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 rob a bank in one take, wonder how many quotes we remember from NBA Jam, fight the power, hit puberty running, and wonder whatever happened to The Family Learning Channel.

Insert Coin: Inside Midway’s ’90s Revolution Trailer

I mean, just look at what these guys created: Gauntlet, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, Rampage, Spy Hunter, the Cruis’n series, and a litany of pinball favorites.

To that end, producer Joshua Tsui thought a Kickstarter to celebrate this video game publisher was long overdue. My last recollection of this company was when Wild Chicago showcased it almost as long ago as the company was in business but this trailer is amazing at re-stoking those embers of a lost childhood endlessly playing round after round of NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat, long before nearly a dozen buttons on a controller were needed in order to navigate your characters. The trailer is just light, breezy, informative and, for a video game junkie like me, this is the kind of thing that looks all kinds of interesting.

To find out more information about this project, click right here.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Trailer

History, repeating itself.

One of the things about director Stanley Nelson’s previous movies, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, was how visceral it was; it wasn’t a light discussion about what happened with Jim Jones, it was about as honest as it could have been and that’s where it excelled. Frightening, maddening, saddening, so many -ings that can’t define it in its totality. When you see the trailer to this, though, you get more of that same intelligence. Intelligence that tries to put into context this moment, this movement. There is the very real unease that sets in that we haven’t progressed much as a society in the decades that have passed. Yes, we’ve made great strides but just rattling off some of the more high-profile social issues that have been raised in the last year alone should be enough to see that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it and this is history lesson coming straight for you. Watching this now, it’s hard not to realize that, at some point, if a population of people feel oppressed and feel that those who are empowered to enforce the law are the ones doing the oppressing, this is the result. Vital viewing.

Prince Red Band Trailer

Yooooooo…

I am not sure what to make of director Sam De Jong’s ode to youth gone all sideways but, damn, it’s kind of insane. I would try and put a tidy bow around this all and talk about the way in which this trailer pulls you in and keeps your attention but I would liken this experience closer to something resembling a large man putting a big palm on the back of your neck while shoving you into the screen so you can drink it all in. There’s flashes of narrative but, for the most part, there is nothing here to indicate what in God’s name is going on. It’s visual anarchy. And with a soundtrack that just grinds your eardrums it’s nothing short of fantastic. I’m all kinds of in on this.

Victoria Trailer

We’ve talked about this.

Back in February we showcased the first trailer for a movie that Darren Aronofsky himself said “rocked” his world. That’s pretty much all he had to say to sell thousands of people on seeing this creation from director Sebastian Schipper. In February, when we mentioned that Adopt Films would be releasing the movie come this fall it seemed a long ways off and, even now, October 9th seems a distant point on a calendar. However, to keep that appetite whetted they’ve released a new trailer and it does nothing but increase my anticipation. The action is still visceral, the mood feels something that Gaspar Noé would cook up, and the story seems reasonably straightforward and easily understood. A mad combo like this means there’s no way anyone should miss what looks like an import that will absolutely deliver.

Hertzfeldt on Blu-Ray Trailer

Let’s be honest, I’m just wanting this thing to hit $125,000 so I can get one more film as a supporter. Hell, I’m hoping this tote board keeps going skyward and that the stretch goals keep coming.

The first film of Don Hertzfeldt’s that I came into contact with was Rejected at a Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. It struck such a comedic chord with me that I can only compare it to those moments in life that are as indelible as long-term memories. His sensibility was warped, his presentation unique, and he had a voice that instantly pushed him onto my list of favorite animators/directors. He only brought the heat with his subsequent projects, crushing everything that came before with this year’s release of World of Tomorrow. The guy is back to put World on baby Blu and has just tore through the stretch goals that have been put in front of an audience (myself included) to have all these visual vittles in one place. Glory be, a remastered version of Rejected is nigh.

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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