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 hit up Comic-Con 2013 with our trusty sidekick, go trolling for anonymous sex, go steal some money Danny Ocean style, turn Curb Your Enthusiasm into a movie, and fight the power in Wisconsin.

The Sidekick Trailer

Here’s your Comic-Con 2013 related trailer.

A featurette that’s playing this weekend at the Con stars a gaggle of comedic actors, the trailer supposes one of the most likely areas for an easy joke: What do the lives of sidekicks look like? From director Michael J. Weithorn we are given some insight into this imagined supposition and the results look pretty good.

I mean, we’re obviously looking at a featurette so there won’t be any long lasting arcs that will need some room to air out and develop. This is an in/out quickie but there are lots of people to keep track of. From Ron Livingston, Lizzy Caplan, Jordan Peele, Martin Starr and Jason Ritter there are some solid moments that more than make the case why this deserves to be placed on your radar as a short film that has potential to be more than just a quick gag. Alright, even if it is a quick gag, as long as it’s funny it should be a fun diversion.

FOUR Trailer

Such a daring movie to come out of the gate with, no question.

Director Joshua Sanchez‘ debut feature, without question, looks like it’s going to deal with some heady situations. There are few great things that stand out about why this works so well. First, one of the things that leaps out at you is the quote that this film will look at “love and sex in the time of craigslist” while you see one of our protagonists trolling for gay love…who also has a blossoming young daughter. Complicated, confusing, these are the least of the issues facing a couple of our protagonists as they barrel through one night.

I’m a fan of these kinds of films, compressed time slices of life, if for no other reason than the filmmakers have to work pretty damn hard to have a narrative arc that is not only complex but believable enough that if there is any kind of resolution for these characters, that you can believe it. And, from the looks of the trailer, it’s able to do that. From establishing tiny, but revealing slivers of these people, we see them for what they are and what they’re capable of even in the spam of moments. The tempo is smartly struck between the choices it makes for its musical bed to how it lets things breathe in areas where it can.

Wonderfully constructed and truly heartfelt.

Wasteland Trailer

Rowan Athale has made a heist film. Short and simple, cut and dry.

Now, for those still tuned in, there is a reason why this might be more than the sum of its parts. I’m, first, thrilled at the notion that Oscilloscope saw something in this that tickled their fancy. Known for its more heady offerings, there is nonetheless a stamp of approval that carries some weight. Second, Luke Treadaway. The actor has a unique style and I appreciated his contribution in Attack the Block a couple of years ago so to see him taking a sort of Danny Ocean approach to a small town crime movie. The trailer may not make a splash with its originality or the way in which it decides to package the goods but for a film that’s available now in iTunes you could not come up with something more appealing than watching this over Sharknado on a Saturday night.

Dealin’ With Idiots Trailer

This is a fever dream of comedic possibilities.

When Jeff Garlin decided to make a film about, well, I dunno what it really is all about, he had some great inspiration. He’s not going to be able to shake the Curb Your Enthusiasm comparisons but who cares? He should be thankful for them as he has so many quick comedians stacked in this thing along with some people you haven’t really considered to be comedic heavyweights.

The material is all over the place in this trailer but it absolutely works. At first it’s a primer on the modern partent and parental involvement (or what should be the lack of it) but then it takes a turn into Jeff’s self-development clap-trap that inserts bon mots with the rapidity of a machine gun. Fred Willard’s observation on the dominance of adults against actual little leaguers is said so earnestly that it seems like something that needs to happen. Thankfully, what we have here is more than enough to bite off. Don’t like the last joke, the trailer seems to imply, don’t worry, there’s another one coming in just moments. There are more hits than misses here and the movie, overall, looks like something that could be one of those little gems just sitting out in the rough, waiting to be discovered.

Citizen Koch Trailer

I don’t normally slip in the occasional Kickstarter campaign but this documentary, from filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, is worthy if for no other reason than they want to tell a story that someone doesn’t want told.

Not many people may know about the Koch Brothers (myself included) but the active participation in them trying to silence the documentary Deal and Lessin that puts monied political interests before the interests of the people is an interesting, fascinating, and alarming. The trailer starts off nice enough but when it takes a dramatic turn and it becomes about the efforts of the billionaire brothers it takes on a whole different dimension. The film becomes part of the story and now you have a documentary that has a little cache behind it when you consider the information that it purports to talk about and how threatened some feel by the content.

There’s just no question that even thought they’ve met their funding goals that this is now an issue of getting the movie out to those who need to see it. It doesn’t feel objective, it feels personal and, frankly, it should. No one should be silenced when it when comes to legitimate means of expression. The trailer/pitch manages to make the case.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

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