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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, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

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100 Best of the 21st Century?

"Carol >>>>>>>>>> most of these movies" - Clarence

"The more I see these snooty lists, the more I get turned off of by film critics. What about Lord of the Rings, The Hours, The Devil Wears Prada..." -Jono

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - The movie you're hoping to see every time you go in the cinema" - Jeremy

 

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Monday
Apr212014

Beauty Vs Beast: Happy Mutant Monday

JA from MNPP here wishing you a very happy Mutant Monday, which is the brand new holiday that comes right after Easter Sunday, as of right this second, says me. Why am I making up this brand new holiday here off the cuff (besides more holidays meaning more days off from work, of course)? Well... because it suits my immediate purpose of course, which is to turn James McAvoy's birthday (which yes, is indeed today, he's turning 35) into an epic celebration! And by epic celebration I mean to have this week's edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast" ask one of my favorite questions...

Who do you prefer between the heads of X-Men: First Class? The Dudes of Future Past? Charles Xavier please do meet Erik Lehnsherr...

 

X:Men: Days of Future Past hits in about four weeks, but you've only got one week to answer this question, and please do take to the comments to tell us why you're picking which side. Speaking of...

PREVIOUSLY ON Last week was another birthday, that of the great Robert Carlyle, and we spun ourselves back to the year 1996 to tackle a Trainspotting showdown... who did you choose? You chose good health low cholesterol and dental insurance, you chose life, you chose Renton (Ewan McGregor). With 3/4s of the vote! Maybe it would've been more of a battle if I'd listened to par though...

"With all due respect to Renton, the true beauty in Trainspotting is Sick Boy."

Monday
Apr212014

Tribeca: Rory Culkin is "Gabriel"

Our Tribeca Film Festival coverage continues with Abstew on Gabriel...

Something is not quite right with Gabriel (Rory Culkin). But please, don't call him that. It may be his own name, but just the sound of it is enough to set him on edge. And who knows what he might do? He prefers Gabe. Only his mother (played by Dierdre O'Connell) can get away with calling him by his given name. Well, his mother and one other person. [More...]

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Monday
Apr212014

Tribeca: A Tale of Two Alex's in "About Alex" and "Alex in Venice"

Our Tribeca coverage begins with Glenn on two similarly titled indies

Alex is in crisis in both About Alex and actor Chris Messina's directorial debut Alex in Venice. Both films are indie dramas about the complexities of modern relationships, though one is decidedly much better than the other. While both Alexes are broad-strokes comparable to similar films that have come before, Jesse Zwick’s About Alex has trouble feeling like anything more than a cheap imitation. Populated by a cast of predominantly TV actors (Maggie Grace, Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield, and Jason Ritter as Alex) and featuring a lot of nonsensical moments and illogical characters traits that could easily be the result of the first time feature writer and director’s inexperience, About Alex just doesn’t congeal into anything substantial. It lacks the generational pull of its most direct cinematic cousins, like Lawrence Kasdan’s Oscar-nominated 1983 classic The Big Chill (or maybe the generation on display is just not as interesting). The ensemble chemistry that lifted Joe Swanberg’s recent Drinking Buddies out of the sea of low-budget, mumblecore imitators is also missing. [more...]

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Sunday
Apr202014

Easter Podcast: Noah, Under the Skin, Budapest Hotel

SEASON PREMIERE
Ready for another year of the podcast? The gang is back: Nathaniel R, (The Film Experience), Joe Reid (The Wire), Katey Rich (Vanity Fair) and Nick Davis (Nick's Flick Picks) reunite to discuss this unusually robust auteur spring at the movies. 

This week's topics: Darren Aronofsky's peculiar muddy vision for Noah starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly & Emma Watson; Jonathan Glazer (Birth) and Scarlett Johansson's Under the Skin; and Wes Anderson's biggest hit The Grand Budapest Hotel. Did we want to check in and stay?

Under Noah's Skin at the Budapest Hotel
00:00 Noah (story diversion, auteur vision, character work)
18:45 Under the Skin (visual storytelling, interpretation, Scarlett)
29:00 Noah and Under the Skin (in communication)
36:30 The Grand Budapest Hotel (inside & outside friction, accepting Wes, art direction)
44:30 Ralph Fiennes and the movies Oscar buzz
49:00 Other movie recommendations: Le Week-end and Blue Ruin.

You can listen to the podcast at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.me, I Heart Huckabees, Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambíen, 

Under Noah's Skin at the Budapest Hotel

Sunday
Apr202014

"They call this war a cloud over the land..."

... But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shitit's raining!”

Isn't that a great line from Cold Mountain? It's profound down-home truth and blunt poetry at once.

Realizing you're your own worst enemy is tough business. Even if you've realized it countless times before. Many have you have asked whatever happened to the 2003 Supporting Actress Smackdown and if you don't mind a little navel gazing you can click for more on the why and the new hopeful when...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr202014

Box Office: Christians Are For Real!

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. It’s Easter weekend and we have proof of it in the box office top ten. When was the last time three films with such strong religious overtones as Noah, God’s Not Dead and Heaven Is for Real were simultaneously in the top ten best selling pile?  The latter film was the new entry this weekend and shockingly grossed more than $20m, helping itself to the third spot behind holdovers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. Can you think of any film with a more unappealingly on the nose title? The 3-minute trailer is an excruciating exercise in patience in its own right but I understand I’m not the target audience. I’m sure the people who saw it in droves enjoyed it. Right? Maybe. Possibly. Fuck, seriously? Is this film for real?

Yes, Greg Kinnear. Your son sees dead people (in the afterlife)

01 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $26.6 (cum. $201.5) Review
02 RIO 2 $22.5 (cum. $75.3) 
03 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $21.5 (cum. $28.5) 
04 TRANSCENDENCE $11.1 *new* 
05 A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 $9.1 *new*  
06 DRAFT DAY $5.9 (cum. $19.5)  
07 DIVERGENT $5.7 (cum. $133.9) Review
08 OCULUS $5.2 (cum. $21.1)
09 NOAH $5 (cum. $93.2) Podcast &  Jon Stewart on Noah - a must-see icymi
10 GOD’S NOT DEAD $4.8 (cum. $48.3) 

Transcendence was a failure of epic proportions and managed a 10% return on investment, which is disastrous in any industry. This is either due to the fact that the film’s title is only subtly religious or because Johnny Depp is no longer a draw. The latter is most likely the case and I can’t help but indulge in a bit of schadenfreude. In the 11 years that have passed since Depp delivered something resembling a performance, he’s made billions of dollars and the box office returns of Dark Shadows and The Lone Ranger weren’t nearly dire enough to be considered punishment.

At the arthouse Under the Skin edged past the million dollar mark and The Grand Budapest Hotel is now a single day away from beating Moonrise Kingdom as the top grossing Wes Anderson. Only Lovers Left Alive, however, has failed to draw in audiences, though its screen average is the third best behind Heaven Is... and John Turturro’s weird, Woody Allen-starring passion project, Fading Gigolo.

I spent my weekend cozying up to some Cannes classics, but I will be out soon to catch Disneynature’s Bears, because those things look cute as buttons. What have you watched this weekend?

Sunday
Apr202014

Happy Easter. The Ten Greatest Bunnies in Cinematic History

Since we already named our favorite Bible movies, it's time to turn the conversation over to the most integral part of Easter celebrations: Bunnies! Rabbits. Hares. Whatever you'd prefer to call the hoppy delights.

You will find neither Winnie the Pooh's "Rabbit" or Alice in Wonderland's "White Rabbit" on this list because, frankly, they're way too annoying. 

10 E. ASTER BUNNYMUND (2012)
Because he sounds just like Hugh Jackman 

<-- 09. WERE-RABBIT (2005)
Because he's the only lagomorph who doesn't answer to "Bugs" to ever win an Oscar

8 more awesome movie bunnies after the jump

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