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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Star Wars: Episode IX

Star Wars: Episode IX

After forty-two years, Disney is dangling the promise of closure to this storied saga. While there is perhaps unsurprisingly nothing truly new on offer as the myriad narrative threads on this franchise begin to tie themselves neatly (for now, at least), the trailer does hold interest through a carefully executed aural procedure of anticipation, epic exposition, and a surprising—yet narratively satisfying—ending.

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Joker

Joker

On paper, it’s an absurdist theatrical challenge: humanize the Joker—the one DC universe villain who comes off as more of a force of nature, void of empathy, perhaps than any other. By the same token, Warner Brothers knows the opportunity inherent in forging a compelling cinematic backstory for one of the silver screen’s most mesmerizing super villains.

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Ma

Ma

The trailer for upcoming thriller Ma, via Blumhouse and Universal Pictures, was releases recently. Starring Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis, and Luke Evans, the choices of music in this trailer present both a classic fake-out and a classic motif-based musical theme that speaks to the film’s originality. The concept here is that Sue Ann (Spencer, as “Ma”) is a hermit resident of Ohio who is asked to buy some alcohol for a new teenager in town, and her friendliness gradually devolves into terrorizing control.

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