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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (180)

Monday
Apr062015

Beauty vs Beast: Wet Hot American Rudd

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- you know who's been in love with Paul Rudd for twenty years? This guy's been in love with Paul Rudd for twenty years. Almost exactly - Clueless came out in July of 1995 and I think it's safe to say that 95% of everyone who saw Clueless in theaters fell in love with Paul Rudd that summer twenty summers ago. Well today is Paul's 46th birthday and here on the verge of what's probably his biggest role ever (a literally little superhero movie called Ant-Man) it seems a good time to look back...

... to something small, super small, that changed the course of his career. Even though Wet Hot American Summer wasn't a hit when it came out in 2001 I can still remember it being a topic of conversation, how everybody was a bit surprised at how funny Rudd was in it. He'd done light romantic comedies a la Clueless before but his work in WHAS was diffrent - raunchy, and going-for-broke. And as the Apatow School of Comedy took over the decade, Rudd slipped himself right into the zeitgeist.

As for Wet Hot it was a cult movie pretty much immediately - I've certainly been banging the drum for it from my microscopic corner of the internet for a good long while now, and that dedication's been rewarded with Netflix's upcoming Wet Hot series, which will premiere on the streaming service on July 17th (aka two days before the 20th anniversary of Clueless. Weird right?)

As for this week's "Beauty vs Beast," I'm focusing in on a single scene in the 2001 film (one I've probably re-enacted to my boyfriend's chagrin far too many times when I'm asked to pick up some mess I've made) in order to face off two of my favorite characters in the movie - in the left-hand corner we've got Andy (Rudd), the Camp's bad boy, and in the right-hand we've got Beth (Janeane Garofalo) the responsible-ish Camp Director.

Whose team are you on?

PREVIOUSLY As Nathaniel noted in Friday's edition of April Showers last week was ALL about Mommie Dearest, and this contest was no different - and it wasn't Mommie's first time at the rodeo, and it showed. at 80% Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) trounced the competition like... well like those rosh buses, and that talcum powder, and Christina herself. Although it was par who made the most sense:

"Team Christopher! [mostly for having the sense to stay out of this mess until the end]"

Monday
Mar302015

Beauty vs Beast: Mommie Knows Best

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast," which could be considered a preview of coming attractions (random aside: I can only hear that phrase in Grace Kelly's voice) -- this week's episode of TFE's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series on Wednesday is devoted to the camp masterpiece Mommie Dearest, and so are we. I can't help myself. It's perfect for this series too, and somehow we've never asked the question. In one corner you've got Christina Crawford (played by Mara Hobel as a little girl and Diana Scarwid as a not-so-little girl), adopted daughter and axe-bringer. In the other corner you've got legendary movie star and crazy person Joan Crawford, played by legendary movie star (and perhaps also a crazy person - I have heard stories!) Faye Dunaway, giving a great, dedicated performance - I won't hear a word about her being "bad" in this movie. Not a word of it! On the one hand I'll grant you that it's awfully hard not to side with an abused child... but on the other hand, come on! Who are you watching this movie for???

Whose team are you on?
Team Christina0%
Team Joan0%

PREVIOUSLY Last week we climbed inside the brains of Charlie Kaufman & Spike Jonze and oh yeah Catherine Keener for her birthday with a Being John Malkovich round, pitting Keener's caustic Maxine against Cameron Diaz's desperate Lotte - ultimately it was Cathy's brilliantly sleek sarcasm that won the day with just over 60% of the vote. Said Mr. Goodbar:

"Team Maxine. She is cut of the same cloth as Linda Fiorentino's from The Last Seduction: a misanthrope with irresistible charm and wit, except she finds love and changes whereas Fiorentino just stays on course to become a psychopath."

Monday
Mar232015

Beauty vs Beast: Beauty & (Malkovich) Brains

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- I wish that we could use this column every week to celebrate actresses on their birthdays, but it doesn't always work out that way time-wise unfortunately... this makes two weeks in a row though. Last week was La Huppert, and this week no less than the great Catherine Keener is celebrating her birthday! Keener's turning 56 today and so we celebrate with her, looking back at maybe our favorite performance of hers (although that's a tough choice) - Maxine in Spike Jonze's and Charlie Kaufman's brilliant existential-comedy Being John Malkovich (1999).

Maxine is in many ways the nasty yin to John Cusack's sad-sack yang... but nobody's rooting for Craig. That would make this question too easy. Craig's wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) though... the battle for Malkovich Malkovich is in your hands!

Whose team are you on?
Team Lotte0%
Team Maxine0%

PREVIOUSLY As mentioned up top we were all about Huppert last week - specifically her performance in Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher (in a stroke of random continuity today is Michael Haneke's birthday! Happy birthday Mikey boy!) against that of the pretty boy played by Benoit Magimel - Pretty Boy put up a good fight all things considered but when your competition's willing to fill people's pockets with glass to win, it's not really a fair fight. Said Nathaniel:

"...the only way Walter is going to win this is if you post nude photos of Benoit Magimel with it and confuse people as to what they're voting on. That said I voted for Walter because Erika is so fucking depraved. and not in the good way. That ending!"

Monday
Mar162015

Beauty vs Beast: Making Beastly Music Together

Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast," wherein we ask you to pick a side either side in one of cinema's many morality plays. It's the birthday of one of our greatest living actresses - Isabelle Huppert is turning 62 today! And talk about still going strong. She's pounding out some of her most exciting and dangerous-as-ever work ever these days; last year's Abuse of Weakness from Catherine Breillat made me weak in the knees. And the project she's in the middle of filming right now, a rape-revenge thriller from Danish provocateur Paul Verhoeven... well even just writing those words in that sequence makes me break out in a hot sweat of expectations.

So today in her honor we look back at perhaps her greatest achievement to date, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher. Which - usefully for this exercise - is also giving us one of the hardest-to-root-for lead characters ever put on screen. Not that Benoit Magimel's aggresively manicured Walter is anybody's idea of a saint... Haneke's not going to make this easy for anybody. (Understatement of the century.)

Whose team are you on?
Team Walter0%
Team Erika0%

PREVIOUSLY We made like Buffy for her 18th anniversary and got our vampire boyfriends on - but who slayed? It was the peroxide punk who saved the day - Spike too about 53% of the vote in what was unsurprisingly a close battle. It's been raging for eighteen years, after all! Said JS:

"Spike still takes every and all cakes."

Monday
Mar092015

Beauty vs Beast: Vamp Thru The Heart

It's Monday which means it's time for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" - Jason from MNPP here again to talk us in. Did you know that tomorrow is the 18th anniversary of Joss Whedon's television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer's premiere on the WB? I'd say Buffy's old enough to graduate from High School but we all know what happened the first time around (SNAKES) so let's not. Coincidentally over the weekend Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar was asked what she thought about revisiting the character, what with all these series (The X-Files, Twin Peaks) of yore getting brought back - she doesn't seem terribly keen on the idea, sadly. Anyway I don't know if anybody noticed but Joss is kind of busy right now.

But we can look back! So look back we shall. I've already used "Buffy vs Faith" for this series before so let's turn our eyes unto the main menfolk of the show - yup, I speak of Buffy's undead amours Angel (David Boreanez) and Spike (James Marsters). Put on your shipper hats and go!

Whose team are you on?
Team Spike0%
Team Angel0%

As usual you've got just one week to vote, so dust off your pointy things and prepare to make some hard choices. 

PREVIOUSLY Last week we were All About Eve... actually make that all about Margo, since it was Bette Davis who took the wheel and drove right over Anne Baxter (talk about a bumpy ride) taking a whopping 86% of the vote. Bette will not be denied. Said Akash:

"All About Eve is an ensemble that ends up feeling like a one woman show. THAT'S how powerful Bette Davis is is in every gesture, quip and sashay. One of the greatest performances in American film history and it's unbelievable that one of her Oscars wasn't for this iconic role."

Monday
Mar022015

Beauty vs Beast: All About Actresses

Howdy folks it's Jason from MNPP here with this week's round of "Beauty vs Beast," wherein we ask you to take sides between infamous cinematic tête-à-têtes... if you've got a seatbelt I'm suggesting right here outta the gate that you might wanna fasten it because, as the saying goes, bumps ho. Yup, it's All About Eve time. I don't really have an excuse for choosing All About Eve this week - the film does turn 65 this year but that's not until October. Bette Davis' birthday is in April. Anne Baxter's birthday is in May. The 106th anniversary of writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's birth was three weeks ago, we could pretend it's an overdue hurrah for that? Sure. A belated good job on this movie, Joe! Really though any time is a good time for All About Eve. To paraphrase a certain somebody, All About Eve looked great sixty-five years ago and it'll look great twenty years from now. I hate men.

Whose team are you on?
Team Margo
Team Eve
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