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by Matt Mazur

21 Jul 2010


First Film: Flirting (John Duigan, 1994) opposite long-time friend Nicole Kidman

Must-see: 21 Grams (Alejandro Gonzales Inaritu, 2003); I Heart Huckabees (David O. Russell, 2004); The Painted Veil (John Curran, 2006)

Star Turn: As Betty/Diane in David Lynch’s complicated masterpiece Mulholland Drive

Underrated: Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, 2007)

Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: A hat-trick of interesting women this year with the recent Mother and Child for Rodrigo Garcia and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger later this summer, plus she is playing Valerie Plame opposite Sean Penn in Doug Liman’s Fair Game which got good notices at Cannes earlier this year. She is committed to play Marilyn Monroe in a biopic for Andrew Dominink (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford).

by L.B. Jeffries

21 Jul 2010


Of all the video game avatars that provide ample space for the adolescent male psyche to project into, perhaps none is better suited than Kratos from the God of War series. While Darksiders borrows heavily from the classic Warhammer style of hulking armor or Solid Snake nails the perfect soldier, Kratos is just pure seething id. Interrupted only by the occasional sex romp, he does nothing except smash, kill, and destroy anything that crosses him. The character works nicely because underneath all that are a lot of awkward emotions and guilt because Kratos accidentally killed his wife and child mid-kill-a-thon. Every teenager feels a lot of frustration and anger growing up and sometimes it feels good to express those feelings by tearing something ’s head off.

That’s what makes this particular spoof a bit sharper than your average gamer satire. Borrowing from a long list of sad-bastard man films like Garden State, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums, it takes that basic film formula and mixes it with the characters from God of War. The weird thing is that it works, mostly because both Kratos and the broken males starring in those types of films have a lot in common underneath the surface. Max Fischer might start clubs instead of killing Gods, but there’s still that same basic archetype at work. Joining in with the trailer’s spirit of coming across as a pretentious prick, perhaps there’s a little bit of Kratos in all of us?

The song in the video is ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.

by G. Christopher Williams

21 Jul 2010


In case you don’t have the time to play through these classics, the writers of 8-Bit Twilight Eclipse Interactive (who in a recent post I criminally failed to credit alongside 8-bit animator, Doctor Octoroc), the Fine brothers, bring you a pretty complete education in Nintendo game endings in just two minutes.

For a moment, the video makes you ponder the simplicity of storytelling in games from the ‘80s and early ‘90s.  Well, until you get to explanations of the conclusions of the games in the Ninja Gaiden series.

By the way, those space invaders?  They will win eventually. 

Pac-Man?  Yeah, the ghosts will get him eventually, too.

by Matt Mazur

21 Jul 2010


Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek star in this “true tall tale” about a wild, misunderstood man coming to grips with a complicated past.

PopMatters will be publishing our first-ever Performer Spotlight week-long series on co-star Spacek Monday, July 26 through Friday, July 30 and this in-depth look at her career will culminate in a rather epic interview with both Spacek and Duvall.

From Sony Pictures Classics, Get Low will open in limited release July 30.

by Matt Mazur

20 Jul 2010


First Film: Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994)

Must-see: Holy Smoke! (Jane Campion, 1999); Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2003); Little Children (Todd Field, 2006)

Star Turn: Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee, 1995)

Underrated: As a sensual lower-class laundress who smuggles the prohibited work of the Marquis de Sade to the public after he is imprisoned in Phillip Kaufman’s Quills (2000)

Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: Having recently won the Best Actress Oscar for The Reader (Stephen Daldry, 2008), Winslet went right to work on auteur Todd Haynes’ mini-series update Mildred Pierce, which is shooting.

//Mixed media
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Bad Graphics Are Still Impressive in ‘Spirits of Xanadu’

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"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.

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