It looks like all of the elements are in place for Terminator: Dark Fate to win back fans of the franchise who were disappointed in Salvation and Genisys. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Check. Linda Hamilton? Check. A film gritty enough to earn an R rating? Check. At Comic Con, director Tim Miller confirmed what many had been hoping: The series is returning to its R-rated roots, and he told us why. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tim Miller)
Terminator: Dark Fate will open in theaters on November 1.
Summer Night centers on a group of twentysomethings over a 24 hour period in a small Northern California town as they deal with their respective relationships and their growing steps towards adulthood. The film marks the feature directing debut of actor Joseph Cross (Running with Scissors, Big Little Lies).
With a talented cast that includes Victoria Justice, Analeigh Tipton, and Justin Chatwin, it’s Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood) who serves as the narrative’s central figure. Jameson (Coltrane) is a teacher who, while juggling feelings for his ex-girlfriend (Elena Kampouris) and a new love interest (Justice), feels a bit stagnant in his own life.
“Ellar just has this intrinsic thing where you want to watch him and spend time with him,” said Cross. “He’s got a meditative spirit and I thought that was the right person, he’s obviously not our narrator but he’s a little bit of our de facto eyes into the world in this storyline. We had a really good time.”
Click on the media bar to hear Joseph Cross talk about how Summer Night is not your average coming of age tale:
Directed and shot by Richard Ladkani, Sea of Shadows centers on the multi-pronged attempts to save the vaquita porpoise, an endangered species that lives in the Sea of Cortez. Illegal nets are cast in the ocean to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladders are sold on the black market. With the Sinaloa drug cartel and Chinese traffickers involved in this operation, saving the vaquita seems like an uphill battle.
One of the greatest strengths of Sea of Shadows is its aim to be more than just a talking head documentary. Ladkani along with editors George Michael Fisher and Verena Schönauer spent ten months editing the documentary. “When I do a film, especially about a tough topic when it’s about the extinction and saving our planet, I really want to focus on the positive sides of the story. I look for heroes,” said Ladkani “I look for inspiration. And I also want to make the movie very cinematic and a beautiful experience.”
Click on the media bar to hear Ladkani talk about his continued collaboration with Earth League International’sAndrea Crosta (the pair worked together on the Netflix documentary The Ivory Game):
Extra Ordinary centers on Rose (Maeve Higgins), a driving instructor who can talk to spirits. Rose uses her talents to aid Martin (Barry Ward) in his attempts to save his daughter Sarah (Emma Coleman). Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) co-stars as Martin, a has been rock star who has Sarah under his spell as he tries to complete a Satanic pact which he believes will ensure his fame! The narrative is set in a small Irish town.
The picture marks the feature directing debut of Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, and the feature received its share of great reviews when it hit the SXSW Festival. It has a pretty funny trailer, and this seemingly charming comedy runs a scant 93 minutes. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!
Directed by Richard Ladkani (The Ivory Game), Sea of Shadowsis a riveting documentary that, while providing much needed information about an endangered species, is also an immersive storytelling experience.
There are only 15 vaquita porpoises that survive on this world, and they reside near the Sea of Cortez. Fisherman have cast their nets into the surrounding ocean to catch totoaba, a fish whose swim bladders are valuable in the Chinese market. These nets end up catching other marine life in the area, including the vaquita. Every person in this totoaba chain are grabbing a profit, and it is imperative to put an end to this criminal operation.
Journalist Carlos Loret De Mola and Earth League International head Andrea Crosta are just two of the individuals who are determined to expose these traffickers. The documentary also spotlights the efforts of Dr. Cynthia Smith’s efforts to create a Laquita program that will ensure their safety and gradually increase their numbers. A non-profit organization called Sea Shepherd also add to these efforts, as they patrol the oceans to grab these illegal fishermen’s nets, placing their own lives in harm’s way.
These are just a few elements that are part of Sea of Shadows, and Ladkani could have easily made this a talking head documentary and still make it a worthwhile and informative viewing experience. Instead, he places his camera and crew right in the thick of the action, as we witness the efforts to save a vaquita as well as follow Crosta’s undercover mission to gain valuable intel from one of the traffickers. During the documentary’s final chapter we have a bird’s eye look at a riot that seemingly turned dangerous at a moment’s notice, and Ladkani was there to capture the moment.
It’s difficult to blend propulsive, arrestingly shot narratives while also providing audience members with intriguing information, but Sea of Shadows excels in both aspects. It’s a must see documentary from National Geographic, and one of the best films of this year.