The Playlist

Marc Forster Won't Direct 'World War Z' Sequel, Kim Jee-Woon Lines Up New Project & More

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • October 3, 2013 9:38 AM
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World War Z
By now, we all pretty much know about the struggles the filmmakers had while making “World War Z.” In spite of the fact that the film actually turned out to be a major success, initial reports of its “inevitable failure” hit everyone involved with the film pretty hard. The Hollywood Reporter has a very interesting piece about Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B (who made the film). The article goes into how criticism of the production of "World War Z" affected the producers involved, mentally, and they delve into how the surprise success of the film, along with the positive festival response of “12 Years a Slave” has left the company feeling pretty good about themselves.

David Fincher's 'Black Hole' Back On At Brad Pitt's Plan B, Slate Also Includes New Film From Taika Waititi

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • October 3, 2013 9:24 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Not to be mistaken with the 1979 Disney film turned upcoming Joseph Kosinski remake, author Charles Burns' “Black Hole” remains one of the great adaptations lying in wait. Published between 1995 and 2005, the highly acclaimed graphic novel drew attention from Hollywood immediately, with Paramount snagging the rights and putting Alexandre Aja to direct and the team of Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman to pen a script. In 2008, David Fincher replaced Aja as helmer, but Gaiman and Avary drifted away shortly thereafter. The project has since become another “what-if?” scenario; one of Fincher's "lost projects" we hoped he would one day return to. And now looks like Brad Pitt and his production company Plan B is helping to make that happen.

Review: Online Gambling World Thriller 'Runner Runner' Starring Ben Affleck & Justin Timberlake

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 3, 2013 9:02 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Runner Runner
While the conversation around the career rebound of Matthew McConaughey will continue this fall with "Dallas Buyers Club," many forget that it was 2011's "The Lincoln Lawyer" that gave the actor the first spring in his comeback step. On paper, it was a rather routine procedural, but it was elevated by director Brad Furman who shot it with some style and energy, and of course, McConaughey made his character leap off the page in the way few actors could. Which brings us to "Runner Runner," a movie that once again pairs Furman with a rather standard script, and though he does his best again to inject the proceedings with some spark and aided by a strong performance from a veteran actor, it doesn't quite graduate to the level of enjoyable pulp.

Review: JFK Drama 'Parkland' Starring Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti & More Feels Like A Cheap Cash-In

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 2, 2013 8:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Parkland
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."

Review: Matt Porterfield’s Empathetic, Observational ‘I Used To Be Darker’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • October 2, 2013 7:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments
In between the big events that mark our lives—the births, the deaths, the falling-in-loves, the breaking-ups, the runnings-away, the reconciliations—there often exists a kind of pause moment. And it’s one such moment that Matt Porterfield’s Sundance-approved third feature, “I Used to be Darker,” deals with; a caesura that punctuates the Big Life Business that is going on in the disparate lives of one fragmented family. This a film that largely takes place either before or after the real dramas, so Porterfield sets himself a difficult task from the outset: how to dramatize that which is determinedly anti-dramatic? It’s an issue that the film, for all its small, well-observed pleasures, never really overcomes. It’s not helped by Porterfield taking his time with his largely non-professional or first-timer cast either; the film’s considered pacing takes a little getting used to. But by its end, the film had worked its way under our skin deeper than we expected, and through skilfully unobtrusive editing and camerawork, we felt we had a clear, honest picture of these lives. It is essentially an exercise in mining a very specific, particular situation for tiny but universal truths, and if you have the patience, the insights are there.

Review: ‘All Is Bright’ Starring Paul Rudd & Paul Giamatti Is A Mostly Joyless Misfire

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 2, 2013 6:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Director Phil Morrison hasn't made a film since his exceptional debut indie, "Junebug," which launched Amy Adams in 2005. Brimming with life, even without the Oscar-nominated and very-worthy firecracker Adams performance, the movie is flush with an idiosyncratic humanity and especially complex and uniquely written characters. However, his long belated follow-up, "All Is Bright,” arriving some eight years after his auspicious beginning, possesses little traces of the spark that made "Junebug" so special.

First Official Pic From 'Ant-Man' Plus 10 New Photos From 'Thor: The Dark World'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 2, 2013 5:40 PM
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  • 2 Comments
So it goes in Marvel-land, just as one movie gets ready to head into theaters, another starts rolling in front of cameras, and today brings one of each which will surely get comic fans excited.

Review: 'A.C.O.D.' Starring Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Richard Jenkins & Catherine O'Hara

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • October 2, 2013 5:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Comedy can succeed based on either its relatability or sheer absurdity, and “A.C.O.D.” favors the former approach, while not entirely forgoing the latter. Within its first few moments, this movie informs us that 54% of people are adult children of divorce, or A.C.O.D. Statistically, you’re likely to fall within that group (or closely know someone who does), making many of the jokes and observations here hit perhaps a little too close to home, though not too closely not to laugh.

"We Can Shoot It In One Year And We’re Out”: 5 Things Learned About Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • October 2, 2013 4:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment
"We can shoot it in one year and we’re out,” director Alfonso Cuaron once said of his latest film, “Gravity” (our review) to his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki; And in Cuaron’s mind when the frequent collaborators first discussed the project in 2009, the intimate, performance-driven drama in space could theoretically fit that production window. But as filmmakers including David Fincher and James Cameron warned him of technology’s limits in bringing his vision to the screen—not to mention that Cuaron’s natural tendencies aimed as ambitious as possible—the full process from conception to Venice premiere ended up clocking in at nearly five years in total.

With James Schamus Out, What Does The Future Hold For Focus Features?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 2, 2013 3:52 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Since 2001, James Schamus has been the very public and very successful CEO of Focus Features, the arthouse arm of Universal Pictures. Under his tenure, filmmakers like Ang Lee, the Coen Brothers, Woody Allen, George Clooney, Cary Fukunaga, Rian Johnson, David Cronenberg, Roman Polanski and more have all seen their movies released by Focus, who have carved out a niche for themselves as an indie willing to take on smart, adult fare and have often proven an ability to make them financially successful. The brand, more often than not, is associated with quality. But a changing of the guard is happening that could see a change in how they operate.

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