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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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Nathaniel's Julianne Spazzing & Glenn's Cronenberg Finger Wagging 

"There is a great movie in Maps of the Stars and that is the one Moore stars in, not the one the screenplay insists in bringing to the front." - Mr Goodbar

"If I had to guess why Cronenberg went with a largely "invisible" or even non-style style, I'd say it has to do with his approach to the narrative, which is kind of a bait and switch, setting us up for a hollywood satire and then giving us a final act that plays more like a myth or a fairy tale." -Roark

Beauty vs. Beast

Who is your GODDESS? Cristal or Nomi?

If you don't vote for Nomi, she'll cut you!



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The Rise of Chan

Have you read this New York Times piece on the slow rise of Channing Tatum? It's basic thesis is that Hollywood's star-making system is failing. Pieces like this are always interesting reads as much for what they leave out as what they take in. The article ignores Ryan Gosling's ascent preferring to stick with the thesis that was in place before Gosling. The one that goes "Hollywood can't produce male superstars anymore because mid size dramas and comedies are no longer Hollywood's concerns and that's where stardom happens. Blockbuster franchise don't make stars, they only make franchise-specific stars." It's true in a lot of ways even if it's not the whole picture.

But it gets a lot right about Channing Tatum's particular case.

Relatability — I’m just like you, Middle America — does seem to be one of his strong points. In person Mr. Tatum is surprisingly humble and honest, two qualities that are almost nonexistent in Hollywood. He is self-aware, but also unguarded. “I know I’m not the best actor, but I’m in love with it, and I’m getting better with every movie,” he said.

It's a pretty thorough overview of his career and abilities with not one, not two but three of the most marketable leading man skills: He can sell a joke, he can hold a gun convincingly, and he can romance a girl. I appreciate the article's break down about what great physiques mean to actors and what they don't.

I always forget that Chan was in that Ricky Martin video "She Bangs"

Channing's Chastainy Schedule This Year

Jan 20th. Haywire (reviewed) the experimental actioner though Chan was fairly far down the cast list.
Feb 10th. The Vow a huge romantic hit with Chan front and center. It's actually the second most popular movie of 2012 thus far. Have you seen it?
Mar 16th. 21 Jump Street another lead part, comedy. That's three genres in three months. 
June 29th. GI Joe: Retaliation he steps down from lead duties but he's still in it.
June 29th. Magic Mike the stripper drama inspired by his own life. This will be the biggest test of his bankability yet because it's not a pre-sold genre like action films or soggy romances.

Parting Shot...
I've yet to read an article on this star-making problem though that addresses that simple fact that star-making machinery was always faulty. It's just that we only remember the successes. For every Marilyn Monroe weren't there 100 ingenues that didn't work out even in the studio system?


Box Office: 'Leave nothing for the orange apes!'

[With apologies to Dr. Seuss]

And up in the gold cave some people say,
if you look close enough you can still see, today,
where John Carter once stood
just as long as he could
before the Threns whisked John Carter away.

Who was John Carter?
And why was he there?
And why was he whisked away, taken somewhere
from that cave in Virginia to Barsoom's hatchling hole?

This box office battle won't break John Carter's way.

The old Pix-lar still lives here.
Ask Stanton. He knows.

You won't see the Pix-lar
The filming's long done.
He retreats to that compound with the cereal bar.
He lives in that office in Emeryville, son!
where they make their own films
out of zeros and ones.

But on special dry midnights in Arizona heat,
out from the compound
at junkets he speaks
to tell of John Carter to Mars whisked away

He'll tell you, perhaps...
if you're willing to pay.

Baker's Dozen (Estimates)
01 THE LORAX  $39.1 (cum. $121.9)
02 JOHN CARTER  $30.6 new [Review and Taylor Kitsch Beefcake]
03 PROJECT X  $11.5  (cum. $40.1)
04 SILENT HOUSE $7 new
05 ACT OF VALOR  $7 (cum. $56.1)
06 A THOUSAND WORDS $6.3 new
07 SAFE HOUSE  $5 (cum. $115.8)
08 THE VOW  $4 ($117.6)
09 THIS MEANS WAR  $3.7  (cum. $46.8)
10 JOURNEY 2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND $3.6 (cum. $90.7)
12 THE ARTIST $2.3  (cum. $40.4)
13 FRIENDS WITH KIDS  $2.1 new

What did you see this weekend?


"Are they made from real Girl Scouts?"

March 12th Happy Centennial Girls Scouts of America!

Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons? I only like all natural foods and beverages. Are you sure they're real lemons?

Pugsley: Yes.

Girl Scout: Well, I'll tell you what. I'll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious girl scout cookies. Do we have a deal?

Wednesday Addams: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

The Girl Scouts of America will never have a better movie moment than Addams Family (1991), am I right? I love that Mercedes McNab graduated from "Girl Scout" to a name role, Amanda "I'm going to be an actress!" Buckman' in the sequel Addams Family Values (1993) where she squared off with Christina Ricci again in that movie's most memorable plot thread.

Long live Harmony Kendall!


A "Game Change" for Julianne Moore

When celebrities play celebrities, the anticipation is half of the buzz.

Will they nail the voice? Will they smile and move like the other famous person? If other celebrities have played this celebrity will they surpass previous incarnations? Will the transformation be all surface or will it dig deep? Can anyone notice the difference since all high profile biopics win acting kudos? How many reviews will work some variation on "________ IS _________ !!!" as the reviewer falls under the actor's spell?

Since most famous actors who are cast in biopics can act, they usually succeed at their impersonations and we move from "will they?" regarding the performance to "will they?" regarding awards wins. In both cases the answer is generally "yes". For reasons The Film Experience has never quite pinned down, these metamorphoses surprise the world each time as if we've never seen their like. Occasionally we even doubt the answer to the first "will they?"

But for all the familiarity of this showbiz narrative, in Julianne Moore's case Game Change may actually be a game change. Her work as Sarah Palin was one of the true nail biters in the realm of modern biographical star turns and here's why...

Click to read more ...


Hello, I Must Be Linking

/Film Chris Hemsworth on the set of Ron Howard's Rush about race car drivers
Flavorwire Fun stories from Joss Whedon's SXSW Talk: The Avengers, Buffy, TV versus film, and more.
Ultra Culture puts 2012 releases thus far through the wonderful "Bechdel Test" in which a movie must have more than 1 female character and they must talk to each other... about something other than a man). Naturally most of them fail.

My Modern Met just incredible "Star Wars Identity" posters. I wish other films would inspire the kind of enduring creativity this franchise does from people... because given the developments of the past 30 years our global worship of this franchise is just, well, embarrassing.
THR Hello I Must Be Going, a hit at Sundance starring Melanie Lynskey (yay!), is getting a theatrical release later this year.
Wow Report ouch! (NSFW) A nasty accident for a son of a movie superstar. Guess who?
Movie|Line Tom Cruise is the latest star being talked up to play opposite Beyoncé in the A Star is Born. If it weren't a Clint Eastwood picture I'd assume this movie was never happening but since it's a Clint Eastwood picture some male star is eventually going to bite before Blue Ivy is old enough to take the role from Mama.

Oh look. It's Javier Bardem on the set of Skyfall. With blonde hair? 

Villains just can't be trusted with hair dye.

And I kept forgetting to post the Genie Award winners but Awards Daily did that duty. Here's Viggo Mortensen accepting Best Supporting Actor for A Dangerous Method. Good pick, Genie. He was great in that movie. Not that greatness is surprising these days from Viggo.

Viggo. Viggo. Viggo.



This review was originally published in my film column at Towleroad.

Let's begin with a man and his dog. First, the dog. Woola is an unsightly creature but oddly endearing. He's the size of a pony but he looks more like a lizard or a toad albeit one with six visible legs and hundreds of sharp teeth. He reads all dog though -- a mutant pug. His assignment and then devotion is to guard the human prisoner John Carter (Taylor Kitsch).

John Carter of Virginia has been magically transported to Barsoom (aka Mars)  and the green martians who discover him don't know what to make of him though they love his mad jumping skill. Mars' gravity makes John Carter the Earthling a superman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. When John Carter tries to escape his prison early in the film, he finds it impossible to elude Woola whose multiple legs carry him across the Martian desert in super sonic zig-zag fashion, clouds of dust trailing behind him like a Road Runner cartoon. The adorable mutant pug always appears wherever bouncy John Carter is about to land. Neither man nor beast are moving in a circular fashion but they're not getting anywhere. Eventually they'll be right back where they started.

Points of origin are important. Home, and our journeys to and from it, are at the heart of John Carter's multi-limbed adventure.


Click to read more ...