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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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Entries in Team Experience (53)

Friday
Jan312014

We Can't Wait #3: Foxcatcher

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Glenn Dunks on "Foxcatcher"]

Mark and Dave Schutlz played by Ruffalo and Tatum respectively

Foxcatcher 
Based on the true story of Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), Foxcatcher tells the story of how John du Pont (Steve Carell), member of the millionaire du Pont family, murdered Schultz's brother, wrestling champion Dave (Mark Ruffalo). 

Talent
Director Bennett Miller, unlike the David O. Russells of the world, is switching his casts with each movie. Here he is working with a screenplay by Oscar-nominated Dan Futterman and Emmy-nominated E. Max Eyre. Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum take the three major roles, but the peripheries are filled out with such names as Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall and prolific character actor Brett Rice.

Why We Can't Wait
Appearing, at least on first inspection, like a cross between the real life sport drama of Moneyball and the small town true crime drama of Capote - Foxcatcher looks like another winner from Bennett Miller who is three for three and that's before you even count his arguable best work (the bscure and bonkers documentary The Cruise)The eclectic cast should be interesting and it'll be exciting to see what Carell does with darker more challenging character material. The trailer that was released last year (and then pulled) looked disturbing and creepy and Carell appears to be on fire with the weight gain and voice weak like watered-down tea.

But We Do Have To Wait
Sony Pictures Classics will distribute later in 2014, which perhaps suggests that it's a smaller movie than many will expect with a cast such as this (and hoping for Oscar attention). It seems likely that it will premiere at one of the big festivals (Venice would suit).

Previously
Under the SkinInherent ViceInto the Woods , Snowpiercer , Nymphomaniac , Boyhood , Big Eyes ,The Last 5 Years , Gone GirlCan a Song Save Your LifeVeronica Mars and those that just missed the cut

Thursday
Jan302014

We Can't Wait #4: Under the Skin

Hey y'all. Now that I'm back from Sundance I can join in the "We Can't Wait" fun as we near the top of the Team Experience list. The team has been highlighting our top 14 (collectively) most anticipated films of the new cinematic year. We've already covered 13+ great movies and it falls on me to write up our fourth highest ranker.

Under the Skin
In which Scarlett Johansson plays an alien searching for man meat or skin or something. The men she seduces are never heard from again.

Talent
The entire reason this is on the list is surely The Film Experience's collective devotion to 2004's Birth, the misunderstood masterpiece by Jonathan Glazer. I don't have a pass/fail checklist of requirements for my team members here at TFE but if I did "Do you like Birth?" would be on the questionnaire. For reasons that are too too horrible to contemplate Glazer hasn't made a film since which makes Under the Skin something of a unicorn. Does it really exist? It must since we've seen stills of its delectable leading lady Scarlett Johansson all over the place and some lucky souls saw it at TIFF in the fall. I purposely avoided reviews hence this very vague write-up. I want to be surprised and transported. 

Why We Can’t Wait
Here's where I just repeat the intro points again: Glazer of Birth. Rare like a unicorn. Scarlett Johansson as extraterrestrial succubus.

But We Do Have To Wait
But only about 63 more days since A24, that godsend of a specialty distributor, is bringing it to us on April 4th.

 

Previously on "We Can't Wait"
05 Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson adapts Pynchon)
06 Into the Woods (Rob Marshall adapts Sondheim)
07 Snowpiercer (Boon JongHo does sci-fi)
08 Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier Gone Wild)
09 Boyhood (Linklater's long-gestating family drama)
10 Big Eyes (Tim Burton back to the bio) 
11 The Last 5 Years (the Off Broadway classic goes cinematic)
12 Gone Girl (David Fincher thrills)
13 Can a Song Save Your Life (Keira Croons)
14 Veronica Mars (TV Sequel... hey, what's this doing her?)
runners up  just missed the cut

Wednesday
Jan292014

We Can't Wait #5: Inherent Vice

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Amir Soltani on "Inherent Vice."]

Inherent Vice
Doc Sportello, a perennially buzzed detective in Los Angeles at the beginning of the 70s, gets himself tangled up in a mess with former lovers, low life gangsters, prostitutes, billionaire crooks, a ship called Golden Fang and a whole lotta people with really weird names.

Talent
One of America’s greatest filmmakers, Paul Thomas Anderson, is behind the camera and one of America’s greatest actors, Joaquin Phoenix, is in front of it. Cinematographer Robert Elswit is collaborating with the director again after a one-film break, as is composer Jonny Greenwood. Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Reese Witherspoon and P.T.'s partner Maya Rudolph fill out the rest of the cast list.

Maya Rudolph in "Inherent Vice"

Why We Can’t Wait
With Paul Thomas Anderson’s name attached, little else is needed to drum up excitement. In my opinion, he has directed three spotless masterpieces (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood and The Master) and the rest of his filmography is as compelling as it is provocative. His is a singular and vital voice in modern American cinema. But there’s another factor at play here too: Inherent Vice is one of my favorite novels of recent years, and one of Pynchon’s most polished and coherent works. Its relatively modest scale should lend itself better to adaptation than the rest of his bibliography.

It will also be interesting to see Anderson in a more relaxed mood again. Vice has the potential to take him back to the Altman-esque structure he so successfully utilized in Boogie Nights, both because of its sprawling cast of colorful characters and its bitter humor and casual insight into the Angelenos counterculture. Few directors can get an ensemble to click as comfortably as Anderson does and it’d be a shame if he never used that gift again. If adapted faithfully, Doc Sportello is more central to the narrative than Dirk Diggler was, but there’s still plenty of meat for everyone else to chew on here. Plus, look at that cast! It’s mouthwatering. So good, in fact, that I’m willing to forgive the presence of Reese Witherspoon!

But We Do Have To Wait
Warner Brothers has the distribution rights, but we know we have to wait a while. None of Anderson’s films have been released earlier than mid-September on the calendar, and chances are this one won’t be an exception. A festival bow in Venice is likely; one in Toronto is almost inevitable.

Previously on "We Can't Wait"
06 Into the Woods
07 Snowpiercer
08 Nymphomaniac
09 Boyhood,
10 Big Eyes,
11 The Last 5 Years,
12 Gone Girl 
13 Can a Song Save Your Life 
14 Veronica Mars 
runners up  just missed the cut.

Tuesday
Jan282014

We Can't Wait #7: Snowpiercer

[In the We Can't Wait series we're looking at our top 14 most exciting film prospects for 2014. Previously: NymphomaniacBoyhoodBig EyesThe Last 5 Years, Gone Girl , Can a Song Save Your Life and Veronica Mars plus movies that just missed the cutHere's Anne Marie on a 2013 offering that was delayed. -Editor]

Snowpiercer
Joon-ho Bong's much-discussed scifi masterpiece (?). A train powered by a perpetual-motion machine cuts through a snowy post-apocalyptic earth. Onboard, a caste system has developed. All is thrown into chaos when the lowest classes revolt and fight their way, car by car, to the front.

Talent
Joon-ho Bong brings together a versatile cast including Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Allison Pill John Hurt, and Octavia Spencer.

Why We Can't Wait
Joon-ho Bong (The Host, Mother) has been rightfully called one of the greatest directors in Korean cinema, an area filled to brimming with great directors. Even if you don't know Joon-ho Bong's work well, the idea of a post-apocalyptic train heist movie starring Tilda Swinton should be reason enough to get any self-respecting sci-fi fan excited. Still not convinced? The film has done over $50 million internationally and has been officially selected as the best Korean film of 2013. Snowpiercer has been hailed as a new Metropolis, using its extraordinary world to tell an intelligent story of class struggle and humanity.

But We Do Have To Wait
Unfortunately for Americans, Harvey Weinstein thinks we're too unintelligent for this movie. Since Weinstein picked up the film's US distribution rights last year, he has been garnering lots of bad publicity for his decision to cut 20 minutes out of the US release. His reasoning? He doesn't think it would play well in middle America. Instead of 20 minutes of exposition, he's added voice-overs to cover the lost information. (Anybody else getting Blade Runner deja vu?) Joon-ho Bong has publically stated he's against it, but Weinstein has yet to relent. No official US release date has been announced, but folks may want to skip it anyway and wait for the uncut film to be released on Bluray and digital download, whenever that may be.

Monday
Jan272014

We Can't Wait #9: Boyhood

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Tim Brayton on Boyhood.]

Boyhood
Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-production epic follows one child from age 7 to 18, as he and his parents grow up in front of our eyes. There’s no readily apparent plot details beyond that --  unless you're reading spoilers from Sundance reviews -- but I’m hoping for robot vampires.

Talent
Director-producer-conceiver Linklater is joined by his ever-ready partner in long-form narrative, Ethan Hawke, as well as Patricia Arquette. Ellar Coltrane, in the longest-gestating breakthrough performance of all time, stars as the boy himself.

Why We Can’t Wait
The excellence of the every-nine-years entries in the Before… series have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Linklater has a unique gift for telling stories about the way that people’s lives, outlooks, and even personalities mature and evolve as the years go by. And if anything, the hook behind his newly-completed project is even more exciting: watching a child experience all the confusions and difficulties of adolescence in something like real time, the actor living through the same process of maturation as his character. To do justice to that kind of deeply human-scaled content would take a uniquely great director of actors and children, and luckily, in Linklater we have one of the best: his 2003 School of Rock features some of the very finest child acting in recent memory.

Richard LInklater and the cast of Boyhood at Sundance

And if there was any doubt that the one-of-a-kind project was worth paying attention to, the absurdly glowing reviews out of Sundance would seal it. The "dissenting" views from the general chorus of raptures tend to be along the lines of "this unbelievably ambitious and sprawling and exciting project has some rough patches in the plot and a few scenes that don’t land". It would be worthy getting excited for what sounds like the most singular, game-changing film of the year based on the buzz alone, but for those of us who’ve been patiently following along with the film’s production since Before Sunrise was a standalone, the great reviews are merely the capstone to a generation’s worth of anticipation.

But We Do Have To Wait
Well, not everybody – Nathaniel caught it at Sundance. The rest of us will have to wait until confirmed distributor IFC picks a release date; May worked well for Linklater and Hawke’s Before Midnight last year, and rumors are that the same timeframe is likely for this one.

Previously: #10 Big Eyes | #11 The Last 5 Years | #12 Gone Girl | #13 Can a Song Save Your Life |  #14 Veronica Mars | Introduction