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The Playlist

Box Office: 'One Direction' Number One; Audience Got Away From 'Get Away' & Latched To 'Instructions Not Included'

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • September 1, 2013 3:14 PM
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If last weekend was a whimper, this one is a sigh and a groan, and then a brief shimmering light of hope. Considering the normal lackluster of Labor Day box office, we didn't have high expectations. When we read that the top contender was a One Direction documentary (helmed by Morgan Spurlock) we grimaced, but weren't that surprised given that it's up against a box office of holdovers and considering the successes of the Justin Bieber and 'Hannah Montana' (pre-twerking Miley Cyrus) concert movies. We're more disappointed in the fact that Labor Day weekend is usually a great opportunity for a horror or thriller film to shine through ("The Possession," "Contagion," Rob Zombie's "Halloween," and more) that would have been neglected other weekends (e.g. last weekend's "You're Next").

Hayao Miyazaki Announces His Retirement (Again); Watch 90-Minute Conversation With The Director From 2010

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 1, 2013 1:16 PM
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"I think that 'Princess Mononoke' will be the last (feature-length) movie that I make in this way," director Hayao Miyazaki said more than a decade ago, citing his age and the arduous production of that 1997 film as two factors for his stepping away from the drawing desk. In 1998 he even left Studio Ghibli altogether, apparently to make way for younger talent, but returned almost exactly a year later. And in 2004 he was back at work, this time delivering "Howl's Moving Castle" after the film's original director, Mamoru Hosoda, exited the film. So what are we to make of Miyazaki's latest announcement that he's packed it in?

Telluride Review: 'The Invisible Woman' Starring Ralph Fiennes & Felicity Jones

  • By Chris Willman
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  • September 1, 2013 12:40 PM
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The Invisible Woman Ralph Fiennes Felicity Jones
Charles Dickens and his comely, considerably younger mistress have a dickens of a time getting their adulterous act together in “The Invisible Woman,” a directing as well as starring turn for Ralph Fiennes. He’s rarely been better than he is as the 19th century’s most celebrated novelist, with his chops on screen just about matched by what he’s done behind. The problem is that we’ve seen so many fictions about Victorians who can’t let the onset of real passion break up their stuffy marriages that even a true-life variation doesn’t have that much to add to the genre, much less that’s thematically worthy of Dickens.

Venice Review: JFK Drama 'Parkland' Starring Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton & Jacki Weaver

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 1, 2013 10:14 AM
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Ever since "PT 109," which detailed his WWII war record and was released while he was still in office, President John F. Kennedy has been catnip to Hollywood. After all, he was good looking, charismatic, had a dark secret life of womanising, among other things, and of course, was assassinated three years into his presidency—an event that inspires debate and conspiracy theories to this day. He's been the subject of great films (Oliver Stone's "JFK") and bad ones (recent miniseries "The Kennedys"), and been played by everyone from Cliff Robertson to James Marsden (in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"). This November marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dealey Plaza, and as such, it was inevitable that there'd be some kind of film to mark the occasion. We just wish it wasn't as terrible as "Parkland," which premieres (in competition, inexplicably) at the Venice Film Festival today.

Venice Review: Hayao Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 1, 2013 8:26 AM
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This year's Venice Film Festival has already seen a number of filmmakers push outside their comfort zone. Alfonso Cuarón made a 3D blockbuster set entirely in zero gravity. Kelly Reichardt made a thriller. Stephen Frears made a good movie. But no departure has been greater from a filmmaker than the one that Hayao Miyazaki takes with "The Wind Rises."

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