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RIP Gene Wilder

"He was everything and his Wonka is such a formative performance for me. RIP." -Ryan T

"Young Frankenstein has got to be one of the best comedy classics of all time. RIP." - Brandz

"A gifted but never overly-showy comedian. I love that he knew just when to exit before he was compartmentalized by Hollywood into a specific type of role. " - Sawyer

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Entries in Emily Blunt (38)

Wednesday
Jun012016

"Mary Poppins Returns" and "In the Heights"

Broadway's Hamilton fever has caught up with mainstream Hollywood. The Tony winning writer/director/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose Hamilton is the easy frontrunner going into the Tony Awards a week from Sunday (I'm finally seeing it, too, wheeee, albeit a few days after the Tony Awards - thanks Rory!) has two big movies brewing now.... and that's before anyone gets around to trying to get Hamilton on the big screen. He exits Hamilton on July 9th so he'll have plenty of time to chase these Hollywood opportunities.  

Mary Poppins Returns
We've heard rumors of a Mary Poppins remake for ages but it looks like we're getting a sequel instead with the delightfully versatile Emily Blunt as the magical nanny (the iconic Julie Andrews part) and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a new character but I'd still expect a jolly-holiday sort of partner in magical highjinks for Mary. He's described as a "lamplighter" which isn't that far off of chimney sweep in civic duties, don'cha know. The score will be written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman who wrote most of the best songs for Smash as well as Broadway's terrific Hairspray. So all of that is very good news. Plus an ORIGINAL movie musical. That is a rarest of things since forever outside of Disney's Little Mermaid era!

But... the film is to be directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods, Nine).

The choice of Marshall is wholly expected since Hollywood doesn't seem to believe it can make musicals without him. That's a pity. Nothing against Marshall but he's not consistent enough to be anywhere close to a "must get". We wish they'd realize that the genre needs and deserves new Vincente Minnellis, Stanley Donens, and Bob Fosses, not someone who can just get the job done and hope for the best about the final result. I am confident that those people exist but remain untapped. The film is due on Christmas Day in 2018. The original Disney classic was nominated for 13 Oscars, winning 5. (It's still Disney's only live action Best Picture nominee... though there Touchstone wing has been nominated before) Good luck measuring up! 

In the Heights
The Weinstein Company is also getting into the Miranda business with a film version of In the Heights, his musical from 2008 about three days in the lives of characters in the Washington Heights neighborhood of NYC (which is largely Hispanic). A previously announced production by Universal failed to materialize. The film won 5 Tonys including Best Musical. No casting or director announced for this one but they want it to be bare bones and "scrappy." No release date yet announced but sometimes stage to screen versions take decades. ("Wicked"? What's that?)

Any suggestions for the director's chair? 

Sunday
Apr242016

April Showers: Sicario

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Chris on Sicario (2015).

Sicario was one of last year's most underappreciated and perhaps misread films. Audience responses ranged from breathless praise (yours truly is guilty) to passive disregard to outright frustration. However, it's three Oscar nominations (Cinematography, Original Score, Sound Editing) are inarguables of the film's immaculate (if punishing) craft.

One of the major qualms against the film is its central characterization in Kate Macer - a tightly wound and multilayered Emily Blunt at her very best. Plenty have complained that she's too passive and changes little - but that ignores the fact that she's a woman who stands her ground and fights for her beliefs despite being up against forces stronger and more unshakable than her solitary point of view. She's swimming upstream and being pulled under fast...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr232016

The Huntsman: Winter's War

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad...

The Huntsman: Winter’s War, now playing, promises a “new” fairy tale. That’s true only if you’re willing to stretch the definition of the word. This “new” and awkwardly titled picture is both prequel and sequel to Snow White with some Frozen fan fiction in the middle. It begins long before the events of the revisionist Snow White & The Huntsman (2012) and eventually skips ahead to pick up where the last movie left off. In case you’ve forgotten your blockbuster history — spoiler alert! — Snow White and her Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) triumphed at the end by killing the true twin stars of the picture: Queen Ravenna and Her Oscar Nominated Costumes (a.k.a. former Oscar winners Charlize Theron & Colleen Atwood).

Dead though Ravenna was, when there is money to be made in franchise resurrection, nobody stays buried. In the new film we learn that the royal witch came to power alongside her kind loving sister Freya (Emily Blunt). After an unspeakable tragedy, though, Freya also became evil. Ravenna had that Magic Mirror to inspire her wickedness but Freya opts for a worn Blu-ray of Frozen as unholy talisman...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr232016

YNMS: Magnificent Seven, Girl on the Train, Cafe Society

It's a triple trailer mini breakdown. Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So on these three pictures?

Girl on the Train Trailer

YES. Emily Blunt deserves a big hit and she's always so watchable. Also: How is Allison Janney always so perfect? It's one of the great mysteries of the universe. The supporting cast is filled with solid players: Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans, Lisa Kudrow.
NO. Seems like the kind of picture that will be ruined before it opens with spoilers
MAYBE SO. Tate Taylor directed The Help which is better than people give it credit for being. Can he handle the thriller genre? That's quite a different skill set.

Magnificent Seven Trailer

YES. Chris Pratt being adorable again. He really sells it in this trailer. Denzel is reliable... even when he isn't trying (though we always wish he would try). The other cast members get no time in this trailer but Peter Sarsgaard is the villain and he deserves a showy role again. Also we welcome more Byung-hun Lee in our lives.
NO. Guns. guns. guns. Hollywood is like its own gun lobby really. All guns all the time. I bet like 40% of all movie posters have guns on them or something.
MAYBE SO. Is it is good as the film its remaking The Magnificent Seven (1960) which was itself a remake of The Seven Samurai (1954)

Cafe Society Trailer

YES. Jeannie Berlin looks fun as Jesse Eisenberg's mom and the premise has so much potential. Also Parker Posey as a platinum blonde sarcastic writer? Yes please. 
NO. Mobsters and showbiz? Good luck living up to Bullets Over Broadway. Dangerous film to reference cuz it's so damn funny and Woody movies haven't been that funny since. 
MAYBE SO.  Jesse Eisenberg says he's "half bored half fascinated"... even if that's true of the movie that's a win for modern day Woody pictures. We'll take half fascination. I don't know what any actor can bring to the stock hooker part anymore but if there's anyone that can maybe Anna Camp?

Thursday
Apr212016

On the Linkfront

VF Hollywood Charlize Theron's son loves Emily Blunt... and Frozen
Pajiba posits that Grease 2 is the superior Grease and a feminist triumph
Gothamist On the Waterfront is coming back to movie screens on April 24th and 27th as a Fathom Event. It's rarely seen on the big screen, so go
Variety there is a Three's Company movie in the works. Because.
Guy Goald "The Garlic Awakens"

The Retro Set the 8 most cinematic Duran Duran music videos. They stole from Mad Max, The Night Porter and even Indiana Jones
Towleroad This is awesome. Salt Lake City is renaming 900 South (a pretty cool street as it goes in SLC) "Harvey Milk Blvd". In related news: SLC must have changed a heap since I lived there for this to happen
NY Post Cher: The Musical. It could happen on Broadway
The New York Times Abolitionist Harriet Tubman is coming to the $20 bill. Albeit in 2020. That'll be a fun follow up to the HBO biopic starring Viola Davis (if that one is still on... who knows?)
Vulture Mark Harris's must read piece on Hollywood's strange disrespect for Melissa McCarthy, ICYMI
Pop Matters Duncan Sheik talks about his music for American Psycho on Broadway 
Tracking Board interesting casting: Debra Winger and Tracy Letts will co-star in The Lovers for A24 as a couple planning to break up but having second thoughts  
Stage Buddy Jose interviews Joachim Trier on his first English language film Louder than Bombs


RIP

Variety famous wrestler and TV reality star Chynna, who even played superheroine She Hulk in a porn parody, is found dead in her home 
Guardian remembers director Guy Hamilton who made four James Bond films (including Goldfinger) and other films like Force 10 From Navarone and The Mirror Crack'd 

Oops
We forgot to share the first trailer to Oscar hopeful The Birth of a Nation. If you haven't yet seen it, here it is. 

 

Tuesday
Apr052016

Top Ten: Current Stars Who Deserve a Great Role & Still Haven't Been Nominated

psssst. you still haven't been nominated for an Oscar.

Charlize is such a bitch! (I kid I kid.) But Emily Blunt has to be frustrated by know, right?

Herewith a quick top ten list for your Tuesday afternoon. Among currently working actors, who do you think would be most completely justified in righteous fury that they're still waiting for that one special role and even a single Oscar nomination? My answer to that question lies below. Please to note that this list could never be comprehensive. This isn't a list of "most snubbed" so much as 'doesn't it seem like time / past time?' and as such is highly subjective with an unwieldly title. 

Here we go.

10 CURRENTLY WORKING STARS MOST OVERDUE FOR
THAT TRULY GREAT ROLE THAT EARNS THEM THEIR 1ST OSCAR NOMINATION

This list is dedicated to all the greats that Oscar ignored time and again like Donald Sutherland and Mia Farrow who have now aged into "You missed your chance. Give them an Honorary" territory. 

 

RUNNER UP TIE: Kristen Wiig & Greta Gerwig

Funny
Did you hear that?
Funny
Yeah, the guy said
"Honey, you're a funny girl."

Comediennes so rarely get Oscar nominations (Melissa McCarthy got lucky!) but when you can work such comic gold from deep pain and surprise regularly with dramatic depth (Kristen Wiig) or when you're a completely singular star who is endlessly watchable (Greta Gerwig) shouldn't you be able to win prizes?

the top ten after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb232016

Team Experience - Favorite Presenter Moments from the Oscar Show

The Academy has announced the names of many presenters for the big night on February 28th. The list includes the best actress nominee who gave us this often used gifable funny moment, reacting to the makeup in The Wolfman (2010).

A few writers from The Film Experience share 7 more favorite moments from the presenters after the jump, including Meryl, Jim Carrey and Emma Stone...

Click to read more ...