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"While there was imagination to Swiss Army Man, I am on the hate side of it." -Chris

 "I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane on a long flight Tuesday. It felt like a cross between Misery, Room and an end-of-the-world sci-fi horror B movie. I liked it." -Paul

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Monday
May162016

Beauty vs Beast: Daughter Dearest

Howdy, folks - Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" is which we'll be celebrating the 61st birthday of the great Debra Winger. I assume most of you, being right and proper actressexuals, have seen the terrific documentary bearing her name Searching For Debra Winger, but if not, get on that. I haven't seen it since it came out in 2002 and part of me wonders if it's maybe, hopefully, begun to feel a bit dated? That film feeling dated can only be a good thing because it means roles for actresses are getting better. If nothing else, Winger herself has been working somewhat steadily over the past few years with recent roles on In Treatment and the Netflix series The Ranch.

All that said, we're really here today for Classic Winger...

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks back we celebrated the sexy time that is A Bigger Splash with a glance back at its original (and also sexy) incarnation, 1969's La Piscine - stuffing the ballot box like he did those speedos, Alain Delon carried off about 80% of your votes. Said Steven:

"Alain Delon>>>>>>>every young pretty boy out there in Hollywood."

Tuesday
May032016

Newish to DVD & Streaming. What will you make me watch?

It's that time again. If you missed it in theaters or merely want to revisit here are some newish options from the past couple of weeks or just now.

New to DVD & BluRay

The Choice - In which Broadway's favorite bloody bloody musical star, Benjamin Walker, tries his hand at the Sparksverse and even an annoying catchphrase "bother me"
Jane Got a Gun - Does all the trouble that production had (director walk out / cast changes / delays) show up on screen? With Natalie Portman
Joy - Decide for yourself if JLaw deserved a fourth Oscar nomination for this drama about a female entrepeneur
Krampus - This horror flick got surprisingly good reviews. With Toni Collette & Adam Scott
A Royal Night Out -If Diary of a Teenage Girl had you intrigued about Bel Powley check out her other introduction. Co-starring ubiquitous Sarah Gadon
Son of Saul - This drama about a Hungarian sodderkomando who believes he's seen the body of his son among the latest executed is harrowing and it just won the Oscar, Hungary's second win in the category (after 80s arthouse hit Mephisto).

New to Streaming. VOTE!

I realized I haven't written up Crimes & Misdemeanors (1989) yet as commanded last time we did this but I shall and I'll be quicker this time since I'll have a second assignment breathing down its neck. Which film will we discuss? You choose!

 

Also new for May...
Amazon Prime: Benny and Joon, Bitter Moon, The Bounty, Bully, Code 46, Election, Ghost World, The Mod Squad, She's Having a Baby, Vice Versa, and several 007 films back again suddenly (make up your mind AP);
Netflix: PleasantvilleTo Catch a ThiefGreat Expectations, Just Friends, The Nutty Professor, The Replacements, and Things We Lost in the Fire

Tuesday
Mar292016

Newish Viewing: Concussion, Hateful 8, and Reader Poll

Here's what's new or newish for home viewing over the past two weeks for DVDs, BluRays, or Streaming. Now you can...

• see if the Pinkett-Smiths had any reason to be upset about the lack of Oscar interest in  Concussion (hint: no)
• stab your eyes out while watching Daddy's Home 
• find out if The Hateful Eight is Tarantino's worst (hint: yes)
• discover the stuff they left out of Pt 1 in order to make another billion with Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2
• watch Juliet Stevenson be Mother Teresa in The Letters
• endure yet another Paranormal Activity movie because they will never stop making those
• use Point Break (2015)  discs for coasters because who needs a remake when Point Break (1991) is still such a knockout?!

READER'S CHOICE STREAMING
We kicked off the biweekly reader's choice series with Gattaca (1997) and Cruel Intentions (1999). Time for another on Wednesday April 6th only I'm forcing a move away from the 1990s this time via these options, all new to streaming.

 

Also New To Streaming
AMAZON PRIME: Amistad, Bananas, Batman, The Big Lebowski, The Dead Zone, Death Wish, Dr T & The Women, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Lars and the Real Girl, Men in Black II, Payback, The Peacemaker, Rescue Dawn,  Ronin, You've Got MailNETFLIX: Best in Show, Boogie Nights, Chaplin, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Cujo, Deep Impact, Explorers, Finders Keepers, The Holiday, The Hunting Ground, Looking for Richard, My Girl, Mystic River, The Next Best Thing, The Perfect Storm, The Phantom, The Promised Land, Rising Sun, The Running Man, Say It Isn't So, Shawshank Redemption, Scrooged, Shelter, Something's Gotta Give, Sunset Blvd, Under the Same Moon, V For Vendetta

Monday
Mar212016

Beauty vs. Beast: Ben v Jennifer

Generally speaking The Film Experience is not deeply invested in any celebrity relationship offscreen w/ a couple of notable exceptions. The larger media, quite to the contrary, doesn't obsess over acting but over famous actors. With Jason on vacation, it is left to me Nathaniel, to exorcize our annoyance over the media's ubiquitous obsession with the long breaking-up of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner (they've been divorced for nine months and somehow they're still showing up in every news feed daily). Ben & Jen are two of our most seemingly normal and thus dullest celebrities offscreen, so we're not sure why people care.

But since people do, let's use them for today's Beauty vs Beast and be done with them as a unit since they themselves are already done with them!

 

 Speak now. Make your case in the comments or forever hold your peace.

PREVIOUSLY
We asked for a rematch between Bill the Butcher (Daniel) and Amsterdam Vallon (Leo) via those Gangs of New York. It was a landslide for glass eyed Bill, who buried Amsterdam with 91% of the vote.  The prevailing sentiment was that it would be so. Squasher and BVR agreed: 

This isn't a fair fight.

Please. It's not even a contest.

Tuesday
Mar012016

New to DVD & BluRay. Plus: Readers Choice Instant Watch

What's new or newish for home viewing? Let's see... It's been two release weeks for Oscar contenders. Several of them now available for rentals and sales hot off their Oscar wins. 

Creed. See why we all fussed about it and why so many were rooting for Sly (who lost in one of many surprises Sunday night) despite an unspectacular career. That's the German cover to the left. I include it because it's intereting to note that overseas they have to mention Rocky in the title somehow "Rocky's Legacy," not trusting that just Creed would do it.
The Danish Girl. See why Vikander won the Oscar. (Hint: Huge leading role and she's playing a Long Suffering Wife, in short Oscar's two favorite things in the Supporting Actress category)
Fargo Year Two - I hear it's good. Why am I still resisting?
The Good Dinosaur - Tim was relatively kind in his review. I was not impressed -- could not relate to the weird juxtaposition of photoreal backgrounds and bright green rubber dinosaurs -- but I did love "Spot"... such a cutie
Legend Tom Hardy x 2
Miss You Already Toni Collette + Drew Barrymore. It was easy to miss them in theaters. Gone already? Love both of them though so let's catch up.
My All American Finn Wittrock headlines. But it's straight to DVD
Room See Brie Larson's Oscar winning work and Jacob Tremblay's and the Production Designer's shoulda been nominated work - hey, at least we honored them
Secret in their Eyes The remake of the Oscar winning Argentinian film. I'm getting so far behind on the Kidman pictures. Must catch up, regardless of the quality but she makes a lot of movies so it's easy to fall behind.
Spotlight See why this won Best Picture despite the odds. Hint: it's a) really good and b) hard to dislike and thus scored well on the Academy's Preferential Ballot against a field of decidedly more divisive competitors.
Youth So curious how y'all will like it who haven't yet seen it. It's quite divisive but it is not uninteresting. Jane Fonda bears her teeth. Harvey Keitel mopes. Rachel Weisz gets a mud bath. Paul Dano wears... no, that's a spoiler. And there's a really big opera number that should've made a great Oscar moment ("Nah... we can't have a famous Asian woman singing on stage in a year where we're dinged for being too white!" - Some Academy producers somewhere.)

READERS CHOICE
I hinted that we might try a series wherein you choose the latest instant watch title for Nathaniel to write up. A Reader's Choice Date... perhaps biweekly? So here are your first options. All new to Netflix or Amazon Prime beginning on March 1st (or thereabouts). Make your case in the comments or simply vote. I'll revisit the title you pick and wrote about it on March 10th. American Psycho (2000) is also new to Amazon Prime -- just in time for the new Broadway musical starring Benjamin Walker -- but we've talked about that modern classic a lot in the past so we'll skip it this time. (A is for Amazon; N for Netflix)

Monday
Jan252016

Beauty vs Beast: Cloud Actress

Jason from MNPP here with your weekly dose of "Beauty vs Beast" -- it's the 61st birthday of the French director (excuse me, they call them "auteurs" over there) Olivier Assayas, who's just come off one of his greatest successes, the role-playing actressy drama Clouds of Sils Maria. I reviewed Clouds way back at the 2014 New York Film Festival for TFE and I was bowled over by it then and I remain so today; when it continued getting Oscar talk all the way through this season I was happily surprised to see it even remembered. Of course come nomination morning it wasn't, because them's the breaks. I can easily suss out the names I'd boot in both Actress categories to make room for Binoche and Stewart's lively and lovely performances (Bye J-Law! See ya later, McAdams!) but if we were to face the two off against each other, well, then it gets tougher...

PREVIOUSLY The Revenant continues doing boffo box office and everybody seems to think it's Leo's Oscar to lose, but here at TFE y'all shoved him face-first in a snow-bank and ran away laughing -- it was a close contest but by a few points you decided that you prefered a murderer by Tom Hardy better. Said Nick T:

"I'm voting Fitzgerald because yes it's Big but Christ at least Hardy offers us a performance that's interesting because of the performance itself instead of how much he's Suffering, and once Glass is on his own Hardy was only thing that got me through the ordeal of The Revenant."

Thursday
Nov052015

Nicole, Queen of the Amazons?

In her continual quest to spent every waking moment of her adult life on film sets (girl enjoy that lovely farm for a month!) our Nicole Kidman has lined up two potentially awful / potentially awesome new roles this week. (That's in addition to the films she's already shot that have yet to hit theaters.) The biggest ticket is Wonder Woman (2017) the sequel/prequel (?) to next spring's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The role in question is apparently Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons and mother to our wondrous woman.

Whatever would Cloris Leachman make of this? 

Do you care about Nicole Kidman appearing in Wonder Woman?
No. Take a break already.
Only if she's playing Wonder Woman
Yes, I'll see her in anything.
Poll Maker

 

Cloris  looks none too pleased. If you're of a certain age you'll remember that Cloris Leachman played the role on TV's Wonder Woman and she was the only member of the cast who truly embraced the (unintentional) comedy of Amazon Island. 

That's a ridiculously high profile film but the more intriguing project is the film adaptation of the best seller The Silent Wife about a woman who plots her philandering husband's murder. Our Ms Kidman has been attached to that one for a couple of years but now it has a director and that's where the intrigue comes in. It's none other than maestro of sexually charged thrillers Adrian Lyne (Indecent Proposal, Fatal Attraction, Lolita, 9 1/2 Weeks) . Lyne hasn't made a movie in 13 years but it's worth noting that he didn't go out with a whimper. He just quit. His last film was Unfaithful (2002) which was a hit and nabbed Diane Lane well deserved acting awards including an Oscar nomination. Lyne is now 74 years old but this year alone should have definitively put a stake in the undead assumption that directors age out of their gift -- see George Miller & Ridley Scott's huge artistic successes this year in their 70s and their entrenchment in the Best Director conversation

The movie star's recent femme thriller work has opened and closed without much excitement but Lyne is a big deal in that genre, even wrestling an Oscar nomination from it for Fatal Attraction, so godspeed to them both.