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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Nicole Kidman on Stage

"Any chance this transfers to broadway I wonder?" - Joseph

"As a long term Kidmaniac, this is just the type of comeback I was hoping for." - allaboutmymovies


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A Year With Kate: Spitfire (1934)

Episode 5 of 52 wherein Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.

In which a New England debutante plays a hick named Hicks, and the result is about what you’d expect.

Oh man. This movie. I knew the day would come when this project tested my commitment, but I didn’t know it would come so soon. Folks, this movie is bad. Very, very bad. So bad that no book in the five Katharine Hepburn biographies I’m reading will devote more than a few sentences to it. The best way to sum up this film is in Katharine Hepburn’s own words, taken from her autobiography, Me:

"Shame on you, Kathy."

Some of you are probably still morbidly curious, so consider this next bit my public service. Here’s the plot... <SPOILERS AHEAD>:

Click to read more ...


We Can't Wait #5: Inherent Vice

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Amir Soltani on "Inherent Vice."]

Inherent Vice
Doc Sportello, a perennially buzzed detective in Los Angeles at the beginning of the 70s, gets himself tangled up in a mess with former lovers, low life gangsters, prostitutes, billionaire crooks, a ship called Golden Fang and a whole lotta people with really weird names.

One of America’s greatest filmmakers, Paul Thomas Anderson, is behind the camera and one of America’s greatest actors, Joaquin Phoenix, is in front of it. Cinematographer Robert Elswit is collaborating with the director again after a one-film break, as is composer Jonny Greenwood. Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Reese Witherspoon and P.T.'s partner Maya Rudolph fill out the rest of the cast list.

Maya Rudolph in "Inherent Vice"

Why We Can’t Wait
With Paul Thomas Anderson’s name attached, little else is needed to drum up excitement. In my opinion, he has directed three spotless masterpieces (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood and The Master) and the rest of his filmography is as compelling as it is provocative. His is a singular and vital voice in modern American cinema. But there’s another factor at play here too: Inherent Vice is one of my favorite novels of recent years, and one of Pynchon’s most polished and coherent works. Its relatively modest scale should lend itself better to adaptation than the rest of his bibliography.

It will also be interesting to see Anderson in a more relaxed mood again. Vice has the potential to take him back to the Altman-esque structure he so successfully utilized in Boogie Nights, both because of its sprawling cast of colorful characters and its bitter humor and casual insight into the Angelenos counterculture. Few directors can get an ensemble to click as comfortably as Anderson does and it’d be a shame if he never used that gift again. If adapted faithfully, Doc Sportello is more central to the narrative than Dirk Diggler was, but there’s still plenty of meat for everyone else to chew on here. Plus, look at that cast! It’s mouthwatering. So good, in fact, that I’m willing to forgive the presence of Reese Witherspoon!

But We Do Have To Wait
Warner Brothers has the distribution rights, but we know we have to wait a while. None of Anderson’s films have been released earlier than mid-September on the calendar, and chances are this one won’t be an exception. A festival bow in Venice is likely; one in Toronto is almost inevitable.

Previously on "We Can't Wait"
06 Into the Woods
07 Snowpiercer
08 Nymphomaniac
09 Boyhood,
10 Big Eyes,
11 The Last 5 Years,
12 Gone Girl 
13 Can a Song Save Your Life 
14 Veronica Mars 
runners up  just missed the cut.


Sundance Documentary Round-Up: 'Rich Hill', 'Happy Valley', 'Private Violence' and 'Last Days in Vietnam'

Our Sundance coverage is just about wrapped up. Here's Glenn on four documentaries that may just end up on the Oscar long list in 11 months time.

When I moved to New York early last year, one of my movie missions was to see more documentaries. Given there’s on average three released here a week, that was never going to be too hard. I definitely succeeded with a year-end tally that nudged 50, which I think is pretty good considering years prior my number was much smaller and in some particularly disappointing years was limited exclusively to Oscar nominees. Michael has already reviewed and liked Life Itself, Nathaniel has reviewed and didn't like Web Junkie, and I announced my love for My Prairie Home. For completions sake, here are four more starting with the Grand Jury winner...

Click to read more ...


We Can't Wait #6: Into the Woods

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's abstew on" Into the Woods"]

Into the Woods
Director Rob Marshall tries his (jazz) hand at another movie musical based on the popular Broadway show. The film centers around a Baker and his Wife who have been cursed by a Witch to remain childless. To break the spell, the couple must go "into the woods" to bring back certain objects. Along the way, they encounter classic characters from fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Jack (he of the famed Beanstalk).

Cast & Crew
The sprawling cast is a mix of movie stars (Emily Blunt as the Baker's Wife, Meryl Streep as the Witch, Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince, and Johnny Depp as The Big Bad Wolf), Broadway performers (Tony winner James Corden as the Baker, Lilla Crawford, from Broadway's latest revival of Annie, as Little Red, Tony nominee Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel's Prince), and talented individuals at home in any medium (Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother, Tracy Ullman as Jack's Mother, and 2014's "It" movie musical star, Oscar and Tony nominee, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella). [more...]

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Sundance / Netflix Instant: 'Mitt' Stays on the Surface

Here's a leftover from Sundance that's also playing on Netflix Instant - Michael Cusumano on "Mitt".   

In one scene from Greg Whiteley’s documentary about the two failed presidential runs of the former governor of Massachusetts, Romney complains bitterly about Candy Crowley's interference in the second debate, which led to the infamous “Please proceed, Governor” moment. According to Mitt it was not the moderator’s place to comment or press the candidate for answers.

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Yes, No, Maybe So: Maleficent

My favorite moment of the Grammys Sunday night was the premiere of the Maleficent trailer set to Lana Del Rey's hypnotically sinister version of Disney's "Once Upon a Dream"! Runner up was Imagine Dragons. Second Runner Up was Madonna resurrecting "Open Your Heart" briefly while people of all persuasions married (awwww) thereby rescuing me from that obnoxious if well-intentioned "Same Love" rap (Keith Urban with his new handsome-lady haircut was also happy to be rescued as he was totally crying. But where was Mrs. Keith Urban Whom We Worship?). Fourth runner up was a tie between Pink and Lorde... but I digress and am running way off track with the tracks.


Well well."

Let's talk about that "Dream" trailer only we're doing things a smidge differently because we're in a mood. We're going to judge every shot of it with our Yes No Maybe So™ system.

Ready? Go!

Click to read more ...


We Can't Wait #7: Snowpiercer

[In the We Can't Wait series we're looking at our top 14 most exciting film prospects for 2014. Previously: NymphomaniacBoyhoodBig EyesThe Last 5 Years, Gone Girl , Can a Song Save Your Life and Veronica Mars plus movies that just missed the cutHere's Anne Marie on a 2013 offering that was delayed. -Editor]

Joon-ho Bong's much-discussed scifi masterpiece (?). A train powered by a perpetual-motion machine cuts through a snowy post-apocalyptic earth. Onboard, a caste system has developed. All is thrown into chaos when the lowest classes revolt and fight their way, car by car, to the front.

Joon-ho Bong brings together a versatile cast including Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Allison Pill John Hurt, and Octavia Spencer.

Why We Can't Wait
Joon-ho Bong (The Host, Mother) has been rightfully called one of the greatest directors in Korean cinema, an area filled to brimming with great directors. Even if you don't know Joon-ho Bong's work well, the idea of a post-apocalyptic train heist movie starring Tilda Swinton should be reason enough to get any self-respecting sci-fi fan excited. Still not convinced? The film has done over $50 million internationally and has been officially selected as the best Korean film of 2013. Snowpiercer has been hailed as a new Metropolis, using its extraordinary world to tell an intelligent story of class struggle and humanity.

But We Do Have To Wait
Unfortunately for Americans, Harvey Weinstein thinks we're too unintelligent for this movie. Since Weinstein picked up the film's US distribution rights last year, he has been garnering lots of bad publicity for his decision to cut 20 minutes out of the US release. His reasoning? He doesn't think it would play well in middle America. Instead of 20 minutes of exposition, he's added voice-overs to cover the lost information. (Anybody else getting Blade Runner deja vu?) Joon-ho Bong has publically stated he's against it, but Weinstein has yet to relent. No official US release date has been announced, but folks may want to skip it anyway and wait for the uncut film to be released on Bluray and digital download, whenever that may be.