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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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"AFI... My predictions (not necessarily based on merit) are that AFI will honor Julie Andrews, Jodie Foster and Julia Roberts.." - Marie

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Entries in Reviews (530)

Sunday
Jun182017

"Rough Night" and the State of Comedy

by Eric Blume

My assignment for TFE was a review of the movie Rough Night. But since I was not raised in a barn, nor raised by wolves, my mother once told me if you can’t find something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So we’ll keep it short on Rough Night itself.  It’s actually depressing how bad this movie is, a twist on a rather good mainstream movie called Very Bad Things, back in the Cameron Diaz days of 1998.  That Peter Berg film had a bit of an edge as it followed several guy friends on a bachelor party who find themselves in a dead hooker situation.  Rough Night is the distaff version of this tale, but the inept script, bad performances, and bland direction make it a tough sit.  The film’s five actresses (Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, and Ilana Glazer) are winning, talented ladies and deserved a far better vehicle.

Sitting through Rough Night your mind may wander, as did mine, to the state of mainstream comedy in the cinema these days...

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Saturday
Jun172017

Splendid Sally makes "Maudie" a delight

by Murtada

If you are a fan of Sally Hawkins then Maudie is a gift full of joy made just for you. Hawkins plays real life folk artist Maud Lewis, a smart lively woman who’s hunched with crippled hands from arthritis, as she finds solace and purpose in becoming an artist. Maud works a housekeeper for a hardened reclusive bachelor, Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke). Of course she thaws his heart and they eventually couple up. The film is a two-hander even as Hawkins is its unquestionable center and beam of delight...

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Friday
Jun162017

See, I Listen to You.

Those times I ask you "what's on your cinematic mind?" are not just filler. I really do listen. Sometimes it inspires articles and other times I take direct requests. Thanks, for example, to Kris who pointed out that I needed to update the Review page. The funny thing is I thought I had because earlier in the year I'd been updating daily. But I was three months behind --eeep! -- and now I see the films I never got around to reviewing. Now the page is fresh again with all recent reviews notated and the list of everything screened thus far. Take a look if you think you missed something. 

Pssst I'm seeing The Beguiled this Monday and couldn't be more eager.

Tuesday
Jun132017

Pride Month Doc Corner: 'Political Animals'

We are continuing this Pride Month series of documentaries about queer issues. After last week's look at the life of Armistead Maupin, we detour into politics with Political Animals.

It’s just a matter of fact that men are the predominant voice of cinematic history. This is hardly surprising given that men are the predominant voice of history in general, but this of course means that the stories of women make up a frustratingly small portion of those told on the silver screen (even if we may curate our own viewing experiences to counteract this). The same can sadly be said about queer cinema where films about LGBTIQ women and by women (gay or otherwise) are without a doubt outnumbered by those by and about men.

It’s wonderful then to see Political Animals, a film that seeks to take a side-step away from the more famous names of gay politicians and activists like Harvey Milk, Larry Kramer, Cleve Jones and Barney Frank and focuses on the openly gay women from the halls of American politics. In particular, four women from California whose long and exhausting efforts in the face of bigotry across generations (although, quite telling, almost exclusively from older white men) slowly yet surely chipped away at government homophobia.

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Friday
Jun092017

Review: "It Comes at Night"

by Chris Feil

After last year’s Krisha, Trey Edward Shults returns to the horror of family dynamics with post-apocalyptic nightmare It Comes At Night. This time he’s equipped with higher production value and more familiar faces than that astute micro-budgeted debut, though Night is just as personal. His resulting sophomore feature is part Greek tragedy, part vague social polemic, and one of the most terrifying films in several years.

Set in a remote, wooded mini-mansion, a family has made their home a fortress from some unspecified apocalypse. The elderly father of Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) has fallen “sick”, leaving her husband Paul (Joel Edgerton) and son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) to dispatch of him for their own safety. The desperate invasion of another family (led by Christopher Abbott and Riley Keough) tests both the reclusive family’s empathy and rigorously protected lifestyle. Meanwhile, Travis is having increasingly vivid visions of the encroaching malignant threat that test his (and our) sense of reality.

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Sunday
Jun042017

Review: "Wonder Woman"

by Chris Feil

The absurdly long wait for Wonder Woman to arrive on the big screen is officially over with the arrival of Patty Jenkins’s stellar adaptation. Gal Gadot may have been the all-too-brief bright spot of last year’s Batman v Superman, but in her own story she emerges as a hero for the ages.

While this is yet another superhero origin story, Wonder Woman’s conviction keeps its more common beats alive. Gadot’s Diana is raised to be a warrior among the Amazons, with a strong sense of true justice, under the watchful eye of her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and trainer Antiope (Robin Wright). On the otherwordly arrival of earthly spy pilot Steve Trainor (Chris Pine), Diana sets out for a righteous battle with destiny on the World War I front.

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