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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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Review: Beauty & The Beast (2017)

"I found much of this version charming, diverting and moving. But it's not a patch on the 1991 masterpiece" -Ian O

"I begrudge the decision of executives when it comes to casting a movie like this. They didn't need a 'star' to fill the seats. They needed someone who could elevate the material..." -Jones

Interviews

Ritesh Batra (Sense of an Ending)
Céline Sciamma (My Life as a Zucchini)
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)

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Monday
Mar092015

Beauty vs Beast: Vamp Thru The Heart

It's Monday which means it's time for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" - Jason from MNPP here again to talk us in. Did you know that tomorrow is the 18th anniversary of Joss Whedon's television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer's premiere on the WB? I'd say Buffy's old enough to graduate from High School but we all know what happened the first time around (SNAKES) so let's not. Coincidentally over the weekend Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar was asked what she thought about revisiting the character, what with all these series (The X-Files, Twin Peaks) of yore getting brought back - she doesn't seem terribly keen on the idea, sadly. Anyway I don't know if anybody noticed but Joss is kind of busy right now.

But we can look back! So look back we shall. I've already used "Buffy vs Faith" for this series before so let's turn our eyes unto the main menfolk of the show - yup, I speak of Buffy's undead amours Angel (David Boreanez) and Spike (James Marsters). Put on your shipper hats and go!

Whose team are you on?
Team Spike0%
Team Angel0%

As usual you've got just one week to vote, so dust off your pointy things and prepare to make some hard choices. 

PREVIOUSLY Last week we were All About Eve... actually make that all about Margo, since it was Bette Davis who took the wheel and drove right over Anne Baxter (talk about a bumpy ride) taking a whopping 86% of the vote. Bette will not be denied. Said Akash:

"All About Eve is an ensemble that ends up feeling like a one woman show. THAT'S how powerful Bette Davis is is in every gesture, quip and sashay. One of the greatest performances in American film history and it's unbelievable that one of her Oscars wasn't for this iconic role."

Monday
Mar092015

New Tomorrowland Poster in Hashtags

Manuel here trying to help the social media-savvy Disney marketing team with their latest poster. Nathaniel discussed five would-be blockbusters while kicking off our We Can’t Wait series and one which was conspicuously absent (perhaps because of its constant date-shifts?) was Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland for which we got a brand new poster this past week. While I’m coolly reserved on this May 22nd film, I couldn’t help but come up with hashtags while staring at this bad boy:

#LookUp #CloudPorn #MalickMeetsDisney #ClaudioMirandaFilter #Wheatstagram #RememberTomorrow #CanBirdGoFiveForFive #DisneySynergy #MysteryPlot #StillDoNotKnowWhatThisIsAbout #InterstellarFlashbacksAnyone #BlueSkies #NotSoEmeraldCity #Normcore #Overalls #GeorgeMcQueen #LiveActionPixar #WhitherTheLeadGirl #InBirdWeTrust (or would you be an #InClooneyWeTrust kinda tagger?)

Are you excited for Tomorrowland? Gotta say, unless that new trailer totally spills the plot, I’m enjoying this “withhold everything” policy Disney & co. have been playing with this property? Might it be all smoke and mirrors, though?

 

Monday
Mar092015

We Can't Wait! #13: The Hateful Eight

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Michael...

Who & What: Fresh off the biggest box office hit of his career (and a second Oscar for writing) Tarantino returns for another go at the western genre. This story set in Wyoming a few years after the Civil War, involves eight outlaw types holed up in a mountain pass to wait out a blizzard.

The auteur promises The Hateful Eight will be no less than a cinematic event with exclusive 70mm engagements explicitly designed to remind people of the power of the theatrical movie experience and stave off the tide of digital projection. So, yeah, not lacking for ambition.

Why We're Excited About it: Love them or hate them, it is hard to deny Tarantino’s films are always worth seeing, discussing, dissecting. It's worth noting that while everyone has been focused on Quentin's film’s flashier, button-pushing aspects, the jittery auteur has managed the neat trick of getting mass audiences to line up for some daring, experimental filmmaking. On top of which he can always be counted on to give movie stars the material to reach new career high points. This time out the cast is a thrilling mix of old Tarantino favorites (Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Sam Jackson, Michael Madsen) Django bit players with beefed up roles (Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins) and Tarantino newcomers who could do wonders with the right role (Demian Bichir, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum). 

Samuel L Jackson tweeted this photo in November from a rehearsal. From left to right: Dern, Jackson, Leigh, Tarantino, Bichir (back to camera), Russell, Goggins, Madsen, and Roth

What if it all Goes Wrong? The loss of Tarantino’s brilliant, longtime collaborator, editor Sally Menke, was felt in Django, particularly in that film’s shaggy final act. Here’s hoping he manages to regain the sharpness this time. Also, if you are one of those fading fans who believe it’s been all downhill since Jackie Brown, there is no sign that Hateful Eight is anything like a return to maturity. On the other hand, a story about criminals holed up together told through a series of interlocking flashback does give off a strong Reservoir Dogs vibe. 

When: Currently slated for November 13 by The Weinstein Company. (Will it stay there? Django Unchained didn't open until Christmas.)

Sunday
Mar082015

We Can't Wait! #14: Knight of Cups

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Jose...

Who & What: Knight of Cups is The Terrence Malick Show ft. Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Freida Pinto, Antonio Banderas and Joel Kinnaman (and whoever else made it out of the cutting room). The story, as far as we can tell, involves a screenwriter (Christian Bale) and the temptations, celebrity and excess of Hollywood. The title comes from a story about a royal prince who drinks from a cup falls into a deep sleep, forgetting his mission and that he is the son of a king.  We've already discussed the trailer and here's the teaser poster...

 

Why We’re Excited About It: Remember a time when Terrence Malick took decade-long breaks between films? Suddenly after The Tree of Life he treated us to news that he would be making up to three new consecutive films within the next five years? This is why we're excited. The more Malick, the merrier..

What If It All Goes Wrong? What can go wrong in a film shot by Emmanuel Lubezki and featuring, wait for it, Fabio (!!!) among the credited cast? Well, they were filming it a full three years ago whatever that might mean. Malick isn't everyone's cup of tea and To the Wonder, was certainly divisive and if you have a low tolerance for wheat or allegories, you already know you're skipping this one. 

When: December 11th. Does this mean Broad Green Pictures thinks it'll actually win Oscars?
 

Sunday
Mar082015

Box Office: Rusty "Chappie" Tops Weak Chart

Hi everyone! Anne Marie here with the weekend box office. We're about a week away from the first big releases of the year, so the news is mostly underwhelming. We had a handful of new releases this weekend with mixed results. Chappie, South African director Neill Blomkamp's third scifi film with a social message, underperformed in its opening weekend, making it Blomkamp's poorest opening yet. This probably won't affect his involvement in the Alien reboot, but I'm sure there are some sweating execs out there at Sony right now. The world gave a collective shrug to Unfinished Business, the Vince Vaughan vehicle that I kept forgetting about, even though it's been aggressively marketed. Other than that, things mostly faded, with Focus and Kingsman maintaining their unsteady hold, while post-Valentine's Day 50 Shades of Grey went soft and Jupiter Ascending finally crashed.

TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE
Click on the highlighted titles for past articles on that film

01 CHAPPIE $13.3 NEW
02 FOCUS $10.2 (cum $34.6)
03 SECOND BEST MARIGOLD HOTEL $8.6 NEW 
04 KINGSMAN $8.3 (cum $98)
05 SPONGEBOB MOVIE $7 (cum $149)
06 50 SHADES OF GREY  $5.6 (cum $156.4)
07 MCFARLAND USA $5.3 (cum $29.4)
08 THE LAZARUS EFFECT $5.1 (cum $17.4)
09 THE DUFF $4.8 (cum $26.1)
10 UNFINISHED BUSINESS $4.8 NEW 

In bolder news: American Sniper became the #1 movie of 2014 outgrossing the second Hunger Games sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy's franchise launcher.

In happier news:  Second Best Marigold Hotel opened in only 1,573 screens this weekend, but managed to make it to the #3 spot on the Box Office charts with the highest per screen average: $5,467. This is wonderful news for the Judi Dench and Maggie Smith fans of the world, though considering its low $8.6 opening, we can safely conclude this was an off weekend for movie watching. 

What did you watch this weekend?

Sunday
Mar082015

I Really Really Really Really Really Really Link You

Vanity Fair documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) has died at 88
MNPP Have you ever noticed that a skull flashes in Gaston's eyes when he falls to his death? Jason on Beauty & The Beast (1991)
Theater Mania Helen Mirren returns to Broadway in her Oscar winning role... albeit for a different property, a play called "The Audience"
Comics Alliance AMC is offering a $65 Marvel movie marathon to celebrate the opening of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's  29 hours of movie in one sitting from Iron Man (2008) through Ultron (2015). This sounds exhausting. Thing of all the floating objects in skies you'll see exploding every couple of hours as climax


Interview talks to Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) on his new project American Crime
Jared Leto cut his hair, shaved his eyebrows, and dyed the rest platinum blonde -- it's very return to Fight Club all told
Coming Soon looks back at the actresses originally considered for the new Cinderella from Emma Watson to Alicia Vikander and everywhere in between. (Lily James from Downton Abbey eventually landed the role)
Variety - see! TFE isn't the only place still handing out awards for the 2014 film year. The Location Managers Guild of America just gave Wild & The Grand Budapest Hotel prizes 
The Cut the milliner who gave us Indiana Jones's fedora and other movie hats is going bankrupt 
Kenneth in the (212) an update on that petition to pardon 49,000 men who were victimized by the same laws as The Imitation Game's Alan Turing
MNPP [NSFW] the marketing department went to the expense of computer generating underwear for naked Dave Franco for the Unfinished Business trailer.
Boy Culture centerfold turned director Dirk Shafer (Man of the Year, Circuit) found dead at 52 

Today's Must Watch
Tom Hanks lip synchs for his life with Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You". Adorable.

Sunday
Mar082015

We Can't Wait! #15: Arabian Nights

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Amir...

Who & What: This is Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes’s first feature film since 2012’s Tabu. It is based on the Middle Eastern folklore collection, "One Thousand and One Nights". The original text has a framing device involving the Persian princess Shahrzad, narrating the 1,001 tales to her husband, King Shahryar. Modernised to take place in today’s Portugal, hit by the economic crisis, Gomes’s film will see the princess narrating fictionalized versions of factual stories about the financial pains of the Portuguese. We’ve seen some pictures, heard a lot of promising words from Gomes about his approach and the structure, and know the film clocks at a whopping 6 hours and 37 minutes.

Why We’re Excited About It: Gomes. Gomes. Gomes. He is one of the most exciting directors working today and has made consistently intriguing films since his first short, Entretanto. He built a fan base with 2008’s Our Beloved Month of August on the festival circuit and found more traction four years later with his sensational romantic masterpiece, Tabu. Since then, he has made another short film, the wild, experimental political comedy, Redemption. For Arabian Nights, he’s reunited with the strikingly handsome Carlota Cotta and is working with Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s regular cinematographer. I’m personally further excited by the prospect of an adaptation of Middle Eastern folklore, since that hasn’t happened in decades – and no, Prince of Persia doesn’t count.

Carlota Cotta (and Ana Moreira) in "Tabu" an earlier collaboration with GomesWhat If It All Goes Wrong? Looking back at Gomes’s earlier work, assures that there's little to worry about in this regard. The biggest concern is the running time. The film is broken into three sections: The Restless, The Desolate and The Enchanted, which could mean they will be released separately. Then again, if they are released as one package… 6 hours and 37 minutes? We love you Miguel but you’ll be testing our patience.

When: The Portuguese release date is set for October. Gomes premiered Tabu in Berlin, but that ship has already sailed. Cannes is the likeliest destination at the moment, which, combined with the domestic release date, gives a glimmer of hope that it'll play at TIFF in the fall.