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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

Elizabeth Banks Joins 'What To Expect When You're Expecting'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 11, 2011 5:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment
"Spent the morning standing around in my underwear with a nice group of strangers trying on bellies. Guess why," actress Elizabeth Banks tweeted this afternoon. Well, she didn't keep it a secret for too long as she quickly followed it up with, "Joining J Lo, Cameron Diaz and the rest of the awesome cast of What To Expect When You're Expecting! Let's have babies together!"

Elizabeth Banks Producing A Capella Comedy 'Pitch Perfect'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 12:14 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In the world of "Glee" and "High School Musical," of comedies about spelling bees and debate teams and cheerleaders and frat houses, it's almost staggering that we've managed to go through the history of cinema without a film focusing on college a capella groups. But fret no longer! Nature abhors a vacuum, and as such, and hot on the heels of that one scene in "The Social Network," a comedy focusing on the backing-free singing groups is now in the works.

Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively & More Testing For 'The Silver Linings Playbook'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 23, 2011 6:45 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Wilde & Possibly Jennifer Lawrence All In The MixSo what happens when your last film earns seven Oscar nominations and two wins for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress? You get your pick of the lot when it comes to rounding up the cast for your next film.

Paul Rudd Is A Smiley Moron In First Poster For 'Our Idiot Brother'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Even though the film received respectful, rather than rave, reviews on its Sundance bow (our own review was one of the more positive), you can't cast Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy, T.J. Miller, Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn in a comedy together without leaving us begging to see the finished film, and that's why we've been firmly looking forward to "Our Idiot Brother" all year long.

Elizabeth Banks Will Play 'Hunger Games' As Effie Trinket

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 19, 2011 1:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Earlier today, "Hunger Games" added newcomers Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg as District 10 members Thresh and Rue, and now a bigger name has come aboard the Gary Ross film in a meaty role.

The Playlist Foolishly, and Prematurely, Predicts Best Supporting Actor & Actress At The 2012 Oscars

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 3, 2011 10:32 AM
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  • 8 Comments
So, yes, you know the drill by now: we've done Best Picture for 2012 and we've done our Actor and Actress picks. Now, we're turning our hand to the ever-undervalued supporting players.

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