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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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Entries in Reviews (694)

Friday
Apr192019

Stage Door: Burn This, Hadestown, and King Lear

by Eric Blume

It’s pre-Tony Awards time here in New York, which means new shows are opening left and right.  Here’s a quick look at three of them…

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Friday
Apr192019

Review: Gugu Mbatha-Raw in "Fast Color"

by Abe Fried-Tanzer

When it comes to great actresses who haven’t become household names despite terrific performances, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is at the top of the list. In 2014, she was headlining Belle and Beyond the Lights, both to much acclaim. I’ve been a fan of hers since the 2010 NBC series Undercovers, a quickly-axed show that I’m pretty sure only I liked. Shortly after it was cancelled, she had a role in the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts comedy Larry Crowne and it looked like her career might really be taking off. After supporting parts in projects as diverse as Miss Sloane and A Wrinkle in Time, she’s now taking the lead role in a superhero movie, which Chris first reported on more than two years ago.

As 90% of movie theater audiences hold their breath waiting for the 181 minute Avengers: Endgame to be released, this is something completely different...

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Friday
Apr122019

Stage Door: Hillary and Clinton 

We're seeing a lot of theater in the run up to the Tonys. Here's new contributor J.B.

For the last twenty years or so, and probably longer, well-crafted stories about women in politics told on stage or screen have frequently been described with words like “timely” or “vital.”  These stories, in many cases, are ones we haven’t heard before, and to the extent we as a society want our art to imitate life (and indeed, vice versa), they are, now more than ever, ones we need to hear.

It is for this reason that Hillary and Clinton, a well-crafted story about the quintessential woman in American politics now playing at the John Golden Theater in New York, feels like such an anomaly. The play, written by Lucas Hnath and directed by Joe Mantello (his SEVENTH production on Broadway in just the last three years), takes place in a hotel room during the thick of the 2008 New Hampshire Democratic Primary and offers an imagined glimpse into what exactly the titular characters (played by Tony-winners Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, respectively) may have been thinking, feeling, and communicating to each other at that precise place and time in history...

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Friday
Apr122019

Review: Missing Link

by Chris Feil

Laika is back with another idiosyncratic stop-motion wonder and its their most chipper effort yet. Missing Link follows the animation house’s unique imagination down a rabbit hole of globe-trotting legend, delivering a buddy comedy that’s also about self-love and self-respect. As ever, Laika serves us such spectacular visuals and winning charm that it’s easy to overlook what is more familiar in the film. But this one finds the studio at their most unfettered, giving us a breezy treat that rings of a new level of confidence.

Hugh Jackman leads a surprisingly delightful voice cast as a seeker of rare creatures named Sir Lionel Frost. Attempting to join an elite society of beast hunters that mocks him, he sets off to America in search of Big Foot. What he finds is the gentile apeman Mr. Link, who in turn enlists Frost to guide him to the other side of the globe in search of  a storied tribe of yetis that could be Link’s closest biological kinfolk. With those uppercrust poachers pursuing them to usurp Frost’s discovery, Frost and Link are joined by the widowed Adelina Fortnight, and the three set off on a self-actualization journey into the unknown.

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Thursday
Apr112019

Review: Her Smell

by Chris Feil

Some audiences may be unprepared for the full force slap that Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell has in store. It pulls no punches from the jump, immediately plopping us into the halls of a hellish backstage captured in serpentine camera fluidity. We’re immediately caught in the circus of early-90s addict punk rocker Becky Something, a monstrous and damaged creation from Perry’s muse Elisabeth Moss. And just as you get used to the manic construction around her, as Perry douses us in a fecund sound design and sweaty neon palette, the film shifts into something quite moving and rigorous on all of its levels. This is something more ambitious and soul-baring than the music dramas to which we’ve grown accustomed.

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Monday
Apr082019

Review: Brie Larson's "Unicorn Store"

by Anne Marie

With Captain Marvel crossing the $300million mark at the box office, Netflix has capitalized on Brie Larson's booming popularity to acquire her 2017 directorial debut. Unicorn Store is a coming-of-age comedy that happens to also star buddy and co-Avenger Samuel L. Jackson. And while Larson fans will enjoy watching the actress glitter (sometimes literally) across the screen for an untidy 92 minutes, ultimately the star's freshman effort comes off as more style than subsance.

Written by Samantha McIntyre (Married), Unicorn Store tells the self-consciously magical story of a twenty-something failed artist named Kit (Larson), who gets a second chance when she's offered the chance to fulfill her childhood dream...of owning a unicorn. After she fulfills some obligations, of course. The premise is purposely absurd, and for the most part, Larson adeptly navigates between the more magically bizarre scenes of straw-dying and stable-building, and the more quotidian (and creepy) B plot wherein Larson’s character tries to prove herself at a temp job with a predatory boss...

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