DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.
Ti West’s The Sacrament Trailer
syvo: Ti West is likely an unfamiliar name to anyone not actively keeping up with horror culture these days (e.g. everyone), but he’s worth watching. With House of the Devil (2009), West immediately ascended to the forefront of the indie horror film movement. This was a position that Eli Roth was supposed to take up back in the early 2000’s, but after releasing the awesome and innovative Cabin Fever (2002) and the two notorious Hostel films, Roth essentially ditched horror movies to hang out with Quentin Tarantino.
What’s especially exciting about The Sacrament is that arguably the two biggest voices in horror are collaborating, with West doing the heavy lifting (writing, directing, and editing) and Roth offering his buzzworthy name as a producer.
I can’t say I’m particularly wowed by the trailer above, but West is the kind of creator that I put implicit faith in. It looks to be heavily “found footage” style, and while that is a horror subgenre that has more than run its course by now, West’s brilliant segment in the found footage anthology V/H/S (2012) shows he can be just as good behind a shaky handheld camcorder as he is on 16mm film.
Yeezus Movie Trailer
syvo: Since I never had any chance at seeing the actual show, I was happy to see this was being made and getting a decent release. I may still have mixed feelings about Yeezus as a piece of music, but Kanye’s ability has a performer is never in doubt.
BK: I am not exactly a Yeezus fanboy either, but after seeing Kanye give a career retrospective performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, I felt bad for not trying to get out and see the Yeezus tour (also because he had Kendrick Lamar opening, which is amazing). The trailer looks pretty crazy, with Kanye is full ‘Artist’ mode, and I can’t wait for the scene when a team of horses gallops out of the snow and through a crowd at MSG. Seems dangerous, but I am sure Kanye pulls it off.
Lykke Li – “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”
syvo: I consider myself a pretty casual but steady Lykke Li fan, or at least enough of one to figure out how to sincerely pronounce her name. The above video portends the release of I Never Learn this coming May. It’ll be Ms. Li’s first full length since 2011’s excellent Wounded Rhymes. It’s quite a nice song, as prettily melancholy as anything she’s done so far, and an interesting video.
BK:I generally prefer my Lykke Li accompanying Drake, but this is a solid offering too. I’m not totally sold on the ‘single shot rotating around the performer’ video format, but for something as sad and slow and nice as this, it works for me.
Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer
syvo: I don’t play video games (sorry, nerds) but this is worth talking about anyway. The above is less a trailer than an animated short film, and a pretty decent one at that. We listen to Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s late and saintly paternal idol, read wise words from his will while we watch Batman and his cast of villains look all awesome. The graphics are dope, the writing is solid, and I really love when Harley Quinn catches the cop’s hat.
BK: I have watched this trailer three times and am still geeking out. At their best, these Arkham games give the open world feel of the GTA games with excellent storytelling. And you also get to be Batman.
The series took a step back with the previous installment, Arkham: Origins, but this latest offering looks poised to rejuvenate the old format by giving players the Batmobile and opening up a world of new gaming possibilities (including what I certainly hope will be lots of street racing against The Joker). I could not be more excited for this, if only it was released before October 2014.
syvo: I could not possibly be more on board for this movie. The pithy title piqued my interest and the group of stereotypically attractive young women drew me in, but it was the sight of the incredibly awesome beavers that closed the deal. The psycho beavers aren’t computer generated, but rather delightfully animated using what appears to be puppeterring and/or animatronics. The horror genre needs this kind of creativity, and people are noticing. The above trailer, released only two weeks ago, has nearly 2 million views so far. Follow the film on twitter – this is going to be big.
BK: This trailer is… ridiculous. I am impressed with the restraint of whoever edited it to include only two overt ‘beaver-also-means-vagina’ jokes. You know she had hundreds to pick from throughout the movie. I always enjoy a good horror-comedy, and Zombeavers looks like it will have enough of both aspects to make it potentially worth spending $14 on a movie ticket, something I rarely do for a horror movie. Nice work on that one, Zombeavers.
DOPE Digest Throwback: Coheed & Cambria – A Favor House Atlantic
Braden: The strange dudes of Coheed were brought to my attention just over ten years ago (Thanks Ben!), and this is the song that immediately convinced me they were on the path to superstardom. Of course at that time I didn’t realize that rock music was dying and that it is especially difficult to get famous if you are a prog-rock band writing comic books and making albums based on those comics. That’s exactly what Claudio Sanchez and Coheed did for four albums, and though they never reached the heights of ‘A Favor House Atlantic’ again, this is definitely one of the best songs of the 2000’s and an ideal sendoff on this or any Friday.
syvo: In 2008, when Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” came out, I remember assuming, for some idiotic reason, that it was the new Coheed track. In fact, I had a mini argument with someone over it. “Uh, no dude, I’m pretty sure this is Coheed…”
But seriously, this song is perfection. It gets no better. This is why I wish more emo bands grew up listening to Rush.