The Playlist

Review: 'Big Miracle' Has A Lot of Heart But Not Much Of A Pulse

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 2, 2012 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In the new true-life eco-adventure "Big Miracle," three gray whales are trapped under a large sheet of ice near Barrow, Alaska (the same town the vampires took over in "30 Days of Night"), drawing nationwide media attention and the political interest of then-president Ronald Reagan, who sees it as a PR coup that could land his Vice President George Bush in the White House. Various groups (Greenpeace, an oil magnate, the indigenous people) seize upon the crisis as an opportunity to push their various agendas, with a single goal in mind: freeing the whales. With so much riding on the situation for so many people, then, it's strange that "Big Miracle" is placid and free of drama, tension, or any kind of stakes. It's so good-natured, its heart so large, that it just merrily swims along; you're never once worried that anything will go wrong.

First Look At Isabelle Huppert In Hong Sang Soo's 'In Another Country,' Being Prepped For Cannes

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 2, 2012 12:54 PM
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  • 2 Comments
While Berlin gears up to take place in about a week, with SXSW following next month, all eyes are on Cannes in May. Over the next couple of months, rumor, speculation and, eventually, official confirmation will arrive about who will be making the trek to the Croisette. Walter Salles' "On The Road" was the first movie this year to get the ball rolling on the possibility of a red carpet appearance, and now a Korean auteur looks primed to make his way back to France.

Watch: That Dubbed Trailer 'Red Lights' Is Now Available In English For Your Viewing Pleasure

  • By Simon Dang
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  • February 2, 2012 12:42 PM
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One of the most divisive films from the recent Sundance Film Festival seemed to be "Red Lights," from "Buried" director Rodrigo Cortes. The filmmaker's sophomore effort touted an impressive cast, including Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy and Elizabeth Olsen.

'Oslo, August 31st' Helmer Joachim Trier Preps English-Language 'Louder Than Bombs'; Film Will Shoot In The U.S.

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 2, 2012 12:24 PM
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  • 2 Comments
We're unabashed fans of Norwegian helmer Joachim Trier here at The Playlist. Having studied at the National Film and Television School in the UK, Trier made a storming feature debut in 2006 with "Reprise," which followed two young aspiring novelists (and which we named our favorite film of 2008 when the film finally hit the U.S.), and finally followed it up last year with the excellent "Oslo, August 31," which saw him reteam with star Anders Danielsen Lee, who played a heroin addict fresh out of rehab.

Julia Roberts & Meryl Streep May Combine Powers In September To Finally Shoot 'August: Osage County'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 2, 2012 12:20 PM
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  • 2 Comments
We're surprised this hasn't happened sooner, but the delay has not been for a lack of trying. On paper, the pairing of Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep is a no brainer, but in reality it's been hard to pull off. Way back in 2010, the pair signed up to star in "August: Osage County," an adaptation of Tracy Letts' ("Killer Joe," "Bug") Tony award-winning play about the relationship between a drug addicted family matriarch Violet (Streep) and her daughter Barbara Fordham (Roberts). The latter is reeling from the revelation that her husband is cheating on her, but the entire family comes together when the patriach of the clan goes missing, and sparks fly. So yeah, sounds awards season-ready and pretty damn great.

Review: 'The Woman In Black' A Smart, Stylish & Atmospheric Old School Horror Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 2, 2012 11:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a walking wound. Still mourning the death of his wife a couple of years after she gave birth to their son, the young lawyer has seen his career put into jeopardy and this worry is compounded by the bills beginning to stack up. The patience and sympathy of his boss is beginning to run out, and in a last chance to save his job, Arthur is given the task of heading to the remote village of Crythin Gifford to settle the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House. Arthur's boss warns that the locals have been a bit uncooperative, a description the lawyer will soon find to be an understatement. And despite a calculated effort by the citizens, who literally put him on a carriage back to the station to catch the train to London, he perserveres, and is slowly ensnared in a mystery that has essentially paralyzed the town.

Brad Bird Taking A Look At Directing 'Here There Be Monsters'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 2, 2012 11:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Yep, it's another this-guy-might-do-something story, so bear with us. We know. That being said, it involves Brad Bird, the geek fave behind "The Incredibles" and of course, the smash hit "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." And while that film is kind a bummer because it peaks right in the middle, the entire Burj Khalifa sequence was one of the best, most thrilling action sequences of the year. And so when Bird decides to show interest in a monster movie, we're all ears. 

Jim Sheridan To Write & Direct Reimagining Of Mike Newell's 'Into The West'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 2, 2012 11:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Jim Sheridan is coming off a pretty ugly rough patch. The Oscar nominee has been stumbling ever since "In America," inexplicably helming the 50 Cent movie "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'," having his underrated remake of "Brothers" undeservedly ignored and then flopping hard with last year's horror effort "Dream House." So it seems to get that creative mojo flowing again, he's going back to one of his earliest projects.

Review: Teens & Superpowers Are A Volatile Mix In Refreshing & Clever 'Chronicle'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 2, 2012 10:57 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Having superpowers these days seems to be no fun at all. Christian Bale is forever haunted by moral conundrums, death, and pain both physical and emotional in Christopher Nolan's Batman films. Spider-Man's enjoyment of his wall-crawling skills are usually tempered by tears and emotions (emphasis on the emo), in Sam Raimi's trilogy. Meanwhile, Thor has some kind of Shakesperean level issues going on with this family and Iron Man seems rather blasé about it all. So, when the trio of Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) gain their superpowers by accident in "Chronicle," they react the way any teenage boys would with the newfound gift of telekinesis -- they're fucking thrilled. And even better, it seems that's just the start of their abilities. 

'Law & Order: SVU' Star Christopher Meloni To Play Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher In Jackie Robinson Film ’42′

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • February 2, 2012 10:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Back in December, it was reported that newcomer Chadwick Boseman would be highlighting the Brian Helgeland-helmed Jackie Robinson biopic “42,” portraying the first black baseball player to play in the Major Leagues. It was surely exciting news for Boseman, as well as for once-reliable actor Harrison Ford, who landed the role of Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodger exec Branch Rickey who initially signed Robinson to the team. It was a role that Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford had reportedly been circling, so it was great for the actor who’s most recent work has consisted of mediocre offerings like “Morning Glory” and “Cowboys & Aliens.”

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