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Original author: 
Germain Lussier

Short Term 12

At this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, one film took home both top prizes awarded by the Grand Jury and Audience. That film, Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, opens August 23. Now you can get a look at the movie, as the first trailer has just been released.

Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. as a young couple who have to balance their own personal issues with the problems of the displaced kids they oversee at a foster home. It’s a glorious, special film I gave a perfect 10/10 score. (My first.) Check out the trailer below and see what all the fuss is about.

Thanks to Yahoo Movies for the trailer, in which I’m quoted. It’s an honor.

I can’t stress enough how good Short Term 12 is. Cretton does a masterful job of balancing nearly every emotion imaginable in a beautiful story that’s uplifting, heartbreaking and filled with the kind of performances they study in film school. However, if you don’t believe me, the film’s official Twitter has been doing a great job of linking all kinds of reactions to the film’s festival run, where standing ovations and tears are the norm.

What did you think of the trailer?

Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.). But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility: a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. While the subject matter is complex, this lovingly realized film finds truth – and humor – in unexpected places. The second feature from Destin Daniel Cretton (I Am Not a Hipster), Short Term 12 also stars Kaitlyn Dever (Bad Teacher), Rami Malek (The Master), and Keith Stanfield.

Your rating: None

Here’s what looks like the surfer version of Dogtown and Z-Boys. The Australian film Drift is based on a true story of brothers who moved from surfing into the manufacture and sales of surf gear. It’s a ’70s-set tale of enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, with Myles Pollard and Xavier Samuel in the lead roles, and Sam Worthington in a wig for a supporting role as the photographer who pushes them forward, but might also direct them towards the seductive potential of crime.

Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott co-directed from a script by O’Neill. The last shot is pretty impressive, but there’s enough in the trailer as a whole that Drift looks like it’s worth a look. Check out the trailer below.

Thanks to Twitch for the trailer. Drift opens in Australia in 2013, and will have a US date announced in the near future. Here’s a long synopsis:

Australia, 1970s. The Kelly brothers, Andy and Jimmy, have one great passion: riding big waves. As kids, their mother escaped from Sydney to Margaret River, a sleepy coastal town with some of the world’s most challenging and dangerous waves. For the next 12 years, the boys perfected their surfing skills, always searching for the perfect ride. Free-spirited Jimmy is a gifted surfer and innovator but he starts to slip toward a life of crime to help the family out of debt. Andy makes a big decision. Quitting a stable job, he bets on Jimmy’s surf inventions and his own business skills and launches a backyard surf gear business. They rethink board design, craft homemade wetsuits and sell their merchandise out of their van.

Encouraged by their new friends, travelling bohemian surf photographer and filmmaker JB (Sam Worthington) and his gorgeous Hawaiian surfer companion, Lani, who stirs the two brothers’ hearts, they start to seek ways to expand. After they get mixed up with a local drug dealer, it looks like everything they built up, will be ruined… Set in breathtaking locations and inspired by the true story of Australia’s legendary surfwear moguls, the film chronicles the rise of surf brands and the expansion of the laidback surf attitude as a global lifestyle. A story of passion and corruption, friendship and loyalty, deadly addictions and fractured relationships, DRIFT tells a tale of courage and the will to survive against all odds.

Your rating: None

The most striking film of the summer is Benh Zeitlin‘s first feature Beasts of the Southern Wild. The movie follows a young girl, Hushpuppy, as her patched-together coastal world starts to crumble. Her father falls prey to a sickness, and her home is destroyed, as giant horned boars, called Aurochs, are freed from icy prisons before rampaging towards Hushpuppy in a charge of… well, that’s the part I’ll leave to the film.

While Beasts isn’t much of a spoil-able story, this featurette might give a bit more away than some like. So those who have seen the film are a better audience for this than others. The Aurochs have a heavy presence in the story, and seeing them created in very simple ways provides a stark contrast to the images in the movie.

Take a look at how tiny pigs became monsters, below.

Apple has the HD version of the featurette. Beasts of the Southern Wild is in theaters now, and is highly recommended.

In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.

Your rating: None

Screen Shot 2012-04-02 at 9.27.20 AM

It’s hard being a hacker’s darling. Pastebin is a dox dumping site – as well as a useful tool for programmers and writers who want to share a piece of text or store it for later – and it is facing what could be a termed a problem of popularity. Because groups like Anonymous have used the service to dump sensitive information, the company has been banned in Turkey and Pakistan and, more important, has become the target of DDOS attacks by kiddies who want to test their exciting new scripts. The result? A company that is, by all metrics, growing, now needs to spend money and solicit volunteers to protect itself from its biggest fans.

After a BBC story noted Pastebin’s problems, the site’s owner, Jeroen Vader, received a number of offers to help police the site for free. The monitors will pull down questionable content when users report seeing it using the site’s interface.

“Exactly how many people will be hired is not known yet. What is surprising is the amount of offers that I received in the mail since the publishing of the BBC article. It’s quite amazing how many people are willing to help out as volunteers,” he said.

He said Pastebin is seeing 17 million unique visitors per month and that he’s getting more DDOS attacks than he currently can handle. “Fighting these certainly is no fun,” he said. His goal is to create a space that is used more for code and text sharing than information dumps.

Anonymous isn’t happy with this move, recommending its minions use a Pastebin clone, PasteBay, instead. PasteBay claims to be uncensored and unmonitored, something that I’m less inclined to trust than a dude who is just trying to run a legal business by working within the confines of international law.

Owner of #Pastebin plans to hire moreStaff toHelp police"sensitive information"posted to the site.… (use #pastebay)

Anonymous Sweden (@AnonOpsSweden) April 02, 2012

Your rating: None

The latest film from Abel Ferrara, one of the most dedicated indie filmmakers working, is 4:44 Last Day on Earth, which presents a story in which the world is about to end. Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh play a couple living in New York, and we watch as they live through what may be their last hours, as the world is supposedly going to end at 4:44 AM the next day. Reviews of the movie weren’t great when it premiered at festivals last year, but this trailer is fairly convincing.

It’s taking me a minute to get past one thing in this trailer, which is that it seems to feature a new song from Tom Waits. That’s not the case, though — the score, and the trailer song are by a guy named Francis Kuipers, who sounds a whole hell of a lot like Waits.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and a video for the song contained therein.

4:44 Last Day on Earth will be released in theaters and on demand on March 23rd.

In a large apartment high above the city lives our couple. They’re in love. She’s a painter, he’s a successful actor. Just a normal afternoon – except that this isn’t a normal afternoon, for them or anyone else. Because tomorrow, at 4:44 am, give or take a few seconds, the world will come to an end far more rapidly than even the worst doomsayer could have imagined. The final meltdown will come not without warnings, but with no means of escape. There will be no survivors. As always, there are those who, as their last cigarette is being lit and the blindfold tightened, will still hope against hope for some kind of reprieve. For a miracle. Not our two lovers. They – like the majority of the Earth’s population – have accepted their fate: the world is going to end.

Here’s the video for ‘Blindfold Blues’ by Francis Kuipers.

Your rating: None

After breaking out in 2004 with the acclaimed Maria Full of Grace, director Joshua Marston moved into television, helming episodes of Six Feet Under, In Treatment, and How to Make It in America. Now, eight years later, Marston’s finally returning to the silver screen with his second feature The Forgiveness of Blood.

Written by Marston and Andamion Murataj, the Albanian-language drama deals with the life-changing consequences of a violent altercation between two small town families. Like Marston’s previous film, The Forgiveness of Blood features inexperienced actors in the lead roles — and as with Maria Full of Grace, which earned star Catalina Sandino Moreno an Oscar nomination for her first professional role, Marston seems to draw some rather impressive performances here from young stars Tristan Halilaj and Sindi Laçej. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

[via The Playlist]

The Forgiveness of Blood won the Silver Bear Award for Best Screenplay upon its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last year, and though the reviews I’ve read aren’t quite as strong as they were for Maria Full of Grace, overall it’s been well received on the festival circuit over the past several months. Sundance Selects acquired the picture last spring, and has it scheduled for a limited U.S. release starting February 24.


Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival, the powerful and richly textured second feature from Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) focuses on an Albanian family caught up in a blood feud. Nik (Tristan Halilaj) is a carefree teenager in a small town with a crush on the school beauty and ambitions to start his own internet café. His world is suddenly up-ended when his father and uncle become entangled in a land dispute that leaves a fellow villager murdered. According to a centuries-old code of law, this entitles the dead man’s family to take the life of a male from Nik’s family as retribution. His uncle in jail and his father in hiding, Nik is the prime target and confined to the home while his younger sister Rudina (Sindi Laçej) is forced to leave school and take over their father’s business. Working with non-professional Albanian actors and a local co-writer, Marston boldly contrasts antiquated traditions with the lives of the young people whose future is put at risk by them.

Your rating: None

Japanese director Takashi Miike works fast. Blink and you’ll miss three films from the filmmaker, who is more happy than any other working director to leap from period action to hyper-violent thrillers to a kids’ movie. Back in May he said “It is a very light comedy that I am filming now, a court drama, based on a video game, the Nintendo game DS.” That led us to realize that he is making an adaptation of the Capcom Ace Attorney game series, which debuted in the US with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

Now we’ve got the first video footage of the movie, called Gyakuten Saiban (Turnabout Trial) in Japan. Just from the perspective of bringing the game’s visuals to the screen, this looks spot-on. We don’t know if it will be a good movie — with Miike the results can vary widely — but it looks fun, at the very least.

This video is from a Japanese talk show, and you’ll have to hear a lot more of the hosts and guests than you will of the actual movie footage. The first clips are replayed a couple times, but if you scrub through there is more Phoenix Wright footage to be found deeper in the embed.

Here’s a trailer for the game so you can compare the footage:

[via Wario64 and my friend Triphibian on Twitter]

Your rating: None

Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros. decided to skip this fall’s festival circuit with the biopic J. Edgar. While a good many of the other major fall studio releases have been seen and reviewed in the past three weeks via Telluride, Venice and TIFF, we’ve seen nothing from this biography of America’s most powerful lawman, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.

Now the shroud is off the film as Warner Bros. released the first trailer for Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays the FBI chief and Armie Hammer (The Social Network) appears as his second-in-command and rumored love, Clyde Tolson. See the trailer below.

The trailer opens with an in-character narration by DiCaprio as Hoover, before going into a montage of Hoover’s young life and early days with the Bureau. Clyde Tolson is shown as a starry-eyed fan of Hoover, but their relationship isn’t so one-sided, as suggested by a later shot. We see Hoover’s obsession with information and the power it gives him over political figures. In all: looks like more or less the biopic one would expect.

And, just in case you thought Clint Eastwood might change up the measured, calm style he has practiced in the past, forget it: this is pure, deliberate Eastwood. In this case, that’s probably a good thing. Too early to judge the overall impact of the film based on just this bit of footage, but the period recreation appears to be spot-on without feeling put on.

Apple has the HD trailer.

Your rating: None

Don’t let the cheery title fool you: Oranges & Sunshine actually tells a harrowing tale that’s all the more distubring for being true. In the first feature by director Jim Loach (son of The Wind That Shakes the Barley helmer Ken Loach), a social worker named Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) encounters a woman seeking answers about her past. As Humphreys digs deeper, she uncovers a massive conspiracy to deport thousands of abandoned kids from British children’s homes to brutal work camps in Australia. Hugo Weaving and David Wenham also star.

Though it sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, the events are actually chillingly recent — the real-life Humphreys conducted her investigation in the ’80s and learned that these injustices had taken place during the ’50s and ’60s. Watch the trailer after the jump.

[via Thompson on Hollywood]

The U.S. trailer involves much of the same footage as the earlier trailer, but seems to downplay the tearjerker aspects somewhat in favor of showing off more of the film’s dramatic side. I think the new video looks much more exciting, because you get a better sense of what Humphreys was really up against.

Oranges & Sunshine was recently picked up by Cohen Media, and is expected to hit U.S. theaters sometime next month. The film has already opened in several countries, to mostly positive reviews.


On a dank night in Nottingham, Margaret Humphreys, a British social worker, is cornered by an angry Australian woman. It is 1986. The woman, Charlotte, tells Margaret, ‘I want to find out who I am.’ She says that she was in a Nottingham children’s home when she was put on a boat and, at just four years of age, sent to Australia. There were several hundred other kids like her. Margaret can barely believe her story. A week later, Margaret learns of a man who was taken to Australia as a boy on another ship full of children. She starts to look more closely at the archives. What begins as an attempt to help Charlotte find her mother, soon turns into the discovery of thousands of other lost sons and daughters… and one of the most significant social scandals of our time.

Your rating: None

Earlier this year we saw Japanese trailers for Takeshi Kitano‘s latest film Outrage, which marks his return to gangster pictures. (He previously made one of the best Japanese gangster films, Sonatine, as well as other movies about the Yakuza.)

Now we’ve got a US trailer via Magnet, and if you wanted a clearer look at the film than those Japanese clips provided, this should do the trick.

Reviews of Outrage haven’t been killer, but I’m a sucker for Beat Takeshi, and there’s no way I would miss this one. The film looks decent — the trailer makes it out to be a slightly livlier than usual Beat Takeshi movie — and that’s all I really need to see.

Magnet will release Outrage on December 2.

iTunes has the HD trailer.

In a ruthless battle for power, several yakuza clans vie for the favor of their head family in the Japanese underworld. The rival bosses seek to rise through the ranks by scheming and making allegiances sworn over sake. Long-time yakuza Otomo has seen his kind go from elaborate body tattoos and severed fingertips to becoming important players on the stock market. Theirs is a never-ending struggle to end up on top, or at least survive, in a corrupt world where there are no heroes but constant betrayal and vengeance.

Your rating: None