This Week In Trailers: Buffaloed, Toxic Beauty, The Rise Of The Synths, A Rough Draft, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

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 collect a debt, poison ourselves with makeup, go on a Russian mind trip, and drill down into the sounds that have been everywhere lately.


Director Tanya Wexler's latest explores the rising cost of going to college.

Buffalo is the debt collection capital of America, though Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch) never saw herself in that world. She's bet on her sharp mind—and even sharper mouth—to get her out of town and into an Ivy League university. But when an acceptance letter to the school of her dreams arrives, she quickly realizes the cruel impossibility of paying tuition. A chance phone call changes everything and leads her into the lucrative yet complex and shady business of delinquent debt collection. She's a natural and soon running her own shop, but at what cost?

All facetiousness aside, along with ignoring the abysmal noodling guitar that underlines everything towards the end, I am a fan of seeing Zoey Deutch in roles like this. It's not necessarily the breakout vehicle that will establish her as an actor to be reckoned with, but it looks like she elevates what otherwise might be quickly forgotten.

Toxic Beauty

Director Phyllis Ellis is exposing the beauty industry's, very real, dirty secrets.

Each morning we spritz and slather ourselves in over 100 different chemicals – yet the cosmetics and personal care industry in North America is not required to prove an ingredient is safe for human health before it is on the shelves. So when we run a bath, lather cream for a shave, carefully apply our makeup or deodorise our underarms, we could be exposing our bodies to myriad toxic chemicals. Hormonal disruption in baby boys, developmental delays, ADHD, low sperm count in men – the cosmetic industry isn't pretty. Toxic Beauty is a documentary feature that follows the class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and the plaintiffs; women fighting for justice in a race against time.

This kind of trailer only needs to tee up the more grandiose claims of what some cosmetics and personal care products are doing to people's bodies. The story is vital if only to serve as a warning about using certain items that could inflict bodily harm. I get that an entire documentary like this may be exhausting to get through, but in an era of dwindling investigative journalism, I'll welcome any opportunity to be smarter about the world around me.

A Rough Draft

Director Sergey Mokritskiy is bending reality.

A computer game designer finds himself erased from the memory of everyone he knows and learns he has been chosen for a mysterious mission.

One thing you should notice right away is that they dubbed this. Badly. If you can just get past that, you'll see a crazy pastiche of visual effects, a storyline that's borderline bonkers, and more green screen than you can shake a Russian nesting doll at. It's crazy enough that I'm stoked to see this thing from start to finish. Hopefully, it will be in its native Russian because it was almost too much to even try to get through this trailer.

The Rise of the Synths

Thanks to director Iván Castell, we finally have a proper documentary about the synth revival.

Raise your hand if you haven't seen or heard of Stranger Things. The phenomenon of this series responds to a nostalgia for the 80's that is reflected today and relentlessly in film, television and even video games ... And of course, also in music.

Narrated by iconic director John Carpenter, The Rise Of The Synths is a journey back and forth in time, from to the roots of this scene to its impact on today's pop culture. So what is Synthwave? An irresistible blend of nostalgia and music; of creative processes and cultural references; of re-appropriation and legitimate creation. Is a random revival or an emerging cultural phenomenon?

Not only is the subject wildly interesting, but to have John Carpenter narrate it all? Brilliant. I get that this is not the documentary that will be on anyone's Best Of list for 2019, but this has more entertainment potential than some fictional stories released this year.

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:

  • Briarpatch Trailer – Intriguing
  • Little Fires Everywhere Teaser Trailer – wut?
  • Top Gun: Maverick Trailer – Japan/Taiwan patch-gate aside, I hope Tencent keeps its mitts off what hopefully is a celebration of 'Merica's might in the sky
  • You Season 2 Trailer – OK
  • Emma Trailer – Pass
  • Avenue 5 Trailer – Is Josh Gad in everything now?
  • Onward Trailer – Still not quite sure about this
  • Saint Maud Trailer – Don't understand anything that's happening here
  • John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Bunch Trailer – Pleasantly surprised
  • 1917 Trailer – Yes please
  • The Woman in the Window Trailer – Hahaha...Nope
  • To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Trailer – Maybe if I was a 15-year-old girl
  • Come to Daddy Trailer - Demented
  • Tenet Trailer – Keep on keeping it vague, son
  • Ip Man 4 Trailer – Kind of let down by this
  • Impractical Jokers: The Movie Trailer – It's going to make so much money
  • Medical Police Trailer – Not feeling what it's putting out
  • Little America Trailer – Underwhelming
  • Downhill Trailer – Just watch the original
  • Respect Teaser Trailer – Well that was a whole lot of nothing