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Nicole Kidman on Stage

"Any chance this transfers to broadway I wonder?" - Joseph

"As a long term Kidmaniac, this is just the type of comeback I was hoping for." - allaboutmymovies


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Entries in video games (8)


Review: Pixels

Tim here. There's a good movie to be made out of Pixels, and it would be the easiest thing in the world to get there. First, keep all of the visual effects setpieces from the movie as it exists, for they are surprisingly beautiful and convincing considering how much lower the film's budget than the usual summer tentpole. Second, make exactly the opposite choices that the filmmakers actually did, because there's literally not one thing about the plot, characters, tone, morality, or basic comprehensibility about Pixels in this form that works.

The film began life in 2010 as a lovely little conceptual short by French filmmaker Patrick Jean (which you can watch here, and have a far more enjoyable 2.5 minutes than anything in the lugubrious 105 minutes of the feature), whence it was almost immediately nabbed by Adam Sandler, who wanted to transform it into a feature. And that's really sad, because of all the changes that would have clearly benefit Pixels at some stage in its development "don't make it an Adam Sandler vehicle" is unquestionably at the top of the list. [More...]

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Links: Video Game Movies, Big Lebowski Reads, Oscar Site Purchases

David Poland won't review Pixels 'because... why?'
Variety Our Brand is Crisis starring Sandra Bullock gets an October 30th release date. With that film, The Walk and Freeheld all coming out it could be a huge year for features based on documentaries at the Oscars
TFE in case you missed it Ann Dowd is in that film, too and loved being part of the ensemble
Towleroad I interviewed the director/star of Do I Sound Gay?, a documentary on the gay voice that's out right now
The Guardian reviews the latest Jason Reitman live read (The Big Lebowski) and loves on Michael Fassbender as "The Dude" and Patton Oswalt (in John Goodman's role of "Walter" and Mae Whitman (multiple parts) in particular. Not so much Jennifer Lawrence in Julianne Moore's original part

Variety interviews legendary documentarian Barbara Kopple. My shame: I've still never seen Harlan County, USA but people always say it's amazing
Comics Alliance on rumors about "Robin" in Batman v Superman. He might be played by Zach Snyder's son Eli who has only worked for his dad but it's "not entirely" and only "sort of" nepotism. (Related: on the internet, words continue to lose their meanings)
/Film looks at upcoming video game based movies. I don't play video games so none of this means anything to me but if you do... (I amend. There's one I'll see called Assassin's Creed but that's only because Fassy and Cotillard are both in on the heels of co-starring in Macbeth)
Awards Daily loves Grandma and agrees with us that Lily Tomlin needs to be in the Best Actress conversation 
Gold Derby I forgot to mention that they were bought up by a larger media company so congrats to Tom O'Neill. That leaves David Poland, Jeffrey Wells, Sasha Stone and little ol' me as the last of the original indies still doing this. Not everyone wants to be bought up... I'm not sure who I'd be without The Film Experience... but on the other hand, money is nice. green. useful.   

Off Cinema
Esquire has a fascinating/terrifying long read on climate scientist 'what if the end of the world was your day job?' 
Stage Buddy for Kander & Ebb's 50th anniversary, a ranking of their top 50 songs. Wow this is comprehensive. The order is all out of whack (Cabaret and Chicago combined only get 3 songs in the top 25!)  but still, good job Andrew! This reminded me how much I loved the music in The Visit and how great the music is in New York New York.

Speaking of... here's your Showtune to Go from The Scottsboro Boys (2010) which I'm so sad I never saw during its Broadway run (this song "Go Back Home" which comes fairly early in the show is so gorgeous). I only heard raves and it won 12 Tony nominations but in the season of The Book of Mormon there was no oxygen for the competition. Maybe someone will one day make it into a movie?


The High Cost of Angry Birds

Tim here. News came out this week that the upcoming feature adaptation of the handheld video game Angry Birds, a Finnish-American co-production set to be animated by Sony Picture Imageworks, has the eyebrow-raising price tag of €180 million, or a bit more than $190 million. That's not quite as dumbfounding a total as it sounds: it includes the marketing budget, something virtually never reported in advance, and the total production budget is a much lowlier €80 million. Which still makes it the most expensive movie ever made in Finland by a factor of almost ten.

No matter how you subdivide it, though, that's a huge pile of money that Sony and Rovio Entertainment are throwing at a 90-minute video game commercial. My current suspicion: most of that money is earmarked for building a time machine that transports audience members back to 2011, the last time that making an Angry Birds feature film made any sense whatsoever.


Looking for Glory: “You’re not what’s wrong in the gay community”

Manuel here wishing I could borrow Kevin’s puppy sweater to discuss this week’s Looking episode. “Looking for Glory” begins just as “Looking for Returns” did, with the blissful domesticity of Kevin and Patrick, though the latter’s breakfast in bed disaster lets us know this won’t be a smooth return to normal after the events of the last two episodes. 

Thus, in an attempt to begin telling people that they’re now “a thing,” we get to witness the awkwardness that follows during a work meeting when they finally spill the beans. “I just hope it won’t affect our company culture of fairness and that heterosexuals won’t be discriminated against” says Meredith who later went to chat with HR; might this be a sign of more drama for Kevtrick? (Pattin? There really is no good couple portmanteau for them, is there?)


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Lukewarm off the Presses: Tetris and Angry Birds Movies

All our jokes are coming true...

Margaret here, reminiscing back to when The LEGO Movie was first announced and we were all so dismissive and full of wisecracks. Hollywood must really be out of ideas, we said. What's next, a Tetris movie? 

Well, it's official: a big-budget, live-action Tetris movie is coming and there's nothing we can do about it. Cue the death knell for original stories! Also in the pipeline is an Angry Birds animated feature, which in addition to being less than inspired might also a bit past its moment. Sony has rounded up an enticing group of voice actors including Maya Rudolph, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Danielle Brooks, Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, and Danny McBride; even so, the concept sounds destined for corporate tie-in mediocrity. Then again, that's what many predicted for The LEGO Movie, which turned out to be much better than it had any right to be. 

Perhaps even for the Tetris movie it's not too late. As yet there is no fixed plot or cast attached to the Tetris project. Brainstorm with me! How might we spin this in our favor? 

To start, here are some ideas for a Tetris movie in our favorite genre here at The Film Experience: Women Who Lie to Themselves

  • Julianne Moore is a celebrated game engineer, but in her personal life she just can't seem to make things fit. (Must include at least one extended crying jag.)
  • Lifelong friends Juliette Lewis and Emayatzy Corinealdi have inherited a factory that produces Tetriminos--apparently the official term for Tetris pieces-- and must rise to the challenge of managing it together.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer is a writer who, Adaptation-style, is tasked with writing a screenplay for a Tetris movie and grapples with artistic integrity and personal demons.

Pitch your ideas for a TFE-friendly Tetris movie in the comments!


Linker by the Dozen

Salon talks to Patricia Clarkson about her career and why she never married or had kids
Pajiba 25 best triple exclamation point quotes from (recent) movie history. I added the (recent) because you know how people do with lists. It's always our lifetimes + one classic. But it's a fun list
Daily Telegraph interviews actress Rachel Griffiths on juggling career and family. "You can't win" she says
Antagony & Ecstasy remembers Eyes Wide Shut and wonders what would have happened if Stanley Kubrick had had more time with it

Gawker Bill Murray doing voicework for Jungle Book as "Baloo"
Film Stage first images from Rosewater, Jon Stewart's directorial debut
Towleroad a review of The Way He Looks. So bummed I missed this Brazilian romance at NewFest. Keep hearing good things
/Film Harry Shum Jr will co-star in the as yet untitled Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel (it's based on the book Iron Knight Silver Vase but I'd be VERY surprised if they kept that title). So glad he found a post-Glee role. Love him.
Awards Circuit polled their whole staff on '10 greatest performances'... but i don't do 100s of click throughs to see all the lists so someone tell me who has the best taste ;)

super world
Comics Alliance on the importance of Superman's forelock curl
Variety looking back at Marvel's Phase 1 and Phase 2
Kate Mara Fantastic Four is a wrap. Cute photo of the cast 

...and finally. 8 Bit Video attacks The Avengers. These things are so cute but I long for them to do something less expected than a blockbuster action movie. You know?


I apologize in advance for this but why does my brain always want such incongruous things as 8 Bit Far From Heaven: Help Cathy retrieve her flying scarf. Find Cathy's philandering gay husband. Train is about to depart. Or 8 Bit 12 Yea-- no, too soon. 8 Bit Black Swan Slam your psycho mother's fingers in the door for points. Pirouette until you transform into a bird. Kill your doppelganger.   8 Bit The Hours: Think you can buy the flowers yourself? Load your pockets with stones. How long can you stay underwater? Make a birthday cake while a need child looks on. GO!


Looking at "Looking" (Episodes 1-4) 

I wasn't looking for Looking. My experience with gay or gay-adjacent television series has been hit and miss at best, mostly miss. I outright loathed "Queer as Folk" what with its hypersexualized fantasy version of Pittsburgh and occasionally questionable acting. But mostly I hated it because it was populated by sociopathic characters who consistently behaved like no one anyone would ever put up with in real life. Sociopathic characters are fine if its part of the point within your concept or setting but otherwise, nope. Will & Grace was fun but like most sitcoms, once it established its 75 jokes, it basically repeated them for years with new words like a long-running "fabulous!" game of Mad Libs. Recently though it seems like gay characters, at least on non-gay focused shows have been allowed something like two dimensions; we're getting closer and closer to three! 

And so far so good with Looking... 

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