The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview - May 2013

by Bill Gibron

29 April 2013

 

10 May


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The Great Gatsby

Director: Baz Lurhmann
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher,. Jason Clarke, Amitabh Bachchan
10 May
The Great Gatsby

Baz Lurhmann, the man behind Moulin Rouge and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet hasn’t made a feature length film since 2008’s Australia. He’s back now, with his over-the-top take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famed Jazz Age parable. As with many books considered classics by scholars and social circles, Gatsby has always had it detractors. Various unsuccessful film versions (including a mid-‘70s dud starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow) have further dulled its literary luster. The trailers have been promising extravagance and style, and we are huge fan of this period in Leonard DiCaprio’s career. It’s Luhrmann we’re unsure of.

 

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Peeples

Director: Tina Gordon Chism
Cast: Kerry Washington, Craig Robinson, David Alan Grier, Diahann Carrol
10 May
Peeples

Something strange happened to this film on the way to an early summer release. Tyler Perry, still smarting from the one two punch of Alex Cross and Temptation, became “invested” in the project, and now his name is plastered all over a new ad campaign. No matter who is “presenting” this film, or the various other title changes involved, it’s the content that counts, and with the frequently hilarious Craig Robinson as the working man fiancé of a well to do debutante, satiric sparks might just fly. On the other hand, this kind of material has been done to death, and usually without much success.

 

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Aftershock

Director: Nicolás López
Cast: Eli Roth, Andrea Osvárt, Ariel Levy, Nicolas Martinez, Lorenza Izzo, Natasha Yarovenko
10 May
Aftershock

Eli Roth appears to be more interested in appearances in front of the camera than creating more craven horror films (Hostel, Cabin Fever) behind it. From roles in Tarantino flicks (Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds) to helping out some fellow fright fans (he produced the horrible The Last Exorcism) he needs to stop that star bit and get back to the blood. In this case, he’s Gringo in this weird take on a South American earthquake. As part of a group of nightclubbing party addicts who watch society disintegrate post-disaster, he stars as well as helping with the script. The trailer teases of the atrocities to come.

 

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Erased

Director: Philipp Stölzl
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Olga Kurylenko, Liana Liberato
10 May
Erased

Before it was bought by the Weinstein Company and, as usual, retitled, The Expatriate did decent business oversees. Some considered it a poor man’s Bourne Identity, but for the most part, star Aaron Eckhart pulls off the role of a ex-CIA agent on the run, hoping his past won’t catch up to his rebellious teenage daughter. While filmmaker Philipp Stölzl got his start in music videos, the German director’s North Face earned some minor international acclaim. Here, he seems out of his element, needing to borrow heavily from genre efforts before to keep his thriller from falling apart.

 

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Sightseers

Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram
10 May
Sightseers

As the follow-up feature to his crazy quilt genre crossover Kill List, Ben Wheatley has decided to go on holiday, literally. Telling the story of two caravan campers who turn their dysfunctional relationship into a desire to murder anyone who doesn’t share their sullied world view, the filmmaker finds deeply dark humor in such sad subjects as vacant British landscapes and brazen bloodletting. As his leads, Alice Lowe and Steve Oram give new meaning to the term “antisocial,” lashing out in ways that even a hardened psychopath would consider extreme. Still, thanks to Wheatley’s work behind the scenes, everything is daft and delirious.

 

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And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Director: Zack Bernbaum
Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Parker Posey, Callum Blue, Ryhs Ward
10 May
And Now a Word From Our Sponsor

First time feature filmmaker Zack Bernbaum has come up with an unique concept for his quirky corporate satire. Ad man CEO Bruce Greenwood disappears only to later be discovered in a hospital. When he wakes, he can only speak in slogans. That’s right, his entire dialogue is derived from Madison Avenue campaigns. Parker Posey tries to figure out what happened, while her costar wears out his welcome with one recognizable commercial catchphrase after another. The trailer teases that there is a bigger message here, but one fears that this is more gimmick than golden opportunity to take down our materialistic age.

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