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

 
Film
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA

We apparently worship false gods. We adore sitting, enraptured, as mutants and other mysteries of nature battle it out for symbolic superiority (and no, we aren’t talking about an overly buff Vin Diesel taking on an equally muscled Dwayne Johnson for Brazilian back alley bragging rights). Robots rule our lazy, hazy summer days, their transformative powers perking up an otherwise aggressive assault on our senses, and every once in a while, a comedy/drama/kids film will walk by, gaining our interest before another caped crusader comes in to claim its territory. That’s right, it’s blockbuster time again, the annual cinematic assumption regarding what a majority of the mainstream movie-going public will enjoy come the next four months. Sure, it’s a gamble, and sometimes, the lows are more famous than the highs. One thing’s for sure, however, we won’t be seeing another Inception any time soon.


[read full introduction]


 

cover art

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Cast: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis, Chelah Horsdal, Tom Felton, Brian Cox, David Hewlett

5 August
Rise of the Planet of the Apes


How do you jumpstart a fan favorite franchise when your previous attempt (via Tim Burton) left you with more egg than entertainment on your series face? Well, you wait around a while, let the reputation of your reboot die down, and then take on all comers, concept-wise. The winner is this “origin” story, an attempt to explain how thousands of years from now, the Statue of Liberty ends up halfway submerged in some beachhead. The answer? A noble scientists (James Franco) who introduces a “smart” drug to his test monkey population, turning them into thinking beings - and apparently, pissed-off hater of humans. While the logistics of an ape takeover remain in question, we can’t wait to see how this plays out.


 

cover art

The Change-Up

Director: David Dobkin
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman, Mircea Monroe, Leslie Mann, TJ Hassan

5 August
The Change-Up


Oh brother…the body switching comedy? Didn’t we get our fill of that back when Reagan was President? Apparently not, since the makers of this proposed laugher have decided that melding said high concept to the new trend toward gratuitous, gross-out low brow gags would be something novel. After seeing the recent Red Band trailer, the combination seems more specious than ever. Jason Bateman is the harried father who wants another chance at bachelor hood. Ryan Reynolds is the free swinging pal he trades with? Okay, we’re a bit interested. Just remember, for every Big, there is a Vice Versa and 18 Again - except this time, there’s dick jokes.


 

cover art

The Perfect Age of Rock and Roll

Director: Scott Rosenbaum
Cast: Kevin Zegers, Jason Ritter, Peter Fonda, Taryn Manning, Lauren Holly

5 August
The Perfect Age of Rock and Roll


Like the meaning of life (to paraphrase The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), the answer is 27. That’s the response to the title query, the age when Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, et.al, all bought it in the name of making music. What this has to do with a drama involving two musicians - one massively successful, one failed but fulfilled by being a small town teacher - and their eventual reunion is anyone’s guess. Even more intriguing is how Kevin Zegers and Jason Ritter can pull of their roles as rock icons in various states of flux. Whatever the case, this has the feel of filler, something the studios are sticking into the mix to make room for something more substantial later on.


 

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 Gibron.com 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
10 Aug 2014
After the best-selling novel La Planète des Singes and the hit film Planet of the Apes, the series found itself in hairy times. How did the saga regain its glory?
1 Aug 2014
"You see where this thing is going" from the first frames of Get On Up. But you also wish you didn't; you wish that it would have been smarter, more nuanced, and less fantastic.
By Christopher Borrelli
3 Feb 2012
The New Nostalgia, despite every dyspeptic bone in my body, is not necessarily a bad thing -- particularly in thoughtful hands, like those of Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg. The New Nostalgia is about dipping into movie history to rediscover the joy of moviegoing itself.
By Nicole Sperling
29 Jan 2012
discussion by

Comments
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.