The Playlist

Book Review: Graphic Novel 'Snowpiercer Volume 1: The Escape' Sets The Stage With A Chilly Futuristic Vision

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 31, 2014 6:18 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Snowpiercer Graphic Novel Cover Edit
A train with 1001 carriages circles the earth, carrying the last remaining survivors of an event that has made the planet essentially uninhabitable. And you thought the polar vortex was bad. In this tale, the entire globe is encased in ice and snow, and temperatures are so low that death comes nearly instantly to anyone who dares to find themselves outside (this is known as the "white death"). Welcome to "Snowpiercer." While Bong Joon-ho's film adaptation continues to await a release date, your next best bet might be to pick up the Titan Comics translation of the graphic novel. Penned by Jacques Lob, "Snowpiercer Volume 1: The Escape" essentially sets the stage of what's to come, and while that might indicate a story with little narrative pulse, as it waits to explode in part two, you'd be mistaken.

Watch: Francis Ford Coppola In Bizarre Japanese FUJI Cassette Commercial

Francis Ford Coppola Fuji Cassette
Before CDs, before mp3s and before you could carry around your entire music collection on your phone, the cassette was a big deal. The little piece of rectangular plastic was seen as a marvel of technology, providing high tech audio and saving space in your apartment from those big, square 12-inch pieces of vinyl. Plus, the wonders of auto-reverse meant that one would never have to get up to flip a record over again. And one man who believed in this bold vision of the future was Francis Ford Coppola. Read More »

Göteborg Review: Venice Winner ‘Class Enemy’ A Lean, Absorbing Parable Of Authoritarianism & Rebellion

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • January 31, 2014 5:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Class Enemy
While we could wish it had a less punny title, “Class Enemy,” the debut feature film from Slovenian shorts filmmaker Rok Bicek is in almost every other way exemplary. Unashamedly cerebral, the film’s cool intelligence shows most in its control and formal rigor that encourage the audience—whose sympathies are expertly maneuvered to lie first on one side, then on the other, and then possibly nowhere at all—to read the story on levels above and beyond what is shown on screen. So while the film itself is extremely contained, almost to the point of claustrophobia, its scope feels large, epic almost, as we are provoked to think about what it means if we substitute the characters for what they might perhaps represent. And while it occasionally flirts with a kind of psychodramatic horror, Haneke-style, mostly it’s a master class in narrative restraint, that still somehow grips your attention like a progressively tightening vice. But perhaps its greatest achievement is in how the film’s own detached moral ambivalence is preserved right to the end, meaning the judgements are left to us. It is not a blackhearted film; its heart, if it has one, is made of cold steel.

Daniel Radcliffe & Dane DeHaan Reteam For ‘College Republicans’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 31, 2014 4:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Given Hollywood's focus more on things that go boom and sell toys, and less on dramas with human beings, it's probably not a total shock that "College Republicans" hasn't gained much traction since landing on the 2010 Black List. At one point Richard Linklater was attached to direct, with Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano linked to lead roles at various times, without anything ever coalescing. But the project is taking another swing at getting made, this time with a pair of compelling actors taking the starring roles.

Sundance Review: Documentary 'Cesar's Last Fast' Has All The Right Intentions, But Lacks The Execution

  • By Nikola Grozdanovic
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  • January 31, 2014 4:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Cesar's Last Fast
Being critical of a documentary that has such innocent and beautiful intentions is like giving your honest opinion to a smitten young couple about their ugly baby; one of those "Seinfeld" moments of brutal awkwardness. The baby in question here is Richard Perez's documentary "Cesar's Last Fast," which had its premiere at the recently-wrapped Sundance Film Festival, and details the circumstances surrounding Cesar Chavez's 36-day water-only fast in 1988. If, unlike this reviewer, you're in tune with recent North American socio-political history, then the name Cesar Chavez should be familiar. The Latino American answer to the same question asked his African-American equivalent (of sorts), Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez was a leader of farm workers, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW), a strong believer in non-violent means to ends, and a man who dedicated his life to helping others while promoting civil rights for immigrant workers. In other words, the man was a few degrees shy of sainthood if the documentary is to be believed. Believing is easy. But staying engaged is a different matter.

Black Night, White Hell: A Look At Quentin Tarantino’s 'The Hateful Eight' Western

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 31, 2014 3:48 PM
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  • 29 Comments
Quentin Tarantino,
“​I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts [my scripts], gets it and reviews it on the net. I like the fact that people like my shit, and that they go out of their way to find it and read it," Quentin Tarantino recently told Deadline. And while we're not going to defend Gawker's wanton leaking of the script, we are going to look at the director’s would-be Western “The Hateful Eight” in some broad strokes.

Liam Neeson Joins Martin Scorsese's 'Silence,' Zachary Quinto Targets 'Hitman' Sequel 'Agent 47' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 31, 2014 3:20 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Liam Neeson Gangs Of New York
Huh. We've gotten so used to Liam Neeson cashing paychecks and cracking skulls that it's easy to forget he's an Academy Award-nominated actor (for his turn in "Schindler's List"). And while he did dial it down a bit for Paul Haggis' abysmal "Third Person" which premiered at TIFF last fall, for the most part, we just think of Neeson these days as filling time with one generic thriller after another (e.g. the upcoming "Non-Stop" and the soon-to-be-filming "Taken 3"). But it looks he'll have a chance to remind everyone that he has other special skills that don't involve punching people in the groin.

Watch: New Trailer & TV Spot For Fantasy Romance 'Winter's Tale' Starring Colin Farrell & Jennifer Connelly

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 31, 2014 2:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Winter's Tale
This Valentine's Day, you'll have a few romantic options to choose from at the mulitplex: there will be the Kevin Hart-starring remake "About Last Night," another remake with "Endless Love," and the fantasy epic "Winter's Tale." And while we can't tell you which of these is the better movie, we certainly know which one is the most expensive.

Review: Documentary '12 O'Clock Boys' Is A Beautifully Shot Look At Baltimore's Dirt Bike Riders

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • January 31, 2014 2:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment
12 O'Clock Boys
This first film from Lotfy Nathan benefits from a pair of engaging subjects: teenage Pug and the city of Baltimore. In “12 O’Clock Boys,” Nathan captured Pug’s life for three years, following him as he moved from childhood to adolescence across several rough Baltimore neighborhoods.

Watch: Haunting First Trailer For Denis Villeneuve's Creepy Psychothriller 'Enemy' Starring Jake Gyllenhaal

  • By Edward Davis
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  • January 31, 2014 1:57 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Enemy
How much do we like "Enemy"? Well, you can read our praise right on the top of the new poster for the Denis Villeneuve-directed, Jake Gyllenhaal-starring thriller, or just pop on over and check out our A-grade review. Either way, if you've been reading the site, you know this one we've been blowing the trumpet for over the past few months.

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