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The Playlist

'Submarine' Star Craig Roberts Talks Berlin Pic 'Comes A Bright Day' & New Projects With Derick Martini & Cillian Murphy

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 20, 2012 9:56 AM
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  • 2 Comments
One of the more impressive screen debuts of last year came from 21-year-old Welsh actor Craig Roberts. A British children's TV veteran (he was the star of "The Story Of Tracy Beaker" and "Young Dracula" among others), Roberts broke out as the pretentious, deluded hero of Richard Ayoade's charming "Submarine," coming across as equal parts Dustin Hoffman, Bud Cort and John Gordon Sinclair (from "Gregory's Girl"), and it seemed to mark the birth of a star.

Russell Crowe, Alex Proyas, David Michod, Anthony LaPaglia, Toni Collette & More To Direct 'Sydney Unplugged'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • February 20, 2012 9:43 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Anthology films are back in vogue after the relative success of the "Cities of Love" project which spawned "Paris, je t'aime" and "New York, I Love You," while there are plans for similar films in Rio, Shanghai, Jerusalem and Berlin. While the finished products are almost always (and perhaps inevitably) a mixed bag, it's easy to see why these projects appeal to filmmakers. The process is fairly brief, it guarantees their short film distribution (unless you're Scarlett Johansson that is), attracts high-profile talent at a cut price, and allows them to pay tribute to a city they have a special connection to.

Carlos Saura Frames Up Antonio Banderas For Role As Pablo Picasso In '33 Days'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • February 20, 2012 9:22 AM
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Since his death in 1973 there have been more than twenty actors to play Pablo Picasso on film and television (thank you, IMDb) including Brian Cox, Anthony Hopkins, and last year Marcial Di Fonzo Bo depicted the famous artist in Woody Allen's "Midnight In Paris." Next up will be arguably Spain's highest-profile actor, Antonio Banderas, in Carlos Saura's "33 Dias" ("33 Days").

'The Descendants' & 'Midnight In Paris' Win Top Prizes At WGA Awards, 'Caesar Must Die' Takes Golden Bear At Berlin

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 20, 2012 9:02 AM
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A week from now, the Oscars will be done and dusted for another year, and the movie conversation will drift away from prestige pictures to the "John Carter" and "Wrath of the Titans" of the world. And as of this weekend, the last of the major precursor awards have wrapped up. Did we see, as has been the overwhelming trend of the season, more success for the juggernaut that is "The Artist?"

John Turturro Will Direct & Star In 'Fading Gigolo' With Sharon Stone; May Appear In Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • February 19, 2012 5:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While he’s one of our most respected actors -- who somehow has never received an Oscar nomination, that’s another story -- the world of feature filmmaking hasn’t been exactly kind to actor John Turturro.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Vow' And 'Safe House' Tussling Again For First Place; 'Ghost Rider' Does Less Than Half Of Predecessor

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 19, 2012 12:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Love is in the air, but "Safe House" ain't hearin' it. In weekend two, the film surpassed last week's champ, "The Vow," if only barely. While the film hasn’t done quite the same weekday business as the Tatum-McAdams romancer so far, it’s outperformed its modest programmer aspirations and should easily leapfrog $100 million. Amusingly enough, this would give Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds both four $100 million domestic earners on their resume. Sometimes the line separating a star and a journeyman can be very thin, though to Denzel’s credit, he’s never really been the type to command massive $200 million budgets. Though, yeah, he probably would have been a good “Green Lantern.” Now that that’s been brought up in conversation, let us ignore it forever. Apologies.

Review: 'Life's Too Short' Another Comedic Look At Ego, Hubris & Humiliation From Ricky Gervais

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 19, 2012 12:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
"I heard Ricky Gervais quit Twitter recently because it only has 140 characters. Well that's 139 more characters than he's ever come up with," zings an insulted Johnny Depp in the second episode of "Life's Too Short." And while the gag is hilarious (as is Depp), there is a small ring of truth of it. The multitasking actor, writer, producer and director (he takes on every job in this new series) has mined a very specific comedic niche, with characters like David Brent and Andy Millman, that finds the lives of ordinary middle-aged men at the mercy of their ego and hubris, with humiliation often following their thwarted schemes to move up the ladder or follow their dreams. And while Gervais is a bit player (along with longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant) in "Life's Too Short," the familiar traits and themes of his celebrated previous series is here in ample supply. That it still works to uproarious effect with a laser sharp wit and keen eye for observation, is a credit to Gervais' skill in perfectly capturing the anxieties and insecurities of men of a certain age.

Review: HBO's 'Eastbound & Down' Makes Its Long-Awaited Return With Hilarious, Promising Season 3 Opener

  • By Cory Everett
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  • February 19, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Kenny “Fucking” Powers is back. Fans of the HBO series can rejoice because “Eastbound & Down” makes its long-awaited return tonight after a brutal 15-month hiatus. The ongoing saga of burnout major league pitcher Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) whose bad behavior forced him into early retirement, the series began with Kenny returning to his hometown to become a middle school gym teacher.

Berlinale 2012 Review: Kirsten Sheridan's 'Dollhouse' Is A Dynamic, Delirious But Ultimately Downbeat Social Allegory

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 19, 2012 9:51 AM
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  • 5 Comments
As we all are with films set in cities we know well, this writer is particularly critical of films set, partially or wholly, in Dublin. So it's no mean praise when we state that Kirsten Sheridan's third feature, "Dollhouse," by turns riotous and menacing, is as accurate a portrait of the interactions, language and attitudes of a particular segment of Irish youth as we have seen on screen, probably ever. Set in a single location over the course of a single night's bacchanalian partying, the improvisational approach brings real authenticity to the proceedings, even as the film nods to "Lord of the Flies" and "A Clockwork Orange."

McG Set To Make 'Puzzle Palace' His Next Film; Says It Has A 'Die Hard' Tone & Would Be "Designed For A Gosling"

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 18, 2012 3:45 PM
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  • 9 Comments
With the release of "This Means War" coming this weekend, director McG is prepared to try something just a bit different. He's been attached to "Puzzle Palace" since late last year, an action script penned by "Safe House" writer David Guggenheim. Development stalled while Summit merged with Lionsgate, but with everything starting to clear up, he's ready to make this thriller his very next film.

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