Green Band Trailer

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 I witness abject horror at a Michael Shannon performance that must have been done to pay some back taxes or a Superbowl bet gone bad, we hunt us some Nazis, get animated about a girl trying to save her family, try to play nice with the ex-boyfriend, realize how much money we don’t have, and go on a dark road trip with our brother. 

Pottersville Trailer

Look, I’m a dumb man.

At Comic-Con, over a decade ago when they had a screening of Superbad, during the post-film Q&A yours truly asked whether the beef between Michael Cera and Apatow was squashed and I recoiled in self-inflicted cringe when I learned at that very second that it was all fake. I should have known better, I should have known it was all a put-on, but I sincerely missed the memo when it was revealed that, J/K, it was a goof. I’ve got to believe, as God as my witness, that I will not be fooled twice for I know this movie must and most sincerely be an absolute goof. It’s a joke, right? There’s no way that director Seth Henrikson has made something that just has to be an entry in a sequel to Kentucky Fried Movie. At the very least this just has to be a follow-up to The Night the Reindeer Died which will somehow tie into a new Scrooged movie. Alas, I’m not sure what this is but it’s an abomination, an aberration, if you will.

Mr. Roosevelt Trailer

I’m down.

Writing a screenplay is one thing but getting your own movie written and directed with as low of a budget that this must have had is nothing short a minor miracle in this day and age. Director/writer Noël Wells displays some solid cinematic acumen both behind and in front of the camera. The trailer isn’t incredible in any meaningful way but what’s remarkable is how well it just flows. I think we’ve seen the trope of the better-off-ex-boyfriend/girlfriend story in multiple different incarnations on both television and movies, however, Wells gives it a nice top spin that makes it her own story to tell. It may be self-contained in its own tiny universe but it’s one that looks inviting enough to inhabit for a couple of hours.

The Breadwinner Trailer

Don’t sleep on Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.

I may have already talked about director Nora Twomey’s follow-up to her amazingly well-done features but I’m talking about it again because this is one animated movie that’s not going to anthropomorphize wild animals or plastic toys. Instead, it’s going hard into the paint when it comes to telling this girl’s story to do what she feels needs to be done to help her family survive. Filled with lush imagery, fantastical graphics, and moments that appear to elevate this tale into something other-worldly I cannot think of another animated feature I’m more excited to see this fall.

Saving Capitalism Trailer

I go to the movies to forget my problems, not be reminded of them.

Apart from being a dumb statement, and you’re plenty enough entitled to have it if you like, a statement like this belies the notion of speaking truth to power. Stories like this need to be told and directors Jacob Kornbluth and Sari Gilman are having to push a boulder uphill because a) no one wants to be reminded how much they’re not making b) how hard they’re working to make it and c) realizing how the other half is maintaining their hegemony over the working class. It’s tough to hear this kind of story but, like going to school to listen and experience divergent ideas that can help inform your world view, this absolutely needs to be heard. Besides, this is a solid trailer.

In The Fade Trailer

She was incredible in Inglorious Basterds and she looks just as captivating here.

What I hope you get out of watching this trailer by director Faith Akin is just how intense Diane Kruger comes off. Language is not a barrier for a narrative that seems awfully, awfully, awfully timely and it never veers into vigilantism as that would be one of those common, go-to cinematic shorthands that would take away from looks and feels like a gripping thriller. There’s intrigue, a little sadness, violence, and the idea that a wrong must be righted. This looks phenomenal.

The Strange Ones Trailer

I don’t know what’s happening here but that’s just fine.

Directors Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff are leading us down a very cryptic road but, God love ’em, they’re not giving up the ghost on any plot point. They’re just pushing the proverbial pedal down on the atmospherics and mood which go a very long way in creating some well-earned curiosity about a movie that raises so many different questions. As well, hat’s off to how well they integrate their festival credentials and pull-quotes. Solid, solid job all around.

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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