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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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AVENGERS 2 - REVIEWED 

"Black Widow's brief flashback is making me root for a "Black Widow" movie just so we can see more of Julie Delpy. " -IRVIN

"We saw this at an afternoon matinee that was jammed full of kids in the audience. But instead of finding them irritating, I found it strangely liberating. I felt free to be just as inattentive and easily bored as they were." -ADRI


 

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Entries in Disney (101)

Monday
Mar092015

New Tomorrowland Poster in Hashtags

Manuel here trying to help the social media-savvy Disney marketing team with their latest poster. Nathaniel discussed five would-be blockbusters while kicking off our We Can’t Wait series and one which was conspicuously absent (perhaps because of its constant date-shifts?) was Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland for which we got a brand new poster this past week. While I’m coolly reserved on this May 22nd film, I couldn’t help but come up with hashtags while staring at this bad boy:

#LookUp #CloudPorn #MalickMeetsDisney #ClaudioMirandaFilter #Wheatstagram #RememberTomorrow #CanBirdGoFiveForFive #DisneySynergy #MysteryPlot #StillDoNotKnowWhatThisIsAbout #InterstellarFlashbacksAnyone #BlueSkies #NotSoEmeraldCity #Normcore #Overalls #GeorgeMcQueen #LiveActionPixar #WhitherTheLeadGirl #InBirdWeTrust (or would you be an #InClooneyWeTrust kinda tagger?)

Are you excited for Tomorrowland? Gotta say, unless that new trailer totally spills the plot, I’m enjoying this “withhold everything” policy Disney & co. have been playing with this property? Might it be all smoke and mirrors, though?

 

Thursday
Mar052015

Cinderella Week: Disney's Animated Cinderella (1950)

With Disney's new live-action Cinderella nearly upon us, Team Experience is taking a look at some of the screen adaptations of Charles Perrault's classic fairy tale. Here's Tim to kick it off (the glass slipper et al.) - Editor

What better place to start Cinderella week, than with Disney's own version of the story? I give you the 2007 direct-to-video masterwork Cinderella III: A Twist in Time !


Wait, no, that's absolutely not right at all.

I give you Cinderella (1950)! The classic that saved Walt Disney Productions from extinction, birthed the studio's Silver Age Renaissance, and created the most princessy of all the characters in the Disney Princess marketing line-up, the one who will lead them into battle if they ever team up, Avengers-style, to save the world.

And it is kind of baffling to me that Disney has never apparently thought to go that route. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar052015

Downton Abbey is The New Gateway to Disney Stardom!

Have you been following the casting announcements for Disney's live-action adaptation of their Best Picture nominated classic Beauty & The Beast (1991)? First came the collective girlfriend of millennials Emma Watson as Belle. But she's not the only Beauty in the cast. Former Downton Abbey star "Cousin Matthew" himself Dan Stevens, who slimmed down and muscled up since that show and immediately shifted perceptions with an about face turn in The Guest, signed on as the cursed romantic Beast. 

Given that Lady Rose (Lily James) and Daisy from the Downton kitchen (Sophie McShera) are playing Cinderella and her stepsister this coming weekend at the movies one has to wonder which Downton Abbey star is next for which big Disney property? Maggie Smith's schedule just opened up Mouse House. Jump on that before someone else grabs her!

But in all seriousness... Downton Abbey has a deep bench of valuable players some of whom made their names in the movies (Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern chief among them), some of whom will probably be content to stay well employed in British television, and a few of which are already trying their hand at transferring to film. But how much longer can that series keep telling its repetitive story? (Don't misunderstand: I love Downton -- even when its at its weakest -- but the writers room is definitely on loop)

If I were a casting director I'd have the whole cast (so many rich character talents) under surveillance for restlessness and would definitely be trying to lure the ice cold beauty Michelle Dockery away. She's hitting movie screens this summer in Tarsem Singh's next movie Self/less. which happens to co-star her new love interest on Downton film/tv regular and handsomest man on earth Matthew Goode.

But back to BEAUTY & THE BEAST for a wrap-up
It looks like Luke Evans will be Gaston to Emma Watson's Beauty in the forthcoming live action adaptation of the musical. No word yet on whether he'll put on more muscle or if 'ev'ry last inch of him's covered in hair' but he can definitely sing!  

 

Do you think he harmonizes with Jon Kartajarena at home

 

Thursday
Feb192015

Tim's Toons: Animated also-rans

Tim here. In his official Oscar predictions today, Nathaniel left out Best Animated Feature, but no matter. By this point, you'd have to hunt a while to find anybody predicting a winner other than How to Train Your Dragon 2, with a few Big Hero 6 holdouts just trying to pretend that things will be interesting. (Me, I'm thinking that we're about to see an unexpected explosion of write-in votes to make sure that Mr. Peabody & Sherman can finally get its due).

That level of predictability almost always ends up settling into this particular race (last year was an exception), which can make it hard, sometimes, to recall that the category has had a purpose beyond annually recognizing that yep, Pixar sure does make some pretty fine movies. So instead of prepping for Oscar weekend by celebrating winners, I want to pay tribute to some losers. The beautiful likes of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea are (probably) about the join the 36 films to have so far been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and lost out, and that's some fine company to be in. Here are some of my personal favorites.

The Triplets of Belleville (2003; lost to Finding Nemo)
Even after 11 years, the jazzy "Bellville Rendez-vous" remains one of the most memorable original songs in 21st Century filmmaking (it also lost a competitive Oscar). It's a brilliant component of a movie that I'm generally inclined to regard with fetishistic adoration, and will start recommending to people on even the slightest pretext. Like this one, for example. It's one of the most essential animated features of the last 15 years, easily, combining warped slapstick humor with an elegiac sense of melancholy, expressed in a scratchy graphic style that turns everyone into a grotesque caricature while given all of them full, vibrant personalities. Not bad for a film with less than a dozen spoken words in its entire running time.

Persepolis (2007; lost to Ratatouille)
Marjane Satrapi's adaptation of her own graphic novel memoir is a little redundant, perhaps. But taken on its own terms, this story of life during the Iranian Revolution, told in soft lines and crisp black-and-white, is terrific animated cinema both aesthetically and politically. Overtly feminist stories and animation for an appreciative adult audience are both rare, combining them is rarer, and using it all in the service of putting a human face to life in Iran that doesn't pander or beg for special pleading makes this one as bold as any animated film I can ever name. And yet it's so sardonic and brisk that it never feels capital-I Important in a boring way. A total success that deserves infinitely more attention than it's ever received in the U.S.

Kung Fu Panda (2008; lost to WALL·E)
When the first How to Train Your Dragon came out in 2010, it was greeted with critical hosannas as the movie that finally proved that DreamWorks Animation could make a movie that as every bit as good as its best competition. But then, the studio had already proven that with this brightly-colored, poppy tribute to Asian landscape paintings and schlocky '70s kung-fu movies. It's silly as hell, and the jokes have all the smirking anachronism of DreamWorks at its worst. But it's also funny and disarmingly sweet, and the company's fixation on all-celebrity voice casting never worked out as well as it did here, with Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, and Ian McShane among the many familiar faces we don't see.

The Princess and the Frog (2009; lost to Up)
The financial success of the following year's Tangled immediately swallowed up the small splash made by Disney's first-ever animated feature centered on an African-American protagonist. And then the behemoth of 2013's Frozen left it almost totally forgotten as the first attempt in a generation to make a classic Disney Princess musical. Neither of which is at all a fair fate for an earnest attempt at correcting the company's long history of representational yuckiness with a warm suite of Randy Newman songs, top-notch voice acting, and beautifully old-school 2-D animation. It's a sop to the studio's fans, sure, but as a fan, I am greatly pleased to have it in my life even now, far more than either of its bigger successors.

What are your favorite nominees to have missed on on the Best Animated Feature Oscar?

Wednesday
Feb112015

Black History Month: Song of the South's Forgotten Oscar

Tim here to kick off a daily miniseries for the team. It might seem disingenuous, if not outright perverse, to begin The Film Experience's rough chronological celebration of Black History Month by taking at peek at one of the most infamously racist movies ever made, but for good or bad, Song of the South (1946) is an important milestone in the all-too-thin history of African-Americans and the Oscars. Seven years after Hattie McDaniel's groundbreaking Best Supporting Actress win for Gone with the Wind (we recently dove deep into that film else we'd start with her) James Baskett became the very first black man to receive an Academy Award, and the last for 16 years.

Not, mind you, a competitive Academy Award. Baskett was the last adult actor to receive an Honorary Oscar for a single performance (rather than for a career), with the inscription:

For his able and heart-warming characterization of Uncle Remus, friend and story teller to the children of the world, in Walt Disney's Song of the South".

[More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb102015

Mandatory Spider-Man Posting

Is Nicholas Hammond busy?As you undoubtedly have heard, Marvel/Disney closed a deal with Sony last night and now Spider-Man goes totally bi. He'll be splitting his time between two giant corporate overlords in Sony & Disney. Spider-Man's solo franchise will continue at Sony without Andrew Garfield who will finally be freed to make the movies he was meant to make after breaking through in The Social Network (2010). Cue: roughly 8 million extremely obnoxious internet articles about the casting of the new Spider-Man. I'm steeling myself: It will be so much worse than that hideous landfill phenomenon of infinite speculative Doctor Strange casting thinkpieces.

As for the new Spider-Man --  I swear to god if they start with the origin story again I will never stop puking web fluids. Everyone knows it, dumbasses. It'd be like demanding that each Biblical epic start with a two hour Adam & Eve prologue. Peter Parker will get his next solo film on July 28th, 2017 but first he'll debut over in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. The prevailing rumor is that that's within the context of Captain America: Civil War (due May 6th, 2016) which is also the film that will introduce Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther. That film is getting crowded so one hopes they don't lose the title character in a sea of universe-building agenda.

May 6th, 2016 is a tight turnaround. The ink is still drying on the contract and presumably Sony and Marvel and Disney (that's a lot of executives to please) will all have to agree on a new direction, and a new actor, and that actor's pay scale over multiple films in both supporting and leading roles for seven years (the longest you can book an actor for). And they'll have to do that this summer since Civil War will have to start filming soon to make its release date; visual effects pictures don't come together as quick as Clint Eastwood movies.

For presumably non-competitive corporate appeasement reasons, this Spider-Man deal is pushing most of the post Civil War movies previously slated back about four months.