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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 | letterboxd

 

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what did you see this weekend?

"Well, I saw MOMMY on Saturday, and it kind of spoiled my Sunday movie-going, it was so good. " - Bill

"THE SKELETON TWINS. Darker than advertised." -Charlie G

"MAPS TO THE STARS at the cinema. It's certainly very "Cronenberg", satyrical and darkly funny...and Julianne Moore is absolute dynamite. It must have been so much fun for her! - Carlos

how about you, dear reader?

Beauty vs. Beast

 

 drink your milkshake and... 
VOTE! 

 

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Monday
Sep152014

Beauty vs Beast: American Beauty vs American Beast

JA from MNPP here - it's that "Beauty vs Beast" time again! Over the past few months a lot's been written about the wonderful movie year that was 1999 now that we're a solid fifteen years away from it (Nathaniel touched upon this back in July) but seeing as how today, September 15th, marks the exact anniversary of the release of the film that would roll on to win that's years Best Picture, I figure it's time to pit some angry suburbanites against each other.

Yup, American Beauty turns 15 today. The dust on everybody's Oscars - Kevin's, Sam's, Annet... oh wait, nevermind (sorry Hilary Swank made me do it) - is fifteen years thick. (Of course if Annette had won that Oscar she'd have never let the dust get that thick - she'd strip down to her slip and scrub scrub scrub that sucker.) And all that built-up time, well it hasn't been too kind to the movie, if you ask me. But why ask me? Go read this piece at Decider on the film from just a week ago, it kind of says it for me. But now that I'm a little older the film (and Lester's) relentless villainization of Carolyn's character does indeed stick in my craw. But what about you?

 

Per usual you've got one week, seven days, to let the world know where you stand. Try not to get lost staring at plastic bags while stoned out of your mind, if at all possible.

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of being high, I'm still coming down from my John Waters high thanks to last week's retrospective at The Film Society of Lincoln Center here in New York (I saw him introduce Final Destination over the weekend! Shoot me now, it's all down-hill from that), but we can close the door on our Female Trouble themed poll at least... and nobody beats Divine. As Henry put it:

"Divine........there is only one Divine.......Christmas Trees beware the spurned Santa wish for Cha Cha Heels."

Monday
Sep152014

Open Thread. What did I miss?

THE LEFTOVERS just gets better and better. how phenomenal is Ann Dowd any way?It occurred to me yesterday while making an exceedingly poor attempt to fully recuperate from TIFF madness (I should have been resting my strained eyeballs but instead I was emptying the DVR) that I had missed two whole weeks of regular news. I joked about this on twitter but I'm 150% sure that I missed something I'd actually like to have known about!

It's easy to miss things, even if you're fully immersed in the industry. (An example: I was talking to Felicity Jones at that Theory of Everything party about her scenes with Charlie Cox, who is so sweetly crush-worthy in the movie, and she somehow hadn't heard that he was the new Daredevil for Netflix!)

What movie things, besides TIFF and the standard Oscar buzz, have been on your mind these past couple of weeks?

Catch me back up. Fill me in.

Monday
Sep152014

Back to School with, um, Back to School

Andrew here with the late and last back to school entry, which makes sense because the 1986 mega-hit Back to School is all about heading back to school late.

Those first few back at school are always a hassle for students, sure. But, they’re probably not that simple for the educators, either. Think about it. It’s your first day teaching a new class of students. How do you make a great first impression so that they’re interested in your class, not just for the first day, but for the rest of the semester?               

With that in mind, watching both the students and lecturers at college navigate those first classes in Back to School become even more interesting. Sixty year old Thornton Melon heads back to university as a show of solidarity to prevent his disillusioned son from dropping out. He’s a virtual fish out of water adapting to lowly freshman life after being a business mogul for so many years. He has a number of unusual first week experiences with lecturers with varying degrees of success. But one emerges as particularly impressive; Thornton’s first literature class.

What's a good way to ensure a first day in literature class isn't boring or stolid? Enter Sally Kellerman as Diane Turner in her red sweater, dishevelled hair and floral skirts. How to make the a great first impression to the students on this first day? No preamble, for her, she instead immediately launches into the reading of a passage from James Joyce’s Ulysses...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep152014

Box Office Report - No Good Dolphin Tale

Margaret here, back to report on another quiet weekend at the box office. Powered by the considerable force of charisma that Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson supply, home-invasion thriller No Good Deed topped the box office with close to 25 million. In second place is the family film Dolphin Tale 2, which took in decent dollars despite an aggressively bland marketing campaign and the fact that the first one was barely a hit. Guardians of the Galaxy dropped only 22% to third place, and is now the first movie since Frozen to pass $300 million domestically. The Year of Chris Pratt continues.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

01 NO GOOD DEED $24.5 *new*
02 DOLPHIN TALE 2 $16.6 *new*
03 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $8.0 (cum. $305.9)  Review
04 ...NINJA TURTLES $4.8 (cum. $181.0) remember the animated one?
05 LET'S BE COPS $4.3 (cum. $72.9)
06 THE DROP $4.2 *new*

The stealth success story here is Let's Be Cops, which, despite abysmal reviews and release in one of the worst cultural climates for an irresponsible-cop-comedy, is limping towards $75 million and a significant profit margin thanks to weak competition and a shoestring budget.

On the limited side, Dennis Lehane-penned crime drama The Drop outstripped its projected haul with $4.2 million from less than 1,000 screens. Such is the magnetic pull of a scruffy Tom Hardy snuggling a pit bull puppy, to say nothing of the chance to see James Gandolfini's final performance. 

Other notable limited releases include the Bill Hader/Kristen Wiig tragicomedy The Skeleton Twins, which brought in an impressive per-screen average and is well on its way to crossing the important indie-film benchmark of $1 million, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, which is getting an unenthusiastic critical response and middling ticket sales. Perhaps audiences are holding out for the Him and Her twofer instead.

Now that we've hit mid-September there are finally some festival hits and critical darlings trickling out into theaters (which admittedly mostly serves those of us in the country's three or four largest cities). I saw The Drop, in which Tom Hardy was absolutely wonderful and Dennis Lehane was entirely Dennis Lehane. What did you see in theaters this weekend?  Are any of you at festivals getting sneak peeks at TFE's most anticipated? Who wants to talk about Tom Hardy's mesmerizing Brooklyn accent or that baby pit bull?

Sunday
Sep142014

TIFF: "Still Alice," or Adjust Your Best Actress Charts

The final TIFF feature review. Whew, 25 films screened and written up. And all by closing night! Please give me a round of applause in the comments. I've never been this successful at managing a festival and comments are the only way I know you're appreciating it.

When we first meet Dr Alice Howland in this fine film adapated from the bestseller by Lisa Genova, she is celebrating her 50th birthday. She's happily married to Dr. John Howland (Alec Baldwin) with three grown children whom she adores though she isn't exactly a perfect mother or wife, at least as defined by your typical movie woman, in which case she'd be inordinately obsessed with her husband and children's particulars. In fact, she almost entirely defines herself by her own career and skills (imagine that!) as a respected linguistics professor.  She values articulate communication and higher education and maybe she isn't super imaginative about other forms of expression. In fact, she's downright dismissive about her youngest daughter Lydia's (Kristen Stewart) interest in acting. She gives her a continual hard time about her education and career and is frustratingly absent from all of Lydia's minor triumphs. 

More...

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Sunday
Sep142014

TIFF Awards Brunch, Or 'But I Saw So Many Movies!'

Little known factoid: I actually don't like hearing about festival awards IF I attended said festival. Unless I'm on a jury of course. Invariably it makes you feel like a lightweight no matter how many movies you sat through because it's impossible to have seen everything when 100s of films are on offer. I saw 25 films over 8 days of screening or basically 3 a day (since I had to make time for writing / parties / eating / sleeping) and it looks like I saw only one of the films that won a prize at TIFF.

Here are the awards...

the pray-cry mittens come out again! "I would like to thank the Academy for --er, I mean the people of Toronto!"

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD  -This is the biggie and the only one that people use as any kind of Oscar barometer. It went to the Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game. That's the only award winner that I saw and I liked it, particularly the WW II story at the center. I didn't see it at a public screening though so I couldn't gauge the reaction. Of the public screenings I attended its chief Oscar rival at the fest The Theory of Everything definitely had the biggest freak-out reaction from the crowd. Learning to Drive (with Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley) and St. Vincent (with Bill Murray) were the runners up for this most coveted prize.

TRIVIA MADNESS: The previous 36 winners of this prize have gone on to a collective 122 Oscar nominations and 47 wins... so if The Imitation Game is an average English language performer as far as the winners go it can expect a handful of Oscar nominations.  Of those 36 previous winners, 11 went on to Best Picture nominations with 5 of them winning. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep142014

Yes No Maybe So: Serena

Manuel here to walk us through the recently released trailer for a film many of us had surely written off, Susanne Bier’s Serena. The 2012 film will finally see the light of day when it premiere next month at the London Film Festival. It kept making me think of other films and other issues; never a good sign. But we'll start positive. 

YES


- This moment, mostly because it reminded me of the tenacity of Lawrence’s most accomplished roles (Katniss and Ree).
- Lawrence’s hair, makeup and costumes. 1930s country glamor? Yes, please.
- Cooper’s pecs, soon to be seen on Broadway this season in The Elephant Man.
- To sum up: Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence. Whatever qualms one may have with the one-two punch of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, one cannot deny the fact that Cooper and Lawrence have great chemistry. I’d ask whether third time’s the charm, but for the fact that Hustle was shot, edited, and released after Serena wrapped up. These two stars are definitely the main selling point of the film. Bonus: the trailer gives us plenty of beautifully lit close-ups that showcase Cooper’s blue eyes and Lawrence’s luscious red lips.

Nos & Maybe Sos after the jump plus the trailer itself!

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