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The Playlist

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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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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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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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.

James Franco's 'Child Of God' Will Hit Film Festivals This Year, Aiming For 2013 Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 15, 2012 11:18 AM
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  • 3 Comments
As you know, James Franco is currently in the midst of shooting "Child of God," an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's grim novel about about a violent man living on the edges of society, and dabbling in all kinds of unsavory activities (necrophilia, pedophilia among them). And while at any given moment Franco has about fifteen hundred things going on, you don't have to worry that this one might be neglected, because it seems it's going to make its debut sooner than we thought.

Berlinale 2012 Review: Brillante Mendoza Takes Us All 'Captive' In Vital, Bruising Kidnap Tale

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 15, 2012 11:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Recipient of one of the more controversial Cannes Best Director awards of recent memory (for "Kinatay," a film we found problematic, to say the least) Filipino director Brillante Mendoza returns to screens and to the festival circuit with "Captive," which marks, if not a departure from his previous style, then a welcome evolution of it. Based on real events, it is an account, by turns thrilling, moving, and harrowing, of the kidnapping ordeal of a group of holidaymakers from a resort in the Philippines; an ordeal which lasts over a year for some.

NBC Orders Hannibal Lecter Show Straight To Series; John Goodman Reunites With Roseanne Barr For Sitcom 'Downwardly Mobile'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 15, 2012 10:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments
25 years after his first big-screen appearance, embodied by Brian Cox in Michael Mann's 1986 film "Manhunter," Thomas Harris' highly educated serial killer Hannibal Lecter has entered the pantheon of famous movie monsters, thanks to four further movies: the Oscar-winning "The Silence of the Lambs," Ridley Scott's "Hannibal," the "Manhunter" remake "Red Dragon" (all of which saw Anthony Hopkins as Lecter), and the instantly forgotten prequel "Hannibal Rising," in which French actor Gaspard Ulliel took up the part. That film might have killed any hope of any more movies for the moment, but we're about to see a lot more of Mr. Lecter...on the small screen.

Forest Whitaker To Play Desmond Tutu In Roland Joffé's 'The Archbishop And The Antichrist'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 15, 2012 10:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Could this be a return to Forest Whitaker's Oscar winning ways? At least on paper it seems so, as Screen Daily reports that the actor has lined up to play beloved activist and archbishop Desmond Tutu in Roland Joffé's developing "The Archbishop And The Antichrist."

CBS Attempts To Cash In On Sherlock Craze, Casts Jonny Lee Miller In 'Elementary' Pilot

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • February 15, 2012 10:17 AM
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  • 6 Comments
When CBS announced their plans for a new show based on Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, Steven Moffat -- the creator/writer of the BBC's excellent "Sherlock" -- tweeted: "Dear CBS. A modern day Sherlock Holmes? Where, oh where, did you get THAT idea? We'll be watching!" The CBS version, which will go by the absolutely terrible title "Elementary," will relocate Holmes to modern-day New York City for the pilot, which will be directed by Michael Cuesta ("Homeland").

Berlinale 2012 Review: 'Farewell, My Queen' Introduces Lesbianism Into The Marie Antoinette Story To No Great Effect

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 15, 2012 9:56 AM
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In the land of the costume drama, truly, films about Marie Antoinette are Queen, promising lavish sets, romantic intrigue and shocking decadence -- but they don't always deliver. Director Benoit Jacquot's uninspiring take on the period opened the Berlin Film Festival days ago, but something about the film's lack of urgency must be contagious, and we're only getting around to reviewing it now. While the movie does boast admirable elements (more on those below) overall, despite some showy trappings it is a frustratingly empty experience, built around a character whose blankness is supposed to be a virtue, but ends up costing the film dearly in terms of identification and interest.

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