This Week In Trailers: PG: Psycho Goreman, Acasa, My Home, Blown Away, Inside the World's Toughest Prisons

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 blow some glass, appreciate Bucharest, find ourselves with a new best friend from a dimension beyond our own, and find ourselves in the clink.

PG: Psycho Goreman

Director Steven Kostanski is departing from what many know him for.

Siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord who was entombed on Earth millions of years ago after a failed attempt to destroy the universe. They nickname the evil creature Psycho Goreman (or PG for short) and use the magical amulet they discovered to force him to obey their childish whims. It isn’t long before PG’s reappearance draws the attention of intergalactic friends and foes from across the cosmos and a rogues’ gallery of alien combatants converges in small-town suburbia to battle for the fate of the galaxy.

In 2016, many would come to know Kostanski’s name from his direction on The Void, an interesting piece of moviemaking and, Compared to PG: Psycho Goreman, you may wonder if the same person actually made both. While I am initially skeptical about what he’s trying to do here, the longer you go with this trailer, the more interesting things get. This feels like something that could appeal to a younger demo who want to move into something a little more challenging than Disney or Nickelodeon fare. It’s cheeky and seems like it could easily score with the right audience. I don’t think that’s someone like me, but I like the effort.

Blown Away

It’s going to be my latest flame.

The hot shop is open! A new batch of glass-blowing artists from around the world battle the heat, the clock and each other in 10 dynamic challenges.

Easing my way into 2021, it’s going to be content like this that makes the transition a delight. Instead of cooking (and the absolute glut of content associated with the culinary arts is reaching insane proportions), we have people creating art. Somehow, someway, this feels more interesting and engaging than some yahoos quibbling over whose souffle tastes better. In the era of must-see TV, this is already something I can’t wait to watch.

Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons

Yet another season to see how the other half lives.

Raphael Rowe, who spent years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, volunteers to go behind bars in the Philippines, Greenland and South Africa.

I heard a quote once that I’ve never forgotten by Fyodor Dostoyevsky which says, “A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals.” How other cultures deal with those they deem as transgressors makes for an incredibly spot-on assessment of how their society functions. To see people incarcerated across the world, it’s a reminder of that we should be mindful of what we deem appropriate for imprisonment and remember that it’s a reflection of who we truly are. I’ve never seen a season of this show, but knowing this is the fifth season makes me realize that there are millions who love this kind of content.

Acasa, My Home

Director Radu Ciorniciuc makes me appreciate the world I live in.

In the wilderness of the Bucharest Delta, an abandoned water reservoir just outside the bustling metropolis, the Enache family lived in perfect harmony with nature for two decades, sleeping in a hut on the lakeshore, catching fish barehanded, and following the rhythm of the seasons. When this area is transformed into a public national park, they are forced to leave behind their unconventional life and move to the city, where fishing rods are replaced by smartphones and idle afternoons are now spent in classrooms. As the family struggles to conform to modern civilization and maintain their connection to each other and themselves, they each begin to question their place in the world and what their future might be. With their roots in the wilderness, the nine children and their parents struggle to find a way to keep their family united in the concrete jungle. With an empathetic and cinematic eye, filmmaker Radu Ciorniciuc offers viewers, in his feature debut, a compelling tale of an impoverished family living on the fringes of society in Romania, fighting for acceptance and their own version of freedom.

This documentary is a great example of what you see is what you get. There is not a lot going on, not a lot to take issue with, but the lives these people are living are riveting. You’re either in or you’re out once you see the trailer, but there is enough to grab my attention while also displaying an impressive collection of festival appearances, which should help getting more eyeballs on this kind of narrative other than my own.

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 [email protected] or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week: