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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (163)

Monday
Dec082014

Beauty vs Beast: All The Cool Girls

Jason from MNPP here, saying tis the time for a round of "Beauty vs Beast" once more. This week we're finally tackling one of this year's biggest movies, David Fincher's Gone Girl - financially it's the biggest hit of its director's career, and critically, well a lot of people loved it and are hoping to see it figure prominently in the upcoming awards races. (I am not one of those people; I reviewed it at NYFF saying "a lot of what makes Amy into 'Amazing Amy,' what makes her particularly spectacular on the page, is the deeply darkly funny specificity of her voice, unpeeling like an onion, and that falls away from the movie just when I needed it most.") Anyway there's a good chance Rosamund Pike will be nominated for her performance as Amazing Amy, and it'll probably show up in some other categories as well. And if there's a bigger He Said She Said movie of 2014 I certainly missed it, so let's see who we side with!

 

I might have gone a little vague there in the Cons maybe...? The Pros were easy to be spoiler-free on, but listing these two's Cons without giving away too much of the game, that defeated me. If y'all have seen the movie you've certainly got your own laundry list of them, so tell us all about it in the comments.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we tackled the sisters of Blue Jasmine for Woody Allen's birthday, and even though Sally put up a helluva fight, as with the Oscars we couldn't help ourselves from lavishing our love on the showier gal. The Great Cate makes one more successful trek to the podium! Said Jakey:

"Jasmine, because when my life falls apart, I also wonder why I can't just get a Stoli with lemon."

Monday
Dec012014

Beauty vs Beast: Woody and His Sisters

Jason from MNPP here wishing a happy Monday afternoon to everybody -- tis the time for our weekly fix of "Beauty vs Beast." Today's the 79th birthday of Woody Allen so I figured we'd dive into his back-catalog of rich characters for today's face-off, but where should we head? Villains in his films aren't easy to come by - I considered ScarJo vs Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Match Point but I haven't seen that film in too long; I briefly wandered towards the marital-bloodbath of Husbands and Wives but, well, let's leave Woody versus Mia off the table for the time being. No, it's his most recent success (I don't think anybody can consider Magic in the Moonlight a success) that I think gives us a good cloudy bout of good versus not-so-good to tango with.

 

Both ladies were Oscar nominated but only one stormed away with the gold - you've got seven days to decide who gets your personal gold star.

PREVIOUSLY True story: After dinner this weekend my boyfriend wandered into a strange bar to grab a beer and it turned out to be a scary hole in the wall and we each got to trot out our "What a dump" impersonations; it was awesome. So it would seem that like the rest of you, our big drunken hearts belong to Team Martha. Said Rick:

"Oh, hell...Martha seems like she's having way more fun than anyone else!"

Monday
Nov242014

Beauty vs Beast: Guests Gotten, Hosts Humped

Howdy folks, it's Jason from MNPP here with a brand new round of "Beauty Vs Beast" and a brand new chance to pit the sorta-good against the sorta-bad, or the sorta in-between, and for us to choose our side with due diligence (at least with enough enough energy to click one way or the opposite). It was a slow creep realization when Mike Nichols died last week, what we'd lost - I'm not a Broadway person and as of late that's what I'd associated him with, so it was only once I started skimming back through his filmography, and once I read wonderful tributes like Nat's here, that my brain clicked into place that "Why yes, Jason, you've loved and been affected by a ton of this man's work for your entire life, duh." And so I've found myself going back and re-watching things I hadn't seen in many years - Working Girl (Sigourney MVP!) and Silkwood (probably my favorite Nichols film) and then today's piping hot dish of husband-wife combat for the ages...

 

 

If you're here in the US you'll probably spend sometime this week giving thanks to the turkey and stuffing for all the good stuff in your life, and I wouldn't blame anybody who placed these two performances on their Good Stuff Lists. Personally I'm Team George because 1) I've never been much of a Burton fan but I think he's phenomonal in this movie, and 2) I see way too much of myself in Martha, and that's the sort of thing you reflexively snap your eyes away from. You have one week to vote!

PREVIOUSLY Checking back in on the gorgeous ladies of 1870s society, last week's Age-of-Innocence Off ultimately sided with the poor unfortunate soul Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfieffer) over wily Winona's little Miss May; we do love a wounded bird. Said Murtada:

"Countess Olenska was way ahead of her time, a pioneer against vicious social mores. And she endured a false life despite getting a glimpse of a real one. Hasn't she suffered enough? She gets my vote."

Monday
Nov172014

Beauty vs Beast: I'm Not That Innocence

Howdy folks, Jason from MNPP here with Monday's weekly dose of "Beauty vs Beast" -- you might be forgiven for having mistaken this series for an episode of G.L.O.W. as of late (please tell me that some of y'all are my age and know and love that reference) - it seems like it's been a lot of lady match-ups, I mean. So when I saw that today is Martin Scorsese's 72nd birthday, at first I was all, "Finally I can inject some testosterone in here! Pesci! De Niro! Guns and phalluses and junk!"

But then I looked at Marty's filmography I saw the first thing I always regrettably see these days - namely his last movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. And I haaaaaaated WoWS. And my stomach tumbled. And so in my indignation I turned against the testoterone, and where did that leave me? Lady fight!

 

I know aksing The Film Experience community to even consider a vote against Michelle Pfeiffer is akin to blasphemy, but know this: my vote is for May, May all the way, May got her man and didn't slink away without a fight. All the prime years of Daniel Day-Lewis were hers; nyah nyah nyah Countess Loser.

PREVIOUSLY And speaking of hauling ass to the ladies, last week we trained our eyes on the cutthroat world of high school girls, which also involves a lot of whispers in hallways and note-passing - in the battle for the Queen of Clueless, it's Cher Horowitz who gets the seat at the center of the lunch table. Said Ben:

"Have to go with Cher, due to our shared love of Beavis & Butthead and Snickers. And can you believe they still haven't put R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty? As if!"

Monday
Nov102014

Beauty vs Beast: Two Total Bettys

JA from MNPP here, surfing the crimson wave to today's round of "Beauty vs Beast" - today would've been the 37th birthday of Brittany Murphy, you guys. And since we can hardly let that terrible Lifetime movie be the absolute and final word on her legacy (I watched about fifteen minute of that thing and I was all, "As if!") let's step our memories back to happier times, when the skirts were short and the socks were knee-high...

 

It's maybe a stretch to call Tai the villain of Clueless, but she is the antagonist that shakes up Cher's insulated world, so just go with me. And it's not like anybody would vote for Cher's actual nemesis, Designer Imposter Perfume Amber.

You have seven days to negotiate your final grades in the comments!

PREVIOUSLY In celebration of Interstellar's release (here in retrospect I kind of wish I'd waited until I saw the interminable movie first - ugh) we gave last week's competition over to Christopher Nolan's most memorable battle of the comic-book titans, and y'all voted chaos to reign - Heath Ledger's Joker strutted away in a blow-out with over 80% of the vote. Said Daniel Armour:

"If were just talking about The Dark Knight then the Joker. I loved Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman overall but TDK didn't give him as much to do as the other films. Also, Ledger was excellent as The Joker and truly deserved the acclaim - and awards - he got for the film."

Monday
Nov032014

Beauty vs Beast: Chris Nolan's Anti Heroics

JA from MNPP here with this week's latest "Beauty Vs Beast" tourno, wherein we ask you to choose between a good guy and a bay guy (half of those words should have meaningful quotation marks around them -- good, bad, what does it all mean???) from the halls of movie-dom and explain why you're on this or that team. This week Chris Nolan's got a new picture coming out so I figured we'd hit up one of his flicks; I contemplated a couple of other choices (DiCaprio versus Cotillard? Pearce versus Pantoliano?) but it just comes down to one in the end, doesn't it?

Going back to The Dark Knight does have a couple of knocks against it for this series - Nathaniel was just bemoaning the internet's blanket-coverage of superhero movies a few days ago, for goodness sake, and also we've already done a showdown between a Batman & Joker when we looked at Tim Burton's 1989 flick back in June. But but... but, ya know? If I'd gone with Bale vs Hardy, it just would've felt like a chance missed - the shadow of Heath Ledger's performance towers too great. So we gotta go with...

 

As always you have seven days to clear your throats and make yourselves heard - are we with the compromised brooder or the gleeful maniac - in the comments, so have at it. Die a hero or live long enough to become the villain, y'all.

PREVIOUSLY We finished up our four weeks of October "Final Girl" series with John Carpenter's Halloween and sure enough the girl smart enough to turn a wire-hanger into a weapon won our hearts once again. Said brookesboy of Laurie Strode, ultimate final girl:

"Gotta go with Laurie. Thanks to the virtuous precedent she set, all teen heroines with virginal fortitude who came after were spared the slasher's wrath. Their resistance of carnal pleasure guaranteed their safety, at least until the sequel. Thanks, Laurie. I'm sure the knee socks helped."