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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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Twins: Luke & Leia

twins daily at 2:22 pm (while we're in Gemini)

Like most people of my generation I grew up with the Star Wars franchise (1977-1983. It ends there, right?) as the single most defining pop culture event of youth. I did not, however, feel any particular need to have it as a continuing Force (heh) in my life, afterwards. By the time I was a teenager I had already moved on to the collected works of dramatic actresses as The Single Most Satisfying Form of Entertainment. So I'm kind of amazed still that in any given month on the internet you can find dozens of new articles or tumblr items or deviant art sketches or nsfw riffs or ANYTHING at all about the franchise. It just doesn't stop... even after George Lucas tried to kill it cluttering up the beautifully sparse frames of the originals with merciless revisionism and CGI accessorizing.

Yet despite my lack of continued love for the franchise to end all franchises (or, more accurately, the franchise to start all franchises -- that's all we get now!) I will admit that Luke & Leia still have a very special place in my adult heart. 

More on Padmé & Darth's twins after the jump...

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Take Three: Cécile De France

Craig here with this week's Take Three. Today: Cécile De France

Take One: Haute tension/Switchblade Romance (2004)
De France brings an entirely new meaning to the term ‘Final Girl’ in Alexandre Aja’s Haute tension (or, to give it its more exploitation-happy title, Switchblade Romance). Spoiler Alert: Although we see Philippe Nahon doing the relentless butchering throughout the film, it emerges toward the end that he’s merely a projection of De France’s Marie’s imagination; he’s the product of pent-up sexual urge in Marie to create a marauding male monster in her mind. It all gets very muddy before becoming incredibly bloody. We witness the farmhouse massacre (the central setting for the film) alongside Marie, and place misguided hopes onto De France to ‘save the day’. With close-cropped hair and slightly (deliberately?) awkward mannerisms suggesting ambiguous duplicity, she's a a striking presence. Some careful direction and judicious editing make the film’s ruse work and ably assist De France to communicate the exact amount of required fear. Her peril is entirely believable when she’s tucked away in a closet ostensibly watching Nahon murder the mother of the house. This high (barbed) wire is even more remarkable after the fact in retrospect. She conveys the final act slide into libido-charged maniacal force with just the right amount of desperate, perplexed kinkiness. Her’s is a three-tiered act in one: she’s victim, saviour and perpetrator. De France physically and emotionally wrenched turn works hard to cautiously hint to one aspect whilst juggling the other two. How many men in horror movies have had to spin those kinds of performance plates? 

two more takes after the jump

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Box Office: Stacey Jaxx is Flop?

Even with a big drop for Conversation Starter Prometheus, the two new wide releases couldn't make a big dent; nobody was holding up their lighter for Tom Cruise or sending Father's Day cards to Sandler. But I'm still curious to see if Rock of Ages can pick up any guilty pleasure WOM and have a non disastrous second weekend. Truth: I always root for musical success -- even when the musicals aren't great -- because I can't live without musicals. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team. If you want more musicals on screen, go see them all!

The best news this weekend was for Moonrise Kingdom which is expanding quite successfully. Your Sister's Sister had the weekend's best per screen average for a brand new film.

box office top five (actuals)
01 MADAGASCAR 3 $34 (cum. $119)
02 PROMETHEUS  $20.7  (cum. $89.3) Premiere Fashions
03 ROCK OF AGES new $14.4 Review & Premiere Fashions
04 THAT'S MY BOY new $13.4 
05 SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN $13.2 (cum $122) Review & Sequel Plans

What did you see this past weekend?
Did you take your father? Or maybe you just watched father figures on the big screen? The weekend's best opening, 


Red Carpet Convo: Frock of (All) Ages & the Prometheus Crew

Red Carpet Convos is back!

Nathaniel:  ‪Hi Joanna! ‬We haven't talked in ages. 

Joanna:  ‪I know.  And I've had so many things to say!‬

Nathaniel: ‪Try to squeeze them all in rightnow. Since the Red Carpet Convo series has been pretty much dormant since Oscar night, we'll reboot with a prequel of sorts. We're going WAY back to the Tonys (very briefly) and the Prometheus premiere. In Internet time that's like, what, three years ago?‬ 

Joanna:  ‪In a galaxy far far away.  And are you starting me back with Prometheus because you know of my Fassbender obsession?‬

Noomi, Lisbeth, Salma, Fassy & Charlize

Nathaniel: Listen, at this point it's safe to assume that everyone has the Fassbender obsession. But I don't mind sharing.‬

Joanna:  ‪Very generous of you.  Then let's discuss my favorite accessory of the red carpet this year.  The Ginger Beard.‬

Nathaniel:  ‪It's everywhere!‬ 

Ginger Beards, Appliqué Madness & Synthetic Starlets After the Jump...

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Twins: Disney Villains x 2

Celebrating twins daily at 2:22 PM while we're in Gemini

Not all twins share the same parents. Though I suppose one could argue that Walt Disney's children are legion.

Case #1

Ursula & Medusa

If Ursula had legs and Medusa could join her crocs in the water, they could practically become a synchronized swim team.


  • One wave memorable up-dos offset by dangly earrings
  • Drag queen ready make-up
  • Explicitly bra-less bouncing boobage and slovenly bodies
  • Adores lounging about on seashell like thrones
  • Terrible at feigning niceness to young girls
  • ...but great at manipulating them into dangerous situations.
  • Two reptilian henchmen (Flotsam & Jetsam / Brutus & Nero)


Case #2

Lady Tremaine & Maleficent


  • High cheekbones, arched eyebrows, altogether angular gorgon beauty
  • Fond of the purple collar
  • Really really fussy about Royal Events and who is and is not invited to such things
  • Identical Twin voices courtesy of the same actress Eleanor Audley (pictured above)

Case #3... ??? Make it in the comments.


Rock of Ages Will Rock You... (Or At Least Lightly Jostle You)

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

At a recent press screening in Manhattan, heavily attended by the gays, the choreographer turned So You Think You Can Dance judge turned movie director Adam Shankman cheerfully introduced the screening of his latest stage-to-screen musical Rock of Ages. It's his first musical since the exuberant Hairspray (2007) and he charmingly expressed his nerves and excitement about showing it off. He invited the assembled crowd to not take the movie too seriously, "dumb fun!", and sing along with it if they felt the urge. I was sitting near the front and as Shankman bounded up the stairs to exit from the back, he shouted out  'Oh, and I'm gay' as a "no shit" style punchline. The crowd laughed and the lights went out. 

The energy of Shankman's introduction can't have hurt the screening but his invitation to sing-along proved redundant. It doesn't take long for the movie to send out its own karaoke invitation.  In the jukebox movie musical's very first number we meet a small town girl, living in a lonely world, who takes a midnight train bus going anywhere. Her name is Sherry Christian (Julianne Hough) but she's not exactly going anywhere. She's purposefully headed to Los Angeles to try to make it in the music business. No sooner has she begun singing "Sister Christian" (get it? Um… haha?) than the unnamed extras on the bus start grabbing solo lines from the verses until the whole bus is singing about Sister Christian. Her time has come!  

Upon her arrival in the big city, this girl from the sticks lands both a new job and a new bartender/songwriter boyfriend (Cam Gigandet) at a famous club operated by a beleaguered old pro (Cher) and her gayish sidekick (Stanley Tucci). The club is having financial trouble thanks in part to a mercenary money man (Eric Dane) and hopes that a big voice (Christina Aguilera) will resurrect its fortu--- NO, WAIT. THAT'S BURLESQUE! More after the jump...

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Someone Needs To Get More Sleep...

Someone named Christian Bale (pictured on the set of Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups) 

Hasn't he seen The Machinist?  Insomnia is dangerous!