The Playlist

2011: The Year The Big Projects Died & Studios Discovered (A Little) Fiscal Responsibility

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2011 12:39 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The giant financial crisis that began in 2008 is probably the single event that's had the most wide-reaching ramifications since 9/11, but, as ever, it's taken a few years for the film industry to reflect that, bar the occasional handy coincidence, like "Up in the Air." For the most part, 2011 was the year in which cinematic storytellers began to deal with the mess, from surprise hit "Margin Call" and HBO drama "Too Big To Fail" to the barely-able-to-make-rent lead in "Bridesmaids" and New Depression-era setting of "Real Steel." Even "Tower Heist," dealt with financial inequity and films like "Warrior" dealt with character struggling to make due.

Abel Ferrara Lining Up Movie Inspired By Dominique Strasse-Kahn, Gerard Depardieu & Isabelle Adjani Eyed For Roles

  • By Ryan Sartor
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  • December 28, 2011 11:55 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Update: Wild Bunch has clarified the film will not be about Dominique Strasse-Kahn specifically, but more generally about politicians. "Abel Ferrara is currently writing a script about politics, the weakness of today’s politician, who is at the same time all-powerful and lost, miserable in his personal life," Vincent Maraval said. Both Depardieu and Adjani are nowhere near to being locked. As you were. [THR] 

Exclusive: Roland Joffé Talks The Unconventional Re-Release of 'There Be Dragons,' Opus Dei and Occupy Wall Street

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • December 28, 2011 11:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It's news to no one that films often don't make it onto the screen in the exact form that their creators intended. What is newsworthy are the ways in which filmmakers are taking the reins and going the extra mile to make sure their vision remains intact. Which is exactly what director Roland Joffé has done with his latest film, "There Be Dragons." Samuel Goldwyn Films released a version of the film in the U.S. in May of this year. Now, just six months later, a re-edited version is hitting is making its way to theaters via Tayrona Entertainment, in an attempt to bring the film to a wider audience who may have missed it the first time around.

Review: 'Pariah' Is So Much More Than Just This Year's 'Precious'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 28, 2011 10:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Listen, we understand that sometimes in order to get some attention, indie films need glib comparisons and word out of Sundance this year was that Dee Rees' "Pariah" was this year's "Precious." However, not only is "Pariah" nothing like "Precious", it is so much better and so much more rewarding than anything Lee Daniels "achieved" with his hysterical, exploitative, ghetto soap opera porno. Real in ways few movies ever are, "Pariah" mixes the coming out and coming-of-age story and pitches it against the backdrop of an African-American family adapting to the shifting cultural sexual tides. The result is a film that is warm and raw, sometimes both at the same time, and is easily one of our favorites of the year.

'Bambi,' 'Forrest Gump,' 'The Silence Of The Lambs,' 'The Lost Weekend' & More Added To The National Film Registry

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 28, 2011 9:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Consider this one of the few times you'll ever see "Bambi" and "The Silence Of The Lambs" in the same article. The National Film Registry has announced their latest additions to the list of “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant films, and yes, it ranges from wholesome family fare to a movie about a serial killing cannibal.

Mark Wahlberg Compares His Justin Bieber Basketball Movie To 'The Color Of Money'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2011 9:26 AM
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  • 5 Comments
For all the action and special effects you can stuff into a film, one of the most appealing things to an audience can be seeing two of their favorite stars face off for the first time. Think Pacino & De Niro in "Heat." Diesel and The Rock in "Fast Five." Crystal and Williams in "Father's Day." OK, maybe not the last one. As such, there's one film that, ever since its announcement, looks to be the true successor to that coffee shop scene in Michael Mann's classic, a team-up so enticing that it can only be a license to print money. Wahlberg. Bieber. BOOM. Two tickets and a large popcorn, please. 

Rooney Mara Says Terrence Malick's 'Lawless' Won't Shoot Until September; Michael Sheen Reveals Role In Untitled Romance

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2011 9:00 AM
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  • 13 Comments
While "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" might not have been the box office smash the studio were hoping for (it turns out there's a reason people don't open three-hour-long R-rated thrillers the week before Christmas), there's one person who's done pretty well out of the whole thing: Rooney Mara. Only eighteen months ago, the actress was best known as the much-derided lead of the "Nightmare On Elm Street" remake, and for being twelfth-billed in "Youth In Revolt." But then she took a small role in David Fincher's "The Social Network," a performance that saw her win the much sought-after part of Lisbeth Salander in the director's next film, and if anyone's come out smelling of roses, it's her.

Review: There's A Reason You Didn't Know Alien Invasion Pic 'The Darkest Hour' Was Already In Theaters

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • December 27, 2011 2:35 PM
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  • 5 Comments
In post-apocalyptic movies, it’s tough to know whether concentrated ensembles, empty cities and unpopulated streets are a sign of terrific production design or low-budget shortcutting. In either case, there’s a distinct absence of both extras and ideas in “The Darkest Hour,” a mediocre bit of holiday counterprogramming whose novelty value is limited to its Russian locale and the idea that even a handful of genuinely talented young actors could inject some life into a derivative, uninspired, anemic alien-invasion movie.

New Photos From Pixar's 'Brave' & Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 27, 2011 1:15 PM
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  • 3 Comments
After several back-to-back banner years for animation, 2011 turned out to be one of the weakest in memory; Pixar delivered their first stinker with "Cars 2," DreamWorks delivered more of the same with a pair of sequels, and nothing, not even the oddball "Rango" seemed to be enshrined in the hall of fame for the medium.

The Best Dog Of The Year Performance: Arthur From 'Beginners'

  • By The Playlist
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  • December 27, 2011 12:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The first in a line of many dog performances hit for us in March of this year at SXSW, but there’s been avid debate (for some reason) about which performance deserves some sort of award (or treat).

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