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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Entries in Elizabeth Olsen (25)


TIFF: I Saw the Light

Hank Williams' legend came from his songwriting with dozens of hits in a short career. Ironically the star-making song was "Lovesick Blues," a tune he did not write that he promised his producer he would make his own in a crucial recording session. He assures that the audience will love it, praising its simplicity. A studio musician snidely compares it to his original compositions which reminds the star that "simple" is not a compliment to everyone. Williams deflates a little, ego punctured, until he steps up to the microphone and gets the job done as promised. There are multiple metaphors in their somewhere about the biopic genre. We shan't try to unpack them all but let's just say that they're not too flattering to the genre as a whole.

I Saw the Light, directed by Marc Abraham a successful producer, has the shape of an extremely traditional bio, charting key moments in Williams (Tom Hiddleston) rise to greatness and subsequent personal and professional failures fueled by his addictions until his premature death at 29. The moments even come with hepful titles of years / places. You've heard this story a million times now -- only the names / dates / music genre change -- which is perhaps why the movie starts so abruptly in media res...

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Podcast (Season Debut): Furious Ultron 7 

The Podcast is Back!

For this season's spoiler-heavy debut episode, Nathaniel is joined by Joe Reid and Anne Marie Kelly who share their feels about the Furious 7 and its home franchise from corny sentiment to Michelle Rodriguez's biceps. We also talk Joss Whedon, crowded and empty theaters, and the various intermittent joys of The Avengers: Age of Ultron from Elizabeth Olsen's elaborate hand gestures to Mjölnir getting around.

Running Time - 42½ minutes
00:01 Intro and "Previously On..."
02:00 Avengers moviegoing: geek behavior, costumes, crowds
09:00 Age of Ultron
33:00 Furious 7

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes.  

Furious Ultron 7


Age of Ultron... And Marvel's Very Long "Connected" Movie

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Movies really ought to be seen (and reviewed for that matter) on their own terms. But what if their very terms are -- "it's all connected!?" I had the exhaustive if qualified pleasure this week of attending "The Ultimate Marvel Marathon," in which select theaters across the nation played back-to-back screenings of all 11 of Marvel Studio's films. Those take you from Iron Man (2008) through to the latest superheroic orgy of mayhem known as The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Between the screenings (20-30 minute breaks) were interstitials selling the television program "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" that frequently reminded us that it was 'all connected'. Does the latest film The Avengers: Age of Ultron satisfy all on its own? My early guess -- only time will tell -- is "not so much" but then, is it really intended to? 

Seeing the movies back-to-back threw their problems into sharp relief: the movies are ultimately formulaic, disinterested in women, and have weakly conceived villains (an oddity given that good villains are such a comic book staple). They also betray an unfortunate tendency to end with a battle in which large inanimate objects frequently collide or crumble, mistaking mass destruction as the highest form of entertainment when the figurative character beats as well as, yes, literal character beatings are nearly always the most pleasurable moments.

On the plus side, the marathon was a great reminder of why blockbuster culture has been stampeding all over more intimate cinematic triumphs for a long time now. [More...]

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White-Tailed Link

The Guardian features a new short story from Rupert Everett, writing about his altar ego movie star Keiran O'Nightley
Playbill reviews special features on the Blu-ray for Into the Woods
/Film Batman getting another animated film, this time in style of the 60s TVshow
Instagram Hugh Jackman is still threatening to quit Wolverine. I'll believe that when I see it. I'm not as gullible as the rest of the internet. It's the man who cried wolfverine.

Variety YouTube gets slammed for placing age restrictions on The Fosters' sweet gay kiss between high school friends Connor & Jude (actors Gavin Macintosh and Hayden Byerly who are 16 and 14 respectively) in an historic storyline
Playbill talks to Richard LaGravenese about Barbra Streisand's Gypsy project and the (gulp) Lady Gaga rumors
Boy Culture Madonna performs "Ghosttown" her best single in ages with... Taylor Swift?
Empire Broadway legend Audra McDonald will play the wardrobe in Beauty & The Beast extending its all star singing cast. But the wardrobe doesn't have any solos. Grrrrr
The Matinee why don't contemporary films produce iconic film cars any more 
Variety NBC will next mount The Wiz for a live music event. That actually might be an inspired choice. We'll see.
Coming Soon I could've sworn this was old news but maybe it only feels like old news since everything is being remade / recycled but Disney's Mulan will get a live-action redo
/Film talks to Elizabeth Olsen about The Scarlet Witch 
Salon fills you in on 'everything you need to know about' Trevor Noah, the young comic who is taking over The Daily Show when Jon Stewart leaves
AV Club Jon Hamm could have starred in Gone Girl? Huh.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson IS Bambi... in this well deserved SNL spoof of Disney's live action remake obsession of their animated canon

The Rock also starred in a...uh... 'suck the poison out of me' sketch. Haha.



The Avengers (Again). Three Grabby Shots

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is nearing Spider-Man 3 levels of giving the game away before it opens. Which worries. Why the hard sell with a third trailer when you're going to break records even if you advertised with only the illustration of a turd -- and I don't mean the shitty poster, but an actual turd. This hard sell combined with the bleak tone of all the trailers (where's the fun of the megahit original?) combined with Joss Whedon calling the production "a nightmare" has me suddenly worried. Because, true story: I want it to be great. I love The Avengers (in comic and movie form). Yes, TFE complains about the glut of superhero movies but that doesn't mean they should've have a place in the movie ecosystem. They just shouldn't dominate it is all. They're dessert, not a balanced meal.

So at the risk of obvious spoilers (hey Marvel provided them not us) here are the three moments we must discuss...

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Godzilla, A God Amongst Blockbusters

This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

If Hollywood's goal is to infantilize all audiences into impressionable insatiable snot-nosed consumers of movie-product (remember how easy it was for a commercial to make you all "gimme!" as a kid) they’re doing a great job this year. Though movie studios churn out plenty of all-quadrant dross every year that's aimed at pleasing children of all advanced ages and genders, it rarely goes this well. The year began in the shadow of Disney's unexpectedly unstoppable Frozen and the critical and commercial smashes keep coming. The Lego Movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are the two biggest hits of the year (thus far) and not undeservedly. They're like joyful corporate filmmaking - cash grabs, sure, but no robbery is involved since they give you your money’s worth. And here comes the third home run: Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014).

[Insert prehistoric monstrous rawr here]

Can my review just be wild-eyed hyperactive childish pointing? "LOOK!!!"  No? Fine. A few slightly more coherent thoughts featuring hot soldiers, worried women, and monster smash-ups after the jump...

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Channing "Gambit" Tatum and Your Favorite Superheroes

I've been quite blocked today (apologies) so I'd like to turn the time over to you for an open discussion. With news coming that Channing Tatum would love to play Gambit in a movie (poor Taylor Kitsch. It's not his fault everyone has tried to scrub X-Men Origins: Wolverine from their memory) Fox will surely be jumping all over that to make it happen.

Though the superhero movie boom will surely die out as all movie trends do eventually, we have no idea how long it will last so we'll just try to enjoy it while it does rather than bristle against it.

The other day on Facebook Stan Lee posted a 'name your five favorite superheroes' thread and I answered more quickly than I knew I could. Without thinking about it five names popped right into mind: Nightcrawler, The Human Torch, Storm, Spider-Man, and The Scarlet Witch. Other than Sam Raimi's perfect Spider-Man 2 I haven't had much luck getting my favorite characters translated to my taste on the screen though, so I've tended to enjoy characters I didn't much at all care for in the comics the most onscreen. Like Captain America. Speaking of... my eyes bugged out seeing a brief glimpse of The Scarlet Witch in that film and I'll be curious to see how Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Olsen dramatize her in The Avengers: Age of Ulton. But still, I hate those post-movie tags which are the heighth of pandering narrative inelegance. They're very much like "next week on..." TV tags

But I'm curious. Name your five favorite superheroes in the comments.  I perused through some answers on Facebook and was surprised to see that very few people chose heroes beyond the truly iconic household name ones - batman, superman, spider-man, and wolverine were constantly name-checked.