Tuesday, February 25


The Film Fatales bundle up for a terrible Winter’s Tale 

Winter’s Tale. 2014. PG-13. 118 minutes. Starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, Graham Greene, Will Smith. Directed by Akiva Goldsman.

A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her. [IMDb]

Nicole: I can sum up this movie in one single word: Silly. Normally, I’m a sucker for this crap. I love a good period piece, especially a romantic period piece. But, the trailer really didn’t do expectant audiences any justice whatsoever. What was billed as something akin to Doctor Zhivago was actually more along the lines of The Neverending Story (pun intended).

elizabeth: I heard the book was really good. In fact, I know someone who wants to read it.

Nicole: I’m not sure if the book that inspired this film is any better at explaining the rather convoluted and very unbelievable plot (with so many holes it might as well have been filmed on Swiss cheese and not celluloid), but it can’t stand on its own. The idea that within each of us is a single miracle that is meant to change another person’s life (and by default the world) is a beautiful concept. But had they stopped there and not added in the whole good vs. evil face-off (with Crowe as a very unconvincing and underdeveloped demon and Will Smith as a horrendously miscast Lucifer), the film would have been much better off.

elizabeth: I hear the book is well written and you can pick your own actors to play the parts. Sounds like a win/win deal to me. Your whining is leaning on my last nerve.

Nicole: Oh, fine. Here’s something positive. I will say that the chemistry between Farrell and Brown Findlay (of Downton Abbey fame) was believable. And, Farrell, who carried the weight of the movie on his shoulders, did a fine job despite this rather ridiculous “tale.” Ooh, I really woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, didn’t I?

elizabeth:  “Hello Amazon? Yes, it’s me. I know I am behind my time today, but can I please get a copy of ‘Winter’s Tale’ and can you please send it to Nicole? Right now would be good. You can hand deliver this to her, right? You can. God bless.”

The Film Fatales give WINTER’S TALE

Friday, February 14


By the hammer of Thor…The Dark World is one good movie. 

Thor: The Dark World. 2013. On DVD and On Demand February 25, 2014. Rated PG-13. 112 minutes. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Chris O’Dowd. Directed by Alan Taylor.  

Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. [imdb] 

Nicole: It was going to take a lot for this second installment of Marvel's Thor series to wow me. The first movie rocked my world so damn much, naturally my expectations were set high. But Thor: The Dark World did not disappoint. Hell, I was transported into that glorious Asgardian world again as if the Bifrost had just jettisoned my ass into each of the Nine Realms.  

elizabeth: You know, I get the same feeling when I stare into the sun.

Nicole: Wear sunglasses. Kenneth Branagh (yes, he of copious genius Shakespearan adaptation fame) did such an amazing job with the first movie, I wasn't sure if Alan Taylor was going to be able to meet the challenge. Wrong! He met it with equal artistic ability and respect for all the eager fanboys and fangirls who were breathlessly awaiting this sequel. This time around, Asgard is beset by the icy villain Dark Elf Malekith, who is looking to seek revenge and lay claim to the universe by absorbing the Aether (a self-possessing weapon of epic proportions). Thor's earthly love, Dr. Jane Foster, is brought into the mix, travels with Thor to Asgard, and all hell breaks loose. Loved ones die (not telling), bastions crumble (mum is the word) and Thor has no choice but to enlist the help of his imprisoned and estranged "brother" Loki. (A word about Loki...he's not in this movie nearly enough for my liking, although the trailers would have you believe otherwise.) 

elizabeth: I have no idea what you just said.  You got to stop going to these movies. I don’t know you anymore. 

Nicole: If loving these movies is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. Chris Hemsworth is remarkable as Thor, but for me (and I suspect many, many others) the show is all but stolen by Tom Hiddleston's Loki. (Don’t judge me: I prefer my men pasty and bookishly British, appearing as though they’re recovering from some water-borne disease such as Cholera.) Hiddleston is the quintessential villain you love to hate. He is so good, in fact, you don't hate him...you love him--despite all the evil that exists within his dark soul. The chemistry between Natalie Portman and Hemsworth is palpable this time around, more so than the last. Even more is at stake now. (Stay tuned for the end of the credits... Though chaste in its construction, I assure you ladies, you will need a cigarette.) 

elizabeth: Can I just go to the ending first? I was always such a cheap date. 

Nicole: Hey, you said it. I didn’t. I say grab your Mjolnir as fast as you possibly can and get yourself to a showing to Thor: The Dark World. You can thank me later. (Oh, and Cassidy...there's only so much longer you can work your way out of not seeing these superhero flicks... Why? Your wish has been granted. Robert Redford is set to appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, due out in April. So there. Pfft.) 

elizabeth: No! Not Hubbell Gardner in Captain America. I am going to grab my Mjolnir and beat you with it. You are making that up, right? If he needs the money, send him some. If he needs me, I will find a way to get to him. Perhaps Thor or Loki can help me? Whatever.

The Film Fatales give Thor: The Dark World 

Blu-Ray Special Features include:
  • Never-Before-Seen Extended and Deleted Scenes 
  • Gag Reel
  • Exclusive Look - Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" 
  • A Brother's Journey: Thor & Loki
  • Scoring Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" with Brian Tyler
  • Audio Commentary with Director Alan Taylor, Producer Kevin Feige, Actor Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau

February 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 February release on DVD and On Demand. Here's the scoop: 

Dallas Buyer's Club
Available now on DVD and On Demand


elizabeth: I am going to start with my strongest reaction to a movie in a long, long time. I hated this movie. And maybe not for the reasons you think. McConaughey should get an Oscar nomination. Jared Leto richly deserves an Oscar nod also, but I hated this movie.
Nicole: I suppose one can say telling Woodroof’s story without sentimentalizing him was a brave, if offensive, choice. My conflict is this: why him? There were so many other people to immortalize in film who did amazing work to fight the stigmatism of the AIDS diagnosis. I’m afraid people will bestow upon Woodroof hero status as a result of this film, when he’s no hero. 
The Film Fatales give DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
About Time
Now available on DVD and On Demand


Nicole. Occasionally, a movie comes along that revives you and reestablishes your faith in the art of storytelling. About Time is that movie. Richard Curtis, the creative mind that brought audiences Love, Actually and About a Boy (neither of which I enjoyed a great deal), weaves a magical tale about time travel. While the plot should be hokey and corny and saccharine, it's actually thought provoking, bittersweet and moving (as long as you suspend belief in the established rules of time travel). Naysayers will call me a hopeless romantic who is a giant sap to love a movie like this; I say stuff it. If loving this movie means I'm sentimental, call me a sentimental fool…a whimpering, simpering sentimental fool—as Cassidy and her stash of tissues can attest.

elizabeth: While I did not turn into a whimpering, simpering sentimental fool like someone I know, I was really looking forward to a movie that celebrates love, passion, humor, family and life and death. I longed for clever dialogue and secret glances that said more than a screenplay about men with pointed ears who live in caves. About Time is a movie that you all forgot to go see. Hello? Are you all still stuck in outer space with Bullock and Clooney? The universe gave us all a kiss on our lips with this little film and yet you all wanted bigger and louder and more violent films. Shame on you. 
The Film Fatales give ABOUT TIME
 (and it's wonderful soundtrack...)

Available on DVD February 25, 2014. Check your digital cable carrier for On Demand release dates.


elizabeth: I would have liked to have seen a tagline for this movie that would have read something like this: ”If you are afraid of heights, stay the hell home.”  Not that I avoid heights all the time, but 90 minutes of feeling queasy and green was not my idea of a fun time. Plus, green is definitively not my color. But we must do our jobs as movie reviewers and if that means feeling like an 8-year-old with a bad stomach virus, then so be it. And Gravity has two talented actors, who I feel can’t make bad movies, and the storyline really intrigued me. But not my head or stomach. Did I mention that?
Nicole: Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s what this whole movie is about – the special effects. It’s not plot or dialog-heavy by any means. I’d dare say there’s probably only about 10 pages of dialog in the whole script. I have a feeling this movie was made solely because the filmmakers wanted to see if they could pull off what they did. Mission accomplished, pun intended. 

The Film Fatales give Gravity 
See our full reviews of 
in a separate posts...

Oscars 2014: The Film Fatales Predictions

Nicole: This Award Show has been extremely unpredictable. The film industry can’t quite unanimously decide who gets the recognition. By this time in the season there’s a clear front runner in each category, but this year, it’s anyone’s guess. So, what do you say we hover over our crystal balls like the witches we are and make some predictions? Oh, and care to make it interesting? Say, if I get the most right – I get to Fass Michael’s Bender. 

elizabeth: If you want to go on a bender with Fass Michael (who the hell is that?) be my guest but get a designated driver, will you? I am busy that night and all nights until 2037.What would I like when I win? Probably just the smug feeling I will have knowing that I am better at predictions than you. And, just in case that doesn’t fly, then I would like a major show at the MOMA and a New York Times bestselling memoir. And a 28-inch waist. I was going to mention bringing about world peace, but you know me – when am I ever deep? 

Best picture
"12 Years a Slave"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
"Captain Phillips"
"American Hustle"
"Dallas Buyers Club"

Nicole: The battle will most definitely be between American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, and The Wolf of Wall Street. I’m going to say American Hustle will take it. (And how August: Osage County and Lee Daniels’ The Butler were ignored here, especially when the category can include up to 10 entries, is beyond me.) 

elizabeth: I am with you about The Butler and August: Osage County snub. My fear is that Dallas Buyers Club might win and that will make me crazy. Okay, the two male actors were fabulous, but I do not want to see a movie win that portrayed someone as despicable as Ron Woodroof in the world of AIDS. End of rant. I am going with American Hustle or the movie that I think really deserves it (and this movie could have knocked off The Butler’s chances--but, hey, wasn’t there room for both?) 12 Years a Slave. 

Best director
Steve McQueen -- "12 Years a Slave"
David O. Russell -- "American Hustle"
Alfonso Cuaron -- "Gravity"
Alexander Payne -- "Nebraska"
Martin Scorsese -- "The Wolf of Wall Street" 

Nicole: I’m leaning toward Cuaron, but it could go to O. Russell or McQueen. But I’m sticking with Cuaron based purely on his technical acumen.

elizabeth: So you don’t care that I suffered from a month-long bout of vertigo after seeing Gravity?  BTW: Nicole cried like a baby during Anchorman 2. From what I read and heard about David O. Russell and his amazing gift for bringing out the best performances in his actors, (remember Silver Linings Playbook?) my pick is to see David O. Russell take the statue. And, what the hell does the “O” stand for? 

Nicole: Yea… I did cry… OF LAUGHTER. And I think the O stands for “Orlando” or “Olly.” One of those two. Or not. 

Best actor
Bruce Dern -- "Nebraska"
Chiwetel Ejiofor -- "12 Years a Slave"
Matthew McConaughey -- "Dallas Buyers Club"
Leonardo DiCaprio -- "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Christian Bale -- "American Hustle" 

Nicole: If McConaughey continues his streak, he’ll take this…but with each acceptance speech, he’s trying everyone’s patience. He might have to pull an Anne Hathaway post-Oscars and disappear for a little while to give everyone a much-needed break. So, I’m not ruling out DiCaprio entirely. 

elizabeth: I disagree with you about McConaughey and DiCaprio--big time. I keep changing my mind but now I know who really deserves to win. Christian Bale. You don’t even recognize him in American Hustle and his character went from repulsing me to one that I felt a lot of empathy because even though he wasn’t the most ethical guys around, his heart was in the right place. His soul won me over. But he won’t win.  

Best actress
Amy Adams -- "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett -- "Blue Jasmine"
Judi Dench -- "Philomena"
Sandra Bullock -- "Gravity"
Meryl Streep -- "August: Osage County" 

Nicole: This award SHOULD go to Meryl Streep for her incredible performance as Violet in August: Osage County. But, I do believe the contest is between Amy Adams and Cate Blanchett, with Blanchett taking home the Oscar. God only knows why Adams is a favorite here…her performance in American Hustle is nothing special. 

elizabeth: Here is my theory about Meryl Steep and your favorite sports team (of which I do not have one). Do you only want your team to win once in a while even though another team tried really hard? Streep’s Violet is the best performance hands down. You don’t want to get Violet mad, do you? I think her only competition is Blanchett’s brilliant performance in Blue Jasmine. And you know what, if Blanchett wins, I will be okay with it. 

Best supporting actor
Barkhad Abdi -- "Captain Phillips"
Bradley Cooper -- "American Hustle"
Jonah Hill -- "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Jared Leto -- "Dallas Buyers Club"
Michael Fassbender -- "12 Years a Slave" 

Nicole: I’m hearing a lot of talk about Jonah Hill here...don’t entirely discount a surprise win to edge out Jared Leto (especially after the brouhaha concerning his less-than-appropriate acceptance speeches. Perhaps he spent a little too much time with McConoughey on set). Despite all that though, I’m thinking Leto will still leave with the Oscar. 

elizabeth: I am going with Bradley Cooper. I think Jared Leto has been recognized for his touching performance as Rayon, but Cooper got robbed at last year’s Oscar and I think he deserves it. Shallow alert: Plus, his is fluent in French and would be a great guide for me when I go to paint in Paris. 
Nicole: Wow. You’re an incorrigible flirt, aren’t you? You don’t see me going around all willy nilly casting my votes based on sex appeal and animal magnetism, do you? (That being said…Michael Fassbender: Achtung, mein schatz. Call me.) 

elizabeth: You are so cheap. 

Best supporting actress
Jennifer Lawrence -- "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o -- "12 Years a Slave"
June Squibb -- "Nebraska"
Julia Roberts -- "August: Osage County"
Sally Hawkins -- "Blue Jasmine 

Nicole: I’m thinking Jennifer Lawrence’s race is slowing down a bit and it’s going to go to newcomer Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave. I do think Julia Roberts’ performance was very worthy, but it’s doubtful she’ll edge either actress.

elizabeth: I am getting my Oscar mail in ballots today from my printer. I think I deserve it. If the academy is blind to my talent then I would like Lupita Nyong'o to take the honor.


Nicole: March 2nd is just around the corner, and this time around, it’s anyone’s Oscar. The only thing I can predict for sure is that there will be a lot of surprises come ceremony night. Strapping on my Louboutins now… 

elizabeth: Louboutins are so last season. Can I send you my best actress acceptance speech so you can glow in my brilliance? 

Nicole: You can…but I’ll be stage left cuing the orchestra to start playing the music the second you utter a single word. 

Watch the Oscars LIVE on ABC March 2, 2014.

Monday, February 3

American Hustle

The Film Fatales boogie oogie oogie back to the ‘70s and end up getting hustled. 

American Hustle. 2013. Rated R. 138 minutes. Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner. Directed by David O. Russell.  

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. [IMDb] 

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