The Playlist

Review: James Franco's 'Maladies' With Catherine Keener & David Strathairn Is Alienating And Dull

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • March 19, 2014 5:06 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Carrying the dubious distinction of being a film that managed to try our patience after just five minutes, “Maladies” is for us best summed up in one word: wasteful. It is wasteful of the considerable talents of a fabulous cast, wasteful of a pleasingly off-kilter visual approach, and wasteful of our time. It is even wasteful of a director whose instincts, no matter how much he may want to kick against them, seem to lie more in the direction of the kind of classical, straightforward story he is at pains here to not give us. Nope, this is a film that Comments On The Creative Process, and Refers To Itself As A Film and Makes Statements About Sexuality And Gender and Has Its Characters Conflate With Their Real-Life Personas—this is nothing so fusty and old-hat as a classically told story.

Watch: New Full-Length 'Godzilla' Trailer Rises Out Of The Ocean

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 25, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 23 Comments
Godzilla
"The great thing with a project like 'Godzilla' is that when you’re doing a movie like this that involves a monster that’s so beloved, you suddenly get access to the greatest visual artists out there working today. So I was very lucky in terms of that," director Gareth Edwards told Bloody Disgusting last summer. "...in terms of designing 'Godzilla,' we spent about an entire year just working on that aspect alone. You never quite feel like you have enough time but I wouldn’t change a single thing with the design. I’m so incredibly happy with it."

Jay Baruchel Is A ‘Man Seeking Woman,’ Linda Cardellini Joins Netflix Thriller, Nick Cannon Back For 'Drumline 2' & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • February 7, 2014 10:23 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Visibly more than his fellow Canadian collaborators, Jay Baruchel has retained his hometown adoration by selecting gigs set or filmed north of the border—“Cosmopolis”, “Goon”, and “Good Neighbors” to name a few—and now he’s set for a dual repeat with two projects in the works.

Watch: James Franco Isn't Feeling Well In Trailer For 'Maladies'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 5, 2014 11:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In the upcoming "Maladies," James Franco plays a former soap opera actor named James who gets lost within his own mind. And while we're not suggesting Franco is mentally unstable, the other details do lend something of a meta quality to the latest Thing That Franco Did, which seems about right for the multi-hyphenate who likes to play with the perception of his persona.

David Strathairn Rounds Out Cast of ‘Godzilla’ Reboot With Aaron Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen & Bryan Cranston

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 11, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 3 Comments
There are certain stable of actors, who might not be the most well known around the breakfast table or water cooler, but who are ever reliable players who can come off the bench in any more and hit a home run of a performance. And David Strathairn is one of those guys. An Oscar nominee ("Good Night And Good Luck") and two time Golden Globe nominee ("Good Night And Good Luck," "Temple Grandin") he's the kind of guy admired and respected by his peers, but who A-list fame eludes. But it doesn't matter, because the offers will keep rolling in and it speaks to his skill, that he's been drafted by a major blockbuster.

Exclusive: James Franco Discusses His Pact With Catherine Keener In Clip From 'Maladies'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 4, 2013 10:57 AM
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  • 0 Comments
While James Franco will be starring in the fantastical "Oz The Great And Powerful" opening this weekend, the busy multi-hyphenate has another movie making its way to audiences as well. "Maladies" finds the actor once again stretching his wings, in a movie that finds him alongside talent like Catherine Keener and David Strathairn.

Berlin Review: James Franco-Starring 'Maladies' Maroons A Dream Indie Cast In A Wasteland Of Tiresome Self-Indulgence

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 11, 2013 11:03 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Carrying the dubious distinction of being a film that managed to try our patience after just five minutes, “Maladies” is for us best summed up in one word: wasteful. It is wasteful of the considerable talents of a fabulous cast, wasteful of a pleasingly off-kilter visual approach, and wasteful of our time. It is even wasteful of a director whose instincts, no matter how much he may want to kick against them, seem to lie more in the direction of the kind of classical, straightforward story he is at pains here to not give us.

Watch: Trailer For Berlin & SXSW Pic 'Maladies' Starring James Franco & Cross-Dressing Catherine Keener

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 8, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Yes, it's James Franco Project #A-9087B-X7, but we'll say this about the prolific actor/writer/director/producer -- his choices are never dull. Indeed, "Maladies" is on our list of 5 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2013 Berlin Film Festival, and the cast, which also includes Catherine Keener and David Strathairn, is one that we'd be curious to check out in almost anything. And with subject matter such as schizophrenia and sexuality in the mix, the blend could be potent, but we have to be honest: now that the first trailer is here, we're not sure what to think.

Watch: 2 New Clips From Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • November 8, 2012 9:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Now that the U.S. presidential election is out of the way, folks will be gearing up to see another president in action with Steven Spielberg’s long-brewing “Lincoln.” And with the film opening in select theaters this weekend, a pair of new clips have been released.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'L.A. Confidential'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 19, 2012 12:07 PM
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  • 8 Comments
It's safe to say that "L.A. Confidential" wasn't greeted with especially high expectations in the run up to its release. James Ellroy's 1990 book, the third of his "L.A. Quartet" (preceded by "The Black Dahlia" and "The Big Nowhere," and completed by "White Jazz") was a favorite among crime fans, but hardly a best seller. Screenwriter Brian Helgeland was known only for "Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" and a rewrite of actioner "Assassins." Director Curtis Hanson was well-liked, but mostly known for mid-level programmers like "Bad Influence," "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and "The River Wild." And the cast was led by two virtual unknowns from the Southern Hemisphere, with the most recognizable names in the cast being Kim Basinger, whose career was a little on the outs, comedy actor Danny DeVito and recently Oscar-nominated character actor Kevin Spacey.

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