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Review: Crazy Rich Asians

"I loved it! Simple, but by no means dumb. Light, but with enough emotional beats and such attention to character detail to keep it from being fluff." - Val 

"If Michelle Yeoh actually gets an Oscar nomination for this, I'll probably cry. (Tears of joy, of course.)" -Cash"

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Entries in Sam Elliott (7)

Thursday
Aug092018

Showbiz History: Betty Boop, Bob Aldrich, and the Muscles from Brussels

We're still so terribly depressed about the Academy's foolhardy new decisions, that we're looking for ANYTHING else to think about today as distraction. Herewith...

12 random things that happened on this very day (Aug 9th) in history...

1918 HAPPY ROBERT ALDRICH CENTENNIAL! The director was born 100 years ago today in Rhode Island. Among his best known films: The Big Knife, The Dirty Dozen, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Autumn Leaves, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, and The Longest Yard. Alfred Molina was recently Emmy-nominated for playing him in the TV series Feud: Bette and Joan...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul112018

Fantasia, Straight Ahead

by Jason Adams

Tomorrow marks the opening of the 22nd annual Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, which runs all the way to August 2nd - the fest focuses in on genre films from around the world, with titles ranging from Indonesian Cowboy Epics to Christmas Zombie Musicals to Nicolas Cage. It's got everything a growing nerd might want... and then some things you might not think you want but you'll try them anyway and oh look you've got a new kink now, thanks Fantasia.

I'll be covering the fest both here at TFE and over at MNPP (we covered the fest there last year) over the next couple of weeks. There are some big titles screening like Mandy, the by-all-accounts insane bloodbath starring the aforementioned Cage alongside Andrea Riseborough of all people, and Under the Silver LakeIt Follows' director David Robert Mitchell's (recently delayed) flick with Andrew Garfield.

After the jump six smaller yet delicious-looking highlights from the fest's epic programming slate that we're hoping to get our beady little eyes on...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr282018

April Foolish Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

by Nathaniel R

One intriguing possibility is Oscar Isaac as the painter Paul Gauguin in "At Eternity's Gate" -- the film is about Vincent Van Gogh's time in Aries (in which their friendship went awry) -- but will it be ready in time and get strong distribution?

And now we come to the one acting category that arguably has no super devoted fan base: Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Why have we never met an obsessive fan of this category? It's easy to run into people who love leading ladies and/or leading men and, we should know more than anyone given the Supporting Actress Smackdowns that that particular contest tends to fascinate a wide swath of people. So why no love for Supporting Actor? Could it be because the Academy uses this category, we'd argue more than the others, as an afterthought, filling it with 'thanks for the career' citations and 'we like this movie, so, sure' troupers. Any other theories out there as to the lack of love? Please note: this is not to disparage supporting players as we love to sing their praises for jobs well done. Supporting actors (and actresses) are essential to the overall success of the stories they help shape and color.  

We've got at least five true stories this year with heavily male supporting ensembles that could affect this category though it's difficult to know in advance which actor (if any) might make enough of a mark to stand out beyond the leading men or leading ladies

  • The undercover in the Klu Klux Klan drama BlacKkKlansman from Spike Lee (August)
  • Astronauts to the moon drama First Man  from La La Land's Damien Chazelle (October)
  • The Dick Cheney political (comic?) biopic Backseat from the director of The Big Short (December)
  • Mary Queen of Scots history is full of men wrestling for power through her (December)
  • Mary Poppins Ret --- WAIT, THAT'S NOT A TRUE STORY? GET OUTTA HERE! 

INVESTIGATE THE CHART. What do you think might happen in this category? 

Previous April Foolish Articles
Supporting Actress, Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Score, Screenplays, Animated Features, and the Prediction Charts

Sunday
Aug232015

Podcast: Straight Outta U.N.C.L.E. and Into Old Lady Movies

For this week's edition of the podcast, Nathaniel and Nick gab about old lady movies (I'll See You In My Dreams, Ricki & The Flash, and Grandma). Nick hasn't seen The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Nathaniel hasn't seen Straight Outta Compton so they tell each other about them, too.

Contents (43 minutes)
00:01 Grey Gardens to Straight Outta Compton?
06:45 I'll See You In My Dreams, Ricki & The Flash
19:30 Grandma
27:00 The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
30:00 Sam Elliott
33:00 Miscellania: The Gift, Tom at the Farm, Sand Dollars, and being over Helen Mirren


You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Straight Outta Old Lady Movies

Saturday
Aug222015

What's the best scene from summer movie season?

Team Experience will be sharing highlights of their summer viewing in a week but until then, out of curiousity... What would you name the best single scene of the summer movie season? Here are a bakers dozen of candidates that thrilled yours truly...

• Chez Andie. Magic Mike XXL 
The Opera House. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (and where the hell has this Rebecca Ferguson woman been all our lives?)
The Dream. Inside Out
• A Dangerous Dance. Tom at the Farm 
Furiosa vs. Max. Mad Max: Fury Road - That chained throwdown with Immortan Joe's harem as audience
Saving the Barn. Far From the Madding Crowd. Schoenaerts to the rescue!
Karaoke Night. I'll See You In My Dreams 
Birth of The Vision. Avengers: Age of Ultron. Damn but it's good to see Paul Bettany floating, mysterious, forehead bejewelled, and airbrushed red 
Laced Drink. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Elizabeth Debicki is everything, in OR out of focus
Nested Flashback. Ant-Man. Starring Michael Peña 
Commercial on Loop. The D Train Jack Black's James Marsden obsession begins
Stepmom Stakes ClaimRicki and the Flash. It's always special and too rare to see an actress challenge Meryl Streep to a duel in a face off scene. Go Audra!
Visiting an Old Friend. Grandma. It's been a good summer for Sam Elliott. See also: I'll See You In My Dreams

I wanted to list something from A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence but since the whole thing is brilliant short vignettes, it would take up half the list.

Please do share your favorites! 

Monday
Apr202015

Tribeca: A Second Look at "Grandma"

Lily Tomlin with writer/director Paul Weitz of "About a Boy" fameJoe Reid reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival

After months of feeling left out for not being at Sundance when this little gem debuted (Nathaniel reviewed it), I was at long last able to see Paul Weitz's Grandma, featuring as charming and exciting a central performance by Lily Tomlin as you've heard. Tomlin plays Elle Reid (no relation...though that's not what I'll be telling people), a thorny old lesbian who at times she describes herself both as a misanthrope and as a "terrible person," yet the good heart at her center never gets covered up all that effectively. She's just dumped her lover (Judy Greer) when she's visited by her teen granddaughter, Sage (Julia Garner), who needs money for an abortion. Elle doesn't have it, but she thinks she knows where she can get it, and pretty soon, we've got an old-fashioned road trip on our hands!

Road-trip movies have a natural episodic structure to them, and Grandma keeps some fun casting decisions around each corner. Here's Laverne Cox! Here's Sam Elliott! Here's Elizabeth Peña! (I let out a whimpered "aw" when the late Peña showed up; I found out after the film screened that a friend of mine did the same thing when she saw it.) Here's Marcia Gay Harden! The casting decisions are all quite sharp, which keeps it from feeling like a parade of familiar faces designed to cozy up to an indie audience. In particular, Elliott does some impressive work in his one scene. If Tomlin ends up folded into awards talk for her performance (she should), expect more than a few for-your-consideration pleas on Elliott's behalf.

While Grandma becomes as much of an abortion comedy as Obvious Child was, the focus never leaves Tomlin's Elle. It seems for a while that the movie is going to be a succession of dupes for Elle to mow down. Certainly that's how thing's go for Sage's boyfriend (Nat Wolff, making his requite festival rounds this year). But the film proves to be unexpectedly generous to most of its other characters, including an energetic third-act stomping-through by Marcia Gay Harden, who gets my vote for the movie's funniest line (it's about condoms).