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The Playlist

Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth & Josh Hutcherson

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • November 12, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 17 Comments
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Francis Lawrence is a filmmaker I typically associate with bland proficiency, but “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” – which honestly required nothing more than that to be considered successful -- is something truly remarkable. Easily the most sophisticated and thoughtful franchise film of 2013, Lawrence’s adaptation of the second novel in Suzanne Collins’ young adult series is all-things-to-all-people entertainment, a follow-up that intensifies the first film’s thrills while simultaneously developing its characters, and even more crucially, expanding its themes. The rare sequel that surpasses its predecessor, “Catching Fire” tackles head-on the repercussions of the events of “Hunger Games,” deepening Collins’ cinematic mythology even as it proves that teen-lit is more than capable of tackling complex ideas.

Elizabeth Banks & Chloe Sevigny Have 'Little Accidents'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 15, 2013 3:40 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs have played an instrumental part in guiding all kinds of talent over the past years. And if you need any evidence, look no further than this weekend's "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," which was developed up in Park City, before shooting last year. And now, another movie is getting going, boasting stars, indie spirit and a Sundance badge of honor. And thus it'll be one we keep an eye on....

Elizabeth Banks & Paul Giamatti Join Brian Wilson Biopic 'Love & Mercy'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 26, 2013 3:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments
If you're going to tell the story of one of the greatest pop songwriters of all time, you'd better bring it, and credit to producer/director Bill Pohlad for bringing some solid talent to his Brian Wilson biopic "Love & Mercy." John Cusack and Paul Dano are slated to play the older and younger versions of the Beach Boys frontman respectively, and the past couple weeks have seen two more nice additions to the cast.

Robert Duvall Will Go In Front Of 'The Judge' With Robert Downey Jr.

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 13, 2013 3:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Okay, so it's not quite Jack Nicholson who the filmmakers were hoping for last fall, but a movie with Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. in the lead roles, still sounds pretty good us.

Kristen Stewart & Elizabeth Banks Join Jim Sturgess In 'Secretary' Director Steven Shainberg's 'The Big Shoe'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 7, 2013 1:12 PM
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  • 8 Comments
When we put together our 'where are they now' list of directors who'd gone years without making a film, one of the ones who didn't quite make the cut, but came very close, was Steven Shainberg. The filmmaker's second film "Secretary" was one of the more enduring indie cult classics of the first half of the 00s, but follow-up "Fur," with Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr, about Diane Arbus, wasn't embraced by either critics or audiences, and seven years have passed since that film.

Review: 'Movie 43' Strains For Laughs With Uninspired Collection Of Comedy Shorts

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 25, 2013 8:03 AM
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  • 3 Comments
What is there to say, analytically, about “Movie 43”? Not released in theaters as much as inexplicably materializing in front of our very eyes, “Movie 43” has no moral, no overarching story, and no point other than the opportunity for Hollywood stars to play silly for a short while. Some of them relish this – a few of the performers are a natural at studied wackiness. Some aren’t as comfortable. Others just seem like they’re passing the time. The filmmakers who collaborated on this anthology film, however, mostly fit that last description. Despite the title, this… thing…is barely a movie.

Review: ‘The Details’ Is An Inconsistent But Entertaining Dark Comedy

  • By Cory Everett
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  • October 30, 2012 4:10 PM
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  • 1 Comment
“The Details” is one of those dark comedies where everything that can go wrong does. The sophomore film from Jacob Aaron Estes, whose previous film “Mean Creek” won the John Cassavetes Award at Sundance in 2004, was the biggest sale of the 2011, purchased by The Weinstein Company for $8 million. Of the dozen movies this writer saw while he was at the fest, it was one of the more accessible, but didn’t exactly ring of “Little Miss Sunshine”-like success either. The film stars Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks as Jeff and Nealy Lang, young parents who have hit a rough patch in their marriage. Jeff is a doctor, Nealy is an interior decorator and while it’s probably neither’s fault, the passion has clearly gone out of their relationship, the image of the happy suburban couple is immediately shattered by a screaming match between the couple during the opening credits.

Raccoons & Infidelity Run Through New Clip And Images From ‘The Details’ Starring Tobey Maguire

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • October 29, 2012 10:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Through the beginnings of Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio’s careers existed a parallel role choice before diverging in approach, and so it's with perhaps a tinge of familiarity, post-“Revolutionary Road,” that Maguire stepped in for his own take on a crumbling marriage with 2011 Sundance hit “The Details.” However, despite finding distribution coin (to the tune of $8 mil) from The Weinstein Company, the Jacob Aaron Estes (“Mean Creek”) black comedy is just now finding theatrical release next month, but rather than bury the film, they’ve instead ramped up promotion with a slew of new material to witness.

Elizabeth Banks Takes A 'Walk Of Shame'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2012 10:22 AM
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  • 3 Comments
While we enjoyed "Pitch Perfect," for this writer the comedic highlight wasn't Rebel Wilson or Anna Kendrick, but Elizabeth Banks (who also produced the movie, fyi). Her small role alongside John Michael Higgins as a capella commentators provided some of the biggest belly laughs, and while we wait for someone to figure out that those two should lead their own movie together, we'll be content with the fact that Banks is getting a new comedy vehicle.

Watch: Red Band Trailer For Anthology Comedy 'Movie 43' Starring Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone & Every Star On The Planet

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 2, 2012 10:57 PM
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  • 6 Comments
What do you get when you put together twelve directors, way more stars and producing power of Peter Farrelly? Well, it's "Movie 43" a portmanteau of comedy that looks like it'll be wearing it's R-rating with pride. And a new red band trailer has dropped to let audiences know just what on Earth they'll be getting into.

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