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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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Sunday
Mar222015

Not Much Divergence In These Box Office Grosses

The Divergent Series: Insurgent (argh. that title) mirrored its predecessor with roughly the exact same opening weekend take. So it kept its audience but didn't grow, which might not bode well for a long life or the blind greed now-common decision to split its final movie into two parts. The reviews are worse this time. Nevertheless it's the 4th big hit for divisive Shailene Woodley out of only 6 movies so we're stuck with her for a long time to come. The other interesting mirroring going on is with Cinderella. While it hasn't been posting numbers quite as big as its Disney live-action predecessor Maleficent day-by-day, it's been close surprisingly close despite no Jolie-sized starpower. In other words, it's going to be far more profitable; despite looking more beautiful and lux it costs HALF AS MUCH to make.

KISS HIM! 

WIDE RELEASE
01 Divergent: Insurgent $54 NEW
02 Cinderella $34.4 (cum. $122)  Review
03 Run All Night $5.1 (cum. $19.7) Review
04 The Gunman $5 NEW 
05 Kingsman: Secret Service $4.6 (cum. $114.5) Review
06 Do You Believe $4 NEW
07 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $3.4 (cum. $24.1)
08 Focus $3.3 (cum. $49.4)
09 Chappie $2.6 (cum. $?) Review
10 SpongeBob Movie $2.3 (cum. $158.7)

PLATFORM RELEASE
01 It Follows (US) 32 Theaters $.3 (cum. $.5) Review
02 What We Do In the Shadows (New Zealand) 134 Theaters  $.3 (cum. $1.8) Review
03 Wild Tales (Argentina) 81 Theaters $.2 (cum. $1.1) Review
04 '71 (UK) 116 Theaters $.2 (cum. $.6) Review
05 A La Mala (Mexico) 123 Theaters $.1 (cum. $3.4)
06 Mr Turner (UK) 79 Theaters $.08 (cum. $3.8) Review & Interview
07 Love & Lost (China) 24 theaters $.08 NEW
08 Red Army (84 Theaters) $.07 (cum. $.5)
09 Danny Collins (US) 5 Theaters $.07 NEW 
10 Deli Man (US) 38 Theaters $.07 (cum. $.3)  

'71 looks good to hit 1 million IF it can keep its theaters for another couple of weeks (which is a big question mark since its per screen average isn't super strong). Critically raved horror film It Follows and Oscar nominated comedy Wild Tales continue to do strong business while slightly expanding. The latter just passed Leviathan's gross domestically which puts it behind only Ida from its competitive pool in the US market. That said Wild Tales is by far the most popular of last year's foreign nominees, having already grossed $25 million globally. Al Pacino's star has seen more bankable days. Did The Humbling ever even open after its Oscar qualifying release in December? And now Danny Collins made under $100,000 in its tentative 5 theater launch.

What did you see this weekend?

Sunday
Mar222015

Breakfast with... Carole Lombard

My imaginary coffee date this morning is Carole Lombard.

On a shag rug!

(Whatever became of shag rugs?)

Who do you wish you were having coffee with this morning?

Sunday
Mar222015

Hit Me Globe-Hopping: Lush Ireland, Classic Italy, Psychotic Hollywood

Thank you for making the return of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, a success with its first three episodes The Sound of Music, Paris is Burning and The Quiet Man. We hope you'll join us Tuesday night for a special "triptych" episode (inspired by the current anthology craze in film & tv. Have your pick posted anytime before 10 PM on the day of the event and send us the link to be included. 

Tues March 24th - YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW (1963)
*SPECIAL EPISODE* Let's look at the anthology romantic comedy from the great Vittoria DeSica starring Oscar's favorite Italians Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren. It won Best Foreign Film for 1964. I saw it for the first time last year and l-o-v-e-d.. There are two options for this episode: pick three shots, one from each mini film OR if you're pressed for time, pick one of the three films within the film to choose a shot from. It breaks down like so if you're instant watching:

Adelina of Naples (00:01-51:30) Sophia is always pregnant, Marcello her perpetually unemployed husband.
Anna of Milan (51:30- 1:13:00) Sophia is a wealthy callow socialite, Marcello her frustrated side piece.
Mara of Rome (1:13:01-1:58:00) Sophia is a flirty call girl, Marcello her favorite client. 

[Netflix Instant Watch | Amazon Instant]

Wed, April 1st - MOMMIE DEAREST (1981)
PLEASE NOTE THE DATE - this is a Wednesday instead of Tuesday, we're moving back to Wednesdays as in previous seasons due to Tuesday schedule difficulties. This is our second annual April Fools Day episode. We had so much fun last year with a 'Bad Movie We Love' and first Razzie Winner, Can't Stop the Music that we're trying to chase that high. Meet Joan Crawford, one of the great stars, by way of the very committed Faye Dunaway (another one of the great stars, whatever this movie did to her career).
[Amazon Instant | iTunes | Netflix -- currently rental only but moves to Instant Watch on this very day if you're running late.]

Complete list of April titles will be announced on March 26th

Saturday
Mar212015

We Can't Wait 2015. The Complete Series

In the We Can't Wait series, just wrapped, we looked at our team's most anxiously awaited movies for the 2015 film year that's just begun. ("It's March!" you cry. It's okay. You're new. Our calendar goes Oscar to Oscar.) For the curious, the team decided and yours truly (Nathaniel) looked at the list -- essentially a top 20 at that point -- and voted only on the finalists... which amounted to a couple of "executive saves" I suppose you could say. Here's to hoping that all 15+ of these movies provoking Pavlovian drooling in our corner of the cinephile blogosphere satisfy.

Now that the list is fully up, I wonder how much of the next Oscar battles for Best Actress & Supporting Actress we've inadvertently prophesied what with Blanchett, Streep, Moore, Page, Cotillard, Winslet, Swinton, Rampling in juicy leading roles and Mara, Paulson, Chastain, Wasikowska, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judy Davis and Dakota Johnson all featured (we assume) prominently in these 15 features, too. (yes, first our Oscar predictions arrive in April)

What movies DIDN'T we cover for the summer and following prestige season that you're most excited about? And which movies on our list did we properly whet your appetite for? 

Lady MacBeth (Marion Cotillard) and her would be king (Michael Fassbender)

We Can't Wait
#1 Carol in which Blanchett ♥ Mara and her husband does not ♥ that
#2 Ricki & The Flash in which Streep rocks out / returns home
#3 Macbeth in which Fassbender seeks the crown whilst Cotillard tries to remove that damn spot and though we've had enough Shakespeare they're both too irresistible to deny
#4 Mad Max: Fury Road in which all post-apocalyptic hell breaks loose
#5 The Lobster ...who knows but electic cast and Dogtooth director intrigue
#6 Crimson Peak in which del Toro goes Gothic with scrumptious cast
#7 45 Years in which Andrew Haigh (Weekend) directs Rampling  Courtenay
#8 Bridge of Spies Spielberg + Hanks  ÷ The Coen Bros
#9 Taxi in which Jafar Panahi continues to make movies despite the ban
#10 Freeheld in which Moore  Page and they reenact a true LGBT rights story
#11 A Bigger Splash gets the I Am Love team back together for erotic drama
#12 The Dressmaker in which Kate Winslet seeks revenge... with fashion!
#13 The Hateful Eight  in which it's Tarantino so... our best guess (we don't read bootleg scripts) is sausage party mayhem + elaborately poetic shit-talking. One thing that's an absolute certainty: not enough actresses. Contrary to Hollywood's entire western genre, women made up half of the population back then, too.
#14 Knight of Cups in which we view Hollywood sellouts through a Malick prism?
#15 Arabian Nights  in which Miguel Gomes (Tabu) makes a 6½ hour political fable

Related Sidebars & Prologues

You didn't see that coming?"

Animated Films 
Tomorrowland
Jake Gyllenhaal & Franchise Returns
Avengers: Age of Ultron 
Magic Mike XXL

Saturday
Mar212015

Best Limited or Cameo Role. The Men

It's time for the final two categories in this year's Film Bitch Awards, the Limited or Cameo roles. Which is to say the actors who have only two scenes or less or who are continually backgrounded but for like one spotlight scene. It's an inexact science for sure and the line becomes blurry sometimes with supporting. [Breaking news: a former nominee in these limited/cameo categories whose star is rising will be guest blogging next month for a special day! More on that soon.]

This may sound silly to more casual readers but I agonize over these categories nearly as much as their Oscar correlatives. In fact the entire reason that I still haven't posted the women -- I had planned to post both at once naturally -- is that I haven't narrowed it down to 5 yet. I'm stuck at 8 and don't want to lose any of them.

So first up, the men...

Though Wild and Selma (nominee Henry G. Sanders as "Cager Lee" pictured above), offered plentiful options, and Two Days One Night was undeniable (kudos Timur Magomedgadzhie, left) the possibilities actually weren't obviously abundant. Perhaps this is because men dominate movies so thoroughly that the very small parts tend to be played by women and maybe there's a slight possibility that this actressexual doesn't notice the men quite as much who fill out the frame in group scenes. But let's not distract ourselves from the business at hand:  Here's the nominee and finalist lists.

Friday
Mar202015

We Can't Wait #1: Carol

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated. Here's Matthew Eng with our #1 choice, which incidentally also topped this list last year when we used wishful thinking to pretend it would be done early...

Who & What: Living genius Todd Haynes directs playwright and Mrs. Harris scribe Phyllis Nagy’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s gently subversive lesbian novella (originally published under the much grittier-named The Price of Salt) about a sensitive shopgirl (Rooney Mara) who falls in love with the lonely society dame of the title (Cate Blanchett) in lush 1950s New York. 

Why We’re Excited About it: The cinematic “comeback” of Haynes, returning to the big screen a full eight years after I’m Not There (despite a six-hour pit stop at HBO for Kate Winslet’s Mildred Pierce), is obviously incentive enough. But he’s also compiled a cast so charismatic, it basically makes you salivate: Mara and Blanchett, of course, but how about Ace Team Player and Perpetual Dreamboat Kyle Chandler as Blanchett’s snooping husband?

Lots more and several photos after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar202015

Bite Sized Tweet Roundup

It's a mini-tweets o' the week roundup because I didn't spend much time on social media this week. But I do feel the need to share these yummy morsels featuring Tilda Swinton (Not Tilda), Little Women, Hugh Jackman, Crimson Peak, and Cate Blanchett after the jump...

Click to read more ...