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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (36)

Monday
Oct202014

Beauty vs Beast: Writers Retreat

JA from MNPP here with our third week's worth of Halloween-flavored "Beauty vs Beast" treats - today we're swerving away from Wes Craven's cadre of high school students in distress to hit up a whole different kind of Final Girl fight club: jump in the Snowcat, we're heading up to The Overlook Hotel to face off the ill-fated Torrances, Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and Jack (Jack Nicholson), with their snowed-in battle for little Danny's soul.

 

You've just got one week til the cold takes over, the elevator doors swing open, and the blood gets off on the second floor, so cast your votes and let us know which Torrance you feel for in the comments.

PREVIOUSLY You screamed, I screamed, we all screamed for Wes Craven and his 1996 slasher classic Scream - would Sidney whoop those bad boys Billy and Stu's butts once again? Naturally she did - four full movies couldn't keep our Super Bitch down, this was no contest. Said Tom:

"This is my 90's! Sidney all the way. She isn't the perfect innocent virginal girl most horror movies have as the heroine. She is probably just as disturbed as the villains she defeats. She fights the darkness inside and out. No wonder there was speculation that she would be the killer in Scream 4."

Monday
Oct132014

Beauty vs Beast: The First Scream Cuts The Deepest 

JA from MNPP here, with our second week of Final Girl themed "Beauty vs Beast"'s leading up to Ye Olde All Hallows - I didn't intend for this to also become a Wes-Craven-a-thon but whatcha gonna do, the man scribbled his name all over the genre in permanent marker, so here we are heading to the sleepy little hamlet of Woodsboro and the film that reinvigorated a slashed-to-ribbons genre for a new generation (my generation) - 1996's Scream. (And my apologies if this spoils a movie for you but I consider 18 years past-due on that sort of thing.) Let's meet our foes!

 

I don't know if putting the tag-team queer-vibe between Billy & Stu counts as plus or a minus for you -- it's a plus for me but I'm probably mentally disturbed so I'll leave just that to y'all to discuss in the comments. You have one week!

PREVIOUSLY Last week it was Wes Craven's 80s horror classic we tackled - in a battle between A Nightmare on Elm Street's dream duo we came down on the side of good (but just barely) - hall-pass-hating Nancy (Heather Langencamp) defeated the nightmare-man Freddy Krueger once again, but with just 52% of the vote. (I personally like to think some of those votes were for her awesomely drunk mother played by Ronee Blakely.) Said Rob:

"Nancy, aka Heather Langenkamp, is great! Not particularly a shining thespian but a charming and sincere one. Rooted for her all the way."

Monday
Oct062014

Beauty vs Beast: The Dream Team

JA from MNPP here, gleeful to say tis the season for spooky shenanigans, aka my favorite time of year - the trees are turning, the Moon is creeping out earlier every day, and the shelves of the local drugstores are stuffed with those beastly orange and purple Peeps - Happy Halloween-time, everybody! Y'all ought to know by now I'll take any chance I can to cram horror up in here, so here's the deal: we're gonna spend the next few ocassions leading up to The Big Night using our weekly "Beauty vs Beast" poll to face off some of our favorite Final Girls and the Big Bad Nasties they've faced off with.

This week we're getting the ball rolling with Wes Craven's classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which celebrates it's 30th anniversary next month, to give you the choice between the police chief's haunted daughter Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and the man in the tattered fedora slicing and dicing up everybody's dreams, ol' Fred Krueger (Robert Englund)...

 

You have only seven days to sleep on your decision, so be wise about it, and do try to wake up in time. (And as an aside, a happy birthday to Jsu Garcia, who played Rod in the movie and gave my teenage self a real appreciation for the art of rocking tighty-whities.)

PREVIOUSLY Last week we shook and shimmied our business across the high and low-end stages of Las Vegas, attempting to answer one of life's most existential quandary: is it weird not having anybody cum on ya? No, not that. I mean Stardust or Cheetah, of course. In a battle of Showgirls' veteran diva versus the hard-knocks ingenue... we went Diva, natch. Cristal levitated above the competition with 67% of the vote. Said brookesboy:

"Gina Gershon is an actress of such uncanny resourcefulness she can find inspiration from a fried chicken leg or, here, drugstore nail polish. Gotta go with Cristal (trashiest spelling EVAH!)."

Monday
Sep292014

Beauty vs Beast: Camp Goddess

JA from MNPP here, one-thumbing it Vegas-or-bust for a brand new edition of "Beauty vs Beast." Last week if you can believe it marked 19 years since we first slid into the passenger seat beside one Miss Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley), just an eager-eyed Pollyanna coming from "different places" on her way to a name written in lights - Paul Verhoven's Showgirls, the most epic ode to g-strings and cheeseburgers and the women who love them that's ever graced the silver screen, electrified... well, not a lot of people at the time actually, grossing only 20 million dollars in theaters. But I was there at my little local movie theater on opening night - I've told this story more times than there are beads maliciously strewn across the Goddess stage but as the lights went down on that first Midnight showing of Showgirls the scattered crowd of older men (they were all older men) sitting around my best friend and I broke into an impromptu chant of the word "Tits!" and I knew I was in for something special. It didn't disappoint.

It has of course gone on to become a camp sensation, inspiring books and musicals and countless more Midnight screenings, where I have no doubt the word "Tits!" will be chanted for time eternal. But the question is... how do you like having 'em?

 

You have one week to vote, and I don't want to see any write-ins for Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul. (But if you wanna toss a vote to a Penny, née Hope, that'll be okay.) Now bring me some brown rice and vegetables.

PREVIOUSLY Have you all finished your milshakes? Have you drunk them up? Did you ever - Mr. Daniel Plainview rode an oil spurt high above the competition with last week's poll, clobbering poor Eli Sunday's brains in once again. Said Carmen Sandiego:

"I voted for Daniel Plainview. They are both horrible wretched people, so I might as well vote for milkshakes! W00t! #teammilkshake"

Monday
Sep222014

Beauty vs Beast: There Will Be Beasts

JA from MNPP here welcoming you to another week's "Beauty vs Beast" showdown - this time around we're going good and bad and ugly and everything in between, heading out West to the oil fields of California at the turn of the previous century.

Over the weekend Paul Thomas Anderson's 2007 film There Will Be Blood screened at the immense and ornate United Palace Theater here in New York with Jonny Greenwood's masterful (and criminally Oscar-ignored) score performed live by an orchestra, including Mr. Greenwood himself. I was there and it was, to put it mildly, as if somebody liquified all of Heaven itself into drug-form and shot it full-blast into my veins. That is to say -- I enjoyed it. So to keep my happy buzz thrumming just a little longer, let's head back to The Church of the Third Revelation and see where our loyalties lie - with Daniel Day-Lewis' boy-abandoning oil-man or with Paul Dano's oily-man of god who keeps crawling under his skin.

 

We should try to keep ourselves character-minded as we cast our votes (keeping in mind that Eli might be a squirmy little fraud but Daniel Plainview does some, um, very bad stuff), but on the actor side of the equation I do want to say that while Oscar was very clearly definitive about where its hosannas fell (and I'm not about to knock DDL's for-the-ages work) I do think Dano's performance has been under-valued. The film wouldn't work nearly as well as it does if he wasn't purposefully driving us into Daniel Plainview's long, cold, scary arms. But really they're all a bunch of bastards (in baskets).

PREVIOUSLY Last week we revisited the raining rose petals of the insular suburban world in Sam Mendes' American Beauty on the ocassion of its 15th anniversary, and faced the angry patriarch and angrier matriarch of the Burnham clan off - coming out ahead by one fashionable gardening clog, Carolyn (Annette Bening) marched off with just over 60% of the vote. Said Mike In Canada:

"I feel like a major turning point in the road to true grownup-hood is realizing that Carolyn is the true hero of American Beauty and that Lester is a thoughtless prick and the movie's attitudes toward them are a major flaw."

Monday
Sep152014

Beauty vs Beast: American Beauty vs American Beast

JA from MNPP here - it's that "Beauty vs Beast" time again! Over the past few months a lot's been written about the wonderful movie year that was 1999 now that we're a solid fifteen years away from it (Nathaniel touched upon this back in July) but seeing as how today, September 15th, marks the exact anniversary of the release of the film that would roll on to win that's years Best Picture, I figure it's time to pit some angry suburbanites against each other.

Yup, American Beauty turns 15 today. The dust on everybody's Oscars - Kevin's, Sam's, Annet... oh wait, nevermind (sorry Hilary Swank made me do it) - is fifteen years thick. (Of course if Annette had won that Oscar she'd have never let the dust get that thick - she'd strip down to her slip and scrub scrub scrub that sucker.) And all that built-up time, well it hasn't been too kind to the movie, if you ask me. But why ask me? Go read this piece at Decider on the film from just a week ago, it kind of says it for me. But now that I'm a little older the film (and Lester's) relentless villainization of Carolyn's character does indeed stick in my craw. But what about you?

 

Per usual you've got one week, seven days, to let the world know where you stand. Try not to get lost staring at plastic bags while stoned out of your mind, if at all possible.

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of being high, I'm still coming down from my John Waters high thanks to last week's retrospective at The Film Society of Lincoln Center here in New York (I saw him introduce Final Destination over the weekend! Shoot me now, it's all down-hill from that), but we can close the door on our Female Trouble themed poll at least... and nobody beats Divine. As Henry put it:

"Divine........there is only one Divine.......Christmas Trees beware the spurned Santa wish for Cha Cha Heels."

Monday
Sep082014

Beauty vs Beast: Crime Is Beauty

JA from MNPP here with another round of "Beauty vs Beast" for us to sink our teeth into - every Monday we ask y'all to choose sides between an appointed movie's "good" guy and "bad" guy, wherein we acknowledge that such distinctions are liquid (eyeliner). But as a wise and beautiful woman once said, "I'm scared rats are gonna come out and bite my new nylons." Oh and she also said, "There has to be a line drawn somewhere." And that line runs right down the middle of Baltimore's premiere hair enhancement clinic, the Lipstick Beauty Salon!

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is running a fabulous John Waters Retrospective here in New York right now, showing every single film the Pope of Trash, the Prince of Puke, ever made, and so it only seemed right and proper to celebrate this divine (ahem) ocassion this week with my fave of his films, 1974's Female Trouble. Meet our Teams!

 

Beauty, beauty, look at you, I wish to God I had it, too. Who will it be - the avant-garde artists or their deranged muse? You have a week to vote, and to let your opinions on the matter spill forth in the comments.

PREVIOUSLY Last week it was the eternal Lily Tomlin's 75th birthday and we jumped in the pick-up truck and gunned it to the big city with 1988's twin-comedy Big Business - did you go for Lily's pair of Roses or Bette Midler's twosome of Sadies? Well Rose started off strong... but at the last minute Sadie stuffed her in the janitor's closet and became the Joan Collins she always wanted to be. Said Nathaniel:

"As much as I love Lily, this film belongs to Bette's Sadie... especially via her awesome Dynasty fixation and possibly the best film use of her trademark eye flashing. TEAM SADIE!"