Film

The PopMatters Fall Preview: September 2014

For fans of everything from the truly buzz-worthy (Terry Gilliam) to that found footage trope yet again (Casey La Scala), this warm-up to the end of the year awards has you covered.

For fans of everything from the truly buzz-worthy (Terry Gilliam) to that found footage trope yet again (Casey La Scala), this warm-up to the end of the year awards has you covered.

 
Director: Dustin Marcellino

Film: The Identical

Cast: Blake Rayne, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, Joe Pantoliano

MPAA rating: PG

Image: http://www.popmatters.com/images/blog_art/i/identicalposter.jpg

Display as: List

5 September
The Identical Sold as a faith-based film that reimagines Elvis Presley's life as if his stillborn twin brother lived, this cinematic insanity reminds the viewer why Mystery Science Theater 3000 is still relevant in 2014. Troll 2 may be considered the Best Worst Movie of all time, but this Room-like reject is bereft of anything other than cult camp kitsch value. A co-production of a pro-Israel organization and overflowing with "Jesus Saves" shout-outs, this confused collection of biopic clichés tries to match its mythology move for move. Instead, it creates a slice of cine-madness that has to be seen, and experienced, to be believed.

 
Director: Stuart Murdoch

Film: God Help the Girl

Cast: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Pierre Boulanger

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://www.popmatters.com/images/blog_art/g/godhelpthegirlposter.jpg

Display as: List

5 September
God Help the Girl Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch has had the idea for this quirky coming-of-age tale in his head for over ten years. While on tour, he came up with the idea of creating a song cycle about the growing pains of a music obsessed young girl. He created a concept album for the project, with hopes he could one day bring it to the big screen. Well, here it is, and it's twee and terrific, both incredibly insightful and a bit shaggy around the edges. While Murdoch's inexperience as a total filmmaker shows (he directed and wrote the screenplay) the film is still fun.

 
Director: Michael Berry

Film: Frontera

Cast: Eva Longoria, Michael Peña, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://www.popmatters.com/images/blog_art/f/fronteraposter.jpg

Display as: List

5 September
Frontera In a series of interconnecting stories, an illegal crossing the border into Texas is accused of killing the wife of a local sheriff. His pregnant bride, desperate to help him, allows a man named Coyote to help her into America, only to suffer under his sadistic hand. Like a combination of Crash and the work of Alejandro González Iñárritu, this first film from Michael Berry has critics complimenting the work of actors Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, and Michael Pena.

 
Director: Hilary Brougher

Film: Innocence

Cast: Sophie Curtis, Kelly Reilly, Graham Phillips, Linus Roache, Sarah Sutherland, Stephanie March, Perrey Reeves

MPAA rating: PG-13

Image: http://www.popmatters.com/images/blog_art/i/innocenceposter.jpg

Display as: List

5 September
Innocence "A young girl discovers that her elite Manhattan preparatory school harbors a dark secret..." What? Like everyone's a neckbiter ala Vampire Academy? That the institution is run by a cover of Eastern European witches? That no one cares about such YA nonsense? Turns out, it's the second suggestion, in direct copycat correlation to Dario Argento's brilliant horror film from nearly 40 years ago, Suspiria. Certainly, just like Suzanne Collins and Battle Royale, based on the book author Jane Mendelsohn surely 'never' heard of the Italian Master of Suspense's defining film. No matter, as this movie has no chance of being as good.

 
Director: Peter Glanz

Film: The Longest Week

Cast: Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman, Billy Crudup

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://www.popmatters.com/images/blog_art/l/longestweekposter.jpg

Display as: List

5 September
The Longest Week This year is about to become the Year of Excessive Jason Bateman. After the return of Arrested Development to streaming TV, his directorial debut Bad Words, and the upcoming Horrible Bosses 2, the cult actor still has three more films up his cinematic sleeve, this being the first out of the gate. He plays an spoiled jerk who lives off his parents. As in most movies of this time, he falls in love just as he is dispossessed and out of work. Some are comparing it to Wes Anderson and other twee indie dramedy makers. All we need to hear is the acronym "RomCom" to know what to expect.

 
Director: Casey La Scala

Film: The Remaining

Cast: Johnny Pacar, Shaun Sipos, Bryan Dechart, Alexa PenaVega, Italia Ricci

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://www.popmatters.com/images/blog_art/r/remainingposter.jpg

Display as: List

5 September
The Remaining It's found footage time once again, as a group of young adults attending a wedding come face-to-face with The Rapture, and decide to film their call to Judgment. Yes, it's another faith-based film (damn you God's Not Dead and Heaven in for Real) trying to glom onto the by now DOA cinematic gimmick ala The Blair Witch Project. Casey La Scala, behind the scenes suit on such films as Donnie Darko, Welcome to Collinwood, and What a Girl Wants, steps into the director's chair to try and make this mangled material work, but thanks to its combination of the Apocalypse and the approach, it doesn't.

 
Director: David Wnendt

Film: Wetlands

Cast: Carla Juri, Christoph Letkowski, Marlen Kruse, Meret Becker

MPAA rating: Unrated

Image: http://www.popmatters.com/images/blog_art/w/wetlandsposter.jpg

Display as: List

5 September
Wetlands A woman with what can best be described as questionable personal hygiene (and an unusual and eccentric attitude/obsession towards same) is involved in a personal grooming "accident" and ends up in the hospital. There, she tries to reunite her divorced parents while macking with a male nurse. Featuring a star making performance from newcomer Carla Juri and a premise guaranteed to get conservative critics in a froth, the trailers tend to make this look like a graduated gross out comedy. Early reviews suggest something more salacious, scatological, and surprisingly heartfelt. Still, not for the faint of... heart?

Next Page

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.

Music

Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".

Music

PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor
Film

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.

Music

Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.

Music

Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.

Music

Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.

Music

Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.

Music

Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.