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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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Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots

"With only a few scenes at her disposal, Samantha Morton was an amazing, amazing Mary Queen of Scots in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Don't expect that portrayal of the lady will ever be topped." -Ken

"Saoirse Ronan is an inspired choice for Mary. But... Who signed off on Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I? What is this madness." - BillyBob

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Jerome Reybaud Director
(4 Days in France)
Emmanuelle Devos Actress
(Retrospective)
Nicholas Galitzine Actor
(Handsome Devil)
James Ivory Director
(Maurice Restoraton)
Betty Buckley Actress
(Split)

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Monday
Apr252016

Beauty vs Beast: All Their Jazz

It's Monday and this is Jason from MNPP writing at you, so it must be time for another round of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this week's duo are each individually and together beautiful and beastly all at once, and I don't know which their prouder of, honestly. A little of this, a little of that, some razzle dazzle and a lotta sheba shimmy shake. Indeed we speak of that pair of murderin' funny honeys Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta Jones) & Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) in Rob Marshall's 2002 Oscar winner Chicago. Today is Renée's 47th birthday and this we do in celebration of her. Now make like Lipschitz and choose.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we took a little ride on the Pineapple Express and y'all decided it was James Franco's Saul that two-thirds of you decided you wanted bringing up your caboose. Seth Rogen had his defenders though -- taking up his cause in the comments forever1267 had this to say:

"Big laugh. Big personality. Big Dorkiness. Big Chest hair. Seth Rogen is my secret crush boyfriend."

Monday
Apr252016

The Furniture: The Lady with the Van Paints a Crime Scene Into a Home

"The Furniture" is our new design series. Here's Daniel Walber...

The Lady in the Van begins with a bloody hit-and-run accident. The title van-driving lady, played by Maggie Smith, collides with a young man and leaves him for dead. On the lam, bound by necessity to a vehicle that may also be a murder weapon, she finds her way to a quiet neighborhood full of artists and bourgeois intellectuals.

Then it turns into a delightful comedy about the social anxieties of Alan Bennett.

It’s a bit abrupt, to be honest. And it may take a fair while to warm up to the neurotic, Adaptation.-style doppelgangers that represent the split personalities of the playwright protagonist. The vans themselves, though, quite effectively capture a much more gradual transition, one that charts Mary/Margaret’s arc with care. What begins as an all-in-one murder weapon and crime scene becomes a home. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr252016

Next up on "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"

 How to play? It's easy. You:

1) watch the movie
2) pick your shot
3) post it with the "why" 
4) and we link up. 

Tomorrow Evening April 26th
THRONE OF BLOOD (1957) 
Dir. Akira Kurosawa. Cinematographer Asakazu Nakai

Have we really not done a Kurosawa film in this series? My apologies. It's a Japanese classic with Kurosawa's muse Toshiro Mifune as a would be violent king with a scheming ambitious wife. Is it the best Macbeth movie ever made? Find out. (This is one of the gaps in my Kurosawa knowledge so I'll be discovering it with you.) [iTunes | Amazon

Tuesday Evening May 3rd
DEATH BECOMES HER (1992)
Dir. Robert Zemeckis. Cinematographer Dean Cundey

I need to talk about... Madeline... Ashton"

To celebrate the release of the new collectors edition BluRay (due April 26th), let's drink the potion with the vainglorious "Mad" (Meryl Streep) and vengeful "Hel" (Goldie Hawn) in this 'immortal' comedy classic, pun intended.  [Amazon | iTunesNetflix]

 

Sunday
Apr242016

April Showers: Sicario

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Chris on Sicario (2015).

Sicario was one of last year's most underappreciated and perhaps misread films. Audience responses ranged from breathless praise (yours truly is guilty) to passive disregard to outright frustration. However, it's three Oscar nominations (Cinematography, Original Score, Sound Editing) are inarguables of the film's immaculate (if punishing) craft.

One of the major qualms against the film is its central characterization in Kate Macer - a tightly wound and multilayered Emily Blunt at her very best. Plenty have complained that she's too passive and changes little - but that ignores the fact that she's a woman who stands her ground and fights for her beliefs despite being up against forces stronger and more unshakable than her solitary point of view. She's swimming upstream and being pulled under fast...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr242016

"Winter's War" didn't find summer-like grosses

Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?

Oh, Charlize you're gorg but those beasts in Jungle Book are fairest to moviegoers, who plucked down another $60 million to watch dem pixels. And all those other computer generated animals in Zootopia in their eighth weekend were also still going strong. Maybe you should have dissolved into birds more often? (With a budget north of $100 million, the opening of The Huntsman reminds Hollywood of a fairly obvious lesson: not every hit is meant to morph into a cash cow franchise by sequelizing it.)

TOP FIVE
01 The Jungle Book $60.8 (cum. $191.4)
02 The Huntsman: Winter's War $20 NEW Review
03 Barbershop: The Next Cut $10.8 (cum. $36)
04 Zootopia $6.6 (cum. $316.4) Reviewish
05 The Boss $6 (cum. $49.5) Review

Susan Sarandon in The MeddlerTHE NEW RELEASES
09 Compadres $1.3 on 368 screens
11 A Hologram for the King $1.2 on 401 screens
Review
20 Elvis & Nixon $450K on 381 screens Review
38 The Meddler $15K on 4 screens
Review
40 Tale of Tales $9K on 2 Screens
Review
42 How to Let Go of the World and... $6K on 1 screen
43 Men & Chicken $2K on 2 screens 

Outside the top ten and new release Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead and Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!! risked adding a few hundred screens and took in a good $600K+ each while Sing Street and Green Room inched into a couple dozen more theaters with solid per screen averages. 

What did you see this weekend ?? The extra question mark is in homage to Everybody Wants Some !! for which we've published both negative and positive reviews. I saw it this weekend and was so glad I finally got around to it.

Sunday
Apr242016

They Ain't Nothin' But Two Hound-dogs

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on 'Elvis & Nixon.'

We get a "Thank you, thank you very much" fairly early into Elvis & Nixon, the new comic bio-pic detailing that legendarily bizarre photograph of the musician and the politician shaking hands in 1970, and that tips the movie's hat toward its will to please - this is a genial little thing, a bejeweled trifle, that leaves these two men's storm-clouds mostly off-screen at the horizon, opting instead for a light-hearted clash of Fame and Power and the Great Men who wield either/or. At times the Jack Benny score wouldn't feel out of place.

Not that not taking itself overly serious is a demerit by any means - Michael Shannon is The King of taking himself awfully seriously, so it's a relief to see him relax here under a different crown. He never really looks the part, but then everybody looks the part enough when you slap enough Presley paraphernalia on them (there's a wry little scene where Elvis meets an Elvis impersonator at the airport that messes with these notions of identity and self) - so Shannon under-plays and amuses through that under-play, allowing everybody around him to fill in the gaps. His Elvis is one who knows what a change in temperature his very presence causes upon entering a room, so why work so hard? Everybody will remember what they remember, regardless of what he does or doesn't do.

Kevin Spacey too tries to turn Tricky Dick into a goof, but that's a taller order (Dan Hedaya did the best job I've seen in the movie Dick, by leaning hard into Nixon's oversized assholishness) and he's given less to work with than Shannon - the film's clearly more interested in its Graceland cast of characters then the White House suits; unless I'm forgetting something I don't think we ever see Spacey outside of the Oval Office? 

Anyway once the fateful meeting finally comes to pass, the movie screeches to a halt in the best sense - indeed I think it would've been a better movie had it found a way to slow time to such a standstill that it extended these scenes out for even more of its run-time. We never much care about anything else that the script tries to make us care about, but there's real burning love between its two main attractions.

Grade: B-