This Week in Trailers

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 spend some time with an old master, enjoy a twist on the zombie genre, be inspired by the political process, understand how one felon views the world, and ultimately realize the swamp is only getting wetter.

The Swamp

Directors Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme, who both directed Get Me Roger Stone, are back with some more Republican content.

Directors Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme…track Republican Congressmen Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Ken Buck (R-CO), over the course of a pivotal year in politics, demonstrating the breadth and grip of a system that rewards money-raising above all else, plaguing Congress on both sides of the aisle. With unique behind-the-scenes access to the innerworkings of the House amid major breaking news events, including the Mueller hearing and President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings, the film presents a revealing look into the inner workings of the American government.

I’m here with an open mind. We get three Republicans who all talk about draining the swamp that puts the financial interests of  themselves, lobbyists and corporations before the interests of the American people. True, they speak it, but it’s their action, their support, their votes, which will dictate how history will remember them. I’m already convinced Gaetz is a reprehensible bootlicker and his mocking of the coronavirus pandemic is proof positive of his broken moral character, but, again, I’m here to learn and see if there’s any possibility of bridging of the gap between Democrats and Republicans.

My Rembrandt

Director Oeke Hoogendijk is telling a story that is one part rich, bougie snobs going at one another, and one part appreciation for a Dutch master.

Set in the world of the Old Masters, My Rembrandt offers a mosaic of gripping stories in which unrestrained passion for Rembrandt’s paintings leads to dramatic developments and unexpected plot turns.

What is so much fun watching twits who are gaming and scheming to get their mitts on an original Rembrandt is that this looks to provide context as to what made this artist one of the greats. Those of us who have never taken an art appreciation class and have only found our information through books and movies, these are the kinds of stories that are wonderful. What made this artist so great, why go to these great lengths to obtain one, building context is helpful and this, for me, is a must-see.

Represent

Director Hillary Bachelder is hoping to make you a little less contemptuous of politicians.

In the heart of the American Midwest, three women take on the status quo in campaigns that promise to reshape local politics on their own terms.

It’s invigorating on some small scale to hear and see the stories of people who are out to make a real, tangible difference in their communities. Politicians in this game for lecherous grabs of power, to be feted by the elite, and operate in service of their political peers and not the constituencies are the true leeches in this country. This trailer gives me hope. It’s inspiring to see three women make a go at doing what seems impossible: to make government work for the people. It might be three small stories but these are the stories we need to see and hear.

Uncle Peckerhead

Director Matthew John Lawrence is trying to make it in the world of indie comedy horror.

Judy [Siegel], the bassist of punk-rock band ‘DUH,’ dreams of traveling the world and becoming a full-time musician with her two friends, guitarist Max [Riddle] and drummer Mel [McCollister]. But when DUH’s van is repossessed hours before they’re set to embark on their first tour, desperation sets in, and Judy strikes an uneasy alliance with a redneck old-timer by the name of Peckerhead [Littleton], or ‘Peck,’ who offers to drive them in his van in exchange for food and gas. One night after their first show, Peck mysteriously goes missing. Desperate to get back on the road to make their next show, Judy volunteers to look for him. Regrettably, she finds Peck devouring the brains of the promoter who ripped them off earlier. The band quickly comes to realize their new roadie is a cursed, man-eating hillbilly and the ‘gig life’ they’ve always dreamed of is paved with nightmares and half-eaten bodies.

Let’s not overstate how fun this looks, but let’s give credit to the independent filmmakers like Lawrence who are putting content like this out there. This looks easy, breezy, a little wacky, and fun.

Trump Card

Convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza along with Razzie award-winner and co-director Bruce Schooley are breaking the chains that bind them.

Trump Card is an informative, provocative and thrilling exposé, not merely of the ideas but also the tactics of the socialist Left.

Look, as a piece of propaganda, this is visual entertainment that people with low cognitive skills and already questionable moral compasses will find delightful. As a legitimate, cinematic offering, though, those watching this should go in knowing that the words “bad faith” don’t even begin to explain what I see here in the trailer. Much like Hobbs & Shaw, this is a movie that looks like it has no basis in the carbon-based world you or I belong to, but at least with The Rock, I know it’s entertainment. D’Souza, however, is just peddling misinformation wrapped in a gross-looking package.

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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