Friday, April 18

The Film Fatales Top Scottish Actors

The Film Fatales head up to the north country to chat up some spiffing Scottish lads. Elizabeth and Nicole each pick five of the highlands' hottest actors to form a very fine looking and talented list of charming gents. So, will Ewan McGregor or Billy Connolly make the list? Find out by heading over to Smitten by Britain

The Film Fatales' Top English Actors

The Film Fatales break down their BritList to include only the finest English blokes. Elizabeth and Nicole each choose five fabulous English actors as their top bets. Wondering who made the list? Will Benedict Cumberbatch or Colin Firth make the cut...or both? Find out at Smitten by Britain

The Film Fatales' Favorite British Actors


The Film Fatales go tete-a-tete when choosing their favorite British actors. Narrowing it down to just five picks each, this was no easy feat. So, who made the list and who was left on the cutting room floor? Find out by skipping across the pond to Smitten by Britain.

http://www.smittenbybritain.com/top-5-favorite-british-actors-from-the-film-fatales/

The Film Fatales Top Romantic Films

We may be two of the most sarcastic broads to live and breathe, but — believe it or not – we both often fall victim to the sappier side of ourselves and enjoy a romantic movie, or two, or three, now and again. We know… We know… You’re probably thinking that’s just not possible. Oh, but it is. And, here’s the proof: We’ve gone ahead and listed some of our favorite cinematic romances at Love A Happy Ending. Come on over and take a look...

Le Week-end

The Film Fatales show you how to spend 48 hours in Paris for just the price of a movie ticket. But, will it be the getaway of your dreams or the stuff of nightmares? Find out when you read our review of Le Week-end at our home across the pond, Smitten By Britain

Le Week-end (2013)
93 minutes.
Rated R.
Starring: Lindsay Duncan, Jim Broadbent, and Jeff Goldblum.
Directed by Roger Michell.


Wednesday, April 9

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Prepare to be astounded: The Winter Soldier is the sequel to end all sequels.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 2014. PG-13. 136 minutes. Starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan. Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo and Joss Whedon.

Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. [IMDb]


Nicole: Oh, man, my Fangirl is in overdrive! I can’t believe I’m going to say this but Captain America: The Winter Soldier was actually better than The Avengers. (No! Did she just…? No, she couldn’t possibly have said it, but – oh, yes – she did.) From the second this sequel starts, you better buckle up – cause you’re in for one hell of a ride.

elizabeth: Well, I have never been a fangirl of any of these types of movies. I just don’t get them blowing up everything and calling it acting. Was there any acting or just men in tights (and I am a fangirl of this look).


Nicole: It's escapism, Cassidy. Acting in action movies is technically acting. It may not be Shakespeare, but... Here’s the thing, so much inconceivable, mythology-altering, mind-blowing stuff happens in this movie that I can’t even discuss the plot except in the vaguest of terms – else I’ll ruin it for everyone. Just know that everything you thought you ever knew about the Marvel universe as it relates to S.H.I.E.L.D. will be irrevocably altered. And, this affects EVERYTHING going forward, which includes The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the planned (but as of yet unscripted) Black Widow movie, and the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. What I can tell you is that we come to find Cap, post-Avengers New York, living and working in Washington D.C. under Nick Fury and on assignment with Natasha (aka Black Widow). That’s all I’m gonna say – 'cause everything other than that is a spoiler. I’m not kidding. That’s how much groundwork this movie lays and then works to destroy—dramatically.

elizabeth: Nick Fury? That is right up there with Radcliffe and Mr. Darcy. I know I almost broke down and went to see this flick to show that I am open-minded, but then I had a book to read instead. So I spent my limited hours feeding my brain cells and not piercing my eardrums.


Nicole: These movies are based on books...comic books...but, I digress. Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) is crazy-good, and certainly can fill out his trademark suit – wink, wink. His action sequences are mind-boggling. I can’t even begin to comprehend how they were staged. But, he’s equaled in skill and intensity by this sequel’s villain, The Winter Soldier (played by Sebastian Stan), who can single-handedly destroy everything and everyone who crosses his path. Cap’s sidekicks Black Widow (Johansson) and Falcon (Mackie) offer up a whole can of whoop-ass, but are no match for the evil powers that be (and you’ll soon learn no one can or should be trusted). You will also witness Samuel L. Jackson as the take-no-crap Nick Fury tested and stretched to his limit--and end up as you never thought he would.

elizabeth: I have never seen you so excited about any movie before. And the Winter Soldier has nothing on some of the bosses I used to have to toil under. I would be curious to see if their names come up in the credits.


Nicole: Visually, this movie is astounding. The special effects are outrageous. And, diehard fans will appreciate all the inside jokes and references – not to mention one of Stan Lee’s best cameos to date. All I can say is run, don’t walk, to see this movie. I promise you will not be disappointed. And do stay around until the credits officially end – by now no one should be leaving any Marvel movie until the lights come up. Let that be a lesson to ya.

elizabeth: I see that you are giving Captain America four stilettos. Let me just say that I would rather give this movie the boot. I would really like to see intelligent and well-written movies come out of Hollywood. But money talks so I might just get myself a Kindle...and a man in tights.

         The Film Fatales give CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER




Wednesday, March 19

A Few British Treats: Austenland, Summer in February, & The Invisible Woman

For those of you who don't know, The Film Fatales are featured columnists on a wonderful Britophile blog called SMITTEN BY BRITAIN. At this site, we review films with a British slant and hope that you'll visit us there often, as well here, on our comprehensive blogger site. 

Here are just a few of our recent posts... 

AUSTENLAND: Read Review

Available on DVD and On Demand. 2013. PG-13. 97 minutes. Starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour. Directed by Jerusha Hess.
“Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.” [IMDb]
- See more at: http://www.smittenbybritain.com/film-review-austenland/#sthash.xaTBhI0h.dpuf
Available on DVD and On Demand. 2013. PG-13. 97 minutes. Starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour. Directed by Jerusha Hess.
“Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.” [IMDb] 
Available on DVD and On Demand. 2013. PG-13. 97 minutes. Starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour. Directed by Jerusha Hess.
“Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.” [IMDb]
- See more at: http://www.smittenbybritain.com/film-review-austenland/#sthash.xaTBhI0h.dpuf
Available on DVD and On Demand. 2013. PG-13. 97 minutes. Starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour. Directed by Jerusha Hess.
“Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.” [IMDb]
- See more at: http://www.smittenbybritain.com/film-review-austenland/#sthash.xaTBhI0h.dpuf
Available on DVD and On Demand. 2013. PG-13. 97 minutes. Starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour. Directed by Jerusha Hess.
“Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.” [IMDb]
- See more at: http://www.smittenbybritain.com/film-review-austenland/#sthash.xaTBhI0h.dpuf
Available on DVD and On Demand. 2013. PG-13. 97 minutes. Starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour. Directed by Jerusha Hess.
“Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.” [IMDb]
- See more at: http://www.smittenbybritain.com/film-review-austenland/#sthash.xaTBhI0h.dpuf
Available on DVD and On Demand. 2013. PG-13. 97 minutes. Starring Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Jennifer Coolidge, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour. Directed by Jerusha Hess.
“Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (1995), a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.” [IMDb]
- See more at: http://www.smittenbybritain.com/film-review-austenland/#sthash.xaTBhI0h.dpuf



SUMMER IN FEBRUARY: Read Review

Now On Demand. 2013. NR. 100 minutes. Starring Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens and Emily Browning. Directed by Christopher Menaul.

“Based on Jonathan Smith's novel about love and loss among a bohemian colony of artists, which flourished in the wild coastal region of Cornwall before the First World War.” [Metrodome Distribution]
 



THE INVISIBLE WOMAN: Read Review


Available on DVD April 15th. 2014. Rated R. 111 minutes. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander. Directed by Ralph Fiennes. 
At the height of his career, Charles Dickens meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death. [IMDb]

April DVD & On Demand Releases a la the Film Fatales

The Film Fatales give you a quick rundown recent films we previously reviewed that are slated for April release on DVD and On Demand. Here's the scoop: 

APRIL 1st:

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

HOW WE SAW IT:   

Nicole: I’ve waited long for this day…and I’m relieved to say the sequel to Anchorman did not disappoint. Phew! If you’re worried that this movie won’t be filled with the same brand of ridiculousness, the same flavor of sassy one-liners, the same tasteless and unPC gags – let me allay your fears: It’s just as wonderfully tacky and quotable as the first. 

elizabeth: I was laughing to myself. I do that often. It keeps people away from me. It had nothing to do with Ron Burgundy and his entourage. Okay, full disclosure here – Steve Carell did a good job playing a man who isn’t quite wired like the rest of us. His childlike antics did propel a chuckle or two out of me. He was the only good part of this film. And that guy Champ made me very uncomfortable while Paul Rudd is still adorable in plaid. But the movie sucked. There I said it.

The Film Fatales give ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES
(Well, one of us would like to give it only ½ stilletto).
 
APRIL 8th: 

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

HOW WE SAW IT:

Nicole: Enough can’t be said about Jackson’s WETA team. From special effects, to costuming, to set dressing – this movie is a feast for the eyes. Just wait till you get a load of Smaug (brilliantly voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Fanboys and Fangirls around the world have been clamoring to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and it’s no wonder –it’s pure genius. I find it hard to leave the theater after Jackson’s forays into Middle-Earth…wanting to linger a little longer in his imagining of Tolkein’s universe.
 

elizabeth: Please get out of Middle-Earth and join the rest of us. And you can bring your new friends Thorin Oakenshield and Tauriel. I am sure they are in need of hot shower or two. I’ll bring the soap. 

The Film Fatales give THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG 

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

HOW WE SAW IT:   
 
elizabeth: Humor can masterfully mask great pain, while great pain needs humor in order for the human spirit to survive. I went into this movie knowing that it wasn’t going to be a love fest, but a close look at what happens when emotional wounds do not heal and are left to fester and grow. For anyone going to this movie and believing that you are going to a see comedic piece with a brilliant cast (thanks to the moronic advertising campaign out here), prepare to be mistaken. There is really nothing funny about August: Osage County. It is the great American Tragedy.  Whatever humor makes its way out of the muck is to keep the audience from leaving the theater screaming.

Nicole: Can I just give you a slow, praise-worthy round of applause here? That was so perfectly summed up, I don’t really have anything to add that could remotely do your description justice.

The Film Fatales give AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

APRIL 15th: 

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

HOW WE SAW IT:  

For our review, please visit our home across the pond at SMITTEN BY BRITAIN. 


March DVD and On Demand Releases a la the Film Fatales

The Film Fatales give you a quick rundown recent films we previously reviewed that are slated for March release on DVD and On Demand. Here's the scoop: 

Tuesday, March 18th:


AMERICAN HUSTLE

How we saw it: 


Nicole: American Hustle was, to coin a phrase, a Disco Inferno of a movie. David O. Russell’s engrossing tale of two-bit con artists forced to turn tricks for the Feds in order to save their hides is a tangled, messy web. Like O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, it may be a shade too long and could have achieved the same result in a shorter telling. But, I won’t chide him too much on that point, because this was a really enjoyable film.  



elizabeth: I got Saturday Night Fever on my record player (look that up) and I think I might have inhaled a tad too much polyester, but I think this could be one of my fave movies of 2013. Inhaling some strange substances and starring into lava lamps makes me a kinder person. I don’t like that about me. 

Nicole: Look, what you do in your private time is none of my business, but know this: I am silently judging you. I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed this movie so much for the plot, which wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but more so for the performances. Can I just say that Christian Bale is just ridiculous? He might be the male Meryl Streep. He just disappears into a role, making you forget entirely that this is the same guy who brought Batman and The Fighter to life. His ability to nail accents is truly remarkable and his mannerisms are so intuitive; he’s really a pleasure to watch. 

elizabeth:  I did like the storyline even though the hopelessness of these characters was palpable. They all had such unremarkable lives that bordered on manic sadness. But it seemed once their paths crossed, a certain amount of electricity filled the screen. Their lives started to matter even if it meant working with the FBI as a way to stay out of jail. I have to talk about Christian Bale, also. His character, Irving Rosenfeld, was physically repulsive to me, but as the movie went on and a certain amount of vulnerability came out of Irving, I no longer saw the double wrap-around hair, but a man just struggling to love and be loved…to matter in this world.  His eyes told stories beyond the script. I also have to say that I feel he should win the Best Actor Oscar. His absolute brilliance on the screen has made me a fan although I don’t think I will sit through Batman, but I would watch American Hustle again just to see Bale become Irving. 

Nicole: Bradley Cooper, too, wowed me. I like that he can do turns in zany, crass comedies like The Hangover and then pull out a really top-notch, compelling performance of a career-driven Fed who gets in over his head. The perm was a bit unfortunate, but hey – it was the late ‘70s. Everyone had one, and they…were…fabulous! (Glad we, as a society, have come to our senses on that one.) 

elizabeth: Cooper’s perm was perfect…perfectly ugly. It did pain me to see a good looking man looking so bad, but he nailed the role of Richie DiMaso. I thought he was wildly sexy and intelligent and then – ick, he is bloody nuts! And there you go again, calling The Hangover a comedy and zany at that. Who are you anyway?  

Nicole: My name is Nicole…and I’m a crass-a-holic. Jennifer Lawrence, was, as usual a joy to watch. I predict she’s going to be around for a long, long, long time. But I’m not entirely sure what all the fuss is about Amy Adams’ performance. It was a fine performance, but nothing to rave about. Certainly not akin to the caliber of performance that Meryl Streep brought in August: Osage County – but then again, no one can really compare to Streep, who is in a class all by herself. 

elizabeth:   Yes, I agree with you about Jennifer and Amy.  I must be overdoing it with the lava lamp. In case the Best Actor award does not go to Bale, I would like to see Meryl Streep come up to receive her Oscar and then relinquish it and give it to Christian Bale. Now I don’t know how he would take getting a Best Actress Oscar…and I am not going to watch him in American Psycho to find out. 

Nicole: OK now, ‘scuse me while I put on my, my, my, my, my boogie shoes…    

elizabeth:  Do my platform shoes make my butt look big?


The Film Fatales give AMERICAN HUSTLE 



Also out this month, 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street and Inside Llewyn Davis...

The Grand Budapest Hotel




Will the Film Fatales be checking into The Grand Budapest Hotel? 

2014. Rated R. 100 minutes. Starring almost everyone who has ever made a movie--even the Film Fatales had a guest cameo, which was savagely cut by director Wes Anderson.  Let’s start over. Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Bill Murray and Tony Revolori (to name a few). 

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. (IMDb) 





elizabeth:  I am not going to wait till the end to say how I feel about this movie.  I went in loving some of Wes Anderson’s movies like Moonrise Kingdom and then not tripping-out over some of his other works (but I know he has avid fans and I don’t need hate mail) so let me state for the record: The Grand Budapest Hotel is just a delightful and heartrending movie wrapped up in a world that you would love to visit and then in the next frame you shudder to see what unfolds. And, Anderson packs a wallop with his brilliant cast and stunning scenery. You almost want to believe that this hotel and its inhabitants really did live in a time between the two wars. 


Nicole: Unlike you, I’m going to risk potential hate mail here. Here goes: This is the very first Wes Anderson movie I’ve enjoyed. Perhaps enjoyed is too mild. I loved it. And, naturally, I was extremely leery about seeing it because of how tedious I’ve found his other movies. Anderson has a style all his own, and that’s admirable in an industry that churns out unoriginal crap. But sometimes I think he’s being different for the sake of being different; i.e. quirky just to be quirky. (God, I can feel Williamsburg and Park Slope rising up against me as I type…) But, I may have been converted (does that redeem me at all?) because this movie was absolutely delightful—on every level. 

elizabeth: Ralph Fiennes keeps getting better and better in each of his movie roles. Sometimes I think he does not get enough credit for all his masterful performances, but his Gustave H, the legendary concierge at a famous Grand Budapest Hotel (who has quite the fondness for women of a certain age) is right up there along with his contemporaries Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Firth. His relationship with Zero, the Lobby Boy, will make you laugh because the dialogue is so sharp and witty (one man in the audience laughed through much of the movie. He might have been ingesting vodka-flavored popcorn) and part of the brilliance of Anderson’s direction is that it will grab you by the heart in the next scene. 


Nicole: Couldn’t agree more. For moi, Fiennes stole the show. All of the performances (from the pivotal roles to the cameos—and there are mannnnny) were terrific, but Fiennes was outstanding. What a joy to see him exercise his comedic muscle. His delivery was just perfection. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves for this role, ‘cause it really shows off how versatile he is as an actor. 


elizabeth: There is a quite a bit of violence in this movie – some rather necessary to go along with the brutality of some of the characters. Willem Dafoe is just repulsive in his look and behavior and there is one scene that some animal lovers (such as Nicole and me) did not find necessary at all. We have to thank Adrien Brody’s Dmitri for that. So the story does come down to good vs. evil and as you know some days we win and some days evil scores a homerun. But I would still check into the Grand Budapest Hotel. 

Nicole: I would definitely check in, preferably in its heyday when Gustave H was the concierge and Zero his loyal lobby boy. I could certainly go for some of Mendl’s pastries, that’s for sure. 


The Film Fatales give THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL