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Indies

“Sometimes I feel like you’re the only one who gets me.” Cinedigm has released the trailer for an amusing indie comedy titled Dear Dictator, which has a goofy, perhaps ridiculous premise. Michael Caine plays a British-Caribbean dictator who is forced to leave his island nation. He decides to move in and hide out with his “pen pal” (is this the 90s?), a young rebellious teenage girl, as played by Odeya Rush (from The Giver, Goosebumps, Almost Friends, Lady Bird). Somehow they make this work in a weird way, and of course he helps teach her how to “start a revolution and overthrow the ‘mean girls’ in her high school.” It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it also doesn’t look that good either. But, Michael Caine! He’s always great, right? The cast includes Jason Biggs, Katie Holmes, Seth Green, and Jordyn Cavros. Check it out if you’re intrigued. Here’s the first official trailer for Lisa Addario & Joe Syracuse’s Dear …

“We’ve had a lot of wonderful trips in this ole rust bucket.” A new official international trailer from the UK has debuted for the indie roadtrip comedy The Leisure Seeker. This film actually premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals last fall, mostly because it’s directed by a veteran Italian filmmaker named Paolo Virzì. The Leisure Seeker stars two great actors – Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland – who go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call “The Leisure Seeker” as a runaway couple. The film’s cast includes Christian McKay, Janel Moloney, and Kirsty Mitchell. The emotional side of the story is that Sutherland’s character is losing his memory as they get older, and this may be the last vacation they’ll remember together. It received mostly bad reviews at festivals, but looks like it might appeal to a few folks. Here’s the official UK trailer for Paolo Virzì’s The Leisure Seeker, direct from YouTube (via TMB): And …

“You think I’m talented, don’t you?” The Orchard has debuted a trailer for the indie comedy That’s Not Me, a quirk story about a struggling woman from Australia who has to take an “underwhelming” job at a local cinema after failing to get any acting gigs. Aussie comedian/actress Alice Foulcher stars as Polly, and the cast includes Isabel Lucas, Richard Davies, Belinda Misevski, Rowan Davie, and Andrew S. Gilbert. Here’s a more specific synopsis for the film: “Constantly mistaken for her famous identical twin, an aspiring actress decides to use her sister’s celebrity to her own advantage. What begins harmlessly enough – free clothes, casual sex – ends with disastrous consequences for them both” because her twin sister makes it famous before she does. This played at a bunch of festivals last year and seems like an amusing little indie. Here’s the first official trailer (+ poster) for Gregory Erdstein’s That’s Not Me, direct from YouTube: Polly’s (Alice Foulcher) dreams of making …

“This isn’t the plan! They re-routed me…” Momentum has unveiled a trailer for an indie drug thriller titled Beast of Burden, from Swedish filmmaker Jesper Ganslandt. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as a pilot who must deliver an illegal cargo of cocaine across the US-Mexico border for his final run as a smuggler to save his wife. Most of the film takes place in the cockpit following Radcliffe as he flies his Cessna across the border. The cast includes Grace Gummer, Pablo Schreiber and Renée Willett. This seems like it has some intense action scenes, with drones, helicopters, and guns. Crazy. Worth a look because it is so unique. Here’s the first official trailer (+ poster) for Jesper Ganslandt’s Beast of Burden, direct from YouTube: Sean Haggerty (Radcliffe) only has an hour to deliver his illegal cargo. An hour to reassure a drug cartel, a hitman, and the DEA that nothing is wrong. An hour to make sure his wife survives. And …

Back to Sundance we go for another year of discovery. What’s on the line-up this year? Out of the 110+ films showing at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, I’ve chosen 10 that I’m looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I’ve chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. There are so many films playing at the fest, and so many I’ll end up seeing (30+), that this is a quick list to get everyone acquainted with some of the work premiering in 2018 (I just want to go see everything). There are new films from great filmmakers like Desiree Akhavan and Reed Morano, and docs about Robin Williams and Fred Rogers, and many other films. You never know what will good or bad, but here’s my first few picks for 2018. This is my 12th year in a row returning to Sundance, starting back in 2007. I’m so excited to be attending Sundance once …

“This doesn’t just go away… You have to fight with it, or you die.” Amazon Studios has debuted the very first teaser trailer for Gus Van Sant’s latest film, titled Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, which is premiering at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival starting this week. The film shows on Friday night, and we’ll be there at the world premiere. Based on John Callahan’s memoir, the story follows a Portland slacker who nearly loses his life in a car accident, and lives in wheelchair after. He tries to give up alcohol and figure out how to live a better life, discovering a love for drawing “edgy, irreverent” newspaper cartoons. Joaquin Phoenix stars as John Callahan, and the cast includes Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill, Beth Ditto, Olivia Hamilton, Udo Kier, Kim Gordon, and Carrie Brownstein. I’m very impressed, this is a stellar teaser, with some excellent classic rock music and solid footage. Looking forward to catching this …

“He’s probably still in love with you…” FilmRise has debuted a trailer for a charming romantic drama film titled The Boy Downstairs, from newcomer Sophie Brooks. The film played at the Tribeca and London Film Festivals, and will hit limited theaters starting February. Zosia Mamet (from “Girls”, Wiener-Dog, Kate Can’t Swim) stars as a woman who moves back to New York City and finds the perfect apartment to live in. However, she discovers her ex-boyfriend happens to be living in the apartment downstairs, and deals with her feelings for him while trying to figure out how to be successful in her own way. The cast includes Matthew Shear as the “boy”, as well as Sarah Ramos, Deirdre O’Connell, and Diana Irvine. I saw this in London and it’s charming, very quirky, but not that memorable or original in its story, but still good. Here’s the first official trailer for Sophie Brooks’ The Boy Downstairs, direct from YouTube: Diana (Zosia Mamet) moves back …

“I used to know and approve everything that went on around here…” So, this is one of the strangest trailers we’ve seen in a while. A few years back at the Sundance Film Festival, a funky little film titled Escape from Tomorrow premiered. They filmed it secretly at Disneyland without Disney’s involvement, and pretty much everyone expected it would never be released. But it did get released and is available on Netflix. Now five years later, another odd film has popped up that was filmed entirely in secret at Disney World in Orlando, without Disney being aware at all. It’s called The Further Adventures of Walt’s Frozen Head and involves a Disney employee discovering Walt Disney’s frozen head and kidnapping it for a day in the Magic Kingdom. Yeah, it’s weird. This doesn’t look good, but it does look like it’s another fun anti-Disney creation. First trailer for Benjamin Lancaster’s The Further Adventures of Walt’s Frozen Head, on YouTube: The Further Adventures …

“What kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into?” Samuel Goldwyn Films has released an official trailer for an indie drama titled Allure, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last fall. The indie drama is the feature directorial debut of filmmaking brothers Carlos Sanchez and Jason Sanchez, and stars Evan Rachel Wood as a woman who has experienced abuse in her past, now working as a house cleaner for her father’s company. She meets another young woman named Eva, played by Julia Sarah Stone, and they make a deep connection that helps them both move forward. The film received some strong reviews, mostly praising Evan Rachel Wood and her performance as “frighteningly good.” The main cast includes Denis O’Hare and Maxim Roy. This looks like a very important, emotional drama that will mean a lot to women. Here’s the first official trailer Carlos Sanchez & Jason Sanchez’s Allure, direct from YouTube: Laura (Evan Rachel Wood) works as a house cleaner for …

“Once we have the bag secure, take ’em all out.” Saban + Lionsgate have debuted the official US trailer for the survival action thriller Braven, from director Lin Oeding, starring Jason Momoa. We featured the first international trailer just last week, and get to follow that up with this trailer. The film will open in US theaters and on VOD in early February, for those interested. Momoa plays a humble lumberback working on the US/Canada border, who must fight back to save and protect his family when “elite” drug runners run into some problems with a shipment of heroin. The full cast includes Garrett Dillahunt, Stephen Lang, Jill Wagner, Brendan Fletcher, Sala Baker, and Zahn McClarnon. This seems like an entertaining action movie for the current January/February season when there’s not many good movies out there. Enjoy. Here’s the new official US trailer (+ poster) for Lin Oeding’s Braven, direct from YouTube: You can still watch the original international trailer for Braven …