in theaters

review index

new on DVD/BluRay

review index



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


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

"What is happening with Nina Arianda's Janis film with Sean Durkin? It's still listed as "announced" on her IMDB. Are we to assumed that it is a lost cause?" -Ryan


Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience


For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?

Entries in Bruce Willis (7)


April Showers: Pulp Fiction

the waterworks continue

Will you give me oral pleasure?

I was casually skimming through Pulp Fiction the other day and watched scenes from the Bruce Willis portion. It's the storyline that's easiest to forget since it feels less energized by Tarantino's then shockingly fresh auteurial voice and rapid pop-culture infused dialogue and more like a general riff on cliché movie tropes (the boxer who won't take a fall, an antihero on the run, etcetera)... well at least until The Gimp shows up. But watching it again, I was reminded that Quentin Tarantino's movies used to be more firmly rooted in accessible humanity. We didn't know it at the time of course because his work was then so "new" and stylized that it didn't feel intimate in the way the movies have taught us to expect. But post-Jackie Brown his work became increasingly cartoonish (this is not always a bad thing: I sometimes think Kill Bill Vol 1 is his best film) and though his characters are still deeply memorable they're more like "characters" than people...

Click to read more ...


Posterized: Bruce Willis, Perennial

I raced excitedly to a A Good Day To Die Hard screening earlier this week though I couldn't quite put my finger on why. As a rule of thumb, I love Bruce Willis but I don't exactly seek his movies out and haven't seen a Die Hard since the second one. (I've been the furthest thing from a loyal fan mostly because he churns out so many disposable actioners.) I was just in the right mood I guess though I am sad to report that it felt like a phone-in.

But for this week's edition of Posterized, I thought we'd look back on his whole career. I've previously applauded him for his unheralded range. Which is to say that even though he is always "Bruce Willis" he can easily slip into auteur pieces, comedies, dramas, and action flicks without ever disrupting the site-specific tonal demands. That's as true of a definition of Movie Star who also happens to be a Fine Actor as I know of. But the posters disagree with me since every other one cribs some element from the original Die Hard (1988) poster, Bruce with a tense side stare, Bruce pursing those thin lips, Bruce holding a gun (or signifying that a gun is just outside the frame with battle gear on). Every movie wants to be Die Hard... especially all the subsequent Die Hards. Die Hard 2 may be the most hilarious example of the unspoken sequel motto ("be the same movie over again... only bigger")

The "Moonlighting" Years (85-89)
aka Cybil (TV) and Demi (The Movies) share him
Blind Date (1987), Sunrise (1987), Die Hard (1988)

Seemingly hundreds of movies after the jump! How many have you seen?

Click to read more ...


Review: "Looper"

An abridged version of this review was originally posted in my column at Towleroad 

"Time travel hasn't been invented yet," Joseph Gordon-Levitt warns us from 2042 in LOOPER's voiceover. "But in the future it will be." In 2072 crime lords send their victims back in time to be killed by "loopers"  like Joe since it's the only way to get away with murder. (Apparently infallible forensic science has also been invented in the future!). 

Loopers dispatch their prey unceremoniously with a crude descendant of the shotgun called a  "Blunderbuss" which is useless at long distances but impossible to miss with up close. When each Looper's contract expires, his older self is sent back to his younger self for execution which is called "Closing the Loop". In this case that's Bruce Willis sent back in time to meet his death at the hands of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Bruce Willis drag. (Joe's makeup effects, though extraordinarily non fake-looking are initially distracting -- JGL doesn't look like that!

Nothing kills genre films quicker than exposition. When you have to pass out glossaries to the uninitiated or explain the rules over and over again, a story can sputter and die or, at the very least, bore you stupid the second time throughLooper, however, is a wonderfully nimble exception given the size of the learning curve. More...

Click to read more ...



Yes, No, Maybe So: "Looper"

The subject is time travel. It only seemed thematically appropriate to post this highly anticipated trailer for LOOPER a week before it premiered but pretend we posted it a week late. 

This time travel crap will fry your brain like an egg"

See, the following conversation actually took place in the past with your comments arriving now from god knows when; surprise us by dating your reaction in the comments. For all we know you're writing from Los Angeles the morning after Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Oscar win as Bruce Willis in the stuffy cradle-to-tomb biopic Bruce Dies Hardest (2031). You know AMPAS will still love those Star-As-Star biopics deep into the 21st century. Ohmygod. His inflection on "Yippee-ki-yaymotherfucker" alone was chilling. He BECAME Bruce Willis.

Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker

When were we? It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system.

Click to read more ...


Cinema de Gym: 'Bandits'

Kurt here from Your Movie Buddy. In my attempt to tone up and shed a few (as I feared, the life of a writer can be waistline-hazardous), I've found new inspiration. The gym I attend has a theater in the back where, instead of watching The View with headphones, you can do your cardio in the dark with a daily film that plays on a loop. It's surely not the place to go if you're looking to catch up on your Bergman or Powell & Pressburger, but, by god, at least it's something. Even with a trainer who kicks my ass and drafts a new routine each month, I'll take all the incentives I can get.

On that note, I've opted to use this extra motivator as a writing opportunity – a chance to chime in on the gym's staff picks and voice the opinions that brew while I'm huffing it on the elliptical. Fitness and film writing – it's my kind of win-win.

For the inaugural "Cinema de Gym" post, we have Barry Levinson's Bandits, a 2001 love-triangle crime comedy I'd never seen. In this setting, catching things for the first time is fun in that I'm forced to draw as much as I can from a 20-30 minute snippet (okay, sometimes it's 15). Besides, I dare say a lot of these flicks are not of the must-see-it-from-end-to-end sort. With Bandits, I entered during a barroom scene where a red-headed Cate Blanchett is consoling the bar's only other patron, a characteristically un-dashing Billy Bob Thornton, who's suffering from some fatiguing ailment. Rather than whiskey, Cate wants to get some warm milk for this milquetoast, who, it turns out, is lactose intolerant.

Bandits: Bruce, Billy Bob and Blanchett

Enter Bruce Willis, all smirks and hubris, who breaks up the excessive appropriateness of Grover Washington Jr.'s "Just the Two of Us" playing on the soundtrack (err, in the bar). From the interactions (and, hell, from the casting), it's clear Bruce is the leader of the Bruce-Billy Bob criminal duo, and that Cate is the third wheel whose affections they're fighting over. Cate and Billy Bob hit the dance floor, a brotherly brawl ensues, and Bruce and Billy Bob crash through a glass window onto the ground outside. "I can't do this anymore," a desperate Cate says, peering down at them. "Together, you're the perfect man."

Well, to each her own, Ms. Blanchett. 

Garity squares off with JonesCut to: January Jones? The soon-to-be X-villain plays some type of accomplice to our lead quarrelers, along with Troy Garity, Soldier's Girl star and son of Jane Fonda. The crew is gearing up for their One Last Job, which, naturally, still attracts Cate for some reluctant involvement.

Where the film goes from here is, well, to its end, and I'll spare you the spoilers even though I don't recommend. Let's just say there's a haphazard bank heist, but Dog Day Afternoon this is not.


1. Seeing early Blanchett is fun.
2. Billy Bob really needs to get back to work.
3. Bruce Willis has never tired of playing Bruce Willis (shocker).
4. Barry Levinson is a hugely recognizable name, but hardly one that guarantees quality.
5. You've seen Bandits before, even if, you know, you haven't seen it before.

Have you seen it before?


April Showers: The Fifth Element

waterworks each weeknight at 11 as we turn on the cinematic shower.

True Story: The house my family lived in from the time I was nine years old until high school graduation had an unusual bathroom. I didn't think it was so terribly unusual because I lived with it but whenever friends would come to visit for the first time they would always demand to see the bathroom. They'd heard, you see. The storied feature in question was a sunken shower. You had to step down into it, as if it were an in-ground swimming pool and it was larger than your traditional shower or bathtub. But there were no rounded smooth edges, just tiles. So it wasn't, unfortunately, a comfortable bathtub unless you find sharp flat corners restive for reclining against, in which case… are you an invertebrate?

 I suddenly flashed to my parent's old house while watching The Fifth Element recently.  In the scene in question, law enforcement of one sort or another (it's hard to keep track in Luc Besson's frenzy-filled futurism) has entered Bruce Willis's building and good ol' Bruce realizes he needs to hide his strange guest, supreme being Leeloo (Milla Jovovich).

Where else? The shower, that most private of places... except maybe in the movies.

read the rest after the jump. (safe for work.)

Click to read more ...