The Playlist

TIFF '11 Review: 'Killer Elite' Offers Some Cheap Thrills But Not Much Else

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 9, 2011 7:21 AM
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  • 4 Comments
"Killer Elite," the new Jason Statham/Clive Owen/Robert De Niro testosterone tsunami, claims to have been inspired by a true story, and goes about setting the action in the early 1980s as a way of justifying its supposed historical validity. The problem, of course, is that the movie is so silly, so two-dimensionally cartoonish, that you don't buy, for a second, that anything depicted actually took place (the 1991 book on which the film is based, originally sold as a "true adventure," has been debunked and similarly derided). As a junky action movie, it passes muster, but for the historical thriller it pretends to be, it fails miserably.

'Heroes Of Nanking' With Christian Bale Now Titled 'The Flowers Of War'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 9, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Today, the Toronto International Film Festival was host to twenty minutes of "The Flowers Of War," the new film from Zhang Yimou seeking a distributor. If you're confused, thinking that the world was finally going to get a look at "Heroes Of Nanking," don't worry, it's the same movie, with Christian Bale as an American priest who helps a number of local women take shelter during the Nanking Massacre of 1937. The synopsis also suggests they "fight back," though the original title is much more aggressive than the new, more graceful one. Both are a bit too melodramatic for our taste, and we suspect to most this will be "that Chinese movie with Batman."

In Theaters: 'Contagion' and 'Warrior' Take the Gloves Off

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • September 9, 2011 7:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Finally, FINALLY the Tom Hardy/Joel Edgerton MMA movie will come out to play at the box office, climbing into the ring with Stephen Soderbergh's hand sanitizer ad virus thriller "Contagion" aka "Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2." We'll see how the boxing brothers flick performs after their sneak peeks last Labor Day weekend, or if everyone is ready for some new material. Or you can just salivate over the reviews coming out of Venice and TIFF and count the days until the real fall season ramps up.

Harold And Kumar Earn Character Banners For 'A Very Harold And Kumar 3D Christmas'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 9, 2011 6:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Ah, character banners. One of the weirder ways of building anticipation for movies, ignoring that a lot of them are faceless brands where most of the characters are interchangeable. Sometimes, you get stuff like "Harry Potter," where even non-fans are aware that Professor Snape is a supporting wizard character with bad hair. Most of the time, it's a supporting player from something like "Jonah Hex" or "Brick," where even the people who saw those movies are wondering, "Wait, which one is the guy with the hat? Weren't there a couple of hat people? And this woman with the cigarette, which one is she? Okay, that one guy wasn't even in this movie."

'Drive' Star Ryan Gosling Sets His Sights On The Director's Chair

  • By Leah Zak
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  • September 9, 2011 5:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Talks Developing ‘Logan’s Run;’ Remains Suspiciously Coy On Malick ProjectIt seems somewhat unnecessary to provide an introduction for Ryan Gosling. America’s Canadian Sweetheart has cultivated a resume over the years that makes him nearly impossible to avoid. In 2010 and 2011 alone he’s had leading turns in the independent drama “Blue Valentine,” the summer comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” this fall’s neo-noir/fairy tale, “Drive,” and premiering soon at TIFF, political drama “The Ides of March.” But during press rounds for “Drive,” the actor, whose slate of upcoming projects appears to grow on a daily basis, revealed that there is in fact a method to his madness, “There’s a lot of filmmakers that I want to work with before I make my own films,” he said, “and I’m getting a chance to work with them.”

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It: Staring Contest With Tom Cruise In New 'M:I 4' Poster

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 9, 2011 5:34 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Aw, man, this whole Ethan Hunt-in-a-hoodie motif is gonna be a thing, isn't it? There are ideas less cool than a forty-nine year old man in a hoodie, but we can't think of any right now, particularly with this new poster from "Mission: Impossible: Ghost: Protocol: Colon: Extra Colon: Metalstorm: The Destruction Of Jared-Syn" staring at us in the face. And we do mean FACE. Man, you could just reach out and kiss the Scientology lord in this shot. Kudos for shoehorning in the classic burning fuse from the original TV show, because otherwise, NOTHING about this looks like "Mission: Impossible." And that lament, friends, is three movies too late!

Paramount Picks Up Jason Reitman's 'Labor Day' With Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 9, 2011 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It's official: movie number five for Jason Reitman will be "Labor Day," and it will be produced through Paramount Pictures. This romantic drama, which sounds like quite a departure, finds a single mother who takes in a mysterious drifter with a dangerous past. Things get heated, erupting in a passionate affair over the titular holiday. While this seems like the type of thing we'd love with Shelly Winters and Robert Mitchum from the pen of Tennessee Williams, instead this is from the book by Joyce Maynard, with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin as the illicit couple. Eh, not a huge downgrade.

David Twohy To Direct 'Leonardo Job'

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • September 9, 2011 5:02 AM
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Presumably Based On His Proposed 'Italian Job' RemakeWhile his “Pitch Black” and “Chronicles of Riddick” star Vin Diesel takes to Facebook to whine about being paid scale for director David Twohy’s (unnecessary) third installment of that series, Twohy seems to be a little more productive on the filmmaking front.

New Poster For Bobcat Goldthwait's 'God Bless America'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 9, 2011 4:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Well, this is incendiary.

James Mangold Down For New York Times Best Seller 'Juliet'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • September 9, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
What do you do when a sequel to one of the worst movies in a consistently tepid sub-genre regularly suffers from start-date delays? If you're James Mangold, you decide that helming a modern retelling of "Romeo and Juliet" is the best coping method.

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