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Best Actress in Miniseries

"A big factor is "are the voters watching the entire season of these shows?" From my bubble everyone watched Big Little Lies and Feud in its entirety - and in real time." - Ellsworth

"I want Kidman to win and I think she probably will unless vote splitting costs her." -Matt

"What excites me most about this category is that the Emmys, unlike the Globes, don't necessarily care who the biggest name is" - Jakey

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Entries in Reviews (543)

Thursday
Jan092014

DVD Review: The Act of Killing

Tim here. As Team Experience’s representative lover of The Act of Killing above all other movies in 2013 (if “love” is the right word for such an bleak portrait of humanity’s worst side), it naturally falls to me to trumpet the Good News that one of the year’s best-reviewed films that you probably haven’t had a chance to see yet is now on DVD and Blu-Ray. At just the right moment, too, in advance of the Oscar nomination that I’m honestly not expecting it to receive; the Documentary branch hasn’t been in the business of making me that happy, and it’s not fair to expect otherwise.

It’s not the kind of film that readily lends itself to breathless statements of the “you HAVE to see this!” sort. For it is, after all, a documentary about mass political killings, one of the unlikeliest subjects in the world to produce a frolicsome entertainment that everyone will enjoy. That being said, you probably do have to see this. It is unlike any other cinematic analysis of its subject that I’ve ever heard of, let alone seen, with the filmmakers (those being director Joshua Oppenheimer, co-director Christine Cynn, and another co-director remaining anonymous for reasons of personal safety) going straight to the men who headed the anti-Communist death squads in 1965 and ’66 (regarded as heroes in Indonesia), and offering them a chance to make their own cinematic interpretations of their past deeds.

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Tuesday
Dec312013

The Thing I Ended Up Writing While Trying to Write The Review of "August: Osage County"

They do right by the first scene at least trimming the interminable opening of the Pulitzer and Tony wi. Beginning with the opening, Nathaniel, really? Do you groan audibly when someone says "That scene was so much better in the play / book / original source material" which is the culture snob's version of "FIRST!"  ok you'll need to discuss that effect but awkwwwward... EXT. Weston Family Home, Oklahoma. A car pulls int NO.  Violet Weston is a piece of work. But then, so it August: Ohmygod.. this is so not going to work.

"Eat your fish, bitch. Eat your fish.

... tempting, but where are you going to go from there if you start with Tracy Letts muscular punchy words and move on to your own dumpier nudgy ones? STOP.

You see where I'm going with this? Each time I've attempted to write about John Wells' adaptation of Tracy Lett's stage masterwork August: Osage County, barring a few brief stabs at some element of my discontent or, more likely, some reaction to its Oscar campaign and release strategy no review emergies. Obstacles of time, desire, interest, or non-diegetic usually awards season related materials surge up and scatter my thoughts when I sit down. 

Take this clever piece of FYC swag, a glorified envelope in the shape of a cardboard house.... [more]

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Tuesday
Dec242013

Reviews: Walter Mitty & The Wolf of Wall Street

'Who can keep up during Christmas?' I asked in my column over at Towleroad yesterday and after some mumbling about mystifying release strategies for platforming properties (read it if you can't get enough of me) I got to the heart of the matter with two wide releases.  They are reprinted here with a bit of embroidery to fill out my thoughts...

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Wednesday
Nov272013

Review: Frozen (2013)

Tim here, to talk about the last big animated release of 2013, and easily the best to come from a big studio all year: Frozen, the 53rd film in the Walt Disney animated feature canon. Adapted very loosely from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”, it’s a fairy tale about two sisters, princess of the small kingdom of Arendelle: Elsa, first in line to the throne, voiced by Broadway icon Idina Menzel, and clumsy Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell. Elsa was born with a touch of magic to her, and can create snow and ice from her hands, and when this terrible secret reveals itself on the day she’s to be crowned queen, she flees the kingdom in terror, leaving behind a thick blanket of endless snow.

Let’s clear out the low-hanging fruit first: “best Disney movie in 20 years” is just plain silly. It’s the best Disney movie since Tangled, maybe. Except for the instantly-forgotten but wonderful Winnie the Pooh. Anyway, let’s not get all daffy and pretend this is a movie at the level of achievement reached by The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin. It has some very wonderful elements, and a gorgeous song in Elsa’s “to hell with y’all” anthem “Let It Go”, which is absolutely every bit the “Defying Gravity” knock-off that Glenn identified, though I’m inclined to say that it’s better than its evident model. In fact, there’s probably nothing about Frozen I don’t like, up to and including the comic relief snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), who is incorporated into the movie far more elegantly and with far less gruesome “buy this toy!” stridency than the trailers suggested would be remotely in the realm of possibility.

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Tuesday
Nov262013

Review: Oldboy (2013)

Greetings, Dear Readers. Michael C. here. Since Nathaniel is on record as being emphatically NOT a fan of Chan-wook Park's original Cannes prize winner, I thought it fitting I, an enthusiastic Oldboy lover, would step in to review Spike Lee's hotly anticipated English language remake.

One of the smallest changes to Spike Lee’s American remake of Oldboy is the most revealing. A subplot involving hypnosis has been excised from the film. No doubt the filmmakers decided mass audiences wouldn’t accept such an outlandish plot device, but therein lies the fatal error. An Oldboy that comes anywhere near plausible reality is no Oldboy at all. 

Park Chan-wook’s original version pulsed with bonkers confidence, dancing on the edges of sanity, and, when need be, careening right over the cliff. In dragging the remake closer to the director’s realism comfort zone, this version has drained the story of the operatic pitch it requires.

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Monday
Nov252013

Review: Hunger Games Catches Wispy Fire

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

Their clothes ignite but does the movie?

The Hunger Games is not without its charms. Which is a very strange thing to say about a beloved bloody genre franchise about children murdering each other... but then *I'm* not the one suggesting it become a family theme park or inspire a cosmetics line. (Both very sensible and in no way inappropriate spinoffs!) At the very least, as these things go, it is infinitely preferrable to the Twilight Saga. They're the immensely popular twin (non-identical) poster girls for the increasingly crowded subgenre of YA dystopian fantasies in which a mopey teen passively navigates treacherous waters (and woods) and love triangles with death looming all around her. Both series trade on grand suicidal gestures ('I'll die of depression/eat the poison berries, if I can't have my man... I swear!') but at least The Hunger Games is self aware. It performs these defiant adolescent gestures with a sly and stately sense of morbid theatricality instead of self-pitying angst and is generally smart enough to express ambivalence about its content beyond the binaries of Team This Boyfriend vs Team That Boyfriend.

Miley's guards capture Liam on the lamBut, yes, when we return to the deadly adventures of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) for HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE she is flip-flopping between Boyfriends.

If you need a refresher it's like this: Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were co-victors of the last Hunger Games, a futuristic take on gladiator battles of ancient history. [more]

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