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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Thursday
Jun062013

blowing out the candles, flying overseas

I woke up with a totally horrid summer cold ~ happy birthday to me! But I can't let that stop me. Due to a manic expediting of an expired passport, and an otherwise stressful week, I haven't prepared anything fancy to say goodbye with and haven't curated a selection of guest bloggers (whoops) as is my normal way since I'm always afraid you'll leave me if the blog is empty for a week... but flights wait for no blog! I'm off for a week overseas.

The blog isn't quite 'going dark' -- that's too dramatic and technically complicated -- but will return to full glory starting on Monday the 17th.

We'll call this a Summer Hiatus though there might be a surprise post or two  - no promises. Much Ado About Nothing, Violet & Daisy, Man of Steel, and The Bling Ring are all opening while I'm away damnit

But sometimes you just gotta unplug. We'll catch up when I get back and am creatively recharged for another great film year and Oscar race!

Wednesday
Jun052013

Yes, No, Maybe So? "Malavita"... Which is Now "The Family"

It's not every month, hell, it's not every year when we get the trailer to a new Michelle Pfeiffer movie so naturally we have to talk about Malavita again. Or, I guess, The Family as it's been rechristened before release. It's always a pity when a movie ditches a really specific title for one that could work for thousands of movies and thus stakes no claim on personality whatsoever.

Perhaps the trailer itself has personality. Let's watch and discuss.

[watches]

Okay. Only watch that if you're the kind of person who doesn't care about spoilers. IF you are this kind of person i envy you because the movie studios don't care about them either - they love shovin' them into trailers. I get the sense you're basically seeing the whole movie here.  But we gotta break it down anyway as we do because...

LA PFEIFFER IS BACK

YES

  • Michelle Pfeiffer saying "merci"
  • This might be funny. It's kinda tough to tell in the trailer because so much of comedy depends on good editing and trailers never have a sense of that since they're cutting entirely different scenes and dialogue together for their specific 2 minute effect
  • The return of Michelle Pfeiffer's Married to the Mob accent "we're not in Brooklyn anymore"
  • Michelle Pfeiffer driving that car with those sunglasses
  • Tommy Lee Jones has been on a real roll lately. Does this end the party or continue it?
  • and Michelle Pfeiffer as fire starter. Bring it bitch. 

NO

  • After Silver Linings Playbook, I'd like to believe that Robert DeNiro is back to acting rather than cashing in but a mob comedy is probably not the place to believe that.
  • Whenever trailers show this much of the wink-wink laughs and action, I worry about "those are all the best parts" and there's a lot of ways in which this might be super offensive (xenophobia, "hurting people is hilarious!" immaturity and so on) rather than funny. 

MAYBE SO

 

  • Luc Besson, in the director's seat, isn't totally reliable.
  • The casting of the kids looks great visually but Dianna Agron coasts a lot on her looks and when you're playing Pfeiffer's daughter... well, she better take it up a notch. Pfeiffer never did that and good lord she could have coasted for decades with the ones she got.
  • Also: Can you believe my restraint that I only used one photo of Pfeiffer to illustrate this?

Here's the trailer if you don't mind spoilers.

Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So?

Wednesday
Jun052013

Beauty Break: Actors & Pups

I am a crazy cat lady but I like dogs in short doses and I especially like seeing movie stars with their pets. Seeing people with their pets (or other people's pets) adds a level of adorable realness that you just can't get any other way. Even movie stars pick up poop and clean catboxes!

Tom Hardy and puppy kisses

This dog doesn't need to watch movies to know how kissable Tom Hardy is! 

Brad, Leo, Josh, Clark and more after the jump...

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Wednesday
Jun052013

Teen Wolf Returns, Gets "Tattoo"

With Smash gone to its grave and Mad Men nearing its end and still no official word on a second season of Bunheads (i'm losing hope) I need a new TV show to write about weekly. So indulge me in TEEN WOLF which has finally given werewolves a good name again. It's roughly three trillion times better than Hemlock Grove and roughly one billion times sexier than The Twilight Saga probably because the guys and girls are hotter and have personalities that extend beyond "mopey" and "lovestruck" though they amply cover those character traits, too.  I have flirted with covering it before writing up the first three episodes and ogling the muscles. But weirdly, though I realized the leaps and bounds it made in quality in Season 2, I didn't commit to blogging it. So... Season Three!

Teen Wolf Magical Logic #1: Werewolves can't get tattoos because they heal too quickly. Unless those tattoos are by torch in which case the healing just gives up or something?

"Tattoo"
In the first episode we pick up as the school year begins (teen shows always have this trouble of built-in expiration dates that they always botch by NOT allowing for a rotating cast of different-aged main characters right from season 1!). Scott and Stiles (Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien) are still pining for Alison (Crystal Reed) and Lydia (Holland Roden) who they've barely seen during the summer. Lydia's boyfriend and season 1 & 2's half villain / full hunk Jackson (Coulton Haynes) left the show *sniffle* so we learn that his rich daddy has moved him overseas. In a supernatural show where killing off a main character would be totally dramatic (and dramatically sensible) this feels like a cheat. It's obviously only Blighty so they can make an American Werewolf in London joke. That honor goes to Lydia.  [more...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun042013

Further thoughts on M. Night Shyamalan's apocalypse

Picking up where we left off: having tracked the steady descent in quality through the filmography of M. Night Shyamalan, it felt like it would be a good idea to revisit the man now that the weekend is over, and we've all had a chance to see his latest, After Earth. Though, based on its shockingly anemic box-office take, I'm guessing that most of you did not take that chance.

Good for you, because I did see the film, and wow, was it ever the wrong decision. Happily it does, as reported, reverse the plunging downward trend of his career: it's better across the board than The Last Airbender. But it still very clearly isn't a good movie and in one particularly respect it sharpens what might be the most disappointing element of Shyamalan's fall.

Looking all the way back to 1999's The Sixth Sense, one of the things that still impresses the most is the excellent central performance the director pulled out of 10-year-old Haley Joel Osment. Three years later, Signs had solid, if not quite as great work from Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin. But After Earth is now the second film in a row where Shyamalan is working with a child actor in the lead role, and it's the second time in a row where that child's performance is abysmal: Jaden Smith's turn as the sci-fi hero of this new film is stilted and painfully one-note, with a one-size-fits-all expression of dull surprise, sometimes paired with a watery grin to connote "excitement".

Topped off with the unimpressive visuals and the film's slack narrative development - the way that the ending comes feels less like a conclusion and more like the camera got bored and decided to wander away from the story - and it's hard to see what Shyamalan brings to the table that anybody who knew how to yell "action" couldn't have supplied. Is it time to declare Shyamalan's career over?

Tuesday
Jun042013

Team Top Ten: The Greatest Comic Book Adaptations of All Time

Amir here. It’s the first Tuesday of the month and we’re back with another edition of Team Top Ten. In case you haven’t caught up with the series yet, you can see our first episode here (best new directors of the 21st century) and the second here (greatest Best Actress-losing performances). 

With the summer movie season finally upon us in full force, I thought it’d be as good a time as any to discuss what has become one of the premier ways for Hollywood to take every last penny out of collective pockets: comic books! So let’s have a look at what Team Experience considers The Greatest Comic Book Adaptations of All Time.

While spandex-and-cape-clad superheroes and over the top villains usually come to mind when “comic books” are mentioned, the range of films adapted from this source is as wide as films adapted from any other pre-existing material, really. If we had waited a year to do this poll, Blue Is the Warmest Color, Abdellatif Kechiche’s three hour, Francophone epic about a teenage lesbian love affair could have possibly made the top ten and that should tell you all you need to know about the variety of films at our disposal – and mind you, we needn’t wait for Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner to put lesbians on our list.

For various reasons including several ties, additional weight given to films placed first on a ballot and late submissions by procrastinating Team Experience members we’ve ended up with a list of 11, but even so, we’ve had to leave out some pretty terrific titles. Last month, many of you were surprised at the absence of Glenn Close from Dangerous Liaisons on our list. I found this month’s list to be even more surprising so I’ve listed some of the curiosities of our votes in a trivia section after the list. For now, let’s get right to it with...

11. Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988)
Adapted by Katsuhiro Otomo from his own epic manga, Akira is a sprawling and hyperviolent tour through a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. It's the original "darker and grittier," set in a dystopia dominated by self-interest, whether among the city's corrupt officials or its teenage motorcycle gangs. An angry youth movie, a work of cosmic sci-fi, and a colossal audiovisual achievement, Akira was really the ideal introduction for American audiences to anime's capabilities as an art form.
-Andreas Stoehr

10 more after the jump with misfits, assassins, and superheroes galore

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