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The Playlist

Shane Meadows Planning Biopic Of Cyclist Tom Simpson

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 24, 2011 1:48 AM
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It feels like a long time since we had a major film from Shane Meadows. It's not that the director hasn't been busy, it's just that his work's either been somewhat slight -- the lovely, but lightweight "Somers Town," and the low-fi mockumentary "Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee" -- or on television, like last year's four-part "This Is England '86." That series, which picked up a BAFTA for actress Vicky McClure on Sunday, has a follow-up currently in production, "This Is England '88," but it also looks like Meadows is finally making a return to some bigger-scale cinematic work.

Vincent Cassel To Get His Crime On Again In Belated Sequel 'Dobermann 2: Arm Wrestle'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 24, 2011 1:25 AM
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No country loves the crime genre quite as much as the French. Sure, it might have been derived from the States, but it was the French who really took it to their hearts, giving directors like Sam Fuller and Alfred Hitchcock the critical respect they craved, and reinventing it with the likes of "À bout de souffle" and "Rififi," while many of the best recent examples, like Jacques Audiard's "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" and "A Prophet," came from France. And if the French crime picture has one actor firmly associated with the genre, their Robert De Niro or Al Pacino, it's Vincent Cassel.

Watch: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear & Jennifer Connelly In Trailer For 'Salvation Boulevard'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 24, 2011 1:04 AM
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The next few months might be dominated by summer blockbusters, but we're also starting to get the festival hits from the last six months: acclaimed indies from Toronto, Sundance and SXSW, films like "Submarine," "Beginners," "The Trip" and "Page One," all land in the next while and a trailer has just debuted for one of the starrier offerings from Park City this year.

Academy Award Winner Alan Menken To Score 'Lidsville' For DreamWorks

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 11:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If you don't know the name Alan Menken, you certainly know his music. The nine-time Academy Award nominee has won four times for composing the instantly identifiable music to the Disney hit films "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Beauty & The Beast" and "Pocahontas." His most recent nom was for the surprise hit "Tangled" last year but for his next project will find him moving away from the mouse house for the first time in his career.

Poster For Alexander Payne's 'The Descendants' Starring George Clooney Unveiled

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 10:12 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Believe it or not, it's been a staggering seven years since Alexander Payne's last feature film, the smash hit "Sideways." In the interim he's been developing a few projects, producing "Hung" for HBO, as well as the recent comedy "Cedar Rapids," and he even contributed what is arguably the best short of the omnibus "Paris je t'aime" the closing segment "14e arrondissement," starring the excellent Margo Martindale. Well, Payne is finally coming back with a new feature and it looks primed to be another critical favorite.

'Country Strong' Director Shana Feste Swims To A New Trend, Will Direct 'Mermaid'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 9:28 AM
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Here's how Hollywood works. If an idea is really good and works one time, it means it will be repeated endlessly in a never-ending hope to match that first glory. So, when Jeff Bridges and "Crazy Heart" stormed the award season in 2009, it was no surprise that a transparent attempt was made to do that again and thus "Country Strong" with Gwyneth Paltrow and "My Own Love Song" with Renée Zellweger were foisted upon a movie-going audience that had been there and done that. Shana Feste directed the former and while at point (far in the distance) it was viewed as potential awards bait, as the season actually got underway, it never got much more than cursory nods for the music which even now is pretty forgettable. But try, try again and Feste has now seen that fairy tales are all the rage so she'll try her hand at that.

Ed Westwick Will Play Tybalt In 'Romeo & Juliet' With Hailee Steinfeld & Holly Hunter

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 8:45 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Say what you will about "Gossip Girl" (okay, it's terrible) but the show has served as a career launching pad of sorts. Blake Lively is currently making most of her exposure on the show landing some decent movie gigs ("The Town," Oliver Stone's "Savages"); Taylor Momsen has fashioned some sort of music career no one would otherwise care about, while it's only a matter of time before Leighton Meester finds her groove into the big time and is on her way after scoring a hit earlier this year with "The Roommate." Which brings us pretty boy and master of Brown Steel (see above) Ed Westwick. He seems to be moving his way up in the world, nabbing a small part in Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" and is now getting ready bust his iambic pentameter on our faces (that sounds gross) in a Shakespeare film.

Bette Midler & Jeffrey Tambor Join Al Pacino Starring, David Mamet Directed HBO Phil Spector Project

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 8:10 AM
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First revealed last year, this is one of those projects that seemed too good to be true and when word around it died as quickly as it arrived, we figured that it wasn't coming along. Guess we were (thankfully) wrong.

This Is Getting Ridiculous: 'X-Men: First Class' Insurance Ad Starring Beast & J.K. Simmons

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 7:13 AM
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  • 13 Comments
Are you not yet feeling absolutely pulverized by the endless onslaught of "X-Men: First Class" marketing? Has the breathless praise thrown at the film by the early non-review reviews by the target audience for the movie already made you wary? Well, too bad because you're going to keep hearing about 'First Class' until you're found lying curled in a fetal position begging for mercy.

Watch: Trailer & Clip For Cannes Critics Week Winner 'Take Shelter' Starring Michael Shannon

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2011 6:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Let's get this out of the way: if you haven't seen writer and director Jeff Nichols' debut feature "Shotgun Stories" get on that now. It's one of the most assured and powerful filmmaking debuts in recent memory and it's no surprise that Michael Shannon has returned once again to work with Nichols, this time in the psychological thriller "Take Shelter."

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