The Playlist

Box Office: Sony Finishes September Strong With 'Hotel Transylvania' & 'Looper' Topping Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 30, 2012 12:17 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Conventional wisdom suggests a studio shouldn’t release two films on the same date, or even a week within each other, for fear of cannibalizing business. But this weekend, Sony took conventional wisdom out back and beat the life out of it, smashing records with the nation’s top two movies. Their animation division looks like they’ll have the biggest opening in September history with “Hotel Transylvania,” while through TriStar, “Looper” is set to be a superb debut for a heady sci-fi film.

NYFF: Ang Lee, Suraj Sharma & Yann Martel Discuss The Necessity Of Faith In Making 'Life Of Pi'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 30, 2012 10:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments
As the opening night film for the New York Film Festival, all eyes were on “Life of Pi,” the big-budget studio adaptation of Yann Martel’s best-seller from A-List director Ang Lee. And while some were focused on the spectacle of the film, from the enormous cost and logistical issues of filming to the colorful 3D that frames this story of survival, the one element that drove the filmmakers was the idea of faith.

Johnny Depp Won't Be In Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' After All

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 29, 2012 2:38 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Jude Law, Bill Murray, Angela Lansbury? Yep. Johnny Depp? It looks like he won't be checking into "The Grand Budapest Hotel" after all.

Review: Joe Dante Can't Quite Recapture His Earlier Magic With 'The Hole'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 29, 2012 12:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Some directors are simply in the right place at the right time. This is why Tim Burton has spent the last decade recycling the same ideas, visuals and motifs to ever-diminishing returns with ever-escalating budgets. Surely Burton would not be where he was had the ever-underestimated Joe Dante not turned down directing “Batman” in the late '80s, citing the self-awareness that has eluded Burton his entire career: Dante famously refused the job on the grounds of being a Joker fan more than a Batman one. Sadly, it’s that sort of vision that allows Burton to keep lighting studios’ money on fire while Dante is reduced to low-fi time-wasters like “The Hole."

Marc Forster Will Be 'Imagining Nathan'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 28, 2012 6:14 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Marc Forster hasn't been having a great 2012, though there is light for him at the end of the tunnel. While "World War Z" has become such a fiasco that the film's star, Brad Pitt, won't even talk to him, Forster is quietly lining up options that he can tackle once the zombie epic is finished. Way, way back at the beginning of the year, he was attached to the completely ridiculous sounding "Cowboy Viking Ninja," and now he's got another project, one that sounds kind of like "Sucker Punch" mixed with "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?." Seriously.

Martin Freeman & Eddie Marsan Join Edgar Wright's 'The World's End'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 28, 2012 5:51 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Here's a fun fact: Peter Jackson had an ever so brief cameo in Edgar Wright's "Hot Fuzz" (so did Cate Blanchett, for the record). You know who else did? His future Bilbo Baggins, and now that actor will be taking in a role in "The World's End." So, small world right?

In Theaters: 'Looper' 'Won’t Back Down' From 'Hotel Transylvania;' 'Pitch Perfect' May Be 'The Other Dream Team'

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • September 28, 2012 5:41 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In case anyone was feeling too happy, the potential ruin of the human race is out in full celebratory regalia this weekend. Inescapable hit men, broken education systems, a Puritan-era killing machine, and a grifting mommy make up just a taste of the gleeful subject matter. And – for a lift – documentaries are here in spades this week as well, particularly those showcasing major political and social issues. And sports. Sometimes. Oh, is there an election soon? Or are we just gearing up for basketball season? Enjoy, movie lovers!

Miley Cyrus To Play Bonnie In 'Bonnie & Clyde' Miniseries For Lifetime & History Channel

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 28, 2012 5:22 PM
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  • 3 Comments
When Hilary Duff was dumped from the brewing "The Story Of Bonnie & Clyde" last year, we dodged one bullet of having the Arthur Penn classic starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway dumped on by a cheapie production leveraging a former child star into the lead for their first "adult role." Well leave it to the Lifetime and History channels to pick up where that left off with their own movie, which once again will use some stunt casting to get some attention.

Recap: 'Louie' Closes Off Its Third Season With A Pair Of Classics

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 28, 2012 4:59 PM
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  • 3 Comments
In a very fine article on the always excellent AV Club this week, Todd Van Der Werff argues that "Louie" isn't just a strong contender for the best comedy on TV right now, but also the first show since "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" to genuinely move the form forward. Whether it becomes a touchstone for comedy writers of the future in the same way as those two endlessly influential series remains to be seen, but the timing of the piece is certainly persuasive. Not just because it follows from Louis C.K. winning two Emmys this past Sunday, but also because it was bookended by the final two episodes of the show's third season, which saw the series at its very best.

Judi Dench & Steve Coogan To Star In Stephen Frears' 'Philomena Lee'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 28, 2012 4:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Stephen Frears is on a goddamn tear right now. He kicked off 2012 by heading to Sundance to premiere "Lay The Favorite," spent the spring shooting "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," and now will get another movie in front of cameras this fall. Damn. Who does he think he is, Terrence Malick?

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