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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

 

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CINDERELLA -Yes No or Maybe So ???

Cinderella's evil step family

YES "Sandy Powell is doing costumes and the team of Ferretti & Lo Schiavo are production designers so I am a-seein' it.-Johnny 

NO "Disney is so deeply devoted to itself. " -Deborah

MAYBE SO "That moment where Cate holds up the shoe and says, "Looking for this?" has me intrigued how they will spin the story...-Shawshank

 

Beauty vs. Beast

COUNTESS OLENSKA vs. MAY WELLAND

The countess is watching....
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Entries in superheroes (169)

Friday
Nov072014

Review: Big Hero 6

Tim here. Something feels unmissably “off” about Big Hero 6, the 54th film in the Walt Disney Animation feature canon. It’s a film that wants to offer a little something for everybody, and succeeds, but this comes at the cost of feeling erratic and imbalanced, and curiously adrift. By now, we’re used to superhero origin stories that use up all the oxygen on setting up the heroes’ powers and briefly sketching in their personalities, but even by that standard, as Big Hero 6 started to move into what was unmistakably its endgame, I found myself sinking into outright dismay that this inconsequential scrap against a nondescript bad guy with wicked plans barely large than a city block was actually where the movie was headed, after its strong opening.

But that’s all part of the scheme: the filmmakers (including directors Don Hall, of the 2011 Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams, of 2008’s Bolt) know that some people want emotional tenderness, and some want big action scenes, and so they deliver both. But not in a way that’s completely satisfying to either group. It’s the same problem of every CGI animated American movie of the last decade and a half writ large and done with shockingly little attempt to disguise the joints between it narrative modules.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct302014

Calendar-Man v. Film Culture: The Bubble-Bursting Wars

With every studio hopping on the "universe building" trend that Marvel perfected for cinema -- too bad Pixar's early "all original concept / few sequels" success didn't translate to cross-studio trends -- cinema will be becoming a lot more like television. It already has, of course, with those annual editions of popular franchises playing like big budget TV miniseries with all their episodes smashed together for one bingewatch a year (think Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter). With the Star Wars universe now planning annual showings and Bond & Star Trek till and that planned resurrection of the entire original iconic movie monsters, one has to wonder if Original Content will finally be put down by the 2020s. Or will the bubble burst and audiences will grow tired of continuing stories with overly familiar characters and often padded multi-part stories with no resolutions. You know, the kind they can get at home on television for free?!

This comic panel has been slightly altered to better illustrate my argument.

All entertainment trends are cyclical. This is a fact, however much people valiantly argue year after year that whatever's hot right then will live on forever. But when exactly will the bubble burst?

I was initially very excited about the growing genre of superhero movies -- like many boys I spent countless hours in childhood and adolescence dreaming of seeing my favorite characters on the page in live action environments (X-Men, The Avengers, The Teen Titans, Cloak & Dagger, Green Lantern and Daredevil figured chief amongst my fantasies in this regard). But even though I wanted this, I'm already kinda bored of seeing it actualized especially since so much of it plays more like a nightmare (see the first film versions of Green Lantern and Daredevil - or better yet, DON'T, if you've managed to escape them).

Backstage blog handwringing and the superhero glut after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct282014

The Three Phases of Link

Sight on Earth On Gone Girl's women...  "Psycho Bitch: Qu'est-ce que C'est?"
Awards Circuit Power Hour Actress Oscar categories with Nathaniel R (c'est moi) as guest 
In Contention looks at the Best Original Song race
Vulture Most Valuable Stars List methodology...
Vulture 100 Most Valuable Stars rankings with JLaw up top followed by the usuals RDJ, Leo, Bullock... but what's far far more interesting is the lower tiers like Jake Gyllenhaal at 57 'The Modest Movie Star' and Anna Kendrick at 98 'The Songbird' and some inexplicably high placements like Mila Kunis at 37 'The Ingenue in Intermission'


Yahoo funny piece on Britney Spears terror-laden smiles 
Wired  has a Disney cover and I'm only linking because shouldn't Wired of all places do a little something more creative with an interactive cover than Youtube links? I mean...
BFI is Paris the animation capital of the world for art-driven cartoons?
Esquire "films stupid people think are clever" shameless click bait!
IndieWire does some investigation as to exactly how Poland's Ida became such a big arthouse hit this year. 
Slate on the "Bottom Shaming" of How To Get Away With Murder. I think this piece is really smart. While it's true that depiction is not endorsement (see all the dumb misogyny arguments on every movie ever with a female lead who is mistreated) but I'd argue that depiction is endorsement when multiple characters with presumably varying points of view all sound off on said topic and all agree on said depiction. 

Marvel Made A Teensy Announcement Phase 3 Today
But I'm feeling cranky about superheroes so it doesn't get a whole post. Every godforsaken movie site on the planet will continue to cover it ad nauseum and will probably publish another 5 thinkpieces tomorrow alone on what we "might" see in each of the 8 movies. Repeat for the next five years. Good god film bloggers get a grip and start talking about actual movies that exist for a change! You're turning film culture into a fast food restaurant that only serves air. Zero calories but there's absolutely no nutritional value in publishing your 10,001st post on Dr. Strange's casting.

Anyway...


/Film
 has video of Marvel's annoyingly ubiquitous Phase Three commercial from earlier today in which they announced 8 new movies including The Black Panther with Chadwick Boseman and Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in a very late attempt to stave off those "no diversity!" complaints. Those films arrive in 3 to 4 years respectively because we can't have people of color and women before that, you know? That's RISKY BUSINESS. Never mind that women and people of color have led box office hits since the 1920s and 1960s respectively. That's just too progressive for Marvel right now)
The Stake has a great suggestion for Captain Marvel casting but since we're 4 years away still the actress who will eventually be cast might not even be someone anyone has even heard of yet.  

Finally... a trailer but perhaps not the trailer is here for Suite Française is here. EOneUK, releasing the trailer on YouTube claims this will open in January. It's hitting the American Film Market this month too supposedly but it still isn't scheduled for a US release. The buzz for this one started strong last year and nosedived as less and less news was announced. It was starting to feel like a fictional film until this trailer, actually. My yes no maybe so entirely consists of Yes (production team, crazylust for Matthias, tearful farewell to Kristin Scott Thomas), No (WW II prestige fatigue) and Maybe So (is it any good?)

 

Thursday
Oct232014

Yes No Maybe So: Avengers Age of Ultron

And by Yes No Maybe So I mean Yes Yes and Also YAAASSSS.

Tony Stark modelling the signature look from Hulkbuster Summer Line 2015

Though the thought of 20 plus superhero movies in the next few years makes me psychologically ill (nothing is special if it's all the time - see also Streep playing every part for women over 60 and tv shows about lawyers/doctors/crimescenes) at least roughly half of the Marvel movies are actually good examples of this soon-to-be oversaturated genre, generally getting the balance right of big pop flair, comic relief and stylized gravitas. And by "half" I'm referring of course to both Captain Americas, Joss Whedon's take on The Avengers and every other Iron Man. I'm hoping the genre goes out* with a big bang, that bang being Avengers: Age of Ultron.

But before we begin a word about "premieres." why do movie studios even bother announcing "premieres" or anything anymore when they then immediately retract the specialness of every debut by shooting their wad early. On Tuesday night's Agents of SHIELD they made a big fuss about how the Avengers Age of Ultron trailer would premiere on next Tuesday's episode (theoretically to boost ratings/interest) and then within 24 hours Marvel had officially posted the trailer online thereby killing the excitement of watching it next week during Agents of SHIELD

Anyway, for this supersized Yes No Maybe So (our series wherein we break down movie trailers to those three categories) we're doing roughly every image, in the order it appears because we can't help it. Mmmm, can't get enough.

I'm going to show you something beautiful...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct222014

Exodus: To Links and Blogs

Let my readers go... to other places. Here are a bunch of articles I enjoyed elsewhere or which are worthwhile for their informational newsiness. But come back soon, okay? Okay.

Screen
Dissolve a new Pee Wee Herman movie is "imminent"  
The Dissolve rights to John Carter of Mars have reverted to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. Do you think we'll get another film... and will it be better? 
The Guardian on Renée Zellweger and 'the Actor's face as His/Her brand'. I made a point of not talking about Zeéeeee's looks yesterday in my own post about the photo but this is an interesting non-aggressive non-misogynist piece about movie stars and how shifts to their brand work (or don't).

I was going to link to another Guardian piece about Julianne Moore and Ellen Page's lesbian drama Freeheld experiencing bigotry already banned from filming at a Catholic school but the page started playing really loud Arby's ads (WTH?) so, no. If you appreciate that I don't allow audio ads on this site (unless it's your choice to play the audio as in the sidebar Oscar ads later in the year) than you should maybe donate to the site to help keep us afloat. (see right hand sidebar. Kisses) 

Screen, Superheroics Corner
Pajiba Ming Na-Wen fought herself on last week's Agents of SHIELD for a series highlight. Which other characters should do the same? And yes, the show is actually really good in season 2. Surprise! Last night's episode was really exciting and next week, they'll premiere the trailer to Avengers: Age of Ultron
Comics Alliance talks to Jason Momoa who is excited to embrace his Polynesian heritage as Aquaman. I like Aquaman, and I have no trouble with switching races of known characters - especially when it makes sense (as it would here and similarly I pray to God they don't try to cast a white guy as Iron Fist when they get around to that character since he'd make so much more sense as an Asian). All that said I am not a fan of Jason Momoa - don't respond well to his enormously bulky look and wasn't impressed with him as an actor in Game of Thrones
We Minored in Film Painkiller Jane to get her own movie, possibly beat high profile superheroines to the screen

Off Screen
Vanity Fair Sarah Jessica Parker's unauthorized shoe-stoop photography 
Boy Culture meets Annie Lennox
The Cut The Met's new cleverly titled exhibit on mourning fashions is called "Death Becomes Her". Sadly there is no sidebar exhibit on Madeline Ashton & Helen Sharp. A pity because "I would like... to... talk... about... Madeline Ashton"  

EXODUS: OF COSTUMES AND KINGS
I recently attended a sneak preview of footage from Exodus: Of Gods and Kings. We were shown about 40 minutes of the Biblical epic which seems to be Cecil B DeMille's The Ten Commandments minus Anne Baxter's campiness (pity) remade through the lens of Ridley Scott's Gladiator. Moses is no longer a "splendid adorable fool" but a guylined killing machine (at least in the early action sequence we saw). Ridley Scott's movies are always great looking however they come across otherwise and this one looked suitably gigantic. Especially the plagues and the finale Red Sea chase. I admit I was somewhat distracted worrying about the horses who are dying right and left in these sequences. I will never be able to watch old school war scenes without worrying about the horses, all the pretty horses. Yes I am one of those animal lovers that stays through the end credits to make sure no animals were harmed in the making of anything.

Here's a featurette on the golden costumes by Oscar winner Janty Yates (Gladiator)! She mentions the film's powerful women but they weren't showcased at all in our preview. Sigweavie only got a couple of side-eyes in. I must admit, too, that at our preview I was baffled as to why Sir Ridley kept appearing between the scenes to explain the plot. UM. MOSES. THE BIBLE. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. It's a bit like describing what happens in Noah. Let me guess: Rageful god warning, two animals of every kind, floods!? Actually come to think of it, Moses's story beats are not unlike the Noah template only two animals of every kind is more thousands of only two kinds (frogs/locusts) and the flood is region specific.

Are you planning to see Exodus? Do you like actors in guyliner and gold plated costumes? The latter is a rhetorical question since your answer should be use.

Sunday
Oct192014

Review: Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

An abridged version of this review was originally posted in Nathaniel's weekly column at Towleroad. It is reposted here, with their permission.

 

A card in the bottom right hand of the star's mirror reads:

"A thing is a thing. Not what is said of that thing." 
-Susan Sontag

Which immediately complicates or maybe simplifies celebrity and art, two major themes (among a handful) of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's one of a kind new film experience. It's destined for major Oscar nominations and you should see it immediately. The movie has the simple and then complicated title of Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as befits its duality perfectly. This quote is never addressed in the film but it's always stubbornly lodged there in that mirror, defying or playfully encouraging conversation about what this movie actually is. And what is film criticism or its more popular cousin, after-movie conversation over dinner drinks or online other than conversation that attempts to interpret and define?

Critics are often treated with petulant hostility in movies about show business, as if the filmmakers have an axe to grind and need to do that with grindstone in hand while their critical avatar/puppet hangs there limply, waiting to be struck with the sharpened blade. Birdman is no exception, immediately insulting its formidable theater critic Tabitha (Lindsay Duncan) as having a face that 'looks like she just licked a homeless man's ass,' before she's even spoken a line. But Tabitha is a slippery mark, portrayed as a voice of integrity in one scene and then a vicious unprofessional monster in another. This calls into question the reality of her scenes altogether

... which is not unusual in Birdman.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep232014

Deadpool Solo Film is a Go


Margaret here, with the latest in superhero news. Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Comics have firmed their long-rumored plans to produce a Deadpool movie. A popular Marvel character, Deadpool (alias Wade Wilson) is a motormouthed mercenary with powers including regenerative healing and expert swordsmanship. He appeared in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as played by Ryan Reynolds, to much fan favor. Though Reynolds is not yet attached to the upcoming film, in the grand tradition of superhero tentpoles a release has already been fixed for February 12 of 2016. 

When Reynolds appeared as Deadpool five years ago, his star was quickly on the rise. The warm reception to his performance in Wolverine helped him land the lead in DC Comics' mega-budget Green Lantern movie, which (remember? We were so young back then) was expected to become a major franchise. The film ended up tanking spectacularly, and Reynolds' next several major-studio projects fared little better. Like many floundering movie stars before him, he retreated to the indie-movie scene, but Marjane Satrapi's The Voices (which played Sundance) is divisive and Atom Egoyan's The Captive (Cannes) was critically panned. 

Can this Deadpool project reverse his trajectory? Does Ryan Reynolds even have any chances left?