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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (167)

Monday
Jul032017

Beauty vs Beast: Who's The Maverick Now

Jason from MNPP here - I think that most of us have mixed (to put it mildly) feelings about Tom Cruise, who is celebrating his 55th birthday today (yes, he was Born on the Third of July). But there's no arguing that his radar for Big Mainstream Action Movie Success has seemed fairly fine tuned for all of the four decades that he's been batting in the major leagues. Well... until The Mummy this summer, which more than just being a bad movie (he's had plenty of those) felt like an actively bad choice for him particularly. The role didn't fit him and he didn't manage to make it fit him by the sheer force of smiling will that his stardom's been so foundationally built upon.

So perhaps that why now he's finally stepping back into the role that made him a star in the first place, and asking us to remember when something as simple as a jet plane and a pair of aviator glasses was all it took to throttle the box office - the Top Gun sequel, subtitled Maverick, was finally made official this week - it will be out in two years (July 2019) and it will be directed by Joseph Kosinski, who worked with Cruise on the (underrated, says me) sci-fi flick Oblivion. So let's look back ourselves, here on this Patriotic Eve, at the movie as American as American Military Might...

PREVIOUSLY I was about to say that we couldn't have made a more wild swing, celebrating Tom Cruise this week to having celebrated Peter Lorre last week, but you know... not really? Perhaps as Cruise grows older he can embrace his diminuitive weirdness to similar effect. Anyway as for last week's Maltese contest it was Bogart who won, but barely, with just 53% of the vote. Said Tom:

"I think both are lucky Mary Astor isn't here. But as it is I vote for Sam. He does such wild and unpredictable things."

Monday
Jun262017

Beauty vs Beast: Follow That Bird

Jason from MNPP here, delicately fondling every cane in sight in honor of the birth of one of my favorite all-time scene-stealers, Mr. Peter Lorre, who was born on in this day in the year 1904. I, like many of you, probably first knew Lorre without actually knowing him, via his animated likeness always popping up for a quick n creepy gag in Looney Tunes; funny enough my mom wasn't rushing to show me Fritz Lang's masterpiece M as a child. But once I did see M... wowza. And Casablanca. Double wowza! And Hitchcock's original The Man Who Knew Too Much -- wowza squared! And on and on... but for today's "Beauty vs Beast" let's pit him against that other favorite of the Looney Tunes animators, his co-star in John Huston's 1941 classic noir The Maltese Falcon...

PREVIOUSLY I'm sure some of you are still wearing your Nicole Kidman party hats - the celebration never ends! - but let's take stock of last week's Moulin Rouge competition oh right shocker Nicole Kidman won. She took 58% of your vote over poor suffering Ewan. But y'all were torn. Said Sawyer:

"The Hardest One Ever. As usual, it's Nicole by a nose."

Monday
Jun192017

Beauty vs Beast: All You Need Is Lovers

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast," which is falling square on Nicole Kidman Eve - the actress, perhaps you know her work, is turning the big Five-Oh tomorrow, and I heard if you put a cube of ice below your pillow tonight she might visit you while you sleep! I kid, don't come as me, Kidmaniacs - I adore her every bit as much as you all do. Which is problematic for this series - where could I possibly find someone to challenge her? I mean there's... no... I couldn't... could I? I am sorry, folks, but this is the only choice. Who else might beat her but the one whose heart beats so big and free...

PREVIOUSLY It appears that none of you learned anything from Rosemary's Baby, and you're all perfectly willing to fall prey to a pretty face covering up a treachorous heart - you gave Guy (John Cassavettes) the win with 56% of your vote over Roman (Sidney Blackmer), and while I'll admit they're both bad choices I really find Guy the most despicable so I can't agree with y'all. He deserves that loogie he gets! Or as Nick T put it:

"I'm sitting by this bag of garbage at work and like. It's less charismatic, sure, but also less morally repugnant, so it's got the edge. Still, I don't think Roman's creepiness is given its due since his wife is way more fun to watch. I'll give him my first born as tribute. It only seems fair."

Monday
Jun122017

Beauty vs Beast: The Men In Rosemary's Life

Jason from MNPP here on another Monday afternoon with another round of our weekly "Beauty vs Beast" series - today happens to be the 49th anniversary of my favorite movie Rosemary's Baby. Roman Polanski's masterpiece (one of his several masterpieces) was dropped from beak of the devil's stork into the world on June 12th 1968, a wailing bundle of joy (with its father's eyes) that became the 8th biggest film of the year, scoring over 33 million at the box office (aka 230 million in 2017 dollars, putting it on par with what Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them made last year) and forever giving pregnant woman something shiny and new to worry themselves about. (All of them witches!)

This being my favorite film we've already devoted one of these columns to it - we faced off the womenfolk with Rosemary (Mia Farrow) taking on Minnie (Ruth Gordon) last fall. Gordon won, same as the Oscars. So this time around let's turn our attentions to their respective partners! There's no time like Right Now for "Sleazy White Men Who Think They Own Women's Reproductive Organs" after all, so I give you Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes), star of "Nobody Loves an Albatross" and a world-class creep, and Roman Castavet (Sidney Blackmer), door to door Satan salesman. Choose wisely, your womb will thank you...

PREVIOUSLY We took a quick trip to the Moors last weekend to put poor Jane Eyre through the wringer again but in the end Mia Wasikowska came out on top (and who wouldn't want to come out on top of Michael Fassbender) with 58% of your vote. Said Nick T:

"I'm so happy to cheer for Jane. It's a great performance (yay Mia!), and if Jane won't act as her own hype man then I'll happily do it tor her."

Monday
Jun052017

Beauty vs Beast: Bad Romance

Howdy, everybody - Jason from MNPP here with a brand new round of "Beauty vs Beast" for you on this first Monday of June. Coming up on this first Friday of June a movie called My Cousin Rachel is coming out (you can watch the trailer right here) that stars Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin and is adapted from the 1951 book by Daphne du Maurier (who also wrote The Birds and Rebecca). The book was already turned into a movie once in 1952 with  Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland (which I have never seen; have you?) - anyway it's one of my favorite genres, the overheated gothic romance, brimming with lace and poisons, and I can't wait.

So in the spirit of such things this week we're tackling one of the greatest of all when it comes to these stories - Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. There are a couple of film adaptations but let's go with the most recent, Cary Fukunaga's 2011 film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, since I found it a grand adaptation.

PREVIOUSLY We spent last week trapped in that damn cryogenic container so we've got to skip back two weeks to our last competition, which pit the Ellen Ripley of Ridley Scott's Alien against the Ellen Ripley of James Cameron's Aliens. And it was the bigger badder bitchier (her words not mine!) version of the latter who stomped away with 67% of your votes. Said markgordonuk:

"Alien is my favourite movie but the Aliens performance is something else, the looks and glances, the fear, the physicality, the line readings, the no bull attitude, I could go on, such an Iconic performance, everyone knows who Ripley is."

Wednesday
May242017

Beauty vs Beast: All About Ellen

Jason from MNPP here with this week's All Sigourney edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- everything should always be All Sigourney, don't you think? Most especially Alien movies. I can't tell you how much I missed the grounding presence of Ellen Ripley this past weekend, whiplashing around Ridley Scott's scattered Covenant. If only we were getting Neill Blomkamp's proposed sequel, I kept thinking. An Alien without a Ripley is a body without a heart or a brain - an exo-skeleton full of acid.

So that's where I stand on Covenant. And even if they're more positive than I am most (if not all?) reviews continue to point to the first two films as the franchise's high-water mark. But instead of facing Ripley off with Giger's literal Beast I thought it would be more interesting to do a variation on the eternal "Alien or Aliens" question, and face off Scott's Ripley against James Cameron's Ripley, as the low-key smartypants of the first movie is in many ways quite a different beast altogether from the ass-kicking maternal Cassandra of the second. Which Ripley's your jam, and why?

PREVIOUSLY We tackled Alfred Hitchcock's personal fave Shadow of a Doubt (1943) last week for Joseph Cotten's birthday and it was Cotten's Uncle Charlie who triumphed over his niece Charlie (Teresa Wright), although it was close (as it ought to be with such doubling going on). Said Dancin' Dan:

"This is impossible, pitting one of my favorite Hitchcock heroines against one of my favorite Hitchcock villains. But I'm going to give an EVER SO SLIGHT edge to Young Charlie, for the sole reason that, as much amazing work as Cotten does in the role, Hitch helps him with Uncle Charlie's creepiness much more than he helps Wright (never better) in building Young Charlie's character."