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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (23)

Monday
Jul212014

Beauty Vs Beast: The Devil & Chris MacNeil

JA from MNPP here - what with The Film Experience turning its eyes towards the year that was 1973 this month I kind of feel it's my duty as the horror-genre drum-beater in residence to pick up the baton (ahh, delicious scrambled metaphors) and race us over to the brownstones of Georgetown for a hot minute, where a sweet little girl and her mother are busy being dragged through all nine circles of Hell and back for this week's Exorcist-flavored edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast."

Quite a literal round this time: an emphatically most horrible Beast, while our Beauty... well, Ellen Burstyn's Chris MacNeil is maybe even a smidge too amazing as our Beauty? I know most of the film's power comes from the corruption of the sweet relationship she has with her daughter but it always feels a wee bit to me like it strains credibility how much time this seemingly A-list actress makes for just hanging out with her kid. Anybody else? Maybe I've seen Mommie Dearest too many times. But I've always felt like there's the spectre of unaddressed tension in the scene where Regan interrupts her mother's fancy-people dinner-party with that humiliating bladder-release - Regan banished to bed, getting her revenge at a distracted mother...

That said the time's come to prove you Actressexual bonafides. Great Actress in Peril!

 

You have one week to vote, vote, vote as if the soul of a little girl depends upon it, and convince us in the comments why we should choose light over darkness or vice versa. The power of poll compels you!

PREVIOUSLY Last week we whipped out our business cards and compared the watermarks of two Type-A Wall Street a-holes - as I figured we were all more than willing (well 3/4s of us were anyway) to set aside our scruples for a mass-murderer as long as he looks like Christian Bale looked like in American Psycho. I'm not judging! I cleaned out my cookies so I could vote for Patrick Bateman twice. I always have a moment of hesitance when Cara Seymour gets in that limo the second time, fearing I might do the same... Said David:

"Ashamed to say this, but the image of Patrick Bateman flexing his biceps, staring at himself in the mirror while screwing prostitutes left such an indelible image frozen in my brain for years. So yes Patrick Bateman, a thousand times yes."

Monday
Jul142014

Beauty Vs Beast: A Table For Two At Dorsia

JA from MNPP here with this week's new drug (sorry I've been listening to a lot of Huey Lewis and the News these days - I consider their album Sports to be their finest acheivement, don't you?) aka another round of "Beauty Vs Beast."

Here's the deal - tomorrow's my birthday and it wasn't exactly planned this way but since there's a screening of American Psycho happening this weekend here in NYC my week's taken on that movie as a sort of non-official theme. I'm not murdering homeless men or stuffing kittens into ATM machines, mind you - don't get too freaked out. It's just a sort of general thing. But with the specter of Patrick Bateman hanging in the air I figured what better time to give you what I think might be one of the toughest picks between two bad apples (Christian Bale and Jared Leto) that we've had so far in this series.

I speak of...

 

A vote for Paul Allen is a vote for that whole Yale thing! Yeah you know, that whole Yale thing. So per usual you've got seven days to make with the picking and the commenting - in seven days our masks of sanity will slip and we'll crown a winner.

PREVIOUSLY And speaking of slipped masks of sanity, last week's competition was a literal face off between the two Jake Gyllenhaal's in this year's best-picture-so-far-says-me Enemy - since this choosing was slightly arbitrary (either way you win, with Jake) the competition remained close but in the end the "nice" guy won first - we all decided to let Adam stay on. Carmen honed in on the peculiars of this decision:

"I'm voting on blueberries alone. It's Jake Gyllenhaal vs Jake Gyllenhaal, I can afford to be frivolous."

Monday
Jul072014

Beauty Vs Beast: The Two Jakes

JA from MNPP here - The year 2014 is halfway over and since Nathaniel seems to be having fun listing his picks for "the best of so-far" I felt like joining in - my favorite movie of the year here at the half-point is Denis Villeneuve's doppleganger creep-fest called Enemy, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal as two men (maybe?) who find each other (maybe?) through chance (uh... maybe?) and the destructive effect that this has on their lives (definitely).

If you didn't catch the film in theaters (I managed to twice but I realize I am extraordinarily priviledged for that; its release was a puzzler) it came out onto DVD and so forth two weeks ago, so hopefully you've set aside the time - as I said when I reviewed it way back when this movie is the dream of a movie I would be able to make if I were a movie-maker. It hits all my buttons and then some, including ones I never even knew about -- Jake Gyllenhaal ordering another Jake Gyllenhaal to take his clothes off? Sure!

On the surface this week's "Beauty Vs. Beast" might seem a trick question (and maybe it is, just like the whole movie might be a trick movie) but Jake's performance in the film does make Adam (the teacher who's with Melanie Laurent) and Anthony (the actor who's married to Sarah Gadon) two distinct men - it's usually not hard to tell who's who because of posture alone, and the differences only seem to branch out (and yes, perhaps double back...) from there. So have at 'em...

 

If you haven't seen the film now before voting my point is go watch the movie right now! And then vote. Of course a vote for Jake, any Jake, is a winning vote all the same. And on top of telling me which Team Jake you prefer in the comments I'd love to hear y'all's theories about the movie. This movie brings them forth!

PREVIOUSLY Last week we got ourselves pre-juiced for Showtime's Masters of Sex, which returns on July 13th, by asking y'all to choose between the Masters & Johnson at the show's heart - I can't say I was surprised to see that Lizzy Caplan bounces the highest on the bedsprings of most of our hearts. She walked away with a full 85% of the vote. Said par, getting a hearty chuckle outta me:

"I love her so much I'd even invite her to a pool party... even if there were going to be girls in bathing suits there."

Monday
Jun302014

Beauty vs Beast: Masters & Johnsons Of Sex

JA from MNPP here - I know I'm among my people here at The Film Experience when I stand up in front of you all, tap the mic, clear my throat, and admit that I, Jason Adams, being somewhat sound of mind and body (okay that part's questionable), am straight-up no-holds-barred infatuationally addicted to an actress. Her name is Elizabeth Anne Caplan, she goes by Lizzy, and she is basically everything. How could anyone say anything mean about Amy Adams, right? Adorable, kind, nose-wrinkling Amy Adams? Well I would roll Amy Adams up feet-first and stick her in an envelope and mail her to Timbuktu never to be heard from again if that meant I would get to see Lizzy Caplan play Lois Lane in a Superman movie. That's where we stand.

So today is my beloved's 32nd birthday, and so we're giving her today's "Beauty Vs. Beast" poll. I'm not sure how many of you are watching Showtime's Masters of Sex but I hope it's tons upon tons, because it's a great show stuffed with rich characters from top to top to bottom to bottom and every which way of sexual power dynamics. Michael Sheen's doing terrific work as the Platonian Ideal of the nightmare doctor with a god complex, but yeah... I think I've made it clear where my vote's going. You?

 

As always you've got one week to vote and to make your case for your pick in the comments. Oh and if you want to see the new trailer for the second season of Masters of Sex, which is back July 13th, watch it here.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we shot the Bat Signal over Gotham in honor of 25 years of Tim Burton's original movie and made you choose between Michael Keaton's dark knight and Jack Nicholson's candy-colored villain - it was tight-going with the Batman and the Joker fluctuating who was on top but in the end goodness vanquished evil and Keaton strolled off with 51% and the victory, heading off towards a bright future involving slinky cat-suits and lots of licking. There was a lot of diccussion about the Bat-Men versus the Jokers (Jokeri?), which Sad man summed up thus:

"Team Batman 100%. If it was Heath's Joker then I'd pick Joker. Also Keaton > Bale."

Monday
Jun232014

Beauty Vs Beast: Going Batty

JA from MNPP here with this week's batty edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast" - Twenty-five years ago today Tim Burton's Batman opened, and I think it might have maybe had a little bit of an effect on The Movies? Let's see - how many superhero films are set to open in the next five years? I think it's something like [edited because you can't look directly at this number, it is Lovecraftian in its ability to break your brain and instantly render you mindlessly bonkers]. Something like that. Once upon a time though this was not the case. Moreso even than the Christopher Reeve Superman movies that preceded it, Tim Burton's Batman showed Hollywood what a juggernaut these things could be - it was the biggest movie of 1989 by far (nearly 60 million dollars ahead of its closest competition, the third Indiana Jones), and I have distinct memories of everything I owned that year being covered in Bat symbols - my t-shirts, my backpack, my Trapper Keeper.

Generational arguments still break out (see: Neighbors) about who was the best Batman (yes I am old and Team Keaton all the way) but fewer people seem to argue about which Joker they prefer between Jack Nicholson and that dude who won an Oscar for his performance - that's not to say I don't know people who'll argue for Team Jack and his closer-to-the-comics hamminess. Thankfully I'm not dropping us into that mire today (although feel free to express your opinions in the comments on that) - instead we're facing the oldest question in the Bat-pantheon: Are Batman's villains always inherently more interesting, more fun, than the dude in the big black suit himself? Sound off!

 

You have one week to dance with these devils in the pale moonlight and let us know in the comments why you picked which - have at it!

PREVIOUSLY Last week's competition saw the titular Hitchcock blonde of 1963's Marnie facing off against her James Bond savior slash terrorizer slash romantic interest - judging by our comments we all pretty much agreeed that neither of these folks was anybody we'd want to be stuck in an elevtor with, but Tippi snapped the win in her bright yellow purse and sauntered away all the same. Said Tom:

"Voting for Marnie. The movie really is a snore, but Tippi Hedron really is great. This is proof she had the goods to be an actress, and it's kind of a shame nothing really happened after this movie for her."