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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Entries in Bourne (6)


Good Morning, World

Howdy folks, it's Jason from MNPP here -- over at MNPP I do these posts pretty much every day that are titled "Good Morning, World" or some variation thereof (click here for some NSFW-ish examples) where we take a look at a moment of actorly exposure, morning-themed, in a movie. You know, something to wake us up, get us going, in the day. Well this morning I was just now staring at the first picture of Matt Damon on the set of the next Bourne movie, which just began shooting yesterday, and I felt incredibly bright and bushy-tailed, I tell ya what. So here's that!


Here's the sitch though: I have never seen a single Jason Bourne movie. Not one! Not even the one (ones?) with Joan Allen. I love Joan Allen. I adore and worship Joan Allen. So this post is two-fold: 1) Wowza look at Matt Damon (do you think him and Ben Affleck are in some War of the Pecs?), and 2) Yell at me to watch the Bourne movies... but give me some good reasons. Yes you can just say "Joan Allen," I will accept that answer.


Lukewarm Off Presses: Ben-Hur, Bourne-Again, Baz Junior?

Catching up with some stories we've missed of late.

Morgan Freeman was the first cast member announced for the remake of Best Picture winning Ben-Hur (1959) which was itself a remake of the silent epic of the same name in 1925.  Freeman will play the role of a wise old man who gives advice like a Pez Dispenser with Morgan Freeman's face on it. Can Morgan Freeman do anything else? Shame that a once very gifted actor now plays EXACTLY the same role in everything. Maybe he doesn't care to stretch? Jack Huston of Boardwalk Empire fame (who seems to be in the running for everything these days -even if he hasn't booked the high profile stuff until now) will play the lead Charlton Heston role. But good luck trying to best William Wyler's Oscar winning classic (one of 'em rather). I shudder to think how they'll handle Messala, previously slyly interpreted by Stephen Boyd on the DL.

In a weird case of "WAIT. I changed my mind!" Matt Damon is getting back into the Bourne franchise along with previous director Paul Greengrass (who is also possibly doing an Olympics bombing true story movie) and delaying Jeremy Renner's already begun takeover. The same thing happened with Jeremy Renner's assumed takeover of the Mission Impossible franchise until Cruise wanted back in. This will and already has prompted think pieces on Jeremy's failure to become a star but nobody would be griping on him if his agent (and maybe the man himself) hadn't gotten so greedy. How many franchises does one actor need?(Bourne, MI, Witch Hunters, Avengers, etcetera) Especially an actor that good with two Oscar nominations already?

But if we're going to start interrupting reboots with original casts, can we shelve the next Amazing Spider-Man movies and just get Tobey Maguire back in tights? P-L-E-A-S-E. That'd free up Andrew Garfield to be a real actor again and to say "you better lawyer up asshole" if they drop his surely unending contract. 

I don't mean to be snarky about newbie director Diesel Schwarze, a Baz Luhrmann protege, because it's quite possible that he'll be his own brilliant artist. But I needed another "B" for alliterative blogging, what. SO, anyway, he's doing an original musical that uses pre-existing songs (a la Moulin Rouge!) called Ziggy and Dane DeHaan and Rooney Mara are earmarked to star in it. Can they sing? It's not quite Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman exciting even in terms of in context 2014 vs 2000 stardom levels at press release time, but it's still interesting. Especially since it sounds weird...

Dehaan will play a hunchback in NYC who falls for a beautiful woman already mixed up with a powerful man -- you know how singing hunchbacks do!


Box Office Quickie: Meryl Streep, The Right Choice

Remember that glorious bit on the sitcom Modern Family where Cameron sang the praises of Meryl Streep?

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice from Kristian Møller Jørgensen on Vimeo.

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice."

I kept thinking about that this weekend when Hope Springs hit theaters competing with all these new releases. Could Streep play a genetically mutated super spy like Renner? Could Streep play Catwoman as well as Hathaway? Could Streep play a disaster seeking political office like...Oh wait, that was last year. Whatever, one thinks of her range, she is a box office star as the opening weekend of Hope Springs indicates. Sure 4th place isn't great but when you stop to remember that it's a movie about senior citizens struggling with sexual intimacy than 4th place is basically 5 consecutive weeks at number one.

The Bourne Legacy's terrific opening weekend is interesting. Does this mean you don't need Matt Damon or that even just the memory of Matt Damon is bankable?

Top o' the Box Office To You
01 new THE BOURNE LEGACY $40.2 
02 new THE CAMPAIGN $27.4 
03 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES $19.5 (Cum. $390.1) Review
04 new HOPE SPRINGS  $15.6 Oscar Prospects?
06 TOTAL RECALL $8.1 (Cum. $44.1) Review

Jeremy, Rachel, Meryl and Anne race away with the box office

Other box office notes of...uh...note:
Total Recall
took a disastrous 68 percent drop in its second weekend suggesting that it probably won't earn back even half of its budget in domestic release;  Brave continues to climb the Pixar charts having just passed WALL•E with Cars in its sights next; After seven weeks Beasts of the Southern Wild appears to have finally hit the wall and will now descend *sniffle*. (It's done very well for itself but I was hoping we'd see braver moviegoers embrace it in larger numbers. It's always worth hoping that the general public will get a little more adventurous in their moviegoing... I mean THIS is available to them and they still want reheated superhero leftovers?); Farewell My Queen, my pet cause, has been inching towards the magic $1 million mark at the arthouse but I worry it'll fall short now... it'll need a couple more weeks to get there and those might be hard to come by.

Finally, Ruby Sparks couldn't drum up much interest in a big expansion so it's not much longer for this world... I have the guilt about not seeing this. I must go this week! Must you? 


Scene Work: Corey Stoll On Ernest Hemingway and Woody Allen

With the SAG Awards fast approaching, Oscar nominations hitting on Tuesday and "Original Screenplay" wins and Best Director nominations piling up for Woody Allen how about a little trip back to Midnight In Paris? Specifically to that magical hour when all of the movie's best moments take place. On the first of Gil's (Owen Wilson) midnight adventures he meets the Fitzgeralds who then introduce him to Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). This introduction -- Stoll pisses off the Fitzgeralds (on purpose) and then badgers and ingratiates himself with Gil, who is reeling from meeting his hero. It's one of the movie's most memorable scenes and Corey Stoll immediately establishes himself as the film's MVP despite a plethora of famous actors in showy cameos.

If you're a writer, declare yourself the best writer! But you're not as long as I'm around unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it."
-Stoll as Hemingway. 

This introduction was also, not so surprisingly, the rising actor's most satisfying scene to shoot. When I spoke to him in December about that bizarre SAG rule which prevented him from technically being part of the movie's Best Ensemble nomination, we discussed this introduction in particular and his working relationship with comeback kid Woody Allen.

"That's the scene I was most nervous about," the actor recalls about his memorable introduction. He loved how 'commanding and unapologetically self-centered' this fictionalized Heminway was. "It's actually the scene where Woody let me do a number of takes. I think often he just lets actors find it themselves. They either find it immediately or not and he still moves on."

He recounts the speed at which Woody works. He doesn't want the actors to obsess too much on the work and wants to keep things more spontaneous. "With this I lucked out. At a certain point after my final take of the closeup he said 'that's 100% what I was looking for'."

I can't help but register surprise that Allen spoke to him at all. You hear stories. His funny response:

That was the only praise that I heard the entire time! He's not big on ass-kissing."
-Stoll on Woody Allen 

Amusingly enough, Allen's purposeful steering of the actors away from actual biography towards communal fantasies presented a slight obstacle for Stoll after the fact. "I've sort of been asked a lot of questions about Hemingway." When he did a public reading of Hemingway's letters he worried that he'd be "a bit of a fraud" in front of scholars. "I knew the basics of his life," the actor says about the famous author, but that isn't what he used, creatively, for the performance.  "What was most important in this context was having his rhythm and cadence and his use of language be the driving force of the performance. As a reader that's what you get.  That's where I put my energy and attention."

The work paid off and the actors career is on the upswing. "All this attention and praise is really nice," he confesses. "But the role itself is so much more satisfying. Whatever happens, I played Ernest Hemingway in a Woody Allen movie!"

Two Stoll Roles: North Country with Charlize Theron. Intimate Apparel with Viola Davis

Currently Stoll is enjoying running into old co-stars on the awards circuit including Charlize Theron (North Country). His "Intimate Apparel" stage partner Viola Davis is also on the campaign trail this year. Would he like to reprise that for a film? "Any day. Any time. Wonderful experience." He's up for Best Supporting Actor next month at the Spirit Awards and one can't help but pray that he'll be a shock surprise on Oscar Nomination morning this year in the same category.

Before we wrap up, I had to ask him about his role in the upcoming summer blockbuster Bourne Legacy opposite Jeremy Renner, also a former co-star

"Please don't tell me you're playing a villain, " I say sharing with him one of my major movie pet peeves. "They always make bald men villains!"

"I can't tell you anything," Stoll says laughing. "I'm contractually obligated! They weren't specific about how they were going to ruin me but there's nothing to be gained."

Interview Index | Nathaniel's Supporting Actor Ballot



Linker by the Dozen

Philadelphia Weekly offers up 6 family films that would draw the ire of the far right in the wake of Fox's ridiculous Muppets bashing.
Coming Soon Another pic of Daniel Day-Lewis from the set of Lincoln, this time with Steven Spielberg
TOH on Matt Damon vs. Tony Gilroy in GQ, hurt feelings around the Bourne franchise.
Guardian David Thomson's ode to Jeremy Renner 

The Cut chooses 11 surprisingly stylish celebrities of 2011
Monkey See 20 Unhappiest People in the Comments Section of Year End Lists. Teehee
Pajiba thinks the teaser poster to Prometheus looks familiar.
Slant Oscar Prospects: Midnight in Paris
Bernardin Could Netflix revive Firefly? It's wishful thinking but thinking wishfully is fun.
Critical Condition "Hush up and watch the Artist" 
Tom Shone why the Globes are better than the Oscars. 

So the HFPA love their stars! What sinful wretches! To survey the history of the Golden Globes is to enter a fragrant Arcadia where all the great Oscar howlers of the last 30 years simply didn't happen. Where E.T. smushes Gandhi, Brokeback Mountain kicks Crash to the curb, and The Social Network roundly thrashes The King's Speech."

@MarkWassmer posted this fine mashup of the latest superhero posters. I haven't posted either previously because their über seriouness drained all joy from my inner child.

I miss superhero pictures that loved color and fun like the original Spider-Man or the original Superman or even X2. Damn you Chris Nolan! ;) I reallydon't want my superheroes looking like they could just meander over to the set of a Clint Eastwood picture and fit right into the I'm A Serious Movie near black and white aesthetics.

Top Ten o' the Day - Dennis Dermody at Paper Mag
Begins by calling The Tree of Life a "psychedelic turd" and moves on to one of the year's most immature and sloppy pictures (Kaboom) so I don't know how seriously to take it but I like the second sentence on Melancholia a lot.

 I feel slightly guilty enjoying the spoils of Von Trier's ongoing depression."


'it's linking men, hallelujah, it's linking men... Amen!'

The Film Experience likes the ladies best -- actresses forevah -- but today's links are curious phallocentric, hence the title.

Observations on Film Art one more piece on Sidney Lumet, something to fill out the "constrained" picture of the general mass of obituaries.
Tom Shone, in a wonderful concise piece, knows we're all more Brad Pitt than Terrence Malick in this Tree of Life.
Cinema Blend Katey worries that Hollywood is going to make us sick of Jeremy Renner. He's doing as many franchises as Samuel L Jackson adding The Bourne Legacy (lead role - taking over for Matt Damon) to the line-up. Ruh-roh.
The Wrap organized-crime-drama alert. There's always a few in production. Sean Penn and Josh Brolin, so memorably at odds in Milk, may be enemies again in Gangster Squad
Jezebel has a hilarious reel of men faking orgasm onscreen (in non-pornographic films). It's even a little bit interesting in a non-pervy way.
Movie|Line Joseph Gordon-Levitt trashes the Conan set for a Hesher promo.
Movie Morlocks
RIP on the 1970s star Michael Sarrazin (They Shoot Horses Don't They, For Pete's Sake) who passed away last week. So many major goodbyes in showbiz lately. Sigh.
TVLine Strange Emmy development, ladies division: January Jones is still campaigning as a lead for Mad Men despite her screen time being at least halved this past season. Bad move? This puts her up against Elisabeth Moss, who is back to lead.

Stale Popcorn Yay. Another convert to writer/director/actor/producer Xavier Dolan. I'll  have more on Heartbeats once it hits DVD... whenever that is.
Towleroad this weeks column by moi. I would have reviewed Water For Elephants but I was in Nashville. Is it wrong that I'm super excited to see it?
Out Magazine Thomas Dekker (Kaboom, Cinema Verite) is sending out all sorts of mixed signals about his sexuality. I guess we're still a couple years away from (male) movie actors coming out.