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The Playlist

Rufus Wainwright Working On A Movie Musical (Loosely) Based On His Own Life

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2012 4:32 PM
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In a way, it has always seemed like the life of Rufus Wainwright was headed for the big screen. The son of famed Canadian folk music legends Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, he was born into something close to music royalty. But he forged his own musical path, performing weekly shows in his hometown of Montreal before cutting early demos (listen to one of the songs below) that found their way into the hands of famed producer/arranger Van Dyke Parks who passed it onto DreamWorks head Lenny Waronker, and the next thing you know, he had a record deal (Jon Brion produced his first album). And over the course of six albums, and a couple more live albums, Wainwright showcased himself to be a premiere pop songwriter, with influences as wide-ranging as Tin Pan Alley and high opera, all while putting his own baroque spin on things; Elton John has called him the greatest living songwriter. But Wainwright has battled his demons too, surviving a rape as a teenager, with a life of excess that has included a pretty hard addiction to drugs.

Watch: Documentary About Modest Mouse's Second Album 'The Lonesome Crowded West'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2012 3:46 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Long before Modest Mouse became guest stars on "The O.C." (remember that?) and best-selling Grammy nominees, they were just another Northwest indie rock band. But they showed tremendous promise from the start. And their second album, the sprawling double LP The Lonesome Crowded West, was an early highlight with the ambition (The Moon And Antarctica) and sharp songwriting (Good News For People Who Love Bad News) they would show on subsequent albums. It's hard to believe that it's been fifteen years since the album dropped on the tiny indie shingle Up Records.

Aaron Eckhart Joins 'White House Down' Rival 'Olympus Has Fallen'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2012 2:57 PM
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  • 2 Comments
So, concept is simple: the White House comes under attack and a Secret Service agent (or a former Secret Service agent) needs to come in, knock heads and save the day. And it seems this idea was good enough to spawn two rival movies that are racing to win audiences: "White House Down" and "Olympus Has Fallen." White House Exhausted yet?

Watch: Trailer For Animated 'Black Dynamite' Series

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2012 2:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment
While we wait to see if that big screen "Black Dynamite" sequel ever happens (Michael Jai White told us it would shoot at the end of the year), blaxploitation spoof fans won't have to wait long to get more as the animated series premieres in just a few weeks, and a trailer has arrived to give you a taste.

In Theaters: 'Abraham Lincoln' Is 'Brave' While 'Seeking A Friend' Is Better Off Sent 'To Rome With Love'

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • June 22, 2012 2:01 PM
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Hello hello! We hope you’re in the mood for love, because it’s definitely in the popcorn-and-butter-infused theater air this weekend. From an attempt at arranged marriage to a relationship forged at the moment of the apocalypse to romance in Rome (perhaps the romance capital itself, if you don’t count Paris, and, anyway, Woody Allen’s already been there), there’s a wide range of love stories to choose from. And if you prefer vampire flicks, well then you’ll absolutely adore the monster movie take on American history that’s hitting the cinemas. Either way, sneak champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries past the ticket attendants and enjoy Valentine’s Day, Part Deux!

Exclusive: Mia Wasikowska & Zoe Aggeliki In The Mix For Johanna Mason In 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2012 1:50 PM
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  • 16 Comments
While much of the casting chatter in recent weeks surrounding "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" has been around who will play Finnick Odair in the highly anticipated sequel, there are still more key characters to be cast. And some names are beginning to emerge for who might take the crucial role of Johanna Mason in the film.

5 Underseen Apocalypse Movies To Accompany 'Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 22, 2012 1:12 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Apocalypse is an ever-popular idea in cinema. After all, what could be more dramatic than the possibility -- or even the actuality -- of the end of everyone and everything that you've ever known. It's an all purpose metaphor, and can be used to tell all kinds of stories, in all kinds of tones, as this week's comedy-drama "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World," which sees Steve Carell and Keira Knightley brought together by the impending end of civilization.
More: Features

Ivan Reitman Gets Ready For 'Draft Day'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2012 12:41 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Question: has Ivan Reitman made a good movie since the '90s? While "Kindergarten Cop" is a guilty pleasure, it's fair to say that since "Dave" (which has its fans, we guess) Reitman has pretty much delivered one mediocrity after another with "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" marking a particular low, and last year's "No Strings Attached" not being much better. In fact, one could say he's never really been that great of a director, with "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes" (probably still the two movies he's best known for) arguably succeeding because of the talent in front of the camera, not necessarily behind. All this is to say that Reitman is going to be making another movie.

Robin Rumors Circulate 'The Dark Knight Rises' & Harvey Dent Becomes The Focus Of Ongoing Viral Campaign

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 22, 2012 12:22 PM
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  • 18 Comments
So, believe it or not, Forbes is covering geek news now. Guess the 1% likes their comic books, either that or they realize more people read geek news online than what's happening with the Asian stock markets. In any event, some guy has penned a pretty elaborate argument on how Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character in "The Dark Knight Rises" -- John Blake, a cop assigned to cover Bruce Wayne -- could possibly be Robin aka Dick Grayson, and uses a few clues to put it together.

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'A Band Called Death' Rewrites Punk History, And Tells An Emotional Story of Faith And Family

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 22, 2012 12:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Nope, not The Ramones, The Clash or the Sex Pistols. Not even Bad Brains. The true punk pioneers were a band called Death, straight out of the Motor City, Detroit, and you’ve probably never heard of them until now. Thanks to some obsessive record collectors, a whole lot of serendipity, and a new documentary from Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett, Death just might be getting the retroactive respect they are more than overdue. As Henry Rollins states, it’s a great music story and Covino and Howlett have successfully transferred it into an entertaining, moving rockumentary.

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