This Week In Trailers: KUSO, The Manual, Bad Genius, Major Grom, May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers

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 interested in joining a jug band, marvel at complete nonsense, root for the little guy, wonder why Russia isn't making all the films, and watch a schoolgirl turn bad.KUSO Trailer

Just soak it all in.

We've talked about director Flying Lotus' strange, wonderfully formed concept of a movie before but this just cements my desire to see this in all its awkward splendor. While I honestly don't like anyone crowning a movie's "cult" status before it even has a chance to organically achieve that before its release that's a mere quibble for a trailer that hits the right beats and makes one hell of a sell job with the quantity of pull-quotes it incorporates. It's a long, steep hill to gain some awareness for a movie of this size and odd-ness but this trailer puts its best effort out there.

The Manual Trailer

Give it up for the little guy.

What I can only imagine is a movie that had nothing more than a micro-budget , director Wil Magness comes out hard with a wickedly tantalizing trailer that stokes curiosity, showcases its visual flourishes, and leaves us wanting to know what's really afoot here. Look, getting an indie that just has some jamokes sitting around a dinner table is hard enough to get made. Start throwing in sci-fi elements and now you've got a real task on your hands as a director. I don't know which way things are going with the story but that's not really the point. The idea is just to get you to the next step which is to dig into what it was we just saw. It's impressive.

Major Grom Trailer

Fake news!

Director Vladimir Besedin has been tasked with producing a film based on a bestselling comic book in Russia that is purportedly published by the biggest publishing house in Russia printing non-franchised titles. I have no idea how to parse that but the net-net here is something that seems perfect to pop on after a long night of a carousing or drinking some Mickey's tall boys. The action is dumb, the writing is groan worthy, but the trailer does have a nice flow to it. Guns, guns, guns.


May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers Trailer

Hipsters, man.

So, I wasn't expecting this. Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio both directed this yarn about a couple of brothers who love that hillbilly sound. The closest I've come in the past few years to this kind of music was endlessly listening to Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack (it's so clutch) and since I really enjoy Oscilloscope's style, much like A24, this was a pretty easy one to sit through. It doesn't seem to be anything more than what we've seen from movies like Mistaken for Strangers but, like that documentary, you don't have to be a fan in order to enjoy the narrative. The trailer here does a serviceable job in putting these guys' stories together in a way that's interesting to the casual layperson but the real pull is Apatow and so I'm keeping my mind open to the possibilities.

Bad Genius Trailer

Always interested in a winner.

So, this movie from Thailand won the Best Feature award at the New York Asian Film Festival this year. Director Nattawut "Baz" Poonpiriya has certainly made something that seems wildly interesting. The content seems quaint, a high schooler hatches a scheme to get answers for a test that is taken worldwide by students in order to come here to the US and study at our universities. I kind of love its energy and it's direction. You have to get that narrative out there and this trailer seamlessly weaves in the story and its visual flourishes in a way that keeps you hooked all the way to the end. I can see why this resonated with audiences.

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:

  • A Wrinkle in Time Trailer – Looks something kids will enjoy
  • The Layover Trailer - Hot misery tossed on a screen
  • Blade Runner 2049 Trailer - OK
  • Leatherface Trailer – (Giggles)
  • Wind River Trailer – Heavy
  • The Disaster Artist Trailer – Uh, that was just James Franco being James Franco. Am I missing something?
  • Naked Trailer - Not even if I was stuck on a Frontier flight with nothing to watch
  • Alpha Trailer – Just rolled right off of me
  • The Shape of Water Trailer – Seems absolutely lovely
  • The Snowman Trailer – Dark and oppressive. Love it.