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 dive into the history of a cinematic classic, find out that reggae is more than just Bob Marley, watch CTE in action, nitpick a schlocky B-Movie, and get to know Meek Mill.

Inna De Yard

When it comes to reggae, the latest from Peter Webber (Girl With A Pearl Earring) just might be the comprehensive look at the subject.

Inna De Yard is a joyous, vibrant film set against a backdrop of the lush green mountains of Jamaica, that sees a superstar group of reggae legends gather to record a new album of infectious hits in an unplugged style that harks back to their roots. The musicians include Ken Boothe, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus I, Cedric Myton and Judy Mowatt whose iconic songs capture the poetry and passion of their homeland.

Recounting the history and continuing cultural importance of reggae music, this landmark film paints an unforgettable portrait of these pioneering artists; their successes and failures, happiness and heartache, during a lifetime immersed in this colossally influential music scene.

Amazingly, the trailer is as light and easygoing as the rhythms of reggae itself. It’s breezy but focused. It has a point of view that deserves some context, and it gives us that within the minute and a half we’re provided. By the time we’re at the end, it is but an amuse-bouche to establish the heritage and foundation of what reggae music is all about. 

Memory: The Origins of Alien

Director Alexandre O. Philippe (78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene) is delving into the world of Alien.

On the eve of Alien’s 40th Anniversary, Memory (the title of the script’s first draft) unearths the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece: its roots in Greek and Egyptian mythology, underground comics, parasitology, H.P. Lovecraft, the art of Francis Bacon, and the symbiotic genius of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger.

While I would have liked to have seen more of the actual movie itself, the pull-quotes do a good enough job selling the basis for why this should be a must-see for any fan of this franchise. The moo of Alien is captured particularly well, and there is just no way I will not venture out to see this when it’s released as the mythos and influences that made Ridley Scott’s film a classic are just too rich.

All or Nothing: The Carolina Panthers

I like these kinds of shows simply because they go behind-the-scenes of the culture of football  andwhat it takes to give America its bread and circuses.

In this season of All or Nothing, just three years removed from his MVP season and a Super Bowl appearance, quarterback Cam Newton remains the charismatic star around whom the Panthers revolve. His cast of teammates includes dynamic running back Christian McCaffrey and perennial All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly, along with a mix of talented rookies hungry to prove themselves and several veteran stalwarts who know this season might be their last. As the season unfolds, Carolina’s players, staff, head coach Ron Rivera and the team’s new owner David Tepper are all forced to navigate a difficult yet compelling path.

The trailer is jammed full of swagger, posturing, and showcases the largesse of this game and why so many watch every single week. The trailer is also low on artistic flourishes, but when you’re wanting people to turn into a series showcasing modern day gladiators, then this is what you get. Still, I can’t get enough. 

Nekrotronic

If you were a fan of visually blown out action movies from the 90s that attempted to skate by solely on the strength of their special effects, then director Kiah Roache-Turner has something for you.

Howard North, a down on his luck sewage worker, gets dragged into a global conflict between the Nekromancers, a family of badass demon hunters, and Finnegan (Monica Bellucci) – an evil demon who absorbs people’s souls to increase her power. When Howard finds out the truth behind Finnegan’s past and her dark plans for the future, he teams up with his new friends to discover he is the ultimate Nekromancer, the only one with the power to defeat her and save the world.

I can see why this movie has not enjoyed any critical acclaim whatsoever. It’s kind of endearing, though, because there does seem to be a contingent for which a movie like this exists. If you’re a dude between the ages of 13-17, this is going to be your cinematic equivalent of cold pizza. The trailer doesn’t waste a frame, lays it all out, and tells you exactly what it’s selling. That’s truth in advertising.

Free Meek

With someone like Jay-Z in your corner, this is the kind of series that could get seen and serve a social purpose.

This intimate documentary series chronicles Meek Mill’s transformation from chart-topping rapper to galvanizing face of criminal justice reform. As Meek, his family and his legal team fight for his freedom, cameras capture the birth of the #FREEMEEK movement and re-investigate a case filled with allegations of dirty cops and systemic corruption in a broken judicial system.

The trailer sets up the narrative well, introduces us to who Meek is, and why we’re gathered to hear his story. There are moments that illustrate some things we’ve heard before about the wheels of justice only moving for those who can afford it but it doesn’t make the message any less resonant. It’s compelling viewing, to be sure.

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:

Cool Posts From Around the Web: