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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, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

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Yes No Maybe So - Beauty & The Beast

"Nice teaser but it going to be hard for Disney to top one of their true masterpieces of animation" - Jaragon

 "I don't have high hopes for the principals either, but the real draw is the supporting cast. I'm a NO on McGregor's accent and a YES on McKellen, so put me down as a MAYBE SO." -BD

 "CGI chandeliers? Damn, DIsney, let them build a set." -Jacob

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Monday
May232016

The Furniture: Black Narcissus's Maddening Matte Paintings

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

In movies, if perhaps not in life, people can be driven mad by mountains. In films by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, they can be driven mad by paintings of mountains.

Black Narcissus is the story of a group of Anglican nuns who trek up to an abandoned cliffside palace in the Himalayas to establish a new convent. Deborah Kerr, cinema’s most consistent nun, is Sister Clodagh, the young mother superior. Her mission is doomed from the beginning, of course, though not necessarily because the locals reject their presence. Rather, it is the landscape that overwhelms their emotions and breaks their faith and their vows.

Powell and Pressburger did not shoot on location in India, however. The set was built at Pinewood Studios. [More...

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Monday
May232016

Review: The Nice Guys

It’s Eric, with thoughts on the new Gosling/Crowe comedy, The Nice Guys.   

I’ll bet this project looked amazing on paper.   Bring writer/director Shane Black back to the comic buddy picture world where he started with 1987’s Lethal Weapon.  Set the film in the disco-cool world of 1977 Los Angeles.  Hire two accomplished dramatic actors, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, to play the leads, two low-life losers on the fringe of detective work unexpectedly uniting to hunt for a girl involved in a series of murders in the porn industry.  Throw in a cute daughter for Gosling’s character for some sweetness.  

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Sunday
May222016

Angry Birds, Angrier Superheroes. 

Team Red took the box office crown this weekend. No, not the metallic team red but the feathery one. Despite an unfashionably late arrival well past the Angry Birds craze that swept phones years ago, the family audience is insatiable these days. Not that the other Team Red, Iron Man and His Amazing Friends had anything to worry about having crossed a billion globally already. Here at home Captain America Civil War leapfrogged both Zootopia and Batman v Superman this past week to become the 2nd most popular film of the year (Deadpool is still #1... for now). Neighbors 2 and Nice Guys weren't as lucky because adults don't go to movies anymore without their children but wait for streaming (sigh). In platform releases, Love & Friendship (which is so damn enjoyable) and The Lobster had successful if minor expansions. 

Arrows indicate losing or gaining screens

TOP WIDE RELEASES
๐Ÿ”บ01 The Angry Birds Movie $39 NEW
โ–ซ๏ธ02 Captain America: Civil War $33.1 (cum. $347.3)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ03 Neighbors 2 $21.7 NEW 
๐Ÿ”บ04 The Nice Guys $11.2 NEW Shane Black, Review
๐Ÿ”ป05 The Jungle Book $11 (cum. $327.4)  Articles
โ–ซ๏ธ06 Money Monster $7 (cum. $27.1) Jack O'Connell
๐Ÿ”บ07 Darkness $2.3 (cum. $8.4)
๐Ÿ”ป08 Zootopia $1.7 (cum. $334.4) Reviewish
๐Ÿ”ป09 The Huntsman: Winter's War $1.1 (cum. $46.6) Review
๐Ÿ”ป10 Mother's Day $1.1 (cum. $31.2)

TOP TEN LIMITED
Excluding previously wide.
๐Ÿ”บ01 The Meddler $777K (cum. $2) Review
๐Ÿ”บ02 Love & Friendship $582K (cum. $780K)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ03
 The Man Who Knew Infinity $550K (cum. $1.6)

๐Ÿ”บ04 The Lobster $408K (cum. $1) Reviewish 
๐Ÿ”ป05
Sing Street $350K (cum. $2.4) ReviewWho's the MVP?
๐Ÿ”บ06 A Bigger Splash $338K (cum. $787K)  Reviewish
๐Ÿ”บ07
Weiner $85K NEW 

๐Ÿ”บ08 Maggie's Plan $66K NEW Review

๐Ÿ”ป09 Hologram for a King $65K (cum. $4) Review

๐Ÿ”ป10
Compadres $57K (cum. $3.1)

What did you see this weekend?

I caught The Lobster (unmissable in its singularity) and Neighbors 2 (enjoyable if not as funny as the original)

Sunday
May222016

Cannes Winners 2016

Despite what was generally regarded as one of the strongest Cannes lineup in many years, George Miller's jury wasn't having the critical consensus. At all. They didn't remotely follow the "buzz" whilst handing out their honors...

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Sunday
May222016

Thelma & Louise Part 1: Girls' Trip, Interrupted

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Thelma & Louise
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Callie Khouri
Released by MGM on May 24th, 1991
Nominated for Six Oscars

To celebrate the anniversary of this bonafide girls gone wild classic from 1991, Team Experience is revisiting the picture, tag-team style all week long (like we did with Rebecca & Silence of the Lambs, y'all!).

While the film begins in Arkansas, we're taking an alternate route. Grabbing the keys to begin this road trip is our own dazzling female duo over in Los Angeles, Anne Marie and Margaret. - Editor

Pt 1 by Anne Marie and Margaret

Anne Marie: 00:01. Fade in on an opening credit sequence that pulls every single late 80s/early 90s cliche. Heat-baked street? Check. Twanging guitar? Check. Harmonica solo? Check.

Margaret: Based on this alone, I would definitely expect to be watching a serious action-drama about a lovable renegade cop

Anne Marie: I mean, it's in that vein. As Susan Sarandon has pointed out (love this woman, and love how much she talks about this movie), Thelma & Louise basically is an outlaw buddy movie in the vein of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.

01:10 But more on that later. Right now let's talk about HANS ZIMMER WROTE THIS SCORE?!?

Margaret: Hans Zimmer contains multitudes.

Anne Marie: As long as those multitudes contain at least one louder-than-necessary instrument solo. In all seriousness, there is a lot of talent behind Thelma & Louise, which you get to see just in the opening credits roll: Besides our two incredible leading ladies, the incomparable Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, we've got baby Brad Pitt without an ounce of baby fat on him, Harvey Keitel (happy belated birthday!), Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, and it's written by Callie Khouri, who would one day give us Nashville. Not the Altman.

Margaret: And never let us forget character actor workhorse Stephen Tobolowsky, who also appears here in compliance with state law. I also often forget that this is a Ridley Scott film. It doesn't have a "Ridley Scott film" kind of place in our cultural discourse, though it's got at least as much pop permanence as Blade Runner. (When was the last time Blade Runner got referenced in a Country radio hit?)

Anne Marie: Definitely.

02:15. Moving on, we introduce Our Fair Heroes. It's actually a great bit of screenwriting, because we learn exactly who each lady is just by this introduction

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Sunday
May222016

Great... Train Robbery, Detective, Balls of Fire

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1859 Arthur Conan Doyle is born. Probably rolls over in his grave 150 years later when Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes premieres and the great detective becomes a slo mo action hero
1868 The Great Train Robbery happens. It's the subject of a highly influential 10 minute silent film (embedded above) as soon as people figure out what to do with cameras and celluloid in 1903. Cross-cutting, breaking the fourth wall, inventing the western action movie genre? It's all happening right here. 
1907 Laurence Olivier is born. Not yet a "Sir" but already expecting a cooing audience
1945 Paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren are married. They become the fab Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016) 

1958 Jerry Lee Lewis tells the world he's married his 13 year old cousin Myra. Later they look just like Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder in a movie
1967 Brooke Smith, the girl in the pit, is born
1973 Nikolaj Lie Kass, Danish actor of underappreciated hotness (Brothers, The Idiots), is born 
1998 The Opposite of Sex hits theaters, Christina Ricci gets a well deserved Golden Globe Best Actress nod for her inspired star turn 
2005 The razor sharp Cronenberg film A History of Violence was stiffed of any prize at the Cannes Film Festival despite a strange round of winners which at least included Michael Haneke as Best Director for the brilliant Caché. Both films went to to make the Best Picture lineup right here at The Film Experience.
2016 The 69th annual Cannes Film Festival closes. Awards ceremony tonight in France so come back for the winners in the late afternoon!

Saturday
May212016

The Natural Comic Genius of Rose Byrne

This weekend's Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising certainly has enough antics to discuss for this month's Girls Gone Wild focus, but its most delightful element is returning star Rose Byrne. While she's not as impactfully utilized in the sequel as she was in the original, she is still just as charming as a slightly reluctant adult who understands what makes the youngsters tic.

The film leaves you wanting more time with her, but when isn't that true even when she is better served?

Over the past decade, Byrne has been steadily becoming our most reliable comedic actress. Her peers may be larger box office draws or recognizable names, but none of them match her consistently rich performances or surprising hysterical highs. The trifecta of Spy, Bridesmaids, and Neighbors are all starkly different women, for Byrne never fails to surprise us with the type of laughs she can deliver with ease...

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