Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Over There

My dearest readers,
I am super busy right this second. But here are some other fun places to go while you wait for me.
Yours, Nathaniel R.

oh yep. those places
The Felixes. Have you voted yet? Each Oscar race with jibbie-size soundbites.
Cinephilia reads my mind. Time travelling to 1961. May I come along?
Reverse Shot is also clairvoyant. Frightening!
TWoP on Battlestar Galactica "Hell, yes" is right. This show gets better and better and better. If you're not watching by now you don't take direction very well, do you? How many times do I gotta spread the love?

...and to the anonymous reader who sent me this new pic of La Pfeiffer from "I Could Never Be Your Woman" which opens in only 4770-ish hours. I heart you.

A History of... Gay Cowboys

It's Tuesday, y'all. Time for "a history of..." The debut effort garnered the most hits ever for anything I've done here at the blog--like Oscar-Day traffic at the homebase. A little Gyllenhaalism goes along way apparently. Never seek treatment. So, in lieu of that and in anticipation of Sunday being Oscar night...

1920s The West gets mythologized in American culture. The movies speed that along. Wikipedia tells us that what we know as the cowboy shirt actually comes from Hollywood. "Snaps, used in lieu of buttons, allowed the cowboy to escape from a shirt snagged by the horns of steer or bull."

Oh, snap.

1943 Rodger & Hammerstein's immortal musical Oklahoma! premieres on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. Wins the Pulitzer. Becomes a legendary theater touchstone. Over 600 productions are licensed worldwide every year. That's hundreds of opportunities annually for showtune lovin' boys to play "Curly" onstage and Ado Annie behind the curtain.

1948 Western hotties Montgomery Clift and John Ireland fondle each others pistols (no, literally. They do) in Howard Hawk's classic western Red River. When they're not ogling what the other is packin', they're betraying crusty old John Wayne who is clearly not up for the movie these two are planning to star in, once this one wraps.

1953 Immediately prior to Judy Garland's comeback (A Star is Born, 1954), Doris Day pinch hits in her absence as gay icon. Adorably butch as cowgirl Calamity Jane, her "Secret Love" power ballad becomes yearning gay anthem.

1978 Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson record Alma Del Mar's favorite record. It speaks to her.

1979 The Sundance Kid, lost without Butch Cassidy, becomes The Electric Horseman. Cher, Bob Mackie, Sally Kirkland, Liberace, and Bette Midler are all embarrassed to be seen with him.

1980 Disco emits its catchy death rattle as the bad-musicals-we-love Xanadu and Can't Stop the Music both premiere at theaters. The Village People, "Randy the Cowboy" among them, star in the latter. Xanadu's 10 minute climax is filled with visual types. I'm willing to bet there's a cowboy in the mix.

1989 Sitting in a movie theater in Utah with my girlfriend (no, literally. I was) I get very turned on watching Matthew Broderick and Brian Kerwin make out in Torch Tong Trilogy. OK, so they're not gay cowboys or anything but they do kiss on a farm. In a barn... uh, I reckon there's a shot of some hay? I'm reaching. (Just wanted to share.)

1990 Costner bares his, um, ego in Dances with Oscar Wolves.

1992 Billy Ray Cyrus has a smash hit with Achy Breaky Hea--oh, right. Sorry. We were talking about the other kind of "gay."

2000 Madonna, five years ahead of the curve, kicks up some dirt with a bunch of Ennis & Jacks in her music video for "Don't Tell Me". A short-lived western shirt craze kicks off in Chelsea and West Hollywood.

2005 Brokeback Mountain fever begins. Jack and Ennis deliver the first big box office hit about gay cowboys since Red River packed them in in '48. It's so good it gets buried in gold statues. Emotional impact, craftsmanship, intelligence. meaning. It's only missing one thing: a time travel plot twist wherein River's Clift and Ireland are transported up to ole' Brokeback just in time for a fourgy. Plot twist? Plot nasty!

2006 Adam & Steve, a new gay romantic comedy opens next month. The climax, featuring Jackie Beat singing the hilarious "Shit Happens", is an elaborately choreographed gay western hoedown. (no, literally. It is)

previous and subsequent histories
Jodie Foster * Gender Bending * Bald Women * Sarah Jessica Parker *
Gay Cowboys * Julianne Moore's Screen Kids * Gyllenhaal

back to the full blog--there's lots more to experience.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Whatever "Oscar" Wants...

I don't know about you but I'm exhausted with all the wondering, waiting, and predicting regarding who will win the Oscar races this year.

So today, rather than write a new article for that daily ticking Oscar Clock, I just asked five famous "Oscar"s (Wilde, De La Hoya, Mayer, and more...) who they think oughtta win these coveted prizes. Here's what they told me...

White Diamonds. Violet Eyes.

A 74th birthday wish to one of the great movie stars of all time, Elizabeth Taylor. Today's starlets can kiss her white diamonds. Before Angelina Jolie, JLo, and the rest of the silver screen/tabloid stars, La Liz was creating the template for all impossibly beautiful, slightly wild, man-loving, charitably minded, marriage happy, and wealth flaunting superstars to come.

Best performance: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf(1966).
Why I fell for her: A Place in the Sun(1951). "tell mama everything..."
Underappreciated great work: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof(1958) and Giant(1956).
Liz Sites: Reel Classics Liz Page * Classic Movies Tribute * Immortality * Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation* Acting Divas * Husbands of...*
Another reason to love La Liz: Montgomery Clift, the best friend.
Best Liz husband: Richard Burton (twice over).
Best Liz Scandal: Eddie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds.
Recent moment to savor: The December 2000 Golden Globe Awards "y'all. y'all. y'all...Gladiator!"
Funny point-of-comparison: Joanne Woodward who has but 1 marriage [to Paul Newman, Liz's Cat co-star-- the marriage is still going strong] to Liz's 8 is also celebrating a birthday today. She's 76.

The best Liz quote: (that sums it all up)
"I've been through it all, baby. I'm Mother Courage."


When I was a baby cineaste just discovering old movies I met a girl with Marilyn Monroe posters all over her wall. Excitedly I asked her "So, what's your favorite performance of hers?" --imagining we would talk for hours about old movies. She looked at me perplexed:

"Oh, I've never seen her in a movie!"

Don't be like that girl. If you've always been drawn to an iconic cultural touchstone but you've never seen them at work, let your curiousity lead you to actual knowledge instead of empty fandom. Consider that a free fortune cookie message from Nathaniel R. It could be the key to a great week.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Losing My "You Tube" Virginity

You Tube has proven to be quite the haven for seeing stuff you thought you missed on television. Like Jake Gyllenhaal's BAFTA speech, or a particular music video that you're not willing to sit through 17 hours of MTV's lame un-music programming to chance upon. So, I've finally posted something. Mostly as an experiment to see how easy it was to upload something. [results: sort of easy. just can't figure out why the quality isn't better]

So for any readers who just scratch their heads at the infrequent but steady theater posts, you can afford 6 minutes of your time to see why I love Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth so much. (It ain't due to that Old Navy gig or the bad movie cameos) Funny + thrilling voice + pretty + charisma = the whole package. Let me know what you think and whether you'd like to see more video clips in these here parts. I heart my i-Movie technology.

P.S. There's a new poll up @ the film experience. Vote. I don't expect that there'll be as much consensus on this one.

I only have to wait 432 more days. (sigh)

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Some not-so-happy readers give feedback on my comments about the Academy's Music Branch @ the Oscar Countdown.

Speak Up, Boys

I wish I knew sign language.

My Favorite TV Dramas (Ever)

Gotta take those Oscar breaks to keep on breathing. Herewith my 10 favorite tv drama series ever... (give or take something I forgot. and obviously based on childhood favorites mixed with current passions --and obviously i don't much care for hospital or cop shows like the rest of the world)

Discuss. Or share your favorites. First person to say Law & Order must recite a 10 minute expository monologue and then hang their head in shame.

New York Resident

Julianne Moore has appeared on a few Vanity Fair covers in her day. Now that things have been going south career wise, her cover girl moment for Freedomland is on the newsprint pages of free city weekly, New York Resident! Living in Manhattan is expensive... so I guess this is why this paper can't afford a Graphic Designer or an intern with Photoshop skills.

Inside they ask Juli how she picks her roles (a subject Film Experience fans are always arguing about in the post PT Anderson & Todd Haynes downward spiral. She says:

"It's just reading something, liking it and doing it. I wish there were something trickier than that because sometimes you wish you had more control over it. But most of the time you're hoping for something to come down the pipeline that you like so you can say, 'I'm going to do that next.'"

Oh dear. You mean she likes these scripts she's been doing? I thought she just wanted to keep buying things.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Forever Golden?

More theorizing on which stars and craftsmen stand to gain the most future play from this soon-to-end awards season. Awards season lasts but three months. Its after-effects can linger for years. After reading this rundown, come back and share your thoughts on the possible futures for this year's golden crowd.

Quick Hits

Hey kids. Do y'all hate these link roundups I do? Do you follow them? I'm not doing it as space filler --I just like to share. I am a good sandbox companion. plays well with others

"Lego" Brokeback Mountain - Fun and creative. [src]

size queen bitchery from Queerty. Um, like I said with Jude Law --nobody complained back when they saw the goods in a movie. But if the stars take one unflattering candid on a cold day they'll be emasculated in the media. Mostly I am just hot for Daniel Craig and any reason to post about him is a good one. I have never been this excited to see a Bond movie. Not even as a child when I didn't yet know that they were predictable, repetitive, and oft lackluster. Soon the world will love DC as much as I. He will no longer be mine alone but I'll always know that I. saw. him. first.

"Everyone Here is Crazy" FourFour's recap of the Project Runway reunion. (Still no word from Dan Renzi on this episode)

Vanity Fair's Oscar Night Party Looking at this photo here...I think if someone could trim my hedges to read "NATHANIEL R" I think that would be a good indication that I'd made it. Any volunteers?


I try not to watch American Idol but it seems like each year someone ropes me in. At least for awhile. This year it's a combo of me pal Joe, doing those recaps (they're funny even if you don't watch the show. If you do watch, they're hilarious) and a certain Katharine McPhee (pictured here to your left).

I just love her. Also I hate her because I fear she will convince me to watch this time-sucking show. If it were like any other show it'd be fine but it basically wants to devour your soul. Hours and hours and hours a week. And within those hours: Long stretches of tedium and repetition. But as long as people watch they'll keep filling the time.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Who Benefits Most?

Though I don't know any many movie actors personally, I feel it's safe to assume that the "Oscar Curse", that old Hollywood myth that you can be doomed to obscurity or career freefall directly after a win (think Louise Fletcher, Marisa Tomei, Cuba Gooding Jr, Mira Sorvino, etc --yes like scoliosis it can hit men but generally screws with the ladies) is a handy piece of aloe vera when actors get burned on Oscar night.

Wins aside for now. Who will get the biggest career boost from this awards season?

Read The Rest

Oh Sweet Jesus

June 14th, 2006 could be the greatest night of my life since Madonna popped out of that wedding cake in 1984. I can barely type this sentence. To paraphrase an appropriate song for the occassion... 'Your Gay Messiah is Coming'

I Keep Pointing You To Others But I Really Want You To Stay Here With Me.

* Alan of "Burbanked" picks at Keanu's brain. Funny. (You know how I love the movie mixing)

* Cinema Village , by way of Magnolia Pictures, is showing the Oscar nominated animated & live action shorts for one week only starting tomorrow. CV is a teensy movie theater --like the size of, say, my bedroom. So these tickets will sell out faster than any indie band.

* Jason makes me laugh out loud. spill drink. etc...

* "The Skandies" are in progress and you can find them @ D'Angelo's blog. These awards are named after Skander Halim (who wrote Pretty Persuasion). He used to travel (still does?) with this very exclusive invitation-only pack. (More b'ground if you wanna dig)

* Something I should have linked long ago: Dan Savage on Brokeback Mountain a must-read.

* Crunk & Disorderly on Terrence Howard's upcoming slate o' films. Best line: "...Hollywood only have one black actor now? I could've sworn we were up to eight."


Have you voted on the Best Picture Poll yet? I know some of you haven't. The numbers don't lie. Vote.

Thursday Triple: Nature Boys

So Paul Walker is still trying to be a movie star, despite being upstaged by his own ass (Joyride), Vin Diesel (The Fast and the Furious), Jessica Alba (Jessica Alba!??? in Into the Blue) and now a pack of dogs freezing in the arctic (Eight Below). Hey you can't fault him for the continued effort. If you looked like this, you'd be a damn fool not to keep plugging away at big screen glory. If at first you don't succeed...

three other memorable men at the mercy of Mother Nature.

We start with our nationally beloved (*sigh* why?) Tom Hanks in Castaway. This is my second favorite performance by him actually (after A League of Their Own -- I think he's so much more gifted at comedy than drama). This film had his only nomination, dramatically speaking, that I could get behind. I still can't figure out how he won two Oscars. That's crazy people. He's a lightweight.

I love to throw Burt Reynolds and his fashion-forward rubber vest in Deliverance into as many lists as possible. (Plus ya gotta love that Oscar myth that he was denied a nomination for that due to this photoshoot in Cosmo)

And finally, we end with a sentimental Disney favorite from my childhood Never Cry Wolf. Charles Martin Smith lives alone in the wilderness studying the wolves (cool), eating mice (ewww) and running around naked (yessss!)

Previous Thursday Triple: Cross-Eyed Divas

Site of the Day

Today I turn your attention to Robert Licuria (pictured left) who writes Awards Heaven. I never write at great length about the music categories at Oscar (since there are always flames. breathing. at the side of my face regarding their John Williams fixation) but other people do (like Robert). Besides being easy on the eyes, he is also a good read so while you're there check out his very cool Ozcars, which is a history of Australians at the Academy Awards.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Memoirs of an Oscar-Baiter

You know. Tonight is the Project Runway reunion episode. And it's also Sasha Cohen's long program at the Olympics. So do I have time for a bunch of phonetics happy geisha? Sure. I can write today's countdown entry with a single spurt. I am ready.

One of my favorite moments this past year here at the site? The day when Memoirs of a Geisha actually opened and I stopped getting hate mail for my review. Instantly! Funny, no? Scathing e-mails about my critical ability and obvious bias and suddenly vindication and I'm one of the kinder reviews. But let's put that aside. Back patting is boring in large doses. Let's talk Oscar. After all, plentiful stinky reviews aside, Geisha came up nearly smelling like a cherry blossom on January 31st when the nominations were announced.

Continue Reading this article...

Happy Birthday Angel

If you think at all like me, you probably think that this former enfant terrible is going to win an Oscar someday (they love their Hollywood royalty and/or sex kittens making good, even when they've never really been thought of as an actor with a capital A).

My three favorite performances of Drew's in descending order? Scream (96) no really I do mean that horror cameo as her best performance, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (03) no really -- I mean that sequel, yes. And for her third most favored trick I don't know... Never Been Kissed(99), The Wedding Singer(98)? I don't know. Donnie Darko(01). It's an undecided. I want her to really kick it up a notch soon though, before people lose interest.

Who Authorized This?

Last night on Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight or whatev they were talking about celebrity divorces and financial settlements. I guess due to the Simpson/Lachey split. And they just throw out this nugget about Hilary Skank Swank earning $10 million a movie.

Who authorized this?! Why wasn't I consulted? Two Oscars and ten mil' a picture? When she's never "opened" a damn thing? ARGH. After she's finished scarring me for life on March 5th, I expect she will then devour the world.

Hump Day Hottie: "Selene"

I'm already embarrassed and I've just started typing...

I have this thing for vampires. I always have. Well, not always. As a wee toddler they scared me sleepless. But somewhere in early adolescence the fear turned into some sort of turn-on, more fuel for the theory that the hold vampiric mythology has on culture is all about sex rather than death.

Anyway...I don't even like Kate Beckinsale. Not much of an actress as far as I've seen. And I don't even like these movies. (To clarify: I like them in concept just not in execution as you can see from my review of the first film)

In the first film the only remotely sexy thing for me was Scott Speedman as Michael's transformation into this hybrid thing, part werewolf/part vampire, pictured here to your right. (The blue skin --gotta be the blue skin? I also swoon for Nightcrawler and, when a child, dug the Smurfs) To part 2's credit, it gets him shirtless and blue quickly and often.

But this time out I was all about Selene. As is the film's director, Len Wiseman, who ceaselessly objectifies his young wife. There's this moment when Michael (Speedoman) unzips Selene (Mrs. Wiseman) from her derivative but über tight costume and her breasts are tantalizingly almost out. It's really quite hot in a PG-13 Zalman King kind of way (this post: from simple embarassment to abject humiliation in no time flat).
Plus she has fangs, she has Dune eyes, she has superhero powers, and she gets wet. A lot. I had no choice but to select her.

I apologize for putting you through this.

Previous Hump Day Hotties for your distraction... Capote Boys, "Starbuck", Newton, Rhys-Meyers, Penn,Madonna, Murphy, McAdams, Jake & Madonna, Bloom, "Lady Tottington", Craig, Viggo & Maria , Béart, Kaneshiro, Fiennes & Weisz

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"oscar blahblah oscar blahblah movies blah"

oscar blabbing (some link love)
Ed & Eric at Slant give their must-read breakdown of each Oscar race
Filmjerk throws #s at me. I get a headache. Me no do math.
Kris gives me nightmares predicting still more future glory for Opie & Spielberg. Can't we please move on?
NY Times discuss Jon Stewart's Oscar gig.
Lylee on the mannered (& nominated) performance of Huffman (& Hoffman)

more to movies than Oscar...(more link love)
Josh Horowitz interviews the long missing Whit Stillman. Funny stuff.
Tom Tykwer is (finally) back. This trailer unnerves me.
Dark Horizons passes along the strange rumor that Ang Lee is following up Brokeback with a lesbian biopic.

The Oscar Subject I've Avoided Talking About Finally Rears Its Head Here

12 Days Until Oscar...
I've avoided the "Brokeback Mountain vs. Crash" debate largely because I saw it coming and it bored me ahead of time. Like a few other notably smart oscarwatchers I said several times that once Crash won the SAG ensemble prize (a win that was never in doubt for me since October) people would freak and suggest that Crash would pull a Shakepeare on Brokeback's Privates. I saw it coming. But what I didn't see coming was the fervor with which some people would start selling this story (against all laws of awards logic) as 'it's going to happen' rather than 'what an upset that would be!'

I think it all started when the anti-BBM brigade got what they saw as a huge boost in the surprise snub of Brokeback in the Editing race. And while it did sting (especially because Peroni was a marvelous editor and that would've been a sweet way to bid her adieu) it wasn't the death blow that people made it out to be. While it's true that no film has won the Best Picture Oscar without an editing nomination in 25 years it's been just as long since a film with a nomination total of 6 or less (likeCrash) has won. Those statistics both converge at Ordinary People, thereby cancelling each other out, don'cha think?

Continue Reading this article...

A History of... Juli's (Screen) Kids

Tuesday. Time for the sophomore edition of the new series: "A History Of..." Rather than pull a James Cameron who, fearing he'd never top Titanic just stopped making movies, I'll just work through this here sophomore slump. In the absence of a Gyllenhaalic burst-of-inspiration, I'm returning to my personal obsession, god herself. I worry for Julianne Moore these days. Especially when there's a small child in tow [onscreen].

1993-1995 Establishes herself as a great actress in a trio of critical darlings: Short Cuts, Vanya, and Safe. No children are seen in her vicinity.

1995 She plays Hugh Grant's preggers gal in Nine Months, exhibiting no discernable skill at romantic comedy whilst doing so. If I had known what portents this first screen pregnancy suggested, I would have thought this was a remake. Entertainment Weekly, eternally suckling from the teat of La Julia, momentarily comes up for air to suggest that Moore may be "the new Julia Roberts!" [Er, OK.... And also: calm down]

1996 Appears on Vanity Fair's Hollywood cover wearing nothing but a slip. She's anything but matronly. Unless by matronly you mean "yousexymotherf***er"(much hotter than Scarlett & Keira at any rate.)

1997 Receives her first Oscar nod for playing a porn star in Boogie Nights. But uh.oh. --here comes the shadow side: "Amber Waves" proves so indelible a creation that JM becomes Hollywood's go-to gal for slightly cuckoo inappropriately maternal characters. Casting directors and Julianne herself get caught in the typecasting undertow. Who knew that "Rollergirl" wasn't just a nubile hottie but a prophetess? 'Will you be my mommy?' indeed.

1999 Julianne grieves up a storm in A Map of the World when her child accidentally drowns.

2001 Escaping the germy grasp of tykes she trips and falls with other adults in bad sequels and unfortunate comedies.

2002 Both her peak and downfall. She displays truly awful parenting skills in not one. not two. but three roles. First there's an impactful supporting bit in World Traveller. She plays a woman obsessed with [gulp] an imaginary (or dead?) child.

With dangerously inept mommy roles descending on her like an avalanche, she squeezes out two Oscar noms. In Far From Heaven her parenting style is set permanently on ignore mode [If your husband looked like this and only wanted to sleep with men, you'd ignore your kids, too. Don't judge.] In The Hours Juli completely abandons her needy beautiful son after a cake baking session gets too intimate for her bookish sensibilities. But that little boy, those huge pleading eyes--my heart...ouch. How could she?

2004Vanity Fair again. The theme of this Hollywood Issue is "Moms" or "Moms to Be". I'm not kidding. The Forgotten becomes Juli's biggest headliner hit. In it she plays a mother with [gulp] an imaginary (or dead?) child.

Is this recap too subtle?

2005 Birth control be damned. Julianne's alter ego has 10 children in The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Unfortunately neither the film nor the kids are imaginary.

2006 Freedom Land brings Juli back with toddler in tow--oops. Spoke too soon. He just went missing. He may already be dead. Next Julianne Moore will appear in The Children of Men. The plot involves Julianne trying to save a miraculously pregnant woman whose child's birth may save mankind.

This gives me pause.

Is it really a good idea to leave Ms. Moore responsible for the profligation of the entire species? I'm thinking this role is a better fit.

next installment:
A History of... Gay Cowboys

Monday, February 20, 2006

From Weir to Cohen: The Olympic "Ice Princess" Relay

So Johnny Weir takes some pinup photos and no one tells me? Cruel. Previous Johnny Weir love at the Film Experience here. I don't even care that he didn't win a medal. In fact...

[Olympic Rant] I would like to publicly express my support for all the Olympians that didn't win anything. I think it's beyond rude and unfortunate how the press covers the Olympics. Whenever someone makes a tiny or a large error there is much gnashing of teeth and "what a failure!" Even when US athletes win silver they act like the person's family back home should hang their heads in shame, maybe move to a new neighborhood. "But they failed to win Gold". I'm like "[ahem] excuse me. These people are the best in the world at what they do! Medal or no medal I think we should all be impressed." [/Olympic Rant]

But anyway now that the men's skating is over at the Olympics, I have to leave Johnny behind for the only other one Ice Princess I care about: Sasha Cohen. Crossing my fingers for her tomorrow night in the short program. But even if she mysteriously bombs, she's still my favorite. See how that works?



this post is for readers outside the US:
I know you're out there ~my site statistics point to an international readership. The Olympics have me thinking about the whole wide world this week. I've long been considered the go-to site for info on Oscar's Foreign Language Category. But I'd like to expand my international cinema coverage this coming year (not just for Oscar). I need some indigenous elves to help me work that particular magic.

I'm looking for people who are knowledgeable about and devoted to their homegrown cinema. If you only love/watch Hollywood films, it's not really what I need.

If you're interested in helping me out/keeping me updated as far as your national cinema, shoot me an email 'filmexperience (at) gmail (dot) com' with "foreign" in the subject line, tell me what country you're from, why you're interested, and whether or you have a blog or site or write online already? etc...

I can't promise if I'll take you up on your offer (in case there are many people from one country) or when I'll get back to you (Oscar Season and all) but this is for a future plan.

Monday Link Chasing

"make me feel goooooood"
Cinematical on the eventual return of P.T. Anderson with There Will Be Blood.
The Gilded Moose chases Naomi, marvels at Paris, and ends the Jake suspense.
Tim Robey compares a German actress to Emily Watson, Kerry Fox, and Maggie Gyllenhaal (!), so naturally...I am dying to see this movie.
Madonna has heard it all before. Please don't say you're sorry.

'i think i ate something questionable
Film School Rejects has the Oliver Stone World Trade Center poster. How can this movie not offend millions? I'm very queasy about this one and Flight 93.
Faded Boxers gives you "A Man's Guide to Brokeback Mountain".
Four Four continues to read my mind when it comes to Project Runway. And does it with screencaps and animation!
Popped Culture informs me of some Frank Miller news that seems like a doozy of a BAD idea.

Date Movie

So, I saw Date Movie.
I blame the multiplexes where it's easy to watch one movie after another without paying.
I blame Joss Whedon for casting Allyson Hannigan as Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I blame Allyson for taking this role. I mean American Pie is one thing but, come on.

Mostly I blame myself and my odd fascination with the public's usually enthusiastic response to the unfunny comedy technique of movie referencing leading me to these bad decisions. It's like the overpraised Shrek movies only without any visual wit and with much muchslower gags. And never multiple jokes simultaneously which the animated spoofs can sometimes pull off well. Weirder still some of the jokes are just literal repeats of jokes from other things without much of a spin at all. I think parodies are supposed to 'spin' their references, right? I presume the audience laughs because they recognize the movie where the joke comes from (?) Although I'm still not sure why recognition = automatic laugh. I felt like a scientist at the serious business of testing out theories as to why people were laughing at all.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

BAFTA on the Mountain Top

Oscarwatch tells us who won the BAFTA Awards. [ignore the headline --it'll get your hopes up. That's not what "sweeps" means.]

Picture Brokeback Mountain
Director Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Actress Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
Actor P.S. Hoffman, Capote
S. Actress Thandie Newton, Crash
S. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
Original Screenplay Crash
Adapted Screenplay, Brokeback Mountain
Foreign Film The Beat That My Heart Skipped (France)
Score Memoirs of a Geisha - John Williams
Cinematography Memoirs of a Geisha
Editing The Constant Gardener
Production Design Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Costume Design Memoirs of a Geisha
Sound Walk the Line
Visual effects King Kong
Make Up and Hair The Chronicles of Narnia

and because they like to give their big prizes to American films they also have two Brit specific awards:
British Film Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
British Debut Director Joe Wright, Pride & Prejudice

Saturday, February 18, 2006

"Portraits of 26"

Tomorrow's New York Times Magazine has a great portfolio of "26 actors who made the films of 2005 so memorable."

11 Oscar Nominees Made It: Amy Adams, George Clooney (cover boy), Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Terrence Howard, William Hurt, Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, and Reese Witherspoon.

16 Snubees Made Their List: Ziyi Zhang (for 2046 not Memoirs, thank you very much), Birol & Sibel (Head On, who you'll see in my FB Awards too), Nathalie Press & Emily Blunt (My Summer of Love), Shirley Maclaine (In Her Shoes who gets a two page spread), Viggo Mortenson (A History of Violence), Vera Farmiga (Down to the Bone), Bill Murray (Broken Flowers), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Mysterious Skin), Deep Roy (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory), Eric Bana (Munich), Penelope Cruz (Don't Move), Jeff Daniels (Squid and the Whale), and Daniel Day-Lewis (The Ballad of Jack & Rose).

Apropos of Nothing...

...other than a conversation I just had with Nick M and a desire to think about something other than the Oscars for five minutes here are my 5 favorite plays (ask me tomorrow it'll be different). I'm not claiming they're the best productions I've ever seen (in some cases I've never completely loved a production of said piece) or the best ever written. Just the five I have the deepest affection for currently. If you want more than five, just add anything by Albee or Williams to the shortlist.

(alpha order)
"CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF" Tennessee Williams
"THE CRUCIBLE" by Arthur Miller
"MACBETH" by William Shakespeare

For people who know theater better than I, send me suggestions of things I should read (obviously this list is very mainstream in it's "best" way.)

Supporting Actor Poll

The final "Reader's Choice" poll for the acting categories is up at the main site. Are you all about Joe Gould, Jack Twist, Bob, Officer Ryan, or Richie Cusack? And if you, the TFE readers, go for a clean sweep for Brokeback, which one of these men will really throw down with 'Jack Nasty' before he ends up on top? Vote.

Symposium Wrap Up

The guest critics/bloggers are all still working on their prediction charts, but the Oscar Symposium is otherwise a wrap. You can read their emotionally fluttery and/or bawling acceptance speeches, thoughts about Oscar's show length and technical standoffish, and Jon Stewart as host as we wrap up the meeting of minds on Day Four.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I'm feeling all kinds of guilty right now. You see, God has a new movie out. And I'm dragging my feet. See... I was right near where I'm sure it was playing earlier today sipping on some crazy-sweet Starbucks concoction thinkin' 'I should go see my Julie!' When I just hopped onto the subway to come back to my apartment instead.

Then, a friend called and suggested we hit the movies and I start thinking:"What's playing?" Duh! Avoiding the very obvious. The hours are ticking by. It's Friday night. Am I really breaking up with God?

More later (undoubtedly)

There's More to Life Than Jake

Though it be blasphemous to say after this crazy week here at the blog (Most visits. ever) and on the site (that Oscar Symposium? Super Fun. Also Exhausting) There is more to life than my love for Jakey-poo. Today I have job interviews, personal errands, etc... so posting will be light. Jake is sweet enough to keep coming back for more. You be that too, OK?

There's also more to the Supporting Actor category than Gyllenhaal. He's only a fifth of it after all. The Supporting Actor Page is now updated with my theories, predictions, snub-grumbling, and more... And the trivia of course. They have five children among them. Well... by they I mean mostly William Hurt (who does get around, doesn't he? Mary Beth Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Sandrine Bonnaire, etcera. etcetera. etcetera.). Hurt is the tallest and the most wordly (works in foreign film, speaks another language, etc...). 80% of them hail from the North-Eastern corridor or thereabouts, etc...

[No, I don't know why I look all this up either]

Critics Gone Wild!

DAY THREE of the Oscar Symposium. Nerves are frayed. Hormones are raging. Non-Sequitors are rampant. Funny banter is everywhere. It's Critics Gone Wild --a three page spectacular today @ The Film Experience.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hilarious x 2

The Gilded Moose continues to track Jake Gyllenhaal's every move. Hilarious stuff. Bookmark this site. It's good for you. It's nearly impossible to choose a favorite post. I've been laughing all week.

Meanwhile in other funny: Nick almost made my Diet Dr. Pepper (or was that an Amaretto Sour?--never mind--) come out my nose last night whilst reading this. Clearly no one is safe from Dick Cheney's accidental wrath or Project Runway's addictive power.

Thursday Triple: Cross Eyed Divas

Disclaimer: Due to double surgeries as a child Demi Moore was declared ineligible for this honor. I'm sure she's inconsolable and crying on Ashton's shoulder. But doing so with perfectly balanced ocularity.

My three favorite cross-eyed movie stars:

I have to admit right up front that I don't really know that much about 70s cult goddess Karen Black, star of 117 films or so since her debut in 1960 including seminal titles Five Easy Pieces (1970), Nashville (1975), and Easy Rider (1969). But when you have a rock band named after you "The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black" you are entitled to immediate props. Seriously, how many actresses can claim that? "Toto" wrote a song about Rosanna Arquette in the 80s but it's not like they retitled themselves. But back to Black. When you then opt to perform with said punk band? Double props. That's rather like Halle Berry showing up to claim her Razzie last year (the only "you gotta respect" move she ever made in my book).

Barbra Streisand I don't even have to explain, do I?

And then there is Mrs. Irving Thalberg, "The First Lady of MGM" herself Norma Shearer. Norma is one of those stars that time cruelly seems to have forgotten. Sure people remember The Women and her "Jungle Red!" climax. But the film is primarily a catty delicious ensemble and a great snapshot of who-was-who in 1939. Tis a pity because there's few 30s stars I'd more like to see experiencing a revival. I just watched The Divorcée(1930) in which she is also divine as a similarly wronged wife facing that typical 30s film dilemma: When your husband cheats do you embrace your inner modern woman and strike out or do you stand by your man like a good submissive wife? The role won her the Oscar.

You gotta respect a woman who was frequently written off as being opportunist (Joan Crawford on Shearer: "How can I compete with her? She sleeps with the boss!") but who acted up a storm, did big box office, and was opinionated to boot: On Gone With the Wind(1939) which she was offered: "Scarlett O'Hara is going to be a thankless and difficult role. The part I'd like to play is Rhett Butler." Love it. Shearer's retirement from movies was as sudden and final as Garbo's but just not as well timed for 'lost legend' status. After twenty-two years in the business, she married a man outside the industry who was 20 years her junior (*there's Demi weeping again. In even this she is bested*) and never worked again. I heart Norma. Show her some love. Put one of her movies on your Netflix queue.

Day Two...

The Oscar Symposium is in full swing ...James Franco as Ennis Del Mar (???), My Cousin VinnyVs. Requiem for a Dream? What is the "issue" with Brokeback Mountain? Second thoughts on films that the we didn't love at first sight? This conversation goes all over the place. Read and discuss.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Prelude to the Countdown

What are you looking at here?

These 12 men were duking it out for spots #99 & #100 on the Top 100 Actors of the Aughts list [The most valuable screen actors according to me and for the films of 2000 through 2005 only. Like we did with the Actresses, yeah that!] Only 2 of them survived the brawl. Find out who when the new list begins on Monday, February 20th @ the Film Experience

Dr. Nathaniel (R) Dolittle

Loving me some...
Animal Friendly Celebs. Here's a list o' kindness.

Hating on...
Beyoncé and her ignorance. Cruelty ain't glamourous. I realize that the idea of promoting your own fabulous self (look at me --wrapped up in luxury!) and your riches (look at me--I made something of myself!) is a very foregrounded part of hip-hop culture. And please--who am I to judge? I eat meat on occassion (hey --we're all works in progress). And if I suddenly had millions I'd be all about waving it around, too. Said waving just wouldn't involve fur. Who needs it? It's so easy to avoid. It's not mixed into things that you constantly need (like leather is with shoes / belts). It doesn't contain ingredients your body needs (like meat with protein) There's just no excuse. It's barbaric and medieval.

It'd be nice to see more of this type of enlightenment spread around. So today's good karma message: Next time you hear a Beyoncé tune you like? Tune out and buy some Badhu instead.

But all that said, I won't be boycotting Dreamgirls or anything. Can't wait to hear JHud telling me (she's not going). I just hope Beyoncé doesn't hog to much of that "Supreme" spotlight.

Hump Day Hotties: The Men That Got Away (From Tom Ford)

I've already mentioned that the new Vanity Fair cover is, if "controversial", still completely traditional and par for the course: Objectifying women for the pleasure of men? Revolutionary! Still even if we've been there and done that 3 trillion times... it still works, doesn't it? As I said earlier it's hard to imagine them asking recently legal male actors to appear in their birthday suits. So for today's Hump Day Hottie, you choose. Here are five boys men who act and who were, like Keira & Scarlett born in the mid 80s and are therefore old enough to be naked on Vanity Fair's cover. Which one's shoulda stripped down with Tom Ford? Vote in the comments section.

How about Kevin Zegers who already exudes slut power (Transamerica), or the thinky/sexy brooding of Max Minghella (Syriana, Bee Season)? Maybe you love the energy of Billy El...Jamie Bell (King Kong, Undertow) or the bravado of Victor Rasuk (Lords of Dogtown, Raising Victor Vargas)? Finally there's budding thespian Lou Pucci (Thumbsucker, Chumscrubber)? So many choices for this alternate reality VF cover.

Previous Hump Day Hotties for your distraction... Capote Boys, "Starbuck", Newton, Rhys-Meyers, Penn,Madonna, Murphy, McAdams, Jake & Madonna, Bloom, "Lady Tottington", Craig, Viggo & Maria , Béart, Kaneshiro, Fiennes & Weisz