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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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Lessons from the success of "It"

"The marketing was smart...they did a good job of using a "less is more" approach" - Jakey

 "This is a rare case of a movie that was perfect to remake: has a strong nostalgic following but which also kind of sucks and has a lot of room for improvement. You get the pre-installed fan base but don't have the pressure of re-creating and improving on a legit classic." - MJS

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Tuesday
May312016

Beauty vs Beast: Franchise First Class

Jason from MNPP here hoping everyone here in the States had a good holiday weekend and outside the States then just a plain good weekend, period -- I spent a good three hours (including something like half an hour of trailers) of my weekend in the theater watching the new X-Men movie, as did a few of you (not enough to make the studio happy though) and I gotta say I agree with Nat's take on it - mediocre stuff that needed to embrace its silliness more often. I'd love for just one superhero movie to be about something other than superpowers being the worst burden in all the world, ya know?

Anyway I found myself thinking a lot about Jennifer Lawrence during and after the film - god she seemed miserable, didn't she? She delivered her lines with all the passion of a smurf cadaver. That said I wouldn't be surprised if they could coerce her, with dollars, to revisit Mystique in the future... but for the time being at least she has no contractual obligations to her two big franchises. If she chose to from here on out she could make nothing but David O. Russell movies. (Imagine...) So let's look back at what was.

PREVIOUSLY It was Cillian Murphy against Rachel McAdams in a random Red Eye revisit last week, and it was Bay Breezes for everybody - McAdams' flight-bound final girl took just over 60% of the vote. Said Derreck:

"Team Lisa because she was quick and resourceful. They had the oddest chemistry going on to the point where if he wasn't all terroristy, it would have been nice if they went out for a drink at the end of the movie. But you know, murder and all tends to get in the way of that. Always the years, always the love, always the murder."

Tuesday
May312016

Doc Corner: Chantal Akerman's Finale is 'No Home Movie'

Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we look at Chantal Akerman's final film, 'No Home Movie'.

If No Home Movie is any indication, then Chantal Akerman had a lot of creativity inside of her to offer at the time of her far too premature death at age 65. I have no doubt that this, her final film, will likely confound those who find their way to it out of mere curiosity, but – and this is true of many films by many filmmakers, but especially so here – No Home Movie is a film that will most definitely play as something far deeper and more personal to somebody who is more familiar with her back catalogue than somebody who isn’t.

I know that sometimes it sounds awfully pretentious to say that. Who can be expected to watch a filmmaker’s entire back catalogue? I nonetheless think that it is true that No Home Movie takes on added dimensions and weight if you have seen Akerman’s 1977 masterpiece News from Home, which was the audience’s first introduction to Natalia Akerman, the director’s mother. While she is neither seen nor heard in that earlier film – her first after the groundbreaking breakthrough Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles – her written word is narrated to us over rolling and static images of New York City to help give a sense of the fractured mother-daughter relationship at its core. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May312016

Netflix Rescues 'The Little Prince'

Back in March, Paramount unceremoniously dumped The Little Prince at the very last minute before its planned release. The animated adaptation of the beloved children's book debuted out of competition at 2015's Cannes Film Festival and unfortunately word evaporated stateside quickly. Even though Paramount did zilch to promote the film, it has been received well globally, even winning the animated film César.

Netflix has swooped in to bring the film to American audiences - exciting news for those of us still anticipating the film, but a downer for those who hoped to see it on the big screen in most markets. This year's animated field is going to be tough to crack, but maybe Netflix can replicate the success they have had with the documentary branch in recent years.

Check out the just released trailer for The Little Prince below. The film begins an Oscar qualifying theatrical release and streaming simultaneously on Netflix on August 5th.

Monday
May302016

Memorial Day Long Weekend Champs 

It's not the story that the media will cover but it looks like the winners of Memorial Day weekend are... limited releases. Love & Friendship, Whit Stillman's funny Jane Austen adaptation cracked the top ten list on just 500-ish screens. The Lobster also had a great weekend on just over 100 screens. 

The other significant happening: Captain America: Civil War overtook Deadpool this weekend to become 2016's biggest hit.

 

Otherwise the long weekend was disappointing with two underperfoming blockbusters as the big tickets. Though Apocalypse's $80 million would be spectacular for many films its still a disappointment as its a far lower opening gross than that of its X-Men predecessor Days of Future Past. Meanwhile Alice Through the Looking Glass, a sequel no one was clamoring for from a film that was a fluke phenomenon based mostly on its absurdly lucky timing post-Avatar back in 2010, opened to $34 million. With a $170 million budget that's rough. Not as rough as Johnny Depp's offscreen trouble though, as an ugly divorce from Amber Heard is brewing. She's accused him of domestic violence and obtained a restraining order, his friends have rushed to defend him, the internet is circling him with torches. That's how these things go.

What did you see this weekend?

Arrows indicate losing or gaining screens

TOP TEN
๐Ÿ”บ01 X-Men Apocalypse $80 NEW  Review
๐Ÿ”บ02 Alice Through the Looking Glass $34.1 NEW
โ–ซ๏ธ03 Angry Birds $24.6 (cum. $72.2) 
๐Ÿ”ป04 Captain America: Civil War $19.7 (cum. $377.1)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ05 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising $11.4 (cum. $40.6) 
๐Ÿ”ป06 The Jungle Book $9.2 (cum. $340.7) Articles
โ–ซ๏ธ07 The Nice Guys $8.1 (cum. $23.5) Shane BlackReview
๐Ÿ”ป08 Money Monster $5.5 (cum. $35.2) Jack O'Connell
๐Ÿ”บ09 Love & Friendship $3.1 (cum. $4.1)  Review
๐Ÿ”ป10 Zootopia $1.1 (cum. $336.1)  Reviewish

TOP TEN LIMITED
Excluding previously wide & Love & Friendship which remarkably hit the top ten!
๐Ÿ”บ01 The Lobster $942K (cum. $1.7) Reviewish, Podcast
๐Ÿ”ป02 The Meddler $700K (cum. $3.1) Review
๐Ÿ”บ03
 The Man Who Knew Infinity $630K (cum. $2.4)

๐Ÿ”บ04 A Bigger Splash $530K (cum. $1.4) Reviewish, Podcast
๐Ÿ”บ05
Weiner $216K (cum. $344K) Review
๐Ÿ”ป06 Sing Street $154K (cum. $2.8)  ReviewWho's the MVP?, Podcast
๐Ÿ”บ07
Maggie's Plan $136K (cum. $225K) Review

๐Ÿ”ป08 Hello My Name is Doris $87K (cum. $14.2) Review, Sally Field

๐Ÿ”ป09 Dark Horse $44K (cum. $139) Review

๐Ÿ”ป10
A Hologram for the King $44K (cum. $4.1) Review

Monday
May302016

The Furniture: Design Heralds Doom in The Witch 

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

The Witch has a lot in common with Black Narcissus. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if the 1947 Powell & Pressburger classic weren’t still on my mind from last week’s column, but it’s very true. Thomasin’s family of fanatical Puritans and Sister Clodagh’s nuns both find themselves on the edge of their known world, motivated by faith to make a new life. Yet both groups are doomed from the start. They’re overwhelmed by their environments and fall in the face of doubt, sexual temptation and the power of nature.

Of course, Thomasin isn’t bedeviled by gorgeous matte paintings of the Himalayas. The Witch was shot in the very real wilderness of Ontario, in the former town of Kiosk. That’s “former” because the population starting leaving after the fire at the lumber factory in 1973. Now there’s just some abandoned railroad tracks and a towering forest. If that’s not the perfect place to shoot a horror film, I don’t know what is. 

The landscape dwarfs the solitary 17th century farm where the bulk of the film takes place. Cinematographer Jarin Blaschke takes advantage of this as frequently as possible. There are countless shots in which the cast seem like helpless children at the mercy of the trees...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May302016

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

Happy Memorial Day my peoples. Let's have another history lesson via showbiz

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

1431 Joan of Arc is burned at the stake. If you've never seen The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), one of the best movies of all time containing hugely powerful actressing by Falconetti you must repent. Save your soul and watch it.
1536 King Henry VIII, whose wives all tended to die prematurely (funny how that happens) marries Jane Seymour (not to be confused with the Dr Quinn Medicine Woman & Somewhere in Time actress). 477 years later Oscar Isaac sings about Queen Jane's tragic life in Inside Llewyn Davis's very best scene. 
1896 Howard Hawks is born. Makes so many great films but my favorites are: Bringing Up Baby (1938), Red River (1948) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) 

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013): The Death Of Queen Jane (The Movie Title Song) from dky6dcnQbL dky6dcnQbL on Vimeo.

 

1899 Movie titan Irving Thalberg is born. The craziest actressexuals (*raises hand*) know him as Mr. Norma Shearer but mostly people think of him as "another name for an Honorary Oscar" though the prize is actually a bust of the man himself. 39 people have won this at the Oscars for bodies of work that "reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production". All 39 of them have been men.
1920 Franklin J Schaffner is born in Tokyo to American missionary parents. He'll eventually direct motion pictures like The Stripper, Boys from Brazil, and Planet of the Apes and win the Oscar for Patton (1970). 
1928 International treasure Agnès Varda is born in Belgium. Anne Marie wrote about her work last year so check that out.
1941 Blood and Sand, Tyrone Power's matador pic, is released. Wins Best Cinematography at the Oscars. Happy 75th Anniversary!
1971 "Adele Dazeem" is born, shatters the ear drum of the doctor who spanks her newborn tush.
2003 Finding Nemo opens in movie theaters. Begins its gargantuan box office swim through movie theaters 
2014 Maleficent opens in theaters, desecreating the beautiful wickedness of one of the all time great screen villains by making her a misunderstood victim.  

Will you be making history today? What's your plan?