Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Angie Han
Each year, there are a handful of films that don’t quite seem to get the attention they deserve. Maybe they don’t star the right people or premiere at the right festivals, or maybe they suffer from plain bad luck. Whatever the case, the Tribeca Film Festival entry Zero Motivation is up there for me as one of the best films of 2014 that few people have heard of, much less seen.
The first feature from Talya Lavie, Zero Motivation centers around female Israeli soldiers stationed at a remote base. But it’s more Office Space than Black Hawk Down. When these young women aren’t filing papers or making coffee under their supervisor’s watchful eye, they’re playing Minesweeper and plotting elaborate pranks. Watch the Zero Motivation trailer after the jump.
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When you hear WWE Studios, you probably automatically think of No Holds Barred. It’s fine. The WWE is the premiere pro wrestling company in the world and probably the biggest pro wrestling movie of all time is that Hulk Hogan catastrophe. Funny thing is, the WWE had very little to do with it. (They did help release a Blu-ray recently.)
No, WWE Studios is in the business of making non-wrestling movies. Movies starring, or related to, their talent. Films like The Marine with John Cena, See No Evil with Kane or, once upon a time, The Scorpion King with The Rock. Their latest film was Leprechaun: Origins starring Hornswoggle. In fact, according to Wikipedia, since 2002 WWE Studios (in one form or another) has helped produce almost 30 movies and the only one with a wrestling connotation is Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery. The wrestling movie studio had never made a live-action movie about wrestling.
That changed in 2012 when they helped produce a French film called Queens of the Ring. It features cameos by The Miz, CM Punk and others. Now, it’s finally getting released, and you can check out the trailer for WWE Studios Queens of the Ring below. Read More »
Fantastic Fest seems to have a bit less horror each year as the festival’s scope expands. At the same time, the horror at the fest is often pretty great. Take Shrew’s Nest (aka Musarañas), a Spanish film that is essentially gothic family drama… until it goes totally mental. I loved this movie in part because it is really nicely controlled until it goes bonkers, and also because it features one hell of a great lead performance from Macarena Gómez.
Gomez plays Montse, a woman who hasn’t left her apartment in many years. Some bad stuff in her family’s past left her damaged, and she simultaneously cares for and domineers over her younger sister. When a new presence enters the apartment, old tensions come to a very intense boil. Check out a Shrew’s Nest trailer below, and put this one on your radar now. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Angie Han
It may seem premature in September to declare that a film has entered the Oscar race, but in the case of Mommy it’s confirmed fact. Last week, Canada officially selected the family drama as its entry for the Best Foreign-Language Film Academy Award. It’ll be director Xavier Dolan‘s second time angling for the prize; his feature directing debut I Killed My Mother was chosen to represent the country for the 82nd Oscars.
To be sure, Mommy still has several hoops to jump through before it gets that little gold man. But the glowing reactions from its Cannes debut suggest it could actually go the distance. To get an idea of what all the fuss is about, hit the jump to see the Mommy US trailer.
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I want you to go get a piece or paper or open the Notes program on your phone and write down two words: Tokyo Tribe. You’re going to want tangible proof you knew about one of the craziest, most surprising, surreal fun films of the year well before anyone else.
Tokyo Tribe is directed by Shion Sono, a director whose films (Love Exposure, Cold Fish) are usually pretty brutal. For the most part, this one isn’t. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tokyo Tribe is a hip hop musical about gang wars in Tokyo filled with sex, action, rapping and more rapping. Think Les Miserables if it were populated by The Warriors, who acted like they were in a kung-fu version of Beat Street, with the visual aesthetic of Spring Breakers. Set in an Eighties. That almost describes Tokyo Tribe, a film I loved to no end. Read More »
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I literally just walked out of a screening of Force Majeure at Fantastic Fest 2014 and had to let you know about it. Thankfully for me, a new poster and trailer came out earlier this week.
Directed by Ruben Östlund, the film follows a family who are on a ski vacation. When an avalanche unexpectedly hits, everyone is forced into a life or death situation where they’ll reveal their true colors. In one case, they aren’t what they expect. That might sounds like the set up to some kind of horror movie, but Force Majeure walks an absolute stellar tightrope of tone, seamlessly going from uncomfortable to funny, then tense and human. It’s poignant, it’s hilarious, it’s beautifully shot and it’s totally unexpected. The film won a special award at Cannes earlier this year and has been slaying the festival crowd, myself included. Below what the latest Force Majeure trailer and see the new poster. Read More »
After years away from the big screen, John Woo is back this year — at least in China — with The Crossing. The first installment of the two-part film hits China in December. The movie is set in 1949 and will tell the stories of three couples whose lives intersect on the doomed Taiping steamer. The ship was carrying many hundreds of passengers from China and the last days of the communist-dominated Civil War, to new lives in Taiwan. All aboard were doomed, and the ship has been called the “Chinese Titanic” as a result. This first Crossing trailer introduces many of the people on board, albeit without subtitles. Check out the footage below. Read More »
John Woo has been quiet for several years as he dealt with throat cancer, and as government script approval was delayed for his latest film, but he’s ready to return to cinema screens with a new two-part epic. Much as his last major effort, Red Cliff, was a two-part tale drawn from Chinese history, so too The Crossing is a period piece split into two parts. (Between the two projects, Woo also co-directed Reign of Assassins.)
The Crossing is very different from Red Cliff in other respects, however. It is set in 1949, and follows the stories and fates of the passengers of the steamer Taiping, which sank with as many as 1500 passengers on board. (The ship is often called “the Chinese Titanic,” because of the number of casualties.) Now the first film is set for a December release in China, meaning we can perhaps expect to see it in 2015. Read More »
We’re on the topic of big Cannes 2014 films, as we just offered up the trailer for Leviathan. I noted in that post that Leviathan didn’t win the Palme d’Or, but here’s a new trailer for the film that did: Winter Sleep, from Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylon. Where Leviathan appears to be a small story that gets bigger as it goes, Winter Sleep is about a small set of characters that are gradually drawn into tighter proximity. Expect a quiet film, slowly rhythmic, that follows a one-time actor, his young wife, and his recently divorced sister, all of whom are pushed together as winter begins. Check out the new Winter Sleep US trailer below.
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