The Playlist

TIFF '11 Review: 'Ten Year' Brings Together A Strong Cast For A Mixed Bag Of Comedy & Drama

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Births, funerals, marriage, anniversaries and even annual vacations have all served as plot devices in the reunion film, a genre that usually finds middle-aged or older characters dealing with a crisis that is exacerbated by seeing old family and friends. And while "Ten Year" certainly isn't breaking new territory, producer and star Channing Tatum, along with writer/director Jamie Linden ("Dear John"), do take an interesting approach. Wisely not going far beyond their own age bracket, this film brings together a pretty solid ensemble cast of some of the best up-and-coming actors working right now for a tale that catches up with a gaggle of friends for a reunion -- you guessed it -- ten years after their graduation from high school. Taking on a bunch of characters as they leave their twenties is definitely a smart concept but instead of offering what could have been an honest look at contemporary soon-to-be thirtysomethings and the challenges, fears and triumphs they have endured, "Ten Year" delivers a mixed bag of CW plots that at worst are cliché and predictable, with a very few that do stand out.

TIFF '11 Review: 'Pariah' Is So Much More Than Just This Year's 'Precious'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 12, 2011 12:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Listen, we understand that sometimes in order to get some attention, indie films need glib comparisons and word out of Sundance this year was that Dee Rees' "Pariah" was this year's "Precious." However, not only is "Pariah" nothing like "Precious", it is so much better and so much more rewarding than anything Lee Daniels' "achieved" with his hysterical, exploitative, ghetto soap opera porno. Real in ways few movies ever are, "Pariah" mixes the coming out and coming-of-age story and pitches it against the backdrop of an African-American family adapting to the shifting cultural sexual tides. The result is a film that is warm and raw, sometimes both at the same time, and is easily one our favorites of the year.

Well, Of Course Alcon Entertainment Is Remaking 'Point Break'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2011 12:43 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Let's be honest: we knew this day was coming. Let's not try and mount some kind of moral outrage about it. When superhero franchises can be totally rebooted five years after the last entry, anything is up for grabs, and any popular film that still isn't a viable franchise (see: "Die Hard," where Bruce Willis is still mobile enough for a fifth installment) will have the remake vultures circling. But yes. "Point Break" is heading for a remake.

Nicolas Winding Refn May Make A Horror Film With Carey Mulligan

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2011 11:55 AM
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  • 6 Comments
'Drive' Director Also Talks Action Flick 'Only God Forgives,' An Abandoned Heist Pic & An Albert Brooks-Penned ComedyIf you've read any kind of movie blog in the last six months you're likely to see that almost everyone is enamored with Nicolas Winding Refn's beautiful, thrilling crime picture "Drive," which will undoubtedly nestle near the top of many year-end lists (including ours), when the time comes. It might feel like you've been hearing about the film for years now, seeing as the reviews have been piling in since it bowed at Cannes way back in May, but the film finally hits theaters on Friday, and you'll be able to check out all the fuss for yourself.

The Return Of Whit Stillman, 'Twixt,' Brad Pitt's 'Moneyball' & More: Midway Check-In With TIFF 2011

  • By The Playlist
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  • September 12, 2011 10:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Running from September 8-18, we're essentially at the midway check-in point of the Toronto International Film Festival. Keeping up with all of the reviews is nuts, hell keeping up with our own reviews is taxing.

TIFF '11 Review: Haphazard 'Your Sister's Sister' Ambles Towards Drama With Little Consequence

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 12, 2011 10:11 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Independent filmmaking has become somewhat hyper-obsessed in the last few years with "realism." Lighting rigs have been put away, available light filling in where it will and scripts tossed out for sketches, shaped by improvisation in an attempt to capture as close to an approximation of real human interaction as possible. It's an admirable approach and not just limited to "mumblecore" movies -- Terrence Malick has followed this path pretty closely throughout this career. However, the risk in this style is that if it's too loose, it can structurally crumble the emotional and narrative focus. And for "Humpday" director Lynn Shelton's "Your Sister's Sister," that's the unfortunate result of the ten day shoot on the film that gathered together a game cast -- Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass -- and sets them loose on a good dramatic premise ill-served by a far too casual approach.

Rooney Mara Reportedly 'Locked' For Lead In Warren Beatty's Howard Hughes Film

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2011 9:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments
But Andrew Garfield Apparently Won't Be Doing ItAfter the publication last year of Peter Biskind's biography "Star," his victory in a "Dick Tracy" lawsuit, and his wife Annette Bening's Oscar-nomination this year, Warren Beatty has been more visible of late than he has been in a decade; the actor hasn't directed a film since 1998's "Bulworth," and hasn't been on screen since the 2001 train wreck "Town & Country." With all this attention, the 74-year-old star has done something productive with it; namely, started moving towards a new film: a comedy that seems to be the Howard Hughes project that Beatty's been working on for decades.

'Hellraiser' Remake Loses 'Drive Angry' Team Todd Farmer & Patrick Lussier

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2011 9:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
We're not saying that it's "The Shining" or anything, but as far as horror movies go, the original "Hellraiser" was something a little different. Some truly innovative imagery, some original mythology, and a nasty little mood. Unfortunately, the series has been dragged into the mud by a series of increasingly awful direct-to-video sequels, leaving the franchise just as tarnished as any other over-extended horror series, and culminating in the imminent "Hellraiser: Revelations," denounced by creator Clive Barker, and made essentially as a way to hold on to the rights.

'13' Finally Sees The Light Of Day, Picked Up For Distribution By Anchor Bay

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 12, 2011 8:08 AM
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  • 3 Comments
"13 Tzameti," 2006's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, is a clipped, tight and exciting piece of genre filmmaking. Gela Babluani's directorial debut concerns a layman who accepts a mysterious envelope meant for another man, only to learn that the payday promised therein forces him to participate in a Russian Roulette tournament. The film is stark, black and white, and French, a minor minimalist masterpiece that lingers in your head for days afterwards. If we told you Babluani remade his own film in color with American money and huge Hollywood stars, would you not believe that it was probably terrible? And would that pessimism be highlighted by the film's over two year post-production period?

Dustin Hoffman's Directorial Debut 'Quartet' Finally Gets Underway

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2011 7:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins & Michael Gambon Join Maggie Smith & Tom Courtenay In CastIt's somewhat surprising, given that most actors give it a shot at one point or another in their career, even if they never go back to it, that Dustin Hoffman has never stepped behind the camera to direct a film. He has, after all, won awards a-plenty, and been a fully-fledged, albeit unorthodox, giant movie star, for most of his career. The closest Hoffman came to helming a picture was 1978's Straight Time, a project that eventually ended up in the hands of Ulu Grosbard (1995's Georgia) - that is, until now.

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