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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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Review: Beauty & The Beast (2017)

"I found much of this version charming, diverting and moving. But it's not a patch on the 1991 masterpiece" -Ian O

"I begrudge the decision of executives when it comes to casting a movie like this. They didn't need a 'star' to fill the seats. They needed someone who could elevate the material..." -Jones

Interviews

Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)
Céline Sciamma (My Life as a Zucchini)
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)

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Monday
Mar202017

Open Thread

What's on your cinematic mind as this new week begins? 

Sunday
Mar192017

Beauty and the Box Office. Plus Iron Fist.

What did you see this weekend besides Emma Watson twirling in that yellow gown?   Disney spent $160 million making the movie and probably another huge chunk of millions promoting it but they were rewarded with stacks and stacks of gold. It nearly became the top grossing movie of the year (thus far) in a single weekend! 

Since I'd already seen the Disney musical, I spent the weekend with a revisit of Grease 2 (more on that soon) as well as some DVR catch up (I will miss you when you're gone Real O'Neals - especially you Martha Plimpton and Matt Oberg). And yes I also tried with Iron Fist but it became white noise in the background as it was too dull to focus sole attention on. Identity politics aside, Finn Jones + the script are the biggest problems as there is so much filler and the hero is the least likeable character on the show, insufferably selfish and quite dumb. Shut up about your chi already, we get it! I found myself actually rooting for the douchey pseudo brother Ward Beachum (Tom Pelphrey). The Netflix series only comes alive when it focuses on side characters, whether they're good (Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing), evil (Wai Ching Ho reprising her delicious Daredevil villain Madame Gao) or somewhere on the what-are-they-up-to spectrum (the always reliable David Wenham as Harold Meachum) 

TOP WIDE 
01 Beauty & The Beast $170 NEW Review
02 Kong Skull Island $28.8 (cum. $110.1)  Review
03 Logan $17.5 (cum. $184) Review
04 Get Out $13.2 (cum. $133.1) Review
05 The Shack $6.1 (cum. $42.6) 

TOP LIMITED 
01 The Sense of an Ending $475K (cum. $527K) 282 theaters Interview
02 Badrinath Ki Dulhania $420K (cum. $1.5) 156 theaters
03 A United Kingdom $320K (cum. $3.1) 257 theaters 
04 Kedi $275K (cum. $1.4) 120 theaters  Review 
05 The Last Word $191K (cum. $345K) 94 theaters
06 T2: Trainspotting $180K NEW 5 theaters
07 Personal Shopper $158K (cum. $269K) 35 theaters Review
08 The Salesman $105K (cum. $2.2) 72 theaters  ReviewInterview 
09 Song to Song $53K NEW 4 theaters
10 Land of Mine $41K (cum. $245K) 38 theaters Interview

Sunday
Mar192017

Review: Disney's recreation of "Beauty and the Beast"

This review was previously published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Tale as old as time
True as it can be

You wouldn’t think that ‘tales as old as time’ would need so much retelling but they do. Certain properties never go away or are open to constant reinterpretation like the Shakespeare oeuvre or, well, fairy tales. A cursory bit of research reveals that there have been at least a dozen feature films or TV series from various countries based on Beauty and the Beast tale.

If you have never existed before today, here’s what you need to know: A cruel prince is cursed and transformed into a beast. If the Beast doesn’t learn to love and be loved in return by the time the last petal on a magic rose falls, the curse will become permanent. Enter a beautiful girl who could be the one to break the spell...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar192017

On This Day: Glenn Close Born, Ben Kingsley Knighted, Sean Connery Bonded

Programming Note: Apologies that we're off schedule on episodes of Pfandom and Three Fittings. Performance anxiety (aka writer's block) at Film Experience HQ. While Nathaniel course corrects...

On this day in showbiz history...
Here are a few cinematic things to think about today March 19th. Which will you feel most festive about?

1859 Charles Gounod's Opera Faust premieres in Paris. There are multiple Faust operas just as there are multiple film versions of the 
1897 Betty Compson (The Barker, 1928), the only Best Actress nominee born in Beaver, Utah (I mean, she'd have to be, right?) enters the world. 
1915 Happy 102nd birthday today to 40s star Patricia Morrison (Dressed to Kill, Song of the Thin Man). Yes, she's still alive!
1947 Glenn Close is born in Connecticutt. 70 years later she still hasn't won her Oscar! She's back on Broadway in Sunset Blvd at the moment...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar182017

Linkshift

Leonardo Nam photographed by Ricky Middlesworth for Los Angeles Confidential

Golden Globes interview Westworld's fab Leonardo Nam
MTV Teo Bugbee on the texting in Personal Shopper
Inverse interesting interview with composer Hans Zimmer who is swearing off superhero movies. Sounds like he had a bad time on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Playbill celebrates Sutton Foster with a gallery of all of her stage work
Variety random selection of drunk scenes in honor of your St Patricks Day hangover
/Film Alicia Vikander to headline Ben Wheatley's Freakshift. Is the director about to break out with Free Fire?
The Guardian Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has 26 (!!!) films in development
People Surprise! Film star Amanda Seyfried and stage and tv screen star Thomas Sadoski eloped! She'll be giving birth any day now, being 8+ months pregnant
Boy Culture Paris Jackson is looking more like Madonna than Michael Jackson 
The Guardian The great Tony Kushner on T****'s proposed cuts to the Arts
This is Not Porn Jim Carrey on the set of The Mask. Just because
MNPP drools on Justin Theroux (it's only right) and shares the season 3 Leftovers trailer 
Tracking Board on how the design aspects of Beauty & the Beast (2017) lack a cohesive vision
Variety Weinstein Co's Oscar prospects this year include the biblical drama Mary Magdalene (Nov 24th) and the historical Thomas Edison drama The Current War (Dec 22) starring Benedict Cumberbatch

Exit Video
In honor of Sutton Foster's birthday, a great moment from Bunheads, a show we greatly miss (but at least we have Younger in its place for Sutton fixes) 

Saturday
Mar182017

Tweetweek: Dull Iron Fist, Immortal Keanu Reeves, Gay LeFou

 So, people weren't kidding about Iron Fist. It is T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. The pilot never would have been picked up in a normal TV world. More amusing tweets of the week after the jump covering a multitude of topics including but not limited to: Big Little Lies, Tom Lenk's hawt red carpet recreations (I can't believe we haven't yet featured these) and The Matrix Rebooting...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar172017

Stage Door: Sally Field in The Glass Menagerie

by Dancin' Dan

This is not your parents' Glass Menagerie.

It's not uncommon for theatrical "reinventions" to take place nowadays. Ivo van Howe has made it into a cottage industry of sorts, creating an intimate, visceral A View From the Bridge and a raw, elemental The Crucible in recent years. Sam Gold is of the same cloth. He made his name with an audacious revival of Look Back in Anger at the Roudabout in 2012, won the Tony in 2015 for his sensitive in-the-round staging of the musical Fun Home, and most recently directed a searing Othello with David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig off Broadway at the New York Theater Workshop.

But all those pieces benefit from a stripped back, in-some-cases radical rethinking. Tennessee Williams's memory play is a much more delicate thing, announcing as narrator Tom Wingfield does right at the start that this is a subjective work of art, a piece of memory that may or may not represent what actually happened. Productions of it generally take after the play's quietest character, the "crippled" Laura - they are generally fragile, gossamer things, as light and airy as a thought or memory hanging in the air in front of us...

Click to read more ...