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Entries in Beauty vs Beast (152)

Monday
May052014

Beauty Vs Beast: King of the Ring

JA from MNPP here, getting ready to rumble with a brand new edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast" for youse guys... we're running up the steps of the Philly Museum of Art and giving a victorious twirl (a very manly twirl, mind you) this week in honor of just having seen Rocky: The Musical.

It wasn't entirely by choice - my mother was in town and I'm always forced to see things I otherwise wouldn't (last visit it was Jersey Boys, which I'm still recovering from), and since she's a huge fan of the Sylvester Stallone's 1976 Oscar winner it seemed only right to hit up the stage version. Especially on the heels of its Tony nomination for Andy Karl as Best Actor in a Musical...

... but since we the people of The Film Experience seem to be cursed right now, Karl was a no-show at our performance. I can't say if the show would've popped more with him up there or not - his nomination makes me think so, but as it was the entire thing seemed reliant less on small things like music and character and more upon its admittedly spectacular staging. Ben Brantley nailed it - you kind of forget how bored you were for the first 3/4s when the boxing-ring rolls into the audience for the last act and shit goes bananas. It's empty calories, sure, but you walk out on a high.

That said what does come across well with the stage-version is the even-handed equinimity that Stallone & Co. treated both the the men-in-gloves with - yeah we're there with Rocky the whole time, but Apollo Creed isn't a stache-twirler. Both men have their faults and their strengths, and that's what's always made the showdown, spectacle or no, one for the ages. Apollo's established so well that by the sequel they become buddies and when evil Ivan Drago shows up in Part IV, well, not a dry eye in the house. And that brings us to today's showdown!

 

Which man will be standing in the end? Place your bets in the comments and prepare yourself for a grueling fifteen rounds over the next seven days of duel - see you back here next Monday when we'll crown the king of the ring.

PREVIOUSLY ON Last week was all about the Mean Girls, what with its ten year anniversary being heralded far and wide across the web and beyond (Tina Fey's ears musta been ringing something fierce) - so which Plastic exerted dominance over all the tables of the cafeteria? Who else? We all gave Cady a big "Boo you whore" and threw her under the bus - long live Regina George. Said Paul Outlaw:

"If Lindsay Lohan hadn't grown up to become an adult version of Regina George, Team Cady would probably be walking away with this. (Team Regina here.)"

Monday
Apr282014

Beauty Vs Beast: War of the Plastics

JA from MNPP here, bringing our weekly "Beauty Vs Beast" competition to North Shore High School for Mean Girls Week, The Film Experience's ongoing celebration of the film's 10th anniversary. That's right, it's time to pick a side - will you put on your bathing suit even if you're a lesbian and stand in defiance of Regina George, mean queen of the Plastic machine, or will you side with her, the devil you know, in the face of Cady Heron, that cruel interloper from the carcass-strewn wilds of the home-schooling system? Take a stand (and make sure to get your pink shirt back too)...

 

You've got one week to make your preference known and to scribble down your thoughts in the Burn Book that is the comments, so have at it.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we went mutant-crazy and asked you to choose between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and whaddya know, evil has triumphed! It was closer than usual but Fassbender found the metal-core of your affections and yanked it his way, 60%-wise. Kate spoke truth to most everybody's feelings regarding the difficulty of this choice...

"I'd actually call it draw, myself. Xavier and McAvoy are the emotional core/grounding force of the film, while Magneto/Fassbender provides a kind of electric energy that jolts the audience. Their powers mirror their dramatic function in XMFC. Both of them are needed for the film to work."

Monday
Apr212014

Beauty Vs Beast: Happy Mutant Monday

JA from MNPP here wishing you a very happy Mutant Monday, which is the brand new holiday that comes right after Easter Sunday, as of right this second, says me. Why am I making up this brand new holiday here off the cuff (besides more holidays meaning more days off from work, of course)? Well... because it suits my immediate purpose of course, which is to turn James McAvoy's birthday (which yes, is indeed today, he's turning 35) into an epic celebration! And by epic celebration I mean to have this week's edition of "Beauty Vs. Beast" ask one of my favorite questions...

Who do you prefer between the heads of X-Men: First Class? The Dudes of Future Past? Charles Xavier please do meet Erik Lehnsherr...

 

X:Men: Days of Future Past hits in about four weeks, but you've only got one week to answer this question, and please do take to the comments to tell us why you're picking which side. Speaking of...

PREVIOUSLY ON Last week was another birthday, that of the great Robert Carlyle, and we spun ourselves back to the year 1996 to tackle a Trainspotting showdown... who did you choose? You chose good health low cholesterol and dental insurance, you chose life, you chose Renton (Ewan McGregor). With 3/4s of the vote! Maybe it would've been more of a battle if I'd listened to par though...

"With all due respect to Renton, the true beauty in Trainspotting is Sick Boy."

Monday
Apr142014

Beauty Vs Beast - Choose Life Choices

JA from MNPP here with a new round of "Beauty Vs. Beast" for us to play... this week's inspiration? It's the 54th birthday of one of my favorite actors, Scotsman slash raving lunatic Robert Carlyle. Alright yes he's (probably) just acting the "raving lunatic" part... over and over again... so well... by all accounts he's a very nice gentleman. Think how sweet he seemed romancing Linus Roache in Priest! That was the first place I ever saw him - it was two years later where he'd cement the scary status he'd carry on to roles in Ravenous and 28 Weeks Later (which I actually prefer to the original) with the one and only terror that was Begbie in Danny Boyle's 1996 phenom Trainspotting.

Did I say "one and only"? Make that twice and doubly - now that Ewan and Danny have finally made up following DiCaprio-Gate (Boyle cast Leo over Ewan in The Beach, which Ewan did not take well at the time) they seem to be very serious about making Porno, the Trainspotting sequel, their next project. I haven't read Welsh's book so I don't know where the movie will find Renton and Begbie and all the boys twenty years later (yes the 20 year anniversary is coming up in 2016) but til then, we can at least pick our sides!

 

 

You have one week to shake off the drug haze and pick your poison - and make sure to give yourself over to pro and con proclamations of varying lucidity in the comments.

PREVIOUSLY ON Last week we celebrated Francis Ford Coopola's 75th birthday with a face-off between the two devil courtesans in his 1992 version of Dracula... Winona Ryder's initially demure Mina versus Sadie Frost's wanton wedding belle... sure enough it was flame-haired Lucy we, like the Count, couldn't keep out shadowy fingertips off of. In the comments John T made a solid point (and connects us back to the previous week's contest winner)...

"Sadie got distracted by Jude Law in the 90's-who can blame her for not pursuing career over that?"

Monday
Apr072014

Beauty Vs. Beast: Ladies of the Night

JA from MNPP here, back from vacation with a brand new round of "Beauty Vs. Beast." So here's the question (or rather the first question): what's your favorite Francis Ford Coppola movie? The legendary helmer's turning 75 today and so we look back through his work - the Godfathers, the Conversations, the Peggy Sues... the super sad undead love stories... listen, I'm not going to argue that his 1992 version of Dracula is his best film - I'd rather make it through the day without y'all calling the men in white suits to my door, thank you very much. But it's surely the movie of his I've watched the most times and have gotten the most pleasure from (give or take some Rob Lowe coming out of the shower in The Outsiders). The old fashioned effects work, Eiko Ishioka's astounding costumes - I wore my copy of the behind-the-scenes book down to a nub.

So this is the movie I'm going with for this week's competition. And instead of going the obvious route and pitting Gary Oldman's head bloodsucker against somebody (certainly not Keanu, but Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing perhaps) I felt like centering us on the objects of Drac's affections instead. Slip yourself into his velvety slippers and choose!

 

They may seem to be two beauties at first but they've both...

... got some beast in them. Ahem. So per usual you have exactly one week to vote and to make your arguments for and against your picks in the comments. Let's hear who gets your undying devotions!

PREVIOUSLY We've got two rounds to close up here since while I was away last week Nathaniel had some superhero-sized fun and asked you guys his own query Avengers-style - twas Black Widow who triumphed, dropping down from the rafters and wrapping her leather-clad thighs around The Hulk's throat til he went limp, taking a full 3/4s of the vote. No smash for him. As thefilmjunkie put it:

"I'll have to reevaluate everything I thought I knew about life if Black Widow loses on THIS site of all places."

 

Looking two weeks back to our Talented Mr. Ripley showdown y'all found the cruel sexy stylings of Dickie Greenleaf too irresistable to, uh, resist - we're all no better than Tom; all we want is Dickie's sunlight upon us. Henry summed it up nicely:

"It was Dickie all the way. I'll take a beautiful bitch (been there, done that) over a plain bitch (been there, done that) any day."

Monday
Mar242014

Beauty Vs. Beast - Two Talented Misters

JA from MNPP here with this week's "Viva l'Italia!" edition of our Beauty Vs Beast series - buongiorno and welcome. First a note: I'm going to be out of town next week, so this week's poll will be open for two weeks until Monday April 7th. Where am I going to be, you ask? Well crazily enough I'm going to be in Italy, what a coincidence! (Obviously not a coincidence.)

I didn't choose this week's competition soley due to the fact that I'll be stomping the same grounds that these characters did - oh it didn't hurt, but I've also got The Talented Mr. Ripley on my mind due to the passing of the marvelous character actor James Rebhorn this weekend; he played Dickie's father, the jazz-hater who instigates the whole sordid affair. "I'd pay that fellow a hundred dollars right now to shut up."

That said The Talented Mr. Ripley is giving us exactly what this series was created for - you've got a sympathetic maniac and an unsympathetic victim to choose between, and the film does not make the picking easy. But I'm gonna make you pick anyway!

 

Again you've got two weeks, until Monday April 7th, to vote and to make your cases for which ever character you're rooting for in the comments, so have at it. Persuade me - I am actually undecided myself! This is a tough one.

PREVIOUSLY ON As for last week's competition pitting the boys of In Bruges against one another, the puppy-dog eyes plus and the guilty conscience were just too much to resist - Colin Farrell's Ray rode away with precisely 2/3rds of the vote, leaving Ralph Fiennes' Harry cursing (and cursing, and cursing, and cursing) in the dust. As Deborah put it:

"Harry was kind of playing Sexy Beast, whereas Ray was an original."

Monday
Mar172014

Beauty Vs Beast - The Boys of Bruges

JA from MNPP here with this week's sorta St. Paddys edition of our "Beauty Vs. Beast" series. I say "sorta" because several factors contributed to me wanting to do a face-off between who we're doing a face-off between, and the lusty leprechaun Colin Farrell making my eyes smile is probably the smallest factor on the list (though Colin being lusty is never negligible, of course).

The main factors were that five of the six pairings so far have been lady vs lady and, though I know we all love our ladies up in here it felt right to swing back to the different-chromosomed side of the fence this round; two, we were just ogling writer-director Martin McDonagh last week at our site; and three, I watched Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel this weekend, as I'm sure many of you did as well, and every time Ralph Fiennes lost his cool therein I couldn't help but think upon Harry.

It's an In Bruges-off, people.

 

Sometime before or after you vote and before or after you hit the comments to tell us why you voted the way you voted I would like you to take a moment to appreciate the fact that I made that list of Pros and Cons without using a swear-word once. It was a f**king task and a f**king half, people. Whoops.

PREVIOUSLY ON Last week's poll has closed, SlayerFest 2014 has come to an end, and which Chosen One is left standing victorious? Oh it's Buffy, Buffy Buffy Buffy, always Buffy. Every vampire in Sunnydale and beyond seemed to fall in love with the quippy Summers girl and we proved no different. S'cool, Faith doesn't need you people anyway. Said JS:

"I voted Buffy but most likely I was simply voting for Sarah Michelle Gellar, who gave an acting masterclass for seven years on that show. Faith is definitely the more interesting character, but Faith's best episode was performed by SMG."