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 have trailers that encourage you to get out into the sun, one that feels like Heat-lite, one that celebrates the glory that is women wearing yoga pants, and one that showcases a photographer who probably knows a lot about Bono. 

MILE… MILE & A HALF: A Journey Along The John Muir Trail Trailer

With all the talk about 70mm and how it relates to the newly minted opus from Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master, it gives me pause to think about the OTHER 70mm movie that people ought to be talking about: Samsara. Unlike The Master, Samsara takes a photographic look at the world that is almost overwhelming at times to try and take in. It’s inspiring, as a viewer, to be taken on a literal journey through a physical space and be nearly transported out of my body but this trailer evokes those same notes. I realize 70mm isn’t in their future but you can see why it ought to be.

When I talked about the first trailer earlier in the year it drew something out of me that made this project feel fresh. It still does and this new trailer only confirms that they deserve to have their project funded to finish this and release it into the world. It’s amazing to think that with an outlet like Kickstarter these trailers can be advertisements for movies that should be made and some that should never be made. What evokes the strongest reaction in this trailer, though, is its earnestness.

This isn’t a super serious National Geographic expose on the wilderness and all its splendor, this isn’t a reality show to see who is willing to drink each other’s pee when the show’s producers take everyone’s Luna bars away, there isn’t anything really exploitative other than these people who are saying “F it, let’s go on an adventure and film it.” It’s super genuine and, tonally, the trailer gets it perfect. The music, the pacing, the way we’re brought into why we’re here in the first place all works perfectly. Again, you get the humor that is bursting out of the four corners of this tiny window into what looks like a gorgeous representation of nature that is just beyond our highways; these people seem to really dig one another and watching the smiles and good tidings that come out of what is a genuinely epic adventure.

These things don’t have to be stories about will versus nature or tales that end up with someone losing a random body part to the cruel, cruel mistress that is Mother Nature. Sometimes it can be a meditation on the joy that taking a trip can bring and how that same trip can bring people together in ways they didn’t anticipate. While it might not have been filmed in 70mm, it absolutely looked like it should have been.

Anton Corbijn Inside Out Trailer

I really wasn’t a Depeche Mode fan in the 90′s. I know they were the hip band to like, right up there with the Gollum led band, Midnight Oil, but my tastes ranged a little more urban. However, the video for “Personal Jesus” opened my eyes about what a music video could be.

So began my affinity for all things Corbijn. 2007′s Control was on point and my only wish is that the guy keep churning out work. This trailer seems to take a more musical bent, hell, it opens with Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” so it’s already couched in a musical vein but the man is a master at capturing brilliant imagery and showing you why stars are just that.

I will admit that while filmmaker Klaartje Quirijns’ expose on the man who seems like the highest paid photographer to the stars, and who appears to be borderline miserable every waking hour of the day based on the clips that we’re shown, the trailer is a bit uneven in tone. Literally. While it’s great to have a soundtrack that features Depeche Mode, U2, Nirvana and other notable notables, there doesn’t seem to be much thought given to how aurally how that all needs to flow. There isn’t thought to how one leads into the next and it feels choppy because of it. As well, the story it tells of Anton bobs and weaves between showing us a miserable sod who seems mere days before offing himself and a guy who finds passion in what he does and seems content. Maybe they’re not mutually exclusive with one another but I don’t think there’s a real story being told. It’s more like snapshots that don’t have a through line.

I’ll be checking this out, regardless, but here’s to hoping that there’s more cohesion to it than what we have here.

The Sweeney Trailer

You’re at the Redbox, you don’t know what to get, and you certainly don’t want that movie about a great white that’s swimming around a submerged grocery store, but should your eye catch this? It looks like a dollar well spent, friend.

Director Nick Love, who has shown a panache for all things criminal and hooligan related in his filmography, has married two of my favorite loves: Ray Winstone and bank heists. While the premise is a little dodgey and hackneyed that’s exactly why dollar rentals exist in the first place. As well, this trailer trots out all the things that make you slap your face in embarrassment in a movie where there’s one police officer out to change the world: we have the overly angry police chief, the angry detective who’s a real maverick, a good looking team that believes in the maverick, and the maverick who’s a real ladies man.

Yes, they’re all here and it’s just a single notch above complete obnoxious hilarity as these tropes make their way into the trailer. You half think this may be one of those spoof trailer but, nope, this is full on serious and I’m happy. Happy because the trailer plays it all right, knows its audience, and gives them exactly what they want in a movie about bank robbery and the cop who is on the hunt to figure it all out. And, yes, it feels a lot like Heat but without the elements that made that the perennial classic except in this vegetation related metaphor this would be an annual, a flower that will live and die within a short time span. Sometimes that’s good enough for a movie like this and, hell, it has Ray Winstone just chewing all the scenery he can.

Yogawoman Trailer

Fact: I tried to start a site that featured nothing but ladies in yoga pants. It seems that it’s a trend that is not going away anytime soon and I thought it was a slam dunk with the number of women who love to wear them out like a pair of shorts. Someone beat me to the punch. Actually, a lot of people have. It’s its own fetish at this point and I get it. I even do it with my P90X routine.

It’s interesting, though, to think about how deep of a foothold this exercise routine has taken with individuals, namely women, in the last few years and first time directors Saraswati Clere and Kate McIntyre Clere really break down the phenomena that is this resurgence of yoga in the mainstream and has spawned entire empires like lululemon and is to thank for the rise of yoga pant wearing soccer moms everywhere. The trailer has a real nice flow to its narration and the way it presents the kudos it has received (I’m a little suspect on the yoga magazine that is effusive in its praise and, BT dubs, the San Francisco Chronicle quote? “It’s” is spelled with an apostrophe.) is flawless in how it drifts in and out of the information it is presenting.

Yes, the jangle jangle guitar riffs near the end are a bit cheese ball, and the voiceover is a bit demonstrative in how booming it is, but the information here looks interesting enough to make this a solid rental to at least explore one facet of the public who are really into this and the businesses that are happily filling that need in the market. There is a healthy mix of material which I think will range from the historical to the histrionic as we make leaps of importance from yoga as recreation and powerful life changing activity to the idea that it’s the answer to world peace. Maybe it is, I don’t know, but as long as the ladies still like to wear dem pants outside the yoga studio, I’m happy to endorse whatever it says.

Practice Trailer

Eric Perini needs a little help and a little help is all I can give.

Because this NYU film student needs people to fuel his vision of making a short about a high school soccer player who needs a little inspiration. I can’t tell you if it’s any good, but anyone who knows me can appreciate that short stories are one of the best art forms out there. They’re also one of the most deadly as if you don’t hook people and beat them into an ecstasy inspired euphoria by the time you’re done then that’s your legacy. Not a lot of time = reputation instantly vaporized.

So, based on that and the short, almost “proof of concept” trailer above, go on over to Perini’s Indiegogo page and see if he’s worth taking a chance on. He needs 5K and he already has $1,500 but he has a little over a couple of weeks left and this non-trailer was good enough for me to pass it along to you, the American Idol of the film community. It’s inspiring to see young talent making a go of it so here’s to hoping he’s able to make the best case possible.

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:

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