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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Entries in HBO (115)

Monday
Jul102017

A First Look at HBO's "Deuce"

Chris here. David Simon is something of an HBO perennial, delivering the likes of The Wire, Treme, and the Oscar Isaac-led mini Show Me A Hero to much acclaim. He's back (along with his frequent collaborator George Pelecanos) this fall for another round of prestige grit with crime series The Deuce, an NYC-set look at the rise of the porn industry and its violent underbelly.

Now before you go calling this HBO's next Vinyl, consider that it also gives us twin James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal in several wigs. There is a lot to take in for a seemingly familiar series: a logo that looks like it belongs in an Atlantic City lounge, campy period detail, dialogue that feels intentionally cheesy. I'm not sure if the tone is supposed to be slightly off-kilter, but there are enough bizarre elements to make The Deuce more intriguing than another severe Goodfellas retread. While the first look below features a lot of the expected plots points for such material, it also hints that we could be getting some peak form Gyllenhaal among its glossy production value. The Deuce debuts September 10.

Thursday
Jun012017

Julia Roberts Returns to HBO

Chris here. Add another high profile limited series to the mix - Julia Roberts has signed on to lead an adaptation of Maria Semple's novel Today Will Be Different for HBO. While this would be Roberts's first season-length run on television, she did scoop up an Emmy nomination for HBO's The Normal Heart.

Today should be a more lighthearted pairing for Roberts and the cable giant: the series (which Roberts will also executive produce) will follow a single day in the life of Eleanor Flood as she attempts to be her best self despite what lies ahead. Messy hilarity and existential crisis follow.

Semple will be writing the script from her novel but I'm already curious at who might direct the adaptation. With prestige director-chasing production company Annapurna at the reigns, we can expect a significant directing talent to come on board as well. Semple and Annapurna also have Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (a delightful read, if you haven't picked it up yet) from Richard Linklater and Cate Blanchett in the pipeline, so clearly they're already creating intriguing projects sight unseen.

Will we have another Big Little Lies-level hit on our hands?

Monday
May152017

Powers Boothe (1948-2017)

Powers Boothe with his daughter Parisse (both acted in DEADWOOD) at a 2006 Emmy partyThe Emmy winning character actor Powers Boothe, best known for screen villains on TV (Deadwood, Nashville) and in movies (Sin City, Tombstone) died yesterday morning in his sleep from natural causes. After Shakespearean work on stage after college, his screen career began with "bad Shakespeare" as part of the Richard III play within the Oscar nominated comedy The Goodbye Girl (1977) in which he mostly lays like a corpse on a table while Dreyfus overacts the hunchback around him. The on camera career stretched for nearly another 40 years ending with the recurring baddie role as one of HYDRA's top leaders  "Gideon Malick" on  the third season of Marvel's AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (2015/2016).  

The native Texan was 68 years old and is survived by his wife of 48 years (they married in college before his acting career began) and their two children. After the jump a quick survey of key roles... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr192017

Goodbye to "Girls"

by Chris Feil

This Sunday HBO ended the six season run of Girls, Lena Dunham’s caustic and compassionate take on millennial Brooklynites. The series ended much as it began: with a wide range of qualitative opinions, as frustrating as it was rife with conversation points, uneven but special.

The final season was its the choppiest since its earliest days, often one of its more unsatisfying. After seeming primed to get her shit together at the end of season five, that charged feeling of a new life chapter was delivered in the unexpected form of Hannah’s pregnancy. Marnie was running out of gas as her divorce finalized and her music career was on its most pathetic last legs. Elijah inched closer to Broadway. Jessa took a backseat as a villain without much of a story, and Shoshana was barely there at all, even less than usual. Despite its comic stride holding up from the previous season, this season’s form felt sloppy and scattered despite Hannah’s long-game story arc.

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Monday
Apr032017

"Big Little Lies" Finale - The MVPs

 Previously: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, and Episode 6 

by Nathaniel R

Is Big Little Lies the richest miniseries in recent memory? Its seventh hour was burdened with extravagant expectations and seemingly far too many character arcs, story suggestions, actual plot, and general areas of concern (domestic abuse, female friendship, infidelity, emotional crises, childhood bullying, responsible parenting) to cover in sixty minutes. An impossible task in terms of satisfying its rabid fanbase, surely. And yet here we are. Jean-Marc Vallée (who directed every episode), his crew, and his astonishing actresses, pulled it all together gorgeously and even completely (no second season is necessary, thank you; leave beautiful things alone).

Spoilers obviously follow in this wrap-up list...

Top Ten Top Twelve MVPs of Big Little Lies, Episode 7
"You Get What You Need"

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar222017

Big Little Lies MVPs: Episode 5 "Once Bitten"

Previously: episode 1 and 2, episode 3 and episode 4. Here's Nathaniel's take on Episode 5

In the fifth episode, we've reached what has to be a boiling point as Jane, Madeline, Celeste and Renata all seem to be coming absolutely unhinged simultaneously. Spoiler alert for the rest of this post: this show is just superb and it's giving us more actressing than we even know what to do with. *tosses roses at television*

Top Ten MVPs of Big Little Lies. Episode 5 "Once Bitten"

10. Madeline's Dream
Bonus points to the show for having a sense of humor about its hardcore annoying refusal to let us know who was murdered. Also any Avenue Q reference is golden.  

09 "Bully Free Zone"
That damn bright yellow & red sign. 

Don't you feel like it's constantly just taunting everyone in the school? At least half of the adults in this show are bullies themselves and everyone seems so helplessly ill equipped to deal with bullying in school on top of their other issues... 

Click to read more ...