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Oscar History

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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English Patient Reunion

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Entr'acte Music

Joan is already at the piano, warming up. She's never late on her cue but this is ridiculously early. (I think she wants revenge for that Mommie Dearest party, last week)

New Wave obsession JOHNNY GUITAR (1954) is our "Best Shot" movie tomorrow night. Sterling Hayden simmers and Mercedes McCambridge burns -- Will icy Joan thaw? Watch it, choose an image, post it. Be here for the event. [Amazon Instant | Netflix Disc | iTunes]. (The following Wednesday, Taxi Driver.)

You don't want to make Joan angry so you'd best show up.

Click to read more ...


Curio: Cry Baby, 25 Years Later

Alexa here with your weekly film curio cabinet. 25 years ago this week John Waters' Cry Baby was released to the sound of a collective box office yawn.  But of course the whole pageant was engineered by Waters to become a cult favorite of the future. All the pieces were there: Johnny Depp licked his way out of the teen heartthrob hole he dug himself on 21 Jump Street, Traci Lords made getting vaccinations sexy, Iggy Pop took a bath, and Kim McGuire bravely put on her Hatchetface after Divine left this word for a better one.  In honor of its anniversary, here are some handmade goods celebrating the film that launched a thousand lonely tear drops.

Click to read more ...


April Foolish Oscar Predix - Supporting Actors

As is the case every year the supporting categories are incredibly foggy early on. One rarely knows which supporting players have big roles (unless they're co-leads campaigning fraudulently which we should always expect). And then there's the matter of who will steal scenes and who will be reduced to glorified cameos even if their roles sound good on paper.

Will Poulter and Tom Hardy heading to shoot scenes for The Revenant

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about this Foolish early punditry: Supporting players, unlike leads, almost never win traction unless their film is also well liked. That adds yet another layer of clouds blocking future vision.

All of which makes April Foolish supporting pictures an exercize in fantasy. But it's fun! The chart is now up for  Best Supporting Actor and to start things off I'm predicting an all newbie lineup. But looking over the general foggy field one could have genuine with high hopes for a couple of respected actors who've never had a real Oscar shot like Tom Hardy and Kyle Chandler, actors who have been mistreated by Oscar like Ralph Fiennes (future cinephiles will be driven mad puzzling how he missed for Grand Budapest Hotel) and Kurt Russell (tell me again how he missed for Silkwood?) and actors who fit right into Things Oscar Does like Seth Rogen (comic gone serious), Bradley Cooper (you like me you really like me) and so on. The chart is big and extensive because it's silly to rule anyone out before most films have begun screening.

Among films with large casts that we suspect are teeming with possibly eventful supporting players but who can really say are Warren Beatty's Untitled Howard Hughes Project, Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight, and the press expose of the Catholic Church scandal drama known as Spotlight

Some of "Spotlight"s key cast members: Keaton, Schreiber, Ruffalo, McAdams, Slattery, James

And that's not all. There's also the head-injury medical sports drama Concussion led by Will Smith, an FBI drama led by Emily Blunt called Sicario, and the all star period literary drama Genius which features Jude Law, Guy Pearce, Dominic West, and others as famous authors. There's also the Hollywood Blacklist drama Trumbo which is headlined by Bryan Cranston but features a lot of other actors as famous showbiz figures

Do you have any suspicions about this field or any wild card predictions?


Beauty vs Beast: Wet Hot American Rudd

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- you know who's been in love with Paul Rudd for twenty years? This guy's been in love with Paul Rudd for twenty years. Almost exactly - Clueless came out in July of 1995 and I think it's safe to say that 95% of everyone who saw Clueless in theaters fell in love with Paul Rudd that summer twenty summers ago. Well today is Paul's 46th birthday and here on the verge of what's probably his biggest role ever (a literally little superhero movie called Ant-Man) it seems a good time to look back...

... to something small, super small, that changed the course of his career. Even though Wet Hot American Summer wasn't a hit when it came out in 2001 I can still remember it being a topic of conversation, how everybody was a bit surprised at how funny Rudd was in it. He'd done light romantic comedies a la Clueless before but his work in WHAS was diffrent - raunchy, and going-for-broke. And as the Apatow School of Comedy took over the decade, Rudd slipped himself right into the zeitgeist.

As for Wet Hot it was a cult movie pretty much immediately - I've certainly been banging the drum for it from my microscopic corner of the internet for a good long while now, and that dedication's been rewarded with Netflix's upcoming Wet Hot series, which will premiere on the streaming service on July 17th (aka two days before the 20th anniversary of Clueless. Weird right?)

As for this week's "Beauty vs Beast," I'm focusing in on a single scene in the 2001 film (one I've probably re-enacted to my boyfriend's chagrin far too many times when I'm asked to pick up some mess I've made) in order to face off two of my favorite characters in the movie - in the left-hand corner we've got Andy (Rudd), the Camp's bad boy, and in the right-hand we've got Beth (Janeane Garofalo) the responsible-ish Camp Director.

Whose team are you on?

PREVIOUSLY As Nathaniel noted in Friday's edition of April Showers last week was ALL about Mommie Dearest, and this contest was no different - and it wasn't Mommie's first time at the rodeo, and it showed. at 80% Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) trounced the competition like... well like those rosh buses, and that talcum powder, and Christina herself. Although it was par who made the most sense:

"Team Christopher! [mostly for having the sense to stay out of this mess until the end]"


Golden Spy

Manuel here bringing you an eye-catching poster to get this week going.

I love the random cartoony paws on her jacket.

I saw this golden poster for Melissa McCarthy’s upcoming Spy comedy and I couldn’t not talk about. It’s so amazingly silly yet self-serious. It’s precisely the type of eye-catching visual gag that this marketing campaign needs (better than the one-note poster Margaret discussed back in January). More importantly, it’s exactly the careful tonal balance the film will have to pull off if it’s going to succeed critically as well as commercially. I know it’s supposed to make me think of Goldfinger (and perhaps of Goldmember?) but all I could think was the posters for Dominic Cooper’s The Devil’s Double, a movie I know everything about exclusively from this (NSFW) post (thanks JA!)

They're clearly going for the Bond tie-ins with these character posters and why wouldn't they? If you're going to riff off the spy genre, there's really nowhere else to mine.

Perhaps it’s my affection for pre-Bridesmaids (ie. Gilmore Girls) McCarthy that’s getting to me, but I am hoping that her softer comedic side resurfaces at some point in her career. May Spy do the trick? Is the presence of real-life action figure Jason Statham and Jude Law in full-Bond mode enough to sway you to give Spy a chance this summer?


Review: Furious 7

Michael C. here admitting upfront that I was wary about the prospect of reviewing an entry in the Fast/Furious franchise. The risk is that a movie like this turns one into a caricature of a film critic, a Frasier Crane type watching the movie through a pair of opera glasses, scoffing and harrumphing at the schlock on the screen. The kind of killjoy who cranks out the cane-shaking screed about how 'in MY DAY car movie had GRAVITAS, not the weightless, video game CRAP that these damn KIDS shell out for! Something, something, Steve McQueen.'

So I am relieved that seventh entry in the franchise did not force me into that unappealing position. Unlike the recent Kingsman, which spoiled the fun of its goofy action with a rancid attitude, I can endorse Furious 7 if only for the tone of goofy positivity maintained by director James Wan. These films are, as they never tire of repeating, all about family. Family and loyalty and introducing every third scene with a shot of a babe’s bikini-clad ass. Getting worked up over the lack of realism on display is like chastising a toddler smashing his Tonka trucks together because, actually, that’s not how to use a cement mixer properly.


Click to read more ...


Furious #7, Cinderella #1

As expected the big loud noisy high speed franchise on wheels Furious 7 broke April box office records and earned the biggest opening weekend of 2015... until Age of Ultron arrives.

01 Furious 7 $143.6 new Review
02 Home $27.4 (cum. $95.6)
03 Get Hard $12.9 (cum. $57) 
04 Cinderella $10.2 (cum. $167.2) Review
05 Divergent: Insurgent $10 (cum. $103.3)
06 It Follows $2.4 (cum. $8.5) Review
07 Woman in Gold $2.1 new
08 Kingsman: Secret Service $1.7 (cum. $122.2) Review
09 Do You Believe $1.5 (cum. $9.8)
10 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $1 (cum. $30)

The other story is leggy Cinderella. The lux live action adaptation -- which has spurred on much future live-action remake planning from Disney animation (see that bizarre Winnie the Pooh news and next year's possibly even bigger Beauty & The Beast film) has just become the #1 biggest grosser of 2015. Not that the glass slippered princess will wear that particular tiara for more than a day or two at the rate the Fast & Furious company is collecting coin. 

What did you see this weekend?