Green Band Trailer

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 a Johnny Depp that is de-scarfed, revisit one of best schlock horror films of all-time, delve into some art, take a journey through some architecture, and then play catch up with Jake Johnson.

Critters Attack!

When it comes to a cinematic resurrection, nothing makes the soul soar higher than hearing we will get twice the Critters action this year. Hot on the heels of Shudder’s series pumping new life into the franchise, director Bobby Miller is here with his own take, but this time with original cast member Dee Wallace front and center.

Dee Wallace (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial), who starred in the original Critters as Helen Brown, will sink her teeth into the franchise for a second time in the mysterious role of Aunt Dee. Inspired by the film series from the ’80s and ’90s, Critters follows 20-year-old Drea (Tashiana Washington), who reluctantly takes a job babysitting for a professor of a college she hopes to attend. Struggling to entertain the professor’s children Trissy (Ava Preston) and Jake (Jack Fulton), along with her own little brother Phillip (Jaeden Noel), Drea takes them on a hike, unaware that mysterious alien critters have crash-landed and started devouring every living thing they encounter. Coming This Summer to Digital and Blu-ray.

The trailer is everything you want in a movie that is part goofy, part nutty, and part horrific. There are quality kills, to be sure. With movies trying too hard to be throwbacks to a gentler time in the 70s and 80s, this trailer strikes so many tones without it ever feeling strained on any level.

Easy: Season 3

Director Joe Swanberg is now part of peak TV, and the third season keeps the story going. The story has those hallmarks of a Swanberg production: the characters, the places, the moments, all have realistic weight. The trailer blends the stories of all those in this series so smoothly and effortlessly as we move from one person to another that it’s easy to overlook just the earnest genuineness of it all. It’s sweet, and it’s kind, and the trailer balances emotion with revealing those slivers of humor that punctuate an otherwise heartfelt story arc for all involved.

The Proposal

Director Jill Magid has a Sisyphean task in, first, establishing who Luis Barragan is and, second, making us care within mere seconds of learning that’s what has brought us all together.

Known as “the artist among architects,” Luis Barragán is among the world’s most celebrated architects of the 20th century. Upon his death in 1988, much of his work was locked away in a Swiss bunker, hidden from the world’s view. In an attempt to resurrect Barragán’s life and art, boundary redefining artist Jill Magid creates a daring proposition that becomes a fascinating artwork in itself—a high-wire act of negotiation that explores how far an artist will go to democratize access to art.

To the trailer’s credit, it does just that. The slow burn is enchanting, delicious even. Instead of going the biographical route, we’re just plunged into a narration between two people. I do not understand what’s happening but the visuals are so sumptuous and inviting. They make you stay in front of your screen just a little while longer and, before you know it, like any work of good art, you’re in and you are out just as qucikly.

The Professor

This trailer is a success in spite of itself. Director Wayne Roberts deserves so many kudos for doing what I thought was a futile cause: Getting something remotely interesting out of Johnny Depp. Unfortunately, the trailer is weak sauce. The guitar riffs, the horrendous interstitials with its limp looking font and colors, and more all add to the hodgepodge of inexperience of whoever cut this trailer. However, it’s the glimpses of a spark radiating from Depp when he’s on camera that might make this little engine that could into something that could be worthwhile viewing.

Bosch: The Garden of Dreams

Hell yeah. Director José Luis López Linares’ choice to explore an artist who approached (and in some ways exceeded) Dali-like, third-eye melting art is a bold gambit. But here we are:

A mystery within a mystery, “The Garden of Earthly Delights” is the most famous and intriguing work of Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch. An artist who is as much as an enigma as his highly symbolic and detail-rich paintings, Bosch was recently celebrated around the world in honor of the 500th anniversary of his death. Through exclusive access granted by the Prado Museum, Bosch: The Garden of Dreams looks to answer centuries-old questions about the painter and painting, as well as to explain the inspiration both have had on artists, writers, philosophers and musicians through the years.

I know nothing of the Netherlander painter Hieronymus Bosch, but as someone who slightly eschews Pollock and anything approaching abstract white noise, not to mention being a fan of documentaries like Tim’s Vermeer, this trailer is entirely satisfying. With so many people chiming in with their own interpretations of the man’s work it’s a fantastic pitch to watch something that may elevate your soul if by a little.

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 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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