The Playlist

Sundance Review: 'Red Lights' Invites You To Stop, Look & Listen

  • By William Goss
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  • January 28, 2012 6:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment
What you see, you can’t believe. What you can’t understand, though, can ultimately be explained. This is the modus operandi for Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy), parapsychologists primarily interested in debunking supernatural phenomena. “When I see hoof prints,” she says, “I think of horses, not unicorns.” They work out of the Scientific Paranormal Research Center, a budget-strained department of an anonymous university, luring in curious students like Sally (Elizabeth Olsen) and Ben (Craig Roberts) while butting heads with the well-supported likes of Dr. Paul Shackleton (Toby Jones).

Sundance Review: 'Save The Date' Is Light & Endearing Without Being Insubstantial; What Other Rom-Coms Should Aspire To

  • By Cory Everett
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  • January 28, 2012 3:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
With the countless number of romantic comedies focused on how difficult it is for a woman to find a good man, it’s incredibly refreshing to see one where the tables are turned. In “Save The Date,” Lizzy Caplan stars as Sarah, a struggling illustrator who keeps herself afloat by managing a local book store.

Review: Michael Mann & David Milch's 'Luck' Is Slow Out Of The Gate, But Eventually Builds Into A Gallop

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 28, 2012 1:32 PM
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  • 12 Comments
The above quote, from a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, illustrates one of the fundamental frustrations in watching "Luck," the new horse racing world drama on HBO. Birthed by Michael Mann and David Milch ("Deadwood," "NYPD Blue"), their creative clashes during the production are no secret, leading to a sharp line being drawn in terms of creative duties (nicely outlined by The Atlantic) that essentially saw Milch have total control on the scripts, while Mann oversaw everything on set (reportedly including a three-ring binder filled with detailed instructions from lighting to camera angles on how to shoot to show for the directors of each episode). The result is a series that is somewhat stilted, enegertically shot, but often lethargically paced, dropping the viewer into a world they will have to adapt and learn about quickly.
More: Luck, HBO , Review

Sundance: Dennis Quaid & Writer/Director Lee Sternthal Talk Shooting Digitally & Making 'The Words'

  • By John Lichman
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  • January 28, 2012 10:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Dennis Quaid is as talented as his willing to tackle of variety of films. From big special effects blockbusters (“G.I. Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra”) to acclaimed dramas (“Far From Heaven,” “Traffic”) to carefully pitched dramedies (“In Good Company”), he’s shown a knack for moving skillfully from project to project, whatever it may be.

Sundance: Joe Berlinger Talks Going 'Under African Skies' With Paul Simon, His Academy Award Nomination & Changes To Oscar Voting Rules

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 28, 2012 9:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment
If there was a shortlist of the best documentarians in cinema history, Joe Berlinger would definitely be on it. His first theatrical project was “Brother’s Keeper,” an award-winning portrait of a rural family that found a context in the divide between country and city life; his second was “Paradise Lost,” a film that exposed the vagaries of the American justice system, spawned two follow-ups, and was ultimately instrumental in helping the West Memphis Three prevail over the injustices they suffered. Since then, he’s continued to dominate the landscape of documentary filmmaking with projects on both film and TV. However, hot on the heels of his Academy Award nomination for “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” he's back with “Under African Skies,” a documentary about the creation and cultural history of Paul Simon’s landmark 1987 album Graceland.

Sundance Review: 'Hello I Must Be Going' A Smart, Smutty & Sweet Tale About Love, Divorce & Growing Up In Your Mid-30s

  • By James Rocchi
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  • January 28, 2012 8:53 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If there's a trend in the fiction narratives at Sundance in 2012, it's the series of smart(-ish), sweet(-er) and smutty(-styled) comedies in the mix here in Park City, some of which have been remarkably well-received ("For a Good Time Call") and some of which are not ("Bachelorette"). Think of it as the aftershocks and propagation wave of Judd Apatow's success, demonstrating that audiences can, and will, like characters who talk about their lives and lusts in blunt terms, make mistakes, and spend part of the time fucking and the rest of it fucking up.

Review: Katherine Heigl's 'One For The Money' Isn't Worth A Dime

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • January 28, 2012 8:41 AM
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  • 8 Comments
"One for the Money" brings Janet Evanovich’s beloved heroine Stephanie Plum to life on screen, a ditzy would-be bounty hunter who succeeds only in endangering the lives of anyone near her and dismissing the intelligence of audiences. Adapted from the 1994 novel of the same name, the story finds the down-on-her-luck Stephanie (Katherine Heigl) in desperate need of money. Out of options, she turns to her sleazeball cousin Vinnie (Patrick Fischler), who runs a bail bond business unoriginally named Vincent Plum’s Bail Bonds. He reluctantly sets her up as a bail recovery agent, figuring she’ll soon tire of the endeavor and find herself a more appropriate line of work. But Plum instead sets her sights on the biggest score, both professionally and personally. Turns out the highest-stake target is a former vice cop wanted for murder who also just happened to leave Ms. Plum high and dry after taking her virginity in high school. Hell hath no fury and blah, blah, blah...

Charlie Kaufman's 'Frank Or Francis' Adds Elizabeth Banks & Paul Reubens

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 27, 2012 9:37 PM
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  • 3 Comments
It just keeps getting better and better. Only a day after Charlie Kaufman's wildly ambitious "Frank Or Francis" landed its first female leads in Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener, another exceptionally talented thesp is coming on board.

'The Blind Side' Director John Lee Hancock To Direct John Grisham's 'The Partner'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 27, 2012 7:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
There was a time (the early '90s) when adapting a John Grisham novel for the big screen was essentially like printing money. The run of "The Firm," "The Pelican Brief," "The Client" and "A Time To Kill" arguably marked the high point of those years, while nowadays, NBC is struggling to get anyone to care about their TV take on that Tom Cruise movie. But New Regency, whose honcho Arnon Milchan was behind 'Kill,' 'Client' and "Runaway Jury," is going to give it another go with "The Partner."

In Theaters: Step Out With The 'Man On A Ledge,' Get Lost In 'The Grey' But Don't Spend 'One For The Money'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • January 27, 2012 6:35 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Sundance, #sundance, SUNDANCE! 15 of your friends posted about Sundance! Retweet blah blah SUNDANCE! It's all anyone has on the brain this week. A welcome distraction from the travesty they call the Oscar nominations. Just when you think it's going to be a merry Oscar nominations morning, the Academy goes and rewards all the sappy sentimental crap and snubs its nose at anything remotely interesting and original. Too dark and icky! Showing your squareness, Academy.... Anyway, I don't want to talk about it, I'm still processing. Good thing we have all the shiny and new Sundance films to think about. Next year, next year my pretties.

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