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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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Sunday
Mar062016

Ghosts of Ceremonies of Years Past

Manuel here. Love them (guilty!) or hate them (okay, sometimes I do), you have to admit that the Academy Awards are an institution, one with a long storied history. And while we've come down from last weekend's highs and lows and will soon wearily brace ourselves for what next year’s season might look like (first predictions April 1st as TFE does), whenever you need to scratch that Oscar itch take some time to look back on Oscar history before you start looking forward again.

Thankfully, the Academy is here to help. Finally embracing the 21st century they have slowly been building quite the digital archive over at oscars.org.

They now have video and photo highlights for ALL of their ceremonies. I’m sure Nathaniel and many others will cringe at the fact that they refer to this most recent ceremony as the “2016 Oscars” which as you know can sometimes get tricky. (This despite the Academy previously citing the film years (you can still see this at the tourist friendly Dolby Theater where each year the new Best Picture plaque goes up with the correct year noted (Spotlight is probably already up where the placeholder "2015" once was.)

Shouldn’t clicking 1950 give me access to the ceremony that awarded George Sanders his Best Supporting Actor win? It’s become common -- it's possibly IMDB's fault (and Jeopardy! now does it too possibly sabotaging Oscar purist trivia experts) to list by the ceremony year rather than the film year. We understand it (the 88th Academy Awards took place in 2016) but that doesn’t mean we have to like it; tying Spotlight to 2016 seems odd. 

It’s a small quibble but trust that there’s a smorgasbord of images and videos to keep you entertained should you want to leave dissecting the 2015 2016 Oscars for another day. So take a look and help us find the best/most amazing/randomest photo from ceremonies past you can find.

Sunday
Mar062016

Sign up now, Subcreatures! 

How to play
1. Watch the movie*
2. Pick its best shot
3. Post it somewhere online with why you chose it on March 8th
4. Let us know you did so and we link up that Tuesday night!

More March titles TBA soon.

*Ghostbusters (1984) is now available to stream free via Amazon Prime on March 1st. It's also available to rent at iTunes & Netflix. Join us this Tuesday by selecting your best shot.

Saturday
Mar052016

Is "Gods of Egypt" a Bad Movie People Will Eventually Love?

The cast sees the reviews! The Horror. The Horror.The ill begotten would be blockbuster Gods of Egypt, directed by Alex Proyas (I Robot, The Crow), is currently enjoying a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; you could call that score bad luck but for the fact that the movie fully earns it.

Still... There's something enjoyable about tallying up the ways it goes wrong. It continually charges toward its own spectacular idiocy with gusto. Despite heaps of exposition it never makes a lick of sense, explaining rules only to break them. It mounts each action sequence with zero artistry in disguising its shameful lust to earn extra $ as a video game (you half expect congratulatory text and bonus points on screen a la Scott Pilgrim vs The World). It builds its own crazy as high as its in-movie Tower of Babel. It wants to play with surreal Egyptian imagery but is so 2016 that it mistakes human gods with animal heads for organic derivatives of Michael Bay's Transformers

Each actor, freed from mundane concerns of "direction" or even other actors (green screens abound so half the time it's clear they're not together), does his/her own thing. The result is a hilarious hodgepodge of styles, accents, and wildly varying degrees of success at self-amusement: Egyptians with Australian accents? why not, Gerard Butler!; You once saw Pirates of the Caribbean and want to do something affected but can't quite commit to your mincing gay idea? Then do it half ass, Chadwick Boseman; You only want to entertain yourself? Thank you thank you Geoffrey Rush & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. You are both having so much fun which is the only way to do a bad movie.

Maybe it's the time of year, the garbage dump month between serious adult films vying for metaphoric gold (it's just gold plating) and studio four-quadrant product vying for audience gold (the green stuff) but I found its monotonous/cheap aesthetic weirdly endearing; the sets and costumes are gold, the lighting is golden, some of the superpowers are fiery gold, and these Gods even bleed gold! This is not a recommendation so much as a "if you're in the mood for it" which I, surprisingly, was. It's a blockbuster dumb as Brenton Thwaites is twink pretty, but it just can't help itself.

Grade: C-/D+
Oscar Chances: Teehee. not even if 2016 ended today with only 40ish movies to choose from. 

Saturday
Mar052016

Knight of Cups Top 5

Manuel here with a short list about Terrence Malick’s most recent outing. Knight of Cups will sit alongside Tree of Life and To the Wonder in what we might call the director’s spiritual trilogy and however you felt about those last two outings will color how you see his latest. Since the film is a roving set of overlapping and interlocking duets—we follow Christian Bale’s Rick, a successful Hollywood writer through Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he has dalliances with beautiful women and deals with the demons that afflict all troubled artists—I figured I’d pick out 5 pairs of Malick collaborators that truly shine in this dreamy poem of a film.

Consider it our version of praising the parts while remaining underwhelmed (or just ill-equipped) to praise the sum...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar052016

What's Next for the Women of "Carol" (and other lesser beings)?

Murtada here. Now that the Oscars are behind us (and our coverage concluded) our eyes turn to the future. Josh told you about new projects for four winners. But what of the "Best" losers? Let's start with the magnificent Carol ladies and move on to other actresses to see where they're headed next.

10+ future prospects after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar042016

Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Eric here with a take on the new Tina Fey film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, an adaptation of journalist Kim Barker’s memoir of her three years as a war reporter in Afghanistan. 

It’s hard to watch WTF and not think of the film’s clear antecedent, Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams:  both films are custom-tailored star vehicles that take a Western audience into a foreign culture, finding a tone between the comedy we expect from the leads, and light drama that allows them to expand their personas a bit...  

Click to read more ...