‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer: The God of Thunder visits Planet Hulk

First day of the work week got you down? Do not fret, true believer, as a trailer for Thor: Ragnarok has just made its way online.

Who said Mondays had to suck?

At a brief 1 minute and 53 seconds, the trailer for the third Thor film wisely chooses not get bogged down in exposition. Instead, we are treated to a flurry of images which provides you a sense of the size and scope this film will have. It also gives us a peek at what kind of tone director Taika Waititi is aiming for.

While the dialogue is sparse, what little is given tells us things aren’t going too well for the Mighty Avenger.

Click below to see the trailer and see the return of Thor, Loki and the Incredible Hulk.

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This year’s Independent Film Festival Boston lineup announced

Spring time has arrived and for many film fans that means we’re mere weeks away from the start of the summer blockbuster season.

There will be animated movies! Superheroes! Remakes! Superhero remakes!

However, if you’re a cinephile who prefers their movies to be wrought with drama, grounded in realism and worthy of Oscar gold, the slate of upcoming summer movies may leave you feeling a bit dead inside.

Well thanks to the fine folks at The Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) – who are celebrating their 15th anniversary – those of us who prefer their films to be on the more highbrow and artistic side will have a plethora of healthy options to binge upon before being faced with nothing but months of popcorn flicks.

IFFBoston has just announced this year’s lineup and yet again it’s an eclectic mix of narrative and documentary features and narrative and documentary shorts. Several of these films have screened at Sundance and other festivals but, being that it’s IFFBoston, many of the the movies debuting were made by New England filmmakers.

Past films to have appeared at IFFBoston include Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Jackie and The VVitch.

The 2017 edition of IFFBoston will take place between April 26 through May 3 at four different venues in Boston – the Coolidge Corner Theatre, the Somerville Theatre, the Brattle theatre and University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

The festival’s opening night film will be the documentary Stumped. Directed by Robin Berhaus, Stumped follows William Lautzenheiser, a Boston-area teacher who had all four of his limbs removed after contracting a vicious bacterial infection. Berhaus’ camera captured Lautzheiser’s entry into the stand-up comedy world as a form of therapy as well as undergoing a rare transplantation surgery at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Stumped will screen at the Somerville on April 26. 

Closing IFFBoston will be Band Aid which is the directorial-debut of Zoe Lister-Jones. The indie comedy stars Lister-Jones and actor Adam Pally as a married couple who create a band to work through their issues with one another. Band Aid will screen at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on May 3.

For the complete list of films, showtimes and locations, check out the IFFBoston website.

 

 

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Trailer: It’s complicated being a high school hero

There are very few givens in life – though death, taxes and superhero movies come to mind. 

To be honest, I’d rather feel the cold, dark embrace of the Grim Reaper himself or be audited by the IRS than subject myself to director Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League movie.

However, I take comfort in the fact Marvel Studios and Disney are, as per tradition, gearing up to dominate domestic and international box offices when when they release three – count ‘em, three – films this year. While never Oscar worthy, Marvel Studios’ movies are consistently high quality and always provide a good time at the theater.

First up, and right around the corner, will be the highly-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which opens in the U.S. on May 5. And on Nov. 3, the God of Thunder himself will be returning to the big screen in Thor: Ragnarok.

Sandwiched in between both films, and landing smack dab in the middle of the summer blockbuster season, is everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood wall-crawler who will star in his first feature-length Marvel Studios’ film – Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Check out the trailer and find out what Spidey, Iron Man and Michael Keaton’s sinister Vulture are up to after the break.

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‘Colossal’ Trailer: Anne Hathaway destroys a city with quirky kaiju charm

Photo courtesy of TIFF

Have you ever wondered what an indie comedy starring Anne Hathaway would be like if it co-starred a giant city-wrecking kaiju?

No?

Well, director/screenwriter Nacho Vigalondo did, so he created the film Colossal.

Vigalondo’s latest work follows the exploits of 30-something-year-old Gloria (played by the aforementioned Hathaway) as she tries to rebuild her life after finding herself out of a boyfriend and home due to her hard-partying ways. Gloria’s attempt at a new start finds her returning to her hometown where she reconnects with her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis).

While that may sound like the premise to countless run-of-the-mill indie comedies, that’s where the similarities stop.

You see, there is also the issue of the massive kaiju monster who has just destroyed much of Seoul, South Korea during a late-night rampage.

As the latest trailer to Colossal shows, Gloria and the gruesome giant are somehow connected.

Check the trailer after the break.

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Reach out and touch faith: The first four minutes of AMC’s adaptation of cult comic ‘Preacher’ have arrived

 

Photo courtesy Matthias Clamer/AMC

Photo courtesy Matthias Clamer/AMC

All you lapsed Catholics, it’s time to get your collective asses back to church this Sunday.

Preacher Jesse Custer and his crew have a satirical and sadistic sermon to spew when AMC premieres the first episode of the television adaptation of cult-favorite comic book Preacher this Sunday, May 22, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

While only a mere two days away from blessing televisions across the world with its presence,  if you’re anything like me, 48 hours is too damn long not to get a quick taste of what’s in store.

Praise the Lord then that AMC has decided to share with everyone the opening four minutes of the series’ first episode.

Check the Preacher sneak-peak after the break.

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Film lineup for 16th annual Boston Underground Film Festival has been announced

Bacchus-statueThe fine folks at the Boston Underground Film Festival have announced the lineup for their 16th annual event (BUFF16) and fans of Asian underground cinema are in for several treats.

Japanese director Sion Sono, a Lost in the Miso favorite, will be having his 2013 film Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (Click the link to see the trailer!) screened at the event. Word has it that the film is less like his recent, more serious work (Himizu and The Land of Hope) and more akin to his audaciously over-the-top four hour epic Love Exposure. BUFF16 offers this synopsis of Why Don’t You Play in Hell?:

“A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud in this bloody ode to 35mm cinema, the thirty-first feature film from Japan’s prolific provocateur auteur Sion Sono.”

Japanese cinema will also be represented at BUFF16 with the 1974 cult classic and Japanese exploitation film School of the Holy Beast. BUFF16 says of the film:

“A young nun seeks to uncover the dark secrets of the Sacred Heart Convent in this nunsploitation classic. School of the Holy Beast is as blasphemous and shocking as it is artistically stunning.” 

The writer of the violently schlocky Tokyo Gore Police, Maki Mizui, will have his directorial debut Kept screened at BUFF16.

The Japanese short film The Tale of Love Suicide, directed by Ken Hirata, will also be showing.

The Philippines also gets some BUFF16 love with EDSA XXXthe latest film by Filipino director Khavn. BUFF16 describes the film as:

“Nothing ever changes in the ever-changing Republic of Ek-Ek-Ek. The year is 2030. The place is a Filipino bizarro-future akin to Biff Tannen’s 1985 (but with more palm trees).”

These five films are clearly enough reason for any Boston-area fan of Asian cinema to attend this year’s Boston Underground Film Festival. I’ve personally attended the festival in the past and I can highly encourage anyone in the greater Boston area to support the great work being done by the people at BUFF.
BUFF16 starts Wednesday, March 26 and ends Sunday, March 30, and films are shown at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA.
I hope to see you there!

 

Apocalypse Now: The back-story to ‘Snowpiercer’ has been revealed in an animated short

Just how did the passengers of the Snowpiercer – a colossal train that never stops running – wind-up aboard their new home? Well, according to the animated prequel to Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer that has recently surfaced online, they fought tooth and nail to procure their seats.

With a visual storytelling style similar to that of a motion comic, the 4-minute animated prequel does a serviceable job in succinctly telling the back-story to the upcoming dystopian film (it opens in South Korea on August 1), and will give those who view it a better understanding of the film’s world.

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Takashi Miike + Tom Hardy = ‘The Outsider’

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Oh wow…

Oh wow, indeed.

The magnificent English actor Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Bronson, Inception, The Warrior and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike (Audition, The Bird People of China, Ichi the Killer, The Great Yokai War and 13 Assassins) are rumored to be teaming up for upcoming film The Outsider. 

Taking place in the aftermath of WWII, The Outsider tells the story of an American G.I. who, after becoming an American prisoner of war, later works his way up into the ranks of the Yakuza.

How can the prospect of such a film not give film enthusiasts goosebumps?

Based on an original story idea by John Linson (executive producer of Sons of Anarchy), The Outsider was scripted by Andrew Baldwin.

Winners of The Independent Film Festival Boston have been announced

Photo courtesy of iffboston.com

The winners of the 2013 Independent Film Festival Boston have been announced in an official press release distributed by the festival:

The 2013 Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) came to a close on Tuesday night, April 30th, with a screening of the film IN A WORLD…with writer/director/star Lake Bell in attendance. Roughly 100 guest filmmakers, celebrities, and special guests were in attendance at the festival including new festival Creative Advisor Casey Affleck, actor Fran Kranz, director Bobcat Goldthwait, director James Ponsoldt, Writer/Actor/Director Lake Bell, Governor Deval Patrick, First Lady Diane Patrick and numerous others. Films were shown in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville over a total of 9 screens. This was the festival’s 11th year.

The jury and audience award prizes have been announced and are as follows:

Narrative Feature:
Grand Jury Prize Winner: THIS IS MARTIN BONNER directed by Chad Hartigan
Special Jury Prize Winner: HOUSTON directed by Bastian Gunther
Audience Award Winner: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING directed by Joss Whedon

Documentary Feature:
Grand Jury Prize Winner: DIRTY WARS directed by Richard Rowley
Special Jury Prize Winner: REMOTE AREA MEDICAL directed by Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman
Audience Award Winner: BEST KEPT SECRET directed by Samantha Buck
Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing: Francisco Bello for OUR NIXON

Short Film:
Grand Jury Prize Winner: THE LAST ICE MERCHANT directed by Sandy Patch
Special Jury Prize Winner: SLOMO directed by Joshua Izenberg
Audience Award Winner: WORLD FAIR directed by Amanda Murray

The Narrative Feature Jury was comprised of. Writer/director/actor Jonathan Lisecki, actress Kate Lynn Sheil, and propmaster David Gulick. The Documentary Feature Jury was comprised of Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival/ The DocYard), Rebecca Richman Cohen (War Don Don, Code of the West), and Tim Cawley (From Nothing, Something). The Short Film Jury was comprised of filmmaker Kris Avedisian (Donald Cried), professor Zak Lee (Fitchburg State University), and writer/director Jody Lambert (Of All The Things, People Like Us).

Prizes included a a $500 cash prize from the Karen Schmeer Editing Fellowship (goes to Francisco Bello, OUR NIXON) and a choice of two of the following: HDCam, Blu-Ray for Projection, or DCP from Modulus Studios (goes to Sandy Patch, THE LAST ICE MERCHANT).

More information on the festival will be available shortly on the festival website at http://www.iffboston.org.

Sion Sono’s ‘Why Don’t You Play In Hell?’ teaser trailer is deliciously demented!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Sion Sono is one of the most prolific directors in the world and, damn, he’s been on a roll the last few years.

The 34-second teaser trailer to Sono’s new film Why Don’t You Play in Hell? features samurai, yakuza, operatic music, guns, katana and blood. Oh lots of blood.

Sono’s last two films Himizu and Land of Hope, were rather tonally serious – both films dealt with the after effects of the 2008 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan.  Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is not, judging by this awesome blood-soaked 34 second teaser, a continuation of the mature themes found in his previous work. Oh hell no. This just looks like bloody good fun.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is opening in Japan on September 28.

Check out the trailer:

Source: Twitch