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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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TWO OPINIONS ON MAPS TO THE STARS
Nathaniel's Julianne Spazzing & Glenn's Cronenberg Finger Wagging 

"There is a great movie in Maps of the Stars and that is the one Moore stars in, not the one the screenplay insists in bringing to the front." - Mr Goodbar

"If I had to guess why Cronenberg went with a largely "invisible" or even non-style style, I'd say it has to do with his approach to the narrative, which is kind of a bait and switch, setting us up for a hollywood satire and then giving us a final act that plays more like a myth or a fairy tale." -Roark

Beauty vs. Beast

Who is your GODDESS? Cristal or Nomi?

If you don't vote for Nomi, she'll cut you!


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Entries in Brad Bird (7)

Wednesday
Sep242014

We Hereby Officially Name Today "Best Original Screenplay Birthday Day"

Pedro holding up a copy of his "Bad Education" screenplayToday's Useless Trivia! Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Oscar nominated writers of contemporary cinema share this birthday: Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Pedro Almodóvar (Talk To Her), Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles), and John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator). Only Pedro has won for writing (though Bird is also a multiple Oscar-winner) but it's a neat and weird coincidence, yes?

TWO QUESTIONS
What's your favorite Almodóvar screenplay (besides Talk To Her that is which rightfully scooped up the Oscar)?

Do you think Brad Bird deserved to win Original Screenplay in his years at bat (2004 and 2007) 

P.S. You guessed it: This year's Oscar Chart Updates for Best Screenplay, Original and Adapted are now available.

Monday
Aug122013

Saving Mr Link

Towleroad the new men of Dowton Abbey. So excited to see Weekend's Tom Cullen in the mix!
The Kind of Face You Hate on David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986) and John Frankenheimer's Seconds (1966, newly released from the Criterion Collection)
Guardian Xan Brooks loves non-professional film actors. Someone has to.
Variety says Snowpiercer is doing great business in its home of Korea, though it can't be their Oscar submission given that it's in English. Unfortunately the Weinstein Co still plans to cut 20 minutes before the US release
Amiresque looks back at the filmmaking of 12 Angry Men

Dial P For Popcorn (in Portuguese) riffs on an old article I wrote in 2008 about actors who were overdue for Oscar wins and at the time everyone (not just me) thought Johnny Depp was next. My how time/choices change everything.
TV Blend Juliette Lewis, Matt Dillon and The LEOgend will all be appearing in M Night Shyamalan's TV series Wayward Pines based on the book series "Pines" by Blake Crouch. 
MNPP Which is hotter Mark Strong or...? 

D23 Buzz
Awards Daily
Saving Mr Banks is still fanning Oscar flames with clip debuts at D23, will the current buzz heat turn into a bonfire?
FanVoice Angelina Jolie also promotes Maleficent at the same expo, and the clip shown was the scene where she curses baby Aurora to the horror of the fairies 
Hero Complex Awesome director Brad Bird (the filmography! The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) is still playing coy with what Tomorrowland is actually about. But this is a good thing. More mystery in film promotion, please! 

Box Office
Elysium, which we've just reviewed, topped the box office. Meanwhile World War Z (Reviewed) is just inches away from $200 million domestic despite all the negative buzz before its opening - the film aged well for me (its best passages really stick) and now my review is looking too harsh. Blue Jasmine (Reviewed and Podcasted) is still going strong nearly cracking the top ten box office without the aid of thousands of theaters. Fruitvale Station (reviewed and podcasted) didn't turn into the crossover talking-point hit that The Weinstein Co but it's at a respectable $13 million plus and will undoubtedly use its DVD release to recharge its Oscar buzz later on this calendar year. 

WHAT DID YOU SEE THIS WEEKEND? 

Wednesday
Jan302013

Link Wars Episode IV: A New Blog

MNPP on Keep the Lights On in 250 words or less. Good insights here - love the ending - though JA likes the film more than I do.
Deadline Upcoming 3D conversions of all Star Wars movies cancelled. Thank god. Every day I pray to the movie gods to take the plague of 3D and its conversions away from us!
Two Dollar Cinema heads to The Last Stand on account of a childhood spent with Arnold Schwarzenegger movies
The Film Doctor 10 questions about Silver Linings Playbook

 

Stale Popcorn takes in Xavier Dolan's Lawrence Anyways. I love Dolan but I'm scared of this one - three hour dramas are hard to pull off. 
Vulture interviews Steven Soderbergh who apparently really is retiring now.
Movie|Line is the upcoming Brad Bird/George Clooney feature Tomorrowland (previously title 1952) about early space travel?
In Contention will Argo be a Driving Miss Daisy or an Apollo 13
The Carpetbagger Mistakes were made on the marketing of Django and The Master 

And did you see Matt Damon talking to Nicole Kidman a few nights back on Jimmy Kimmel Live Jimmy Kimmel Sucks?

Hilarious. Nicole Kidman can steal my utensils any time she'd like. 

Sunday
Mar182012

"Bomb Voyage"

Sunday
Dec182011

Box Office: Ethan, Sherlock and Alvin Return 

The newish Sherlock Holmes franchise was down from its first go around and the news was even worse for The Chipmunks in their third attack on the box office. Those high pitched rodents were off 50% so maybe we can safely bury this franchise?

I could have put a picture of Alvin and the Chipmunks here. Thank me!

The big story was crowded houses in limited release for the return of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in Mission: Impossible 4. (The four is silent or pronounced "Gost Pro•toh•call".) I'm eager to see it myself, not because of that prologue to The Dark Knight Rises that's attached in some theaters but because... director BRAD BIRD! He hasn't let us down yet: Family Dog, The Incredibles, Iron Giant, Ratatouille! So curious to see how he handles flesh and blood actors instead of drawings and pixels.

Box Office Top Ten
01 SHERLOCK HOLMES A GAME OF SHADOWS new $40 
02 ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED new $23.5 
03 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL  $13 
04 NEW YEAR'S EVE new $7.4 (cum. $24.8)
05 THE SITTER new $4.4 (cum. $17.7)
06 THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 $4.3 (cum $266.4)
07 YOUNG ADULT $3.6 (cum $4)
08 HUGO $3.6 (cum $39)
09 ARTHUR CHRISTMAS $3.6 (cum. $38.5)
10 THE MUPPETS $3.4 (cum $70.9)

Other Talking Points
Precursor Nominations Mean Nothing to Ticket SalesThe Descendants [Michael's review] didn't really get a boost from its week of precursor glories, off 23% from last week, but then neither did any of the other films. It's all white noise to general audiences... until Oscar nominations, one supposes. Meanwhile one wonders if the Weinstein Co is being too cautious. The Artist [Nathaniel's review] was off only 2% but they only added one screen. My Week With Marilyn [Nathaniel's review] is also losing heat without expansions. It's taking forever and what gives with that. Marilyn is a brand. 

Jodie in Hiding:  Carnage is the second Jodie Foster picture in a row to open in a tiny number of locations following The Beaver. While I realize she isn't the draw she once was, it seems like she'd still be enough of a draw in wide release to at least make some money on a wider opening, even if people don't end up liking the movie, instead of the torturous inching along which prevents revenue.

Indie Success: Shame crossed the $1 million mark with 30 screens added and Margin Call crossed the $5 million mark (on a $3.5 million budget) as it continues to lose theaters. Is Margin Call a sign that Zachary Quinto is going to be a real behind-the-scenes force? He really seems to be taking to the producer's role with several projects lined up. 

What did you see this weekend? Was it worth your time?

Wednesday
Jun292011

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

The titles within this franchise always surprise with the punctuation. This one opts for one colon and a dash. A dash, huh? It must feel the need, the need for speed. This is the first time they've used a dash unless you prefer your Mission: Impossible 2 in its funkier weirdly abbreviated decapitalized M:i-2 format. Anyway.... the point is that Tom Cruise is back as agent Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol or M:I-GP Vol. 4 if you'd like to complicate it. Let's accept the mission to break down the trailer with our Yes, No, Maybe So protocol.

Tom Cruise Does His Own Stunt Running

YES You wouldn't know it from the trailer which focuses on reminding you of the stunttacular nature of this franchise and the familiar but arguably still special effect of Tom Cruise running-jumping-glaring (say what you will about Tom Cruise -- and we all have -- but there are few movie stars as committed/believable in action sequences) but Brad Bird directed this. BRAD BIRD. If it has the teensiest sliver of The Iron Giant's humanity and if the action scenes are anywhere close to as good as the ones in The Incredibles, it's going to be straight up awesome. The big question is: can Brad Bird work directing wonders with flesh & blood actors the way he can with animators?

NO -Did we really need a fourth picture? My biggest beef with this franchise, continued here with the title card insistence that only Tom Cruise is starring in the picture, is that the Mission: Impossible series would be so much better if it were more team-oriented. Ethan pulls too much focus and the team maneuvering and chemistry is the real spark it needs to generate fireworks.

Mission: Impossible - Team 4: Pegg, Renner, Cruise and Patton

MAYBE SO -On the other hand, even if they aren't given enough to do the cast is exciting: Simon Pegg, the always welcome until he gets too ubiquitous (any second now) Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Michael Nykqvist, Paula Patton, Lea Seydoux, and Tom Wilkinson doing what he does best (that distinctive voice: authoritative but always suspect with hints of possible certifiable whack-a-doo pulsating underneath)

The Trailer... 

 

Do you think Tom Cruise will have the comeback he's looking for over?
Will Brad Bird work well with actors who can talk back?
If you were an action star would you do your own stunts?
Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So?

Related Post from the Archive:
Directors of the Decade: Brad Bird "Mr Complexity"