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The Playlist

Megan Ellison One-Ups Sly Stallone, Guarantees An R-Rating For Next 'Terminator' Film

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 27, 2012 8:59 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Let's face it. Even if you weren't a fan of the first "Expendables" film, the normally fan-friendly Sylvester Stallone spit in the face of his fans, declaring "Expendables 2" a PG-13 affair, putting commerce before...we don't want to say art, but integrity sure fits. In a media age where there are entire blocks of channels dedicated to 24/7 children's, tween and teen programming, surely there was space for another R-rated action film. Action films provide thrills for all ages, but explosions, violence, and teeth-shattering carnage are best appreciated by adults that have lived a little, that have been places, garnered accomplishments. Perhaps those who are over seventeen. Megan Ellison knows what we're talking about.

Sundance Review: 'Keep The Lights On' A Moving & Engrossing Chronicle Of Two Men In Love

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • January 27, 2012 8:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
With "Keep the Lights On," co-writer/director Ira Sachs has made a triumphant return to Sundance. His latest drama is a beautiful exploration of a relationship’s progression from start to finish. With great tact and depth of feeling, Sachs shows us that the most remarkable thing about any relationship is not the beginning or end but rather the maintenance of what could only unfairly be called a dysfunctional couple. Unlike Sachs’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning "Forty Shades of Blue," which focuses on a singular moment in a marriage’s disintegration, "Keep the Lights On" follows a couple as they struggle to stay together.

Sundance Review: Disappointing 'Robot And Frank' Is High Concept Sci-Fi That's Low On Ideas

  • By Cory Everett
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  • January 27, 2012 7:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In recent years Sundance has been hit with a handful of smart science fiction films tackling large themes within an extremely limited scope. From the $7000 “Primer” to the $5 million “Moon,” their respective filmmakers managed to put forth some interesting ideas without being hindered creatively by their minimal budgets. Last year’s breakout “Another Earth” may have suffered a bit from its great premise being pushed perhaps too far into the background of an otherwise standard grief drama. But it’s always a compromise between the resources that are available and how much of the hardware must actually be shown onscreen to create a believable world set in an alternate present or distant future. Arriving at a decision on what to cut and what needs to be shown must be agony for those films hoping to achieve any kind of scope. But in the best cases, smart filmmakers can use these restrictions to their advantage helping the films get their ideas across in the leanest way possible. This year’s sci-fi Sundance entry is “Robot And Frank,” a high concept, low-key heist film set in the near future.

Watch: New Trailer & Featurette For The Odd & Zany 'Mirror Mirror'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 7:03 PM
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  • 5 Comments
The first trailer for Tarsem's upcoming "Mirror Mirror" was pure, unadulterated camp. But with this new trailer for the film now arriving we're beginning to understand exactly who this movie was made for. And it's not us.

New Pics Of Will Ferrell, Diego Luna & Genesis Rodriguez In 'Casa De Mi Padre'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 6:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment
So, can Will Ferrell be hilarious in Spanish? That's the big question surrounding "Casa De Mi Padre" but judging from the trailers so far, the answer seems to be yes.

Review: 'How The Fire Fell' A Moody, Atmospheric Tone Poem About The Brides Of Christ Cult

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • January 26, 2012 5:38 PM
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  • 5 Comments
For every Gus Van Sant, Kelly Reichardt and Todd Haynes, each of them residing in Portland, there’s several dozens of other virtually unknown filmmakers working around the fringes in Oregon. It’s a state with an already strong, if still burgeoning, independent film scene. This writer, still relatively fresh to the area (not quite two years an inhabitant), has yet to see a locally produced narrative film (not including any from the aforementioned names of course) that’s stood out from a relatively crowded pack. Most tend to follow the modern indie format of 20 or 30-something malaise or “Portlandia”-esque hipster satire, to varying degrees of success.

Watch: New Trailer For 'Lockout' Is Kind Of Dumb, But Also, Kind Of Amazing

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 5:17 PM
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  • 4 Comments
"It's the world's most secure prison. It holds the planet's deadliest criminals. It's impenetrable…because..it's not on Earth."
More: Lockout

First Look At James McAvoy In 'Welcome To The Punch'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 4:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment
After playing an earnest lawyer in "The Conspirator," the noble hero Charles Xavier in "X-Men: First Class" and the squeaky voice protagonist of "Arthur Christmas," James McAvoy is getting some dirt under his fingernails. He's got Danny Boyle's "Trance" in the pipeline (though it won't arrive until 2013 as the director is busy with his London Olympics duties), he's currently filming the adaptation of Irvine Welsh's "Filth" and in the can is "Welcome to the Punch." And it promises to be explosive.

Sundance Review: 'Goats' Is An Unexceptional, Overly Familiar Coming-Of-Age Tale

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 26, 2012 4:18 PM
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  • 1 Comment
As far as quirky coming of age stories engineered for festivals and the twee aspiring directors who love them go, “Goats” is a fine little movie. Directed by newcomer Christopher Neil from a script by Mark Poirier, who adapted his own novel, it follows a teenager struggling to deal with his estranged parents as he tries to find a place for himself, but it’s also not really about anything at all, or at least anything original. In fact, it’s the kind of entertainment that’s familiar and pleasant enough that you easily forget that nothing much is happening on screen, which may admittedly be damning it with faint praise. But in a cinematic environment already well-stocked with so many tales of teenagers taking their first steps toward finding their own identity, “Goats” feels like the descendant of a family with an incredible pedigree who decided it was enough to live off of that legacy instead of trying to build anything new upon it.

Watch: Short Film 'Here' Co-Written By Tilda Swinton, Directed By Luca Guadagnino & Scored By Jason Schwartzman

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 4:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Yes, the merging of the worlds of cinema and advertisting isn't exactly new, with directors and actors frequently earning a bit of extra cash helming a commerical or fronting a campaign for a fashion. But rarely do we seen the kind of talented that has been assembled for the short film "Here," essentially a fifteen minute bit of hotel and costume design porn Starwood Hotels.

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