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

 
Film

10 May

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA


cover art

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.


 

cover art

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.


 

cover art

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.


 

cover art

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.


 

cover art

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.


 

cover art

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.


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
6 Aug 2014
By grounding the violence of his barely veiled speculative fiction in the here-and-now, James DeMonaco risks inciting an audience beyond the walls of the cinema.
By PopMatters Staff
13 Jan 2014
Sometimes, a bad movie inspires a bit of unnatural love. In other instances, films overlooked by the masses make it into our personal preferences. Whatever the case is here, we have several examples of efforts we feel bad for enjoying, but love nonetheless.
By PopMatters Staff
7 Jan 2014
It was a particularly strong year for women in film. These sensational performances remind us that, when all is said and done, it's character and how an actor or actress creates them that matters as much to a movie as a script, a director, or an idea.
By PopMatters Staff
7 Jan 2014
The best male film performances highlight how masculinity, managed within a more considered and complete character overview, can turn even the most rugged rogue into an equally strong if sensitive cinematic center.
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.