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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (124)

Monday
Sep122016

Beauty vs Beast: I Dream of Tommy Lee

Jason from MNPP here, fighting the urge to begin and end this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" wth a long monologue about the past and/or the dreams I had last night (although regarding the latter Aaron Taylor-Johnson may or may not have been involved - Hi Aaron!), for one of our finest actors, Mr. Tommy Lee Jones, who is turning 70 this week.

I make reference of course to his great performance in the Coen's masterpiece No Country For Old Men, a performance which is always overshadowed (and yes, I preemptively expect the same to happen here) by Javier Bardem's big hair trigger, but not, in my estimation, rightfully so. As I've revisited the film over the years since its release Bardem's scare show has begun to sink into the background and it's Jones' work as the titual Old Man that lingers - as he delivers the dream monologue that closes the film I find myself wanting to stare at his face and all its hills and valleys and sad wisdom for another hour, and another after that. It is a gift. Or maybe you just feel more comfortable voting for someone who'd dare to threaten Kelly Macdonald...

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks back we went full goofy with a love-fest for Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin, an admittedly awful movie that I nonetheless watch whenever it's on the TV - in a villain-off it was Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy whose green touch warmed our hearts over Arnold's Mr. Freeze. Said Roger:

"As a queer little Earth child mixing potions in the garden, Poison Ivy really spoke to me. Years later, discovering Uma was a fellow Taurus, child of Venus, made worlds of sense to me. I was in green and cherry-red love."

Monday
Aug292016

Beauty vs Beast: Ice & Ivy

Jason from MNPP here on the occasion of Joel Schumacher's 77th birthday wondering if I'm the only one who feels like his 1997 superhero flop Batman & Robin ought to be a camp classic as revered as Showgirls... or at least Valley of the Dolls. I think the fact that the movie is actively trying to be camp, but failing, throws people off... but it only makes me love it more. It's so... queer. In all the senses. Maybe it's just that Zack Snyder's endless reign of self-seriousness has made this goofy trainwreck seem more endearing, but I manage to quote this movie far more than might be sane, and if it's ever on TV I get sucked into its dopey dreadfulness every time. The same will never be true of Batman v Superman, I'm afraid. (Unless it's Holly Hunter's scenes we're talking about, of course.)

PREVIOUSLY True Story: I was at a wedding this past weekend and they gave out Jordan Almonds! Anyway last week we forced you to take sides in the Bridesmaids battle of the Century, and I am so so proud of y'all that you went with Kristen Wiig's Annie (who'd never let a Jordan Almond get her down) to the tune of 54% -- that's meant as no knock on the brilliantly funny Rose Byrne but, well, I'll let Suzanne explain:

"I know people love Rose Byrne, but Annie is such a great character. It felt like a revolutionary political act in 2011 to make a film that focused on a female protagonist who was depressed because her business failed and she was broke."

Monday
Aug222016

Beauty vs Beast: Here Come The Bridesmaids

Jason from MNPP here -- you want to know something shocking? Alright "shocking" might be me overexaggerating (thank you for that new word, Ryan Lochte) but I was shocked anyway - I have never done an edition of "Beauty vs Beast" for Bridesmaids. Doesn't that seem absolutely impossible? I went back and forth through the archives myself a couple of times to make sure but it's true. I couldn't believe it - I saw it was Kristen Wiig's 43rd birthday today and I thought to myself, "Well maybe there's something besides Bridesmaids that I can do, since obviously I'd have done Bridesmaids by now," but nope, no, haven't, kuh-rrrrrrazy!

So let's! I've seen this movie so many times at this point (if it is on cable, and it is always on cable, I will stop my life and I will watch it) that I managed this entire post without having to cheat and look up things to jog my memory. It's already a modern classic, at just over 5 years old. But where do our loyalties lay when it comes down between these two troublesome girlfriends...

PREVIOUSLY For the Material Girl's birthday we Desperately Sought the answer to "Does anyone appreciate her acting ability?" and speaking of shocker, we do! She grooved into a 2/3rds win over Rosanna Arquette. Said Mike in Canada (and now you know!):

"I'm can't bring myself to vote against either of these fantastic women, so I'll conscientiously abstain, and just wait a week to find out how much Madonna won by."

Monday
Aug152016

Beauty vs Beast: Who's Those Girls

Jason from MNPP here, letting you know for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" that sometimes, at night times, I close and lock the door so no one else can see and... I dance! I dance all by myself! And tomorrow we will all dance (for inspiration) because tomorrow Madonna, the one and only, is turning 58. So now is not the time to haggle over her acting skills - let's just accept the fact that the world would be a less fun place if the she-lady of white lace gloves had never stomped into it, and look at what is probably her best (fictional) turn on-screen, in 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan.

I had never seen this movie until earlier this year when our estimable host Nathaniel dragged me to it at a screening at the Metrograph here in NYC, can you believe that? Speaking of, Metrograph is doing an entire retrospective of the Material Girl's movies later this month, including showing Susan once again, and I highly recommend catching it on a big screen - it's like being dropped into the fanciful 80s East Village of magicians and thrift shops of your dreams. The entire cast is stuffed with about-to-be-somebodies like Aidan Quinn (humina humina) and Laurie Metcalf, and the leading goofball two-some of Rosanna Arquette & Madonna are a true pop delight.

PREVIOUSLY Even though it was his birthday, and even though he's a certifiable acting legend, poor Dustin Hoffman didn't stand a chance -- we'd all long ago been seduced away by Anne Bancroft's smoky eyes and smokier delivery as the iconic older woman in The Graduate; Mrs. Robinson took just under 80% of your vote. Said Tom:

"As soon as Mrs Robinson wondered into his bedroom "mistakenly" looking for the bathroom, I knew this was a performance for the ages."

Monday
Aug082016

Beauty vs Beast: Koo Koo Ka Choose

Howdy and Happy Monday it's Jason from MNPP here on this, the day that the great Dustin Hoffman is turning 79 years old. How do you think he now views the concerns of his most famous character Benjamin Braddock of The Graduate, from the opposite vantage point of age? Of course he's much older now than Anne Bancroft was as Mrs. Robinson (now that I think about it I'm actually right around Mrs. Robinson's age myself! Weird!) so he probably looks back at Ben with tired eyes at this point. Heck I do myself, although I don't know if I entirely sympathize with Mrs. Robinson's self-destructive behavior either. But where do you stand? That's right it's time for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" ...

PREVIOUSLY We are smearing our sad clown make-up off this morning and waving an over-sized glove goodbye to International Clown Week - last week's competition of clown couples in Short Cuts fell on the "Julianne Moore & Matthew Modine" side, probably because of the film's still infamous full-frontal fight scene - said Mark, speaking truth to privates:

"The genius of Moore is you watch her face in this instead of her special lady place."

Monday
Aug012016

Beauty vs Beast: Send in the You-Know-Whats

Howdy folks it's Jason from MNPP here wishing everybody a candy-colored start to a candy-colored week - that's right, today marks the first day of International Clown Week, held every year right at the start of August, aka the best time to make that make-up run right off your face and give you the time honored "Creepy Clown Effect." But while (in a weird but total coincidence) I may have just started re-reading Stephen King's It this week I'm not going to make you think about Scary Clowns today - oh I know for some of you there is no other kind, but I'm going to try to temper that with Auterism because...

... hey remember that scene in Robert Altman's 1993 masterpiece Short Cuts where Claire (Anne Archer), a professional clown, and her husband Stuart (Fred Ward) get blasted at dinner with new friends Marion (Julianne Moore) and Ralph (Matthew Modine), and instead of the partner-swapping you expect to happen they all just put on clown make-up and dance around instead? I sure do. It's one of the many right turns the film takes when you've braced yourself for a left. So let's face off these two couples for "Beauty vs Beast" this week...

If you need a refresher both couples are in the middle of personal crises -- Marion & Ralph (Moore & Modine) are the couple who have the long fight about her cheating whilst Juli proves she's a natural redhead, while Stuart has just told Claire (Ward & Archer) that he and his fishing buddies fished around a corpse all weekend long. In the grand tradition of Altman-esque character studies, they're all a bit beastly.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we ventured to Mortville with John Waters and his muses for a look at one of his most underappreciated efforts, Desperate Living (and the poll showed just how underappreciated the film remains, with one of our tiniest voting totals ever) - it was Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey) who was carried by her loyal litter of man-servants to the victory, taking 55% of the vote. Said Ken S:

"I'll teach you to arouse royalty! - Team Carlotta all the way!"