The Playlist

Review: 'Declaration Of War' Is The Swooning Of A First Love, The Shared Taste Of Tragedy, And How We Survive

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 26, 2012 2:05 PM
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This Friday, multiplexes will sport the battered, wearied visage of Liam Neeson in "The Grey." As the poster has reminded moviegoers for weeks, this is a man about to embark on the challenge of his life, a struggle that will define every day he's ever lived, and the ones he might still grow to experience. "Live or die on this day" the tagline reads. But while the lanky action superstar will fight for his life versus a sea of computer-generated wolves in the Joe Carnahan film, the French picture "Declaration Of War" presents a much more significant, much more dire situation. And, like the protagonist of "The Grey," the characters in this film are prepared to lift their fists and face whatever challenges approach head-on.
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Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah' Reportedly Has A Big Villain; Summer Shoot & Fall 2013 Release Being Eyed

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 2:01 PM
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  • 11 Comments
It's been a while since we last heard anything about Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" which has been on a circuitous path to the big screen. A long-standing dream project for the director, it already has a graphic novel incarnation, but over the past year Fox and New Regency came aboard to finance the big budget spectacle that reportedly has a $130 million budget. The film got another boost when Christian Bale circled the lead role, but his commitments to Terrence Malick's back-to-back films shooting this year took him out, with Michael Fassbender now tipped to take over (though he's remained mum on his potential involvement as it seems too tenuous this early on). We haven't gotten wind of much else in a while but it appears that behind the scenes, the wheels are in motion.

Brad Pitt Says He'll Only Cameo In 'Twelve Years A Slave,' Hopes 'World War Z' Will Have Socio-Political Themes

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 26, 2012 1:22 PM
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Whoever ends up winning at the Academy Awards in a few weeks (spoiler: "The Artist"), Brad Pitt will still pretty much be the belle of the ball. He's nominated for Best Actor for "Moneyball," a film that, without Pitt's perseverance, likely wouldn't have gotten made after Sony pulled the plug on Steven Soderbergh's version, while the star also has a nomination in his producer capacity for Best Picture for the project. His other baby of 2011, "The Tree of Life," also surprised many with nominations for Best Picture and Best Director, and Pitt may find himself with a third nomination if the Academy names him as one of the eligible producers on that film.

Liam Neeson Talks Preparing For The Cold In 'The Grey' & His Plans To Do Some 'Die Hard' Style Movies Soon

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • January 26, 2012 1:02 PM
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The career of Liam Neeson has taken an unmistakable shift in recent years. After a long stretch highlighted by acclaimed performances in epic-tinged material like “Schindler’s List,” “Rob Roy” and “Michael Collins,” Neeson took an unlikely turn in Pierre Morel’s 2008 actioner “Taken,” where he portrayed tough guy retired CIA agent Bryan Mills, kicking ass and taking names rather than delivering eloquent monologues.

Kate Winslet & Catherine Keener Join Charlie Kaufman's Satiric Musical 'Frank Or Francis'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 12:53 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Just when we were wondering if production on Charlie Kaufman's ambitious, zany, satiric musical "Frank Or Francis" might have hit the skids, the project has received some new life, adding two of our favorite actresses to the cast.  Vulture reports that Kate Winslet (coming off Emmy and Golden Globes wins for her excellent turn in "Mildred Pierce") and Kaufman regular Catherine Keener ("Synechdoche, New York," "Adaptation," "Being John Malkovich") are coming aboard the film.

Evangeline Lilly Says Her Character Tauriel Is Head Of Elven Guard In 'The Hobbit' & Features Mostly In Part 2

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 12:24 PM
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  • 4 Comments
If you think you know the story of "The Hobbit," guess again. While Peter Jackson is bringing the tale to the big screen via a massive two-part, 3D epic, he's also tinkered with the source material, not only creating a bridge to "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy of films but also conjuring up brand new characters to populate the world. Sacrilege? Perhaps only to the most die hard of dorks. While there has been a ton of press about this movie already, its secrets are still under wraps.

James Murphy & 'Shut Up And Play The Hits' Filmmakers Say Full 4 Hour Madison Square Concert Will See The Light Of Day

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 26, 2012 12:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
We can't remember the last time a concert movie caused quite as much excitement as "Shut Up And Play The Hits." But given that the film is a document of the final gig of James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem, one of the most acclaimed bands of the last decade, it's easy to understand. Despite reaching a point where they were more successful than ever before, the dance-punk-glam-rock group, Murphy decided to call it a day while still on top, breaking up the band after two sold-out gigs at Madison Square Garden last April.

Acclaimed Documentary 'Crime After Crime' Getting A Feature Film Adaptation

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • January 26, 2012 11:42 AM
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With Sundance 2012 beginning to wind down, let’s briefly rewind back to the 2011 film festival where Yoav Patash’s “Crime After Crime” premiered to a great reception a year ago. The documentary went on to win a slew of awards at festivals around the country, before being picked up by Oprah’s OWN Documentary Club and receiving its television premiere last November.

Paul Giamatti Is Friar Lawrence To Douglas Booth & Hailee Steinfeld's 'Romeo & Juliet'; Says 'The Goon' Looks Dead

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 11:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Paul Giamatti has pretty much done it all. Drama, comedy, horror, satire, action and hell, even musicals (if you don't remember "Duets" he's also in the forthcoming "Rock Of Ages"). But Shakespeare? Looks like he's gonna cross that one off his list too.

Sundance: Director Craig Zobel Talks The Controversy, Criticism & Intent Of 'Compliance'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 26, 2012 11:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The Sundance Film Festival has always included provocative films in its programming, as much to challenge attendees’ expectations as to introduce to the world new, visionary filmmakers who aren’t afraid to take risks. In 2012, the film that has caused the most controversy is “Compliance,” Craig Zobel’s fictionalization of a string of incidents in which a caller posed as a police officer asks a restaurant manager to detain an employee, kicking off a string of events that lead to the sexual assault of a young woman (our review here). Undoubtedly as much because of their ignorance of what they were walking into as the moral ambiguity of the content itself, audience members were shocked by the film at its first screening, and questioned Zobel and his cast at the accompanying Q&A about why they made it. And although attendees were better prepared to watch it at a second screening days later, they responded to its story with a mix of admiration and outrage, prompting another contentious, but much more respectful discussion of its ambitions and its impact.

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