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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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Michelle Pfeiffer and Grease 2

"I can't pass a ladder without seriously considering whether I should climb it and start belting Cool Rider" -Joey

"No matter what anyone says (even Nathaniel!), Grease 2 is awesome and Pfeiffer is wonderful in it."-Charlie

 

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Melissa Leo (The Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (The Sense of an Ending)
Asghar Farhadi (Salesman)

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Entries in Reviews (505)

Tuesday
Dec272016

Doc Corner: George Michael on Show in 'Foreign Skies'

Nathaniel already looked at his favourite George Michael songs in tribute to the man's passing at age 53, and today a 1985 tour documentary featuring the finest male vocalist of his generation.

Three decades ago when China figuratively opened their doors to western culture, the first to arrive were… Big Bird and Wham! Two fey, energetic, hyper-coloured performers who sought a mutual exchange through music and film. The yellow Sesame Street character had Big Bird in China, while George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley got Wham! In China: Foreign Skies.

It’s a peculiar film, and not an especially good one. Half Chinese travelogue for the western audiences fascinated by the newly open China with their bustling food markets, seas of grey fashion, and their Great Wall; half concert film focusing, rightly, on the energetic and handsome George Michael sashaying around on stage like nobody had ever seen before.

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Tuesday
Dec202016

New on DVD: Goat

By Sean Donovan

Goat has an important discrepancy between its advertising and the final film we end up watching. The poster, released just before the film’s 2016 Sundance in-competition premiere, specifies a clear focal point and it is male nipples. A man’s tight nipples exposed as other clothed men gather around him pouring liquor down his chest. Any hunch as to what sizable market population Goat is trying to advertise to? If you need more clues, how about the fact that this film was produced by queer cinema legend Christine Vachon, features the star of Pride Ben Schnetzer, and the straight male pop star Nick Jonas (confusingly labeled a gay icon by Out Magazine), and the man who wants to be gay icon so much it hurts, James Franco, in a dual role as producer/supporting actor? No more clues needed: Goat is hunting for THE GAYS. 

The opening credits more or less bear out the promise of this advertising, set as they are to a slow-motion montage of bouncing shirtless men. Yet the resulting film is a very dark, gritty experience, lacking even the typical scenes of sexualized rowdy excess that one usually finds in films about fraternity bros...

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Friday
Dec162016

Review: "Rogue One - A Star Wars Story"

by Chris Feil

For even the Star Wars agnostic, you have to admit there is a certain appeal to Rogue One. Dubbed with the "A Star Wars Story" moniker, here is the most significant divergence from the main series yet: not only does it step away from the Skywalker family tree, but the pulsing trailers have promised a look and mood mostly its own. The final film is maybe less of a sidestep than we'd been promised but is still at its best when it sets itself aside from the saga.

Detailing the stealth mission to steal the Death Star blueprints before the events of A New Hope, the film has a host of new characters to go with its different vibe... 

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Thursday
Dec152016

Review: "Collateral Beauty"

by Chris Feil

When the aliens discover Earth, long after the ice caps have melted, I hope we leave a time capsule that includes Collateral Beauty to explain ourselves. No seriously: there's something to the film's off-handed cruelty and blasé emotional platitudes that shows how dunderheaded we humans can be. However this is only one of the film's many accidents, coming from its lack of self-awareness rather than its content. Collateral Beauty thinks itself holistic and clever, but its actually deeply, fundamentally stupid.

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Doc Corner: 'Life, Animated' Lacks Complexities of Modern Disney

Roger Ross Williams’ Life, Animated is an emotional 90 minutes of a heart-warming story that will likely give your tear ducts a good workout. It’s also not a particularly good movie. This is a frustratingly directed film that details the life of Owen Suskind, a young man whose early predilection for Disney animated movies allowed him to revert out of his shell and prosper into young adulthood. Williams has adapted the non-fiction book by Owen’s father, Ron – a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist – who, alongside his wife Cornelia, feature prominently throughout telling in wondrous detail of the miracles that have come their way since discovering Owen’s passion with a viewing of The Little Mermaid...

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Tuesday
Nov292016

Doc Corner: China Comes Into Focus in Documentaries

by Glenn Dunks

Two weeks ago (I had to take a week off to help put on an award show!) when discussing Zhang Zanbo’s The Road, I mentioned the rise of documentaries not just by Chinese filmmakers, but about China in general. A fascinating convergence in the rise of China as a global and controversial super-power with the rise of documentary filmmaking as a populist artform. It seems appropriate then to look at a recent trio of documentaries that focus on China and that each tackle a compelling and important subject: women’s sexual rights, animal poaching, and the destruction of the Earth...

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Sunday
Nov272016

Five Teensy Reviews: Moana, Miss Sloane, Rules Don't Apply, Etc...

by Nathaniel R

Presented to assuage Nathaniel's guilt from not having properly reviewed them -- all five are now playing in theaters.

Moana (Clements, Hall, Musker & Williams)
Story: A chieftain's daughter sails the ocean to right an ancient wrong and save her people
Review: The episodic plot is ungainly and repetitive but the rest, from animal sidekick, to magical animation, to the heroine's self awakening and theme song ("How Far I'll Go") sure is dazzling. Disney's most resonant and hypnotic climax in forever and ever. "This is not who you are..."
Grade: B/B+
Oscar Chances: A nomination seems certain but Zootopia will be a tough film to dismount from this year's throne. It's worth noting that composer Lin-Manuel Miranda will complete his EGOT if he wins the Oscar.

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