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Michelle Pfeiffer and Grease 2

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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (148)

Monday
Mar272017

Beauty vs Beast: My Fiancée's Best Friend

Jason from MNPP here for another round of "Beauty vs Beast." I was doing my umpteenth (literally, my umpteenth) post on Muriel's Wedding over at my own site this past week when I realized that I really do not give enough attention and affection to director PJ Hogan's masterful follow-up film, 1997's deliciously cold-blooded Julia Roberts rom-com My Best Friend's Wedding. Which turns 20 in June! That's nuts!

On the page the character that Julia plays is a selfish and manipulative monster, but Roberts pushes the star wattage to full-tilt (has her hair ever been bigger and bouncier?) and charms us even as she's being despicable. (God do I understand and empathize with Jules, much to my horror.) Meanwhile Cameron Diaz, one year before There's Something About Mary, gave her own off-the-charts effervescence to the woman we were supposed to, but it was impossible to, hate. Take your corners...

PREVIOUSLY We tackled Fake News and the folks who make and fight it with our Broadcast News poll last week - y'all came down on the side of truth of the Albert Brooks sweaty sort with 64% of your vote. Asked Marco:

"Is the film on either man's side? Aaron is infinitely smarter and more genuine than Tom, and in a fair world his talent and knowledge would win him the news anchor job ahead of his more traditionally handsome and charismatic colleague. But he's also, to quote Tom, a prick (in a great way), supercillious, arrogant, and very needy. When he informed on Tom's fake tears during the date rape report, it seemed less of a moral stance and more of a desire to torpedo his relationship with Jane after she spurned his own interests."

Monday
Mar202017

Beauty vs Beast: Make News Not War

Jason from MNPP here - I didn't take my lead on this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" from Nathaniel's "On This Day" post earlier but it's not a surprise that we'd both want to mark the 67th birthday of William Hurt with an acknowledgment of Broadcast News, because I think any sane person will snatch the chance to talk about Broadcast News when it's offered. I did actually contemplate a couple other of Hurt's performances for a minute - maybe Body Heat or The Accidental Tourist? But he's made a career of making the women across from him shine and I knew Kathleen Turner & Geena Davis would dominate those conversations...

... as would Holly Hunter, which is also why we're keeping her out of this even though it's Holly's birthday today too. Sorry, Holly! You'd win way too hard.

But does Hurt stand a chance against Albert Brooks' sweaty sidekick Aaron? The film's clearly on Aaron's side, no matter how kind it does try to be to Hurt's pretty boy destined for the anchor's chair. (Can you say Fake News?) Still it's some of Hurt's best work and Brooks, right-sided though he might be, sure can be a bit much, so I ask you...

PREVIOUSLY We were still riding high on Buffy fumes last week and so we had you face off the show's two best Big Bads, but you should never bet against a Valley Girl God with a taste for the shinier things - Glory stomped that puny human mayor with 60% of your vote. Said Matt St Clair:

"No contest. Glory. She is the best Big Bad of the series and had all the best lines.

"Did anybody order an apocalypse?"

"There's ice cream and puppy dogs in it for you if you start singing."

"So this is where the Slayer eats, sleeps, and...combs her hair."

Monday
Mar132017

Beauty vs Beast: Foes of the Vampire Slayer

Jason from MNPP here - I think we can get away with some more Buffy love this week, right? It's 20th anniversary might have been a whole several days ago but seeing as how we made it to 20 years and the internet still cared, and cared deeply (I can't be alone in having had my timeline entirely flooded with Sunnydale Fever), what's a few days?

Thing is we have devoted more "Beauty vs Beast" competitions to the show than any other single piece of entertainment - we've already asked you to choose between Spike & Angel and then also to choose between Faith & Buffy herself. But if there's one thing the Buffyverse isn't lacking - besides quips, chokers, and Xander Harris in a speedo - it's an endless supply of loveable mooks from which to love. So I went with my two favorite villains - Mayor Wilkins (Harry Groener) from Season 3 and Glory "Glorificus" (Clare Kramer) from Season 5. Raise your hand if you're invulnerable...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we said our prayers and sent our souls off to the hell of Ken Russell's making, taking on The Devils - for a quick minute I thought (my beloved) Oliver Reed might win it but Vanessa Redgrave's masochistically mad nun ultimately raved her way to victory with 58% of the your vote. Said thefilmjunkie:

"I bought a region-free blu-ray player for the sole purpose of being able to watch this movie and it was worth EVERY penny. I'd love to be able to watch it on the big screen. Of course my actressexual vote went to Redgrave, she really threw herself into this role in a way few actresses could/would have."

Monday
Mar062017

Beauty vs Beast: Savors & Sinners

Jason from MNPP here feeling hysteria and heresy running through my veins on this Monday morning. I got to see Ken Russell's 1971 film The Devils on a big screen again this weekend (one of the benefits of living in a city the size of NYC is this chance happens every couple of years, and I grab the chance every damn time).

It being what it is (translation: a Ken Russell movie) the experience kind of infiltrates your consciousness for a little while. You close your eyes and all you can see is Oliver Reed beating his big burly man chest and Vanessa Redgrave twisting her humped and habited self into knots... it's not a bad place to be in, honestly. I must like it - I keep going back. Anyway as long as we're for the moment happily poisoned by the mad nuns of Loudun we figure we'll drag y'all there today too with this week's "Beauty vs Beast"...

PREVIOUSLY We waved goodbye to this year's Oscars and its closing SNAFU, making you choose sides between the former Bonnie & Clyde at the maelstrom's center -- you came down with Faye Dunaway (that makes her sound like a disease) to the tune of 58% of the vote. Said brookesboy:

"Have to pick Faye. She is a legend and I love her. I love Warren too, but I agree with those who say he saw the card first and should have signaled to the stage hand right away. Faye was impatient because it was going on too long. But neither are at fault. This should never have happened. No matter how terrible this fiasco, they both looked great and got to present Best Picture. How very cool. They should always only have classic Hollywood stars presenting Best Picture. That needs to be a rule."

Monday
Feb272017

Beauty vs Beast: Bonnie & Clyde's Last Stand

Jason from MNPP here continuing the talk of last night's big events - specifically the biggest, the corker, the one for the ages, when Warren Beatty rammed the wrong envelope into Faye Dunaway's hands and just made her deal with it. (Something tells me Annette Bening is the one who calls the plumber and writes the checks in that household.) Or was Warren just too scared of Faye to speak up? Don't fuck with her, fellas - if Faye was eyeballing me like that I might crumble to dust too.

Or perhaps it was a Russian conspiracy that will be solved when we finally see Donald Trump's tax returns? So many possibilities, and it's clearly a bit rude to lay any real blame for a dumb mistake at the feet of Faye & Warren, who were after all standing there in the hot glare of two billion eyeballs with a ticking little paper time-bomb in their hands.... but here we are.

PREVIOUSLY For Valentine's Day we wiped our brains clean with the quirky romance of Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine, and of course Kate Winslet won but I'm proud of you guys for making it closer than it could have been - she only took 58% of the vote. Said Scott:

"Clementine. In real life she would drive you insane. Onscreen you can't tear your eyes away."

Monday
Feb132017

Beauty vs Beast: Blessed Are The Forgetful

"Random thoughts for Valentine's day... Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."

Jason from MNPP here, wishing everybody a happy Valentines (even if I do lean towards the incredulous sentiment expressed above). When you ask yourselves what the great romantic films of our times are, what answers do you come up with? Because I asked myself that question in order to choose this week's holiday-themed edition of "Beauty vs Beast" and it was Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (from whence that quote came) that was the very first movie I thought of...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb062017

Beauty vs Beast: Direct to the Death

Jason from MNPP here - for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" we're celebrating what would have been the 85th birthday of one of the most important figures in cinema, the French critic turned director François Truffaut. What's your favorite Truffaut film? I know the "right" answer is The 400 Blows (or possibly Jules & Jim) (or maybe Day For Night) but I've always had a real soft spot for Mississippi Mermaid - Catherine Deneueve and Jean-Paul Belmondo all sweaty and sexy ? Sign me up.

But it's a different sexy pair I'm going to focus in on for this week's contest -- namely the director himself with his seminal book (recently turned documentary) Hitchcock / Truffaut, which linked him forever with the "Master of Suspense" himself. That's right - I found a way to make this series about Hitchcock again! Life finds a way, you guys.

PREVIOUSLY Last week Dario Argento's candy-colored hallucination Suspiria turned 40, and so we pit the film's protagonist, Suzy the dancing girl, against the conspiring witches running her dance academy, and just like in the film Suzy was able to pirouette to safety, taking just over 60% of your vote. Said Tom:

"I feel like the race should be a close one. But in light of recent events, I think many might feel urged to vote against an evil establishment with control issues. I'm voiting for Suzy."