NOW PLAYING

in theaters


new on DVD/BluRay


review index

HOT TOPICS



CLASSIC OF THE MOMENT

THE FILMS OF ROBERT WISE
(CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

 

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(s) DU JOUR
THE GUEST Review

"Best known as pudgy British aristocrat Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey' Pudgy? How very Dowager Countess of you.- par

""from Jimmy Stewart to Terminator" - HA! LOVE this! And boy I loved this movie, I hope all the Downton fans flock to the theaters to see it." - jose

 

 

Beauty vs. Beast

 

Lester thinks you should vote for him in AMERICAN BEAUTY poll
 VOTE!
 

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.

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe
Sunday
Aug052012

Box Office Numbers. What's Yours?

I have important questions to ask Hollywood and you...

Chart via Box Office Mojo

To Hollywood:

  • Who greenlit $125 million for a remake of Total Recall without a star as bankable as Ahnuld? 
  • Why don't you make more smart but mainstream adult productions as cheap as Magic Mike and then actually promote them well so they become big hits instead of just releasing them in 5 theaters and hoping for the best? The profit margins are pretty big with this one. Consider that it's already earned 15 times its budget and that doesn't even include home video where it will be an even bigger hit or any foreign box office yet since it hasn't gone international.  

To You:

  • How many of this week's top 12 have you seen?
  • How much life does The Dark Knight Rises (reviewed) still have in it? It's $43 million behind The Dark Knight and $103 million behind The Avengers at this same 17th day point in their runs.
  • What do you think the semi-success of Moonrise Kingdom means for Wes Anderson? It didn't reach Tenenbaums popularity but it sure held on with word of mouth and will be much bigger in ten years time the way so many "acquired taste" movies are.

Speaking of numbers... Last night I was in one of those crap movie moods. Do you ever get those? It was too hot to be outside and I just wanted to see something stupid while laying on the couch. So I watched What's Your Number?

Well, I did ask for stupid. It's my own damn fault.

I did not, however, ask for relentlessly sexist and offensive. Women who have slept with more than 10 men in their lifetime -- even if they're gorgeous urban singles in their early 30s who've been to college-- are apparently "sluts"? It's one of those movies where if you switch the genders in your head it makes absolutely zero sense. Nobody would ever understand a movie wherein the plot involves a guy who feels guilty about having had more than 10 girlfriends and his friends all think he's an embarassment because of it so he vows to give up sex because THAT'S FAR TOO MANY! 

The plot and politics were so terrible (and predictable) that it even made it hard to enjoy the otherwise good cast though I did laugh at Anthony Mackie's crude gesture as a closeted gay and Blythe Danner's exasperation of the high strung mother of the bride. I felt so bad for Anna Faris and Chris Evans while watching it but, then again, they did sign on so they can't not have known what they were getting into. So shame on them, too. 

P.S. Remember that bizarrely misguided moment in Chris Evans career wherein his management team announced that he was no longer going to take his shirt off? Ha! That didn't last long.

Maybe their numbers from commissions on his movie offers immediately dried up? 

You think?

Sunday
Aug052012

50th Anniversary: Marilyn's Death

50 years ago today Marilyn Monroe left us. You've undoubtedly noticed that her lovely ghost is more active than ever, always haunting popular culture. In the past ten months alone, we've been inundated with Marilyn resurrections and references: My Week With MarilynSmash, that Dior commercial with Charlize Theron, James Franco and Channing Tatum in Marilyn drag at the Oscars and in Magic Mike respectively. You could call that a symptom of this major anniversary or the current Mad Men inspired 60s fanaticism were it not for the fact that Hollywood is always attempting Marilyn resurrections in one form or another.

Marilyn on the beach in 1962 shortly before her death 50 years ago. She was 36 years old.

Strange then that the actress who is most comparable to her these days in terms of über charisma, sex appeal and body type, the great Christina Hendricks, can't manage to excite Hollywood enough for them to give her showcase movie roles.  She's a hell of an actress and the only thing she hasn't yet shown us that's Marilyn-related is superb comic timing.

Marilyn Monroe is like Hollywood's Jesus. If they actually came back to us the people who blab on and on about them the most (Hollywood and Christians respectively) would be the first to reject their reality. Hollywood doesn't really want actresses to be as powerfully voluptuous as that!

Marilyn is now only a fantasy, and paradoxically perhaps that makes her closer to the "Marilyn" that Norma Jean intended all along given that she was (to some extent) fictional to the woman playing her. People have always preferred the fantasy to the reality with Marilyn and now moreso than ever I think. But she seems so real from ubiquity that her spirit verges on the corporeal. [Actresses, Memories and Fashion after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug052012

Introducing... In "Vertigo"

I've only written about Alfred Hitchcock's immortal Vertigo (1958) once for an episode of the old series "May Flowers" so I thought I'd dig up that old piece now that Vertigo is in the news having been named "The Greatest Film" by Sight & Sound. I always think of Vertigo as an early summer movie. What other movie besides its closest descendants Robert Altman's Three Women and  David Lynch's Mulholland Drive feel more ruled by twin sign Gemini? Hitchcock films generally deserve complete dissertations but we don't have Scottie Ferguson's (Jimmy Stewart) stamina when it comes to fetishizing doppelgangers. So today let's merely glance back at his introductions to Madeleine/Judy (Kim Novak).

Ferguson has been hired to follow Madeleine and as he first spots her in a deep rose red restaurant. [Click here to open a panoramic shot in a new window]. Hitchock slow zooms out from Scottie (far right) at the bar and pans left, following his gaze, into the dining area filled with flowers and well heeled customers and even a painting of a floral arrangement framed by floral arrangements before it finally stops at Madeleine (tiny, far left) in her emerald green dress.

As she leaves the restaurant we get Kim Novak's first bewitching close up, carefully calibrated and emphasized by Hitchcock's editor George Tomasini and cinematographer Robert Burks. Scottie likes what he sees but this is a job.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug052012

Ask Nathaniel. Even Though He's Slow To Respond.

I apologize that I never responded to the last batch of questions. I had trouble parsing them -- a lot of essay length questions (be gentler with me), questions we'd answered before, or questions that made me feel guilty. Why don't I ever talk about Garbo? I don't know. Why don't I watch Breaking Bad? I don't know x 2. When am I bringing back "Reader of the Day"? I don'--oh wait, this month! It's Reader Appreciation Month)  Still more of the questions, a lot of them, had to do with The Dark Knight Rises  and I answered all of those to the best of my ability in my longwinded review. So let's open the floor back up and I'll try to answer questions as soon as (gulp) Wednesday!

P.S. Remember, if it's more suited to a top ten list style answer, I never answer it. I just file it under "top ten list" possibilities. 

 

Saturday
Aug042012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "The Paperboy"

I know you've been waiting to discuss this one or spent all your discussion energies elsewhere. But do it again. Humor me! You know how bad I want this movie, even if it's terrible. Let's break it down quickly since I'm all YESSSSSSSssssSSSsssS Gimme.

YES

 

  • "That man is dangerous. Lovin' him is dangerous ♫" - perfect music choice
  • Speaking of dangerous Pt 2 Nicole Kidman trashy, sweaty, in character, on fire. If she were a man people would bow down like they do with Daniel Day-Lewis.
  • Speaking of dangerous Pt 3 Precious director Lee Daniels. Generally you can't achieve genius unless you're willing to risk looking ridiculous. Reviews suggested the latter but still. Brava for taking chances.
  • Zac Efron's wet underwear contest and Nicole Kidman's gawdy costumes, Two great looks that look great together.
  • The cast. Matthew McConaughey has been on a roll and Macy Gray is always welcome. She was just inspired in her cameo in For Colored Girls and memorable in Lee Daniels' Shadowboxer, too. 
  • "These your paperboys? What are they gonna do for me." // "They're gonna save you" Chills.

NO


  • This trailer verges on the totally incoherent. "What the hell is going on?" can be a good future ticket buy question spurred on by a trailer but generally not in the "what the hell is going on within the trailer itself!?" kind of way. I think it's the overlapping sound editing. It's just cacophonous. 

MAYBE SO 

  • John Cusack. I admit I am nothing like a fan. Very occassionally I'm intrigued but there are more misses than hits if you ask me.

the trailer in case you're also running late...

Are you a Yes? a Hell Yes? or a Gimme Now Before I Spontaneously Combust? no? maybe so? 

I know I'm not supposed to think that Nicole has an Oscar shot for something this pulpy and outre but damn this looks like a killer part. Will she kill it?

Saturday
Aug042012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Cloud Atlas"

Beau here to give Cloud Atlas the Yes No Maybe So treatment while Nathaniel remains otherwise occupied.

Ben Whishaw and Doona Bae in "Cloud Atlas"

Jesus. What to say? I’m struck by the visual nature of the beast, but that’s to be expected given the caliber of talent involved with the project. At the same time, something so grandiose and ambitious has a natural inclination to tip, like the leaning tower of Pisa. Beautiful to look upon, but you don’t want to get to close lest the thing actually crumble under its own weight. Gravity is tricky that way. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug032012

Please Please Please Let Me Link What I Want

PopBytes gives Kristen Stewart advice re: her custody battle with Robert Pattinson (they share a beautiful dog)
Kirsten Dunst shares Garrett Hedlund tempting a squirrel with his nuts! (We used to do this as a little kid -- until my sister got bit!)
My New Plaid Pants remembers delicious latent homo Michael Biehn in The Fan. The internet is a wonderful time-free zone where people can obsess on Biehn like it's 1982 whenever they damn well want!
Gawker on Demi Moore's long cinematic rough patch 
The Playlist Nicole Kidman will play a small role in Lars von Trier's pornographic The Nymphomaniac (2013). Oh how I love them both. Please please please let this be as good as The Idiots.

Stale Popcorn Glenn reviews Cosmopolis and Step Up Revolution together because, duh, obvious double feature
i09 has the greatest unintentionally funny lines in genre films/tv. Love #8 and #1 so much. 
In Contention Spike Lee to be honored in Venice
NY Times profiles the rising Ukrainian boy band of sorts, Kazaky, featured in Madonna's "Girl Gone Wild" video 
Vanity Fair gives Olympian Ryan Lochte the Ryan Gosling 'Hey Girl' treatment 
Slate Dana Stevens embraces her inner punk rocker while staring at the Sight & Sound List 
Movie|Line I'm a bit confused by this article about Elizabeth Olson praising 50 Shades of Grey but then "no, no, no" about starring in it. I think we're missing a quote or a follow up question from the reporter!
Comic Book Movie Hugh Jackman on set as The Wolverine. Please please please let these be better than X-Men Origins: Wolv --oh never mind. It would be nigh impossible to be worse!

Finally... I think it's worth noting as a die hard fan of Bring It On (2000) -- which made my top ten list in its year and which I do not, in any way, consider a "guilty" pleasure, just a pleasure full stop --  that the stage musical version is upon us. My friend Tom liked it which gives me hope but I'm still leery. Screen to stage transfers are often very problematic and weirdly the number one thing they seem to get wrong seems very basic to me; super short scenes, of which movies are typically composed, are fussy and distracting on stage especially if they're constantly making adjustments to the sets or trying to keep up the manic visual pace of movies. Too many stage musicals pretend that you can just act the movie out on the stage but that's absolutely the worst way to go. I'm also worried because Bring It On's deserved reputation as one of the best high school comedies and best girly comedies has been utterly tarnished by a lengthy string of straight-up-terrible straight-to-video "sequels".

If any of you have seen it in previews, do share your reactions. Should I go?

Friday
Aug032012

The Future of "Hit Me..."

Breaking: Hit Me With Your Best Shot has been renewed for a Fourth Season. The response to the last few episodes was warm enough to suggest that it'd be worth one more year. It might never be as widely participatory as I'd hoped but the people who are into it are really into it, so we continue. It's like one of those critical darling tv series that the diehard fans keep alive.

THREE EPISODES LEFT IN SEASON 3. Don't be shy, join the party!

Wed August 8th, SHERLOCK JR (1924)
Buster Keaton's silent comedy is only 45 minutes long so you've got time to watch it. Don't pretend you don't! And it's available to instant watch on Netflix so join us in choosing a favorite, er, best shot. 

Wed August 15th, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
The Sight & Sound Poll clearly wasn't in the mood to celebrate Gene Kelly's crowning achievement and dropped the film by 10 places just in time for our favorite song & dance man's Centennial --  Rude! Singin' in the Rain is like a shot of undistilled joy. Can't wait to see it again for the nth time.

Wed August 22nd, DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975)
Confession: I've never seen this movie and blog projects are often the best way to finally get around to something. This sweltering bank robbery drama was inspired by real life events which took place on this very day 40 years ago.