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Entries in Emmy (60)

Tuesday
Aug262014

Emmy Aftermath: The Repetitions, The Rules, The Fixes.

Well hear we are the day after the 66th Emmy Awards... or was it the 65th? or 62nd? or 60? It gets so hard to tell what with their refusal to spread the wealth. This number may not be 100% accurate but from my rough calculations anyone/anything who won Emmys last night had, on average, two previous statues.

No matter how great any one performance or show is, is it seems downright criminal to only honor that one thing. Think of how many people couldn't have Emmys for acting because of, say, Bryan Cranston's 5 statues for Walter White. I wish more voters would think of it that way. There's no argument among anybody who has watched it, even off and on like myself, that he didn't do great work but is his work 5 times greater than Jon Hamm's best work as Don Draper? 3 times greater than Michael C Hall's work as Dexter? And so on. He would have also prevented Kyle Chandler from that awesome tearjerking Friday Night Lights win had he been eligible that year. You just can't tell me his work is more valuable than all of those men combined and his Emmy run  blocked so many gifted actors from winning television's top honor. Same with Aaron Paul (3 statues) and Allison Janney (6 statues, 4 from one role). Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a slightly different case. She's a stellar performer (great in every series she's been in) but three statues is more than enough for the same performance especially when it means Amy Poehler's genius continues to go unrewarded. Yet at least Julia's 5 statues are distributed across 3 roles.

When you obsessively award one person over and over for the same performance you're really saying that nobody else in town is remotely of their calibre which is a depressing way to judge artistry, which is so subjective and has room for multiple conceptions of "Best". But perhaps the problem is in the voting process. (According to Gold Derby at least, voters rank the performances and whoever has the lowest score (i.e. you want first and second finishes, means that if you're everyone's second favorite you will probably win each and every year since the slightly more divisive series won't stand a chance. This could also explain why Modern Family just continues to hog Emmys though most critics think its glory days are long behind it. Maybe it's everyone's #2 and their number #1s are all over the place.)

"LESBIAN REQUEST DENIED" - Jodie & Laverne and several other OITNB nominees lost their categories.Though Emmy night wasn't at all interesting (I am reminded why I have never watched it religiously) the Emmy season was with all the controversies. For months there's been heated divisive arguments about Broadcast vs. Cable and whether they should be in direct competition. Official word is "we're not going to go there," that they'll never split up the categories. But couldn't some of the results in part have been about network TV actors finally rallying and saying 'enough with online and cable!'  HBO still led in actual wins  but it had very few televised wins so most of its triumphs were in the non-marquee categories. And Netflix, which has brought so much energy to the TV game, tanked. Orange is the New Black, easily one of the best and most-obsessed-over shows on TV, only managed two wins, neither of them televised. 

Herewith my proposal on how to fix the Emmys, to prevent all the controversial gaming of the system and the relentless repetition which does no service to an industry enjoying a lot of Golden Age goodwill. Every week on the internet you read about some new great achievement in television and everyone's top tens look different and people are just so excited with all that's on offer and every year at the Emmys the picture they present to the world is. 'We only make a few good shows. Sorry bout it.'

Proposed Rule Fixes

  1. No category hopping. Once you've submitted one way, you can't pretend you've become something else.
  2. Seriously consider best half hour series and best hour series instead of Drama vs. Comedy because nearly all the best work in any artform has both dramatic substance and a sense of humor. Orange is the New Black is hilarious but people kept being mad that it was placed in comedy because its drama is so effective. 
  3. If your name is in the opening credits you MAY NOT submit as a "guest" -- this is supposedly the guideline right now but very few actors follow it if they think they have a better shot at "guest." If you are in every episode, even if you're not in the opening credits, you MAY NOT submit as a "guest."
  4. Cap of three wins for any performance of the same role.
  5. Strict rules on number of episodes you must produce to qualify as anything other than a miniseries. I personally think the rule should be 10. How are shows with only 7 episodes competing in series? 

 Emmy really needs to lock down some rules about anthology series. Are they miniseries like AMERICAN HORROR STORY or regular series like TRUE DETECTIVE. It shouldn't be either or.

What do you think would help fix the Emmys? 

P.S. Here are my personal awards for last night's show

Best Duo: Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Bryan Cranston
Best Sports: The Mad Men actors who will complete this historic series with none of them ever having won for their terrific complex creations. And yet they show every year and smile and even endure the jokes about it now.
Classier Than It Often Is: In Memoriam
Dependably Funny Person Who Was Amazingly Funny: Amy Poehler
Dependably Funny Person Who Was Not at all Funny: Sarah Silverman
Most Ubiquitous Color: Orange (skin) vs Red (dresses)
Most Awesome Loser Reaction: Julia Roberts


Most Depressing Loser Reaction: Cicely Tyson 
Best Dressed: Lizzy Caplan
Hottest Arm Candy: Julianna Marguiles husband. In perpetuity.
Most Annoying Emmy Obsession: Seriously why even have a Reality category if you consistently ignore the really creative ones (hello RuPaul's Drag Race) and just hand The Amazing Race the prize ever year. 10 wins! Ridiculous
Most Satisfying Win: None. The closest would be The Normal Heart which I liked (but didn't love)
Happy Realization: There is room for at least a smidgeon of movement in next year's Best Drama races since Breaking Bad will be gone from all categories.
Bitter Realization: That won't help the repetitive factor in Comedy since Modern Family is still with us and still winning... and not just in the top category.
New EGOTs: None. And people we thought might edge closer (Julia, Cicely & Matthew) did not.

Photo that perfectly sums up Emmy night via Lena Dunham & Instagram

 

Monday
Aug252014

Emmy Winners. Live-Listing

Refresh your screen periodically
I'll have some sort of recap tomorrow and I'm live-tweeting here and there but I'll list the winners as they come in for those who want a handy reference.

UPDATE: Post-Ceremony Thoughts Here!

EMMY WINNERS 2014 - list is after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug232014

2 Days 'til Emmy Awards: Fantasy Mash-Ups

Before we hit the Emmy Awards one last group poll. I asked friends which Emmy nominated TV characters mix and matched from different series would they love to see paired up? 

True Sherlock: His Last Vow

Michael: I would mash up Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock with McConaughey's Rust. Sherlock would've knocked out that Yellow King business out in 20 minutes leaving the rest of the season for them to get drunk and philosophize.

DennySheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons on The Big Bang Theory) and Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba on Orange is the New Black) are served a pie. Hilarity ensues. Or: Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) gets sent to Litchfield prison and insults Red's (Kate Mulgrew) cooking on her first day. Delicious scheming and sassy put-downs ensue. And I really want to see Allison Janney and Julie Bowen's characters from Mom and Modern Family get drinks together, just because.

Andrew:  I'd like to see Claire Danes throwdown with any of the women on Orange is the New Black. Even though Homeland is supposed to be passe now, Claire continues to dig deeper with Carrie so why not up the ante by having her imprisioned? 

Tyrion & Claire in "House of Thrones"

Joe ReidOkay, well for starters, Claire Underwood would be the best thing that ever happened to Tyrion Lannister, and it would lead to possibly the greatest showdown on TV ever the next time Cersei tried to cross the happy couple.

Meanwhile, I keep trying in vain to find someone good enough for Veep's Amy Brookheimer, who would simultaneously not get chewed up and spit out by her ambitions/schedule. I finally settled on The Good Wife's Will Gardner, except ... well ... sigh.

Matthew Rettenmund:: Definitely Selina Meyer from Veep and Nicky Nichols from Orange is the New Black. I think Selina is a power lesbian waiting to happen—that haircut was more of a declaration than Ellen's "Yep, I'm gay!" NEWSWEEK cover—and Nicky knows how to pick the lock on a closet.

Jose SolisCarrie Mathison and Dr. William Masters. If poor Virginia drives him crazy, wait until he has to deal with Temple Grandin...

Mark BlankenshipCapt. Holt (Andre Braugher) from Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) from Game of Thrones would be perfect as a mismatched pair of private investigators in small New England town.

Anne Marie:  I want to see Lady Olenna and the Dowager Countess sit down to a meal with Red. They can serve prison chicken, tea, and barbed one-liners to each other.

Abstew: Allison Janney in Mom and Allison Janney from  Masters of Sex. Who wouldn't want an Allison Janney acting showdown? And since these characters are polar opposites, they could teach each other what the other is missing. Bonnie can tell Margaret about orgasms and Margaret can give Bonnie some class. 

You know you want to play in the comments and tell us which one of these impossible pairings is the one for you. Or create your own if none of these would win your greenlight.

Wednesday
Aug202014

5 Days 'til Emmys: Bunk Mates and Sex for Science

It's my blog and I'll play favorites if I want to. Though I'm rooting hardest for Mad Men on Emmy night (mostly because I think it needs all the goodwill it can get at this point) my actual two favorite shows of the 13/14 television season were Orange is the New Black and Masters of Sex, both competing in various categories, though not enough of them in the latter case, for their stellar debut seasons. So for this round of group question festivities, posed to friends of TFE and contributors, I have two questions regarding my two favorites.

Answer them yourself in the comments.

1. Which Orange is the New Black character would you most want to bunk with if you were so unfortunate as to land in that prison?

Matthew Rettenmund: Sophia Burset would be a great bunkmate. She could do my hair so it wouldn't look bald on top.

Jose Solis: Not a character, but Jodie Foster directed the best episode and I'd love to be *anywhere* with her.

 Mark Blankenship: Clearly, I need to bunk up with Poussey. I speak a little German, I enjoy books, and I'm very interested in building up a tolerance for homemade alcohol.

     more answers & sex studies after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug182014

This & That: Ant Man, Early Emmys, List Mania

Elisabeth Bergner, who started in German silents went on to a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Escape Me Never (1935)Schweigen a fine collection of 1920s and 1930s postcards of film actors. I loved looking at it despite my Richard Dix aversion. And this postcard left makes me desperate to see Escape Me Never, one of the 30s Best Actress nominations I still haven't seen
Cinema Blend profiles the 5 pilots from Amazon Studios including Hand of God with Dana Delany and Ron Perlman
E! Online Neil Patrick Harris responds to rumors that he and David Burtka are breaking up. It ain't so.
Pret-a-Reporter
Inside Madonna's 56th birthday bash
THR Cinematography Gordon Willis who died earlier this summer, was memorialized in Hollywood this weekend

List Mania
Rope of Silicon every death in a Quentin Tarantino movie thus far
Cinema Enthusiast has been investigating 1992 cinema. Loves Howards End, The Player, Batman Returns and more
Do You Remember Movies
names the 20 top female film stars of the 70s. I'm not sure what the criteria is but whatever it is, shunning Shelley Duvall ain't right! It ain't ever right.

Creative Arts Emmys 
By now you've probably heard that the kiddie table awards for the Emmys have been handed out. (Theory #1: If you have too many awards to fit them all into one big awards show, you have too many awards. Theory #2: Awards shows should be longer but if you still can't fit them into a 4 hour event, you have too many awards). Todd VanDerWeff, TV expert, reminds us that the Creative Arts Emmys don't really predict the major Emmys with quite the precision by which the craft categories on Oscar night can signal an impending Best Picture win. But it was a very good night for Orange is the New Black, Sherlock and True Detective among others. Here's a complete list of winners and the guest acting prizes went like so:

Guest Actress, Comedy: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Guest Actor, Comedy: Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Guest Actress, Drama: Allison Janney, Masters of Sex (her 5th Emmy but the first for something non-West Wing)
Guest Actor, Drama: Joe Morton, Scandal 

Congratulations to the winners. But I'm definitely shedding tears that the Mad Men curse continues (no acting winners ever in its entire run). Even Robert Morse's transcendent song & dance farewell couldn't break it.

Bliss
You may have already seen this Hello Kitty gallery of superheroes

I've never been more attracted to the Winter Soldier

In which Earth's Mightiest are modified for maximum cuteness and sparkle. But I hadn't seen it and now my life is complete. Well nearly complete. My life will only be complete IF they make Thor 3 this way. At least then it'd be infinitely more watchable than Thor: The Dark World.

Ant-Man
While we're on the topic of superheroes I do want to note that the long troubled Ant Man is finally out of the gate as filming has commenced. I've gone in and out of interest in the project over the years but unlike most of the internet, the last minute hiring of Peyton Reed in the director's chair was the best possible news I could have heard after the unfortunate exit of Edgar Wright. Peyton Reed is so undervalued (see Bring It On and Down With Love and be embarrassed for every ignorant person who has ever called him a hack.)

David Dastmalchian photographed by Caleb Condit

And now one last cherry on top. The rest of the cast has been announced and among the awesome ensemble cast which includes people we know and love like John Slattery, Bobby Cannavale, and Judy Greer, I have to personally congratulate David Dastmalchian for getting another big deal film. I've had an eye on the actor since nominating him for a cameo prize for The Dark Knight and he did super work again just last year in Prisoners in a small but key role.  His upcoming film Animals, which gives him a rare leading role, was this year's SXSW sensation. So happy for this fine actor. You should expect to hear more from him. And very soon. 

Exit Video

 

"Female Superhero Pitches a Movie" - this one has some pretty great lines in it as she keeps meeting roadblocks and narrowminded executives. I wish the pace was faster and the video shorter for more viral pleasure but, still, it's funny.

Saturday
Aug162014

9 Days 'til Emmy Awards: Spin Offs & Ideal Hosts

As we approach the Emmy Awards, a little questionnaire silliness. I polled Friends of TFE and the staff, too. 

1. Which character on which show would you kill to see get their own spinoff series?

Joe Reid: That American Horror Story's Myrtyle Snow never got to be a Project Runway judge is the real shame. But if we're talking whole-cloth spinoff, I really honestly think that Mad Men has stopped being able to give to Joan what Joan gives to the show. Watching her navigate the '70s would be amazing.

 Mark Blankenship: Can we please, PLEASE follow the further adventures of Lincoln (Hannibal Buress) from Broad City? Maybe he can open a free dental dental clinic, and every week, we can see his zany adventures with his patients and their jacked up teeth.

Nathaniel R: I'd follow anyone from Mad Men through the 1970s... and I do mean anyone but I want to focus on shows that are so rich that even the outer periphery characters are awesome so can I pitch shows for?: Nurse Jackie's slutty new drug dealer (Michael Esper); Dawn & Shirley (Teyonnah Paris & Sola Bamis), the new secretaries of Mad Men; that gay hooker from Masters of Sex (Finn Wittrock); Archer's cyborg lovers Katya & Barry

Anne Marie: Freddy from House of Cards gets his own show where he turns his hole-in-the-wall restaurant into a food empire by taking advantage of the shady political maneuvering he's overheard for the last decade.

Jose: Anyone from The Big Bang Theory...oh sorry, I stopped reading after you said "kill". 

Dancin' Dan: All I want for Christmas is "The Taystee and Poussey Make Fun Of White People Show".

How many binge-watching hours would you give that one?

 

2. Which reality host would you choose to host your real life?

Mark Blankenship: Tim Gunn. Obviously. Because he'd be proud of me if I put together a good look for brunch.

Anne MarieBetty. Freaking. White.

Nathaniel R: Heidi Klum... but only if she invites me to her annual Halloween bash.

Joe Reid:  This is not a question. This does not need more than a half-second's worth of thought. Cat Deeley now. Cat Deeley tomorrow. Cat Deeley forever.

 

YOUR TURN... who would host your life and which minor or central characters would you gladly follow up into their own spinoff series?