This Week In Trailers: Hyperdrive, Empathy, Inc., Green Frontier, Coppers

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 delve into VR to become a better person, go into the jungle and find Nazis, find our newest game show obsession,  and listen to the narratives of retired police offers.

Empathy, Inc.

Director Yedidya Gorsetman is exploring some interesting territory by looking at how virtual reality could influence actual reality. All good sci-fi should explore some piece of what it means to be human, and with crafting immersive worlds in spaces where the only cost is headgear and a good computer, this is nothing new. However, it's an indie with promise. The trailer is visually engaging, the pacing is perfect, the music is aurally on-point, and the pull-quotes makes this an intriguing option. You've got to root for the little train that could and hail the ambition that's on display.


Director Alan Zweig's latest doesn't ask a lot of the audience, but to have an entire trailer of voiceovers while we just watch our subjects in situ is a bold choice.

Award-winning documentarian Alan Zweig returns to the Festival with an honest, hard-hitting, and humane look at the careers of retired police officers, as described in their own words.

This is about as straight-forward as it gets when we break down what we're gathered here to witness. That said, the subject matter is compelling and the verbatims that we hear are stark in their frankness and honesty. Police, cops, peace officers, their stock in the general public certainly isn't as strong as it used to be. All that's being asked is that we listen. 

Green Frontier

When you get a long, lingering look at an open chest cavity you can't help be all-in. Here's the synopsis

When a young Bogotá-based detective gets drawn into the jungle to investigate four femicides, she uncovers magic, Nazis and her own true origins.

I mean, how can you not be bowled over by the ideas being put forth and all the disparate things happening in such a short time frame? Flowers, vines, native peoples, flaming arrows, and beating hearts dripping with roots? All I can say is that this trailer positively slaps in how it presents an interesting quandary, a puzzle, and gives you none of the clues on how to solve it.


Many of you may be in post-Hobbs & Shaw mode and need to work out some of that excess testosterone.

Daring drivers from around the world test their limits in custom cars on the biggest, baddest automotive obstacle course ever built. In this new original Netflix competition series, driving prowess, mechanical ingenuity and emotional resilience will be tested in this open invitation, build and race tournament. Many will compete but there can only be one Hyperdrive champion.

If you like American Ninja Warrior you already get the production value and the setup. That being said, there is no possible way this becomes America's latest obsession, but this looks fun and family-friendly. And that's a one-two combo that could be good enough for dinner table viewing.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers for possible inclusion 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:

  • ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas Trailer – Looks like a solid single
  • American Horror Story: 1984 Trailer – I may actually watch a season of this
  • Jack Ryan: Season 2 Trailer - I am Jack's rage
  • Modern Love Trailer – Maybe if I run out of all the other prestige TV out there, I'll give it a poke
  • Tigers Are Not Afraid Trailer – Love the imagination here 
  • Transparent: Musical Finale Trailer – Smart, creative
  • Mindhunter: Season 2 Trailer - I'm so in
  • The Lighthouse Trailer - Not sure I'm feeling what it's putting out
  • The Hunt Trailer – It's Hard Target brought into the aughts
  • Spider in the Web Trailer - Unfortunately, looks like it will come and go 
  • The Irishman Trailer – That CGI, man
  • Little Monsters Trailer – Uh, OK
  • Queen & Slim Trailer – Unconditionally, yes
  • 1917 Trailer – Sure, why not
  • 13 Reasons Why: Season 3 Trailer – I'm sure some YA enthusiasts are stoked
  • Undone Trailer – I love the concept
  • Before You Know It Trailer – Pass
  • Sextuplets Trailer – My sensibilities are offended I had to sit through that
  • I Am Patrick Swayze Trailer - Cookie cutter
  • American Dreamer Trailer – Clearly a departure for the Hot Pockets raconteur