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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Ben Affleck (21)

Saturday
Apr192014

YNMS²: Foxcatcher & Gone Girl

Unless you count the LEGO Movie's probable Best Animated Feature bid and the Sundance bow of Love is Strange (I'm still hopeful - it's playing Tribeca right now) 2014 hasn't seen much in the way of Oscar contenders just yet. Recent trailers are changing the collective shrug to raised eyebrows - between The Homesman (previously discussed), Jersey Boys (if you're feeling very generous), the Cannes lineup announcement and these two trailers from past nominated directors Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) and David Fincher (Gone Girl) the body is ready for the first wave of Oscar predictions. We'll manage them before April wraps.

Both of these trailers have been around for a bit and both blissfully play more like teasers despite their length; the job of a trailer is to sell a future ticket, not to make you feel like you've already seen it so you don't need one.  Foxcatcher's traiser was actually released last year and then swiftly pulled before we could get to it but it recently resurfaced and Gone Girl has been kicking around for a week but I've heard your plea to discuss so a couple of quick notes follow

GONE GIRL

Yes. What's not to love really? Remarkable use of music and uncomfortable juxtapositions in the montage. Plus, Rosamund Pike's gorgeousity turning to the camera just in time for the vocals of "She" is just a marvelous 'we're-making-a-star here' relief given that her career, though healthy, deserves more fame and a richer choice of scripts. That final shot of her in the water is so disturbing. (Yikes). And though they aren't prominently featured in this trailer the supporting cast is really good with a lot of underused faces like Sela Ward and Missi Pyle. 

No. I got nothing though I guess I hope Fincher takes a break from crime thrillers soon and that greenish color palette which was fun for a couple of films but three in a row. It's approaching Eastwood's inky black and Soderbergh's yellow as a default rather than an artistic choice.

Maybe So. Casting Ben Affleck as your leading man has to be considered kind of risky, right? Aristically speaking. He's not the terrible actor some say he is but neither has he ever proven himself a great one. 

FOX CATCHER

Yes. Another minimalist peak at a crime drama, this one being a horrible and super weird true story. It has a very good chance of being riveting given the cast, the story and the writer/director (Bennett Miller of Capote and Moneyball fame). The "A coach is..." speech here is beautifully judged as a teaser framing device, especially with that pathetic shuffle into the gym with the pistol out. Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum seem like a pretty great trio to hang a movie on. And did I just spot Vanessa Redgrave?!? ( "Yes, please" times so so so many.)

Also Yes. Channing Tatum in a singlet

No. I dread any potential "sweepers" in any of the acting categories -- just on principle because there are ALWAYS more than four great performances in a film year -- so though I've long thought Steve Carell was an Oscar calibre actor (I nominated him right here for Little Miss Sunshine) I don't relish seeing him win everything because he went the prosthetic and vocal affectation route. He looks good in the trailer, don't get me wrong. I just know that no matter how brilliant he is, he'll be wildly overpraised merely because of this and the meat of the role. 

Maybe So. I suppose the ultra specific details of this tale might not help it with accessibility for the masses, or even to feel potent thematically. But we'll worry about that later if it happens.

 

Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So ?
And does the strength of your answer coincide with your faith in their Oscar play? 

 

Saturday
Jan252014

We Can't Wait #12: Gone Girl

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Deborah Lipp on Gone Girl.]

Gone Girl

Loosely based on Gillian Flynn's best selling noverl of the same name, the film tells the story of a woman who mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary.
 

 

Talent
Directed by a modern master of American thrillers, David Fincher, and starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Patrick Fugit.

 

Why We Can't Wait

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug232013

Link Spot

Cinderoncé The complete Cinderella story set to Beyoncé music because of course
LA Times on the 20 year road to get Dallas Buyers Club made.
Pajiba on the "Fred"'s aka Lucas Cruikshank's adorable coming out
Crikey a review of Pain & Gain that actually makes me want to see the first movie. The last paragraph is blurb heaven and should be quoted on every poster
/Film Reality Bites, one of my personal definitive movies of the 90s, is going to TV series. I'm not against this in concept except that Winona Ryder is unimproveable as Leilana so you're starting from behind, you know? I've long thought it was her (arguably) her greatest performance in a career full of memorable ones.

MNPP suggests a movie for Domnhall Gleeson and David Wenham. Someone Kickstarter Ginger Heat please!
Cinema Blend whoa, I thought Tony Jaa (of Thai action Ong Bak film fame) was long gone from cinema but he's been added to the Fast and Furious 7 cast
Boy Culture pitch-shifting Madonna's vocals on MDNA. These lower versions sound so much better which leads you to wonder what was with all the up-shifting (p.s. I love the album as is, unlike most) 
Salon on why you should watch Project Runway again 
In Contention has a Venice Film Festival preview
Gawker defends Ben Affleck's casting as Batman by way of Heath Ledger's equally (at first) controversial casting as The Joker. Forgets to also notice that Heath Ledger was always an awesome actor before The Joker but yes, people do go on about casting notices for superhero films. 

Marion. I added the Damn Spot*Speaking of... ZOMG
I forgot to mention what you've already finished talking about. That Marion Cotillard replaced Natalie Portman in the upcoming Macbeth film. The one with Fassy as Macbeth. Yay, upgrade! I like Natalie more than Marion (historically speaking) but that part was such a weird fit for the ballerina.

*Lady Macbeth, and the Complete Character Gallery of Tennesse Williams plays are my equivalents to superheroes when it comes to casting notices. I'd definitely prefer a new Lady Macbeth or a new Maggie the Cat reboot every 5 years to a new Batman or Spider-Man origin story every 5, wouldn't you?

Friday
Aug232013

The Best Tweets About Ben Affleck As Superman

Last night on Twitter when the news broke that Ben Affleck was cast as Batman for the inevitable Batman vs. Superman movie, Ben Affleck and the internet reenacted that scene from The Dark Knight Rises where Batman "dies" in a nuclear explosion over Gotham. Here were my favorite tweets from that "event"... 

 

 

On a more serious note, I don't get why they need a Star when Batman is the draw. Superman movies understand this and this is a Superman movie (sort of... being the Man of Steel sequel that's become a Batman vs. Superman thing in the latest example of Hollywood's fandering.) It's just setting fire to your production budget is all. It buys you one day of notoriety on the internet for heaps of millions but ticket sales will be there regardless. 

And, finally, the perfect rude 'hair of the dog' cure this morning to get this out of your system once and for all...

 

 

p.s. why aren't you following me on twitter? do it!
p.p.s. and while we're social media'ing - like us on facebook 

Thursday
Jul112013

Gone Girl Got Ben

JA from MNPP here with some hot-off-the-presses movie news - multiple Oscar winner Ben Affleck (I trust I'm not alone in gagging a little at that phrase) has just signed on to play the lead (of sorts) in David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's hit novel Gone Girl
.
You can't really even talk about the novel without diving into spoilers for it, so I'm not going to even try. You can read that elsewhere. I'll just say I found the book to be an engrossing page-turner when I read it last year, and if you haven't read it yet it's perfect Summer reading - not so demanding you'll feel guilty getting sand in the creases, but you won't want to stay in the water too long and so you won't get sunburned because you'll want to get back to it.
.
That said I'm not a fan of Affleck the actor - I thought he was absolutely terrible in Argo, enough to keep what I found to otherwise be a solid entertainment well off my favorite movies of last year list. And so I'm pretty bummed that Fincher's choosing to work with him, but I suppose bankability wins out.
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Any fans of the book? What do we think of Affleck for Nick? And who would you cast in the, ahem, other roles?
.
Thursday
May092013

I Link You and Link You and Link You

You Should Be in Sweden attends the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA. It ends in June so go see it!
JazzT here's another enticing image from the exhibit. Oh Nicole. Any mask you'd like me to wear is fine
Pitchfork Another new David Bowie video starring an Oscar winning actress. Marion Cotillard instead of Tilda this time 
Mother Jones a 17 year old coder invents a program to block spoilers on Twitter
NY Post Producer Scott Rudin lashes back at NYT critic. These stories always embarrass me for the showbiz people - (remember when James Cameron wanted someone fired for the thumbs down on Titanic?). Being criticized is just part of show business. You always look silly when you freak out about it. It's an honor to be so well employed / watched that you are even susceptible to bad reviews, don'cha think? 

Empire Dominic Cooper joins the cast of the new Dracula starring MNPP's favorite punching bag lust object Noted Homosexual Luke Evans. I'd be excited for this since I like looking at both of them but I'm so worn out on vampires. Which I never thought I'd say but here we are post the Aughts when vampires are more ubiquitous than they've ever been as if they're still trying to wrestle back the Ubiquity Crown from the hordes of brain-dead zombies who don't even know that they won some pop culture battle.
Electric has an infographic comparing The Great Gatsby to the wealth of the stars of the movie
Pajiba on Netflix's current strengths and weaknesses as it attempts to become both a distribution platform and a content creator 
Observations on Film Art Kristin wonders whether or not studios understand the power of fanbases and direct access to filmmakers they can get via Twitter and set visits and the like
In Contention Ben Affleck's follow up to Argo doesn't betray any steroided auteurly confidence. It's just another Denis Lehane adaptation of the novel "Live By Night". It's almost like something he woulda signed on for before Argo.
MNPP Today's mood via Barbara Stanwyck and Clark Gable 

Oh and Also... James McAvoy on the set of X-Men Days of Future Past via Bryan Singer's active picture-snapping Twitter account. He tweeted this one with a Pacino-style "Serpico!" descriptor. When last we left the X-Men they were in the swinging sixties and Professor X had just been paralyzed and hate yet to go bald. Here we are in the seventies I suppose though it's probably not worth getting hung up on time periods since Days of Future Past (one of the great X-men arcs) is all about messing with them.

 

 

P.S.
And if you still can't get enough of our "Greatest Best Actress Losers" poll, check it out: Tim, Michael and Glenn shared their individual ballots on their fine blogs Antagony & Ecstasy, Serious Film and Stale Popcorn.

Saturday
Mar022013

Reader's Choice Factoids & Acting Oscar Trivia

I thought I was done posting about the 85th Academy Awards but here's one last takeaway post. See I realized we hadn't yet discussed YOUR votes and it is Reader Appreciation Month now (more to come). Plus one Best Actress Supremacy battle I think you'll like to ponder! 

Reader's Choice Stats Takeaway
Biggest Landslide: Anne Hathaway (Supporting Actress for Les Misérables) was the only Oscar winner to nab more than 50% of reader votes here. Though she was obviously the most polarizing actor, male or female, during Oscar season that didn't stop her from crushing her competition at the Oscars or here.
Poorest Showing: Denzel Washington's (Actor) return to form in Flight (seriously he's so good in that film) was, remarkably, in last place only 2% of the votes in his field. Yes even Jacki Weaver 4% and Alan Arkin 3% in the supporting categories won more of your love. What gives?  
Poorest Showing from an Oscar Winner: Though Christoph Waltz was also only third place in your ballots for Supporting Actor, Jennifer Lawrence actually had a weaker 3rd place showing - she took only 19% of your votes in Best Actress
Most Divisive Polling: Best Picture. Votes were all over the place with the winner (Argo) only managing 19% of the votes which was a very slim margin among the top four vote getters (readers also loved Amour, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty)
Agree to Disagree: Best Actress, always our marquee category here at The Film Experience, had the most votes of any of the polls and there was no agreement between Oscar, Nathaniel and The Film Experience readers: Oscar chose Lawrence; Nathaniel chose Riva; Readers chose Chastain. 

Ben Affleck's odd stats and Jennifer Lawrence vs. Joan Fontaine after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb232013

Happy Oscar Eve!

Is this really happening?"
-Anne Hathaway winning the Golden Globe 

Yes, yes it (finally) is. The Oscars are less than 36 hours away. Eeeee! I'm SO eager for this film year to be over but I'm also just so excited for the Oscar ceremony. It's not that I'm a Seth MacFarlane fan -- the choice of host is always one of my areas of least interest -- but that so many categories are genuine cliff-hangers. Particularly these six (adapted screenplay, production design, supporting actor, director, and both sound categories!). Wheeeee


I was trying to finish up my own awardage but now I'm being yanked away by CNN International for an Oscar segment later this afternoon (stage fright!) so while I make a damn fool of myself talking Foreign Film please to enjoy these links and this video in my absence.

links 4 fun
ABC Australia I did a little segment on Oscar Acceptance Speeches with their host Julian Morrow. 
The Playlist shameless Ben Affleck-related product placement 
Movie Dearest wonders what the Best Picture nominees would have been like in another era. Madonna as Fantine. HEE!
Deadline in 50 years time will Oscars 2012 still look as rich and argument worthy as Oscars 1962?

Today's Must Watch
Ryan Gosling getting embarrassed and giggly when he sees his own face on dish towels...