We'll take the next episode of Grace and Frankie quickly both because it's shorter and it's not as jam-packed with discussables as the premiere. We begin with the women still devastated while "the boys" -- I love that their wives call them that -- are already much more lighthearted, having finally pulled the trigger on coming out. Sol (Sam Waterston), is way more excited about having come out than the more reserved Robert (Martin Sheen). More...
Michael C. here to review Maggie
The buzz on Henry Hobson’s Maggie has focused on the novelty of blockbuster icon Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in a low-budget indie drama, which is akin to seeing Daniel Day-Lewis star in a Farrelly brother’s comedy. There is an undeniable fascination in seeing one of filmdom’s most famous men-of-action play a character defined by his powerlessness. The invincible violence machine that once laid waste to entire armies single-handedly now gets into a believable hand-to-hand struggle with some schmuck deputy sheriff and almost loses.
Arnold’s performance is one of the main reasons to see Maggie, and it doesn’t need to operate on that meta-level to work. There is nary a trace of the one-time blockbuster God on the screen this time out. There are no quips. No poses. No winks to the camera. As Wade, Schwarzenegger’s star charisma remains in tact, only this time it is tempered by a new vulnerability. Set well into an unfolding zombie apocalypse, all Wade wants is to rescue his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) from the zombie virus with which she is infected, but we watch those Mr. Universe shoulders droop under the weight of sadness as Maggie’s veins gradually turn black and congeal. This disease is one enemy Arnold can’t destroy.
Another week, another Netflix series debut. It seems like there are loads of them every month, yes? But this one, Grace and Frankie is right up The Film Experience's alley.
It stars two beloved actresses: double Oscar winner Jane Fonda (Grace) and Oscar nominee Lily Tomlin (Frankie) reuniting 35 years after their comedy blockbuster Nine to Five. What's more Grace and Frankie uses, at least as its launching pad, our favorite genre Women Who Lie To Themselves™ and mixes it with LGBT subject matter and comes from the creator of Friends Marta Kauffman. That's a lot of pluses in its column even before you get to its delightfully sweet opening titles sequence involving a multi-tiered wedding cake.
Don't believe whatever early buzz that had people shrugging. It's a lot of fun and it's damn beautiful to see these two actresses working together again. After the jump a quick recap of the first episode with best lines and MVP moments and such.
I will I will I will answer reader questions this week. Sorry for the sudden lapse in the series after a great start in early April. Your questions go in the comments. I pick 8 or 10 to answer unless I sense that you're Turing testing me...
P.S. Tomorrow's podcast is Ex Machina related so if you have any questions for the team about that movie (or something else for the podcast) you can ask those questions here, too.
Tim here. May is 1979 Month at the Film Experience, and as far as animation goes, that was a pretty meager year (ardent fans of The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone would no doubt disagree, but sadly, they do not exist). There was one clear highlight, though: 1979 was the year that a Japanese animator and TV director named Hayao Miyazaki made his first feature film. And 36 years later, he’s one of the only name-brand individuals in animation, anywhere in the world.
You wouldn’t necessarily be able to guess the full range of Miyazaki’s future career from Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. For that is the title of this debut film, and if that whole “subtitle after the colon” thing makes it feel like it might have been part of an established franchise, that’s exactly the case. Lupin III was an anime series made by TMS Entertainment, adapting the adventures of a gentleman thief from French pulp literature; the first batch of episodes started to appear in 1971, and iterations of the animated franchise kept poking up for decades; the series still remains a cultural touchstone in Japan and it’s reasonably popular anywhere there’s an enthusiastic audience for classic anime.
Before We Get Started...
First image of Emily Blunt from Sicario which will premiere at Cannes. She plays an FBI agent pushed to her limits. I'm not quite sure why I decided to get so excited about this movie but I did so I'm running with it.
THR Natalie Portman gears up for promotion of her Cannes entry A Tale of Love and Darkness, calls Oscar a "false idol"
/Film Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon's Big Little Lies project will be a limited series for HBO now. With Michelle Pfeiffer's hubby writing it! Since it's about three women can La Pfeiff be in it, too? Just suggesting! Free advice; we got it right here.
MNPP Alex Garland (Ex Machina) starts lining up a lucky female cast for his next trippy Annihilation - Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Tilda Swinton? Wow.
In Contention Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt's By The Sea, a marital drama set in France in the 1970s, gets a release date: November 13th. Should we add it to Oscar charts?
Dissolve Juliette Binoche to play Pearl S Buck in a biopic.
EW features Hateful Eight on its cover. I feel robbed. Unless it's a fold-out this is only Hateful Three: Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Samuel L Jackson.
Dissolve ...okay I spoke too quickly. There are also character posters of the other ones
Pajiba "Pants-Igniting Things Oscar Isaac Is The Absolute Best At"
TMZ Tyson Beckford losing his towel to promote that Magic Mike rip-off Chocolate City
Still cherry-picking good Age of Ultron links because there are interesting articles out there!
Sound and Nerdery Terrific read on the complexity of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, especially focused on Age of Ultron (which has taken so much flack for her portrayal)
CNet on Joss Whedon's twitter exit. Why we should care when celebrities leave social media
Esquire Age of Ultron reviewed by a 9 year old:
If you like movies about robots who make jokes, or movies about girls singing lullabyes to the Hulk, or movies about cities that float into the air for no reason, Age of Ultron will be right up your alley.
I like movies about all those things except the cities floating in the air part. Never dug that. Not even in The Empire Strikes Back.
Today's intriguing watch. A trailer for the Netflix series Sense8 by the Wachowski siblings.
It looks to have a very confusing sci-fi premise (what else is new with them?) about 8 people in different cities being mind-connected or something. But Doona Bae (yes) and Max Riemelt (very sexy German actor who you might have seen in Free Fall, streaming on Netflix) star. Plus Daryl Hannah (!!!!!!!!!). Plus they throw some gay-leaning group sex into the trailer so... why the hell not try it out in June? You can always abort the binge-watching if they show doesn't grab you.