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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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Monday
Jun102019

Beauty vs Beast: Sailors Moon

Jason Adams from MNPP here using this week's "Beauty vs Beast" to memorialize a sad anniversary -- the great German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder died of an overdose on this day in the year 1982. Unsurprising given his extraordinary output over the course of his 37 years on Earth Fassbinder's projects outlived his days, and one finished film came out a few months after he'd passed -- his gorgeously gay and strange Genet adaptation Querelle, starring Brad Davis as a sailor entangled in lusty criminalities in port, and that's where we'll rest our eyes today (since we're also covering LGBT films all June to boot). Much like Lieutenant Seblon (a perfectly mustachioed Franco Nero, awash in long eroticized pauses) can't keep his eyes off his charge, neither can we all these years later...

 

PREVIOUSLY The first week of Pride Month took us to sweet Translyvania, where Tim Curry's Dr. Frank N Furter easily swanned off with 0ver 80% of your Rocky Horror votes. Said kris01:

"Brad and Janet are cute and everything, but Frank n Furter can create life. Iron Man has a million suits to jerk off too, but can he make people!?"

Monday
Jun102019

"Speed" Turns 25

by Lynn Lee

When Speed was first released a quarter century(!) ago, the premise seemed ridiculous: Bomb on bus is triggered to go off if the speed ever drops below 50 mph.  A bus in Los Angeles, no less.  At rush hour!  (Actually, it’s always rush hour in L.A., then as now, which only reinforces the preposterousness of the scenario.)  Nevertheless, Speed managed to suspend viewers’ disbelief – and their breaths – with a combo of taut white-knuckle thrills that didn’t require elaborate special effects and light humor that relieved but didn’t distract from the constant tension. 

A major hit both critically and commercially, it went on to win two Oscars (for sound mixing and sound editing) and elevate the then up-and-coming Keanu Reeves to full movie star status.  Now that Keanu seems to be having another “moment” in his long and eclectic career, it feels like an especially opportune time to revisit the movie that vaulted him on to Hollywood’s A list.

How does it hold up?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun102019

A rollicking good Tony Awards this year with "Hadestown" dominating

by Nathaniel R

The Tony Awards are -- very generally speaking -- the best produced awards show of the majors. Though their Emmy category keeps changing consider this: In the past 12 years of the Emmys, the Tony Awards have won their category 8 times from 11 nominations, missing a nomination only once. The Oscars and the Globes and the Grammys could never; Their combined total of wins and nominations in that same 12 year time frame is 0 out of 20. Last night at the 73rd annual Tony Awards, the American Theatre Wing demonstrating again why they're always a threat as "Best" with a remarkably sincere but funny and entertaining show with a plethora of fantastic acceptance speeches and exciting musical performances. The musical Hadestown and the epic play The Ferryman were the big winners with 8 and 4 wins respectively.

After the jump some of our own 'Best' proclamations of the night, the full winners list, and awards trivia...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun092019

Weak Sequels & Promising Platform Titles

Weekend Box Office Estimates
June 7th-9th (ESTIMATES)
๐Ÿ”บ = New or Expanding / โ˜… = Recommended
W I D E
PLATFORM / SPECIALTY TITLES
Secret Life of Pets 2 Last Black Man in San Francisco
1 ๐Ÿ”บ Secret Life of Pets 2  $47.1 on 4561 screens *NEW*  REVIEW
1๐Ÿ”บ Biggest Little Farm $347k on 285 screens (cum. $2.4)
2 ๐Ÿ”บ Dark Phoenix $33 on 3721 screens *NEW*  REVIEW
2 ๐Ÿ”บ Late Night $249k on 4 screens *NEW* REVIEW โ˜…
3  Aladdin  $24.5 on 3805 screens (cum. $232.3) 1992 RETROSPECTIVE
3 ๐Ÿ”บ  All is True $237k on 328 screens (cum. $752k) POSTERIZED: DAME JUDI
4 Godzilla: King of Monsters  $15.5 on 4108  screens (cum. $78.5) POSTERIZED
4 ๐Ÿ”บ  Last Black Man in...  $230k on 7 screens *NEW*  REVIEW โ˜…
Rocketman $14 on 3610 screens (cum. $50.4) REVIEW โ˜…
5 ๐Ÿ”บ Echo in Canyon $205k on 43 screens (cum. $501k)
Ma $7.8 on 2816 screens (cum. $32.7) REVIEW
6 ๐Ÿ”บ The Souvenir $169k on 145 screens (cum. $696k) REVIEW โ˜…

 

What did you see this week? 

• Secret Life of Pets 2 and Dark Phoenix both had dismal openings when compared to their predecessors. Dark Phoenix is likely to become the first X-film not to gross $100 million domestically. But that's okay, since Disney acquired Fox and this franchise can now go dormant until the MCU has their way with it. (We don't really understand why Disney is still going to dump money into The New Mutants reshoot. Just release it on Disney+ and be done with the bad Fox X-Men titles!) 

• Late Night had the weekend's best per screen average with $62k per theater and will go nationwide next weekend. The Last Black Man in San Francisco, also had a solid opening and the film will hopefully be able to capitalize on its strong reviews as it expands during the summer as counterprogramming for adult audiences. Late Night is hoping for a bigger box office splash than Booksmart and we assume they'll get it with more recognizable stars headlining. 

• Other limited openings this week lower on the charts were the music doc Pavarotti (with $142k), stripper doc This One's for the Ladies ($16k), and the Matt Bomer starring Papi Chulo with $7k from 2 theaters. 

Rocketman crossed $50 million dollar in its 2nd weekend, holding the best of last week's wide releases down only 45% from its opening weekend (by contrast Ma was down 56% and Godzilla a steep drop of 67%) 

ENJOY THE TONY AWARDS AND BIG LITTLE LIES TONIGHT. WE'LL HAVE COVERAGE OF BOTH ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY.

Sunday
Jun092019

Review: Dark and Tired Phoenix

This review was previously published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad...

Don't they have any healing and creative rejuvenation among the super-powered mutations at Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Children? If so they needed them to lay their hands on this franchise for a few years before making another bungled attempt at the beloved Dark Phoenix storyline (from the 1980 comic books) within this movie franchise's 19 movie years. But that's a rhetorical question. If Dark Phoenix (2019) is indication, mutations cannot save this franchise.

When we return to our characters, much has changed since our last visit. Which is fine since who wants to be reminded of X-Men Apocalypse? The X-Men are now no longer shunned by society but held up as heroes. Professor Xavier (James McAvoy, phoning this one in... but then who isn't?) has a direct phone to the White House, like a Batman / Commissioner Gordon sitch on steroids. Their first mission, which serves as kind of a second prologue to the over and underwritten film, is making Raven (Jessica Lawrence) nervous for some underwritten/performed reason...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun092019

Sunday Shorts: Seven Must-See Gay Films

by Nathaniel R

The Armoire (2009)

We thought it time to indulge in one of our least documented movie interests: short films. This new series might become anything or nothing but we love alliteration so Sundays it is. To kick things off let's discuss queer shorts for Pride Month. Short films don't tend to last the way features can, given that it's hard to be reminded of them, culturally, and they aren't "for sale" or advertised on streaming often in the way TV shows or movies are. Short films are no longer the primary calling cards they once were for up-and-coming directors given the prevalence of TV work and DIY webseries. Now, though, shorts are often direct sales pitches for features. Consider a recent popular movie like  Brazil's The Way He Looks (2014) which was first a short film named I Don't Want To Go Back Alone (2010). The American comedy Gayby (2012) and drama Pariah (2011) also started their lives as celebrated queer films of 12 and 20 minutes respectively before their feature expansions.

But the current in-flux state of the form aside, it's worth finding cinematic gems in whatever size or form they come in. See these famous and/or underseen gems, please. And we'd LOVE to hear recommendations of other short LGBT films that caught your eye in the comments.

7 GAY SHORTS WE'VE LOVED BEFORE
(in chronological order)

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