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The Playlist

Summer Just Got A Whole Lot Better: 'Attack The Block' Begins Rollout In Theaters July 29th

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 11:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
About six weeks in, and the report card for Summer 2011 isn't doing too badly: one instant near-classic in Paul Feig's "Bridesmaids," J.J. Abrams' mostly well-received "Super 8," a thoroughly decent animated sequel in "Kung-Fu Panda 2," two superhero entries that landed somewhere between better than expected ("Thor") and much better than expected ("X-Men: First Class") and a beguiling new Terrence Malick picture, plus a pair of excellent indies in the shape of "Beginners" and "Submarine." Sure there have been stinkers, like "The Hangover Part II" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," but overall the success rate is much higher than in the last few summers.

A Genuine Tragedy: Jeffrey Katzenberg Calls 3D Box Office Dip "Heartbreaking"

  • By Edward Davis
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  • June 10, 2011 10:50 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Dear Zillionaire Jeffrey Katzenberg, let it be known before we begin our article that our heart bleeds for you and your stock holders. In December 2010 2009, just a few short weeks after James Cameron's latest opus had proven to be a runaway smash hit, 3D was heralded as the next the savior of cinema by the industry, many of whom had just received the best Christmas bonus ever. The technology, and more importantly, the resounding reception audiences met it with, had apparently revitalized, rejuvenated and revolutionized the film industry. In 2010, "Avatar" (which was released at the tail end of 2009) grossed $2.7 billion worldwide (highest grossing film of all time, worldwide), "Toy Story 3" nabbed $1.06 billion (4th highest of all time worldwide), "Alice In Wonderland" hauled in $1.02 billion (6th highest film of all time worldwide) and the the world was 3D's oyster.

'Larry Crowne' Media Onslaught Continues With Second Trailer

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
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  • June 10, 2011 10:20 AM
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Hopes To Corner Fickle Trekkie Crowd With George Takei Cameo "I told my agents that I wasn't going to play pussies anymore," Tom Hanks declared in a recent interview with W Magazine, and if this second trailer for "Larry Crowne" is anything to go by, we are in for a gritty, bone-crunching career makeover. Just kidding. It's a sweet, gentle romantic comedy co-starring Julia Roberts, with America's sweethearts backed up by an absurd coalition of talent, including Peter Scolari, Bryan Cranston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wilmer Valderrama, Jon Seda, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Rami Malek, Malcolm Barrett, Maria Canals Barrera, Holmes Osborne, Pam Grier, Grace Gummer, Rita Wilson, Dale Dye, Bob Stephenson and...George Takei, though this writer would bet we've seen 75% of the performance of the latter in the trailer.

Jody Hill & Irvine Welsh Teaming For HBO Version Of Hit Sundance Doc 'Knuckle'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 9:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Network Also Planning Miniseries Version Of 'I, Claudius'Every so often, a documentary comes along that seems ripe for feature adaptation, and, as usual, it's snapped up speedily by studio executives. But for the most part ("Dogtown & Z-Boys" becoming "Lords of Dogtown" being the only exception we can really think of), the remakes never quite make it on to screens -- feature version of "The King of Kong," "Racing Dreams" and many others languish in development hell.

Review: Dense And Oblique, Monte Hellman's 'Road To Nowhere' A Welcome Return

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • June 10, 2011 8:53 AM
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The reemergence of a well-respected filmmaker will always draw the eyes of cinephiles everywhere; these once-master auteurs come out of hiding, hoping to recapture the energy and attention they once had. "The Godfather" auteur Francis Ford Coppola is currently enjoying a second career in film, and though he isn't making serious bank ("Youth Without Youth" couldn't even muster up $250,000 domestically), his latest output is some of his best work since the early 1980s. Few are as successful critically as that, and though we all have our dream lists (this writer can't be the only one hoping for a new Nagisa Oshima), some filmmakers can't restart the fire they once had -- often it feels like they're trying too hard to either keep up with current stylistic trends or forcing out a passion that they no longer have. Either way, these artistic resuscitations are often only ever seen as complete travesty or modern masterpiece, regardless of how detrimental those extremist labels truly are. Which brings us to this unfortunate question: which camp does "Road to Nowhere" by Monte Hellman (director of the great "Two-Lane Blacktop," absent from features since 1989) fall into? Depending on your affinity for David Lynch/Claire Denis-type narrative puzzles, it could go either way.

Paul Rudd Is A Smiley Moron In First Poster For 'Our Idiot Brother'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Even though the film received respectful, rather than rave, reviews on its Sundance bow (our own review was one of the more positive), you can't cast Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy, T.J. Miller, Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn in a comedy together without leaving us begging to see the finished film, and that's why we've been firmly looking forward to "Our Idiot Brother" all year long.

Interview: 'Viva Riva' Filmmaker Djo Tunda Wa Munga Hopes To Usher In A New Wave Of Congolese Cinema

  • By Leah Zak
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  • June 10, 2011 7:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Director Talks His Roots and What Brought Him Back Home For His Feature DebutWe won’t give you a history lesson here (there are other corners of the Internet for that) but as anyone privy to a newscast for at least the last decade knows, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has had a tumultuous and violent political life following their independence from Belgium in 1960. For filmmaker Djo Tunda Wa Munga however, his home country, rife with such violence and change, presents an interesting perspective to bring to the cinematic scene.

Craig Brewer Says 'Footloose' Remake Has Songs by The White Stripes & David Banner, Talks 'Tarzan'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 6:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Also Updates On 'Mother Trucker,' Discusses 'Hustle & Flow' Sequel Pitch Craig Brewer causes a few differences in opinion here at The Playlist. Some of us find his two big films to date, "Hustle & Flow" and "Black Snake Moan" somewhere between overrated and terrible, while this writer happens to find both grimy fun, with some smart things to say about racial and sexual politics, and an unusually good sense of musicality. Whichever side of the fence you fall, there can't have been many who were happy when Brewer signed on to direct the long-in-the-offing remake of "Footloose" for Paramount, which hits theaters in October.

In Theaters: 'Super 8,' 'Trollhunter,' 'The Trip'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 10, 2011 6:10 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Greetings, loyal readers. How is your summer 2011 going? Hot and humid enough for ya? Seek solace this weekend in the icy cold climes of your local multiplex, or even your arthouse, they too have air conditioning! This weekend make it a double feature with a little taste for everyone's palate. Blockbusters and art cinema go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Which one is the peanut butter and which one is the chocolate? I don't know! Leave your theories in the comments. For those of you who like your summer movies big and meaty, we've got the lens flare fest, excuse me, I mean nostalgic Spielbergian homage "Super 8" from JJ Abrams. If you like your movies more microbudgeted and wry, try the Steve Coogan road trip flick "The Trip." Maybe you want to catch up with the latest Woody Allen romp, "Midnight in Paris" as it continues its roll out. At any rate, this weekend is a good one for original content. Not a sequel in sight. Yay! Join me now, on this fantastical journey.

Mark Romanek Says He's Already Turned Down 'The Wolverine'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 10, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Ryan Reynolds Confirms 'Deadpool' Will Be 'Nasty,' 'Hard' And 'Cheap'Showing a remarkable amount of diplomacy, director Mark Romanek has confirmed, as reported a few weeks back, that he was a contender for Fox's already-troubled "The Wolverine" but that he has long since turned down the opportunity. Speaking about the Marvel sequel, he tells DigitalSpy, "That's just one of those stories that floated around. I was on their list, I received the script months ago. It didn't seem like my kind of thing." Given that Romanek is a picky and sometimes prickly director, one who famously bailed on his only other big studio assignment merely weeks before shooting ("The Wolfman"), it's not a huge surprise.

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