The Playlist

Charlie Kaufman's Ambitious Meta-Musical 'Frank Or Francis' Is Not Dead, But It Has Been Postponed

  • By Edward Davis
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  • June 26, 2012 3:47 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The film blogosphere loves screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman, and with good reason. His mindbending screenplays and films ("Synecdoche, New York," "Adaptation," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") are surreal, challenging, hilariously bizarre, profound and moving, so he is beloved by many cinephiles who value something other than the cookie-cutter norm. Consequently, when quotes from actress Elizabeth Banks started spreading today about the viability and potential death of Kaufman's next project "Frank Or Francis" -- an ambitious satire of Hollywood set to music, where a film director feuds with a blogger -- people understandably got worried.

L.A. Film Fest Review: A Well-Constructed 'People Like Us' Is Marred By Its Sentimental Mawkishness

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • June 17, 2012 9:44 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Alex Kurtzman’s new film, “People Like Us,” shares the technical prowess of some existential sound and picture classics, employing supreme aural and visual techniques to create subjectivity. However, an increasingly rote storyline and adherence to syrupy sweet romantic comedy tropes leaves a murky aftertaste: a schmaltzy tearjerker masquerading as a psychological thriller.

Trailer, Poster & New Images For Musical Comedy 'Pitch Perfect' Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson & Elizabeth Banks

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • June 15, 2012 9:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Since first appearing in Jeffrey Blitz’s fictional film directorial debut, “Rocket Science,” Anna Kendrick has proved herself to be a strong supporting playing in films as varied as the “Twilight” franchise, “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” and “Up In The Air.” She’s now finally stepping into a leading lady role with the comedy “Pitch Perfect.”

Elizabeth Banks Asks 'What's The Matter With Margie?' With Alan Ball, 'The Angriest Man In Brooklyn' Finds A Few Friends & More

  • By Simon Dang
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  • May 18, 2012 10:50 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Even though he scripted "American Beauty" for Sam Mendes before his two successful television shows "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood," Alan Ball has only returned to the silver screen for little-seen directorial debut "Towelhead." Last year, though, brought news that Emmy and Oscar winning writer-director (hello EGOT?) was lining up a return with a dark comedy for Paramount.

5 New Pics Of Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks & Michelle Pfeiffer In 'People Like Us'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 30, 2012 3:41 PM
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  • 1 Comment
After delivering emotion-deadening blockbusters like "Transfomers" and "Cowboys & Aliens," can producers and writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci do nuanced dramedy? That's the question at the center of "People Like Us," Kurtzman's directorial debut that he penned and produced with Orci, with Jody Lambert also throwing in a hand on the script.

Watch: Trailer For 'Star Trek' Writer Alex Kurtzman's Directorial Debut 'People Like Us,' With Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks & Michelle Pfieffer

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 29, 2012 8:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
We're only about a month away from the start of the summer movie season, and the onslaught of noisy effects-heavy pictures that come with it. As such, more dramatic films, movies about human beings rather than robots or aliens, are about to get a little thin on the ground, but with the right placement, such a picture can prove to be an antidote to blockbusters and make a quiet killing, as "The Help" did last year. This year, one of the films attempting to fill that gap is "People Like Us," the directorial debut of Alex Kurtzman, a man who's been used to far bigger-budget fare thanks to his co-writing work on films like "Mission Impossible 3." "Transformers," "Star Trek" and "Cowboys & Aliens."

Review: 'The Hunger Games' Is Thoughtful, Thrilling Popular Entertainment That Genuinely Deserves To Be A Franchise

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • March 16, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Complexity and understatement are two criminally under-utilized values in most mainstream movies these days, but they’re at the core of, and the chief reason for the success of “The Hunger Games.” Director Gary Ross, screenwriter of the proletariat presidential fantasy “Dave” and writer-director of the social-consciousness-as-sci-fi tome “Pleasantville,” has always engaged his subjects with a light and yet substantial touch, but his adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ acclaimed young-adult novel is a truly remarkable achievement: he turns escapism into a deeply emotional experience. Instantly razing comparisons – qualitative especially -- to other female-friendly series such as “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” is the first film in a long time that deserves Hollywood’s instant-franchise ambitions because it appeals to genre fans regardless of gender by crafting a story that’s both epic and intimate, spectacular and subtle.

Discuss: Is This New 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' Trailer Going To Bring In The Dudes?

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 7, 2012 7:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Starring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Dennis Quaid, Genesis Rodriguez, Megan Mullally, Wendi McLendon-Covey ("Bridesmaids"), Rodrigo Santoro, Chace Crawford, Rob Huebel ("Human Giant"), Thomas Lennon ("A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas"), Joe Manganiello, and more, the new pregnancy comedy, "What To Expect When You're Expecting" often looks like the catch-all, all-things-to-everyone style comedy. And/or a bit like the holiday comedies of late, "New Year's Eve" and "Valentine's Day," which use the formula of dozens of celebrity actors big and small, shake and stir and hope that it all makes sense in the end. The marketing for the films has thus far insulted intelligence -- look at these awesome/awful posters -- however, it's also geared at triggering that "I can relate with that! ha!" response.

Charlie Kaufman's 'Frank Or Francis' Adds Elizabeth Banks & Paul Reubens

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 27, 2012 9:37 PM
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  • 3 Comments
It just keeps getting better and better. Only a day after Charlie Kaufman's wildly ambitious "Frank Or Francis" landed its first female leads in Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener, another exceptionally talented thesp is coming on board.

Marti Noxon Re-Writing Elizabeth Banks' ‘Tink,’ Talks Troubled ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’

  • By Ryan Sartor
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  • November 21, 2011 4:42 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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