The Playlist

Lars Von Trier Embraces His Persona Non Grata Status In Poster For 'Melancholia'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 27, 2011 4:39 AM
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Lars Von Trier seems to have taken to heart the old Groucho Marx adage of not belonging to any club that will have him as a member. The director who famously ruffled feathers this spring at Cannes with his terrible Nazi "joke" -- and who caused more consternation by not apologizing for it -- has decided to give himself a character poster for the U.K. release of "Melancholia." What's more, his is the only one stamped with an "official" Cannes Persona Non Grata stamp. You gotta love it.

Lee Daniels Will Visit 'Valley Of The Dolls' For NBC

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 27, 2011 4:24 AM
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In case you didn't get the memo, period programming is the new black. Thanks to the runaway success of "Mad Men," ailing network channels who have been losing viewers to better programming on their cable rivals have been falling over themselves to try and replicate the popularity of AMC's show. This past weekend, ABC bowed the very expensive looking, though somewhat middling "Pan Am," while NBC is already two episodes deep in their poorly received "The Playboy Club." Perhaps sensing they might need to get another show moving if 'Playboy' doesn't pick up, the network is looking to one of the most popular melodramas of all time to try and find a winner, and have now found a helmer who knows his way around a genre to help out.

Review: 'Real Steel' A Simple, Effective Crowd Pleaser Like A Robot-Driven 'Warrior' For Kids

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • September 27, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments
If the maturity and sophistication of “Warrior” is more than you can handle, then “Real Steel” might be the movie for you. A start-to-finish festival of storytelling conventions, director Shawn Levy’s bid for credibility differs only from its predecessor in that it’s aimed at a kid-friendly audience, making its relentless obedience to formula perhaps more acceptable, but less augmented by genuinely great performances. Nevertheless a crowd-pleaser of the first order – even on par with the ‘80s films from folks like Spielberg and Zemeckis that inspire it – “Real Steel” is an effective retelling of a familiar story, albeit one that it might help being ten years old (or having the same mindset) to fully enjoy.

'Whale Rider' Helmer Niki Caro To Write And Direct Film About Opera Legend Maria Callas

  • By Simon Dang
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  • September 27, 2011 3:50 AM
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  • 5 Comments
New Zealand helmer Niki Caro is set to tackle writing and directorial duties for "Callas," a film about the life of legendary opera star Maria Callas based on Alfonso Signorini's book "Too Proud, Too Fragile"

Sofia Coppola Prepping New Film? Aussie Actress Olivia De Jonge Says She's Meeting Director Soon

  • By Simon Dang
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  • September 27, 2011 3:23 AM
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After her minimalist, moody drama "Somewhere," Sofia Coppola has been busy with the arrival of her second child and recent marriage to longtime partner, Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars but it looks like the writer-director may already be plotting her next feature. Coppola has reportedly thrown an invitation out to young, little-known Australian actress Olivia De Jonge to audition this November for what is described as the filmmaker's "newest film."

Eric Bana To Pull Off 'Brilliant' Diamond Heist

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 27, 2011 3:19 AM
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Is the heist movie making a comeback? Last year's "The Town" excited audiences with its gritty heist sequences, while this summer's "Fast Five" found the car franchise refashioning itself into something else entirely, and later this year Louis Leterrier will combine illusions and bank robberies when he starts filming "Now You See Me." Well, "Legally Blonde" and "Killers" director Robert Luketic is getting in on the action, and having signed on to direct "Brilliant" earlier this year, he's now found his leading man.

Michael K. Williams & Isaiah Washington Team For Indie-Thriller 'The Suspect'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • September 27, 2011 2:59 AM
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After years of excellent work, Michael K. Williams is finally starting to reap the rewards in a mainstream capacity with a recurring role on the Martin Scorsese-backed HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," a guest spot on this season of "Community," and more recently, a role that looks good to go in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" specifically written after Williams lost out the lead role to Jamie Foxx.

Rodrigo Santoro In Talks To Team Up With Arnold Schwarzenegger In 'The Last Stand'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 27, 2011 2:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments
So, can Arnold Schwarzenegger put his philandering, baby-making ways behind him and make a big screen comeback? He's certainly going to try. Next summer, he'll star alongside a bunch of other aging 'roid-heads in "The Expendables 2," but his first post-gubernatorial leading man vehicle will come in the form of the B-movie thriller "The Last Stand." And it's already amassing some strong talent to back him.

Watch: 2 Clips From ‘Salmon Fishing In The Yemen’ With Ewan McGregor & Emily Blunt

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 27, 2011 2:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments
When we saw that "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen," the latest from director Lasse Hallstrom had been added to the TIFF slate, we didn't go out of our way to find time to see it. The director, who impressed with "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "The Cider House Rules" has long settled into helming a string of increasingly mediocre films like "An Unfinished Life," "The Hoax," "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" and last year's intolerable "Dear John." So can you blame us if we didn't carve out time to see it in Toronto? Turns out the joke was on us, as according to most people we heard from, "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" was a pleasant surprise. Nothing earth-shattering, but a worthwhile, entertaining little nugget that was certainly a step up from the director's other recent work. Well, CBS Films didn't waste any time in acquiring the rights and though we didn't get a chance to see it, our pals over at C7nema have pointed us in the direction of a couple of clips from the film.

Jacki Weaver Will Be Bradley Cooper's Mom In David O. Russell's 'The Silver Linings Playbook'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 27, 2011 2:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In all honesty, two years ago, few outside of Australia had heard of veteran actress Jacki Weaver. Indeed, while she worked on a number of seminal films at home in the 1970s, winning two Australian Film Institute Awards and turning up in Peter Weir's "Picnic At Hanging Rock," she'd been mostly absent from the screen since, focusing instead on stage work in Oz (most recently appearing alongside Cate Blanchett in "Uncle Vanya").

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