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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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Entries in RDJ (10)

Monday
Jun232014

YNMS³: The Good Lie, The Drop and The Judge

That Birdman teaser was so mesmerizing that my brain had no room for other new trailers. I was putting my fingers in my ears lalalaicanthearyou when new trailers arrived to maintain the high. High expectations much? (yikes). But it's time to come down from that teasing cloud and do a quick scan of what we've missed this past week.

Reese & Corey in The Good Lie. Is this an offensive "white savior to unfortunate blacks" movie?

Herewith three trailers that have dropped with Tom Hardy as a bartender in trouble, Reese Witherspoon as a job counsellor (?) to Sudanese refugees, and two acclaimed Roberts, Duvall and Downey Jr, squaring off as an estranged father/son who are brought together by a funeral and then a murder investigation. The trailers and brief Yes No Maybe So breakdowns are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul182013

Highest Paid Actors Don't Challenge Themselves

From Forbes list of money-hoarding actors, they've worked it out like so for the past 12 months of income... (in millions of course)

01 Robert Downey Jr $75
◅ 02 Channing Tatum $60
03 Hugh Jackman $55
04 Mark Wahlberg $52
05 Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock' $46
06 Leonardo DiCaprio $39
07 Adam Sandler $37
08 Tom Cruise $35
09 Denzel Washington $33
10 Liam Neeson $32 

I like their write-up of DiCaprio...

DiCaprio's films might not be very cheery (the actor often dies in the end) but they are super profitable. The 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, from director Baz Luhrmann, seemed like a tough sell. But with DiCaprio at the helm, the film easily topped $250 million at the box office making it Luhrmann's most successful movie ever. DiCaprio's biggest hit is still the 1997 film Titanic which is the second-highest grossing film of all time. And yes, he dies in the end.

Two things immediately pop out at me about the list. First, that Channing Tatum has had a very good couple of years and it turns out it pays to make your pet project on the cheap and share in the profits (Hi, Magic Mike). Too many dream projects become costly albatrosses for filmmakers and stars. Second, only a few of these men are using their powers for good. Most of them rarely challenge themselves or support quality filmmakers and seem to live solely to service the box office dollar. This second and more debatable point makes me reconsider my annoyance with Leonardo DiCaprio. While it's true that I think his talent has been calcifying by too many similar choices in roles and performance, he very clearly is interested in doing quality work and hanging with A list auteurs. He's thinking about legacy rather thank his bank account so good for him. There's reason to hope and I happily admit that in the trailer he seems to be attacking that Wolf of Wall Street role with more vigor than usual. Perhaps I grossly underestimated in my first Best Actor predictions a couple of months ago?

Denzel and Viola in "Fences" which won them both Tony AwardsThe things some of these men could accomplish if they had a little of Clooney, Damon & Pitt's taste for quality and experimentation and for something bigger than just their own paycheck. Hugh Jackman, a terrific star and personal favorite of mine for example, doesn't step outside of the mutant mutton chops nearly as often as his talent and range suggests he should.

And, I mean, Denzel Washington alone could make Viola Davis's career into what it's supposed to be simply by pressuring Hollywood into making Fences right now. With great power comes great responsibility, Denzel! Didn't you watch Spider-Man? As we get further and further away from the massive success of The Help, the less and less likely it is to happen without Hollywood saying "Oh, can we get Halle Berry instead?" And that'd be a crying shame because money isn't everything. Especially in the realm of drama where quality and skill of execution can help with profitability since automatic money isn't made as it is in genre films which have built in audiences regardless of quality.

Wednesday
May292013

Iron Podcast

Bet you thought we were done talking about Iron Man Three. Nope. The guys at Panel Culture, a comic book podcast so good it makes me want to read comics again, invited me to talk about Marvel's latest billion dollar grosser and I gladly obliged. Some of you will have even talked to Owen, the host, in the comments right here at TFE so you know he's good people. 

me, my iron man three(d) glasses and the iron man sketch i doodled on my iphone waiting for the movie to start

While the subject is mostly the Iron Man franchise we also stray into other Marvel flicks as well as X-Men and personal comic-book lore. (The first I ever remember holding in my hands --  and I held it as it were holy scrit - was that mutant mag) Even if you are done with Tony & Pepper and don't wanna hear me yammer about them, you should definitely give other episodes of Panel Culture a listen if you're at all into comic books.

Sunday
May052013

Review: Iron Man Three*

This review was originally posted in my column @ Towleroad

When last we saw Tony Stark he was eating shawarma in New York City with his fellow superheroes in the stinger of Marvel's The Avengers (reviewed). When we last saw Iron Man, minutes before that, he was plummeting from a cosmic wormhole to his near-death having just saved the world from an alien apocalypse. (S.H.I.E.L.D's workman's comp insurance must be pricey.) I mention Tony Stark and Iron Man separately because the franchise's new writer/director Shane Black, who previously worked with Robert Downey Jr on the underappreciated comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, seems more interested in Stark than Iron Man. This is a good sign, especially for a third picture. Time to flip this tin can around.

IRON MAN THREE takes great pains to make a distinction between the impenetrable suit and the man inside it. Tony Stark's first attempt to suit up is a comic misfire since he's engineered an Iron Man suit that comes right to him when he calls. He hasn't quite worked out the speed of his flying wardrobe -imagine a metal codpiece flying 60 mph right at your Andrew Christians. The second time we see Iron Man, if I'm remembering the sequence of events correctly, Tony Stark isn't in the suit at all. He's engaging in some prankster remote control business for girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow, wonderful in this role but haters gonna hate). MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May162012

Link to the Rescue

First Showing Django Unchained banner on the Croisette in Cannes
Inlander Don Draper isn't Mad Men's main character any more
Filmofilia a full slate for Amy Adams through 2014 at least. Add thriller Dark Places (based on the novel of the same name) to the long list
Cinema Blend Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel gets the Contagion screenwriter Scott Z Burns 

 MZ Yikes. Actor Nick Stahl of Bully, Terminator 3 and Carnivàle fame has been reporting missing since May 9th
Heat Vision Robert Downey Jr's The Avengers payday could reach $50 million. The other actors aren't so lucky
Gold Derby Downton Abbey will be competing in Best Series (where it belongs) for Emmy nods... finally giving up on considering itself a miniseries, bless.
Pajiba "Identifying the Moment in Natalie Portman's Career Timeline In Which It Was OK To Admit a Crush"
Screen Daily Keira Knightley replacing ScarJo in Can a Song Save Your Life 

Indiewire Awesome news for fans of the gay romantic drama Weekend (2011). Criterion will handle the DVD.
Michael Musto interviews Andy Dick, now sober but just as candid.
Coming Soon Orphan star and now Hunger Games victim Isabelle Fuhrman will star in the remake of Suspiria
The Film Stage Terrence Malick's latest, a romantic drama starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, and Rachel McAdams (at least according to which characters feature in the synopsis) finally gets a title... To the Wonder.  

Not Your Usual Superhero Articles
Filmwell "thou shalt have no other god but Captain America's" on references to the divine in The Avengers
GeekWatch adorable story of a five year old boy meeting Captain America and Loki on the set of The Avengers  

 

Saturday
May052012

Review: "The Avengers"

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

If Agent Natasha Romanoff can interrupt an espionage interrogation to attend...

If Thor can find a way back to Earth without his rainbow bridge...

If Tony Stark can stop erecting enormous arguably phallic odes to himself for a moment...

If Captain America can get back in shape now that he's out of deep freeze...

And if Dr Bruce Banner can come out of self-imposed exile to join Marvel's THE AVENGERS, than I really ought to be able to review some movies again. Let's go.

 

After roughly four years of movie-length commercials for The Avengers (formerly known as: Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger) "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" have finally assembled. To fans of the superhero genre, this probably feels like an impossible dream realized. To non-fans of the superhero genre this might play like the perfect time for a showstopping climax -take a bow and give mere mortals some movies again! The latter group should brace themselves. This particular blockbuster is lively enough to greenlight an even bigger movie family of men (and hopefully some women) in tights. MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr162012

April Showers: "Home For the Holidays"

waterworks each weeknight at 11. This particular installment of April Showers was first published in 2009.

One of the greatest disconnects I've ever had between consensus response to a movie and my own reaction was in 1995 when Jodie Foster's second film Home for the Holiday debuted. It was mostly ignored by the public and the critics were out for blood. Maybe Jodie Foster had just been too successful and too lauded and it was time for the pendulum to swing back? Perhaps the undercurrent was along the lines of 'Does she have to be good at making movies in addition to acting in them?'

Even Robert Downey Jr playing Tommy got bad reviews for his performance as teh gay brother to Holly Hunter's Claudia. Though his performance is pretty out there with his needling rapid fire joking -- he's consistently pushing things too far -- it's also exactly in line with the movie's own sense of humor. And Bonus points: the sibling chemistry between Claudia and Tommy is pretty damn credible. If you're not familiar with the movie I urge you to rent it. You protest: But it's one of thousands of quirky dysfunctional family holiday comedies! I counter: it arrived before that ultra specific genre was wildly over saturated and it's actually very funny.

Holly's shower scene is fairly typical of the movies fast, funny and familial nature. Anne Bancroft, playing Adele the mother, is talking at Claudia but not really with her. Claudia is talking at Adele but not listening. They're on different pages and both of them never shut up. The older woman exits the scene leaving her daughter showering in an open bathroom...

Mom, close the door behind you okay?
No?
okay, no problem, I usually shower in public.
I have no pride.
I have no rights.
I'm only four years old.

I don't need to tell you that Holly Hunter is one of the funniest people in the movies and she was still in her incredible prime at the time (roughly 1987-1998). She makes every pause and emphasis count in a line reading. So many laughs to be had in four sentences. After Claudia is done complaining about the unplanned exhibitionism, she gets down to business. She's vigorously shampooing, suds flying, until she freezes in place with a gasp. Her mischievous brother is lumbering towards the shower curtain like some comic monster.

I swear to god, Tommy, I'm naked in here and I am too old...

*FLASH*

Holly's blind recoil from the polaroid flash is the split second punchline and Foster immediately cuts to the next scene, no time to waste... more rapid fire joking to follow.