Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s ambitious Grindhouse project — a double feature of horror flicks modeled after the look and feel of ’70s sleaze cinema — had its troubles upon release, mostly that it felt approximately a million hours long. But its convincing reproduction of a bygone era struck a chord with audiences, who were charmed by the deliberately cheesy dialogue, the artificial scratches and imperfections mimicking the damage accrued on an old celluloid filmstrip, and the overall transportive time-machine quality. The 1970s have aged into the sweet spot of vintage cool, old enough to be attractive in its nostalgic qualities but not so old as to seem like ancient history. (The ’60s are on their way to that point.)

The newly released “retro” trailer for Shane Black’s upcoming L.A. crime comedy The Nice Guys salutes this same era, instantly conjuring memories/fantasies of run-down movie houses hawking their features coming soon. The perfectly bass-y narrator (who must be the same fellow narrating the Grindhouse trailer) says a whole lot that amounts to very little in his voiceover, as was typical of the time in which the picture is set. The filter-treatment applied to the picture gives it a nice retro vibe as well, and the dated fonts on the title cards for each actor complete the illusion.

The Nice Guys has been packed full of allusions, with Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger’s mere presence in the film a nod to their modern-classic neo-noir L.A. Confidential. The trailer above doesn’t include much new footage, but it does convey a clearly defined sense of identity and general tone for the film, which is more than most trailers can manage. The Nice Guys premieres on May 20, and as far as I’m concerned, that can’t come soon enough.

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