Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep

Based on 2013’s Stephen King novel of the same name, Doctor Sleep is a direct sequel to The Shining (1977 book; 1980 film adaption). Perhaps in part driven by the success of It and its sequel in theatres currently, Warner Bros. took advantage of the fact that there is already a famous visual language and memory to draw (and market) from the 1980 original. It’s clearly more the product of director Mike Flanagan, rather than paying any serious homage to Kubrick. The trailer music, however, starts from the original’s score, subsequently building on it.

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Between Two Ferns: The Movie

Between Two Ferns: The Movie

Even Zach Galifianakis couldn’t have predicted that Between Two Ferns would not only be so successful to have lasted ten years (albeit sporadically, with a spread of twenty-one shows in total), but also that it would receive its own feature film edition. Almost naturally, the show that served as one of the progenitors of the Internet-based comedy show medium is premiering its movie on Netflix. Given the streaming giant’s predilection for picking up and ordering somewhat similar shows dispensing bite-size, reality TV humour such as Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, it’s a natural fit.

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Lucy in the Sky

Lucy in the Sky

You’ve got one guess as to what song is embedded in the trailer for director Noah Hawley’s Lucy in the Sky. Rather than simply insert the Beatles tune, however, motivic fragments from “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” are scattered across the two and a half minute running time like a fever dream, with just the faintest hints of the tune’s famous, chromatically tumbling piano line in the first few seconds.

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Disney+

Disney+

Over the past few months and culminating in an avalanche of news and content at this past weekend’s D23 expo, Disney has released a steady array of trailers, confirming to us that the trailer remains the chosen vehicle for the promotion of moving images. The latest bunch are for properties exclusive to its upcoming Netflix competitor, Disney+, which launches in North America on November 12th. To that end, it’s worth investigating how the campaign fits together on an aural level. Here are four of the most notable-sounding trailers released this past weekend.

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Honey Boy

Honey Boy

Now that we’re well past San Diego Comic Con, Amazon Studios has released the trailer for Honey Boy in advance of all the trailers for films with a holiday release sure to come.

In a synopsis that sounds difficult to realize on paper yet confounds expectations, Honey Boy sees Shia LaBeouf—best known for the recent entries in the Transformers franchise—turning deeply introspective and semi-autobiographical. Based on his own experiences as a former Disney kid pushed to success by his father, the film promises to track a young actor’s difficult childhood, rise to fame, and recent turn to rehabilitation following substance abuse. 

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The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch, adapted from the Pulitzer-winning 2014 novel by Donna Tartt, is directed by John Crowley and arrives mid September, in the thick of awards season. The trailer shrewdly leans into the complexity of its 780-odd page source material, featuring a musical source known for its sense of depth. While scored by Trevor Gureckis, the trailer opts for a rearranged and embellished version of “Terrible Love” (2011) by art rockers The National.

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San Diego Comic-Con 2019

San Diego Comic-Con 2019

Last week San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up, and in its wake lies a treasure trove of trailers for the next year of big-league film and television. Although we didn’t get an appearance by Warner Bros—and, consequently, no Wonder Woman 1984 or Dune—we did get even representation from the cable network landscape and the world of streaming alike, with promo by The CW, HBO, TBA, Amazon, and Netflix each garnering attention, among others. Here’s our annual trek down Hall H, with—as always—an ear towards the musical element.

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Knives Out

Knives Out

With Knives Out, writer/director Rian Johnson shows that his bona fide blockbuster outing with Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the exception that proves the rule: here, we are back into the familiar auteur stylings of Looper or Brick. An ensemble cast, classically styled whodunit plot, and a standout soundtrack ground Johnson’s next filmic foray.

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Rambo: Last Blood

Rambo: Last Blood

Another series that enjoys occasional resurgence (Rambo III was released 1998; Rambo IV, 2008), the trailer for Rambo V recently dropped and with it the use of a recent popular song that itself balances old and new with a judicious blend of hip hop and country. Throughout the trailer we hear a movie that celebrates what can be called at this point its heritage, while also serving the action and aesthetics of 2019.

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20th Annual Golden Trailer Awards Announced

20th Annual Golden Trailer Awards Announced

On May 29th, the 20th annual Golden Trailer Awards were held at the Ace Theatre in Downtown LA. Once again, we learned that Trailaurality covered many of the trailers that would go on to be recognized for their excellence, not least due to the role that music and sound plays in their narrative power (though the GTA officially has only two awards exclusively devoted to music).

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Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate

The Terminator franchise has returned to the hands of producer James Cameron, and along with this change, we get to see Linda Hamilton reprising her role as Sarah Connor. This back-to-basics approach reminds one of last year’s Halloween reboot, which similarly simplified the plot line while bringing back the key, original actors to reprise their role (in the case of Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode).

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino is at this point one of a certain old guard of Hollywood auteurs—popular enough to be casually mentioned by surname, like Spielberg or Kubrick. “It’s a Tarantino movie” is all a studio needs to say to carry a movie—even one such as Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, seemingly borne of a challenge to pack as many A-list actors as possible into a coherent script, taking on Hollywood itself as its subject matter. 

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The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is the plainly-titled sequel to 2016’s original film, both produced by Illumination Entertainment (best known for the Despicable Me series, and others). Whereas earlier trailers in the campaign for The Secret Life of Pets 2 were built around minute-long “character trailers” that are in essence designed to for quick social sharing and splicing into gifs, here is a trailer in a more conventional sense—a narrative-driven affair that does include some humour, but leans into feel-good, family fare.

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