"He is my love. My first love." Netflix has unveiled the first official trailer for an Italian young love romance titled Caught by a Wave (originally known as Sulla Stessa Onda), marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Massimiliano Camaiti. In a sunny summer in Sicily, Sara and Lorenzo meet for the first time. Their young love is born in between the waves but, soon, it will prove stronger than any obstacle. A summer fling in Sicily develops into a heartbreaking love story that forces a boy and girl to grow up too quickly as the deal with the reality of her life. The cast includes newcomers Elvira Camarrone and Roberto Christian as Sara and Lorenzo, along with Vincenzo Amato, Donatella Finocchiaro, Corrado Invernizzi, and Manuela Ventura. This looks very cute and charming, nothing like summer love. And boy Italy looks nice.
"Rough justice… That's what this administration wants." STX has released one more final trailer for The Mauritanian, the true story legal thriller filmmaker Kevin Macdonald about a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay. Based on the book "Guantanamo Diary" by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, the film tells the story of a detainee at the US military's Gitmo detention center who is held without charges for over a decade. He hopes for help from a new defense attorney. Their controversial advocacy, with new evidence uncovered by the formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Couch, eventually reveals a shocking and far reaching conspiracy. The film's ensemble cast includes Tahar Rahim as Mohamedou Ould Slahi, as well as Jodie Foster, Zachary Levi, Saamer Usmani, Shailene Woodley, plus Benedict Cumberbatch. The real highlight of this film is seeing Tahar Rahim's performance, which is absolutely phenomenal and makes this is a worthwhile watch. A tragic story, but there is some hope in compassion, and with those who care about others no matter what.
"Sin is waiting outside the door." Luxbox has revealed the first official trailer for Natural Light, a new gritty WWII thriller from Hungary, marking the first narrative feature from filmmaker Dénes Nagy. This is premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in a few weeks as a Competition selection, and still doesn't have any distribution set yet. Set in 1943 in Soviet occupied Hungary, the film follows a simple Hungarian farmer who servers as a Corporal in a special unit. On their way to a remote village, his company falls under enemy fire. As the commander is killed, Semetka has to overcome his fears and take command of the unit. Starring Ferenc Szabó, Tamás Garbacz, László Bajkó, Gyula Franczia, and Ernő Stuhl. Why do so many of the Eastern European WWII films look the same? Yes, we know it was a dark, depressing, terrible time, but is there any other good story to tell besides "look how bad it was for everyone." Not too sure about this film.
"Things that are below the surface, are better left that way…" Lionsgate has unveiled an official trailer for a "dark, gripping thriller" set on the sunny Carolina Beach in North Carolina. The Penthouse is directed by Italian filmmaker Max Cerchi and is being dumped direct-to-DVD this spring, which seems to be the right move for this film. A man covering up a crime assumes a nosy neighbor may have seen what he did. He turns the neighbor's lives upside down to keep his secret. But is there more to his motive? Of course there is! Find out the dull twists and reveals by watching this film on DVD. Starring Michael Paré, Vanessa Ore, Nicholas Turturro, Krista Grotte, Robert Fortunato, Irene Santiago, and David Schifter. I can't believe they hired a "movie voice" guy for this trailer, that just makes it so much worse than it already looks.
"I'm here for you." HBO has revealed the first teaser trailer for a new music doc called Tina, profiling the legendary singer Tina Turner. "Simply the best." This documentary will be premiering at the Berlin Film Festival in a few weeks, then will debut on HBO for streaming later in March. Made by the Academy Award-winning filmmakers behind the docs Undefeated, I Am Dying, and L.A. 92 previously. Featuring a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself, Tina presents an unvarnished and dynamic account of the life and career of music icon Tina Turner. Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, journalist Kurt Loder, playwright Katori Hall and Tina's husband Erwin Bach are among the interviews in the intimate documentary. It's described as "the defining and inspirational record of one of the greatest survivors in modern music" by Berlinale. This is going to be good.
"Let them… eat!" Get ready for the giant "Monster Seafood Wars" fight to begin!! A new trailer has debuted for this goofy, low-budget Japanese body-suit-kaiju creation from filmmaker Minoru Kawasaki. It recently premiered at last year's Fantasia Film Festival and already opened in Japan last summer, but there's still no US release set yet. Monster Seafood Wars (also stylized Monster SeaFood Wars) is a goofy comedy film about a "gigantic mutated squid monster" that attacks Tokyo. So they create the "Seafood Monster Attack Team (SMAT)" to fight the monster, but then even more giant seafood monsters show up, "plunging the world into culinary chaos." Sounds fun, doesn't it? Starring Keisuke Ueda and Ayano Christie Yoshida. This looks as crazy ridiculous as it sounds, which is part of the fun. Fantasia describes it as "a love letter to classic kaiju cinema, and a delicious homage to Japanese seafood cuisine on top of that!" Sounds delicious.
"You didn't tell me this was church camp?!" Netflix has released an official trailer for A Week Away, a big summer camp musical teen love story film from music video director Roman White. Launching on Netflix in March, for those interested in something extra sweet and cheesy. Troubled teen Will Hawkins has a run-in with the law that puts him at an important crossroad: go to juvenile detention or attend a Christian summer camp. At first a fish-out-of-water, Will opens his heart, discovers love with a camp regular, and a sense of belonging in the last place he expected to find it. Of course he did. The film stars Kevin Quinn and Bailee Madison as the lovers, plus Jahbril Cook, Kat Conner Sterling, Iain Tucker, with David Koechner and Sherri Shepherd. Aside from the religious aspects, this looks like dance-able, magical, summer fun.
"Get down there and kill her." Vertical has released a new trailer for SAS: Red Notice, an international action-thriller from Norwegian filmmaker Magnus Martens. A small army of well trained criminals have hijacked the Eurostar deep beneath the English Channel. Now with 400 hostages, the plan is to blow up the English Channel and in the process expose the British governments darkest secrets. But little do they know, they have one too many hostages, as SAS operator Tom Buckingham is on the train. With the woman he loves and an unborn baby also on board, Tom has one chance to stop Laszlo and his band of criminals. I admit this a cool setup, but it does look like direct-to-DVD action junk, for the most part. This stars Sam Heughan, Ruby Rose, Andy Serkis, Tom Hopper, Owain Yeoman, and Tom Wilkinson. Described as a "provocative and authentic portrayal of an emergency response operation" with some revenge added in.
"Whenever you made work, it ought to be about something… And it ought to be about something that mattered." Another "how did we miss this when it was first released?!" trailer to feature. Black Art: In the Absence of Light is a documentary already available to watch via HBO that was initially released earlier this month for Black History Month. Inspired by the late David Driskell's landmark 1976 exhibition, “Two Centuries of Black American Art," the documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light offers an illuminating introduction to the work of some of the foremost Black visual artists working today. Directed by filmmaker Sam Pollard, who also made the outstanding MLK/FBI doc released this year. The film shines a light on the extraordinary impact of Driskell's exhibit on generations of Black artists who have staked a claim on their rightful place within the art world. Featuring "insights and context from scholars and historians, along with interviews from a new generation of working African American curators and artists." Looks like a must see.
"You want the truth? I'll give you the truth." Crackle has released an official trailer for a documentary called Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story, which will debut streaming as a five-part series about the story behind video game giant Nintendo. The focus seems to be on the rise and prominence of Nintendo in America, not so much its origins in Japan, as told through interviews with many game industry veterans. We love Nintendo and good docs and can't help posting about this anyway. Via Nintendo Enthusiast, the film features interviews with "actor Wil Wheaton, actor Alison Haislip, Nintendo of America co-founder Ron Judy, Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske, former Nintendo CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé, and Xbox head Phil Spencer. But there are even more knowledgeable industry figures in the documentary where that came from, such as Digital Eclipse Editorial Director Chris Kohler, Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski, and composer Tommy Tallarico." It looks like a fun trip back through history.
"I came for you… You know that." Dark Star Pictures has revealed the official trailer for an intimate, indie drama titled Luz, one of the latest films from filmmaker Jon Garcia. Ruben Gonzales is a young Latino man who's fallen into the world of the mafiosos. When an accident leads him into incarceration, his relationship with the cartel and with his family is strained. While in prison, he falls in the complex hierarchical system until his cellmate and eventual lover Carlos, comes to his side and helps him find emotional and financial stability. When the men are released from prison 2 years apart, they again meet on the outside and while dealing with the circumstances that had them incarcerated in the first place, they ponder whether what they once had was real or just 2 people hoping to seek light in a dark place. Starring Ernesto Reyes as Ruben, and Jesse Tayeh as Carlos. This premiered at a few film festivals last year, and arrives on VOD this spring.
"What did you get me into?" Faith Media Distribution has revealed an official trailer for a New Jersey crime drama titled Dutch, from filmmakers Preston A. Whitmore II & David Wolfgang. Dutch introduces a player who will use any means necessary to dominate the streets and beyond. For Bernard James, Jr. aka "Dutch", survival is the ultimate score and power is the deadliest high of all. There isn't an angle he can't work or a woman he can't seduce. Then when he gains control of an African drug lord's stolen heroin business, Dutch quickly makes it the most feared drug empire on the East Coast. Naturally, there are now plenty of enemies vowing to take him down, including a vengeful Mafia heir, an ambitious D.A., and a conscience-stricken former friend. The cast includes Lance Gross as Dutch, Jeremy Meeks, Macy Gray, Gunna, Natasha Marc, Tyrin Turner, Melissa Williams, Markice Moore, and Michael Blackson. This looks solid, but it also looks like a TV show with the glossy sheen of some serial crime drama more than a feature film.