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The Playlist

LAFF Review: ‘Cut Bank’ Traps John Malkovich, Bruce Dern, Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer & More In Half-Baked Caper

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • June 24, 2014 2:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Cut Bank
Cut Bank, Montana might be the last place we’d expect to witness an “Office Space” reference, and yet halfway through “Cut Bank” there it is—actor Michael Stuhlbarg asking after a parcel just as Stephen Root’s Milton did with a stapler. The line is meant as a source of both laughs and menace, but the minute Stuhlbarg’s villainous get-up lumbers into frame—heavy-lensed glasses, trucker hat, grimy fingernails—to a sting usually reserved for Jason Voorhees, we know towards which side of the spectrum director Matt Shakman’s leans. It’s just a shame that screenwriter Rodrigo Patino’s Black List script cribs from twenty other sources besides Mike Judge, planting accomplished actors in a dozy small town caper that never gains a sense of location or thrills.

Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' Reportedly Shooting In November With Cast Of Live Read Starring

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 27, 2014 3:55 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Tarantino, hateful eight
From a project he vowed never to make after an early version of the script being leaked, to something that he's now honed with a subsequent draft and directed a live read from, it looks like Quentin Tarantino is getting back in the, uh, saddle, with "The Hateful Eight." It looks like the movie is back on with plans to shoot the movie before the end of the year.

Review: Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ Roars To Life Onstage With Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern & Many More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • April 20, 2014 9:36 AM
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  • 8 Comments
For those entering the sold out live read of Quentin Tarantino’s “Hateful Eight” last night expecting a funerary sendoff, they were instead met straight away with a correction: the event, held at Downtown L.A.’s stunningly renovated Ace Hotel, was simply a public work-in-progress.

Joe Dante's 'The 'Burbs' Turns 25, Watch The Alternate Ending, Interviews, Best Scenes & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • February 17, 2014 1:36 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The 'Burbs
Tom Hanks is two time Oscar winning actor who has been nominated five times. He won for "Forrest Gump" and "Philadelphia" and was nom'd for "Cast Away," "Big" and "Saving Private Ryan.” Some will even say he was robbed of a six nomination this year for “Captain Phillips,” that last scene alone being rather Oscar-worthy on its own. But imagine that there’s a generation out there that might not realize how far he’s come and remember that way back when, he was a pretty silly (but still awesome) comedian. The TV show “Bosom Buddies” lead to great comedy roles in "Splash," the severely underrated "The Money Pit," "Volunteers" and "Bachelor Party." In fact, it was hard to throw a rock five feet in the 1980s and not hit a comedy that Hanks was involved in. In 1988, “Big” was the first serio-comic role that earned him respect and his first Oscar nomination, but a year later one of his best and now beloved comedies arrived in the form of Joe Dante’s cult comedy “The ‘Burbs.

Oscars: The Best Underrated Performances Of The 2014 Actor & Actress Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 3, 2014 1:47 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Underrated Performances, 2014 Actor & Actress Nominees
The trouble with awards season, especially when it comes to actors who often attract nominations, is that there's a risk that it delegitimizes their work if it doesn't get recognized. If Meryl Streep, say, has countless nominations, than there could be a temptation to think of her performances in less awards-friendly fare as "lesser" work, whereas in fact, the opposite can be true—even in films that are of otherwise questionable quality, the actors can still give remarkable performances.

Black Night, White Hell: A Look At Quentin Tarantino’s 'The Hateful Eight' Western

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 31, 2014 3:48 PM
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  • 29 Comments
Quentin Tarantino,
“​I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts [my scripts], gets it and reviews it on the net. I like the fact that people like my shit, and that they go out of their way to find it and read it," Quentin Tarantino recently told Deadline. And while we're not going to defend Gawker's wanton leaking of the script, we are going to look at the director’s would-be Western “The Hateful Eight” in some broad strokes.

Quentin Tarantino's New Western Is Called 'The Hateful Eight'; Wants Christoph Waltz & Bruce Dern To Star

  • By Edward Davis
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  • January 11, 2014 6:32 PM
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  • 11 Comments
For the the months that followed "Django Unchained," filmmaker Quentin Tarantino had been hinting he was hoping to direct a Western next. And then at the end of the year on Jay Leno, he spelled it out in no uncertain terms; he was making a Western next, but it wasn't going to be a sequel to "Django Unchained," or "Killer Crow," the prequel to "Inglourious Basterds," he'd been discussing in several interviews after his slavery epic was done. Well, he kept his promise. And when QT puts his mind to it, he evidently spits out a script quick.

Spike Jonze's 'Her' Wins Best Film & Best Director From National Board Of Review

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 4, 2013 1:42 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Her, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams
So how influential are the National Board Of Review winners? Well, last year "Zero Dark Thirty" won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress and went on to be shut out in all three categories when the Oscars rolled out. Basically, just remember that there is a gulf between critics and Academy voters (remember the year when "The Social Network" cleaned up in the all early awards?) so just take a breath. That said, it's nice to see the love.

Review: Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' Starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte & Bob Odenkirk

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 15, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Nebraska
There’ve been great masses of critical laurels laid at Alexander Payne’s door over the years, some, in our eyes, more earned than others. When it really hits home, the director’s quiet humanism and wry humor can yield perceptive insights, especially into certain trademark areas of expertise: family dynamics, the vanities and follies of aging men, the reluctance to let go of old dreams. But the downside to this kind of blanket approbation is that, because we know what to look for in an Alexander Payne movie, sometimes we might kid ourselves that we find things that aren’t really there. And so, we come trundling to "Nebraska," and certainly not a bad film in any way, but one that failed to engage us with anything like the kind of witty perceptiveness we found in, for example, “Sideways,” to reference the other two-man road trip-style film of Payne’s.

Interview: Will Forte Talks 'Nebraska,' What He Learned From Alexander Payne & Bruce Dern & Status Of 'MacGruber 2'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 14, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Nebraska
There are a number of surprises nestled within Alexander Payne's warmly homespun "Nebraska." Like all of Payne's films, it dangles on the precipice between drama and comedy, this time following an elderly man (a revelatory Bruce Dern) as he travels to Nebraska to collect his winnings from a phony sweepstakes mailer he's received. Accompanying him on the journey is his son, played by Will Forte, who is both humoring him and looking for a way to connect with his emotionally distant father. And it's Forte's performance that might be the biggest, most delightful surprise in "Nebraska." This is, after all, an actor who, just a couple of years ago, waddled around on screen with a stalk of celery sticking out of his butthole. Talk about range.

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