in theaters

new on DVD/BluRay

review index



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
Comment Fun

The BIG EYES Poster

"I didn't even notice the stars at first but that's why I like it. Tag line is clever. I hope Burton gone substance over style (while being stylish) with this one." - Jija

"The art is ugly creepy kitsch... that is, slightly above dogs playing pool and black-velvet Elvis. I have a hard time grasping why we should care who created it..." - Owen

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


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?

Entries in The Film Experience (79)



This past two weeks has been Cannes heavy so what have you missed in the inbetweens? Here are a few highlights in case your brain was way over the ocean with all the auteurs and actresses.

Godzilla & Mutants
The King of Monsters wowed me more than readers as evident in the review and comments. But that big lizard monster led to one of our best podcasts ever (seriously so much fun to discuss) and made me feel like a "RRRrrraaaaAAAwrrr"ing 5 year old again when Tim surveyed the best monster vs monster fight scenes. We also dipped toes back into X-Mania... but not enough. Hopefully there's a bit more on X-Men (future and past)  to come.

Other Notables
We joined the "critical conspiracy" against Legends of Oz, said a tearful goodbye to the legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis, looked at the trailers for Interstellar and Magic in the Moonlight and went time travelling back to the days of major actors doing "yellowface" in Dragon Seed (1944), days that are thankfully behind us.

And... Two E-Mail Last Calls!
Self-Improvement Motivation - inspired by the current banner, I'm starting a little experimental offsite encouragement group. If you join by e-mail request I promise there will be movie-love silliness mixed in with the 'did you get to the gym? do something to take care of yourself' banality.

Why am I doing this, exactly? Because I need it myself and misery loves company the more the merrier.

1941 Smackdown Reader Votes - You have until Friday May 30th to submit your ballots before we tally the hearts and see who wins the Smackdown. Vote on however many of the ladies you've seen (even if it's just two of 'em) since the votes are averaged by number of submissions it doesn't hurt the people who've appeared in underseen films.

The nominees were: Mary Astor (The Great Lie), Patricia Collinge and Teresa Wright (The Little Foxes), Margaret Wycherly (Sergeant York), and Sara Allgood (How Green Was My Valley)


Open Thread. Fix Your Face! "Look at My Muscles"

Jim Broadbent fixes Katherine Helmond's face in Brazil (1985)This week's banner is going out to Dusty who won the Kidman focused Say What contest. (Last week's "eye roll" was a hit so why not continue?) Dusty chose facial restoration of any kind. Cheeky! Thus I am obliged to pose thusly (see right hand sidebar) and find celebrity photos to accompany my goopiness up top. Hope you enjoy.

But this leads me to three questions.

01. Is this some sort of hint that I need to fix myself? It's true I have been looking worse for the wear (I don't recommend turning 40+)  as stated in the "weight watching" thread. So I'll take the hint given what I suggested there and set up a weekly offsite email group for encouragement (exercize, self-improvement, whatnot... probably with movies to help us) because it's easier to stay motivated in numbers. If you're interested, let me know. Consider it a sidebar experiment.

02. What's your favorite facial restoration technique or makeover sequence in a movie? 

03. Have you seen this little clip* from Ryan Gosling's Lost River? I'm only displaying it here because I was typing about self-improvement / possible exercize when I first heard its weird in your face mantra... 

Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. Look at my muscles. 

Yes, Matt Smith says it 13 times in this clip.


*I hope at some point there is a great reckoning about the lawlessness of YouTube and claims of "officialness" The account that posted this calls it the "official trailer" which it is clearly not (they are not the production company and there's no title or names or anything so if it's official it's doing a terrible job of making people aware of the movie) and a ton of websites are calling it the "first official teaser". I believe this is what's always been known as a "clip," a little moment (or moments) from the film. Words have meanings. Use them appropriately. 



I spent the weekend in Boston visiting one of my best girls so I was barely online. If you were also travelling this week (as everyone and their doggies and their distant relatives were according to the gridlock on my way back to the city) chances are you missed some posts. Here are a handful of key highlights from the week that was.

Our Moms and the Movies - a special podcast devoted to the mom's of our team and your mom and whatever movie-love she happened to inspire, directly or indirectly in you.
3 Women -that incomparable 70s whatsit with Shelley Duvall & Sissy Spacek 
Top Ten Palme D'Or Winners - what are the best films ever to win the top prize at Cannes? We propose these twelve. Your thoughts? 
Eye Roller? - Reader James T chose our banner theme this week and that choice generated the week's most robust comment section.  I loved reading about your often-justified pet peeves at the movies. Just get it all out!

Oscar Predictions - First Round
Eight charts are up. The rest this week. Stay tuned.

Don't forget that Hit Me With Your Best Shot is looking at Blow-Up (1966). Examine its photograph(y) with us. Amazon Instant | Netflix Disc  | iTunes Rental

Unauthorized Star of the Week
Despite my gay ambivalence, Zac Efron kind of took over the week what with the robust response to Neighbors at the box office and his uncanny resemblance to Tyrone Power who happened to have his Centennial this past week, an event that was disappointingly unremarked upon across the web. But, I guess this is what you have The Film Experience for. 




Podcast: Mother's Day Special

For this very special and ultimately quite spontaneous edition of the podcast, Nathaniel calls a few of his team members to grill them about their moms & the movies. Sadly the entire team was not available -- some of them were being good kids en route to visiting their mothers so they have a good excuse -- but you get to hear from a few of us and how our moms factor into our cinephila. Expect name-droppings of Margo Martindale, Susan Sarandon, I Remember Mama, The Lord of the Rings, A Separation and much more... 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes.

00:01 Intro
01:00 Amir
09:00 Abstew
14:00 Anne Marie
20:30 Tim Brayton
27:00 Funny Girl Interlude & Surprise Guest
32:00 The Guest of Honor, Nathaniel's Mom!
40:00 Exit Music "Baby Mine" with Bette Midler 

Nathaniel's mom & dad in 1960I can't interview each and every one of you out there listening about how your moms shaped your moviegoing but if you have any key stories, please share them in the comments. I actually teared up making this one. Keep the love a-going. And call your mama or take her to a movie today!

Further Reading To Enhance This Podcast
Anne Marie's "A Year With Kate"
Tim's Home Schooling Essay on "Mean Girls"
Amir's "Hello Cinema"
How Many Barbra Streisand's Have You Seen?
Loretta Young, Nathaniel's Mom's Favorite


Mothers Day with TFE



This last week was crazy crowded with postings between the Tribeca Film Festival, the Mean Girls 10th Anniversary and regular blog bits. We managed to review (gulp) 40 festival movies and with all the Mean Girls quoting online. Mean Girls was so dominant that it reignited talk of doing a stage musical version.  Surely your eyes and ears glazed over; that was a lot of Tribeca and North Shore High to imbibe. But let's make it simpler for you with five takeaway posts you shouldn't have missed...

Starred Up Breakout watch out for rising actor Jack O'Connell this year 
Actress a new doc with the most appealing title imaginable ;) kicked off our Hot Docs coverage
Genius a new prestige film starring Colin Firth, Jude Law & Nicole Kidman
Pocahontas Again in which I try to purge myself of "the Cymbeline of Disney Animation" from my system. (I'm addicted on Netflix Instant Watch)
"Home School Freaks" a personal essay from Tim on his unique connection to Mean Girls 

And thanks for getting all wet with April Showers!
This season we looked at 12 different shower scenes spanning 34 years: Silkwood, The PaperboyMidnight Express, Les Misérables, The Piano, Thelma & Louise, Pulp Fiction, Like Crazy, Heathers, An Education, Home Alone 2, and Flirting With Disaster. Each April I consider dropping this series because we've done it for five years and I worry about staying fresh. But then what better way to freshen up than showering? It always proves hard to resist writing about this movie (and life) staple. 

We'll announce all four Summer Supporting Actress Smackdown years for May, June, July and August so you can start catching up on old Oscar battles and be ready. Also the Oscar Predictions (just begun) continue.


ICYMI, A Smackdown Addendum

Busy busy week but that was mostly the team running around catching Tribeca Screenings. (We'll finish the write-ups very soon). But other than the film festival, I hope you didn't miss these five key posts from the week that was.

A Year With Kate reaches the Spencer Tracy years
Podcast Gets Under the Skin the gang's all back to discuss Noah and Under the Skin 
Looking Back at Pocahontas Disney's ambitious epic 
April Showers: The Piano Holly Hunter was the surprise star of the week because we also finally got to...
2003 Supporting Actress Smackdown Renée vs. Shohreh vs Holly vs Patty vs. Marcia Marcia Marcia. (What a strange Oscar year that was)

Film Bitch Addendum
For those of you wondering which actresses I voted for back in 2003 (many of you weren't around these parts in those early early days), here was my ballot which only had a little Oscar overlap. FWIW, David Cronenberg's Spider got a one week qualifier in 2002 but back then I went only by NYC release since I wasn't privvy to Academy screeners. Of course AMPAS ignored it as they do most one week qualifiers but Miranda Richardson was all kinds of haunting in it x 3. Curiously my finalists list suggests that I thought The Lovely Laura Linney was equal to Marcia back then within the confines of Mystic River. No more. The only part of the movie that's aged well for me at all is Harden's performance.


Today's Retro Watch
Given the 2003 Smackdown discussion, it's a great time to look back at this classic Cold Mountain sketch from French & Saunders as they poke fun at Nicole Kidman's whispering & posing and the Zeéeeee's overacting in the Cold Turkey DVD commentary track


Smackdown: Internal Dramas & DVD Death

Just to give you all a sense of the challenge of the Supporting Actress Smackdowns, I thought I'd share some behind-the-scenes notes. A lot of prep work went into the years we've covered (19521968, 1980, and 2003). Only one of them was difficult to stick with (that'd be 2003 because the movies stunk). Of the years not yet covered (StinkyLulu hosted a lot of them) there are 39 years still aching to be Smacked Down!

1937 • 1938 • 1941 • 1943 • 1944 • 1946 • 1947 • 1948 • 
1951 • 1954 • 
1957 • 1960 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1970 •
1972 • 1973 • 1977 •
1979 •
1981 • 1984 •  1986 • 1987 •
1989 • 1991 • 1994 • 1995 • 1997 • 1998 • 2000 • 2001 •
2002 • 2004 • 2005 •  2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 

But here's where it gets tricky....

Click to read more ...

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 12 Next 7 Entries »