Spin Me Round trailer finds Alison Brie looking for love in Italy

A successful collaboration on Horse Girl for Netflix, Alison Brie and Jeff Baena are reuniting for a new film, Spin Me Round. In this story, Brie leads the cast as Amber, a high-performing manager for a chain of Italian restaurants in America. When Amber is selected to travel to Italy for an all-expenses-paid corporate retreat, she also harbors dreams of getting swept off her feet by the man of her dreams. In the trailer below, it looks like Amber might get her wish. That said, there’s definitely something off about the whole thing.

Nick Martucci (Alessandro Nivola), the Italian owner of the restaurant chain, seems more than willing to play into Amber’s romantic fantasies. But the biggest red flag is Nick’s personal assistant, Kat, as played by the ever-talented Aubrey Plaza. Kat literally wakes up Amber at an odd hour to get her ready for Nick, and she seems a bit too invested in letting the duo have their fun.

It’s not clear from the trailer if there’s actually anything sinister going on, but the description of the film promises that Amber’s “romantic getaway devolves into chaos and catastrophe.”

Molly Shannon co-stars in the film as Deb, alongside Lil Rel Howery as Paul, Tim Heidecker as Fran, Ben Sinclair as Craig, Fred Armisen as Ricky, Ayden Mayeri as Jen, Debby Ryan as Susie, Zach Woods as Dana, Ego Nwodim as Emily, Jake Picking as Ben, and Tricia Helfer as Sofia.

Brie co-wrote the film with Baena, who also directed it. IFC Films produced Spin Me Round, which will get a limited theatrical release on August 19. Spin Me Round will also get a simultaneous bow on digital outlets and on AMC+ on the same day it hits theaters.

Aubrey Plaza goes rogue in Emily the Criminal’s new trailer

Aubrey Plaza play unhinged characters in Ingrid Goes West and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, as well as her malevolent performance in FX’s non-MCU show Legion. But Plaza is fully amoral in the new trailer for the upcoming crime drama Emily the Criminal. And while Emily doesn’t outwardly appear to be a criminal mastermind, she’s well on her way by the end of this preview. And can you blame her? In this economy, crime really pays.

The trailer introduces viewers to Emily (Aubrey Plaza), and when we meet her, she’s anything but a hardened crook. But she does have a criminal record, and that makes finding a real job difficult. Enter Youcef (Theo Rossi), an enterprising young criminal who enlists Emily in a credit card scam. All she has to do is use stolen credit cards to buy merchandise before the cops or the stores realize what’s going on. The problem is that these minor heists aren’t enough for either Emily or Youcef. They want bigger and better payouts, and that’s going to lead them deeper into the criminal underworld. But with the potential windfalls ahead, Emily isn’t even thinking about turning back from the edge.

Megalyn Echikunwoke also stars in the film as Liz, alongside Gina Gershon as Alice, Jonathan Avigdori as Khalil, Bernardo Badillo as Javier, and Brandon Sklenar as Brent.

John Patton Ford wrote and directed Emily the Criminal, which was produced by Plaza, Tyler Davidson, and Drew Sykes. Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment will give Emily the Criminal a limited theatrical release on Friday, August 12.

Black Bird review: An outstanding cast lifts Apple TV+’s dark series

Crime dramas based on real events are having quite a moment right now — and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The real-life stories that inspire the shows have a potent, macabre appeal, and the actors involved in them are afforded the opportunity to explore some extremely dark places through a wide range of fascinating, all-too-real characters.

The Apple TV+ series Black Bird is a sterling example of just such a project, and elevates an already compelling real-world story with powerful performances from leads Taron Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser — the latter of whom makes a strong case for himself when the next award season comes round.

The six-part series casts Egerton as James “Jimmy” Keene, a drug runner who cuts a deal with federal prosecutors to have his 10-year sentence commuted if he can convince fellow convict Larry Hall (Hauser) to confess incriminating details about the abduction and murder of several young girls. To do so, he must enter a hellish, maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and gain Hall’s trust while avoiding threats posed by both inmates and corrupt guards and keeping his mission a secret. The series is inspired by Keene’s own 2010 autobiographical novel In With The Devil: A Fallen Hero, A Serial Killer, and A Dangerous Bargain for Redemption and is developed by Dennis Lehane (The Wire) for Apple. Egerton and Hauser deliver sublime performances as Keene and Hall, the focus of his dangerous assignment.

Egerton has always been fantastic at playing characters brimming over with (and occasionally hiding behind) confidence, regardless of their actual abilities. Playing Keene, however, asks a bit more of Egerton, as the Rocketman and Kingsman actor must shift between the various versions of himself Keene presents in the series. There’s the image of Keene he presents to the world, the persona he presents to Hall, and the person he is when he’s alone and allows himself to be vulnerable. It’s a role that requires plenty of nuance and flexibility, and Egerton brings his best to the performance.

Hauser continues to build his reputation as one of Hollywood’s hidden gems. Whether he’s elevating a henchman role in Cruella, playing the titular lead in biopic Richard Jewell, or portraying a fan-favorite character in Cobra Kai, Hauser finds a way to make every role unique and memorable — and his portrayal of Hall is no exception. From his slumped posture and conversational affectations to the sense of simmering danger baked into his quiet moments, everything Hauser brings to the character enriches the picture of Hall he paints. Given the raw, disturbing subject matter the role demands, it’s not an easy character to inhabit, but Hauser disappears into Hall’s sad, sinister skin with terrifying (and impressive) ease.

While the show’s two leads deliver performances strong enough to carry the entire series, Black Bird has an embarrassment of riches in its supporting cast, too. in one of his final roles before his death earlier this year, Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) plays Keene’s father “Big Jim” Keene, a retired police officer with an unconditional love for his son — despite all of his mistakes. It’s a softer, more emotional performance for Liotta than we’re accustomed to, but it’s wonderful to see the celebrated actor explore this kind of role.