Film

2010 Summer Movie Preview - July

In July, Christopher Nolan unleashes his eagerly awaited new film Inception, M. Night Shyamalan returns with The Last Airbender and Adrien Brody stars in a Predator remake.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Film: The Last Airbender

Cast: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis

MPAA rating: PG-13

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/l/lastairbenderposter.jpg

Display as: List

2 July
The Last Airbender

There is so much riding on this live action adaptation of the Nickelodeon network fave that it's hard to keep track of all the divergent interests. Primary is the still sinking career of former "future Spielberg" wunderkind M. Night Shyamalan. He will really have to deliver to wipe the stench of The Happening out of audience's noses. Then there is the franchise itself, which needs a substantial hit to warrant more than a one and done dynamic. Paramount would also like to warrant their gamble. While Iron Man 2 and Shrek 4 will definitely deliver, this could be one of the substantial sleeper hits that puts them over the popcorn top.

 
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, Sergio Pablos

Film: Despicable Me

Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Danny McBride, Miranda Cosgrove

MPAA rating: PG-13

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/d/despicablemeposter.jpg

Display as: List

9 July
Despicable Me

For some reason, this reminds us of Igor - which is a good thing. Few saw the revisionist CG family horror comedy which tried to turn the whole mad scientist/assistant conceit on its head. This time around, it's a supervillain that gets the warm and fuzzy treatment. Nasty bad man Gru wants to steal the Moon and a trio of orphans tries to convince him otherwise. Add in the requisite amount of genre specific gags and smarmy sense of irony and you've got a very conflicted cartoon. One imagines that if its clicks with the right audience, it will be a smash. Don't be surprised, however, if a toy and ogre weary demo doesn't merely ignore it.

 
Director: Nimród Antal

Film: Predators

Cast: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/p/predators2010poster.jpg

Display as: List

9 July
Predators

When it first was hinted that Robert Rodriguez was interested in remaking the Arnold Schwarzenegger 'classic' Predator, Geek Nation went gonzo. After all, what better guide for a all-out action horror hybrid than the man who made the glorious Grindhouse segment, Planet Terror. Then, the truth came out. RobRod was only producing. He hired Vacancy's Nimrod Antal to handle the directing reigns, and then greenlit a script that plays like The Most Dangerous Game meets Aliens. Still, the creative combination here has a lot of potential, and with a cast as diverse as Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, and Laurence Fishburne, the result could be something explosive -- literally.

 
Director: Lisa Cholodenko

Film: The Kids Are All Right

Cast: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson

MPAA rating: PG

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/k/kidsareallrightposter.jpg

Display as: List

9 July
The Kids Are All Right

A lesbian couple has two kids from the same sperm donor. When they reach adolescence, the duo decides to look up who their father really is. Deep drama ensues. Co-writer/director Lisa Cholodenko may not be a household name, but her intense indie efforts like High Art (with Ally Sheedy) and Laurel Canyon (with a veritable who's who of high-profile talent) show she has the chops to handle such thought-provoking material. Whether this will succeed in big commercial terms is another story, but starring turns from A-class actresses Annette Bening and Julianne Moore promise this should appeal to the discriminating filmgoer.




Next Page

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image