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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Entries in Reviews (542)

Wednesday
Aug162017

Review: Wind River

by Lynn Lee

It should come as no surprise that writer-director Taylor Sheridan, currently hot in Hollywood after his Oscar screenplay nomination for Hell or High Water, is an actual, bona fide cowboy.  Perhaps that’s why his work feels like such a throwback—to an era in which quietly capable men, silently toting unspoken burdens, took on the joyless task of meting out frontier justice.  At the same time, he’s shown a canny gift for placing such old-school archetypes in a distinctly modern, of-this-moment social and political context, making their struggles feel unexpectedly timely or, rather, timeless.  That gift is on ample display in his new film, Wind River, which is now in wide release after nabbing the best directing prize in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes earlier this year.

Set on a remote, wintry Indian reservation in Montana, the film marks the third installment in a loose trilogy of Westerns penned by Sheridan (the first two being Sicario and Hell or High Water), though Wind River is the first one he directed...

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Monday
Aug142017

Review: The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle flashes back-and-forth between adult Jeanette Walls (Brie Larson), a gossip columnist ashamed of her oft-homeless parents (Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts), and her memories of her difficult nomadic childhood...

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Saturday
Aug052017

Review: "The Dark Tower"

by Chris Feil

The Stephen King resurgence continues with his epic genre mashup series The Dark Tower finally coming to the screen from director Nikolaj Arcel, and with the powerful Idris Elba in tow as the enigmatic gunslinger Roland Deschain. But this one isn’t likely to come ahead of the King-idolatry of Stranger Things or the upcoming adaptation of It, as it barely resembles his creation or any of the elements that make him one of our foremost pulse-quickeners.

The Dark Tower centers on Jake Chambers, a troubled teenager with visions of otherworldly cataclysm centered around the evil Man in Black, played with nonchalance by Matthew McConaughey. Jake flees across dimensions into Roland’s world and the two pair up to stop the Man In Black from destroying the titular Dark Tower and with it all of existence. When the film immediately forces its hero Roland Deschain to the background for its first two acts (and without building a mythos to capitalize on once he emerges), it’s the first sign that something is majorly amiss in this adaptation...

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Wednesday
Aug022017

Valerian in the shadow of The Fifth Element

by Dancin' Dan

Luc Besson's comic adaptation Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a mess. But so was his magnum opus The Fifth Element, and that Bruce Willis-starrer went on to become something of a modern-day sci-fi classic. Only time will tell if Valerian will go on to a similarly charmed afterlife, but for my money it suffers under the weight of expectations.

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Wednesday
Aug022017

Double Feature: "Atomic Blonde" and "Girl's Trip"

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a slightly extended edition.

It’s a special ‘Sister’s Are Doin’ It For Themselves’ double review with two female-driven hits.

Have you caught Girls Trip yet? I was one week late to the party after its hit opening weekend. When we looked around the theater this weekend my best friend was all “it’s 80% women of color and 20% gay men!” Truth! And perfect as target audiences go for an urban female comedy called Girls Trip. The crowd was boisterous, laughing their asses off throughout but also visibly feeling the '90s hiphop soundtrack and audibly praising the “message” moments in the movie.

The night before I saw Atomic Blonde and though I didn’t see anyone dancing in their seats, I was dancing on the inside with its killer 1980s new wave soundtrack...

 

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Monday
Jul312017

Review: The Emoji Movie

By Sean Donovan

The internet has spent the past few days savagely ripping apart The Emoji Movie, the animated film about sentient emojis and the adventures they have within your smartphone. This is a film made specifically for children of the internet, who might gaze upon this Sony vertical integration monstrosity of app references and infomercials for about a minute before heading back to their own smartphones. It’s tough to review The Emoji Movie, because it’s tough to take its lack of creativity and basic construction seriously when such cynicism and apathy burns off the screen. It singes your eyebrows. No one cared about making this movie; I can’t imagine anyone coming up with a criticism the filmmakers would even protest. The Emoji Movie is the unadulterated heart of capitalism pumping out disinterested beats, an infomercial for WeChat here, a paid ad for CandyCrush there, Sony everywhere you look...

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