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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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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Entries in Year in Review (139)

Saturday
Mar212015

We Can't Wait 2015. The Complete Series

In the We Can't Wait series, just wrapped, we looked at our team's most anxiously awaited movies for the 2015 film year that's just begun. ("It's March!" you cry. It's okay. You're new. Our calendar goes Oscar to Oscar.) For the curious, the team decided and yours truly (Nathaniel) looked at the list -- essentially a top 20 at that point -- and voted only on the finalists... which amounted to a couple of "executive saves" I suppose you could say. Here's to hoping that all 15+ of these movies provoking Pavlovian drooling in our corner of the cinephile blogosphere satisfy.

Now that the list is fully up, I wonder how much of the next Oscar battles for Best Actress & Supporting Actress we've inadvertently prophesied what with Blanchett, Streep, Moore, Page, Cotillard, Winslet, Swinton, Rampling in juicy leading roles and Mara, Paulson, Chastain, Wasikowska, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judy Davis and Dakota Johnson all featured (we assume) prominently in these 15 features, too. (yes, first our Oscar predictions arrive in April)

What movies DIDN'T we cover for the summer and following prestige season that you're most excited about? And which movies on our list did we properly whet your appetite for? 

Lady MacBeth (Marion Cotillard) and her would be king (Michael Fassbender)

We Can't Wait
#1 Carol in which Blanchett ♥ Mara and her husband does not ♥ that
#2 Ricki & The Flash in which Streep rocks out / returns home
#3 Macbeth in which Fassbender seeks the crown whilst Cotillard tries to remove that damn spot and though we've had enough Shakespeare they're both too irresistible to deny
#4 Mad Max: Fury Road in which all post-apocalyptic hell breaks loose
#5 The Lobster ...who knows but electic cast and Dogtooth director intrigue
#6 Crimson Peak in which del Toro goes Gothic with scrumptious cast
#7 45 Years in which Andrew Haigh (Weekend) directs Rampling  Courtenay
#8 Bridge of Spies Spielberg + Hanks  ÷ The Coen Bros
#9 Taxi in which Jafar Panahi continues to make movies despite the ban
#10 Freeheld in which Moore  Page and they reenact a true LGBT rights story
#11 A Bigger Splash gets the I Am Love team back together for erotic drama
#12 The Dressmaker in which Kate Winslet seeks revenge... with fashion!
#13 The Hateful Eight  in which it's Tarantino so... our best guess (we don't read bootleg scripts) is sausage party mayhem + elaborately poetic shit-talking. One thing that's an absolute certainty: not enough actresses. Contrary to Hollywood's entire western genre, women made up half of the population back then, too.
#14 Knight of Cups in which we view Hollywood sellouts through a Malick prism?
#15 Arabian Nights  in which Miguel Gomes (Tabu) makes a 6½ hour political fable

Related Sidebars & Prologues

You didn't see that coming?"

Animated Films 
Tomorrowland
Jake Gyllenhaal & Franchise Returns
Avengers: Age of Ultron 
Magic Mike XXL

Saturday
Mar212015

Best Limited or Cameo Role. The Men

It's time for the final two categories in this year's Film Bitch Awards, the Limited or Cameo roles. Which is to say the actors who have only two scenes or less or who are continually backgrounded but for like one spotlight scene. It's an inexact science for sure and the line becomes blurry sometimes with supporting. [Breaking news: a former nominee in these limited/cameo categories whose star is rising will be guest blogging next month for a special day! More on that soon.]

This may sound silly to more casual readers but I agonize over these categories nearly as much as their Oscar correlatives. In fact the entire reason that I still haven't posted the women -- I had planned to post both at once naturally -- is that I haven't narrowed it down to 5 yet. I'm stuck at 8 and don't want to lose any of them.

So first up, the men...

Though Wild and Selma (nominee Henry G. Sanders as "Cager Lee" pictured above), offered plentiful options, and Two Days One Night was undeniable (kudos Timur Magomedgadzhie, left) the possibilities actually weren't obviously abundant. Perhaps this is because men dominate movies so thoroughly that the very small parts tend to be played by women and maybe there's a slight possibility that this actressexual doesn't notice the men quite as much who fill out the frame in group scenes. But let's not distract ourselves from the business at hand:  Here's the nominee and finalist lists.

Sunday
Mar152015

Film Bitch Awards... Openings, Endings, and Titles

Three of the final five Film Bitch Award categories announced. Click over for the nominations!


When I think of my wife I always think of her head. I picture cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brains, trying to get answers.

BEST OPENING SCENE
Did you find any opening scene as perfectly bold as Gone Girl's recently? It's instantly classic as kick-offs go. Still horrified two months later that Gillian Flynn didn't get an Adapted Screenplay nomination. WTF. Her work was stronger than any of the nominees in her category (the good stuff was in Original this past year obviously). But that wasn't the only entrancing first minute of a film. Under the Skin's "creation" (?) anyone?

BEST ENDING 
Spoiler alert! Movies have endings. Some more satisfying than others. Which were your favorites this year? Were you a bawling but optimistic and newly invigorated civil rights champion at the end of Selma, Pride, or Love is Strange? Was that desert gaze into an open future the perfect ending for Boyhood? Were you chanting USA ironically with the bloodthirsty crowd at the end of Foxcatcher or gazing up with Emma Stone in Birdman or Reese Witherspoon in Wild?

CREDIT SEQUENCES 
I didn't nominated The Grand Budapest Hotel here but I do love that tiny dancing Russian at the tail end of the credits and his exuberant dancing (i wish I had a gif of the confetti throwing part). That's basically a documentary of what happens in my apartment every time I finish an article. As for this category, it shouldn't surprise you to see Captain America: Winter Soldier's bold black white and red pop art as a nominee but do you remember those hilarious cast photos from Neighbors in the closing credits? I almost forgot them which would have been a tragedy. 

I mean...

 

Two categories left (acting in limited or cameo roles) so stay tuned for that and the gold silver and bronze medals this week as grand finale to 2014's film year. Hooray!

(And now I'm off to do that little dance backstage. Byeeeee.)

Monday
Mar092015

Sing-Alongs & Fight Clubs, Divas & Heroes

Awards growing like mushrooms as we race like mad to finish out the film year that just was since we've already started the 2015 celebration.

Musical Sequences
With actual musicals like Muppets Most Wanted, Into the Woods and "performance" musicals like Begin Again, Beyond the Lights, and Get On Up it's a decent time to be a fan of musicals. And since some of the most memorable sequences in non-musicals are musically inclined (think The Lego Movie's boisterous kick-off) and so many non-musical films have the musical spirit via awesome soundtracks (think A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), we have a category for that, too. Musicals for everyone! Sing-along with these ten nominees. 

Action Sequences 
Guardians, Katniss, and a sniper may have reigned supreme at the box office but Captain America: The Winter Soldier housed the year's best action sequences albeit not quite the most beautiful. The most ravishing was, incongruously, the ones starring two nuclear-slurping insect like abominations and that lizard king of monsters, Godzilla.

Divas 
Two of them stop their films cold for self-important monologues. Three more regularly bring the house down. (Okay, sticklers, The Witch technically only brings the bakery door down but it's a figure of speech. Indulge me. And them; divas demand your full attention)

Heroes
2014 had not one, not two, but three moving odes to solidarity and everyman heroism in Pride, Selma, and Two Days One Night. But since this is the cinema there are heroes all over for us to live vicariously through, some of them "super," others historical. And we can't forget the year's most badass warrior, the "Full Metal Bitch" herself (Emily Blunt) in Edge of Tomorrow

"I just thought there would be more," you say? Well there is. Also added: Best Line Reading and Breakthrough of the Year nominees and Best Movie Poster. Which mean only 5 categories are left to announce and then the medals! 

Can you believe I'm actually going to finish the awards this year????? "TO VICTORY!"

Friday
Mar062015

Forget About L()ve 

"2014 is OVER, Nathaniel" - everyone.

I'm aware, thank you. But you know how it is. We have to wean ourselves off of each delightful film year. And we still have to finish our annual Film Bitch Awards and then we're done. Pinky swear. Speaking of the pink... time to surrender it.

Romance isn't what it used to be in the movies. Even when movies have romance at the core somewhere like American Sniper or Divergent or whatever, it's often presented like a mandatory plot point rather than with any real passion; something to check off for all quandrants rather than get lost in. That makes our Best Kiss, Best Sex Scene, and Sexpot of the Year categories sometimes hard to manage but we press on.

Sex is so integral to life that you'd think the movies would want to claim it a little more rather than ceding it to Netflix originals, Showtime and HBO. When movies do go there they're often surprisingly prim (50 Shades of Grey) or arthouse grim. For the latter see Nymphomaniac, both volumes. Or rather: don't. Unless you're willing to fast forward a lot. It would have been infinitely better as one 90 minute film: faster, funnier, and more focused. [NSFW More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb242015

New Oscar Trivia. Courtesy of the 87th Academy Awards

What does a fresh list of winners bring? Why... New TRIVIA of course! 

Do you think Patty Arquette has seen SAVAGE GRACE?

picture birdman director alejandro gonzález iñárritu, birdman actress julianne moore, still alice  actor eddie redmayne, theory of everything supporting actress patricia arquette, boyhood supporting actor j.k. simmons, whiplash original screenplay birdman adapted screenplay imitation game foreign film ida animated feature big hero 6 documentary feature citizenfour cinematography birdman editing whiplash production design grand budapest hotel costume design grand budapest hotel makeup and hair grand budapest hotel  visual effects interstellar score grand budapest hotel song "glory" selma sound mixing whiplash sound editing american sniper  live action short the phone call documentary short crisis hotline animated short feast ...I forgot to ask all of you how you did on your predictions? I did decent but not spectacular 18/24 (but i heard from a few readers who said I helped them win their office pool so there's that) but the short film categories messing me up as usual grrrr

After the jump, there's lots of trivia brought on by the 87th batch. If you have a really good one I forgot, I can always update the post so please to enjoy and comment... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb232015

Team Experience: Oscar's Best & Worst Moments

Neil Patrick Harris' big musical opening had fun shadow effectsAre most of you over your Oscar party hangovers now?

I polled Team Experience (and myself) on their very favorite moment and their "Agony!" bit alike from last night's show of shows and here's what they had to say about the 87th Academy Awards. Please do share your single Best & Worst moment in the comments, too as we work our way through putting this film year behind us.

BEST MOMENTS

Timothy: Pawel Pawlikowski muscling right on through the play-off music in order to pay due tribute to his late wife.

Julien: That opening song was really some... Oh who am I kidding ? Watching Julianne finally clutch that Oscar was a dream I thought would never come true. 

Nathaniel: Once you get past Julianne I'd go with 1) Emma Stone reaction shots  2) "Glory" 3) Jessica Chastain saying "Chivooooo" 4) the insanity of "Everything is Awesome" - particularly the fake Oscars and the Batman interruption 5) Patricia Arquette's infectious righteousness (sub-shoutout to Meryl & JLo). I understand that people are up in arms the day after but that's called 'missing the point because people love to be outraged' which is an epidemic online that distracts the world from progressive goals like eradicating inequality and sexism. 6) "because you're rich"

More heartfelt applause (and then some jeers) after the jump...

Click to read more ...