The Playlist

Review: Jim Jarmusch's Cultured & Cool 'Only Lovers Left Alive' Starring Tom Hiddleston & Tilda Swinton

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • April 10, 2014 6:21 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Only Lovers Left Alive
From the very first opening titles, written in a Germanic font that immediately conjures everything from “Triumph of the Will” to images of big-busted ladies screaming in campy close-up in 1970s cheapie horrors (it may be the only time in Cannes that a film got a big laugh for a typeface) it’s perfectly clear that the Jim Jarmusch in whose company we’re about to spend a couple of hours is not the wilfully obscure surrealist of “The Limits of Control,” nor the considered, melancholic philosopher behind “Dead Man,” nor even the oddball ragtag troubadour of “Down By Law." In fact, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” Jarmusch’s take on the vampire myth starring recent muse Tilda Swinton and Tom “fast becoming everyone’s favorite actor” Hiddleston, finds the maverick filmmaker on playful, referential and mischievous form with hugely enjoyable, if not exactly weighty or important, results.

Watch: 'Ernest & Celestine' Go On The Run In Trailer For 2014 Academy Award Best Animated Film Nominee

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • February 6, 2014 4:06 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Ernest & Celestine
Here's a friendly reminder that when it comes to animated films, you have options outside the usual Hollywood stuff from Pixar, Fox and DreamWorks, that are no less creative and charming. A new trailer for the Oscar nominated "Ernest & Celestine" is here, and it'll send some warm vibes your way.

The Best & The Worst Of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • November 25, 2013 1:40 PM
  • |
  • 66 Comments
Catching Fire, feature
Now officially the all-time November opening record holder, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" was always a fairly sure thing in terms of box office. But what's more impressive is the advance word on the film (our own included), and the buzz around it, which has been so positive, with it being touted as the rare sequel that improves on the original, and with many going so far as to compare it to "The Empire Strikes Back." (Though, to be honest, we think that comparison is more to do with how open-ended it feels, with the good guys separated and some of them still imperiled, at the film's close.) Some of us might not go quite that far, but certainly director Francis Lawrence has made good on delivering a broader, more nuanced and more layered film than the first, which is fitting considering he was adapting what we'd consider the best of the three books, by quite some distance.

Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 4 Finale “Farewell Daddy Blues”

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • November 24, 2013 9:58 PM
  • |
  • 21 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4, Farewell Daddy
“After today I’m not making plans,” Atlantic City kingpin Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) says on the phone. If only he really knew how true that might be. He’s evidently retiring and telling his Florida business partner and occasional lover Sally Wheat (Patricia Arquette) that after he wraps up loose ends he’s moving down South to Cuba, taking her with him. It’s understandable—the New Jersey mobster’s become hip to the fact that something fishy is going on with his brother Eli (Shea Whigham) and that it probably involves a maybe-not-so-crooked FBI Agent Knox (Brian Geraghty), which can’t be any good.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire,' Season 4, Episode 10, ‘White Horse Pike’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • November 10, 2013 10:41 PM
  • |
  • 9 Comments
White Horse Pike, Boardwalk Empire
Entertainment Weekly added “Boardwalk Empire” to the lesser half of its “Fall TV Winners & Losers” section in the magazine this week, The Hollywood Reporter griped about the show at the beginning of the season, and, to be totally transparent, this writer did the same. But what’s become incredibly apparent with the 4th season of HBO’s engrossing Atlantic City-based mobsters and bootleggers drama is that, sure, while the show is typically slow to get moving, once the momentum begins to build, the carefully crafted narrative begins to tighten and all the pieces fall into place. Once this occurs, you can get as hooked as Gillian Darmody was to smack. Those without the patience to absorb the full breadth of what has revealed itself to be a terrifically played-out season are poorer for it. So full mea culpas all around.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 9 ‘Marriage and Hunting’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • November 3, 2013 9:45 PM
  • |
  • 9 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Hunting and Marriage, Season 4
In the blink of an eye, fortunes change. One week you’re up, the next week you’re down. It’s strange to see a seemingly unassailable man like Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) down on his luck, but that’s exactly where we find the Manhattan gangster in this episode. It’s perhaps a shock just to hear through dialogue that Rothstein’s empire is crumbling, but the writing has been on the wall for a few months now, especially as revealed in “All In,” the episode where the gambler lost his shirt in one of Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi’s) Atlantic City clubs.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 4 ‘All In’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • September 30, 2013 12:29 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4
It’s difficult (futile?) to write a “Boardwalk Empire” in the face of the “Breaking Bad” finale, one of the most talked-about, pored-over and beloved shows in recent TV memory. And ironically, “Boardwalk Empire” had its best episode this season so far last night. While a bulk of the show was still chess-piece writing, it felt more charged and alive than usual, especially the unexpected and magnetic face off between Atlantic City's Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) and the Big Apple's Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg).

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 3, 'Acres of Diamonds'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • September 23, 2013 12:03 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4
Another day, another chess piece episode of "Boardwalk Empire," a writing epidemic/phenomenon endemic to long form television of late and arguably one that affected last night's penultimate episode of "Breaking Bad" as well. A bridge building type of narrative, the worst example of "chess piece" writing is an episode wherein almost nothing really happens (all moves are lateral and almost never forward) and instead the seeds are sown for action down the road. Sure, something always happens, but the worst offenders are overt about the fact that every dramatic event that took place is simply in service for a bigger narrative beat down line -- episodes turn into a long lead ramp to the main event which renders middle episodes a type of slow-moving stasis.

Reviews: 'A Single Shot' Starring Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright & Jason Isaacs

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • September 20, 2013 8:30 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
The main narrative surrounding the evolution of David M. Rosenthal’s “A Single Shot” has been about the longer-than-usual casting merry-go-round -- since 2009, a roster of talent as long as your arm has signed up then signed out of the film. However the fear that, as the accepted wisdom goes, there must be something fundamentally wrong with a project that takes this long to put together was somewhat mitigated by the kind of names who kept on stepping up: as worrying as it might be to lose the likes of (pre-breakout) Michael Fassbender, Alessandro Nivola, Forest Whitaker or Juliette Lewis, it doesn’t sting so hard when you get Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright and Jason Isaacs to show up instead -- all actors we admire. Except in this case, accepted wisdom should again be accepted: “A Single Shot” does not add up to anywhere near the sum of its parts, and as individually impressive as any of those parts might be (Rockwell), we are left with a film that if not quite a Frankenstein’s monster, is certainly patchworky.

Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ Season 4, Episode 2, ‘Resignation’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • September 16, 2013 11:02 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
The point has been made, “Boardwalk Empire” can be a deliberately paced show, but on tonight's episode “Resignation,” it appears at least one of the fourth season’s key elements is in place. That would be Dr. Valentin Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), the brewing antagonist, whose striking demeanor and decisive words cut to the core of every character. Narcisse, at the very least, would make a worthy adversary for any character on this show.

Email Updates

Recent Comments