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 we look at a different kind of family dynamic, wonder aloud about what portal of heaven opened up to give us a documentary of the guy who swung the baton that took out Nancy Kerrigan, we take to the streets with law enforcement and the people being enforced, take a sip or two of some hooch as we get all tore up, and meet the very worst child ever.

Flint Town

We need more of these.

The one thing that struck me more than anything else about this trailer is just how in-your-face it is without it ever feeling like some extended version of Cops. What is so good about how the narrative is presented is that it does not just focus in on the police of Flint but it takes a macro approach in getting more sides, more reflections, more narratives focused on this small dot in America. Call it a microcosm, I don’t care, but what’s effective in telling this particular story is just how close we get. Yes, show the body bags. Yes, show us the quiet moments when we feel people are being real. Give us an unfiltered look at a community that is dealing with things we all are seeing every day on the news. Showing the casualties of this conflict, not flinching from the realities surrounding these people, that’s where you can make a deep impact. Hopefully they go all in on this.

NEAT: The Story of Bourbon

Fun fact: The first time I tried bourbon was 6 months ago.

The taste, for me, reminded my nose of the same astringent of Oxy pads of yore that I wiped my pimple riddled face with in high school. The taste, for the most part, didn’t have any because I was too busy recoiling from the harsh burning. I realize that’s sacrilege talk to most, if not all, connoisseurs for this stuff but I am absolutely enamored with this trailer. Director David Altrogge follows in the steps of some of the great alcohol documentaries like SOMM and The Birth of Sake that I know I’ve enjoyed thoroughly. The stories of how these things are crafted and cared for and eventually released into the wild all strike my fancy somehow and this one, too, is now on the radar.

Birthmarked

A different kind of family.

I get that what we’re seeing in director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais’ depiction of a family unit is completely fictitious (usually these kinds of stories are based on some insane true story) but there is some real charm here. The premise is nutty and the hijinks that ensue are no doubt blown out by a factor of 10 knowing there aren’t any reality guardrails to keep them contained. Regardless, though, I was entertained and that’s just enough for me.

Prodigy

Clever girl.

One of the great delights in watching efforts by those who have to be scrappy with how they make a movie is seeing how this translates to filmmakers with limited budgets wanting to make the movie they have in their heads. For the most part these are usually dramatic or comedic in nature and don’t require much beyond just some talented actors to bring a good script to life but a film requiring some special effects, a little visual dazzle? That’s going to require some effort and directors Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal certainly have nailed what appears to be a vicious tale that’s confined in a tight space but allows them the room to have fun with their narrative. As you watch this trailer you feel that independent film still can compete with the bigger boys.

My Hero’s Shadow

I get it but I don’t get it nor want it.

Director Justin Young either came up with this idea at the same time when I, Tonya was being made in which case, what a coincidence, or came up with this idea after hearing about I, Tonya in which case, I couldn’t care either way. I think there’s a brotherly redemption story in here somewhere but I just cannot comprehend the impetus for thinking that this was a story that needed to be told. Drafting behind the success of I, Tonya does not a marketing strategy make and, just like things turned out, 2nd place will always be 1st loser.

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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