Advertisement
HOT TOPICS

Advertisement
NEW ON DVD / BLURAY

Advertisement
Welcome

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

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Up Next on "Best Shot" 

"HELL YES Amadeus! That movie is practically the nipples of venus personified." - Fadhil

WILL YOU BE JOINING US THIS ROUND?

Beauty vs. Beast

Nancy, what would the coven do to a reader who doesn't vote on Beauty vs. Beast?

they would kill her"

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe
What'cha Looking For?
Saturday
Jan252014

Sundance: Sophomore Directors Soar in 'Listen Up Philip' & 'I Origins'

Watching Alex Ross Perry’s mumblecore comedy The Color Wheel or Mike Cahill’s ambitious, but disappointing Another Earth in 2011 can’t really prepare you for their sophomore efforts, both of which premiered in Park City. Both Listen Up Philip and I Origins demonstrate a near stratospheric development for the pair in virtually every conceivable way. Cahill, especially, appears to have finally found a compelling way to conclude his high-concepts, which was one of the most frustrating elements of his debut. Perry on the other hand, has taken all of the promise found within his Indie Spirit-nominated gem and spun it into a literary tapestry that unfolds delicately and yet at breakneck speed.

You’d be forgiven for being taken entirely by surprise with Listen Up Philip thanks to its vivid, golden colourful strokes of 16mm beauty appearing in stark contrast to the minimalist aesthetic of his debut. Even more surprising is the structure that delightfully plays with audience expectations regarding the direction of certain characters. Just when you think Perry’s astute screenplay is teetering on the verge of monotony, it veers ever so delicately so that you may barely even notice. It’s a wonderful little game of bait and switch that helps make the film feel more intricate and less like two straight hours of people talking.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan252014

Sundance: The Raid 2: Raid Harder

From the Sundance Film Festival here is Glenn on the bone-crunching 'The Raid 2: Berandal'

"It doesn't end, does it?" asks a character in the excessively bloated sequel, The Raid 2: Berandal. He's talking about the depth of Indonesia's underworld, but I choose to take it literally and out of context, okay?! Fans of Gareth Evans' 2011 original will likely find nothing wrong in this film's 150-minute runtime - it's 9.7/10 IMDb rating only two days after its world premiere suggests just that - but as somebody who had hoped the original's 0% body fat take on the action movie formula would be given time to breathe and open up with the extended runtime, I was severely disappointed. 

\

Much like The Raid (which absurdly went by The Raid: Redemption in the US), Evans' sequel sees a cop battle a seemingly endless stream of villains amongst the Indonesian underworld with little else in between. Funnily enough, it reminded me most of all of Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, which I also didn't like. Both are excessively indulgent and monotonous films that sap all the potential fun out of their concepts. The Raid 2 doesn't even allow its actors to revel in their villainry although I did get some enjoyment out of Ken'ichi Endô looking like Willem Dafoe. Likewise, the brief performance of Julie Estelle as "Hammer Girl" is fun and I'm tempted to compare her to a lesser Gogo Yubari from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol 1 (a film with about ten times the amount of colour, style, fun and pizazz as The Raid 2). 

Of course, looking for anything other than bone-crunching violence in one of these films is ultimately silly and futile. 150 minutes of almost constant nihilistic violence isn't my idea of a good time, although my crowd was certainly into it with clapping, laughing and hollering throughout. The action choreography is certainly impressive, there's little denying that, but eventually becomes little more than a processions of swinging fists and kicks. I enjoyed the lone, spectacularly filmed car chase sequence because it was at least a change of pace and allowed the eyes something different to concentrate on. 

Still, when characters take on the consistency of zombies, constantly getting up and fighting despite broken bones and gushing blood, it becomes hard to take any of it seriously. It was also eye-rolling worthy to see the film's hero so routinely saved at the last second by a gunman running out of bullets just as it looked like his number was up. The blood flows freely and the pulsating film score rarely gives you a moment of peace, all adding up to a sequel that took all the of the original worst habits and amplifies them. For many, I guess that will not be a problem. For me, however...

Grade: D+
Distribution: March through Sony Pictures Classics 

Saturday
Jan252014

Mr R Will Link You Now

Variety a filmmaker accidentally takes his parents to Nymphomaniac, the secret screening at Sundance
Cinema Blend 50 Shades of Grey gets one of those exceptionally lazy and ubiquitous 'back to camera in silhouette' teaser posters. THIS MUST END. Every time a studio releases one of these I fear a mass suicide by graphic designers. (This is all they ever get to do now?)
/Film Rupert Sanders to direct live action remake of Ghost in the Shell 


The Carpetbagger Oscar's track record with black filmmakers 
i09 images from the making of The Ten Commandments including oil painting makeup tests
The New Yorker 50 Years of Dr Strangelove 
Cinema Blend Attack the Block's lead actor gets a plum role: Olympian Jesse Owens in the biopic Race

Saturday
Jan252014

Sundance: "Blue Ruin"  

Our Sundance Film Festival coverage continues with Michael Cusumano on "Blue Ruin".  

Thrillers like Jeremry Saulnier’s Blue Ruin live or die by the quality of their plotting. Events must unfold with an airtight logic, each dreadful event spinning inevitably out from the last.  The suspense evaporates if we feel the character being pushed by the writer’s hand instead of being pulled helpless forward by their own irresistible urges. Blue Ruin pitiless screenplay meets this standard and then some. It is an uncommonly absorbing film that goes on a list with other great tales of venality and murder like of Blood Simple and One False Move. And if isn’t necessarily the equal of those masterpieces, it is awfully close.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan252014

We Can't Wait #12: Gone Girl

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Deborah Lipp on Gone Girl.]

Gone Girl

Loosely based on Gillian Flynn's best selling noverl of the same name, the film tells the story of a woman who mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary.
 

 

Talent
Directed by a modern master of American thrillers, David Fincher, and starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Patrick Fugit.

 

Why We Can't Wait

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan242014

Sundance LGBT Greats: "Love is Strange" & "Appropriate Behavior"

Sundance coverage continues with Nathaniel on two terrific new LGBT films. (This article was previously published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad)

Alfred Molina & John Lithgow get hitched in Love is Strange's opening scene

I'm popping in, once again, from the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah, where I've been attending the 30th annual Sundance Film Festival. It kicked off the day of the Oscar nominations a week ago and in my golden-statue-mania I keep imagining it would have felt more festive had it coincided with Robert Redford's first Oscar nomination in 19 years for All is Lost. But it was not meant to be. Still Redford's legacy lives on in the most celebrated American film festival. Two of the best films at Sundance 2014 are LGBT films. Hopefully they'll both hit theaters or on demand or however we're watching movies next, and very soon.

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR is the perfect Iranian bisexual hipster coming-out comedy that you didn't know you needed or even wanted. But it's really good and really funny. The absurdly talented Desiree Akhavan (who some of you may know from the lesbian web series The Slope) wrote, directed and stars in the film as Shirin. She's a sharp-tongued bisexual twentysomething who is reeling from a breakup with Maxine (Rebecca Henderson) her activist vanilla girlfriend, and acting out sexually in Brooklyn.  

More on Appropriate and the possible awards hopeful Love is Strange

Click to read more ...