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


The Tree of Life and more...


cover art

  The Hangover II

Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti

27 May
The Hangover II

Bookmark and Share

Deja vu never looked so promising as this revisit to the riotous Ruffie and reprobate genius from Todd Phillips. Of course, the issue with the first Hangover was both approach (it’s been mimicked a million times since) and that elusive lighting in a bottle bravado. Something about the new trailer suggests that we are going to get more of the same, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. But the old saying warns that familiarity breeds contempt, and nothing is more contemptible than a comedy that trades on past glories to milk the same material. Still - Zach Galifianakis and a monkey…


cover art

Kung Fu Panda 2

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong

27 May
Kung Fu Panda 2

The first outing for this likeable CG action comedy saw a slick combination of old school martial artistry (ala The Shaw Brothers) with the kind of kid friendly fun that makes this genre so problematic (and profitable). This time around, it looks like we’ll get even less of the Shaolin bent and more mindless anarchic eye candy. Still, one has to have faith in this fledgling franchise. The original didn’t look like a sure fire winner, and yet ended up one of 2008’s best. The only concerning element - the decision to put relative directing newbie Jennifer Yuh behind the lens.


cover art

The Tree of Life

Director: Terrence Malick
Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Kari Matchett, Joanna Going, Kimberly Whalen, Jackson Hurst, Fiona Shaw

27 May
Tree of Life

Every time a new Terrance Malick project (or potential project) is announced, film fans worldwide start to get excited. After all, in the 42 years he’s been directing, he’s made a grand total of five films. Five. Of course, when you consider he’s been responsible for such classics as Badlands and Days of Heaven, it’s not hard to feel a real sense of aesthetic anticipation. But the veil of secrecy surrounding this latest effort, a period piece about family and the meaning of existence, has truly got the faithful free associating. The various hints suggest something profound and unlike anything in his creative canon. Thankfully, the wait is nearly over.


Since deciding to employ his underdeveloped muse muscles over five years ago, Bill has been a significant staff member and writer for three of the Web's most influential websites: DVD Talk, DVD Verdict and, of course, PopMatters. He also has expanded his own web presence with Bill a place where he further explores creative options. It is here where you can learn of his love of Swindon's own XTC, skim a few chapters of his terrifying tome in the making, The Big Book of Evil, and hear samples from the cassette albums he created in his college music studio, The Scream Room.

Related Articles
27 Jun 2013
The girls are perfect for each other: they get drunk, bond and some more stuff, until they're united as ass-kicking sisters who have badges and guns and each other's backs.
17 Oct 2012
With the end The Mighty Thor, perhaps now's the perfect time to reconsider Kenneth Branagh's critical box office success as a metaphor for the challenges facing the upcoming Thor: God of Thunder.
27 Feb 2012
Ernest Hemingway compared Paris to a moveable feast because no matter what time it is, Paris is always the magnificent city of lights. Woody Allen expands upon Hemingway's testimony in the magical Midnight in Paris.
23 Feb 2012
Five Reasons The Tree of Life Should Win Best Picture...
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.