This Week In Trailers: Donnie Darko, A Fat Wreck, Banking On Bitcoin, Figures Of Speech, Liberation Day

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 Donnie Darko gets a 4K re-release, the new Captain Kirk narrates a story of some overly ambitious high schoolers, Fat Mike learns a thing a two about running a music label because he's seen a thing or two, we try and earn a few bitcoins, and North Korea lets in an industrial band to play a few tunes for the people. Donnie Darko Re-Release Trailer

Where is Richard Kelly?

I ask because if you look at the man's IMDB page it's not like he's lurking under the shadow of producer or really has any other projects in the hopper that he's quietly toiling on. The resume literally ends after 2010. I'm not sure I'm OK with that. With Donnie Darko the man bumped up the visibility of a young Jake Gyllenhaal and made me look at "Head Over Heels" in a brand new way. No matter your stance on the movie, it stands as one of those interesting pieces of film that never has left the hearts and minds of some people who bring it up still to this day. I can't believe it's been 15 years since it's release and to know it is receiving a 4K rollout is at least comforting to know that if Kelly has no more stories to tell we should thank him for telling this one.

A Fat Wreck Trailer

Apropos of nothing, I need some help answering a question: Is Rancid considered punk? By sheer virtue of me liking their music and live shows I'm sure it's a resounding "No" from those who consider Bad Brains, Black Flag or some other obscure punk really punk but I'm curious to know people's insights on this.

So, the above question, as well as based on my recent taking in of a live show by The Interrupters (which I could not recommend highly enough for anyone wanting to see a band that can bring the heat live), got me thinking about what is punk. This trailer popped up this week and started the inner conversation up all over again. Director Shaun Colon does a great job in establishing who Fat Mike is, why we should care about who the hell he is, and what is it about this story of a little indie label that could we should care about. In the span of 45 seconds this trailer simply demolishes. I went from knowing zero about this story to being fully invested in it. To know it's available now to view just made it all the more enticing.

Banking On Bitcoin Trailer

I'm so interested in this.

For many reasons, some of which have to do with wondering who or what is Satoshi Nakamoto, who continues to benefit from its existence, and how the Winklevii are involved, I'm just curious about the state of this currency. Director Christopher Cannucciari seems to have crafted a real solid narrative surrounding the deconstruction of how and why this currency was birthed in a simple to understand way. In addition to that, just the drama alone that quickly entangled bitcoin made what was already a curiosity into something else entirely. Delicious.

Liberation Day Trailer


Just check this description out:

Under the loving but firm guidance of an old fan turned director and cultural diplomat, and to the surprise of a whole world, the ex-Yugoslavian cult band Laibach becomes the first rock group ever to perform in the fortress state of North Korea.

So, while the odious influence of Americans and their entertainment that those in South Korea bundle up into flash drives to send across the border (and that's a really good cause so give your old flash drives) we have this band who have been allowed to put on a show. It defies a lot of what we've seen from this regime but directors Ugis Olte and Morten Traavik seemed to be at the ready to capture the insanity. The trailer, as well, is an exercise in two different stories which is, one, the traditional life that North Koreans seem to live and, two, the nuttiness that comes with putting on a rock concert. I don't know Laibach but just their existence alone, if you were to look into them, just doesn't seem to square anything you might think about what that part of the world considers "normal". I don't care one way or the other with the band's politics as this story seems rife with opportunities to be entertained by the story of how this all came to be.

Figures of Speech TrailerChris Pine is narrating so that's something.

I get it, you have a movie about "those" high school students who are really into school and you need some way to have it elevate above all the other narrative fare out there. You tap the new Kirk to help tell your tale but, interestingly, you don't have his voice in the trailer. Director Ari Levinson, either intentionally or un-intentionally, leaves the selling of what these young adults are doing after school to the students themselves and I'm OK with it. I've always said that this period in people's lives are so rich with moments that are not unlike a calf who is learning to walk on their own. These kids are finding their own way through what is a speech/debate class and what we're shown here shows there is no scrimping on the natural drama that bubbles up when you're having to play cattleman to these ambitious young'uns as they try and find their way in the world.

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 or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

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

  • Before I Fall Trailer – Groundhog Day for tweens.
  • Cars 3 Teaser Trailer - Well, that's dark.
  • Barry Trailer - Good trailer, so-so narrative.
  • The Comedian Trailer – Nah.
  • Inner Workings Trailer - Huh?
  • Passengers Trailer – I guess. Not feeling one way or the other.
  • Goon: Last of the Enforcers Trailer – Could be a nice surprise.
  • Fences Trailer – Good, but I do love the first one so much more.