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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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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

"What is happening with Nina Arianda's Janis film with Sean Durkin? It's still listed as "announced" on her IMDB. Are we to assumed that it is a lost cause?" -Ryan

 

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Entries in The Hurt Locker (5)

Wednesday
Apr302014

Link Wars: Episode VII

For those looking for the new Oscar charts, I promise it's the top priority now once all this surprisingly busy April madness wraps tonight.

More Intelligent Life on badass Angelina Jolie and Maleficent
Press Play how modern actors struggle with Marlon Brando's legacy
The Perceptive Eye on military suicides, PTSD and The Hurt Locker 
Pajiba how many romcom tropes can David Wain shove into one movie? The trailer of They Came Together with Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd

Guardian on Bob Hoskins (RIP). "five foot six cubic and bursting with brilliance"
Variety uh oh. Harvey Weinstein and Olivier Dahan STILL fighting over Grace of Monaco two weeks before its Cannes debut
The Dissolve looks back at the 80s comedy classic A Fish Called Wanda
The Sheila Variations returns to Young Adult and Charlize Theron's brilliance therein
Boy Culture Tom Hardy's recent magazine pictorial (which we discussed) regif'ed
MZS. "Advice to Young Film Critics" good advice, too.
Coming Soon Fox has cancelled Almost Human, the cyborg cop show that I kinda liked. I never really wrote about it so I didn't have a chance to talk about Karl Urban's John Wayne voice. Ah well...
Queerty in literal cock-tease news, Zac Efron claims he's willing to show it all on film after all the wet underwear, and horizontal peeing and so on... I guess he's figured out what people like about him. (Save your money, Zac!)
Pajiba 'did someone call for a Tom Hiddleston puff piece?'
Rambling Film 7 things that should happen on True Blood's final season (the 7th). I stopped watching but I concurred with most of these even two years ago. Since Buffy also ended as season 7 is this now the standard for vampiric shows? Does this mean we can be rid of The Vampire Diaries in 2015?

Mean Girls Mania
'we're not just a regular blog, we're a cool blog'...

But we're not the only ones celebrating Mean Girls for it's 10th anniversary today. It's EVERYWHERE. On Amanda Seyfried's twitter feed (do you think Lindsay will mention it today on hers?), in a brief EW group oral history, Vanity Fair's best fashion moments, Boy Culture's reminiscence of interviewing cast members, and probably on any pop culture website you click on today. Important note... This wasn't planned since Netflix's Instant Watch service is all contractual based in terms of timing but the Tina Fey high school classic actually expires today. So it's 10th anniversary is the last day you can watch it on Netflix if you don't own it while listening to our Movie-Long Podcast Commentary while you're streaming it!

You go Glen Coco! 

Casting News
HitFix and every other site on earth has the news: the Star Wars Episode VII sausage party cast has been announced. John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow and since all visual fx spectacles are required to have him (well, he is awesome) Andy Serkis. Those newbies will join the old cast who are reprising their roles in capacities large or small. There is one new girl Daisy Ridley who we are unfamiliar with. Did she get the part Lupita Nyong'o was rumored for? The Guardian did some mild digging into this actress unknown and here's everything they found.

Today's Spotlight Illustration
Glen Hanson, one of my favorite illustrators, posted this on his Instagram. No idea what film he's doing costume sketches for but me likey...

 

Tuesday
Nov272012

Curio: Big on Bigelow

Alexa here. Kathryn Bigelow turns 61 today (really?), and she is just all kinds of awesome, no? Determined and intelligent while blowing past all considerations of gender, she makes films with meticulous pace and atmosphere that always rise above the mass. Zero Dark Thirty, her latest, opens on December 19th but is already enjoying rave reviews.  I'm simultaneously glad she was the first woman to win a directing Oscar and appalled that it took that long for a woman to win one. 

To wish this most formidable lady a happy birthday I dredged up some celebrations of her two best-known films.

Posters by voagar, Felix Schlater, and bd designs.

Curio objects (not posters) celebrating Point Break (1991) are after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct132012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Time and the finite nature of it is an essential ingredient in all suspense films. So I need to get myself on the clock when it comes to Zero Dark Thirty. I was shocked at how quickly we knew of its existence post Hurt Locker but then... it never seemed to come. It still feels like something off in the very distant future set in the very recent past. But it actually opens in 66 days. Tick tock.

Let's break down the trailer...

YES

  • At the very least it'll make an interesting comparison point to Showtime's "Homeland".
  • Jessica Chastain gets her first high profile lead role!
  • Joel Edgerton
  • That hot soldier with the glow stick
  • I've been with director Kathryn Bigelow since Near Dark and I'm not going anywhere. I tend to love her work. And even when I don't, it's interesting.
  • It looks far more beautiful, visually, than The Hurt Locker... which wasn't really going for beauty but there's so many frameable stills in the trailer and a rangier color palette. In short: I'm glad it's not Hurt Locker 2. As much as I love The Hurt Locker it requires no sequel.

    MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb052012

Box Office: Without Super Powers, You Are Nothing

The global love of superpowered young men hasn't even begun to decline as the star-less Chronicle, about three teenagers who develop uncanny powers opened at #1 for Superbowl weekend. It almost doubled its production budget on opening weekend. Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe had to settle for second place with The Woman in Black but that's probably because he's no longer the most powerful wizard on earth.

Chronicle is unkind to cars.

BAKERS DOZEN (Estimates)
01 CHRONICLE  $22 new  
02 THE WOMAN IN BLACK  $21 new  
03 THE GREY $9.5 (cum. $34.7)
04 BIG MIRACLE  $8.5 new
05 UNDERWORLD AWAKENING $5.6 (cum. $54.3)
06 ONE FOR THE MONEY $5.2 (cum. $19.6)
07 RED TAILS  $5 ($41.3)
08 THE DESCENDANTS  $4.6  (cum. $65.5)
09 MAN ON A LEDGE $4.5 (cum. $14.7)
10 EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE $3.9 (cum. $26.7)
11 CONTRABAND  $3.4 (cum. $26.7) (cum. $62.1)
12 THE ARTIST $2.5 (cum. $20.5)
13 BEAUTY & THE BEAST 3D  $2.4 rerelease  

Someone's wearing lifts... Janet McTeer is 6'1". Daniel Radcliffe is 5'5"

Talking Points
• It's a good weekend for Janet McTeer, huh? Not only did she finally feel some major industry love again post Tumbleweeds (1999) with her Albert Nobbs Oscar nomination, but she's co-starring in The Woman in Black. What's more Albert Nobbs held up well in limited release, according to IndieWire suggesting it has more life in it yet. Will it expand further now?

The Descendants may soon surpass Sideways to become Alexander Payne's biggest hit yet. It's just 6 million behind it now.

A Separation has crossed the 1 million mark which is a big deal these days for a foreign film. Hopefully they'll keep expanding since they've just been adding a tiny number of screens each week. 

The Artist is slowing down a bit in wide release but it's already tap danced its way clear of being called "lowest grossing Best Picture winner ever" (should it win) since it's a bigger hit than The Hurt Locker. That said anything that wins this year beyond The Help is going to end up in the 10 lowest grossers list. The Atlantic did some tallying and adjusting for inflation a year ago and they claim that these are the lowest grossing Best Pictures ever. All of them are superpower free (unless you count Javier Bardem's "Chigurh" as a supernatural evil force which maybe you can):

  1. The Hurt Locker (2009) $15
  2. All The Kings Men (1949) $60
  3. Hamlet (1948)  $61
  4. An American in Paris  (1951) $67
  5. Crash (2005)  $67
  6. Marty (1955) $70
  7. No Country For Old Men (2007) $85
  8. lt Happened One Night (1934) $86
  9. The Last Emperor (1987) $89
  10. The Great Ziegfeld (1936) $95

What did you see this weekend?

Sunday
Mar132011

Take Three: Anthony Mackie

Craig here with Take Three, a weekly look at a character/supporting actor's career through three movies. Today: Anthony Mackie. Mackie’s had a sprinkling of leads so far (Spike Lee’s controversial She Hate Me, the period drama Night Catches Us, and the upcoming biopic Bolden!), and he’ll undoubtedly get a star-making role of his own someday soon. But in the meantime he’s working hard to create a still very-much-on-the-rise profile as an exemplary supporting player in a variety of fine films.

Take One: Half Nelson (2006)
Mackie puts in a vital sincere performance in 2006 indie drama Half Nelson. He’s Frank, a former friend of Drey’s (Shareeka Epps) jailed brother and a Brooklyn drug dealer, who is intent on dragging Drey into his orbit as a local drug mule. That's an idea that her teacher Dan (Ryan Gosling) takes umbrage with, especially in one riveting scene where Dan confronts Frank on the street, warning him to leave her alone. Mackie avoids the overplayed clichés in portraying drug dealers on screen. He’s calm, charming and actually feels he’s helping by keeping Drey near. He wins Dan around, in a way, too. He’s just someone making his way, just like everyone else in Ryan Fleck’s sombre, thoughtful film.

It’s Gosling’s film, obviously, and he’s great in it. But Mackie adds the kind of concrete support that's essential to the emotionally intricate structured character dramas. Frank is as key to Drey’s understanding and growth as Dan is, just in a different, more dubious way. The regard evident in Frank’s demeanour throughout suggests a tricky back-story to their friendship. It’s an essential detail for our understanding of the story, too. 


Take Two
: The Hurt Locker (2009)
There’s a trio of solid actors dominating Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker. Leading from the front is lead Jeremy Renner as reckless firebrand Sergeant William James. Backing up his ostensible one-man deactivation outfit two up-and-coming actors, Bryan Geraghty as Specialist Owen Eldridge and Mackie as Sergeant J. T. Sanborn. All three are making waves in the film world (twice Oscar-nominated Renner is the best known); their respective roles added exposure and gravitas to their résumés. Mackie was subtly commanding in the film as the operation leader, trying desperately to keep everthing running smooth and fine-tuned whilst maintaining a clear head.

Though it initially seemed that he'd be merely an antagonistic presence for Renner’s vented spleen, Mackie is so persuasive that he is never merely a guide and an obvious audience identification figure. He makes Sanborn the guy we trust to interpret for us the searing heat, hurt and hellishness of modern-day warfare. He transferred to the audience a measured perspective on it all; not the kinetic, compulsive thrill – is that the right word? – of it all (Renner owned that), but the responsibility, the discursive aspect and the drudgery, the stifled panic – the things that aren’t always first on the list of desired attributes for a sergeant in a war film. Mackie was, in a small way, quite revelatory. His presence cemented the film for me as much more firmly thought-provoking for a long period after I saw it.


Take Three
: The Adjustment Bureau (2010)
In The Adjustment Bureau (now playing) Mackie looks just fine in a snazzy hat and trench coat combo – dashing through illogically mind-bending doorways across a rain-drenched New York. I’ll hold off on suggesting he’s Matt Damon and Emily Blunt’s personal guardian angel, as some reviews have offered up, as this seems to stretch the point a bit. But who this mysterious bureau “employee” Harry Mitchell is is left teasingly open. But he’s more a bespoke Deep Throat, an anonymous Mr. X silently assisting our political-wannabe hero in his time-loop of need. Harry can do crazy-mad magic sci-fi stuff like, er, tip coffee on people on buses and, um, creep up on you during wet weather. Ok, so he may be the least dynamic otherworldly entity currently on our screens -- a low-fi sci-fi shy guy --  and he may inexplicably fall asleep on park benches (thus, rather oddly, setting in motion the entire film’s plot), but Mackie more than makes up for it for the duration of Bureau’s running time. And I do mean its running time.

It’s a shame that Mackie is temporarily replaced halfway through by Terence Stamp as the dominating shadowy figure intent on giving Damon a run for his money. (Mackie is the best casting in the film and it rankles when he’s sidelined.) He disappears for a large chunk of the action, but there’s a game amiability to his performance. As an actor he pays keen attention to what makes such workaday genre hybrids as this tick. He plays his part amid the inscrutable daftness finely.

His appearance also makes you wonder: what if he had been cast as the hero? Isn’t it about time Mackie was upgraded to leading man? Move over Matt, Mackie’s next in line for star status.

Three more key films for the taking: She Hate Me (2004), Freedomland (2006), Night Catches Us (2010)