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What did YOU see this weekend?

 

Elle. Basically the same movie as The Piano Teacher but sillier. Huppert is great, but when is she not? -Jonathan

The Edge of Seventeen because I needed something light and fun. So delightful, and anchored by a wonderful Hailee Steinfeld performance. - Marina

 

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Entries in John Travolta (12)

Tuesday
Nov012016

Now Streaming (Prime): Rocky, Bond, and Brad as "Joe Black"

It's that time of the month again. Streaming! Here are the new titles on Amazon Prime. As is our practice we'll freeze frame some at random to see what comes up -- no cheating! Will you be watching any of these? Do you remember them?

Russian Coach: He's nothing, he's soft
Swedish Dolph Pretending to be Russian: He's not a man. He is like a piece of iron.

Rocky IV (1985)
Remember when America was totally obsessed with Dick-Measuring with Russia. Oh wait... we're back there again only with a really gross twist (sigh). Side note: Most but not all of the Rocky films are avaiable for streaming but the not all point kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? See also: James Bond movies.

Speaking of...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep262016

Beauty vs Beast: What is the Word?

Jason from MNPP here, on the verge of admitting something that might get me lynched a la Frankenstein's Monster round these parts -- I have never seen Grease. Yes, that Grease. The movie Grease. I think I'd get less incredulous looks from my fellow movie buffs (especially of the homosexual sort) if I were talking about grease-the-liquid when I say that, but I speak of the 1978 movie starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.

Oh I have seen bits and pieces, it's really quite unavoidable (I would know, I have tried!), but a full-on straight-through sit-down til Sandy & Danny ride off on their hot-rod chariot into the sky? Nope. Five minutes of it gives me the hives and the heebie-jeebies, folks. Send your hate mail to, well, I guess to the comments of this post. Anyway it's Olivia Newton-John's 68th birthday today and we know our host Nathaniel's a big fan (and hey, I love that "Physical" video) so here's your Grease-themed "Beauty vs Beast." Also you could all probably come up with better Pros & Cons for each character than I could so feel free to share those in the comments... alongside your vitriol, of course...

PREVIOUSLY I have to say I am really proud of you guys for our last edition - in our face-off between Tommy Lee Jones and Best Supporting Actor winner Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men, you bucked the Oscar trend and gave your prize to Tommy Lee with 55% of the vote. He gets my vote too. Said Nick T:

"Every single time I've watched this I've loved Tommy Lee Jones more and more. Ed Bell and Marge Gunderson would have the loveliest conversation."

Friday
Apr082016

Sterling K Brown: A Star is Born

As we continue celebrating actors this month, here's Murtada on a new one to cherish. He's our TV MVP this week...

Sarah Paulson brought both pathos and steeliness to spare to her portrayal of Marcia Clark. Courtney B Vance was fiery bluster, daring viewers to take their eyes off him as Johnny Cochran. John Travolta was so infinitely alien as Robert Shapiro that he proved fascinating to watch. Almost every single performance was top notch*. What an ensemble.

And yet the clear standout is Sterling K Brown as Chris Darden.

The finale cemented what everyone watching The People Vs O.J. Simpson suspected throughout the past few weeks; we have a new fantastic actor to be excited about. The calm authority he brought to Darden’s closing argument alone should earn him a lot of accolades. Yet he wasn’t finished. At the post-verdict press conference, he goes about delivering a heartfelt speech and then in a split second he realizes words don’t matter, that’s when Brown breaks our hearts. He walks towards the Goldmans with a hunched back and overcome emotions, his body clearly telling us that’s a defeated man. No that’s not all of it. He then earns more of our admiration in his final standoff with Vance. Again bringing an eerie calm to Darden’s final testament.Through him the show delivers its statement about our current world.

Then there’s his final scene scene with Paulson; clasping hands as they walk away as Nina Simone begins to sing. Throughout the series Brown displayed palpable chemistry with his co-stars. The rat-a-tat of give and take acting with both Vance and Paulson, so riveting to watch. But also more. Didn’t you swoon when he took Paulson into his arms for a dance? Their chemistry is already generating both headlines and obsessive fandom! He’s not only a great actor but perhaps a matinee idol? Those don’t come along that often. I bet a lot of us would look at Brown the way Paulson’s looking at him in the photo above if we got the chance.

We shall be seeing a lot more of Sterling K Brown, starting with the Emmys in September. Have you watched the finale?

*I would’ve said all if it wasn’t for Cuba Gooding Jr.

Thursday
Sep102015

Women's Pictures - Amy Heckerling's Look Who's Talking

For some as of yet unexplained reason, 1980s American movies experienced a baby boom. Movies about family are always popular, but from about 1983 to 1995, the box office went gaga for babies. Mr. Mom, 3 Men and a Baby, Raising Arizona, and even Junior showed that for a brief period of time, there was nothing funnier or more heartwarming in Hollywood than people who didn't want kids suddenly becoming parents. Amy Heckerling jumped onto this baby buggy bandwagon with her freshman screenwriting effort, Look Who's Talking.

Talking babies are now almost passe as a conceit, thanks to Real Baby Geniuses, Rugrats, and those creepy e*trade Superbowl ads. But in 1989, the idea was new enough for Roger Ebert to point it out in his 3 star review of the film. Still, minus the talking baby (voiced by Bruce Willis and only audible to the audience), the rest of Look Who's Talking is formulaic in the classic romcom way - there's a Meet Cute, then Opposites Attract, an Unlikely Romance starts, which ends in a Romantic Reveal and the requisite Happy Ending, all of which is predictable from the minute Kirstie Alley's water breaks in the back of John Travolta's taxi.

None of this is necessarily a bad thing. Amy Heckerling's talents as a director are of the kind that we don't usually reward with golden statues or the word "auteur." [More after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb272015

The Likeliest Culprits in The Pearl Dress Thievery

Previously in Oscar Fashion Discussions
- Reader Poll Supporting plus Viola, Jessica, Scarlett
Reader Poll Actress plus Kidman, Blanchett,  Robbie

 

...and just when y'all thought we were done talking Oscar night fashions.

As you may have heard that amazing pearl dress worn by Lupita Nyong'o was stolen from her hotel room. My first thought was "but where could you even wear that?  Everyone will know and you're not going to look as good as Lupita anyway!" but then a more basic bitch realization: oh right, THOUSANDS of pearls. Supposedly 6,000 of them in all and unmarked and the dress is worth something like $150,000. Or, probably more than Lupita was paid for co-starring in 12 Years a Slave back before she was a household name, Oscar winner and instant fashion icon.

Theories abound but here are TFE's three best guesses as to the culprit. 

01. THAT CREEPER who was lurking around the actresses all night. Suspicious!*


02 THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE. Consider the facts: She WAS at the Dolby that night. She IS cultivating a "Modern" bad girl image. She DOES have a thing for pearls.

03 URSULA. Her rep declares the allegations unfounded and insulting. "On the whole she's been a saint."

*Scarlett Johansson is now a character witness so it looks like he's off the hook.