Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014
In celebration of his 40th year as a published author, we present these five unfilmed, and five already available Stephen King books that are crying out for a cinematic (re)configuration.

Forty years ago, on 5 April to be exact, a book entitled Carrie was released to limited fanfare. Written by a then unknown scribe named Stephen King, while he was struggling, it was actually his fourth complete novel (but first to be published). With an initial run of 30,000 copies, few could imagine the cottage industry it would help fuel. While the hardcover was hardly a hit, the paperback sold over one million copies. King quit his job as a teacher to concentrate on his new career and the rest, as they say, is one of the greatest runs in horror prose history. The mild mannered man from Maine with a wealth of internal demons and a demented way of expressing them would go on to sell a staggering 350 million books, many of which have been adapted into successful (or in many cases, schlocky) movies. In fact, during the ‘80s and ‘90s, hardly a year went by when another King effort made it onto either the big or small screen.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014
By jumping right into the whole Dark Knight/Clark Kent pairing, DC once again shows how clueless it is regarding the handling of their heroes.

Over the weekend of 4 April, HBO premiered last Summer’s divisive DC tentpole Man of Steel. For those unfamiliar with the property, this was Warner Bros. attempt, with help of Dark Knight maestro Christopher Nolan (in a producer’s role) of bringing Superman back to the big screen. After 2006’s equally contentious take by Bryan Singer, Superman Returns, many saw limited possibilities for harnessing Krypton’s last hope into a Marvel like movie dynasty. Indeed, while that comic label became a billion dollar multinational conglomerate, director Zack Snyder was still trying to map out a strategy that would make our greatest American hero “super” again. Some say he succeeded. Others had serious reservations. Overall, the film was a big enough hit that Warners ordered a sequel and that’s when the shitstorm happened.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Apr 4, 2014
Overwritten, overacted, and frequently over-stylized, Dom Hemingway is a movie that constantly gets in the way of itself.

What, exactly, happened to Jude Law? There was a time, right around the turn of the new millennium, where he was poised to be the next Hugh Grant (not that anyone would want that title today, this was the end of the ‘90s so hear us out). He was up and coming, appearing in excellent fare like Gattaca, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Stephen Spielberg’s Kubrick salvage job, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, David Cronenberg’s ahead of its time eXistenZ, and David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees. 2004 seems to be the tipping point, however. Somewhere around Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the dashing good looks of this meant to be matinee idol dissolved into a series of silly career choices. While he benefited from being one of the better Dr. Watson’s to Robert Downey Jr.‘s revisionist Sherlock Holmes, he’s seen his fortunes lag significantly - and he’s only 41 years old.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Apr 4, 2014
Over time, we become comfortable with Alan Partridge's panic. His seeming inability to do anything right provides a wellspring of witty weirdness.

If there is such a thing as grace under pressure, he’s never heard of it. Instead, this longtime radio DJ and TV presenter only knows one thing when the odds are against him and the skit is hitting the fan: Panic! No, not in the traditional arms flailing and body twitching kind. Instead, Alan Partridge (a delightful Steve Coogan, who originated and co-created the role) uses his undeniable gift of slightly off-kilter gab to lie on his feet with quick, anxious dexterity. He can almost always talk his way both out of and into a scenario, sometimes in the same moment, often with limited overall success, but he’s a wizard while doing it. Mention a trip to the seaside and he’ll ponder on the sure to be fond memories - until it turns out you were there to spread the ashes of a dead loved one into the surf. Discuss a favorite film and he’ll offer his two cents worth, even if it turns out he’s mentioning another, less appropriate movie all together.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Apr 4, 2014
Even with all its XXX gimmickry, Nymph()maniac remains grounded in character. From someone like Lars von Trier, we'd expect nothing less... and we get a lot more.

When last we left Lars von Trier’s epic exploration of one woman’s unwieldy sexuality and all the perverted permutations of same, our heroine Joe (as an adult, Charlotte Gainsbourg, as a youth, Stacy Martin) had just lost all sensation in her vagina. As she recounts her underage exploits and various home wrecking scenarios, including the sudden loss of sensation while living with the longtime object of her desires, Jerome (Shia LaBeouf), our attentive listener, a bookworm named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), links her lust-life to various works of literature and cultural/personal milestones. Before going forward, dealing with her life as an adult, the duo discuss religion, especially the differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism. For Seligman, it’s a question of Christ’s suffering vs. Christ’s mercy. For Joe, it’s just another nonsensical analogy to her continuing condemnation of self.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.