NOW PLAYING

in theaters



new on DVD/BluRay


review index

HOT TOPICS



Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Beauty vs. Beast

 

I think I know who the twins are voting for in our SHINING poll. But who are you voting for

 

Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Birdman's Secret Advantage
Oscar Loves Theater Stage Movies

 

"My favorite movie about the theater is ALL ABOUT EVE, but then again that movie is my favorite movie about everything about movies and love and lust and life itself." - Jay

"TOPSY-TURVY perfectly captures the feeling of imminent failure that you get when you're in rehearsals." - Peggy

 

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in Stoker (11)

Wednesday
Feb262014

"Nominations for Everyone!" - Saturn Awards

I maintain that a lot of "special interest" awards bodies would instantly be more respectable if they'd limit their number of nominations in a category. The Saturn Awards, who've been handing out prizes for sci-fi/fantasy/horror films for 40 years now, are one such group. When you narrow your field of eligibility -- as all special interest awards bodies must to still fit within their special interest boundaries -- why then should your nominee list be larger than the standard model (that'd be Oscar. pay attention). Despite what seems like a neverending barrage of pictures released that are catering to the comic-con community, there are actually less movies like that than those that are eligible for other prizes which only have "release date" as criteria. And yet the Saturn Awards feel the need to have six-seven nominees in all the acting categories and multiple Best Picture awards. If you combine all of their Best Film categories, they have 34 Best Picture nominees! though Gravity and The Hobbit: The Smaugening are the nomination leaders.

It must be so insulting for any picture that was not nominated... though I can't think of any that weren't offhand. Hundreds of nominations with brief grumpy commentary are after the jump. 

Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture:
“Iron Man 3″
“Man of Steel”
“Thor: The Dark World”
“The Wolverine”

The only snubbee I can think of here is Blue is the Warmest Color but those lesbians have no superpowers beyond very limber bodies and the ability to eat huge amounts of food without gaining a pound. 

30 more Best Picture nods after the jump...


Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul052013

The Halfway Mark Pt 2. Actors & Actresses

I assume that the entire time you were reading the Halfway Mark Best Screenplays & Pictures you were thinking "get to the actors already!" because, damn you're predictable and also so am I and I love to pay homage to great performances. So, here they are in six categories for your perusal and debate and "I guess I'd better watch that" list-making pleasure.

Best Actor in a Limited or Cameo Role (THUS FAR): Lior Ashkenazi (of Late Marriage fame) temporarily energizes the unfortunately bland Yossi by temporarily attempting to to rub off on and up against Yossi himself with pushy sleaze; James Badge Dale, who also won a nomination in this category at 2012's Film Bitch Awards for Flight, is in every big movie now (World War Z, The Lone Ranger, Iron Man 3) and pretty much great in all of them though the roles are growing exponentially and he's already too large for this category!; Kyle Chandler memorably flips his 'clear eyes, full hearts' image on its head as an absent father in The Spectacular NowCheyenne Jackson is robbed of his signature voice entirely in Behind the Candelabra as a disgruntled employee/protege/lover but it turns out he doesnt need it absolutely nailing every tiny gesture and facial expression; and finally, I liked Jamie Sheridan's conflicted big business father in The East.

Best Actress in a Limited or Cameo Role: Hillary Baack, is moving in a key brief role as The East's hearing impaired member; Zoe Kazan wins best in show for a group acting exercize masquerading as a movie called Some Girl(s) with an agonizing backstory; Debbie Reynolds, is a real hoot and unrecognizable in the Liberace flick Behind the CandelabraOrly Silbersatz Banai adds wonderful depth and shading to her history of denial in Yossi; And in a fine cast in StokerJacki Weaver, makes the most of her tense few scenes as the deservedly worried unannounced visitor Aunt Ginny; and my apologies to Grace Gummer in Frances Ha who I didn't quite have room for but I liked her prickly Ivy League alumna

4 More Acting Category "Bests" after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar102013

BoxOffice: The Great and Platformful

Somewhere over a different rainbow: Gael García Bernal's NO is a deserved hit in platform releaseObviously the oxygen-hogging story this weekend was the release of a new Oz movie. Pre-sold films are Hollywood's favorite thing for a reason. Familiarity and branding goes a long long long long long long long way toward automatic ticket sales. But Somewhere over another rainbow (logo) NO is a more deserved success story. Let's discuss. 

WIDE
01 Oz: The Great and Powerful $80.2 Review
02 Jack the Giant Slayer $28 (cum. $43.8) Review
03 Identity Thief $9.7 (cum. $116.5)

PLATFORM
01 The Gatekeepers $.2 
(cum. $1 now on 67 screens & holding)
02 No $.1 Review 
(cum. $.5 now on 35 screens & building)
03 Stoker  $.1 Review 
(cum. $.3 now on 17 screens & dwindling)

Word of mouth can be your best friend or your worst enemy in movie theaters. The big corporate movie studios are generally very consistent with their strategies though I'd argue too consistent. The would be blockbusters are released on so many screens that people sometimes buy tickets just because it's "the big movie opening" rather than from genuine I Must See This interest. I mean, imagine the financial bloodbath if Jack the Giant Slayer had opened on 10 screens and tried to build trusting that people would be recommending it to others? At least it made some money last weekend before a terrible 63% drop this week.

Meanwhile smaller titles are nearly always platformed in the same way even if that's a mistake for them. I mean, it makes total sense for a movie like Chile's Oscar nominee No which will have a distinctly limited audience proportionately the exact size of its word of mouth. In these cases platforming is wise since the movie is EXCELLENT (seriously, go see it) and people will tell their friends just that. But riskier polarizing movies like Stoker the studios treat in the exact same way, throwing all their chips on reviews and word of mouth even though that clearly won't work as well. I confess that I don't really understand the strategy. When you have a way to hook bigger audiences without word of mouth (i.e. the serial killer genre, some stars, and violent horror which has the most faithful audience ever) why aren't you using it?

the latest "mystery swag" from Stoker -- a creepy box of sharpened pencils with Mia Wasikowska's face staring back at you when you pull them out of the box.

I mean, I know I didn't exactly give Stoker a positive review but I'm glad I saw it. Stoker is, at the very least, a great curio discussion topic. But here's the catch. When they hide the weirdos they even lose their cachet as curios because nobody has anything to discuss having not seen it.  I guess Stoker will have to wait for DVD to find its audience.

What did you watch this weekend?
I skipped the movies and went to see Sigourney Weaver on Broadway. (More on that tomorrow night)

Wednesday
Mar062013

Somewhere Over the Link Roll

/Film character posters for Hunger Games: Catching Fire with clotheshorse Effie (she's so Technicolor) and more...
Pajiba set photos before fx. So much green screen & weird stuff on people's bodies/faces
Towleroad first listen of Oblivion score from M83
MNPP Quote of the day from Stoker author Wentworth Miller. Apparently he wrote it with Matthew Goode in mind! Good taste he has.
In Contention Django Unchanied and Ted leave the MTV Movie Award Nominations

The Land of Oz
Tonight "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" Oz celebration is almost here (update: it's here!) I'll still add links for latecomers if you post your favorite shot -- next week's entry is Barbarella with Jane Fonda as the titular sci-fi babe so that should be fun too.  We were thrilled to have so many new voices (aka new eyes) for this group series when we hit Oz. So please check out the first-timers who'd never done "Hit Me" before...

We Recycle Movies' favorite mantra: "Technicolor!" | Cinema Enthusiasts soaks in the details | 
Academy A finds the perfect babysitter | Seen Said like 'tracing a tiny finger along the dotted line of a treasure map' | Cinema Door a super-sized threat | Muniel Muniel and Movies makes some inter-film connections |  Mount Hollywood thinks Tin Man gives good face (as do I) but saves the "best" for Kansas 

My Best Shot Article (and a full link list)

Monday
Mar042013

What Did You Watch This Weekend?

There was not a pot of gold at the top of that beanstalk... or rather there was but it had already been raided to build said beanstalk in the first place.

Box Office WIDE
01 JACK THE GIANT SLAYER *NEW* $28 Review
02 IDENTITY THIEF  $9.7 (cum. $107.4)
03 21 AND OVER  *NEW* $9.0
04 THE LAST EXORCISM PART II  *NEW* $8
05 SNITCH $7.7  (cum. $24.4)

Given Jack the Giant Slayer's gargantuan budget ($200 million), and the loss of the family audience next weekend when Oz: The Great and Powerful cuts it off at the knees beanstalk (har-de-har-har), this has to be a regarded as a face plant (plant. get it, I... never mind). Unless its overseas take is significantly better.

Box Office PLATFORM
01 THE GATEKEEPERS $.2 (cum. $.6)
02 STOKER *NEW* $.1 Review 
03 NO $.1 (cum. $.3) Review
04 HYDE PARK ON HUDSON  *$.04 (cum. $6.2)
05 STAND UP GUYS $.1 (cum. $3.2)

Though Stoker had a non-spectacular 'highest-per-screen-average of any movie' claim this weekend, I always wonder why genre efforts with famous stars don't open wider to begin with. I mean, seven theaters??? Sure this is an art horror film rather than a easy-sell slasher but remember when Bug opened wide and they pretended it didn't have critically acclaimed roots? It was hardly a hit but it made $3 million in its opening weekend and $7 million in total. If you hide Stoker for long enough, it won't even get to $7 million because the buzz will warn away the people who are scared of anything non-generic... which is obviously a lot of people if you look at box office receipts for horror films where interchangeable slashers tend to reign.

One unreported story of the box office this winter season is surely that the non-bankable Oscar bait failures like Quartet and Hyde Park on Hudson still somehow managed to earn non-embarrassing grosses. Especially Quartet which nearly equalled Beasts of the Southern Wild's take with about .1% of its publicity - the power of the Dowager Countess!?! 

What did you watch this weekend? I took in Stoker, Jack the Giant Slayer and a couple of 1930s movies

Sunday
Mar032013

Review: "Stoker" Disturbs. But To What End?

A slightly abridged version of this review was previously published in my weekly column @ Towleroad

Thirst > Stoker

A few years ago Park Chan-wook, the acclaimed genre fabulist from South Korea, made an award winning vampire film called Thirst. With the exception of the Swedish instant classic Let The Right One In, it's the best vampire film of the past 20 years. Second best might not seem like high praise but consider the volume of competition!  

In Thirst, a priest and reluctant vampire, infects a young girl with his addiction and she flips from moody troubled teen to lusty adult trouble-maker. Is she his impressionable victim or his soulmate apprentice? Or is she much harder to pin down? Having raved about Thirst when it was released (including a Best Actress nomination for Kim Ok-bin right here) and being a shameless Kidmaniac I walked into Stoker with high expectations. Despite the title's nod to Bram Stoker, I was not expecting an English language pseudo-remake of his earlier vampire feature. There are no literal vampires this time but the central power play relationship and overall bloodlust are like eerily similar echoes. Even the supernatural powers remain: India (Mia Wasikowska) even begins the film boasting of her preternatural hearing in voiceover while she hunts a defenseless animal in the tall grass. It's like a Terrence Malick sequence with brutality in place of spirituality. India's hearing is so acute she even catches spidery footsteps (So do we since Stoker shares with Thirst masterfully creepy and super detailed sound design.)  

A Stoker family dinner. Bloody steak.

"Don't disturb the family" is a stupid fun tagline for Stoker's ad campaign and poster since the warning is pointless. This family was disturbed long before you bought a ticket. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan232013

Clips w/out Context: Nicole Kidman in "Stoker"

So many people have sent me that first official clip from Stoker over the past week, a monologue from Queen Kidman, that I figure it's a sign from the cosmos that I've been neglecting my genuflections. (I had had another big Nicole (!) piece planned last week and then they went and snubbed her/spoiled it. And then there was The Hours anniversary and I thought maybe I had Kidmandeered the blog too much. Apparently not!)

Lights on. Camera. Actress!

Almost every time someone has sent or linked to the clip they've done so with a variation of "OMG!!!" or "all the Oscars for Nicole!" in their text and a quick check of online reactions fall roughly along those lines too. My reaction was more like "..." with a side of "♥"

...which I shall explain alongside the clip and Stoker @ Sundance madness after the jump.

Click to read more ...