New this week on Popshifter: I am somewhat confounded by The English Teacher (now out on DVD), rather addicted to Thick Snow Magic, the new EP from After The Ice, caught in the throes of Mustang, Electric Six’s latest, and delighted by The Walking Dead Season 3 on DVD; Melissa is on a roll with reviews of a Joe Tex reissue, the latest album from Seasick Steve, and a much-loved Alex Chilton bootleg; Chelsea loves Rookie Yearbook Two, the print counterpart to Tavi Gevinson’s popular website; Jeff is terrified of Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” but urges everyone not to miss Goblin on their current tour; and Julie brings us a hysterically funny recap of 15 laughably horrible videos.
The Cultural Gutter has linked to a compelling interview with The A.V. Club’s TV Editor Todd VanDerWerff who talks about the current state of TV criticism. He talks a bit about the difference between reviews and recaps and how the nature of TV watching is affecting how TV criticism is being written and consumed. What do you think, readers? Are you sick of the multiple recap sites? Which sites provide the best recaps and which provide the best long view criticism?
Remember when Nielsen announced they were going to start incorporating Twitter into their TV show rankings? They have released the first rankings and they are perhaps surprising. Apparently, the most Tweeted-about shows aren’t the ones with the highest traditional Nielsen ratings. While this is interesting, it still relies on the Nielsen score as a comparison. What about a blended ranking including both?
As predictable and disappointing as Elysium was, Sharlto Copley was anything but. He carried the entire movie, even the parts he wasn’t in. So it’s nice to hear that Copley’s going to be in an upcoming film called Open Grave. Fangoria reports that he stars as John:
” . . . a man who wakes up in a pit of dead bodies with no memory of who he is or how he got there,” according to the official synopsis. “Fleeing the scene, he breaks into a nearby house and is met at gunpoint by a group of terrified strangers, all suffering from memory loss. Suspicion gives way to violence as the group starts to piece together clues about their identities, but when they uncover a threat that’s more vicious than each other, they are forced to figure out what brought them all together—before it’s too late.”
Tribeca Film will be releasing the film in December on digital and VOD platforms with a theatrical release to follow.
Sadly, although I missed Mike Flanagan’s OCULUS at TIFF this year, I did watch his outstanding Absentia recently. It’s one of the most tightly constructed and genuinely creepy horror films I have seen all year. Now Flanagan’s got another film planned, even before theatrical release dates for OCULUS have been announced. According to Variety, Somnia “centers on an orphaned child whose dreams and nightmare manifest physically as he sleeps.” (H/T to Fangoria)
At this point, I would go see any movie with Mads Mikkelsen, even one starring Shia LeBeouf. It’s not that I hate LeBeouf, it’s that he hasn’t impressed me yet (granted, the Transformers movies are not really a good indicator of talent). His latest film, Charlie Countryman (which screened at Sundance as The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman), looks rather good.
I have already posted a trailer for the upcoming American Hustle, David O. Russell’s Abscam film with Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner. But honestly, Bale’s combover and beer gut wins me over every time I see a photo of it. I have no idea why I am so attracted to him as Irving Rosenfeld, but there you go.
—Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor