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"While it doesn't seem groundbreaking, I know I will watch it eventually because of the four legends in the cast." - Rebecca

"Adored both Bergen and Keaton (and Garcia!), liked Fonda and unfortunately, thought Steenburgen kind of drew the short straw here. Overall, had a ball!" - Andrew


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Entries in Jesse Eisenberg (15)

Monday
Apr232018

Beauty vs Beast: Wakanda Forever

Jason from MNPP popping in from between Tribeca screenings to quick give us our Monday afternoon "Beauty vs Beast" fix -- I figure it's a Marvel Week what with that lil' Avengers movie opening in a couple of days and so what better time to step one step back and tackle their most recent smashing success, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, which is still sitting pretty in the Top Ten, box-office-wise. 1.3 Billion dollars! I figure some of you have seen it? So let's face down its titular hero (Chadwick Boseman) and The Best Villain Marvel Has Given Us Yet Eric Killmonger (Michael B Jordan), which is totally that character's official name now.

PREVIOUSLY Mark Zuckerberg did even better than I expected with last week's The Social Network poll - he managed a whopping 14% of your vote, getting comfortably trounced, as well he should, by Rooney Mara's Erica. Said IanO:

"This is one Sorkin’s most electrifying scenes. I’m Team Erica because sometimes you see someone become a star (of a sort...) right in front of your areas, and it’s one of the greatest pleasures cinema. Plus she delivers that kiss-off line magnificently, with just a hint of pity and sadness colouring the brutality of the line. So even though I’m Team Erica, you have to give it up for Eisenberg too, who charts the journey from clueless arrogance to awful realisation beautifully. It’s one of favourite performances of the decade."

Monday
Apr162018

Beauty vs Beast: Defriended

Jason from MNPP here wishing the great Rooney Mara a happy 33rd birthday (it's tomorrow) - do you think she will have birthday pie? I like to think that once she got a taste of pie filming A Ghost Story she hasn't been able to stop. Eat all the pie, Rooney! You've earned it. Anyway I've had Rooney on the brain over the past few weeks (more than usual anyway, which is always some) thanks to the presence of Mark Zuckerberg in our lives - who can look at his face and not want to re-visit all of her take-downs in The Social Network? You're a stronger person than me if you don't find yourself muttering "Good luck with your video-game" to yourself a couple times a day. In that spirit then this week's "Beauty vs Beast"...

 

PREVIOUSLY I really though y'all would have to give it to Jake Gyllenhaal for his performance in Stronger but every time I doubt your commitment to actresses I get proven hella incorrect - you picked Tatiana Maslany (and I mean no knock on her, she's terrific) with 60% of your vote. Said Bushwick:

"Team Tatiana for her patience - Jake’s reluctance and sassiness and Miranda’s indoor smoking seemed much more unbearable than losing my legs!"

Thursday
Apr212016

Thoughts I Had... The "Cafe Society" Poster

Look at this amazing poster for Woody Allen's Cafe Society (2016). The film will open the Cannes Film Festival and also, a little closer to home, the Seattle Film Festival this May. It will play near you this August as counterprogramming to Suicide Squad and Pete's Dragon.

After the jump, thoughts I had as they came to me unedited. Share yours, too, why don'cha...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar282016

Movie v Its Ensemble

Spoilers Ahead - Many of you have surely taken in the large spectacle clashing of Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice for either popcorn fun or schadenfreude curiosity after the critical drubbing. Even the film’s fans and apologists have to admit that substantial missteps were made.

One of the most gruesome of the film’s plentiful sins is how it hangs its enviable cast completely out to dry. This is a cast of Oscar winners, legends, and future greats (poor Scoot McNairy!) giving it their all, but still completely out to sea. The luckiest are the ones that are still used too sparingly: Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane don’t have time to make a mark, despite giving the grim actioner its only laughs.

But the film has a huge actor problem. There are many moments of its cast being underserved, undervalued, or placed into outright embarrassing situations. And there’s one glaring example I just can’t get past...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul112015

YNMS: Holly Hunter vs. Superman: Dawn of Wonder Woman

It would be a lie to say that The Film Experience has been anxiously awaiting the latest trailer from Zach Snyder. But life can surprise you and the newly released Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice promo literally begins with this image of Oscar Winning Diva Holly Hunter!

Today is a day for truth."

And her line reading is so over-the-top IMPORTANT that I want it on a Vine loop. Like Jessica Lange screaming "Knotty Pine" or something. Is it too much to ask that Holly's Senator is like Cristal/Showgirls self aware of what kind of movie she is in?

For now we are free to imagine that this movie is actually an action drama about Senator Holly Hunter's vendetta against Superman wherein she cosplays Wonder Woman (briefly glimpsed though it's never clear who she is fighting in her cutaways) to lay waste to him. Featuring Oscar nominees Diane Lane and Amy Adams! (Those grim self-important steroid warriors are just there to sell tickets to fanboys and muscle-queens!)

So let's Yes No and Maybe So it this thing (okay the real thing - sigh) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr242014

Tribeca: Eco-Thrills in "Night Moves"

Tribeca coverage with Glenn on the latest from Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff, Wendy & Lucy)

“Reserved, even by Kelly Reichardt’s standards.” That was the line I used to describe this Portland director’s latest, Night Moves, after its screening at Tribeca. Having premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, it’s understandable that it didn’t make all that much noise in the intermediate months given it’s such a quiet, guarded film despite its eco-thriller roots and name cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard. Like all of Reichardt’s films, however, it is that very low-key ingredient that makes it memorable. While it doesn’t soar to the breathtaking heights of Meek’s Cutoff, which just like Night Moves took a genre prone to testosterone-filled violence and twisted it into a elegant mood piece, her latest is a surprisingly thrilling experience even when its director seems to be actively trying to go against those genre instincts.

Eisenberg and Fanning star as Josh and Dena, young environmental activists with an unclear history. He works at an organic farm while she works at a women’s retreat and spa while attending meetings big on ideas but low on execution. Despite not being terribly friendly to one another they are off purchasing a boat and joining Sarsgaard’s Harmon in a location out of the city. The three plan on blowing up a dam that was built to allow people to “play their iPods non-stop” and killed native species in the process. They are environmentalists, but others will call them terrorists. In fact, one of the very best moments in the film is a lingering shot of an armed police guard at a rural farmer’s market. Society has always looked upon the environmentally conscious with a suspicious unease – consider why green political parties can never truly rise up against their more capitalist competition despite most people agreeing that two party systems are corrupt and terrible either way you cut it. Maybe that’s just me getting carried away, however.

What I found so interesting about Night Moves is the way Reichardt handles the thriller elements. She uses silence and performance to spike tension. An extended scene where Dena purchases fertilizer, using her baby-faced (how does she now look younger than her sister Elle?) to manipulate and disarm the garden store employees, casually throwing in a blunt-forced nudge to the sexism that is still alive and well – “You’d sell it to me if I looked like those guys.”  She allows her actors faces to guide the audience. When the detonation occurs, her camera remains tightly focused on Eisenberg, Fanning and Sarsgaard; their reactions being the audience trigger rather than overbearing orchestral demonstrations and pyrotechnics.

This take on the material is to be expected from, say, a film about a woman and her dog or a desolate Oregon Trail western, but I imagine many audiences will bump heads with the way she handles it here. It reminded me a lot of Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, choosing to take a somewhat impressionistic approach rather than the sensationalist one that the material could typically result in. I appreciate that and these are always the type of films that tend to stick in my head longer than, say, Zal Batmanglij’s The East from last year. I didn’t too much like the way Fanning’s character devolved, especially given the way the screenplay by Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond had developed the feminine elements of the story, but even then the keen eye of Reichardt and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt allow for an overcast beauty throughout.

There’s little here that Reichardt non-devotees will find to sway them, but for me she remains a brilliantly talented name in modern film. I would easily rank her alongside the likes of Aaron Katz (whose Land Ho I reviewed at Sundance and is also playing at Tribeca) and Sofia Coppola as one of the most interesting American voices working in today. Night Moves is reserved, but is grounded in a reality that is more thrilling than most of what Hollywood throws our way.