reviewed - out in theaters

review index



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


Powered by Squarespace
Beauty vs. Beast

The Devil or The Actress?


Comment Fun

Only Five Episodes Left - HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT

❝I don't want to be presumptuous, but could this (UNDER THE SKIN) be the best collection of visuals from this series?❞ -Andrew E.

❝Very cool line-up! Glad you're splitting GONE WITH THE WIND even in two parts it will be hard to pick just one shot each.❞ -Joel6

THE MATRIX is actually an unexpectedly awesome choice for this series❞ -Mark


Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Twitter Feed

Link Highway

Scanners on the tributes to legendary film critic Andrew Sarris (RIP) who helped make the auteur theory the big deal it still is with movie buffs.
NPR Monkey See says goodbye to Matt Groenig's hugely funny and enduring "Life is Hell" comic strip (RIP... so many endings lately) 
The Playlist Aw, look at who's suddenly ambitious. Mr. Ryan Phillipe. He's planning to direct his first feature Shreveport (about a has been movie star who is kidnapped and tortured) and he'll star in it, too. We hope it's a metaphor for his actual career because what would be more awesome than a elaborated staged celebrity pity party in the shape of a "Riveting Thriller"
Rope of Silicon Pixar unloads Monsters University concept art 

24 Frames August: Osage County is really going to happen I guess. George Clooney is producing now and he gets things done.
Movies.Com unexpected appearances of Presidents in Movies 
In Contention Kris Tapley picks the 10 best Pixar films on the eve of Brave's release. It's as good a time as any though I might practically flip the whole rankings 180˚
My New Plaid Pants Barbarella as a TV series? I don't know what to say...
The Mary Sue fashion ilustrations inspired by The Avengers
Awards Daily has the winners of the Broadcast Television Critics Awards... i.e. the counterpart to those "Critics Choice" awards. Showtime's Homeland is the clear favorite this past year 
Comics Alliance What if Blade Runner (1982) were entirely animated in watercolor?  

And in another auteurial revision... "What if David Lynch had directed Rock of Ages?" Ha! Very well executed imaginings here, particularly the Paul Giamatti riddles.

...would you see that movie?


Burning Questions: What Is Your Stand Alone Film?

 Michael C. here to do his part to shake up the conventional wisdom.

It’s a big step for any budding cinephile when one learns to value one’s own opinion over the established consensus. If you were like me, when you were an adolescent film lover, you tended to take certain movie’s masterpiece status as gospel. If, for example, TV Guide said that Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments was a four star movie than that's the way it was. After all, you could see how great it was just by counting the extras.

Hopefully one grows out of this and learns to approach pre-certified classics with healthy skepticism. As a college student working his way through the greats of cinema, I clearly remember concluding that Dr. Zhivago’s 200 minute running time was roughly 195 minutes longer than necessary, give or take a few beautifully framed shots of snow.

But it is not much of a challenge to poke sticks at the bloated reputations of certain “classics”. More daunting is defending work that has the majority of scholarly opinion aligned against it. Just as we learn to be wary of movies that come bearing the stamp of approval, at some point we all end up falling madly in love with a title that is greeted by the rest of the world with at best polite acknowledgment, or at worst outright hostility. So on this subject I am curious to know: What movie do you stand alone in considering a masterpiece?

Any true film lover has at least one minority opinion...

Click to read more ...


Yes, No, Maybe So: Anna Karenina

Hello Happy Peppy Cineastes. Beau here again (I recently wrote about The Exorcist) at the request of Nathaniel to discuss the delicious new trailer of Joe Wright's Anna Karenina starring pretty British people in fur coats.

I like Joe Wright. With the exception of The Soloist, which didn't grab me, he has delivered a fairly fascinating filmography. Pride and Prejudice sauntered across the screen, lackadaisically, in love with the prospect of love. A true achievement, it managed the rare feat of cinematic adaptations of beloved novels by satisfying the devoted Austinphiles, while causing those of us less inclined to 19th century romantic literature to swoon in spite of ourselves. Atonement, a much more problematic feature, still holds in my memory thanks to its exquisite craftsmanship (that emerald dress!) and the sweltering chemistry between McAvoy and Knightley. Even Hanna proved to be a fascinating film... [more after the jump]

Click to read more ...


What's Your Number One Nicole?



.JA from MNPP here, daring to tackle one of Nathaniel's sacred cows on her 45th birthday - the lovely and not at all cow-like yet entirely sacred, the very very talented Nicole Kidman. Earlier today I was reading through this fine list by the fine folks at The Playlist of what they deem her five greatest performances (all lists will be null and void once she pees on Zac Efron) and they're all choices that are pretty darn hard to argue with (my own personal favorite is easily To Die For)... and yet, yet! I still feel nagged at by the absence of Alice in Eyes Wide Shut...

... and Grace in The Others...
...and what the heck about Satine?!?!?
But then this is Kidman, and the riches run very deep.
So what's your favorite Nicole Kidman performance?
Quick, just one!

True Blood 5.2... Or, Nahhh,... TEEN WOLF Top Ten!

previously on True Blood

After a disappointing return to Bon Temps I was all primed for something closer to satisfying from the second episode of this storied show's fifth season but instead of excitement the True Blood team offered more set-up as if this were part two of the season opener rather than a stand-alone episode or a compelling stakes-raiser. When will this season actually begin? Any movie that hadn't begun after 1 hour and 30 minutes would be universally shunned but unfortunately TV series can get away with doing nothing for hours on end, everyone assuming (generously) that "something will happen next time." 

In a complete dereliction of duty, and a complete absence of self-awareness, True Blood refuses to de-clothe Chris Meloni in "Authority Always Wins"

As far I can tell there are 5 major story threads going on...

  • The Authority vs. Russell (Denis O'Hare) who they thought was dead. Starring Bill & Eric.
  • Tara is now a Vampire after we thought her dead. Starring Tara, Sookie, Pam & Lafayette. 
  • Werewolf PackPower Struggle once their pack leader is found dead. Starring Sam, Luna, & Alcides.
  • The love between Jessica ♥ Jason has died and now everyone in Bon Temps is lovelorn and lonely... particularly the plain ol' human characters and solo girl vamps who used to always hang with their makers. Starring Jason & Jessica & Hoyt & Reverend Newlend & Sheriff Andy & Holly & Pam.
  • War vet buddies are haunted by a dangerous loose cannon among them. Starring Terry & Arlene.   

Within these five general stories are (presumably) little minor stories starring only one or two of the characters bringing us to the very obvious conclusion that there are too many characters is not enough of a show-running directive / understanding that "ensemble" actually means 'a large group of characters' rather than 'abundant solo acts.' Frankly, I'm losing interest. It's like a very mild (hopefully tentative) version of that time a few months back when Glee returned from hiatus and I suddenly and violently knew I simply Could Not anymore with that show. Ugh.

the only emotionally engaging thread in "Authority Always Wins" took place a century ago!

Draining the Episode Dry
Body Count: 2 (Humans in Pam/Eric flashbacks); Sex Scenes: 0; Fresh Meat: The sickeningly sexy Chris Meloni joins the cast of the most naked show on television... completely clothed. Which tells you everything you need to know about the catastrophe that season 5 is threa... you know what? I CAN'T. I CAN'T.

Today I'd much rather talk about Teen Wolf.

Ten Best Things About Season 2 Teen Wolf (thus far)

10 Even when the relationships make you groan/giggle  -- almost always --  you can still care about them. Maybe because they're teenagers and you can forgive teenagers a lot. Maybe because it's only been 1 Season and they aren't replaying the same drama for years on end (yet). Maybe because the show doesn't take itself too seriously but genuinely seems to be fond of its characters.

09 Season 2's supposed edict "more emotions, less clothing" is so far totally true.

eight more bests after the jump

Click to read more ...