New this week on Popshifter: Ann celebrated Pride Month with a review of Hirsute Pursuit’s Tighten That Muscle Ring; Julie thinks that Dave Davies’s I Will Be Me is mostly excellent; Cait takes umbrage to the word “twee” in her rapturous review of The Three O’Clock rarities compilation The Hidden World Revealed; Lisa has some offbeat suggestions for Fourth of July movies; Jeff time travels with Tesla’s Real to Reel; I recommend Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me for fans and not-yet-fans; Paul gifts us with a beautiful, touching article on the significance of music; and an anonymous contributor has some stern words for convention (non)attendees.
There’s a great interview with Paul Feig on Grantland which clarifies that yes, he was the creator of Freaks & Geeks and not Judd Apatow. No offense to Judd Apatow, but you know, gotta set the record straight.
The second wave of Fantasia Festival films has been announced! The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal, Quebec from July 18 through August 6, one of the longer film festivals around. There are more great titles and synopses in this Rue Morgue article.
Ben Umstead has an article on the New York Asian Film Festival (June 28 – July 15) on Twitch and has some images and capsule reviews from the fest. I am particularly entranced by Peter Gutierrez’s description of Countdown.
A few months ago I mentioned Big Eyes, the Margaret and Walter Keane biopic from Tim Burton. Now Jason Schwartzmann, Danny Huston (that one ultra creepy vampire from 30 Days Of Night), and Terence Stamp have been added to the cast. This is shaping up to be a rather intriguing film.
Breathe In, which played Sundance, stars Guy Pearce as a husband and father who embarks on a questionable relationship with a younger foreign exchange student. The trailer is all kinds of uncomfortable and suspenseful and did I mention Guy Pearce?
Here’s a trailer, courtesy of Fangoria, for Rigor Mortis, the directorial debut from actor/writer Juno Mak. Honestly, I didn’t even read the description before I watched it and I was sold. See what you think.
Last week I watched Rabies, the first horror film out of Israel. It was more of a horror/thriller, but it was still terrific with a narrative that veers close to Greek tragedy. The trailer for Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s second feature, Big Bad Wolves, is now online. It played at Tribeca Film Fest and will be distributed in the US via Magnet Releasing. The synopsis from Twitch:
A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings—a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.
The Demon’s Rook, the debut feature from actor/writer/director/producer/FX guy James Sizemore will be playing at Fantastia Fest and it has a trailer that is a great showcase for what are apparently some incredible practical effects. (H/T to Fangoria.)
As much as I love practical effects, I’m not one of those “CGI is ruining movies!” people. Let’s face it: there are a lot of things “ruining” movies, if you really want to go that far (and I don’t). I realize that there is tension between digital and practical effects artists and I understand that a lot of it is due to pressure from producers and studios. However, this Indiewire article, which examines a side-by-side comparison video of pre- and post-effects shots from The Great Gatsby comes off quite poorly. Obviously this kind of film—a 3D adaptation of a novel from the 1920s that’s also a Baz Luhrmann musical—is going to be effects heavy. And honestly, the differences between the two versions of the scenes aren’t exactly shocking (have you seen the behind-the-scenes stuff for the Star Wars prequels?). A better video would have compared the pre- and post-effects shots for films that aren’t intended to be blockbusters, because trust me, those movies rely on digital effects, too. That would be a better illustration of how CGI has infiltrated moviemaking. Regardless, here’s the video.
By the way, the laugh track “reveal” in the article . . . is that meant to be a joke? If so, it’s not funny and if not, it’s just plain annoying.
—Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor