The Playlist

5 Spaghetti Westerns & 5 Slavesploitation Films That Paved The Way For 'Django Unchained'

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • December 28, 2012 1:00 PM
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  • 13 Comments
It’s strange to think that it’s taken so many years for Quentin Tarantino to make a spaghetti western. Tarantino did previously describe “Inglorious Basterds,” the title of which comes from Enzo G. Castellari’s passable rip-off of “The Dirty Dozen,” as “my spaghetti western with World War II iconography.” But “Django Unchained” is the first pastiche, defined as a work of fiction that appropriates elements of other genres for the sake of creating something new, that Tarantino’s done that’s primarily made of spaghetti western tropes. So when Franco Nero, the star of the hyper-violent original “Django” and many others, shows up in “Unchained,” it’s not just a smug wink to the audience: it’s Tarantino’s way of acknowledging the tradition of appropriation and exploitation that his movies come from.

Shocker: Test Footage For 'Hong Kong Phooey' & 'Marvin The Martian' Movies Reveals They Would Be Terrible

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 28, 2012 12:50 PM
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  • 4 Comments
So, in the midst of awards hoopla, here's a bracing reminder of Hollywood at its worst. Studio executives around town have been busy trying to put together movies centered around two cartoon properties: "Hong Kong Phooey," based on a 1970s cartoon no one remembers with Eddie Murphy set to cash a paycheck in the titular voice role, and "Marvin The Martian," a Looney Tunes character we all know and love, who someone seems to think is capable of leading his own movie. Anyway, it appears some test footage has been done and yeah, it's pretty awful.

6 Personal Highlights From The Film Festivals Of 2012

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 28, 2012 12:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
We're generally anti-navelgazing here at The Playlist, but being the end of the year, it can't really be avoided. As we continue to take a look back at the cinematic year of 2012, we're trying to shake things up and keep things fresh outside of the usual Best/Worst lists. This year saw The Playlist making a presence around the world at more than a handful of festivals. And while you've already read our reviews and news, we thought we'd give you a taste of the experience of attending these festivals. Even if you can't make Cannes or board a flight to Marrakech, we hope this helps in translating what it's like to run around a foreign country with nothing more than a laptop and a love of cinema. So, without further ado, here are six personal highlights from the various film festivals in 2012 we attended.

Watch: Billie Joe Armstrong Pitches A Death Metal-Meets-Belle & Sebastian Side-Project In 'This Is 40' Deleted Scene

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2012 11:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It might be underwhelming a bit at the box office, but it's all about the multiples at this time of year -- think of "We Bought A Zoo," which opened to a disappointing $9 million last Christmas, only to go on to make a healthy $75 million by the time it departed from theaters. So Universal are far from giving up on Judd Apatow's latest, keeping the publicity machine ticking over the holidays, and the studio have released another deleted scene from the movie to lure in those who might have so far been on the fence about the film.

Review: Dustin Hoffman's 'Quartet' Is An Amiable, Harmless Showcase For Brit Acting Talent

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2012 10:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Dustin Hoffman has taken 45 years as both one of our most acclaimed actors, and as a major box office draw, to step behind the camera. In fact, that's not strictly true; Hoffman was the original director of his terminally underrated 1978 crime picture "Straight Time," but struck by indecisiveness early in production, made way for Ulu Grosbard instead. But now, nearly 35 years on, the legendary star has finally completed his debut directorial effort, "Quartet," an adaptation of the play by Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist").

Robert Zemeckis Puts The Kibosh On His 'Yellow Submarine' Remake

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • December 28, 2012 10:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments
With his return to live-action filmmaking a financial and critical success, it seems like Robert Zemeckis isn’t in a hurry to return to the cold and creepy embrace of mo-cap. The “Flight” director was originally set to helm a mo-cap remake of the landmark Beatles animated film “Yellow Submarine” before Disney put the kibosh on the project in the wake of the dismal showing of “Mars Needs Moms” and now hit seems e’s cooled on the idea of ever returning to the project.

Gabe Toro's Ten Best Films Of 2012

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 28, 2012 9:56 AM
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  • 28 Comments
A strong year, this 2012. Every genre had its share of riches, and we were spoiled by new films from Andersons Wes and Paul Thomas, further mythmaking from Quentin Tarantino and an inquisition into our currency from David Cronenberg. We saw the continued evolution of the careers of Jacques Audiard, Rian Johnson, Craig Zobel and Ira Sachs, while William Friedkin was revitalized, and, as if by accident, two more great films tumbled out of Steven Soderbergh’s pocket. By the time Steven Spielberg cranked out his finest film in almost two decades, we were awash in riches.

Oh Right, It's Because I'm Dead: Watch The First 4 Minutes Of 'Warm Bodies'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • December 28, 2012 9:37 AM
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  • 0 Comments
With a little over a month until the release of the Jonathan Levine-helmed adaptation of “Warm Bodies,” the first four minutes of the zom-rom-com have arrived, courtesy of Fandango.

Watch: Elijah Wood Is A 'Maniac' In First 6 Minutes From Horror Remake

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 28, 2012 9:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment
There is no doubt that an Elijah Wood led remake of the 1980 B-movie, cult horror flick "Maniac" is an enticing prospect. Granted, it's coming from the guy who made the parking lot thriller "P2" and the movie no saw, "Wrong Turn At Tahoe," but Wood getting splattered in blood and carving up some people is certainly a far step away from Frodo. It's just too bad the results seem to be a bit uninspired.
More: Maniac

Fox Honcho Rupert Murdoch Says 'Zero Dark Thirty' May "Inflame Arab World"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 28, 2012 8:56 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Even though "Zero Dark Thirty" is still only in a handful of theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, it seems everyone has an opinion on the movie at this point. The "pro-torture" controversy continues to swirl, though director Kathryn Bigelow has tried to make it clear the interrogation method was included because, well, it's something that was used along the way (United States Secretary Of Defense Leon Panetta has admitted "enhanced interrogation" was used to get intel on Osama Bin Laden). Anyway, the talk around the movie won't end anytime soon, and now Rupert Murdoch is weighing in.

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