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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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JANE is the doc frontrunner

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"Jane was wonderful. Goodall's such a compelling presence that the talking heads even give off a freshness that that format has lacked in recent documentaries." - John T

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Entries in Reviews (580)

Sunday
Oct222017

Review: "The Snowman"

by Eric Blume

There aren’t words in the English language which can adequately describe how terrible The Snowman is.  Talented director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) has let the press know that “10-15% of the screenplay” was never shot during principal photography, which certainly explains why nothing in the movie makes a shred of sense.  

The film might be about a detective (Michael Fassbender) who is partnering but not partnering with another detective (Rebecca Ferguson) to track someone who may or may not be a serial killer, the identity of whom may or may not be traced back to a prologue which is undeniably heavy-handed and portentous...

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Friday
Oct202017

The Epic and Crowded "Mudbound"

by Murtada

About halfway into Mudbound, the new film from Dee Rees (Pariah), the matriarch of a family of landowners in the Mississippi Delta Laura Mcallan (Carey Mulligan) offers a maid job to Florence (Mary J Blige), whose family are land tenants of Laura's husband Henry (Jason Clarke). The offer comes after Florence had been forced to leave her own family for a few days to help Laura with her sick young daughters. It is a startling offer that comes out of nowhere and Florence isn't given an option to accept or refuse, but rather told it’s been decided to hire her.

However before the audience can process the audacity of Laura’s offer and Florence’s resignation, we are immediately pulled into a combat battle in WWII where Henry’s brother (Garrett Hedlund) and Florence’s oldest son (Jason Mitchell) have enlisted. Herein lies Mudbound's dilemma...

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Wednesday
Oct182017

NYFF: Joan Didion's Magic Years

by Jason Adams

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."

The instant. Not "an" instant, which is how most of us would sort that sentence. When writing of her husband's death in her book The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion said "the" instant, and in Joan Didion's wake nothing else seems right. Because it is not just any instant. It's the one that changed your life. At most, depending on how long we live, we might get a couple. Joan Didion, at 82, has had her own intimate yet earth-quaking share. And Joan Didion, as ever, is here to distill them down into apple crisp sentence form for us.

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, the new documentary on the author, was directed by Didion's nephew, the actor Griffin Dunne, and he makes similar Didion-esque economy of Joan's handful of instants...

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Saturday
Oct142017

Brief Takes: Blade Runners, Tennis Stars, Feisty Queens, Fish Men

In an effort to break out of my silence -- October is my favorite month so why has it been so hard? -- micro thoughts on 5 Oscar hopefuls I meant to review but didn't. Whoops. Please to discuss in the comments.

Battle of the Sexes (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
The story of Billie Jean King's (Emma Stone) famous 1973 match with Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and her efforts to make women's tennis viable in a sexist industry

Capsule
: A timely well-crafted look back to the beginnings of a gender war that's depressingly still raging and a soupçon of queer romance to give it unique personality. Dayton & Faris's light touch is the right choice for this briskly-paced but delicately felt recreation of a pivotal American moment. Emma Stone is perfection as the heroic tight shouldered athlete at the center. Just discussed on the podcast. B+
Oscar Chances: This one could go either way. Much will depend on how smart Fox Searchlight is at selling it to voters. Though maybe don't bet against Emma Stone returning to Best Actress; she's very burrowed into King's skin but still as sunny as Emma Stone.

Blade Runner 2049, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Victoria and Abdul and the Shape of Water are after the jump

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Thursday
Oct122017

The Return (and Allure) of Riverdale 

by Spencer Coile

Hello, fellow TV watchers. Dripping in nostalgia, season two of Riverdale returns to the CW this week (the first episode aired last night). And who says that pulp television is dead? There is no better way to celebrate the series' return than to dive into what makes Riverdale so appealing to viewers -- teens and adults alike. 

Without spoiling much, as I am sure there are plenty of people still trying to catch up on season one (available on Netflix), this season of the CW's latest foray into teen drama picks up immediately where we left off. Our teenage heroes and heorines are left scrambling to pick up the pieces of a local shooting, a deadly fire, and lots and lots of (almost) hooking up. 

This all sounds so dramatic, which it is. And that is precisely why the show works...

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Wednesday
Oct112017

NYFF: "The Rider"

by John Guerin

One of the more exciting breakouts from this year's festival circuit is Chloe Zhao’s elegiac equine drama The Rider. This wistful blend of documentary and poetic realism follows Brady Jandreau — a 20-year-old horse trainer who suffers a near-fatal head injury that stunts any chance of his continuing an impressive rodeo career. Suffused with a melancholic color palette and somber score, The Rider makes palpable the dashed dreams of our young protagonist, charting the reverberations of his accident and their implications with impressive and authentic skill... 

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