I hope you’ll consider joining us in person. If you do, be sure to say hi. And for those who have been with us every step of the way on this journey, right from the very beginning: Thank you, so so much.