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 don our nut cutters, headbands and knee high socks and pay homage to one of basketball’s greats, get serious about our nation’s racial divide by way of South Africa, find out the origins of one of the world’s greatest take out dishes, find Professor X giving the performance of a lifetime, we try not to get killed by reporting on the news, and Chris asks the audience if a binge watch of Black Mirror would be a good idea.

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Mozart in the Jungle trailer

The current season of Amazon original shows offers up another debut series later this month, when Mozart in the Jungle begins streaming on Amazon Prime. The show, from creators Paul Weitz, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Alex Timbers, adapts the memoir by Blair Tindell. The story follows dynamic young conductor Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal) as he shakes up a major New York City symphony orchestra. Rodrigo has a nonconformist style and a demanding approach to conducting… and he also seems to have conversations with Mozart. There’s more than that — some sex, some power struggles, and potential new personalities as Rodrigo cleans house in the orchestra — all of which is shown to some degree in this Mozart in the Jungle trailer. Read More »

The Search for General Tso

If you’ve ever looked at a Chinese menu and wondered who the heck General Tso was and why we’re eating his chicken, director Ian Cheney finally has an answer for you. And it’s not as straightforward as you might expect.

In the new documentary The Search for General Tso, Cheney dives into the melting-pot origins of the Chinese-American restaurant staple, zipping across both countries and coming up with some tasty findings. Watch The Search for General Tso trailer after the jump. Read More »

The Best Teaser Trailers of All Time

The Best Teaser Trailers Of All Time

I love teaser trailers. We live in a day and age where most Hollywood trailers show too much, valuing cool footage over mystery, surprise and a well-constructed edit. There is an art to the teaser trailer. Some filmmakers such as Brad Bird, Christopher Nolan, JJ Abrams, and, yes, Michael Bay, are still able to take creative control over the early marketing and cut awesome packages that are big on excitement and mystery without revealing too much. Other editors, like Mark Woollen, craft great teasers with input from directors such as the Coen Brothers.

I love that teaser trailers can spotlight the promise of a high concept idea. I love that teaser trailers can act as a tone poem for a more complicated dramatic film. I love that a teaser trailer can show so little of the actual film yet get me more excited than the two and a half minute final trailer.  Over the last week I tried to compile a list of the best teaser trailers of all time and rank them.  After the jump you can find my list of the best teaser trailers of all time.

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What We Do in the Shadows trailer

Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Eagle vs. Shark) play centuries-old vampires in the comedy What We Do in the Shadows, which they also wrote and directed. The film is akin to a Christopher Guest take on the vampires vs. werewolves conflict, but imbued with the humor that will be familiar to fans of Flight of the Conchords. It’s a very funny movie with innumerable small, clever touches. And this What We Do in the Shadows trailer is the first to really capture what makes the film work  – it’s a great trailer. Read More »

Terminator Genisys Trailer

Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for Alan Taylor‘s Terminator: Genisys, which acts as a reboot of the Terminator series, and a sequel to the existing films, and possibly the first film in a new trilogy. Watch the Terminator Genisys trailer embedded after the jump.

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While We're Young

If Noah Baumbach‘s last film, Frances Ha, was a pitch-perfect examination of young adulthood, his next one, While We’re Young, looks like an equally astute look at middle adulthood. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star as a 40something married couple who befriend a 20something hipster couple (played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). Watch the first While We’re Young trailer after the jump.

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Top Five red-band trailer

Chris Rock is back in full force right now. His new movie, Top Five, which he wrote, directed, and stars in, opens in a couple weeks. And he also wrote an incredible essay for THR on what it’s like to be black in the Hollywood system. Read that link, then come back here to watch the Top Five red-band trailer. This edit has a lot of cursing and a great scene with Kevin Hart alluded to in the essay, but it doesn’t give away the movie’s funniest scene. (Be thankful for that, as the funniest bit is also one of the more unexpected moments.) Read More »

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