Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we head over to record the wildlife of China, break out the cardboard in Africa, be enamored by the lives of strangers who impersonate the right and famous, power through a midlife meltdown, and upend the rom-com paradigm for little bit.

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London Road trailer

Here’s the first trailer for an unusual film musical. London Road is an adaptation of the stage musical that used real interviews with Ipswich townspeople as the basis for songs telling the story of community reaction to the actions Steve Wright, known as the Suffolk Strangler, who murdered five prostitutes in 2006. In other words, this is really heavy stuff, but told in a way that initially seems to contradict the weighty material.

Directed by Rufus Norris (Broken), the film features the acclaimed original stage cast, adds Olivia Colman, and also counts Tom Hardy amongst its roster. (Hardy only has one number in the film, so you won’t see him much in this marketing.) Check out the terrific London Road trailer below. Read More »

Nightingale Trailer

The solo show must be both one of the most appealing and among the most frightening prospects for an actor. David Oyelowo gets a chance to totally own the screen in HBO’s Nightingale, in which the actor plays a war veteran whose psyche is falling apart. That’s all I need to know, as Oyelowo is a powerful actor, and I would be happy to see his take on just about any role. Put him in a project like this, where it’s all on his shoulders, and the results might be spectacular.

The first Nightingale trailer only gives us a hint of where the film will go, but it’s enough to get across the sense that it’s going to be an emotional journey. Check it out below. Read More »

The Visit trailer

What if the gingerbread house witch in the story of Hansel and Gretel was the kids’ actual grandmother? That concept looks like part of the inspiration for The Visit, the new film from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. In the film, two siblings are sent off to visit their grandparents, and while the strictly-enforced 9:30pm bedtime seems weird right off the bat, the kids soon find that something is very definitely not right. There are late-night noises, strange behavior, and eventually some much weirder goings-on.

Check out The Visit trailer below. There’s even the beginning of a “kid in the oven” scene here, just to tie up the connection with the old Brothers Grimm tale. Read More »

Black Mass trailer

Hollywood doesn’t give us a lot of great gangster movies anymore, so when there’s one on the horizon that looks promising, we all get excited. Is this the next Scarface, White Heat, Goodfellas or Godfather? We don’t know yet, but Black Mass certainly has a shot at success.

Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) the film stars Johnny Depp as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, who became an FBI informant to help take down the Italian mob. The film co-stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Corey Stoll, Rory Cochrane, Sienna Miller, Adam Scott and opens in September.

Below, watch the first Black Mass trailer. Read More »

The Dead Lands

Both James Cameron and Peter Jackson love The Dead Lands. That’s a pretty amazing endorsement. Written by Glenn Standring and directed by Toa Fraser, the raw action movie is about a young warrior who must avenge his father’s death by traveling across the treacherous dead lands to forge an alliance with an stranger.

This small, New Zealand-based action film is currently in select theaters and on VOD. In the hopes you might check it out, the studio has provided /Film with an exclusive clip of one of the film’s action sequences. It features some dynamic camera moves and violence to illustrate why Cameron and Jackson love the movie so much.

Below, watch the exclusive Dead Lands clip, check out the trailer and read the specific quotes from James Cameron and Peter Jackson. Read More »

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Area 51 trailer

Area 51, in which a group of people breaks into the famed government alien holding area, is the long-shelved film from Oren Peli that was once intended to be a follow-up to Paranormal Activity. The film has been stuck in limbo with Paramount’s small Insurge banner for quite some time; the last update on the film came in 2013, and before that 2011.

Now Area 51 is about to get a very short theatrical life. Along with Drunk Wedding, another Insurge film, Area 51 will play sixteen Alamo Drafthouse locations for one weekend in May, alongside their VOD debuts. The first Area 51 trailer is below.  Read More »

ex machina dance scene

Alex Garland‘s directorial debut Ex Machina knocked us out with its combination of provocative writing, impeccable craftsmanship, and detailed performances from Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander. The film has played around the world and is gradually expanding across the United States.

Now there’s one more Ex Machina trailer to see, and it’s a doozy — a brief but dense treatise on the dangers of the development of artificial intelligence, set to some of the film’s darkly ominous score, by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury. Oh, and the film’s distributor has also released a video featuring the great Ex Machina dance scene. No spoilers in noting that (it’s official marketing, after all) but for those who’ve already seen the film, the second video below is going to be your jam. Read More »

Batman v Superman honest trailer

Three things are certain in life. Death, taxes, and Internet trailer parodies. The instant a big film trailer hits the web, you know hundreds of people start working on different parodies, memes, and whatever else they can come up with. In the past week, two of the year’s biggest trailers came online: Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Of course, so too came the parodies.

For Batman v Superman, Screen Junkies did an Honest Trailer version of the trailer, and someone else re-edited the footage with shots of Christopher Reeve and Adam West to give it a retro feel. Check out the Batman v Superman trailer parodies below. Read More »