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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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If Beale Street Could Talk

"Thank you ! Did we all read "Giovanni's Room" when we were teens ... and were slightly baffled and taken ?? Now I'm curious .. about this movie" - Martin

"We don’t deserve something this beautiful in 2018..." - Margaret

"I thought it was a terrific, lovely film but with some flaws. I don't think the voiceovers work well in the film and nor was it necessary since the film was already so infused with Baldwin's voice. " - Raul 

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Entries in Reviews (656)

Monday
Oct292018

Stage Door: Bernhardt/Hamlet

by Dancin' Dan

It's a tall enough order to write a play about one of the greatest actresses the world has ever known. It's quite another to write a play about that same actress taking on one of the most famous plays ever written. But Theresa Rebeck has never been one to back away from a challenge. Her delightful new play Bernhardt/Hamlet imagines what it must have been like for the great Sarah Bernhardt to assay the role of none other than Hamlet, all the way back in 1897. To say the least, it was difficult.

Bernhardt (Janet McTeer), in her fifties, was past the point where she could believably play the dying ingénues that made her famous (and also far past the point where she wanted to). Out of money but full of ambition, she decides that Shakespeare's melancholy Dane will be her vehicle for a comeback after her last play, written by Edmond Rostand (Jason Butler Harner), flopped with audiences despite love from critics. But she is having difficulty "finding" the Prince, frustrated by his ease with flowery verse and his inability to take action.

Can a powerful woman play a powerful man? Bernhardt is absolutely sure of it. She says...

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Thursday
Oct252018

Review: 1985

by Murtada Elfadl

Do most people think of how their stories will be told? Probably when they are closer to the end. That’s the question at the heart of 1985. The greater question it poses is how does someone make sure they are are remembered as their whole self when society has conspired to muffle their voice?

The film tells the story of 20 something New Yorker returning home one last time to his small hometown in Texas before succumbing to death from AIDS. Adrian (Cory Michael Smith who's appeared in Carol and Wonderstruck) knows he’s dying so he tries to patch up things with his loving but disapproving religious parents (Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis), create memories and a connection with his preteen brother Andrew (Aidan Langford) and finally own up to a former girlfriend (Jamie Chung) who he’s never come out to...

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Thursday
Oct252018

Festival Wrap - All The Reviews

We screened them at TIFF or NYFF or Middleburg but you also may have heard about them from Cannes or Venice media coverage. Now that the festivals are wrapped (only AFI remains and we're unable to make it this year *cries*) the rest of the year is all of these treasures and some of the duds hitting movie theaters (hopefully) near you. THEN, THE OSCARS. You know how it goes. It's our very very very favorite time of year. That sound you hear is the squealing of movie fans everywhere.

Nicole making the festival rounds in the fallHere's everything we reviewed from TIFF and NYFF or Middleburg in case you missed any of them...

'extras'

It's true we didn't review everything we saw at Festivals but the biggies we didn't get to --  Shoplifters, El Angel, Capernaum, and Boy Erased -- will be in theaters very soon so reviews are forthcoming.

Thursday
Oct182018

Review: "Halloween"

by Chris Feil

After being reinterpreted by Rob Zombie in two grittier takes, Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield and to his storytelling roots in David Gordon Green’s Halloween. And even more importantly, so is his first survivor Laurie Strode and the indomitable woman that plays her: Jamie Lee Curtis.

This take unfurls the fortieth anniversary of the original John Carpenter film (dispensing with the narrative of all other installments) as the septuagenarian Michael escapes his asylum confines to return home and kill again. But this time Laurie is ready, perhaps too ready. She’s been waiting actually, devoting her life to preparing for his inevitable return by outfitting her home with intricate safety mechanisms and a cache of guns. The fallout has been isolating herself in a constant thrum of anxiety and becoming estranged from her daughter, played by Judy Greer. Michael’s return puts him and Laurie on their fated trajectory, this time with Laurie’s granddaughter (and the fate of her family’s survival) in the middle.

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Wednesday
Oct172018

Review: The Hate U Give

by Dancin' Dan

Audrey Wells, the screenwriter of The Hate U Give, lost her battle with cancer the day before the film opened. A sad story, to be sure, but what a send off. The Hate U Give, adapted from the novel by Angie Thomas, is a marvel of a film, one that completely belies its "YA literature" categorization. Its wrangling with the complex issues faced by black Americans surely owes a debt to Thomas's source material, but Wells's adaptation, directed by George Tillman, Jr., brings the novel to the screen in a form that breaks out of any audience box that it might be put in. It may come from a novel for teens, and it may feature a mostly black cast, but make no mistake: This is not just a film for everyone, it's one of the best, most vital films of the year.

Teenage Starr (Amandla Stenberg) and her family live in the "ghetto" area Garden Heights, because her parents think it is important to be with their people (they themselves grew up there), and daddy Maverick owns a grocery store there. But she and her older half-brother Seven attend a private school in a wealthier, whiter neighborhood...

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Thursday
Oct112018

Review: "Bad Times at the El Royale"

by Chris Feil

Drew Goddard has become a Hollywood go-to screenwriters for charging genres with new life, molding The Martian with equal parts brainy science and dopiness and both upholding and subverting the monster movie with Cloverfield. Bad Times at the El Royale is his first return to the director’s chair since the horror spoof-but-also-not-a-spoof The Cabin in The Woods, and again he has perhaps bitten off more than he can narratively chew.

This time Goddard is taking on pulpy pop noir, setting for a showdown at a highway hotel bisected by the California-Nevada border. Checking in are Cynthia Erivo’s quiet lounge singer Darlene, Jon Hamm’s chatterbox vacuum salesman Laramie Sullivan, Dakota Johnson as a mysterious woman named Emily, and Jeff Bridges giving the most Bridges as a suspicious priest named Father Flynn. The writer/director has Tarantino on the brain as Agatha Christie, chaptering the film by the various rooms hosting each guest and slowing revealing the night’s dirty deeds from each of their perspectives. Think of it like a heterosexual Clue mixed with a bisexual Reservoir Dogs, but not as fun.

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