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The Playlist

Berlinale 2012 Review: Keanu Reeves Doc 'Side By Side' A Treat For Cinephiles On All Sides Of The Digital Debate

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 15, 2012 3:42 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Doing an impressive job of tracing the evolution of filmmaking technology (not just the cameras but the editing, post-production, distribution, exhibition, even the archiving aspects of it) from 1895 to the present day, “Side by Side” is an old school talking-head documentary on the subject of digital filmmaking vs. photochemical filmmaking. It sounds pretty dull as a logline, but stacked with gossipy, informal anecdotes and opinions from many of the most respected directors, cinematographers, editors, execs, VFX artists and digital wizards in the industry, it proves instead to be highly entertaining and informative, and by its close has presented a thoroughly diverting overview of the debate. Then again, we are massive geeks about this sort of thing.

Zoe Kazan Replaces Abigail Spencer In Join Joss Whedon-Penned 'In Your Eyes'; 'Cloverfield' Star Michael Stahl-David Also Joins

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 15, 2012 3:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Well here's a bit of a switcheroo. It was only a couple of weeks ago that it was reported that Abigail Spencer (best known for her stint on "Mad Men") would be taking the lead in the Joss Whedon-penned "In Your Eyes." But as she's gearing up to make to star in and produce her script "Wrong Number" (co-produced by the omnipresent James Franco, of course), this spring, perhaps she thought it wise to give herself some time to get prepared. But no matter, "In Your Eyes" has rebounded with a more than capable replacement.

SXSW Rounds Out Lineup With 'Safety Not Guaranteed,' 'Shut Up And Play The Hits,' 'Monsieur Lazhar' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 15, 2012 3:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
With the fest now just weeks away, the organizers at SXSW are putting the final touches on the festival schedule and have added a few more films for the movie fans flocking to Austin.

Review: Inspirational Football Documentary 'Undefeated' Scores A Touchdown

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 15, 2012 2:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Watching inspirational movies is often like eating ice cream. While you're taking it in, it's sweet and immensely pleasurable, but as soon as you've reached the end, all that's left is an empty carton. Maybe we won't go as far as saying this kind of cinema is empty, but those swooned by "The Blind Side" or "The Help" have little to ruminate on after the underdog stories are well digested (aside from a vague, lingering 'Uh, was that racist?' sentiment). There is also something very artificial and manufactured, as those films pretended to capture life at its most passionate when they were both smartly manipulative pieces of melodrama.

Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor Talk African Tribal Dancing, Mimicking Pink Floyd & Making 'Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 15, 2012 2:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Coming from the grimier, gonzo world of "Crank," it was something of a surprise to see directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor take the helm of Sony blockbuster "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." While the first film was a $228 million hit, Sony definitely wanted to take this prospective franchise in a different direction. And fortunately for the hands-on duo, who also shoot all their second unit footage themselves, they were given free reign by Marvel Studios to put their stamp on the film.

Hugh Grant Says He Does "A Lot Of Killing And Raping" In 'Cloud Atlas'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 15, 2012 1:18 PM
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  • 4 Comments
There is no doubt that the upcoming big screen adaptation of David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas" is ambitious. Directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, the sprawling time-spanning tale finds the directors each helming their own segements of the film, leading different units and working with an all-star cast -- Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess -- who will each to taking on multiple roles. It's clearly going to be unlike anything we've seen on the big screen and certainly, we're going to see a side to Hugh Grant we've never witnessed before.

Review: 'The Secret World Of Arrietty' Is A Beautiful, Whimsical & Heartfelt Fable From Studio Ghibli

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 15, 2012 1:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The charmingly simple conceit behind Mary Norton's children's fantasy novel series "The Borrowers" is that there are a race of tiny people, no bigger than a stack of quarters or a human thumb, that live underneath your floorboards, sneaking into your home at night to "borrow" things essential to their survival. While this doesn't explain the mystery of the missing sock, it does give a nifty explanation to misplaced household items, told with a twinkly kind of magic that's easy to believe in, especially at a time in your life when you too are smaller than most people

Dwayne Johnson Says 'Fast Six' Shoots In May, But Won't Be Made Back-To-Back With 'Fast Seven'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 15, 2012 12:56 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Does your franchise need a boost of charisma and talent? Hire Dwayne Johnson. The wrestler-turned-action hero made his presence known in last year's "Fast Five," which also turned out to be the biggest (and most enjoyable, by most accounts) entry in the series, spawning talk that Universal was gonna double up on the follow-ups, with "Fast Six" and "Fast Seven" to shoot back-to-back to deliver one, big linked story. Well, for all you gear heads, the good news is that the sequel is indeed happening, but alas it seems you'll only be getting one more movie for now.

Review: 'Michael' A Provocative, Yet Banal Portrait Of A Monster

  • By Alison Willmore
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  • February 15, 2012 11:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Trace it to the 2006 Natascha Kampusch case or the even more terrible 2008 Elisabeth Fritzl one reverberating through into fiction, but longterm kidnapping is having a moment. Despite apparently opening with a card that claims otherwise, the incidents seem unavoidable inspirations for Frédéric Videau’s "A Moi Seule," which just had its premiere in Berlin, a film that tracks through the eight-year relationship between an man and the girl he kidnaps and hides in his basement. Emma Donoghue's acclaimed 2010 novel "Room" is narrated by a five-year-old kid who's lived his entire life in the claustrophobic space in which he and his mother have been imprisoned. And Markus Schleinzer's "Michael," which opens in New York this week after bowing at Cannes last year, gazes impassively at five months in the life of the title character, played by Michael Fuith, who's been holding a 10-year-old boy named Wolfgang (David Rauchenberger) in a soundproofed room in his house.
More: Review, Michael

Oscar Isaac To Star In Jaume Collet-Serra-Produced Thriller 'Inertia'

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • February 15, 2012 11:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Jaume Collet-Serra must not be reeling from Warner Bros. shutting down his live-action remake of “Akira” back in January, as it was revealed recently that he’s already on to something else, potentially lining up Russell Crowe for his Dracula reimagining, “Harker,” and now word comes that he’s going to be helping a smaller film get off the ground.

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