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 look at Common playing the part of role model, an Australian nightmare of a comedy, a high school shooter in repose, a French cat and mouse thrill ride with a kid at the center, and a good old fashioned haunted house yarn from the UK. 

LUV Trailer

In the annals of great moments in action movie history there are few scenes more tightly scripted and filled with revelation than this one with Common and Jeremy Piven in Smokin’ Aces.

I’ve never really seen anything since that has allowed him to put up or shut up about whether he has what it takes to carry an entire film but, after seeing this trailer, this has got some potential to show him to be a force that not only needs to be reckoned with but that he, himself, is the reckoning.

Director Sheldon Candis shows an interesting choice in shooting this film that by all accounts looks like your average drama. Nothing seems exceptional about the trailer, not that’s it a bad thing, as you think this film is about this boy we’re introduced to in the first few seconds. He’s holding a gun that turns out to squirt water and before you have a chance to think this going to go down a la Gus Van Sant’s Elephant we get Common looking all chill and charismatic.

It veers left, and before you have a chance to think that this is going to be about this boy spending a grand day out playing hooky with his Uncle, and then snaps back right. The trailer telegraphs what is going to be a roller coaster of a day for all involved but it’s expertly handled in the way it gives you just enough information without leaving you wondering what is happening. We still don’t know the details, thankfully, in the age of everyone wanting to tell you everything, but the tantalizing bits of information we’re given leave just enough for us to think about what this all means. As it is, I’m left excited by a movie I need to see as soon as possible. This is is not your average coming-of-age film and even though I have an idea of how things will end it will be interesting to see what lessons are learned by all.

When The Lights Went Out Trailer

It’s that time of the year when movies like this start coming out of the proverbial woodwork.

Director Pat Holden is trying to marry the haunted house genre with something that feels like a throwback. The vintage appeal, the interstitials talking about how this is all based on a true story (aren’t they all…), there is something genuinely attractive about this movie. I don’t know if it’s because it’s not trying too hard and it’s not selling its more spectral elements but there’s an even keel appeal here. It doesn’t want to shoot its wad early and while it’s almost tempted to reveal more and more near the end there is still a kind of restraint shown about what it wants to tell you about the story.

While it has to sell you on the idea that this is going to be filled with spooky sights and sounds and people appearing in reflections of glass that aren’t really there, as well as the obligatory shot of a priest with his crucifix, wielding it like a sword and shield, it doesn’t sell you too hard and I appreciate that. Whether or not that’s an indication that this dog doesn’t have teeth to its bite, I’m not sure, but there’s subtleness about the pitch of why I should care about this movie. Average people, average home, it feels a little like Poltergeist and that’s not such a bad thing.

Nono The Zigzag Kid

I loved these kinds of movies when I was a kid.

The idea that a boy could go off and have an adventure and do some seriously dangerous stuff, it’s the kind of thing that movies were meant to do. To give us a little magic, a little spark. Goonies comes to mind but even something like Cloak & Dagger is a perfect example of the childhood fantasy of having a little danger and doing grown-up things along the way. Vincent Bal, a Flemish director who hasn’t really made anything of great import, got me with this outrageously fun looking movie about a kid who is on an adventure that looks filled with the same kind of elements that made movies about empowered kids so endearing.

I like that Isabella Rossellini plays a smoky, sultry role as someone who is going to help this boy complete his quest and that things spiral quickly out of control as there’s some doubt whether the boy’s been kidnapped or who’s even in charge of whatever operation they’re on. I’m thoroughly confused by who’s doing what and how jewels factor into all of this but it doesn’t take away at all that the focus here is on the boy. He’s the focus of attention and there’s just an effluence of action brimming out of every scene that we’re shown. However basic it seems, this trailer makes me wistful for a time that’s past. Whether or not it can capture that same vibe from long ago is irrelevant as I’m more interested in knowing what a kid will think about watching a movie where real danger is involved and not just comedically rendered through Hollywood’s ideas of what a kid movie should be nowadays.

Blackbird Trailer

Well, you couldn’t ask for a more timely story. Nearly ripped from the headlines, as it were.

First time feature director Jason Buxton is giving us a story about a kid who is exactly we all imagine is planning the next violent assault on a high school campus.What is so good about this trailer is that we don’t see any kind of agression. Meaning, we don’t know whether this kid who gets popped by the police before he even has a chance to go through his plan on hurting his fellow students is a real threat even after he’s put through juvie.

The kid is an outcast, about as much of a pariah as you can be for threatening to kill those around you, when he’s back into the throes of regular life and the trailer nicely obfuscates what really we’re here to observe. Whether or not he’s rehabilitated there are some lingering issues that surround him with those he comes into contact with on a daily basis. But, that’s kind of the hook that digs in deep: is he really on the path to the straight and narrow or is he having to rechannel that rage someway, somehow else? It’s an interesting quandary and I don’t envy Buxton’s job to roll the big rock up an even bigger hill which is how you make a degenerate like this compelling for 90+ minutes. Will it end in his blaze of glory? I’m interested in finding out.

Kath and Kimderella Trailer

People of Australia, I beseech thee: WTF?

Any one of you want to help explain what looks like Ab Fab had an inbred child with Mike & Molly? I’m sure the ladies of Oz are happy about it but any explanation of why this television series warranted a movie would be appreciated.

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

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

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

blog comments powered by Disqus