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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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The Greatest Sci-Films. A Top Ten

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Monday
Mar312014

Monologue: Christopher Walken x 2

Happy birthday to one of cinema's all time greatest nutjobs, Christopher Walken. The Oscar-winner is 71 today. Do you forget he was in Annie Hall (1977) ? I always do until I'm watching it and he shows up in that utterly classic passage when Alvy Singer goes to meet Annie's family.

Alvy, this is my room. Can I confess something?

I tell you this because, as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving on the road at night I see two headlights coming toward me fast, I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly head on into the oncoming car.

I can anticipate the explosion, the sound of shattering glass, the flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.

LOL. And back out of the room quickly!

Of course that's hardly Walken's only classic movie speech. I'm sure they're numerous but the other one I forget about for the same reason as Annie Hall, in that the movie is so rich that who can remember every passage, is Pulp Fiction (1994). Quentin Tarantino's breakthrough turns 20 this year and I often forget about that Gold Watch sequence. My memories of Pulp Fiction tend to revolve around Pumpkin and Honeybunny (my college roommate and I were obsessed with them) and Vincent Vega & Mia Wallace because I loved the Oscar nominated performances by Uma & Travolta so much.

Though Pulp Fiction's narrative is famously circular rather than linear, Walken's segment exists outside of even that loop in a flashback to Butch's (Bruce Willis) youth halfway through. He literally monologues for 3 minutes (which is a lot for a movie, trust) - a highly appropriate speech for a little boy who's in the middle of watching cartoons.

...so he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. 

What's your favorite Christopher Walken moment in a movie? 

Monday
Mar312014

"monday morning, you're history"

Happy 25th birthday this very day to the daring, hilarious, and utterly classic Heathers (1989). It's one of the greatest high school movies of all time and the most shamelessly ripped off. (See also: Mean Girls, classic in its own right don't get me wrong but the debt it owes cannot be overstated. It's "very". My guess is Tina Fey (who was 18 when it came out) must've watched it a million times.

Growing up this was the bit my friends and I quoted all the f***ing time.

Heather: You stupid fuck

Veronica: You goddamn bitch 

Heather: You were nothing before you met me. You were playing Barbies with Betty Finn. You were a bluebird. You were a brownie. You were a girl scout cookie. 

I got you into a Remington party. What's my thanks? It's on the hallway carpet. I got paid in puke.

Veronica: Lick it up, baby. Lick it up.

[Great Moments in Screen Bitchery #9, Winona Ryder in Heathers]

 

While we're on the topic of Heathers, I'll report on the new Off Broadway musical tonight but I have two questions for you in the comments.

1. What lines have you quoted most often?

2. Which Oscar nominations do you think it was robbed of (since Oscar don't touch high school comedies). I am very serious when I say I would have nominated it for three that year: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress. But 1989 is one of the years where Oscar and I have been least sympatico - none of the Best Picture nominees even made my top ten list. (If you're curious to know my top tens from years past there's a pull down menu up at the top of the blog)

 

Sunday
Mar302014

Link Flood

Entertainment Weekly Mark Harris sounded off on horror television like Hannibal and The Walking Dead "with gore less is more"
LA Times treasure trove of silent films found in Amsterdam including Mickey Rooney's first film role at age six
The Playlist interviews Denis Villeneuve (Enemy, Prisoners) on working with Jake Gyllenhaal, and his future projects
The Wire watching Noah during the Los Angeles earthquake


Playbill talks to F Murray Abraham about his career resurgence at 74
Variety Spain's Malaga festival reveals its winners. Maybe we should look at some of these as Oscar submission possibilities
Salon a new book makes the case for Wonder Woman as one of the greatest superheroes
The Wrap Game of Thrones and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty win the very first "Location Manager" awards - both shot partially in Iceland which is where it's at lately but more on Iceland in a special series in April
Comics Alliance the creator of the beloved Batman TV series died at 91 
Salon Catherine Keener does not think she should be called 'Spike Jonze's muse' 
Slate loves Darren Aronofksy's Noah but thinks the environmental message is problematic 

Must Read
We like her. We've always really liked her. Sally Field pens an open letter about being the mother of a gay son to encourage people to join the fight for civil rights and marriage equality and the like...

Sally Field and her son

One of the great privileges of my life to have been allowed to be a part of Sam’s journey.

There are people out there – organizations and politicians, strangers who have never even met Sam – who would rather devote themselves to denying his happiness...

Not only a wonderful actress but a wonderful person.

In the History of Shamelessly Greedy Ideas We Have a Winner
The movie industry's fever for making movies just like television with endlessly padded storylines to win more billlions from our pockets continues. Variety reports that J.K. Rowling's 54 page Harry Potter tie-in book "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" will now become a film trilogy.

P.S.
I CANNOT WAIT to see what people choose for their "best shot" from CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC (1980) on Tuesday night. It's absolutely insane. tacky. ridiculous.  And I'm not just talking about the opening glitter splooge credits and rollerskating sequence with Steve Guttenberg and his padded crotch.

If you'd like to join the Best Shot party, the movie is available for instant watching on NetflixAmazon Instant and iTunes. Just pick your best shot and post it and we all party with the same movie on Tuesday night. Here's the upcoming schedule for other movie selections

Sunday
Mar302014

The Weekend's Only Pun-Free Box Office Report

Amir reporting. You’ve heard it all: Noah stormed the theatres; audiences flooded to see it; “Oh, Noah! The film isn’t very good;” Aronofski’s drowning in his worst reviews since The Fountain was showered with… oh fuck it! This will be the only pun-free box office report you will read this Sunday. (But yes, since you’re asking, Noah did sail comfortably ahead of the competition!)

With even stronger numbers coming in from abroad, Aronofsky’s latest is going to be a massive international hit despite the (mostly made up) controversies that preceded its release. On the other hand, God’s Not Dead barely dropped at all from last week’s astonishing sales. Perhaps Freestyle Releasing, the film’s distributor, has intentionally pit it against Noah to offer an ideological alternative? Am I reading too much into it? Possibly.

BOX OFFICE
01 NOAH $44 *new*
02 DIVERGENT $26.5 (cum. $95.2) Review / Jai Courtney
03 MUPPETS MOST WANTED $11.3 (cum. $33.2)
04 MR PEABODY & SHERMAN $9.5 (cum. $94.9) this franchise's history
05 GOD'S NOT DEAD $9.0 (cum. $22.0)
06 THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL  $8.8 (cum. $24.4)
07 SABOTAGE $5.3 *new*
08 NEED FOR SPEED  $4.3 (cum. $37.7)
09 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE $4.3 (cum. $101.1)
10 NON-STOP $4 (cum. $85.1) Amir's Review 

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is another film that continues its powerful streak, and for good reason. Despite what you might hear elsewhere, this is Anderson’s best film, give or take Fantastic Mr. Fox and a real delight. Most of his films look like pastries; this one tastes as sweet, too. With a worldwide gross that is already in the ballpark of the total of his biggest hits ($69m for Budapest to Moonrise’s 68m and Tenenbaum’s 71m) it is clear that Anderson’s dioramic designs and eccentric humor are no longer for a niche audience. Irrespective of what one thinks of the film, it’s worth celebrating that an auteur with such a distinctive vision can do solid business without compromising his artistic sensibilities.

Cesar Chavez, a rare chance to see Michael Peña in the lead and the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Sabotage were the weekend’s other wide releases. Sight unseen, I’m willing to bet the latter is the biggest waste of Olivia Williams’ talent. On the limited side, two documentaries opened for the lucky readers living in major markets. Mistaken for Strangers follows the unfairly derided band The National and is as close as one can get to an interesting music documentary. Finding Vivian Maier is artless as a film but its subject, a mysteriously reclusive street photographer who spent decades working as a nanny, is so fascinating that it makes up for the shortcomings.

What have you watched this weekend?

Sunday
Mar302014

Yes, No, Maybe So: Begin Again

Can a Song Save Your Life? The Weinstein Company doesn't think so, since they've changed the title of that music industry Mark Ruffalo/Keira Knightley film. It would like to be known as Begin Again before it actually faces the fickle public. Presumably due to the widespread industry belief (it's not just TWC) that the more generic the title, the more likely it is to appeal to multiple quadrants. Why anyone interested in a dramedy about the music industry would object to the earlier title who can say without degrees in P&A?

Yes No Maybe So breakdown after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar302014

Hugh Jackman, Always a Good (Tuneful) Sport

In so many ways I wish Hugh Jackman could move on from Wolverine, the role that brought him enormous fame but which he has been performing for 14 of his 15 years in motion pictures. That's longer than virtually any TV star performs their signature role. And there are more years to come with at least one more solo film booked after X-Men Days of Future Past. Think of the movie musicals and wide variety of dramas or comedies he could have done in that time! 

But, that said, Hugh Jackman always finds ways to become even more loveable (a tall feat given how adorable he started out) just when you're like 'enough, already!'.

Here he is one the BBC Radio 1's ‘The Matt Edmonson Show,’ performing "Wolverine: The Musical" by mixing his two signature roles (Logan & Jean Valjean) with his best role: himself.

♥♥♥