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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in List-Mania (111)


Tuesday Top 10: Best Godzilla fights

Tim here. The new Godzilla is [insert joke based on large animals destroying cities] the box office, while receiving generally mixed reviews that all agree on one point: the climactic monster battle in the film is aces. One of the best in the while 60-year, 30-film franchise, in fact, standing proudly alongside such classic moments as Godzilla and fellow icon King Kong pummeling each other, Godzilla being lacerated by the deadly vines of a giant mutant plant, or Godzilla using his atomic breath to fly after a levitating tadpole made of toxic waste.

The Godzilla films, they are silly.

Still, there’s enough B-movie popcorn fun in enough of them that, in honor of the new film and it’s triumphant climax, we are happy to present this highly subjective list of the best monster mashes in the giant lizard’s history.


Click to read more ...


Dressed to Link

Today's Must Read
The Hairpin's "Being Maleficent", on play-acting, female aggression, and iconic villainy

'Me, please,' they said. 'I want to be Aurora.'

I chewed my fingernails and felt my glasses slip down my nose. I wanted to be Aurora too. I wanted to be the center of the play. I wanted the woodland creatures to dance around me and the whole room to talk about my beauty, even if it was just pretend. But at seven, I was already hyper-aware of my skinned knees, my knobby elbows and my boy haircut. I stood up. 'I’ll be Maleficent.'...

More Recommended Links
de film Krant loved this impassioned vote for Brian de Palma as a sensibility shaper and the problems with "greatest of all time" lists
Grand Old Movies looks back at a Norma Shearer movie I hadn't heard of - Let Us Be Gay (1930). With deglamming! 

/bent Tilda Swinton reteaming with her Teknolust director and she will reportedly play a "phosphorescent talking cat" rather than the female lead. Um...
Pajiba the first teaser for Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella if you feel like looking at a shoe for a minute 
The Stake has a response to that much discussed MZS article on how boring/interchangeable superhero movies are 
VF smart piece from Joanna about how Samuel L Jackson's star cameo on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. exposed the show's core flaw. Co-sign.
Variety Harrison Ford for Blade Runner 2. I guess maybe he doesn't hate it anymore?
Film School Rejects so they're making a Morrissey biopic that's not called Morrissey and won't include any of his music and which he didn't approve. okay.... 


Fonda and Ziyi at the Grace of Monaco premiereWe Cannes Cannes Cannes
And here's a reminder to check out our extensive Cannes coverage. I'm so happy we've gone full French. Now to pester Diana again for more info on what she's up to...

Diana's Diary
- we finally have someone on the ground
Opening Gala Tidbits - in which critics attack, buyers buy, and Kidman still owns my heart
Best Palme D'Or Winners ever? - we made a group list
Competition & Un Certain Regard - Nick and I chatted up the lists of mouthwatering possibilities 


Tim's Toons: The Best Moms Ever Drawn

Tim here. Mother’s Day weekend is just around the corner, and not just any Mother’s Day weekend: this year marks the 100th anniversary of the proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson establishing the second Sunday in May as a national day of celebration.

In the honor of the century of mothers that have come and gone since then, and since this is the Film Experience’s dedicated animation corner, I though it might be fun to pay tribute to some of our favorite cartoon mothers. Of course, with motherhood being one of the most death-prone professions in the world of animation (all those Disney princess with just a father, if they’re not orphaned outright… and let us never forget the national childhood trauma that is Bambi), there are fewer such women than we might like. These are three of the best.

Helen Parr (voice: Holly Hunter)
The Incredibles

To me, this is the easiest and most obvious answer there could ever be to the question, “who’s the best mom in the history of animated movies?” And not just because of Hunter’s fantastic performance, though I hope I don’t need to mention that it helps. We’re all Hunter fans here, right? Good.

The genius of the character lies in part in the playful metaphor behind her: taking care of her kids, household and husband requires Helen to stretch herself as thin as can be, so what of course would have to be her superpower, but infinite elasticity. But it also lies in how fully Hunter and writer-director Brad Bird commit to making the character more than just a collection of Eisenhower-era feminine tropes. Helen is a wonderfully complicated character, in fact, and complicated women are common in neither American animation nor superhero movies. The subtle interplay of emotions that she expresses over the course of the movie, and the vivid intelligence, wit, and self-reliance that she acts with at all times, makes her a fully-feeling person and not just a reactive wife and mother. And it’s precisely because we get so much more of her inner life that her considerable strength in those roles is so clear and involving.


Chicha (voice: Wendie Malick)
The Emperor’s New Groove

This one can, I think, be fairly described as my against-convention pick. From the Disney movie that everybody underrated until it developed a cult that is sending it merrily on the way to being overrated, Chicha isn’t one of the film’s biggest characters by any stretch (by my count, she comes in at fifth, right ahead of “guy who gets thrown out the window in the opening sequence”), but she makes a hell of an impression in just a couple of scenes as the level-headed focus of reason in a film where just about everything is operating at a high-level pitch of cartoon anarchy. It’s the “wife in a CBS sitcom” role, basically, but Malick’s warmly calming performance and the general excellence of the character’s interactions with her manic kids make her one of the highlights, for me, of a film full of highlights: the mom everybody wants and needs, who lets you goof off and be silly right up until it’s time to knock if off, a gentle totalitarian with a good sense of humor.


Mrs. Jumbo (voice: Verna Felton)

The horrifying moment when Bambi’s mother gets shot is all well and good. But for my money, the single most devastating moment of parent/child agony in the whole of the Disney canon is when the little mute elephant with giant ears goes to the cage where his mother has been locked up as a rampaging beast, and curls up on her trunk, the only part of her body she’s able to reach out to him. Something about the tenderness and cruelty intermingling in that moment is just overwhelming – and the plaintive lullaby "Baby Mine" playing over the scene doesn’t hurt matters one iota.

Here and everywhere else, the relationship between Dumbo and his mother is an absolute triumph of animation, making exemplary use of the Disney animator’s understanding of how to communicate the sensitive and emotion of physical touch through their drawings.

With neither character speaking much at all (Mrs. Jumbo has a single line, naming her child), it falls entirely to the images to create the emotional truth of their relationship, and this is done with amazing skill throughout: from the charming bath scene to the lacerating "Baby Mine," Dumbo is a film that consistently depicts gentle, loving caresses between mother and infant with a sweetness and sensitivity I can think of nowhere else in film. Not just in animation, but in live-action too.

I’ll turn it over to you now. Who are your favorite animated moms? Share with us in comments!



Tues Top Ten: "Friends" Episodes

Jose here. Ten years ago today (May 6th, 2004) television as we knew it passed away as Friends came to its end after ten landmark seasons.

The show redefined what Thursdays on NBC were all about and made huge stars out of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt Le Blanc and David Schwimmer. It also pretty much set the standard for what would become “the” multicamera sitcom rules.

On a more personal note, I was obsessed with this show as a teenager, having only caught up with it through syndication. I officially joined the “live” watching only during the fifth season and by the time the show ended, I understood what it was like to “lose” something you grew up with. I’m still mourning the loss of Friends and that other show about New Yorkers that ended its run the same year.  I’m sure you all have your favorite episodes, but whenever I think of me as a kid watching episode after episode after school, these are the ten I’d gladly take with me to Central Perk.


10) The One with Phoebe’s Wedding (S10E12)

Why It’s Here: Everything that can go wrong, goes wrong as Phoebe prepares to walk the aisle and marry Mike (Paul Rudd). Her stepdad stabs a man in prison and Joey has to fill his shoes, while Chandler and Ross fight over who gets to replace one of Mike’s best men. Monica gets fired as wedding planner and a blizzard arrives forcing the gang to improvise...all leading to one of the most magical moments in the series.

MVF: Ross and his sidekick Chappy the dog.

Could it Be Any More Quotable?:

Joey: Friends, family, dog, thank you all for being here to witness this blessed event. The cold has now spread to my special place, so I'm gonna do the short version of this.

nine more greats after the jump...

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Top Ten: The Best of Kristin Scott Thomas

DON'T LEAVE! Don't check out of the movies now. 

I'd like to speak to your manager."
-Kristin Scott Thomas as "Crystal" in Only God Forgives

As you may have heard the great Kristin Scott Thomas, who first broke through as Hugh Grant's deliciously tart unfortunately platonic friend in 4 Weddings and Funeral and was Oscar nominated way back when for her ice hot sand- blasted eroticism in The English Patient and who has elevated countless films since has rather casually tossed off a 'good riddance' to cinema

I just suddenly thought, I cannot cope with another film. I realised I've done the things I know how to do so many times in different languages... I can't do it any more. I'm bored by it. So I'm stopping

Oh come on Kristin, Only God Forgives wasn't that bad. [More...]

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The Desolation of Smaug: Accentuate the Positive

Michael back again. Nathaniel recently asked us if any of us had seen The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson's latest Middle Earth chapter is entering its sixth weekend with $800+ million in the worldwide bank and three more Oscar nominations and it's gone completely unremarked upon at TFE.  But I could feel the life draining out of me as I attempted to review it. Surely the world did not need one more dissection of Peter Jackson’s chronic inability to rein in his material. What’s left to say, save that Desolation has exactly the problems you would expect it to have? Hell, one could get the same from any archived review of The Lovely Bones or King Kong. All the criticisms still apply.

So I junked that review and decided it would be good for the soul to write something positive instead. After all, Jackson is a maddening filmmaker not because he’s some worthless hack but because he frequently buries moments of brilliance in all the sprawling self-indulgence. So with that in mind here is a list of five things I loved or liked about The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug:

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Amir's Most Anticipated, 2014

Amir here, taking a break from the relentless torrent of lists, think pieces and twitter catfights about everything 2013 to look ahead at the new year.

Making a list of the year’s most anticipated films is always a risky task and there’s little payoff in raising one’s expectations of any film. Predictably so, there isn’t always overlap between what we anticipate and what we actually like when the final product materializes on the screen, but that’s the beauty of the whole thing. There will undoubtedly be disappointments, but in their stead, there will also be pleasant surprises. Of the films that shaped my lineup last year, only three ended up among my top 25 films of the year, but at this moment a year ago, I hadn’t even heard of something like Museum Hours or The Broken Circle Breakdown.

10 Noah (Darren Aronofsky)
Because: the director. The director, I say! The trailer for this biblical epic was mostly disappointing. The CGI looked unconvincing, the dialogue was gratingly cheesy and, as a non-religious man, I find the basic premise of this oft-told story laughable. But who am I kidding? I’m still going to be there on opening day. Darren Aronofsky has (almost) never disappointed and something tells me he’ll find an interesting angle on the most famous of all tales. Plus, I have a fondness for Russell Crowe few can match.

Nine more possible great ones after the jump...

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