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 get close in a cave, get to know someone from the All Blacks, let our inner nerd hang out in VR, root for an underdog, and watch some very important things happening in Victoria Beckham’s life.

Zero Point Trailer

A call out to all my nerds: Is there actually something to this newest VR iteration?

Director Danfung Dennis seems to think so and the trailer has me interested in knowing how this latest technology which has many a geek believing this is the newest and greatest way to experience video gaming. I will say that the trailer is measured in how well it takes us on a journey of how virtual reality has come from being this nascent technology restricted to polygons and awkward movements on screen to something that is now within the grasp of your every-man but now, a hundred times better. What’s more, and what I appreciate, is how fast we don’t spend in any one place. We see how it’s helping over here, over there, how it’s appealing to a commercial audience, what else it’s capable of, there’s a nice balance of avenues to go down while also providing a rich experience as a viewer. This feels like something that would have a comfortable home on PBS, a NOVA episode, for example, than it would a movie theater. However, the content is certainly worthy enough to find a wide audience who could get some interesting information about a topic that is growing increasingly more robust and immersive.

In Darkness We Fall Trailer

I won’t be going to the Miami International Film Festival this year but, hot damn, do I feel like I’ve missed something by not being able to see this.

I’m sure if I was to take a poll we all would agree that the found footage genre is just uninteresting and not very exciting. However, this just infused a half ton of excitement into it by being truly claustrophobic and making my palms sweat a little. Sure, it’s just a movie and it is all fake but seeing the players here navigate their way around a playground of low ceilings, internal pools of water, night vision, and air so thick you swear you could smell it, there is a vibrancy to everything I see. Director Alfredo Montero has actually made me a believer that there is more to mine from this genre if for no other reason than how well this trailer moves us from moment to moment without a shred of background information. There is danger afoot and I can feel it.

Next Goal Wins Trailer

This is the real life Cool Runnings but with soccer.

What I do like about this trailer, though, is how much it makes me care about these athletes. No one sets out to be terrible but, like the Jamaican bobsledders in this year’s Olympic Winter Games, you’re going to have winners and those who want to be winners but end up hanging out on the bottom rung. What directors Mike Brett and Steve Jamison seemed to have done is made a movie about a pack of bumbling soccer players who want nothing more than just to be great at what they do. I was genuinely moved by how upbeat these men were in the face of being the absolutely worst soccer players in the world. It’s like Undefeated but with a team that does nothing but lose.

You just cannot come out of watching a trailer like this that a has great tempo, solid narrative structure, and a story to tell without feeling inspired to be better than you already are. There’s just something about having someone pushing others to be better while not giving up on the individuals who want to see themselves get to another level.

Anger Within: Jonah Lomu – A Rugby Legend Trailer

I have a friend who plays rugby.

She’s mighty, tough, and could kick my lily white butt with the kind of grace and force of a spinning tornado. I’ve been endlessly fascinated by this sport, where men wear collared shirts and don tidy tight nut-cutters while being impressive specimens of human beings. Directors Fred Khan and Stephane Le Goff, while using one of this sport’s greatest players from New Zealand, take an interesting path in introducing us to this man. The trailer establishes why we’re all gathered here and, while it assumes we know a little bit about the guy, the story is compelling on its own. It’s someone who came from nothing, was made into something, but then something happens. What that certain thing is, I haven’t a clue, but the trailer finds that emotional hook that keeps you engaged with the story of Jonah while giving us all the right reasons we should care about how it begins and ends.

Five Years: The Victoria Beckham Fashion Story Trailer

Well, this exists.

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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