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’re uplifted by stories from disabled athletes who could handily beat me in every sport on parade, visit Britain for some jolly post-WWII reconstruction, look upon the visage of truly heinous animation that is not meant to be a joke, act like lecherous old men as a young boy spies on his best friend’s mother, and we all say it together when it comes to the Dark Knight when people ask what are you, “…I’m Batman…” 

In The House Trailer

François Ozon just has a way of putting you ill at ease.

Just as much as I liked Swimming Pool this, too, has some of the very same elements that drew me in to his world. Even though this trailer is fairly straight forward with its establishment of who these people are and what we’re seeing, and to be frank it doesn’t look particularly novel in the way that it’s shot, but it’s the twisting and turning that got my attention.

There’s a playfulness in how the story is structured and presented: a combination of psychological tension, coming of age story, with a dark undertone of something more sinister, there’s just nothing like this out there right now and it sells itself smartly. A little sexiness and the threat of violence, it doesn’t get more basic, but more interesting to those looking for something that might thrill them a little bit.

Legends of the Knight Trailer

There are a few different ways this could go.

You could end up with an earnest, but toothless, maudlin look at how Batman has empowered young people, adults, octogenarians to be so much more awesomely awesome because he stands for so much positivity in the culture and as a superhero OR this could be a great examination into why someone who flirts with sociopath tendencies can be such an enabler to those who want to wick some of the courage that this folk art hero has put out into the pop culture ether.

Director Brett Culp is looking mighty eager to talk to us about what this documentary is going to be about and we get a little glimpse of the footage of what will be the finished product of a crowd-sourced project. I’m qualifying this next statement only because I like what’s here but one of the initial impressions I got from the trailer was that Brett is trying too hard. He’s REALLY eager to sell me on the Batman myth, and while I’m not faulting his intensity, or Don Lapre-esque infomercial vibe, and he doesn’t have to. The content is what is going to sell me. Great narration of what I’m going to see is going to sell me.

This, by itself, looks like a breezy documentary best enjoyed on a lazy afternoon.

Silver Circle Trailer

You are absolutely right, I have never made a film. After seeing this, I don’t want to.

Since I’m an intellectual lightweight when it comes to understanding politics and the fickle squabbles that our paid representatives get into on a daily basis in the name of liberty while ignoring their constituents I’m not in a position to pick apart what’s afoot here. That said, this animation is horrible. Just horrendously bad. If there was a prize for the worst looking cartoon to ever be put into the ecosphere in all of mankind this would at least be in the running to win the blue ribbon.

Director Pasha Roberts definitely has an overt political agenda, just search for his name on YouTube and watch him talk about his thoughts on the federal reserve, and it honestly is oozing off the edges of this trailer to its detriment. It’s horrifically structured and presented but there’s ultimately no way to get around the basic fact that this looks like it was done on a 486DX in 1992. There’s a smart, subtle way of going about getting your point across and there is wanton disregard for basic storytelling. This falls into the latter.

The Spirit of ’45 Trailer

It’s Ken Loach, really.

One of the great films that came out last year, The Angels’ Share is the kind of film that doesn’t get made much these days. It’s genuine, has a metric ton of heart, and is written with some snappy dialogue. Just bowled me over with its goodness. That said, this is NOTHING like his last film.

While I don’t purport to be any kind of historical savant, or know what post-war Europe looked like after Hitler met his demise, WWII left a deep scar on many nations. This trailer gingerly gets right into it as it squarely wants to talk about what the repair of a country like England entailed in not only its physical rebuilding but its emotional healing as well.

There isn’t any flash, at all, in this. Seemingly in spite of itself, it sells the promise of a hard look at a post-war UK and the issues it caused for those trying to come to terms with a brand new way of writing their history. It looks as if someone pushed the reset button on their culture, their government, and this documentary is going to show how much their collective lives were altered forever.

My Way To Olympia Trailer

I love stories like this.

Not because it’s pity party time but because documentaries like this, if done right, can show the normalcy of those who are trying to make a go at not letting physical disability define them. Murderball is an excellent example of what these movies can do and what they can be. So, it’s interesting to see whether director Niko von Glasgow has cobbled together true tales of inspiration or something better suited for the Hallmark channel. I’m apt to go for the former if only because of the diverse stories we’re presented.

As well, the content isn’t your usual feel good fluffery. There are some pointed questions aimed at these special athletes and the profiles that are being constructed. It’s interesting to take this trip because of the genuine highs and the absolute lows that are stuffed into the running time of this thing. It does make you feel inspired in a way but the inspiration comes from wanting to know more about their stories, wanting to see what has brought everyone to this level of competition.

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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