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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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The Greatest Showman Trailer

"Whoever's playing the strong man in the freak show had better hope Hugh and Zac keep their shirts on." - Par

"Looks as entertaining as the Doris Day snorefest Billy Rose's Jumbo." - Tom

"Looks awesome. Surprised how well that song works - wasn't expecting this kind of a take for this movie." - T-Bone

 

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Tuesday
Feb072012

Burning Questions: Are Franchises Hogging All The Talent?

Michael C. here. 

I'm feeling left out because I couldn't share in the excitement over the Avengers teaser which played during the Super Bowl Sunday night. In fact, if I’m being honest, it bummed me out. I never want to be that guy yelling, “Sell out!” when the performer I love hits the big time, but seeing the likes of Downey, Ruffalo, and Renner headlining the comics franchise to top all comics franchises, it’s hard to get pumped about how kick-ass it’s all going to be when all I can think about are the more interesting films these guys passed over to shoot this one.

Now I have no intention of dismissing a movie before it’s released, or to turn up my nose at big budget blockbusters. A franchise with Joss Whedon at the helm is a great bet to have the intelligence and wit the genre so often lacks. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to ask:

Are franchise films monopolizing the talent?

Take the case of Mr. Renner. It feels like no sooner had we been given a taste of just what he was capable of then he was carted off to shoulder no less than three major franchises – Mission Impossible, Avengers and Bourne. On top of which, he dropped out of his most promising project, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. I don’t deny that all those films have the potential to be good or even great entertainments, but let’s be honest here. It is a rare role in such a mass appeal product that is not broadly simplified with any rough edges sanded off. We are going to be waiting a long time before we get to see Renner tackle another role as riveting as Sgt. William James. 

When will Renner ever do a non-franchise drama again?

MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb072012

Curio: Oscar Unsheets, Part II

Alexa here.  In the weeks up to the Oscars I'm celebrating all the wonderful unsheets (a.k.a. fan-created poster art) inspired by the nominated films that are populating the web. (See last week's post for my favorites from the acting categories). But I can't help but mention that the nominations let me down hard this year: my top three films were Melancholia, Drive, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and save for a long overdue nomination for Gary Oldman, there was nary a nomination in sight.  So with my poutyness in mind, here are a handful of posters for films that were, at least from my perspective, robbed.    

Melancholia by drMIERZWIAK.Melancholia by Olaf Łyczba.Click for Tinker Tailor and Drive...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb062012

Smash 1.1 "Pilot"

NBC's new musical drama "Smash", a behind the scenes showbiz drama about Broadway musical theater and our enduring Marilyn Monroe obsession, premieres tonight. If pilot quality and series promise equal ratings, the show will make good on its title. The internet has had a good laugh about its relentless ad campaign and the absurd "Introducing... Katharine McPhee" angle (American Idol being underground experimental television that only 5 people have ever seen, don'cha know) but the show is smartly written enough to use McPhee's familiarity as an opening gambit to throw you into an unfamiliar world.

Reintroducing... McPhee's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is long since the most oversung song in the popular canon and a song McPhee was already known for from her original introduction years ago.  But this cozy dreamy showtune reverie is interrupted by a cel phone, snapping us back to plainclothes everyday New York where McPhee's "Karen" is auditioning for god knows what. The casting director is decidedly unmoved and takes the call. 

Dreamy musical outbursts screeching to a halt for reality-check comic purposes is as familiar a cliché as Somewhere Over the Rainbow but "Smash", as it turns out, isn't actually going to coddle us. Continued after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb062012

Oscar Luncheon Photos

The Oscar luncheon was held today. So most of the nominees assembled to be a part of the big class of 2011 photo. Well done, all. Congratulations. 


I love that the naked gold man is just standing right smack in the middle of all of them, the reason for the season. 

This one goes out to @AwesomeRob --- What do you think Meryl and Rooney were saying too each other? Or maybe they weren't saying anything. Guess away in the comments.

George Clooney & Jean Dujardin get along famously after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb062012

Readers' Ranking: Streep's Oscar Noms, #5-1

We started this blogging experiment by asking readers to rank all the Streep Oscar Nominated performances they'd seen. Then we shared reader stories of how you first discovered Streep. I tabulated all the results, weighting the ballots so the readers who had seen the most films counted for more. Now we've reached the tippity top of Streep performances!  For what it's worth, the top six (including Kramer Vs. Kramer) were the clear winners of your collective hierarchy and numbers two through four were closely bunched together in your estimation, each threatening to take spot #2 with each new ballot that arrived, though eventually they settled into their current positions. 

STREEP'S OSCAR-NOMINATED PERFORMANCES RANKED 
According to Film Experience Readers  (We didn't include The Iron Lady since it's brand new)

16-11
Music of Heart, Ironweed, One True Thing, French Lt's Woman, Deer Hunter, Doubt
10-6
Julie & Julia, Out of Africa, Postcards, Cry in the Dark, Kramer vs Kramer

05. Adaptation (2002)
Role & Balloting: Streep's terrifically clever performance as a heightened version of Susan Orlean, the real life writer who wrote the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief that Nicolas Cage's fictional screenwriter (and Charlie Kaufman stand-in) tries to adapt into a movie in this twisty comedy [whew], is the one many fans point to as "this is what she needs to do more of!" This role was in first place on only 3% of ballots, less than any of the other films in the top six, but it was on nearly every ballot (widely seen) and usually in the upper half.

Who Won the Oscar: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago
Other Nominees in Guesstimate Order of AMPAS Love: Meryl (Adaptation), Julianne Moore (The Hours), Kathy Bates (About Schmidt) and Queen Latifah (Chicago)
The Dread Sixth Place Finish?:  It was Michelle Pfeiffer, SAG nominee, on the outside looking in for White Oleander. I still blame the Golden Globes for that one as they stalled her momentum by fawning over a miscast and dull Cameron Diaz for Gangs of New York

Reader Notes and Four More Greats after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb062012

Link Nation

CineEuropa Melancholia wins big at the Danish Oscars including Best Actress for Kiki!
Daily Notebook Iranian hardliners not too happy with the Oscars and A Separation. (It still seems surprising that A Separation was submitted by Iran, but thank God.)
MCN Jean Dujardin kills on Leno. Clooney had all the precursor heat but Dujardin and Pitt aren't giving up ~Three way race!
Scanners on The Artist. Everybody loves/hates a frontrunner
LA Magazine Viola Davis goes couture 

Towleroad Daniel Radcliffe covers Attitude magazine and continues to establish his PFLAG-style advocacy
Awards Daily Art Directors Guild wins go to Hugo (period), Harry Potter 7.2 (fantasy) and Dragon Tattoo (contemporary) 
Gold Derby still thinks Meryl Streep is going to win the Oscar for The Iron Lady. Five reasons why.
Cinema Blend Marc Webb wants to differentiate his Amazing Spider-Man from Sam Raimi's blockbuster. Promises Spidy with a sense of humor. 
NPR good piece on Madonna's endurance and the difficult process of aging in public.  

Toon Town!
Rango took top honors at the Annie Awards though there was a Pic/Director split there with Jennifer Yuh Nelson taking the latter for Kung Fu Panda 2. The Adventures of Tintin won Best Score for John Williams. Best short went to Minkyu Lee for Adam and Dog which I bring up because I was just looking at its tumblr and though "huh. I want to see this" and it surprised to beat out more high profile entries like three Oscar nominees La Luna, Wild Life and Sunday. Here's the teaser...

Adam and dog Trailer from Minkyu on Vimeo.

 

And for those readers that are always suggesting a voicework Oscar category, that particular prize at the Annies went to Bill Nighy for voicing Grandsanta in Arthur Christmas. He beat out Oscar nominee Gary Oldman's peacock villain "Shen" in Kung Fu Panda 2 and five other nominees in that category. No, I don't know why there were so many nominees. There were twice as many in the television voicework category...14 nominees in one category? That is too much people, calm down. 

©Ty Templeton's "Bun Toons"

Parting Shot
Bun Toons comic strip about DC comic's decision to make Watchmen prequels. A must read if you're into comics or Watchmen in any iteration. It applies to basically anything re: Fans Who Loved Too Much.