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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Review: Murder on the Orient Express 

 

"My mom is the die-hard Christie fan in our house, and she said she enjoyed it and that it exceeded her expectations. The guy next to her, however, fell asleep. " - Olivia

"The 1974 film is a one-of-a-kind experience. Just about every star glittered and sparked. This one was like watching tv. An acceptable time killer if you can't find the remote. " - Ken

"Well made silly fun, that could have done with a bit more ‘fun’." - JB

 

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Monday
Nov302015

10 Thoughts I Had While Staring at "The Boss" Poster

Manuel here. It feels like just yesterday we were talking about Melissa McCarthy’s poster for Spy (a film we ♥ here at TFE given our love for Rose Byrne’s Rayna “sad clown” Boyanov). But here we are again with the latest poster for the upcoming film The Boss. Sadly, it is not about Judith Light which is immediately where my mind goes whenever said phrase is used. It is instead about a business mogul, Michelle Darnell, hoping to rebuild her empire after serving time.

Take a look at the poster and ten thoughts it inspired after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov302015

BluRay/DVD: Get high with Kristen & Jesse

Since we haven't done one of these in awhile here is what is new or newish on DVD and BluRay as you try to catch up for your personal year-in-review mania.

American Ultra - Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg headline this pot-smoking action comedy. Which begs the question...


Amy - Glenn recently wondered aloud about the ethics of posthumous privacy invasions but that hasn't stopped audience and critics from rallying around this one.
Cooties -It only took this horror comedy two years since its Sundance premiere to show up for home entertainment.
Goodnight Mommy -Jose interviewed the directors of this Austrian horror film, one of the most unusual Oscar submissions for 2015. It's done well at the arthouse, breaking the increasingly difficult 1 million mark
Grace of Monaco - what a long and tortured ride this biopic starring Nicole Kidman has had, huh? We've been covering it for 3 years! A year and a half since its Cannes debut and one cable premiere later and only now is it on DVD?
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. -This franchise hopeful adaptation of the spy TV series was a pleasant summer surprise featuring Guy Ritchie's best work in ages, heaps of style, and a disgustingly beautiful cast.
Meru - An Oscar seeking documentary abou t
Mississippi Grind - Ryan Reynolds & Ben Mendlesohn are pool sharks

Mistress America - The latest divisive comedy from Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig. I didn't like it much but Jason loved it. As stated, divisive.
Outlander S1 - Somehow I fell off this series after that super hot super costumed Wedding episode. Should I tune back in?
Ricki & The Flash -in which Meryl Streep does some of her best and most relaxed work in ages as an aging unsuccessful rocker ... naturally there was little audience reaction and no Oscar buzz as a result! They like to see her sweat for it. Anyway... I liked it. How about you?
Shaun the Sheep - It shall remain a mystery why this hilarious & sweet Aardman animation effort didn't get US families into theaters to see it (it earned three times as much abroad) considering the absolute garbage parents will take their kids to. The new question is will it be Oscar nominated given the strangely low number of qualifying films in that category this year?
Stanford Prison Experiment -This ensemble indie (filled with a ton of promising young male actors) about the infamous titular study didn't really catch on but years from now people might look back on it as a "look how many stars are in this!" petri dish.

Sunday
Nov292015

November Highlights Pt. 2

We've reached the finale -- there's just one month left in the 2015 calendar. Well one month and a day but tomorrow is monday - don't nitpick. Three months if you count through the awards season as part of the film year (which we do, tbh) so consider December the warm up to the finale (awards shows!). 

Here are ten highlights from these past two weeks in case you missed any...

Year of the Shopgirl ?

ICYMI
Saoirse Ronan and Youngest Best Actresses a list / a youth trend
Cocktails with Jane Fonda on the Oscar campaign trail
Mustang's Deniz Gamze Ergüven fascinating chat with an emerging director
Hunger Games & Oscar not even one measly nomination in four years
The Celluloid Closet & Vito Manuel's HBO series reflects on shared LGBT histories
Spirit Award Noms Carol, Anomalisa, Beasts, Tangerine and more 
Black Mass what do you think of its ensemble work? 
Imelda Staunton in Gypsy a remarkable West End triumph 

Most Discussed
THR's Best Actress Cover Notes on the cover image & actress choices
Box Office somehow this one morphed into a discussion of who might win a third Oscar like Meryl & Daniel

Coming in December
Year in Review List-Mania, Film Bitch Awards, Hateful Eight, Oscar Hoopla, Carol week, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Anniversaries of key classics, and... well, you know how festive December gets. Wheeeeee!

New to The Film Experience or just tuning in again after a hiatus?
Check out highlights from the year thus far before we start passing out Best of 2015 awards! November Pt 1, October, NYFF Index, September, TIFF Index, August, July, Halfway Mark Prizes, June, April, March, and the beginnings of the film year... We Can't Wait 2015 and Sundance. And if you're anxious to get the year in review really going, make sure to watch this beautiful '2015 in Film' montage by Ben Zuk.

 

Sunday
Nov292015

Fenix & Golden Horse Prizes

Two sets of international film awards were recently handed out and in the holiday flurry we haven't yet shared them, but since three Oscar submissions dominated, better late than never!

Alfred Castro in "El Club"

Fenix Awards
The Fenix awards are a Mexican based initiative to honor films and industry professionals of Latin America, Spain and Portugal.m They're only in their second year so it's too new to know if they'll make an impact but this year they gave Pablo Larraín's  El Club (Chile's tramautizing Oscar submission) Picture, Director, Screenplay and Actor prizes. Alfredo Castro was the acting recipient of the latter (it's a large cast of mostly men and fans of Larraín will know him well since he previously starred in Larraín's other Oscar submissions Tony Manero and No). Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia's mesmerizing Oscar submission for which we're heartily rooting) took Sound, Cinematography, and Music along with Best Director (in a tie)

Golden Horse Awards
The Assassin, which has been marginally successful without quite catching on with audiences, is on a roll with prizes and honors. This past week it dominated the Golden Horse Awards winning six prizes with Picture, Cinematography, Makeup and Costume Design (which are grouped for some reason), Sound Effects and a special filmmaking prize for Hsiao-hsien Hou even though they also gave him Best Director! So that didn't leave much for its chief rivals Mountains May Depart, Port of Call, Tharlo, and Drunk Thanatos but they each were honored in one way or another. Hou's semi-abstract take on the wuxia genre also topped the Sight & Sound Best of 2015 poll.

Which is a long way of saying that this one, which is pretty but alienating, might prove hard for the Academy's Executive Committee to ignore when it comes to their "three saves" for the 9 wide finalist list from which the 5 Best Foreign Language Film nominees will be chosen.

Related: Foreign Film Oscar Charts

Sunday
Nov292015

What you saw this long holiday weekend. Survey says...

What did you see this weekend? I didn't hit theaters since I was travelling but I finished Jessica Jones (which really improved as it went along) and screeners gave me a second shot at Steve Jobs (Fassy & Kate are just as big a "wow" as they were the first time) and a first go at Straight Outta Compton. In the next 24 hours The Revenant and Joy hit my eyeballs. Here's hoping for the best.

BOX OFFICE
(Nov 27th-29th)
01 Hunger Games 4 (4,175 screens) $51.6 (cum. $198.3)  Hunger Games & Oscar
02 The Good Dinosaur (3,749 screens) $39.1 new (cum. $55.5)
03 Creed (3,404 screens) $30.1 new (cum. $42.6) Review
04 Spectre (2,940 screens) $12.8 (cum $176) Review
05 The Peanuts Movie (3,089 screens) $9.7 (cum. $116.7) 
06 The Night Before (2,960 screens) $8.2 (cum. $24.1) 
07 The Secret in Their Eyes (2,392 screens) $4.5 (cum. $14)
08 Spotlight (897 screens) $4.4 (cum. $12.3) First Impression
09 Brooklyn (845 screens) $3.8 (cum. $7.2) Review, Saoirse & Best Actress
10 The Martian (1,420 screens) $3.3 (cum. $218.6) Podcast 
11 Love the Coopers (1,867 screens) $3 (cum. $20.4)
12 Victor Frankenstein (2,797 screens) $2.3 new (cum. $3.4)

With the dismal opening of Victor Frankenstein (Fox) paired with the muted response to Crimson Peak (Universal) do you think Universal is getting worried about their classic movie monster multiverse plans? Today's audiences maybe don't have a yearning for the gothic flavors of more old school horror?

Apart from Frankenstein and his monster, it was a fairly happy weekend for distributors: Hunger Games 4 held stronger in its second weekend than Hunger Games 3 (I refuse to do this "part 1 and part 2" padding bullshit anymore);  Creed, which was smartly produced on a non gargantuan budget, supposedly made back its budget in its first (holiday) weekend; Spectre is holding well for a Bond film (anyone expecting a repeat of Skyfall's anomalous numbers was insane); even The Good Dinosaur, which opened weak as Pixar films go, shows promise since the audience reaction was very positive and it has no direct competition in the next few weeks.

As for the suspected Oscar contenders things are continuing to look very golden for both Spotlight and Brooklyn which are expanding very well and should be peaking at just the right time for Oscar love. With Carol and The Danish Girl, though, it's probably too early to tell since they're only on four screens each and competition is fierce and will continue to be (as it always is in November/December) for their target demographic.

Saturday
Nov282015

What a Link. What a Lovely Link

BFI Check out the Sight & Sound poll for 2015. Not pleased that The Assassin topped the immeasurably finer twofer of Carol & Mad Max Fury Road but it is what it is. Perennial critical darling peculiarities abound like Blackhat placing about Ex Machina. Oh please. I didn't hate the former like some but one must assume that's solely on Michael Mann's reputation, the way some filmmakers get a competition spot at Cannes simply because they directed something.
HuffPo Reid Ewing from Modern Family talks about body dysmorphia and getting frequent plastic surgery
The Guardian on a Carol gift-wrapping promotion - it breaks my heart that people keep thinking this is a watch it on DVD film. It's SO breathtakingly cinematic. GO TO THE THEATER.
/Film Gremlins may take a page from Jurassic World/Creed and continue the story decades later

 

Coming Soon latest Star Wars The Force Awakens news & rumors if you're into that sort of thing. We made a very conscious choice not to watch anything beyond the teaser or to cover it until ti opens. We want to preserve the mystery and thus the possible joy.
Antagony & Ecstasy reviews the original Star Wars trilogy
MNPP Matt Bomer may play The Last Tycoon for Amazon
Vanity Fair Ryan Gosling may play Neil Armstrong for Damien Chazelle
In Contention how the critic awards can boost players in the Oscar race
/Film there are competing Evel Knievel movies on the way one from (possibly Martin Scorsese) and one from Channing Tatum. Do kids today know who Knievel is?
AV Club Michael B Jordan is up for another Creed movie. The movie is set to make back its budget this Thanksgiving weekend
Serving Cinema in defense of Angelina Jolie's By the Sea
Lip Sync Battle Anthony Mackie "2 Legit 2 Quit" versus Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "Rhythm Nation"
New York Times ABC actually cancelled a show! But this is a rare with TV's new ratings math
Towleroad two Brazilian actors share a kiss on live tv to combat homophobia. Our Brazilian readers should tell us if these two are as famous as this article implies.
The Hollywood Reporter has an articles about LGBT cinema losing its edge. That's a topic that can be argued about certainly but Carol is an absolutely terrible example since Todd Haynes hasn't lost one iota of his power or daring and the "frostiness" that people complain about with that movie is hardly pandering, you know.
Kevin O'Keefe skewers the article with one well placed barb.

 

 

"Category Fraud" Has Gone Mainstream
I can't remember if I coined the term -- let's just say I did -- but I've been preaching against its evil like an obnoxiously pious mad prophet the entire time I've been Oscar blogging... which is quite a long time now. I've been seeing articles about it everywhere this year including this new one from The Hollywood Reporter. You know how when you love an obscure band and then everyone "discovers" them after the fact and you feel kind of betrayed? That. Don't get me wrong: I'm glad people are paying attention now -- perhaps we reached some sort of peak fraudulence where it became impossible to deny the problem anymore? But I also do not like that articles about this never address the media's own hand in creating this monster. (For this next sentence you'll remember that Nathaniel is playing the role of a mad pious prophet in this story and forgive his superiority complex). Other than The Film Experience practically every awards pundit /  site has actively encouraged this 'all fraud all the time / end justifies the means world we're living in by regularly rationalizing leading roles as supporting in articles and actively encouraging studios and publicists to pursue fraudulent campaigns for "better Oscar chances"

Weekend Watch
Jake Gyllenhaal discussses his progressive upbringing and Brokeback Mountain. I love this. Yes, we'll be celebrating the movie soon for its 10th anniversary in December.

Sir Ian McKellen talks Dame Maggie Smith and Oscar good luck charms from his stage show in Los Angeles last weekend "Women I've Filmed With"