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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (206)

Monday
Nov022015

Beauty vs Beast: Spy Fall

Double-Oh Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- overseas the latest James Bond adventure (you know, the little thing called Spectre) is already doing bang-up business, breaking records left right and center; we'll see how it does here in the US this weekend but I think The Martian is probably about to end its month-long streak at the top of the box office.

So have you seen the film yet? I'm seeing it tonight and I have to admit I'm going into this one less enthuastically than I have previous ones (mind you I haven't read any reviews) and I don't think it's only the fact that there aren't any shots of Daniel Craig in a bathing suit in the promotional materials. Perhaps it's Craig own clear weariness with the character? Maybe it's the obvious Christoph Waltz casting? Maybe it only seems possible to come downward from the high heights of Skyfall? Well fingers crossed I'm off the mark, and speaking of Skyfall...

PREVIOUSLY I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! I had a lovely one this year and I'm still nursing the happy hum of a tummy-ache from all the leftover candy I scarfed. We celebrated here at TFE last week with a Frankenstein-Off, and y'all proved there's nothing stiffer, competition-wise, than a great big electric-fried beehive as the Bride stormed off with 72% of your vote. Said Tom:

"Voting for the Bride. The fact that Lancaster was able to create a lasting impression of movie goers with a fraction of the screentime that Korloff had, says it all."

 

Monday
Oct262015

Beauty vs Beast: Frankenstein's Rib

Happy All Hallows Week, everybody! Jason from MNPP here - you know how demons on Buffy the Vampire Slayer would always take Halloween off because of what a cliche it seemed to be, attacking that night? I've found myself battling the same kind of fatigue this season - I haven't got the spirit, I tells ya! I'm having to work hard at it - last night I actually carved a pumpkin while watching The Nightmare Before Christmas (which is the horror fan equivalent of Mrs. Claus taking a peppermint bath while making the Elves sing her carols from the foot of the tub) but it still didn't take. Maybe seeing Vincent Price's daughter at a screening The Abominable Dr. Phibes (my fave VP flick!) tonight will help? If that can't nothing will, I fear! Well here, another stab at it -- this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" is going all classic Universal Monster on ya...

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks ago we primed ourselves for Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak (which I adored and which I will forgive you all for not going to see if you go this week for Halloween) with his film Pan's Labyrinth, facing off sweet little Ofelia and her Fascist Step-Dad Vidal -- y'all a buncha softies; Ofelia took it home with 3/4s of the vote. RobMiles makes the best case for her, especially the last point:

"I think the point of Ofelia eating the grape is that as well as not having had supper, she doesn't always do what she's told, which also happens at the end of the film, when she doesn't let the Faun hurt her baby brother. That is linked to the Doctor in reality, who doesn't obey Captain Vidal and euthanizes the captured soldier instead of keeping him alive for more torture.

Plus without her eating the grape, we wouldn't have had one of the most thrilling scenes in any film I've seen, when the Pale Man awakes and chases Ofelia. I was literally gasping for breath when I first saw it."

Monday
Oct122015

Beauty vs Beast: A Better Pan

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast," pitting another dastardly villain against a doe-eyed do-gooder and asking you to choose. We've been anticipating Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak for so very long that it feels crazy it's finally out this week; we're not alone - lean out your window and you can surely hear the Hiddleston fans squealing in the streets. So let's look back at Guillermo's last non-giant-robot non-comic-book-demon based entertainment, the roundly admired if not downright adored Pan's Labyrinth. Can you believe that film is over nine years old? Take a look at a picture of actress Ivana Baquero these days if you don't believe me. Speaking of...

PREVIOUSLY Last week was All About Winslet (not that every week isn't all about Winslet really) with her 40th birthday and the release of Steve Jobs (did you guys see it this weekend? Wasn't it awesome?), and so we faced her off with her foremost collaborator, Leo the second time around in Revolutionary Road. Y'all went with Kate, because of course you did, she's Kate. Said Bryan:

"I love both of them in this movie, but the close up of Kate smoking at the table after Michael Shannon's blow-up is actorly perfection. Maybe the most severe and intense she's ever been. I also love how she threatens to scream if he says another word... I wish more casting directors would take note of her ability at playing unpredictability / mental illness."

Monday
Oct052015

Beauty vs Beast: Marriage Among the Ruins

Jason here, taking a little break between New York Film Festival screenings to give you this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this past weekend Danny Boyle's film Steve Jobs screened at NYFF to sold-out crowds and from what I gathered very good notices (stay tuned for TFE's take soon; I took that picture to the left myself at the press conference), and I heard that on Saturday night Danny Boyle led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" to birthday girl, beloved actress, Oscar winner, and icon Kate Winslet.

Kate turns 40 today! We have been worshipping Kate ever since she helped bash in her girlfriend's mother's head with a brick in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, and we've never wavered... well okay we had no idea what anybody was thinking with Labor Day either, but other than that, not ever. Here on her 40th birthday let's give love to one of her best recent performances, one that just happened to coincide with a reunion with the Bogie to her Bacall, Leonardo DiCaprio, who was doing very fine work right across from her.

PREVIOUSLY Last week in anticipation of Ridley Scott's The Martian's looming box office boom we faced off our favorite pair of Red Planet invaders -- well it was Tim Burton's little green men that zapped their way into our hearts, to the tune of nearly 80% of your vote. Sorry Tripods, better luck next invasion. Said Denny:

"ACKACKACKACKLOLOLOLOL The martians from Mars Attacks win for their Frankenstein-ian experiments ALONE. "

Monday
Sep282015

Beauty vs Beast: Fourth Rock From the Sun

Hi there everybody, Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast," wherein we ask you to choose your poison -- good against bad, hero versus villain. Well... except this week. We're using the occasion of Ridley Scott's film The Martian, which is out in theaters on Friday, to take a look back at two of my favorite movie visitors from Mars...

And as it turns out they're all positively wicked, the lot of 'em. Whatcha gonna do? Man and movie-kind's been almost always terrified of that red dot in the sky since time immemorial. So I guess think of this week's question this way -- who do you think you'd stand a better chance against? The Tripods from War of the Worlds (you're fine with either version) or the Martians from Tim Burton's Mars Attacks? And tell us why in the comments...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wandered dreamily around a Tokyo hotel with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation - but who'd we end up bringing back to our room? By the narrowest of margins (less than 2%) it was Bill we wanted whispering in our ears. Said STinG:

"I feel like when a movie that is semi-autobiographical to Sofia Coppola still intellectually favors the Bill Murray character for his unspoken existential pains than her still interesting surrogate in Charlotte. Well, it's no contest for me. Bobs all the way!"

Monday
Sep212015

Beauty vs Beast: Happy 65, Bill Murray

Jason from MNPP here nursing a slight Emmys hangover - my headache might be real but for once it's not from the terrible choices the Television Academy made; I for one was happy (or at least passably fine) with a lot of their picks! I mean yes Lisa Kudrow gave the best performance on television last year bar none so watching her go home empty-handed stung, but I can't really feel all that bad seeing one of the other best comediennes of all time get a little over-rewarded either.

But the brightest spot was all the love for my second-favorite 2014 Television Event (after The Comeback), the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, which snatched up six worthy trophies... including one for birthday boy Bill Murray (typically a no-show at the ceremony), who's turning 65 today!

And this was totally the long way around but that brings me to this week's "Beauty vs Beast" which I'm devoting to his best performance (says me) in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, even though it doesn't entirely make sense for this series -- him & Scarlett are more of a duo that you're rooting for the whole time than much in the way of antagonists. But I'm gonna make you choose anyway because I love this movie more than silly logic.

PREVIOUSLY We headed to Bodega Bay last week where two gals pined for one hunky Momma's Boy amid a rain of seagulls from the sky - but unlike Mitch we tossed the Hitchcock Blonde right into that bay and went with doomed schoolteacher Annie (Suzanne Pleshette) instead. Said brookesboy:

"Pleshette plays my favorite character in this film. With everyone else teetering on the edge of hysteria, she conveys a calm, measured presence that is a consequence of a crushing sadness. Almost as if not even a force of nature--a flurry of birds--can lift away."