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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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Emmy Aftermath - how to fix the Emmys?

"Personally, I'm opposed to capping wins or even nominations, even if seeing Modern Family win year after year drives me up the walls. I think it look punishing to the winners, instead of addressing the real issue, which are the voters and the voting system, and how even as things change and get more diverse and they try to catch up, they still don't vote that outside that box at all. It still takes that little aura of prestige for different shows to break in, and there is such a gap between what's great and what's awards-material." - Tee

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Entries in Oscars (12) (288)

Monday
Oct292012

Review: Free Pass for "The Sessions"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad...

When Madonna's "Sex" book turned twenty last week, a common thread of blog coverage was 'tame by today's standards' and I wondered which new standards other people were living by that I wasn't privy to? I'm not talking about private culture -- people have been seeing strangers naked long before Grindr or easily clickable pornography -- but about mainstream entertainment. Which mainstream female celebrity has been running around aggressively in her birthday suit lately? We've hardly made great strides at accepting female sexuality since then. Proof positive: the current political debates. The male body has, on the other hand, become more commonly objectified two decades on but penis sightings are still as rare as they were in the "Sex" book and people continue to make a big flaccid point of being shocked whenever they're visually reminded of their existence... especially in the movies. Find even one article about Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Eastern Promises or Shame that doesn't mention Jason Jr,  Viggo Jr. or The Fassmember; tough assignment. 

This longwinded preface isn't as off-topic as it sounds for a review of THE SESSIONS. The sexually-minded lightly funny new drama stars Oscar nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) as Mark O'Brien, a paralyzed man who dreams of losing his virginity from the discomfort of his iron lung. 

more...

 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct282012

"Argo" is a Fake Movie but its Box Office is Real

Argo F*** yourself!"

That's what I imagine Ben Affleck and team were saying to their box office competition this weekend. In the Best Picture hopeful's third weekend, it climbed to the top of the charts which is a fine very good extremely significant sign that it's going to have legs and thus a indefatigable sturdy stride towards February's Oscar ceremony. Those getting f***ed included Cloud Atlas (some are wild for it -- see below -- some think its silly but the nearly 3 hour running time and gargantuan budget have made profit a ridiculously ambitious dream), and Chasing Mavericks... When was the last time Gerard Butler had a real hit? Was it The Ugly Truth? The specialty box office was good for The Loneliest Planet (reviewed) and The Sessions which will continue to expand as it moves into awards season.

Did you know that ARGO was inspired by this Wired article by Joshuah Bearman?

Box Office 15
01 ARGO  $12.3 (cum $60.7)
02 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA $9.5 (cum. $130.4)
03 CLOUD ATLAS  $9.4 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE* 
04 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 $8.6 (cum. $42.6)
05 TAKEN 2  $8  (cum. $117.3)
06 SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D $8 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE* 
07 HERE COMES THE BOOM $5.5 (cum $30.6)
08 SINISTER $5  (cum $39.5)
09 ALEX CROSS $5 (cum $19.3)
10 FUN SIZE $4 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE*

a rather, uh, "enthusiastic" text received from Beau. Some people just go crazy for this movie!

11 PITCH PERFECT $3.9  (cum $51.3) podcast fun
12 FRANKENWEENIE $2.4 (cum $31.7) capsule | notes on the original short
13 CHASING MAVERICKS $2.2 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE*
14 LOOPER $2.1  (cum $61.5) Review
15 SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS $1.4 (cum $11.9)

What did you see this past week? 

I saw Anna Karenina but Cloud Atlas eluded me in part because I am allergic to three hour movies, in part because I haven't rushed to see it because I disliked every single film the Wachowski Siblings made after The Matrix (which I didn't even love as much as Bound so it's frankly been all downhill with them since their debut). But mostly I missed it because my favorite theater stopped showing movies at 2 pm today (!) -- presumably due to Hurricane Sandy (quite the troublemaker)  -- and the subways are also closing up tonight which is big trouble. Boo. Thankfully I have screeners to keep me company and Sunday night is always good television (Revenge + Homeland. Holla!)

Saturday
Oct272012

Linkfall

My New Plaid Pants "13 Whores of Halloween" a fun countdown of film characters: "Jules" from Cabin in the Woods, "Lucy" from Bram Stoker's Dracula and 11 more!
Star Ledger movies as political propaganda: Won't Back Down, 2016: Obama's America, and more
Pajiba a shirtless link roundup. Why haven't I thought of this? On a content related note: I hadn't heard that Ryan Gosling has left Nicolas Winding Refn's Logan's Run remake. Sad face. But I guess Ryan Gosling, who is 31 going on 32, would already be dead by Logan's Run standards! 
Hollywood Elsewhere on John Goodman's Oscar campaign problem for Flight.

 

After Elton cute and thorough interview with the star of Gayby out actor Matthew Wilkas
The Incredible Suit meets James Bond Daniel Craig in posh hotel as Skyfall takes London by storm 
Fashion It So funny newish tumblr on the costumes in Star Trek: The New Generation. Love how randomly specific the interwebs can be
In Contention looks at all the contenders in the Best Animated Feature race 
/Film gets excited by one random comment from the difficult brilliant genius Paul Thomas Anderson about Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy  
Movie|Line wonders if Idris Elba will win the James Bond role in the future. But why are we talking about this? I want Daniel Craig to keep on running, shooting, fighting, travelling, stripping, and bedding those Bond girls. Don't you?
Cinema Blend ...at any rate, Daniel Craig's possibly final two Bond pictures MIGHT have linked stories, a la Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace 

 

Thursday
Oct252012

Feline Oscar Twins: Anne & Michelle?

In the hall of fame of superhero/villain catchphrases “oops” (Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises) never stood much of a prayer against “me-ow” (Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns), nor could the dark side self importance of 2012’s “there’s a storm coming Mr Wayne” ever best the sexier playful 1992 ‘dark side?’ retort “no darker than yours Bruce”  But catch phrases aren’t everything...even when you've got zingy ones like "life's a bitch now so am I" In the great Catwoman wars of popular culture, it’s always in some ways a draw. Every generation and every aesthetic gets their own James Bond and so it goes with all enduring characters which win several iterations. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle may never claim the easy universally agreed upon “Best Catwoman Evah!” victory you’d expect given Pfeiffer’s mammoth performance (give or take Heath Ledger, the most psychologically precise, overachieving & seismically inspired in superhero cinema) but what can you do? Before The Dark Knight Rises premiered I braced myself for the onslaught of “best catwoman ever” pieces which I knew would proliferate. In truth they would have even for a  performer less dazzling than Anne Hathaway’s.  Out with the old and in with the new is, generally speaking, the law that governs pop culture. It’s just How Things Work.

Catwoman watching Catwoman. Feline staring contest in 1...2...

With the recent news that Anne Hathaway would be campaigned as Best (Leading) Actress for the role, a strategic move which has been taken more seriously than I was expecting given that she has no prayer in hell of a nomination for everyone’s favorite good/bad girl in spandex, this Hathaway/Pfeiffer story wouldn’t leave me.

Twenty years back when Michelle Pfeiffer lept into the feline role vacated by Annette Bening she nailed the role winning “best in show” reviews, winning a massive new army of fans, achieving her biggest box office hit, and sailing on to an Oscar nomination for the year (albeit not as Catwoman). Leap forward a couple of decades and history repeats itself four times over…. Well three times over for now but we all know Anne Hathaway will make it four-for-four once Les Miz hits.

It's worth thinking about Hathaway and Oscar through the prism of Pfeiffer. It's not a perfect identical twin situation but the similarities don't end with "what happened with Catwoman." At the time of Batman Returns/Love Field Michelle was a 34 year old previous Oscar nominee who had been famous for 10 years and had already co-starred in one very major also-ran Best Picture nominee (Dangerous Liaisons). At the time of The Dark Knight Rises/Les Miserables Anne is a 30 year old previous Oscar nominee who has been famous for 11 years and has already co-starred in one extremely major also-ran Best Picture nominee (Brokeback Mountain). Both actresses played Catwoman in the summer and followed it up at Christmas time by starring in something more typically Oscar-friendly, Pfeiffer in a civil rights drama and Hathaway in an epic musical. 

On top of all of Fantine's problems... she never return her DVDs to the video store

But here's where the similarities end and Hathaway's Oscar story may have a much happier ending. For one, Anne Hathaway's Catwoman arrived in a culture that has moved past viewing superhero films as "fluff" and is therefore less shy about recognizing acting achievements inside of them. For another, the eventually nominated performance by Hathaway is likely to be "the right one of the two" whereas Michelle was chosen for the wrong performance -- not that she isn't very good in Love Field, but it's not the inspired no one else could do this work that her Selina Kyle was. Finally and most obviously Les Miserables will be no Love Field, a film that was barely released and was largely only acknowledged -- if it was acknowledged as all -- as a vehicle for a Michelle Pfeiffer nomination. If you want to stick to the Pfeiffer narrative Les Miserables is far more likely to be Hathaway's own Fabulous Baker Boys... only this time there's no Jessica Tandy in sight to steal the statue away from a glorious actress in the full bloom of her star power.

Wednesday
Oct242012

c'mon. take another little piece of my link, babe

Next Movie Evan Rachel Wood & Juliette Lewis would rather they play Janis Joplin than Amy Adams! Agree?
Hark! A Vagrant stops for Quiz Time with Queen Elizabeth. If only Elizabeth: The Golden Age was this (intentionally) funny!
Stale Popcorn loves the costumes of Argo (as do I) 
Playlist will we see a Fincher-helmed sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. So many questions. So few answers but I am going to say a hard "yes" on my guesswork on this one. I have my reasons. 

Salon wonders if horror has reached a new golden age and whether European (Spanish to be precise) cinema is to blame. 
i09 Wally Pfister, the Oscar winning cinematographer of Chris Nolan's filmography will direct his own feature now. Johnny Depp to star.
/Film Zero Dark Thirty and Stand Up Guys have adjusted their release plans to barely show in 2012 but still be Oscar players. Oy... I hate this part of the otherwise glorious last quarter of each year. In related news: yes, I'm fully aware that I need to add Jessica Chastain to my Actress chart. Updates this weekend!
Playbill Whatever happened to that Soapdish remake? Never mind, it's now being adapted into a musical. Quite a starry lineup they're gathering for a reading: Kristin Chenoweth & Jane Krakowski? Blonde musical comedienne sensation x 2 !

Gawker 'my pussy is the temple of learning' Madonna's Sex and Erotica turn 20 years old this week. I love them both muchly. If only they were movies I would devote the whole week to them. Please do not say "Body of Evidence" as its the only embarrassing part of that Madonna 92/93 trifecta that's no cause for celebration. (Should I write about them anyway and just force the film connections?)
Cinema Blend Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone for Cameron Crowe's next movie? 
Pajiba on the Empires of the Deep trailer. Hmmm Errrr. The only recognizably non-computerized thing in it is one shot of Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) One senses this won't be her Resident Evil poor thing. 
In Contention talks to the very busy very awesome character actor John Goodman