The Playlist

Best Of 2013: The Breakout Directors Of The Year

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 27, 2013 5:20 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Best of 2013: The Breakout Directors Of The Year
Every year, film buffs get themselves in a lather over the latest from their favorite experienced directors. The calendar is marked for the next Spielberg, I’ll be there opening day for Scorsese’s latest, I am all about Spike Lee, etc. But the real pleasure in being a film fan is stumbling upon the undiscovered, lifting a rock and uncovering a new talent, a new voice, with a brand new vocabulary for us to learn. The Scorsese films will be there for us to discover and rediscover whenever we want. In 2013, however, there was only one Shaka King picture, there was only one Lake Bell joint.

10 Lost, Unmade & Possible Future Projects Of Spike Lee

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 27, 2013 4:32 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Spike Lee
You hardly need to be a daily reader of our humble blog (though if you're not, what's wrong with you?) to know that there are few filmmakers we are more eternally fascinated by than Spike Lee, despite, and let's be honest, often because of his predilection for pissing people off. Lee is an epochal figure even away from the feuds and the tiffs and the controversies; we will never forget just how awestruck we were when we first saw "Do the Right Thing" and went on to enjoy the fruits of the independent filmmaking scene that it pretty much revolutionized. If Lee had never made another film, he'd deserve our attention just for that. But of course, Lee has made other films, and if anything, the way he has subsequently swung wildly from near-genius ("The 25th Hour," "Malcolm X," "4 Little Girls") to what the what? ("Girl 6," "She Hate Me," "Kobe Doin Work"), and regularly visited all points in between, makes us even more interested in tracking his output.

Michael Mann’s Cybercrime Thriller Hits January 2015, ‘Warcraft’ Moves To March 2016 To Make Way For ‘Star Wars 7’

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 27, 2013 4:16 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Duncan Jones, World of Warcraft
Universal Pictures and their new partners at Legendary Pictures (they said "see ya later" to Warner Bros. this year after “Pacific Rim”) have unveiled a quintet of release dates for their 2015/2016 season. Let’s get right to it. The first and perhaps most disappointing news is that Michael Mann’s untitled project (a cybercrime thriller set in Hong Kong starring Chris Hemsworth) has been dated for January 16, 2015. January is a crappy date, so it sucks, right? Well, for one, we’ll see if that date sticks, for two, Ron Howard’s Hemsworth-starring “In The Heart of The Sea” opens two months later and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a few months after that, so perhaps the studio is just trying to strategize around those dates.

Review: 'These Birds Walk' Authentic, Poignant Doc On Pakistani Runaways & Youth Home

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • November 27, 2013 3:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments
At daybreak twilight, an unsteady camera captures a young boy Omar running to the ocean and his wordless reveling at reaching the water, these opening shots bordering on Malickian. As with most moments of pure joy and freedom, it's not to last as we see him taken into police custody and then to a youth home, the central subject of Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq's "These Birds Walk."

Watch: 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' Has Big Dreams In TV Spot Plus New Pics From The Film; Guild Screenings Start This Weekend

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 27, 2013 3:22 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The Wolf Of Wall Street
This weekend, "The Wolf Of Wall Street" will finally be unveiled....if you're lucky enough to be a member of the guilds. And even those folks likely didn't invited to the super exclusive, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio hosted screening on Monday night in New York City. Either way, by the time the turkey and stuffing leftovers are packed and everyone gets back to work on Monday, we're likely to start hearing the first word on the movie. But until then, here's some more peeks at what is one of December's hottest tickets.

Review: Animated Fairy Tale 'Frozen' Is A New Disney Classic

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 27, 2013 2:51 PM
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  • 30 Comments
For much of the past decade Walt Disney Animation Studios was suffering from something of an identity crisis. The studio's bread and butter—traditional, hand-drawn animation—was falling out of favor with audiences once again. The Disney Renaissance, which began with "The Little Mermaid" and continued through some of the studio's biggest hits, was flagging. The animation was still peerless, but obscene micromanagement from Michael Eisner and a defeated staff, who felt that the studio was paying more attention to Pixar than them, led to increasingly lacklustre material. Audiences preferred the more technologically advanced 3D computer animation that studios like DreamWorks Animation were churning out regularly and the question of what a Disney animated movie was, exactly, remained in the balance. Thankfully, with "Frozen," that riddle seems to have been solved.

Break Bad With New ‘Cold Comes The Night’ Photos & Clips With Bryan Cranston & Alice Eve; Hits Theaters/VOD In January

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 27, 2013 2:44 PM
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  • 4 Comments
“Cold Comes The Night” is one of those indies you hear about for a long time, but often don’t see right away. It stars Bryan Cranston, Alice Eve and “Prometheus” star Logan Marshall-Green so it’s gotta be good, right? Well, it came out in the U.K. in September and it barely made a peep and now it’s been slotted for a U.S. release date: January 10, 2014 on VOD and theatrically, so…. well, you do the math.

'Aquaman' Is A "Priority" For DC Comics; Stan Lee Bringing Yet Another Superhero To The Big Screen

  • By Ben Brock
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  • November 27, 2013 2:23 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any superhero movie news, or even any more weekends between now and 2024 without a superhero flick scheduled for release...comes news of two more spandex-scented projects (sort of).

New Pics From 'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug' Plus Warner Bros. Note On The Frame Rate

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 27, 2013 1:41 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
"The Hobbit" is big, this we already know. Peter Jackson's three movie spanning, J.R.R. Tolkien based adaptation goes into every nook and cranny of Middle Earth and beyond, leaving few stones unturned or untouched. In short, the director is trying to craft an unforgettable experience and part of that is, for better or worse, 3D and high frame rates.

Watch: 1-Hour 1981 PBS Special On The Making Of ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’

  • By Ben Brock
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  • November 27, 2013 12:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” was the first and either the best or the second-best of the Indiana Jones films (you know this to be true, commenters), and it now seems like such a stone-cold, well-known classic that it's hard to believe its 1981 release was a gamble of sorts. Sure, it had George Lucas and Steven Spielberg behind it, who at the time were amicably tied for the title of “most powerful film-maker in the world”: but the film appeared to be a hokey, intentionally old-fashioned attempt at a two-fisted tale about ne'er-do-well Nazis and shifty Arabs, starring that guy who played Han Solo in those movies about space. This could easily have been a “Lone Ranger”-type situation.

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