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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, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Wednesday
Dec192012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "After Earth"

Michael C here. The staggering failure of M. Night Shyamalan’s post-Signs career does not need another chronicling here. Suffice it to say that to approach a new film of his with high expectations would require insane, borderline Little Orphan Annie levels of optimism.

Not that you would know from the trailer that After Earth is the latest M. Night Shyamalan opus since his name appears in the preview exactly zero times. Clearly the studio got word of the peals of laughter the Devil trailer received with its “From the Mind of M. Night Shyamalan” title card.

No this trailer is all about top world box office star Will Smith and his transparent mission to anoint son Jaden heir to his box office throne. Also there seems to be some stuff about crash landing on a strange and dangerous planet in the distant future that turns out to be…wait for it…Earth! Twist!

Breakdown and trailer after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec192012

10 More Critics Prizes: "Argo" & "The Master" Fight For "Zero Dark" Scraps

I haven't done the math but why count with my fingers when The Wrap is a born calculator and reveals that as the critics prizes have shaken down Zero Dark Thirty leads the race with 8 while Argo is in second for Best Picture prizes with half as many triumphs thus far. The Master is the only other film that's managed multiple "Best Film" gongs (3) in this thankfully divided year. Licking the crumbs off the critics awards plate we have Amour, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and... Safety Not Guaranteed? Well, ok, Indiana! You go your own way.

Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, and The Master are the critics win leaders

Les Misérables is the only film from Oscar's presumed big five that hasn't managed a Best Picture win from a critics group though it's surprising to realize that Lincoln hasn't done much better in terms of taking the top prize. Another casualty is Beasts of the Southern Wild. That gloriously original moving indie has recovered from its first weeks in the precursors where it couldn't win "first film" or "breakthrough performer" prizes with the unexpected strength of How to Survive a Plague and Middle of Nowhere blocking its pathway with critics or at the Gothams respectively. It's won a few things here and there. But I'd argue it's the biggest casualty of the critics weeks since it hasn't managed even one Best Picture win. It deserved and needed them so it's no surprise that it's outsider shot at a Best Picture nomination which once seemed totally doable now looks like a true long shot.

Supporting Actor Disappointments and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec182012

(Tap) Dancing With the Links

The Mary Sue Cupcakes in case you'd like to eat The Hobbit or his dwarf friends!
Towleroad the 50 most powerful 'coming outs' of the year
Atlantic the review of Les Miserables that I wish I'd written. Just beautiful
Gawker That guy who cyberstalks actresses is sentenced to a whole bunch of prison time. Somewhere ScarJo is smiling
MTV Jamie Foxx on Electro in Spider-Man 2 (the second one... so I guess Spider-Man 5?). I hate the pride that the costume will be sleek black. Electro has a dumb costume but sleek black Matrix wear for superhero movies is SO dull and overused now.

Carpetbagger Eddie Redmayne is Hollywood's new crush ... and an Oscar contender?
The L Magazine chooses the top 25 films of the year from Looper through Magic Mike and Lincoln
David Poland what the hell as GQ done to Channing Tatum?
Awards Daily Sasha shares the figures of AMPAS branches

The Black List is out. The annual list of well liked unproduced screenplays. See any synopsis that make you restless to be watching an actual film?
In Contention
Kris Tapley's top ten list. Amour and Moonrise Kingdom do make a fine double, don't they?
Next Projectio
n on ten favorite scenes of the year from Haywire to Holy Motors
Slate
on Dexter. I made the mistake of tuning in to this last episode after having finally given up the series earlier this year and found it so reprehensible that I wish I hadn't accidentally tuned in. Used to be a good show. Now I'm just embarrassed for the actors ...especially Jennifer Carpenter who has tried so valiantly to make sense of a now nonsensical character.

Finally... have you read Reese Witherspoon's tribute to Naomi Watts in The Impossible? She really goes all out with the praise name-checking Meryl Streep's Sophie's Choice and Sally Field's Norma Rae. But this is my favorite part:

If I have anything to do with it (and I will literally tap dance on Sunset Boulevard for you!), you will be holding every beautiful statue that exists by the end of February."

OMG. Do it, Reese, do it.


Tuesday
Dec182012

Beasts of the Precursor Wild

New Podcast ~ Part 2 of 2 
[Part 1 Here]
When we left off we were talking about the Globe Comedy and SAG Ensemble nods specifically and now the conversation continues. We turn to two films which could receive several nominations or none: The Master and Beasts of The Southern Wild and explore other Oscar mysteries too. [With Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe.]

Topics include:

  • The Master and P.T. Anderson's shift from ensemble to two-man dramas
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild, the outsider film
  • Globe categorizations. Why wasn't The Sessions a comedy?
  • Marion Cotillard is so Hollywood
  • Screenplays, Original and Adapted
  • Cinematography is neither Art Direction nor Visual Effects. Discuss
  • Oscar Stats. Will Supporting Actor be the only acting lineup ever that goes in with all previous winners? 
  • Screener piles. Are AMPAS voters more likely to watch The Paperboy or Compliance?

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the bottom of the post. But, as always, the podcast isn't complete without you. Join in the conversation by commenting!

 

Beasts of the Precursor Wild

Tuesday
Dec182012

Curio: Rebel Jane 

Alexa here. Actress and general badass Jane Fonda turns 75 this week. I've long admired her for all of her incarnations, glories and missteps, and for the fact that she unflinchingly calls herself a feminist, which seems all too rare. Were I to choose my favorite Fonda era I'd have to go with her early 70s Klute period. She won her first Oscar, sported an amazing haircut and worked as a tireless activist (leading to a self-described "greylisting" as Hanoi Jane in the summer of 1972). 

 

So of course I snapped up this April 1971 Life magazine profile of Jane when I spotted it at a thrift store.  The profile was few months before the release of Klute, and revolves around her travels on behalf of women's rights, welfare rights, GI rights, and Black Panther rights.  There is an unfortunate skepticism and patronizing tone to the profile (written by John Frook), but it is also revealing in its description of a woman who, at 33, was still evolving and seeking to define her role in the world.  Some excerpts after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec172012

Flaws and All... The Worst Within The Best (Pictures)

Does a movie have to be perfect to be deemed a masterpiece or a grand success? That's a rhetorical question of course since the answer is no. What's perfect after all? Sometimes mistakes and flaws in judgement (which are, of course, in the eye of the beholder) can make a movie more organic and lively than something that is technically irreproachable.

Encore Entertainment was recently ranting about the weird and unfortunate trend of people rooting for movies to fail... in many cases even before they've seen them. It's a weird truth about Oscar season and I'll admit right here and now before we begin that I've also been guilty on occasion. It's how I've been feeling about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from the moment I heard they were splitting one book into three movies. It rubbed against all of my core beliefs about what's wrong with Hollywood and their willingness to sacrifice good storytelling and goodwill to shake down eager fans for every last penny.

It's easiest to spot this kneejerk HAHA YOU SUCK mentality in the ongoing attacks on Les Misérables around the internet and the almost sadistic joy you could feel rippling out when it debuted to unexpectedly harsh reviews. More...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec172012

Life of Link

GQ John Smedley's Ian McLean has really good taste. Check out his shoutouts to Michael Fassbender and Cate Blanchett
Stale Popcorn Jean Valjean and Fantine strike a pose 
In Contention on the various screenplays that are ineligible for the WGA and can't therefore get the Oscar bump. As usual there are a lot of them rendering the WGA fairly ineffective as both a predictive precursor and as a competitive prize since it's dealing with so few of the year's movies!

Cinema Blend Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair, Anna Karenina) is a starlet in demand now. Once you've seen both of those movies, you'll demand her too!
Jean-Pierre Jeunet shares his storyboards from Life of Pi back when Fox was considering him to direct it years and years ago. Interesting inside glimpse of filmmakers grappling with movies they didn't make.
NPR on the hunt for Bin Laden and the accuracy of Zero Dark Thirty. Was it really a woman at the center?

"I think it's a literary device. It's not inaccurate, but it's not wholly accurate," says writer Peter Bergen, who himself has spent many years tracking bin Laden. 

Movie|Line turns out that a very disturbing NC-17ish scene towards the end of Django Unchained (MILD SPOILER: Django is hung upside down completely naked and receives two malevolent visitors) was even more cruel in an earlier cut --  Samuel L Jackson says his character burned Foxx's nipples off.
Celebuzz celebrates the shortest male stars from Jason Statham to Daniel Radcliffe in an infographic
Fox Searchlight you can pretend you're an awards voter by downloading FYC booklets!