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The Playlist

Review: ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’ An Unexceptional, But Still Satisfying Fairy Tale Blockbuster

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 26, 2013 7:01 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Hollywood’s race to bring fairy tales to the big screen over the last few years, hasn’t had the best results, at least creatively. While “Alice In Wonderland” made a still unbelievable $1 billion worldwide, it simply wasn’t good, and subsequent efforts like “Red Riding Hood,” “Mirror Mirror” and “Snow White & The Huntsman” brought high concepts and diminished returns. Part of the problem has been an issue of approach, with fairy tale films either choosing to aim for kids, or go dark for tweens, with very little middleground. But that’s a problem screenwriters Christohper McQuarrie, Darren Lemke and Dan Studney solve with “Jack The Giant Slayer,” a movie that aims for that soft, MOR mainstream audience, but takes its source material and executes its modest ambitions into a satisfying big screen adventure.

Watch: Battles Rage In 2 Clips From 'Jack The Giant Slayer'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 13, 2013 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments
March will be be a bit of a testing ground for fairy tale movies, as two major tentpole movies re-imagining familiar tales will hit the multiplex in all their CGI glory. And in 3D too, no less. Having lived through two tepid Snow White movies last year, will audiences be more wary of "Oz The Great And Powerful" and "Jack The Giant Slayer"? We'll soon find out, but a couple of clips from Bryan Singer's forthcoming effort aren't exactly the most enticing teasers.

Ewan McGregor Joins 'Snowtown' Director Justin Kurzel's John Le Carré Adaptation 'Our Kind Of Traitor'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 17, 2013 9:40 PM
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  • 3 Comments
First announced last spring, "The Snowtown Murders" director Justin Kurzel's adaptation of John Le Carré's "Our Kind Of Traitor" has been moving slowly. There was a brief flick of life in November when it was reported that Mads Mikkelsen, Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain were rumored for roles. But now it seems the first actor has come aboard, and it's none of those names.

Review: Overwrought 'The Impossible' Drowns In A Sea Of Melodrama

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 21, 2012 11:05 AM
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  • 12 Comments
If "The Impossible" moves viewers to do anything, it may be to upgrade their life insurance policy to cover injuries due to tsunami. Following a wealthy family who encounter undeniable hardship, they are also blessed with the kind of luck and good fortune that only happens in the movies (or to people who can afford it). Except as director Juan Antonio Bayona takes great pains tell us, this is Based On A True Story (with the words "true story" then left to linger on their own before the movie begins). And while that may (almost) forgive some of the more happenstance developments in the film, it doesn't excuse the overbearing emotion and narrow focus of this overwrought picture.

New Images Of Naomi Watts As Princess Diana & In 'The Impossible'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 3, 2012 12:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment
True stories and tragedy seem to be drawing Naomi Watts' attention these days. Though Oscar talk has quieted a bit, the actress stars in this month's disaster drama "The Impossible," and she spent the fall shooting the Princess Diana flick "Diana." And if all goes according to plan, she'll feature in Andrew Dominik's Marilyn Monroe film "Blonde." And some new pics have landed to today allowing us to see Watts in action as a princess in love and a mother in peril.

Ewan McGregor Was 'Born To Be King' With Kate Hudson

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2012 2:52 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ordinarily, the presence of Kate Hudson would have us throwing red flags all over the place. Good lord, remember this? However, the new project she has brewing has two counterpoints: Ewan McGregor and Peter Capaldi.

Ewan McGregor Is A 'Son Of A Gun'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 12, 2012 8:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Ewan McGregor is one of our favorite actors, and his choices usually tend to be a bit off the beaten path, and undeniably interesting. However, the thriller or action genre isn't one he's dipped his toes into too often. Oh sure, there's "Haywire" but he was mostly on the phone in that one, and Michael Bay's "The Island" didn't quite work (and the less said about the "Star Wars" prequels, the better, though they likely ensure a pretty nice annual check). All that aside, it looks like he'll be picking up the guns again for a movie where he'll portray public enemy number one.

Ewan McGregor Latest To Join Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts & More In 'August: Osage County'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2012 5:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Emboldened by two Best Picture wins in two years (plus two Best Directors, two Best Actors and a Best Actress...), Harvey Weinstein seems to be setting out to win all the Oscars in 2013 -- "The Master" and "Silver Linings Playbook" all look like players, and The Weinstein Company is also holding out hope for "Django Unchained," "Killing Them Softly," "Untouchable," "Song for Marion," "Quartet" and more. Next year, however, he's going for a simpler approach, by cramming as many acclaimed actors as possible into a single acclaimed piece of source material.

Poster For 'The Impossible' & Two New Clips From The Tsunami-Set Drama

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 11, 2012 4:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The L.A. Times made us chuckle when they recently wrote, "One man's ambitious, iconoclastic, like-nothing-ever-before-seen passion project is another man's 'Battlefield Earth.' " They were of course talking about the Wachowski's polarizing "Cloud Atlas," a picture some adored and some loathed (our review was on the negative side, but not quite as damning as some). The same ideas could apply to Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Impossible” starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

Watch: New Spanish Trailer & Pics Of Ewan McGregor & Naomi Watts In J.A. Bayona's Tsunami Drama 'The Impossible'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 24, 2012 11:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Juan Antonio Bayona has looked like a serious talent ever since his top-notch ghost story "The Orphanage" premiered at Cannes in 2007. Five years later, we're finally getting a follow-up from the Spanish director, with his much-anticipated and long-in-the-works tsunami drama "The Impossible" selected to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And some new pictures have debuted, showing Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, along with their children, as a couple torn apart by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

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