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 help hide a dead body, rebuild what was destroyed by flames, fly to Japan for some Yakuza fun, spy on some ladies in a nursing home, and give the zombie genre another fresh look.

Your Honor

I don’t know if we have room for more prestige TV, but this looks promising.

Your Honor is a new SHOWTIME limited series and legal thriller that rips through all strata of New Orleans society. Bryan Cranston will star as a respected judge whose son is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. Coming soon to SHOWTIME.

Again, I’m honestly not sure if I have time to accommodate yet another series, but to hold my attention for what felt longer than the thirty seconds we’re given? Fabulous. I’m dialed into what they’re selling and this teaser makes a powerful case why it deserves some attention among other options out there.

Rebuilding Paradise

When you’ve got Ron Howard directing, and Hans Zimmer scoring, so it’s at least worth a look, right?

Early in the morning of November 8, 2018, a spark flew into the parched brush of the Sierra Nevada foothills. By nightfall it had turned into the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. A town called Paradise was burned to the ground. 85 lives were lost. In the fire’s aftermath, Paradise refugees coped with shared trauma, displacement and uncertainty about the future. Over the course of a year, through sheer grit and determination, they began to rebuild their lives and redefine the meaning of home.

Fire, like water and air, is a devastating beast when it’s at its most powerful. Stories like this offer a glimpse of not only how destructive this element can be, but what happens in the aftermath of the flames when life can begin again. It’s a feel-good story for sure, and it seems right at home as a rental or something you would catch on CNN.

Lost Girls & Love Hotels

Director William Olsson’s latest feels small but interesting.

An intoxicating exploration of contemporary Tokyo’s duality, LOST GIRLS & LOVE HOTELS stars Alexandra Daddario (TV’s “True Detective”, San Andreas), Takehiro Hira (The Fighter Pilot, The Floating Castle) and Carice Van Houten (TV’s “Game of Thrones”, Valkyrie). Based on screenwriter Catherine Hanrahan’s book of the same name, and directed by William Olsson, the film is a provocative journey inviting you to get lost within the darkest corridors of Japan in hopes of experiencing fleeting moments of beauty. We follow the passionate tale of love and lust between a haunted American English teacher Margaret (Daddario) and a dashing Yakuza named Kazu (Takehiro Hira) as their affair tears them apart and reshapes them across Tokyo’s landscape of dive bars, alleyways and three-hour love hotels.

All told, I can’t tell if this will be a movie that simply comes and goes, or there is some real dramatic meat on this bone. It, flat out, looks sumptuously shot, and it feels intensely intimate. But I’m baffled at guessing whether this is going to be overly melodramatic or if we’re going to have a wild and crazy trip. Still, the trailer held my attention, so that counts for something.

The Mole Agent

Director Maite Alberdi deserves kudos for making something sweet.

When a family grows concerned for their mother’s well-being in a retirement home, private investigator Romulo hires 83-year-old Sergio to pose as a new resident and undercover spy inside the facility. The Mole Agent follows Sergio as he struggles to balance his assignment with his increasing involvement in the lives of the many residents he meets.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of this movie as I watched the trailer but as the story slowly revealed itself, there is no question that this could be a delightful rental. It looks lighthearted, genuine, and could serve as a well-earned diversion from anything you might be reading in the news or your social feeds. There still is hope left in the world, and his name is Sergio.

Blood Quantum

This is about what I expected from director Jeff Barnaby.

The indigenous people in the isolated reserve of Red Crow are immune to the zombie plague that has taken over the nation, but that doesn’t mean their lives aren’t at risk. It’s up to Traylor (Michael Greyeyes, “Fear the Walking Dead”), the tribal sheriff, to protect the families residing on the reserve and a flood of desperate refugees from the hordes of bloodthirsty, walking white corpses that are closing in.

When Meredith Borders’ review of Blood Quantum debuted on the site back in September of last year, I knew I had to keep it on my radar. From the sound of the review, it was a fresh take on the zombie genre. It looks fun, exciting, and very accessible, even it’s a bit all over the place. Plus, its low-fi, independent production value is endearing.

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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