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Rosemary's Baby (50th Anniversary Retrospective)

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Blueprints: Moonlight 

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Entries in Reviews (611)

Tuesday
Feb202018

Oscar Shorts Pt 3: The Live Action Nominees

Chris Reviewed the Animated Shorts. Glenn ranked the Documentary Shorts. Now here's Eric with the Live Action nominees to complete the set.

It’s my third year covering the nominees for the Live Action Short Oscar for TFE, and this batch of hopefuls presents the strongest lineup of those years.  Usually there are one or two clunkers, but this year all five films are intelligently made, run the perfect length, and linger beautifully...

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Wednesday
Feb142018

Review: The 15:17 To Paris

by Eric Blume

Has Clint Eastwood lost his mind?  That’s the thought that swirled through my mind for the first hour of 15:17 To Paris, because every choice is so shockingly wrong-headed that it feels unfathomable. Say what you will about Eastwood’s films, but even his detractors would need to admit that his movies are generally well-acted and sure-footed.  I had to stay through the end credits not to see the name of the cinematographer, but to ensure that there actually was one.  In fact, it’s Tom Stern, who has shot most of Eastwood’s films.  Out of respect for these two gentlemen and their intelligent work together in the past, let's assume that on this film they were attempting to take Eastwood’s infamously brisk, limited-takes directorial and shooting style to its ultimate breakneck limit.  Their new film looks uglier and less artful than your average TV procedural...

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Monday
Feb122018

Doc Corner: 'The Price of Gold' Brings Clarity to 'I, Tonya'

By Glenn Dunks

The defining trait of I, Tonya that has separated it from a glut of biopics is that darkly comedic tone achieved significantly through fake direct-to-camera interviews by an assortment of ghoulish villains and anti-heroes. One could argue that with its cast of monstrous characters and flamboyant yet true-to-life costumes and wig-work, the film’s mock documentary device was entirely unnecessary at achieving its desired laughs.

Yet while I saw the value of its method as a sort of short-hand directorial device used to wrangle the story’s many real life contradictions and he-said-she-said-he-said-she-said-he-said narrative, having watched Nanette Burstein’s sublime The Price of Gold, it comes off as actually just lazy...

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Wednesday
Dec272017

Reviews: "The Post" and "The Greatest Showman"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in slightly altered form...

If you take film critics, Rotten Tomatoes, or any review aggregate site seriously you might think that future Oscar contender The Post (86%) is a pricey gift from Santa Spielberg that’s come exquisitely wrapped for Christmas. You might also believe that the new Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman (51%) is an oversized lump of coal fouling up your otherwise pretty stocking. Don’t fall for that anti-fun / theme=worth messaging; See both for a well-rounded holiday week at the movies...

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Saturday
Dec232017

Review: "Bright" on Netflix

by Ben Miller

Will Smith misses the good ole days.  He has been trying to reclaim his blockbuster status since 2008’s Hancock.  In between, Smith has been featured in a string of weird melodramatic dramas (Seven Pounds, Collateral Beauty), traditional action genre vehicles (Men in Black 3, After Earth, Suicide Squad) and films that sink or swim on the charisma of the stars (Focus, Concussion).  None of these have worked.

Reuniting with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, Smith tries to make it work again in action/sci-fi with Netflix’s Bright.  This also doesn’t really work...

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Monday
Dec182017

Review: The Last Jedi

Lynn Lee looks at the new Star Wars film. Warning: Minor SPOILERS ahead...

It’s hard to put my finger on why I remain resistant to the recent Star Wars resurgence despite being a lifelong fan of the original trilogy.  So far the new movies have been solid pieces of entertainment, meticulously crafted to capture the scrappy, underdog-hero ethos that made Episodes IV-VI so appealing and the prequels feel so stilted and airless by comparison.  Maybe a bit too meticulously – and therein lies my ambivalence.  There’s a fine line between homage and recycling, and The Force Awakens, in particular, was a skillful exercise in the latter.  (Rogue One was superior in this regard, perhaps by virtue of being a spin-off that had to be able to stand on its own.)  On the other hand, TFA also introduced new protagonists who were so engaging you could almost overlook the fact that they were moving through the same beats as A New Hope.  I hoped that Episode VIII would give them a bit freer rein to move in new directions.

Does The Last Jedi do that?  Yes and no.  It makes a point of subverting certain narrative expectations, although this has the unfortunate side effect of making some of the subplots feel like unnecessary detours and/or dead ends.  But the overall arc remains a highly familiar one, albeit with some tweaks...

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