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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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Friday
Apr042014

Posterized: Marvel Cinematic Universe

This weekend sees the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the third film in Marvel's Phase 2 of movies seemingly designed to introduced an expanding roster of comic book figures into a multi-film universe for the rest of human history. Confirming this latter point, Marvel film impresaro Kevin Feige mentioned (jokingly? seriously?) in an interview published this week that his brain trust has a line-up of films planned, potentially, up to 2028. Now, whether anybody genuinely things that having that kind of long game planned out is remotely practical, if Marvel is just thinking out loud, or if they're genuinely just that hubristic, nobody can say at this point. And cannot say for 14 years. But the fact that Feige can even joke about it says that Marvel plans to be in it for the long haul.

So it's undoubtedly premature, but with CA: TWS coming in as the ninth film in the overall series, it gives us the exact right number of titles so far to run the series through the Film Experience's patented Posterized system.

How many have you seen?

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Friday
Apr042014

The Faces of Jude

Here's abstew on one of TFE's very favorite actors

This past Wednesday saw the limited release of the British film Dom Hemingway about a safecracker that is recently released from prison after serving 12 years. The marketing material is also quick to point out that he's played by Jude Law because it's not immediately apparent.(The film also stars The Mother of Dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, as his...daughter! Well, at least she's not the love interest. At least, I hope not.)

Sporting a couple gold teeth, the craziest mutton chops not normally seen outside of a Civil War reenactor, and more girth than usual (Law gained 30 pounds for the role and it's not even Oscar bait!), the role is certainly a departure for the man that was once Dickie Greenleaf. (Although he's still kinda sexy as Dom. Am I crazy?)

Even in his early roles it was often noted that Law was a character actor trapped in the body of a movie star. Although he's been named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive before, he's hardly an actor to rely solely on his good looks. Throughout his career he's been allowed to embrace the character actor aspect of his roles and experiment with his appearance along the way.

Let's take a look back at some of his most memorable looks!

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Friday
Apr042014

"My dear...

...is there anything you can't do?

Well, I'm not sure I'll make a very good nun.

If you have any problems, I'll be happy to help you...

Great Moments in Screen Bitchery #235, Eleanor Parker as the Baroness in The Sound of Music (1965)

Friday
Apr042014

Heath Ledger: A Celebration

Here's abstew with a tribute to an actor we lost too soon.

Today, April 4th, 2014, would have been Oscar winner Heath Ledger's 35th Birthday. Tragically, the talented young actor's career was all too brief. (It's crazy to think that 2 of the 5 Best Actor nominees from 2005 are no longer with us.) But let's not dwell on the sadness, but celebrate the life and work of this amazing Aussie.

This past week marked the 15th anniversary of the film that brought Heath to movie-goers' attention, 10 Things I Hate About You. (No, the Fox show Roar does not count as his breakthrough. Even though it co-starred TV's Felicity and I do actually remember watching it.) 

At the time, 10 Things seemed like just another late 90s teen movie based on a Shakespeare play. (You'd be surprised how much that was a thing back then. And they all starred Julia Stiles.) But there was something about Heath's charismatic turn in the film that made you just know he was destined for better things. (It would take us a little longer to realize this about co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.) Perhaps because Heath, even while playing a teenager, seemed to already be a leading man, carrying a maturity and a masculinity rarely found in one so young. 

My favorite scene in the film has to be when Heath serenades Julia Stiles' Kat with a rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" by Frank Valli, complete with marching band back-up:

Heath had actually auditioned for the part of Christian in Moulin Rouge! but was deemed too young to play Nicole's love interest. Imagine how great he would have been in a movie musical. Perhaps playing one of the princes in the upcoming film version of Into the Woods?

At the time of his death, he had also started to explore different aspects of his artistic career, directing some music videos and expressing a wish to do a documentary about singer Nick Drake. Having already worked with such great directors as Ang Lee, Todd Haynes, and Terry Gilliam, I'm sure he learned a thing or two from watching them on set.

What might have been?
What other directors would you have loved to have seen Heath work with? What roles do you think he would have tackled? Let's celebrate Heath in the comments

Thursday
Apr032014

DVD Review: The Great Beauty

Tim here. The recent release of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty on a DVD/Blu-Ray combo from the Criterion Collection means that most of us in North American finally have our first decent chance to see the most recent winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. And by “decent chance”, I mean two things: one is that if you live outside of any of the usual big urban centers that get little foreign releases, The Great Beauty hasn’t been remotely near your home before now. The other is that even if you live in one of those places, The Great Beauty isn’t likely to have played in any of the best & shiniest multiplexes, but in the dogged little art theaters that don’t have the money to do much besides show movies in a more or less tolerable environment. Where I live in Chicago, for example, the film played in the biggest art house that’s long on well-preserved atmosphere from the golden age of movie theaters, and which boasts just about the crappiest projection and tinniest speakers of any commercial venue.

That’s no way at all to see a movie as heavily invested in surface-level appeal as The Great Beauty, so that’s one cause for celebration all by itself. Now we have a chance to see Luca Bigazzi’s cinematography in crisp, retina-searing high definition, allowing all the rich, lurid colors of the production design and costume to glow right off the screen.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr032014

Open Thread & Vacation Time

What's on your cinematic mind? I was worried you were all thinking about the exact same thing that we had neglected to write on until I realized the comments were malfunctioning. FIXED. So now that you can comment again, please fill it up the blog with your movie-addled thoughts. I'll be reading them and letting them marinate for inspiration as I soak up the sun... 

I'm always totally burnt out post-Oscar, so it's time for my annual off the grid rejuvenation. Only a long weekend but it'll help. I plan to be in the water as much as possible and when I come back I'll hit the ground running, tie up all loose ends (the smackdown I know I know) and get to those April Foolish Oscar Predictions so we can start all over again. In the meantime I know the team has some goodies planned for you.

xoxo - Nathaniel 

Thursday
Apr032014

The Boy From Hell Turns Ten

Amir here, to celebrate the tenth birthday of Guillermo Del Toro’s red devil child, Hellboy.

Writing a piece for the anniversary of a superhero film is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the rate at which we get new entries to the pantheon of the genre seems ever increasing to the point of complete satiation – this year alone, we have Captain America, Spider-man and X-Men films awaiting release. These films have become narrower in variety than films of any other genre, perhaps as a result of the culture and industry that cultivates them. Each film gets multiple sequels and reboots, with streamlined, thematically “universal” narratives that maximize profitability across the globe and minimize cinematic character. Hence, a mere ten-year distance from the release date doesn’t appear to warrant any sense of nostalgia.

On the other hand, the frequency of these superhero treats means that their place in the cultural landscape has dramatically changed since 2004. The range of filmmakers and actors who have tackled the superhero universe has expanded, so novelties like the involvement of a lesser known Del Toro and Ron Perlman, Hollywood’s unlikeliest superhero are rarities. [More...] 

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