(P)reviews: April 11, 2011

In this unforgiving economic wasteland, who has the funds to actually review a movie in the theater? Not your humble servants at The V. That’s why we’re giving you our informed analysis of upcoming films based solely on what we see in the trailer. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Fortunately, these are movies.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Everything Must Go
Birdsong Pictures
Dir. Dan Rush
Release Date: 5/13/11

Will Ferrell takes one of his occasional serio-comic turns, this time as a relapsed alcoholic who takes up residence on his front lawn, along with all of his junk, after losing his job and his wife. It’s probably the kind of movie people think has a message. It’s probably the kind of movie that makes people say “I’ve underestimated that Will Ferrell. He’s quite the thespian.” But we’ll let you in on two secrets. A)  Appearing sad and pathetic is no feat for a man who looks like he’s in constant hemorrhoid pain. B) This film is based on a short story by Raymond Carver. We hate to play the “we’ve read the hypotext” card, but how the hell are you going to make a feature length film based on a 7-page story by a celebrated minimalist?

Our prediction: Everything Must Go must go.

Courtesy of Yahoo Movies

Scream 4
The Weinstein Company; Dimension Films
Dir. Wes Craven
Release Date: 4/15/11

The nightmare is beginning all over again. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have teamed up again for a “smart” and “hip” deconstruction of the horror genre. But what could Scream 4 do to differentiate itself from its lackluster predecessors? Not much. They’ve got another set of nubile teenage girls lined up for stabbings. These actresses will be forgotten in five years (Remember Rose McGowan? Neither does anyone else.) They’ve got two youngsters who seem pathologically knowledgeable about horror. Cue David Arquette for clumsy comic relief. Honestly, it seems like the only thing interesting about this film is the fact that everyone is still using cordless phones in the age of cells. Also, it’s good to know that Neve Campbell and Arquette didn’t die years ago alongside their careers. Or maybe that’s the ending.

Our prediction: : Scream 4 will be a good opportunity for a power nap.

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Blood Pressures
Domino Records
Released 4/4/11
4/5 Stars

After her stint as lead singer for the Dead Weather, Alison Mossheart re-united with Jamie Hince to write The Kills fourth studio album, Blood Pressures.  It’s obvious that Jack White has influenced Mosshart’s songwriting, as the Kills have returned to a more distinctly blues-punk driven sound than their earlier albums.  Altogether, the album is much more lush than the often sparse Midnight Boom, not to mention much darker and slower; the album is gritty and loud, sexy and full of swagger.  Songs like “You Don’t Own The Road” and “Heart Is A Beating Drum” cross simple, yet precise snyth-pop beats with dirty garage-blues riffs while the album’s single, “Satellite,” mixes wrenching, menacing guitars with thunderous drums to create an undeniably dark, underground blues sound.

Review by Ryan Whitecar

Courtesy of Amazon.com

Vivian girls
Share the Joy
Released 4/12/11
3.5/5 Stars

Share the Joy, the third album by Vivian Girls straddles the wobbly line between dynamic and static, and captivating and dismissible. It’s your choice.
The album combines an ethereal reverb with surf-pop style guitar work and bombastic drumming. Lead vocals are plaintive, with a dash of sneer, which is refreshing in a decade marred by female vocalists trying to sound like coy, speakeasy angels. “Dance (If You Wanna),” “Lake House” and “Vanishing of Time” are fun, danceable and earnest. There’s even a tongue-in-cheek “should-I call-this-boy”? Q&A exchange on “Take It As It Comes,” evocative of The Ronettes or The Shirelles.
However, droning vocals and production that causes one song to seemingly bleed into the next may put off some listeners. Audiences may find that Share the Joy is an album you have to listen to twice before you really appreciate it.

Review by John-Ross Boyce

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