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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 

 

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COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
Yes No Maybe So: CREED, SECRET IN THEIR EYES, STEVE JOBS

CREED "I'm so here for Michael B. Jordan becoming a bona fide movie star. It'll just take the right project to put him in the public consciousness. Creed looks like it could be it." - Kate

STEVE JOBS "Isnt it too soon for a Jobs biopic?" - Amanda

SECRET IN THEIR EYES "I loved the original -- without the background of the Argentinian dictatorship a huge element of the plot tension gets lost. I wonder how they'll deal with that." - Felix


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Entries in Maleficent (28)

Sunday
Mar222015

Not Much Divergence In These Box Office Grosses

The Divergent Series: Insurgent (argh. that title) mirrored its predecessor with roughly the exact same opening weekend take. So it kept its audience but didn't grow, which might not bode well for a long life or the blind greed now-common decision to split its final movie into two parts. The reviews are worse this time. Nevertheless it's the 4th big hit for divisive Shailene Woodley out of only 6 movies so we're stuck with her for a long time to come. The other interesting mirroring going on is with Cinderella. While it hasn't been posting numbers quite as big as its Disney live-action predecessor Maleficent day-by-day, it's been close surprisingly close despite no Jolie-sized starpower. In other words, it's going to be far more profitable; despite looking more beautiful and lux it costs HALF AS MUCH to make.

KISS HIM! 

WIDE RELEASE
01 Divergent: Insurgent $54 NEW
02 Cinderella $34.4 (cum. $122)  Review
03 Run All Night $5.1 (cum. $19.7) Review
04 The Gunman $5 NEW 
05 Kingsman: Secret Service $4.6 (cum. $114.5) Review
06 Do You Believe $4 NEW
07 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $3.4 (cum. $24.1)
08 Focus $3.3 (cum. $49.4)
09 Chappie $2.6 (cum. $?) Review
10 SpongeBob Movie $2.3 (cum. $158.7)

PLATFORM RELEASE
01 It Follows (US) 32 Theaters $.3 (cum. $.5) Review
02 What We Do In the Shadows (New Zealand) 134 Theaters  $.3 (cum. $1.8) Review
03 Wild Tales (Argentina) 81 Theaters $.2 (cum. $1.1) Review
04 '71 (UK) 116 Theaters $.2 (cum. $.6) Review
05 A La Mala (Mexico) 123 Theaters $.1 (cum. $3.4)
06 Mr Turner (UK) 79 Theaters $.08 (cum. $3.8) Review & Interview
07 Love & Lost (China) 24 theaters $.08 NEW
08 Red Army (84 Theaters) $.07 (cum. $.5)
09 Danny Collins (US) 5 Theaters $.07 NEW 
10 Deli Man (US) 38 Theaters $.07 (cum. $.3)  

'71 looks good to hit 1 million IF it can keep its theaters for another couple of weeks (which is a big question mark since its per screen average isn't super strong). Critically raved horror film It Follows and Oscar nominated comedy Wild Tales continue to do strong business while slightly expanding. The latter just passed Leviathan's gross domestically which puts it behind only Ida from its competitive pool in the US market. That said Wild Tales is by far the most popular of last year's foreign nominees, having already grossed $25 million globally. Al Pacino's star has seen more bankable days. Did The Humbling ever even open after its Oscar qualifying release in December? And now Danny Collins made under $100,000 in its tentative 5 theater launch.

What did you see this weekend?

Tuesday
Mar032015

Top Ten: Horny For Horned Creatures 

This top ten list is devoted to Madonna & her minotaurs since "Rebel Heart," the Queen of Pop's 13th studio album arrives in full this Friday.

The minotaurs in particular serve as horny inspiration for this week's top ten. What are the best horned villains, horned beauties or horny creatures from the movies? I was surprised to realize that we don't get that many. It was hard to find enough good characters. The movies haven't been big on the succubus, for example, as mythological fetishes go. TV has far more horned characters but that's thanks in most part to the demon happy and expansive Buffyverse. But we're talking movies. Sorry Hellmouth!

We'll make do with what we have. But please do shout out a favorite if you don't see it here. 

TOP TEN HORNED MOVIE CHARACTERS
after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb182015

Let's Talk Costume Design

Manuel here to talk costume design, one of my favorite Oscar categories. Today’s detour into this category comes courtesy of this very cool “Oscar by the numbers” infographic MTV came up with which makes the bold statement that “Zero” is “the number of oscar nominations for women behind the scenes.” I’m sure they were hoping to point out the absence of women like Gillian Flynn (in Adapted Screenplay) and Ava Duvernay (in Directing) but isn’t it horribly misleading? You don’t have to go far to see Oprah Winfrey & Dede Gardner (Selma), Cathleen Sutherland (Boyhood) and Helen Estabrook (Whiplash) nominated in the Best Picture category, but you’re mostly also ignoring the women nominated in Production Design, Make up and Hairstyling and, of course, Costume Design. Aren’t these women working “behind the scenes”? This last category is to my mathematically challenged mind (and I’d have to double check the shorts categories to be sure), the only one outside of the actress nominations where we see an overabundance of female nominees.

And so, I wanted to highlight the work of the five costume designers nominated this year. If there’s one thing to be said about the increasingly PR-driven world of Oscar campaigning is the careful attention to the crafts categories as showcases for those working “below the line” as one would say. And so here are sketches (with accompanying links of where to read more about these designers and their work) from the five nominated films...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan022015

Year in Review: Women in Hollywood Box Office

Two yummy year in review lists per day. Here's Manuel to talk money 

Last year’s Box Office Top Ten is, as we all know by now, populated with talking raccoons, fighting robots, dangerous apes and superheroes of web-slinging and shield-throwing capabilities, so for this end of year report, we’ll focus instead on female-led films and how they fared with the public. It's a celebration of a corner of Hollywood more in line with the TFE sensibility.

Note: I am using “female-led” quite strictly (though, as always, quite subjectively in some cases).


Ensemble films like Guardians of the Galaxy, The LEGO Movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Godzilla are missing from the list below because, while they feature female characters in key roles, they remain male-centric, at best making their female-character (or if we're lucky characters) central amid an obscenely male-skewing world (Saldana in GOTG, Lawrence in XM:DOFP). At worst they side-line their actresses totally - what are Keri Russell and Elizabeth Olsen even doing in their respective films?.

After the jump see what the top 11 female-led films of 2014 grossed last year (along with other lists)

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec162014

Makeup & Hairstyling: The Elephantine Origin Story (and this year's finalists since we must)

It's history time, kids! Gather round. Did you know that The Elephant Man, currently on Broadway with Bradley Cooper, is indirectly responsible for the Academy's makeup Oscar? No, not that kind of make up Oscar ... though the Academy gives those all the time, too (why, hello Ms. Julianne Moore "Ms. February 2015"!) and maybe Bradley Cooper will get one of those someday?

what's that? u think this intro was an excuse to post a photo of shirtless Bra---FINE! don't judge.

I digress. In the stage version of The Elephant Man the lead actor traditionally performs while wearing no special makeup; he merely acts deformity. But that stylization hasn't yet been tried on film. When it came time to make the film version in 1980, David Lynch, no stranger to depicting deformity without prosthetics -- deformity of the soul at least -- opted for makeup effects. People bitched about the lack of Oscar recognition since The Elephant Man was an Oscar hit (8 nominations) and the very next year we had our category! Unfortunately for the The Elephant Man's team Christopher Tucker and Wally Schneiderman and all, it was too late. Those makeup artists never won a Makeup Oscar or even the other kind of Make up Oscar for overdue peeps.

Once there was an official category a young pony-tailed prosthetics genius named Rick Baker immediately began his relentless reign, hogging 11 nominations and 7 statues starting with An American Werewolf in London. The Makeup prize continued on its weirdly lyncathropic, excruciatingly unstable number of nominee (0,2,3,4) effects-obsessed path for decades thereafter.

UNTIL...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep112014

Team Top Ten: All Time Greatest Voice Performances

Amir here, with this month’s edition of team top ten. As the art of acting and our interpretation of it evolve, definitions of what we consider a good performance change. It’s become an annual tradition to discuss whether a motion capture performance or some “alternative” form of acting deserves to be in the awards race. Last year’s topic of conversation was Scarlatt Johansson’s voice work in Her and that's the topic we’ve turned our attention to. (Thanks to Michael Cusumano for his suggestion!)

Voice acting has existed since cinema found sound and it has contributed to the medium in more memorable ways than a list of ten entries can represent. We were not limited in our option to animated films or any genre. So long as the voice performance was not accompanied by visual aids from the same performer (e.g. Andy Serkis’s work in LOTR was not eligible), it was fair game. Naturally, our list is animation-heavy, but there were others firmly in the race like Alec Baldwin's exquisite narration of The Royal Tenenbaums or especialy Marni Nixon – of whom The Film Experience is a big fan – who received several votes but just not enough.

Without further ado, here the collective top ten created from the rankings of each contributor's individual ballot

Top Ten Voice Performances of All Time

10. Peter O’Toole (Ratatouille)
Peter O’Toole’s Anton Ego doesn’t have much screen time in Ratatouille but his contribution to Pixar’s best film outside of the Toy Story trilogy is immeasurable. The final monologue by Ego – what an apt name for the food critic, or any critic, really – has become a reference point for film writers. The text is definitive, reminding us that “in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.” Yet, the bitter truth in the text wouldn’t strike the right chords had it not been for O’Toole’s sombre, elegiac tone. Remarkably balancing his authority with a palpable sense of resignation, O’Toole’s final words elevate the scene beyond criticism.
-Amir Soltani

9. Eleanor Audley (Sleeping Beauty)
Angelina Jo-who? While the voluptuous star brought sexiness and unnecessary warmth to the part of Maleficent in this summer's blockbuster adaptation, she still doesn't hold a candle to the incomparable work of Eleanor Audley in the 1959 animated version. The actress bookended the 1950s for Disney through two of their most iconic creations, having also voiced Cinderella's stepmother in the 1950 version. For Beauty however, she was firing on all Machiavellian cylinders as she brought a sense of immeasurable dread to what was considered to be a children's film. Her Maleficent is barely in the film, but she makes every line count. We don't need to hear her entire (or any) backstory to know that she was truly evil in ways we could only begin to imagine. In a time before villains were cool, she's the most interesting character and when she says "listen well, all of you", you couldn't pay us to ignore her command.
- Jose Solis
(more on this performance

8 more great vocal performances after the jump...

Click to read more ...