The Playlist

The Best Films Of 2011...So Far

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 4:05 AM
  • |
  • 54 Comments
Well, today is the first day of summer, more or less the midpoint of the year, and looking back over the the first six months of 2011, it’s definitely been a bit more of a scattershot movie year compared to the arthouse heavy start of 2010. We'll be honest, compiling this list wasn't exactly easy, the year has been uneven so far, but that said, it's certainly not without highlights: Terrence Malick finally delivered his long awaited film, Woody Allen flexed some of the old magic we love him for, and Michael Winterbottom found life and heart from a familiar comic pairing, while Joe Wright moved completely in a new, exciting direction. Over at the multiplex, big summer entertainment has already made that overpriced, greasy bag of popcorn worth the price with J.J. Abrams proving that genre thrills don't have to be empty, while one of the year’s best efforts unfolded beautifully on the small screen.

'Lost' Star Daniel Dae Kim Was Going To Be Comic Relief In 'The Adjustment Bureau'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 3:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
And 4 More Things We Learned From Director George NolfiOne of the sleeper surprises of the spring was George Nolfi's "The Adjustment Bureau." A unique concoction of sci-fi and romance, and based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, the film stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as a politician and a ballerina who are caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse when they discover that the world they know is not quite what it seems and is controlled by a mysterious group who pull the strings behind the scenes. Determined to fight for their love rather than be pulled apart by the forces that control their destinies, the two go on the run to try and right a universe that has them programmed to never spend another moment together. A tough sell right? Well, as usual, Hollywood underestimated that adults are also looking for entertainment and the film pulled in over $120 million worldwide, earning solid reviews and good word-of-mouth along the way.

Ian McShane Will Play One Of The Dwarfs In 'Snow White And The Huntsman'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 3:29 AM
  • |
  • 7 Comments
He's been a saloon owner in the western "Deadwood," Blackbeard in "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and now Ian McShane is lining up a big, small role. What?

Review: 'If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front' Is A Compelling Eco-Terrorism Doc

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 3:26 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Of all the "issue" documentaries that have come out in the past few years about our environment, one that hasn't been broached, in any kind of thorough way, has been eco-terrorism. Part of this undoubtedly has to do with the propagation of the image of environmentalists as peace-loving, hippy dippy folks who would rather hold up signs and play hacky sack (while on break from Hampshire College) than burn out a building or engage in Palahniuk-ian fits of mischief and violent rebellion. But an even bigger reason why the subject hasn't been tackled in any kind of in-depth way must surely be the thorny, morally complicated issue of eco-terrorism; at times their aims are understandable and their tactics not much different than those they're rallying against, but there's an intensity to their methods that leaves some feeling uncomfortable, and anything involving the word "terrorist" is a tough sell.
More: Review

The Small Screen: Steve Zailian & Richard Price Remaking BBC Hit 'Criminal Justice' For HBO

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 3:02 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Plus David S. Goyer Adapting Comic '100 Bullets' For Showtime, And Sam Raimi's 'Noir' Greenlit By StarzWhen what would otherwise be a sure-fire Oscar contender teaming Todd Haynes and Kate Winslet ends up as a five-hour miniseries, when the season finale of "Game of Thrones" is the talk of the town, and when Darren Aronofsky follows up his most successful film to date with a TV pilot written by a Pulitzer Prize-winner, you know that the idea that TV as a lesser medium is long gone. In the last six months alone, names like Gus Van Sant, Mark Romanek, Jody Hill, Tom Hanks, Neil Gaiman, Aaron Sorkin, Scott Rudin, David Hare, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Towne, Michael Mann, Ron Howard, Javier Bardem, David Fincher and Kevin Spacey have all been working on TV shows to one degree on another.

Watch: Full Trailer For 'Puss In Boots' Introduces Prison Rape Jokes To The 'Shrek' Franchise

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 2:39 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Last year's "Shrek Forever After" was billed as the "final chapter" in the DreamWorks fairytale franchise, but with the four films grossing nearly $3 billion worldwide between them ("Shrek 2" remains the fifth biggest domestic grosser), the likelihood of Katzenberg & Co leaving the series alone was minimal. And so, barely 18 months after the fourth "Shrek," we'll see "Puss In Boots," a spin-off focusing on the Zorro-esque kitty voiced by Antonio Banderas in the second, third and fourth films.

'Wet Hot American Summer' Director David Wain Says He's Thinking About A Sequel/Prequel

  • By Cory Everett
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 2:25 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Says Universal Won't Release A 10th Anniversary Edition DVDIt may be hard to believe but it's been ten years since "Wet Hot American Summer" hit theatres. It probably doesn't feel like that long because not many people saw it upon it's initial release. After making a splash at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001, the camp comedy received only a perfunctory theatrical release that next summer and died at the box office, collecting less than $300,000 during its run. But fans began to discover the film on DVD, quoting it, having themed parties and suddenly the former flop became one of the biggest cult films of the past decade. This writer can remember seeing it shortly after it was released on DVD and then screening it repeatedly for any houseguest who hadn't yet seen the film.

Review: 'Cars 2' Features All New Parts, But With Less Than Pleasing Results

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 2:01 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Brightly colored, heartwarming, and making expansive narrative sweeps with an incredibly limited running time, it's the kind of bold, splashily produced film that has rarely graced multiplex screens this summer. But its biggest accomplishment might be that it reunites us with old friends (some of them more familiar than others); the cinematic equivalent of a warm, cathartic (but never saccharine or overtly sentimental) hug.

Jason Keller Signs On To Write Vampire Pic ‘The Passage’ For Matt Reeves

  • By Matthew Newlin
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 1:46 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Jason Keller is having one hell of a year. Rarely does a screenwriter gain the amount of notoriety as quickly as he has in just a few months. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the writer will collaborate with director Matt Reeves to write the adaptation of Justin Cronin’s 2009 bestseller “The Passage” for Fox 2000.

'Gossip Girl' Star Penn Badgley Will Play Jeff Buckley (But Not In The Movie You Thought)

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • June 21, 2011 1:30 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
It's been a confusing last few days. "Gossip Girl" star Penn Badgley was rumored to be playing Jeff Buckley in the long gestating biopic that is set to be directed by Jake Scott. The word was getting so heated that co-producer Orian Williams told Pop & Hiss that the word around Badgley in the developing biopic was flatly wrong. "Penn is not involved in the film at all," Williams said. "It's crazy how these stories get out." Well, he was both right and wrong. Badgley won't be playing Jeff Buckley in his film, but as it turns out, he's playing the singer in another movie about his life.

Email Updates

Recent Comments