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The Playlist

Review: 'The Debt' An Uneven Thriller Powered By Strong Turns By Jessica Chastain & Helen Mirren

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • August 29, 2011 2:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments
After its predecessor “Killshot” got a cursory limited release before being scuttled off to DVD and the film before that, “Proof,” hobbled in and out of theaters, “The Debt” is director John Madden’s first film in more than a decade to receive a theatrical run of more than 1600 screens, but an overbearing sense of self-importance undermines its box office potential, much less the effectiveness of skillful performances by a mostly-talented cast. Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain, sharing the screen as the same character as much as current and next generations of great actresses, sustain a frequently overwrought (and overlong) tale of Mossad agents dealing with the truth of their past and fiction of their futures, while Madden handles Nazi war-crime subject matter with a predictable degree of melodrama.

James Toback Isn't Happy No One Told Him About Martin Scorsese's 'The Gambler' Remake

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2011 1:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Just as the east coast was going to bed and/or gearing up for Hurricane Irene and the west coast was gearing up to go out on the town, it was announced that "The Departed" trifecta of director Martin Scorsese, writer William Monahan and star Leonardo DiCaprio were all taking on a remake of Karel Reisz‘s 1974 film “The Gambler.” If you missed the news, don't worry, you're not the only one as that film's writer James Toback, was only hipped to the project thanks to housemate Brett Ratner (yes, they apparently live together). Needless to say, he was pissed.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Help' Defeats Tepid Newcomers And Hurricane Season For Another Week At #1

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 28, 2011 4:37 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Usually, studios will look for any possible reason to blame the weather for a film’s poor box office showing. Heat waves only mean audiences will seek the air conditioning of a theater, at least when something exciting is playing. And people will withstand non-apocalyptic snowstorms simply to get away from the cold while enjoying the blockbuster of their choice. But there aren’t a whole lot of options when almost half of a movie’s proposed locations are under siege by a vicious hurricane. Many large chains didn’t even bother to stay open during Irene’s reign, meaning that these quiet end-of-August releases could find no traction heading into the typically-comatose Labor Day weekend.

Review: Not A Racing Fan? 'Senna' May Not Convert But Still An Absorbing Account Of A Great Athlete

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • August 28, 2011 1:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Engaging, well-paced and an absorbing behind-the-scenes account of a world many are unfamiliar with, the race-car documentary "Senna" by director Asif Kapadia, is not unlike a sports doc you'd see on ESPN (think the excellent and compelling "30 For 30" series), but thanks to Universal, it is being targeted directly at the art-house crowd.
More: Review, Senna

Watch: 10 Clips From 'Contagion' Reveals Cameo From Dr. Sanjay Gupta

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 27, 2011 10:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment
As the east coast braces for Hurricane Irene (our thoughts are with you folks) there is an eerie similarity between the mobilization of the authorities along the seaboard as the storm nears and what unfolds in this generous helping of 10 clips from Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion."

Romain Duris Joins Michel Gondry's French Language Film With Audrey Tautou

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 27, 2011 9:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Film Is An Adaptation Of 'L'Ecume des jours'; Filming Starts In March 2012While he may not yet be known on this side of the ocean, French actor Romain Duris has been earning praise and breaking hearts in his native France. You might best know the three-time César award nominee from Jacques Audiard's "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" or last year's arthouse comedy hit "Heartbreaker," but the actor is set to reteam with a very familiar face for a film that could serve as his biggest exposure to a worldwide audience yet.

Martin Scorsese To Direct Remake Of James Caan's 'The Gambler,' Leonardo DiCaprio To Star

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 27, 2011 2:22 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Update: Deadline reports that Leonardo DiCaprio will star. Damn.

New Photo: Jennifer Garner Carves A Car Out Of 'Butter'; Long-Form Synopsis Released

  • By The Playlist
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  • August 27, 2011 1:39 AM
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  • 3 Comments
One of the biggest question marks at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival slate is The Weinstein Company comedy, "Butter." It's a curious picture for several reasons. It's not entirely clear if it's a drama, dramedy or comedy, but the TIFF website firmly says comedy (with elements of "identity" and "politics"), so fine then, maybe it incorporates all those elements. The TIFF site isn't helping either, as one of the loglines say the principal cast is the family at the center of the picture that's played by Jennifer Garner and Ty Burrell, plus the African American girl Yara Shahidi, who ends up as a nemesis to Garner's character. Meanwhile, TIFF says the cast is lead by Olivia Wilde and Hugh Jackman, but all photos released so far are of Garner.

Taylor Lautner, Nicolas Cage & Christian Slater, Reportedly On 'The Expendables 2' Wishlist

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 26, 2011 12:56 PM
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  • 6 Comments
'80s Action Star Christopher Lambert Reportedly Sought For Sequel As WellSince nearly everyone and his mother was linked to casting rumors for the first installment of "The Expendables," it only makes sense that there would be a whole new list of potential recruits for the sequel. Moviehole confirms that previously suggested names like Chuck Norris, John Travolta and Donnie Yen are indeed being mentioned as possibilities, with Yen even receiving an offer But wait, there's more, as those names are just the tip of the iceberg because the folks at Nu Image, as well as director Simon West and star Sylvester Stallone, have reportedly drafted a pretty gaudy wishlist of potential players.

Zac Efron's 'The Lucky One' Hits Aug. 24, 2012; 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Checks In Mar. 9, 2012

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 26, 2011 10:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments
A couple of updates to your calendar for next year, so get out your pencils.

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