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

 
Film

27 July

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA


cover art

Neighborhood Watch

Director: Akiva Schaffer
Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Will Forte
27 July
Neighborhood Watch


This is going to be a very tricky sell, even if the storyline has nothing to do with the events of recent months. Still, when you hear the title, at least today, all you can think of is a certain dead teenager, the accused ‘vigilante’ who gunned him down, and the media back and forth that is basically trying the case in the court of public opinion. Hopefully, the studio behind the film can find a way to differentiate it from current headlines—perhaps by emphasizing the alien invasion angle of the narrative (yes, this is one of those movies).


 

cover art

Step Up: Revolution

Director: Scott Speer
Cast: Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Chadd “Madd Chadd” Smith, Tommy Dewey
27 July
Step Up: Revolution


With the introduction of 3D last time around, the Step Up franchise got a bit of a creative reprieve. This time, the fourth installment keeps the gimmick but ditches its home studio (Disney affiliate Touchstone) to go to Summit. With its South Beach setting and flagrant attempt to bring a bit of Miami heat to the proceedings, expect lots of Latin rhythms. Of course, when Dirty Dancing went to Havana, no one much cared, so this exhibition of current choreography better have more going for it than sweat and sun. Based on the previous films in the series, it probably doesn’t.


 

cover art

Ruby Sparks

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Cast: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould
27 July
Ruby Sparks


An author whose fictional character comes to life to teach him or her some valuable life lessons? Where have we heard that before? However, before we dismiss this RomCom (strike three!) outright, there are some elements here that have us curious. First, the fascinating Paul Dano is our lead, and he’s not a conventional choice. Even better, the directing team behind Little Miss Sunshine, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, are behind the lens. While Zoe Kazan (the screenwriter and female costar) is not a household name, she’s been in several films, and has quite a following from her stage work. Could be a surprise sleeper.


 

cover art

Searching for Sugar Man

Director: Malik Bendjelloul
27 July
Searching for Sugar Man


Like Anvil: The Story of Anvil and Last Days Here, this is another one of those fan initiated investigations into the whereabouts of a former famous musician. In this case, two South African devotees want to discover if the mysterious ‘70s rock ‘n’ roller, Rodriguez, actually killed himself while onstage. It’s the kind of urban legend that has set their minds reeling since they first heard the man’s music. Rodriguez is a cultural icon in the country, his songs finding meaning within the previous oppressive setting of apartheid. What the duo discovers might rewrite history, but it can’t rob the artist of his import.

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
8 Jun 2014
The story is far from over for The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, but what of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? What of the incredible saga of all of those also-ran comic book films?
By Piers Marchant
2 May 2014
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a pulpy and mostly winning combination of spandexed superheroics and the complicated yearnings of young romance.
29 Apr 2014
When it works, it's a wonder. When it doesn't, the atmosphere of interference is obvious.
By PopMatters Staff
27 Jan 2013
From popcorn perfection to animation experimentation, foreign finesse and good old Hollywood hokum, 2012 delivered the shiny cinematic goods and then some. Here are our choices for the titles that took on the challenge, and won.
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.