The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The latest from from the Coen Brothers is part of a Western anthology coming to Netflix. Twenty-five years in, the Brothers’ irreverent wit and playful humour shows no signs of abating. Premiering at the Venice International Film Festival, the second trailer for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs recently released. The first episode in the six-fold series, it promises to be a mix of comedy and violence, not unlike the previous Coen classic Burn After Reading, or more directly, other Coen takes on the Western True Grit (2010) and, of course, No Country for Old Men (2007). With star power like James Franco and Tom Waits in the wings, Buster Scruggs and the attendant anthology promise to follow well in the previous Westerns’ footsteps.

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The Best of Enemies

The Best of Enemies

“The Best of Enemies” sees civil rights activist Ann Atwater go up against noted Ku Klux Klan member C. P. Ellis on the issue of school integration – and the pervasive sonic theme here is, indeed, integration. At the beginning of the trailer, for example, the sound of a distant school bell is suddenly engulfed by a burning flame; this bell exact as a perfect sound bridge and segue as it morphs into the sound of a ringing landline telephone. Similarly, this trailer employs a very subtle mashup that in some sense embodies the racial relations that the film promises to explore. 

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Captive State

Captive State

Released a few days ago, the official teaser for Focus Features’ Captive State feels primed as one part alien invasion movie with a healthy dash of vaguely political commentary. Indeed, it’s hard not to think of the much-ballyhooed American Space Force when watching this trailer. According to the official synopsis, Captive State is set in a Chicago neighbourhood after almost ten years of occupation by an alien force. What promises to propel the film is the conflict between those who comply and those who resist. Again, it is hard not to draw parallels to the political moment south of Trailaurality’s Canadian border when there is an entire coalition of American voters who identify on social media as the de facto, capital-R Resistance. This being said, we’re here for the music and sound, and there is much to say on this front as well.

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Halloween (2018; Second Trailer)

Halloween (2018; Second Trailer)

We last covered the trailer campaign for Halloween back in early June; now, as we enter fall and near the film’s release, the film is ramping up its promotional presence with its second trailer dropping this past week. Having been a part of the canon of Hollywood slasher/horror films since its inception in 1978, Halloween in the 2018 edition enters a part-reboot, part-sequel wherein Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is found older, wiser, and much more stridently taking on antagonist Michael Myers (Nick Castle). As we’ll hear, John Carpenter similarly reprises his role as the composer of the franchise’s famous piano theme.

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Johnny English Strikes Again (Second Trailer)

Johnny English Strikes Again (Second Trailer)

The final trailer for Johnny English Strikes Again was recently released, and it picks up mostly where the previous trailer left off. The series, which parodies the James Bond series and likely takes in part from Mike Myers’ turn-of-the-century Austin Powers trilogy, is the third in a series that began in 2003 and had a sequel in 2011’s Johnny English Reborn. 

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Suspiria

Suspiria

Footed by Amazon Studios, Suspiria (2018) is a remake of the 1977 Italian supernatural horror film by Dario Argento. At a world-renowned German dance company, an artistic director, an ambitious young American dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist are engulfed in an all-consuming darkness. The original film was itself based on an 1845 essay by Thomas De Quincey, Suspiria de Profundis (“Sighs from the Depths”). 

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The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds

This week we are looking at and listening to The Darkest Minds, a new thriller that is one part Stranger Things (produced by the same people, no less), and one part X-Men – “if you can hear this, you’re one of us” intones a voice underneath grainy radio static at the beginning of the trailer, immediately suggesting the kind of psychopathic horror/adventure that Stranger Things has become emblematic of, but as will be seen and heard, definitely of a more action-oriented lilt.

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I Am the Night

I Am the Night

​​​​​​​Coming in early 2019 as part of TNT’s “Suspense Collection,” I Am the Night promises to be a thrilling match-up, with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins directing Hollywood phenom Chris Pine. In this series, a runaway woman discovers that she’s familially connected to a doctor-come-murderer, George Hodel. The suspense that ensues promises equal parts horror and film noire, and the trailer certainly obliges.

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