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Clip Analysis: Mafia II Trailer

Clip Analysis: Mafia II Trailer (photo)

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Video game teasers tend to stick to a certain formula: dazzle the viewer with awesome graphics, show off some of the games’ abilities and maybe dribble a little story out to tantalize would-be players. But every so often, one piece of video-centric marketing will float above the rest or sink to join the sludge.

In Clip Analysis, I’ll be looking at trailers, teasers and just about any game-related video in an effort to call out what works and what doesn’t in terms of communicating a particular game’s coolness.

This time, I’ll be taking a look at the Kick in the Head trailer for “Mafia II”.

Summer tends to be slow when it comes to big-deal game releases, so 2K Games’ Mafia II already stands be one of the more anticipated games when it comes out. They don’t have to do a lot of selling here. But they do a good job of keeping it film-like: no quick cuts, no text overlays, no ominous third-person narrator intoning the seriousness of the business. All you need is presented in the trailer.

• The music is the first thing that hits you. Dean Martin’s swinging big-band rendition of “Ain’t That A Kick in The Head?” immediately establishes an aura of Rat Pack-era cool as we meet the game’s lead character Vito Scarletta. Not only will you be this guy in the game but with those horns blaring behind him, you wanna be this guy.

• This trailer is all cinematics, with no gameplay footage here. But we still do get a sense of the things that we’ll be doing in the game–bribing officers, drive-by shootings, forceful extortions of money. It’s more engrossing than watching someone off-screen steer characters through sequences of the game.

• Mafia II’s clearly trying to channel the vibe of a “Goodfellas” in its gangster gameplay. But the trailer also effectively apes Scorcese’s hallowed dollycam shots, like the one long one when Henry Hill’s taking his future wife through the restaurant. This trailer does that one better, swooping in and out of various locales around the fictional city of Empire Bay. And that final shot is, literally, killer.

If you weren’t excited already, then this trailer should have fixed that problem. Mafia II will be out for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on August 24th

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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