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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


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

 

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they would kill her"

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Entries in Mean Girls (23)

Monday
Apr132015

Q&A Part 1: Avatar the Musical (Not Really) & Instant Classics

For this week's "Ask Nathaniel" party, I asked people to be inspired by the theater (Tony season is upon us) or by the science fiction genre. I promised 10 questions. 10 answers but that's too long. So here's part one of two: 4 questions today. 6 tomorrow. here we go...

I started drawing myself as a Na'vi but got bored when I realized my lack of hair meant I couldn't ride dragons. Unfinished.STEVE: Do have fear that the million Avatar sequels that will happen will ruin the magic of the original for you?

NATHANIEL: I love Avatar but it will ruin itself. Technological breakthroughs rarely age well because there's always another technological breakthrough around the corner to make the previous one look antique. The exception is something like Star Wars because its success wasn't really about how "new" it looked. In fact, it was successful because it was so good at being an old thing (adventure serial) and using old techniques in improved new ways like models and matte paintings and whatnot. I think it's quite funny that the upgrades when they "fixed" the Star Wars trilogy later on actually made them seem less timeless. Computerized Jabba the Hut for example totally places you in the exact moment of when CGI looked like that. Puppet Jabba is forever.

Plus will those three Avatar sequels actually happen despite the current plans? James Cameron has only made two films in the past 20 years and he's already 60 years old. I realize he's planning to shoot them simultaneously but if he weren't he'd be wrap up a full Avatar quadrilogy in 2044 or so and then retire and/or die at 90.

JAMES: What witches do you think Meryl Streep was offered when she turned 40?

OMG I LOVE THIS QUESTION. I have ignorantly never questioned this  despite the fact that Meryl Streep has been quoted about this a few times. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar222015

Link Slippers. They're Surprisingly Comfortable

Defamer Jessica Lange throwing shade Lady Gaga's way in an American Horror Story press event
White Noise wonders why Hollywood can't get hackers (and computers in general) right?
Salon Excellent interview with Daniel Franseze (Mean Girls) about his breakout Looking character, a complete rarity for TV, and HIV prevention 
Playbill has an updates on the musical version of Mean Girls that Tina Fey is working on
CHUD Bobby Cannavale says that there's a lot of comic improv in the Ant-Man film this summer 
Pajiba looks at "Jonathan" (aka Danny Strong) and how the Buffy super villain surprisingly became such a success story after the series. 

Comics Alliance Captain America: Civil War wants to start shooting in a couple of while while the various Avengers actors are still deep in promotion duties for Age of Ultron. (Marvel has definitely moved into "rush everything!" mode. It wouldn't seem to impossible if all the Avengers weren't in it but they seem to be.)
PressPlay has a video essay on what it means to be an auteur 
Playbill Liza Minnelli has reentered rehab after a recent back surgery
Black Maria has some recommendations on Warner Archive. I keep wondering if I should join this but I already spend so much $$$ on movies. Have any of you tried them out?
The Dissolve is horrified by forthcoming Robin Hood adaptations from Hollywood. Yes, there are five of them in development and they all sound quite dumb!
Pajiba omg you guys, did you see the Miley Cyrus wax figure? Yikes.
The Film Doctor looks back at Nightcrawler's "atrocity montage"
Women and Hollywood check on these horrifyingly sexist casting ads. Like this one... ugh:

There's something unnerving about her. Maybe she's read too many books?

Oscars are so far away but Oscar talk never is
Gold Standard Glenn Whipp on why the Academy shouldn't go back to 5 Best Picture nominees. Did I share this already? I might have shared this already.
Awards Daily One of our most high profile documentarians, Alex Gibney, has a possible contender this year in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief which hits HBO at the end of the month. (Seems like wishful thinking, Oscar-wise, to me since Hollywood has a lot of Scientologists that will undoubtedly be offended by it.

Cinderella is still spinning
i09 in our Cinderella retrospective we forgot about this oddity. Fairie Tale Theater's version with Matthew Broderick as Prince Charming!
Guardian attacks the new Cinderella for not being more like Frozen and selling feisty girlpower and for its "pinkification"... whatever that word means in this context. Sigh. This article and line of thought make me angry. Listen, I'm all for feisty girlpower but you know what's even better for men and women alike? diversity in representation. It's not good for boys to only have heroes that are physically intimidating and it's not good for girls to only have heroes that are anachronistic 'you go girl!' athletic types. There's more than one way to be an admirable film character that kids can look up to. I think this adaptation does wonders keeping the princess-to-be true to the material while also transforming her into a better role model. A protagonist that emphasizes fine-tuning your inner moral compass and positively affecting change through compassion and forgiveness is a protagonist that's still mighty heroic and worth emulating if you ask me. Not every "hero" needs to be able to kick ass.

Tuesday
Aug262014

Curio: Back to (Film) School

Alexa here.  Each year at this time I'm a little nostalgic for the school supply run of yore.  I'm old enough to remember the original Trapper Keepers, and personalizing them with my own doodles and stickers. So in the back-to-school spirit I've been scouring for the best film fan notebooks, pencils and stickers to use for journaling or reviewing.  For that dream trip I'll take some September to TIFF, maybe?

Let's start with Wes Anderson. More, including Pitch PerfectAmelie and Banksy are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May052014

Beauty Vs Beast: King of the Ring

JA from MNPP here, getting ready to rumble with a brand new edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast" for youse guys... we're running up the steps of the Philly Museum of Art and giving a victorious twirl (a very manly twirl, mind you) this week in honor of just having seen Rocky: The Musical.

It wasn't entirely by choice - my mother was in town and I'm always forced to see things I otherwise wouldn't (last visit it was Jersey Boys, which I'm still recovering from), and since she's a huge fan of the Sylvester Stallone's 1976 Oscar winner it seemed only right to hit up the stage version. Especially on the heels of its Tony nomination for Andy Karl as Best Actor in a Musical...

... but since we the people of The Film Experience seem to be cursed right now, Karl was a no-show at our performance. I can't say if the show would've popped more with him up there or not - his nomination makes me think so, but as it was the entire thing seemed reliant less on small things like music and character and more upon its admittedly spectacular staging. Ben Brantley nailed it - you kind of forget how bored you were for the first 3/4s when the boxing-ring rolls into the audience for the last act and shit goes bananas. It's empty calories, sure, but you walk out on a high.

That said what does come across well with the stage-version is the even-handed equinimity that Stallone & Co. treated both the the men-in-gloves with - yeah we're there with Rocky the whole time, but Apollo Creed isn't a stache-twirler. Both men have their faults and their strengths, and that's what's always made the showdown, spectacle or no, one for the ages. Apollo's established so well that by the sequel they become buddies and when evil Ivan Drago shows up in Part IV, well, not a dry eye in the house. And that brings us to today's showdown!

 

Which man will be standing in the end? Place your bets in the comments and prepare yourself for a grueling fifteen rounds over the next seven days of duel - see you back here next Monday when we'll crown the king of the ring.

PREVIOUSLY ON Last week was all about the Mean Girls, what with its ten year anniversary being heralded far and wide across the web and beyond (Tina Fey's ears musta been ringing something fierce) - so which Plastic exerted dominance over all the tables of the cafeteria? Who else? We all gave Cady a big "Boo you whore" and threw her under the bus - long live Regina George. Said Paul Outlaw:

"If Lindsay Lohan hadn't grown up to become an adult version of Regina George, Team Cady would probably be walking away with this. (Team Regina here.)"

Wednesday
Apr302014

"I know what you're thinking: Home schooled kids are freaks!"

[Our Mean Girls week concludes with a really fresh angle I think you'll love. Here's Tim on being a home schooled freak. - Nathaniel R]

Tim here. I can't tell you how many times I, a perpetually overweight, underemployed, thirtysomething male, have looked at Lindsay Lohan and thought to myself gosh, she's just like me! But I can tell you the time it struck closest to home was when I first peered into Mean Girls a decade ago. Look at any appreciation, vintage or current, like the ones we have going for our Mean Girls Week, and you're going to encounter the sentiment that the film understands deep and universal truths about the public high school experience, but the kinship I feel with Lohan's Cady Heron is of an entirely different sort - the exact opposite, in fact.

Mean Girls, after all, isn't just a movie about any old bright teenager entering a new school and being partially devoured by the social order she finds there: it's about a bright teenager who has spent her life to that point being home schooled, thrust for the first time into a world full of people her own age. And like Cady, I spent my share of time being home schooled, though it wasn't because my parents were awesome zoologists who took me with them for a decade-plus research trip in Africa (it wasn't for fringe religious reasons either, I want to make that very clear). And unlike Cady, I never did get to experience the magical horror show of American high school. But I did get to have that same brutal, abrupt shift from being essentially solitary, driven only by my own sense of discipline, to be thrown into a terrifying world of people and schedules when college and dorms came upon me. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr292014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Mean Girls (2004)

For this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we're reairing one of the earliest of episodes. We invited new readers to select a shot if they weren't around in 2010 when "Best Shot" first began so this survey of Mean Girls best shots, as chosen by each participant (click on the link for the corresponding article) is an fusion of old and new pieces 'round the web. Here's my choice:

And what I originally wrote:

The camera tracks Regina through the hallway after she's hatched her brilliant revenge plan. She's regained control of the screaming rage we saw in the prior scene and she's just gliding through the hallways, with a neat hint of actressy athleticism. Gone is the sex kitten and in her place the marathon runner. 

The shot functions like a reverse Hansel & Gretel; the witch leaving a bread crumb trail. In the bookend shot that follows the camera is still moving, gliding away from her, but the witch isn't. Witness her hungry self-satisfaction while she watches the children gobble up the crumbs; They're already baking in her oven!

So, that's my choice. What's yours?

14 MORE BEST SHOT(s)
as chosen by 16 of the greatest people you'll ever know
click on the image for the corresponding article 

a blink-and-you-miss moment in the film... absolutely hilarious."
-Sorta That Guy 


The best performance of her career..."
-Coco Hits New York 


The conspicuous gap between them...
-Antagony & Ecstasy

No shot in the film makes me bust out loud laughing more..."
-Best Shot in the Dark 


I love to think about Regina...
-Intifada 


Each of "The Plastics" has great lines, but Karen takes the cake"
- Dean A 

This could not be more on point."
- I Want to Believe 


...captured the insanely fun spirit of the film but also encapsulated the plot really well."
- Awkward is What We Aim For 

And she's not just maintaining a place among North Shore royalty, she's threatening to take over..."
-Cinemamelie


She even describes herself as 'a woman possessed'..."
-Film Actually 


...a wicked Madonna from a Renaissance tableaux."
-Movies Kick Ass

The queen of the jungle..."
-The Entertainment Junkie 


Daniel Franzese, far and away the funniest part of Mean Girls"
- Serious Film 

Her flock who've come to worship..."
-Musings and Stuff 

 

My pick for Best Shot has actually accrued more meaning over time....
-Dancin Dan

 

Oh you girls keep me young I luv ya..."
-The Film's The Thing 

 

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Next on 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' - JOIN US
05/06 Altman's strange / wonderful Three Women (1977) with Shelley Duvall & Sissy Spacek
05/13 Antontioni's mod classic Blow-Up (1965) Vanessa Redgrave and a mysterious murder 
05/20 Choose any or multiple Batman films. Pick and post your fav shot for his 75th