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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.

David O. Russell Screens First Six Intensely Funny Minutes of ‘American Hustle’ During AFI Fest Tribute

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 9, 2013 4:24 PM
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  • 16 Comments
American Hustle
Last night in Los Angeles on the first full day of programming for AFI Fest this year, director David O. Russell and his eclectic body of cinematic work was celebrated at the historic Egyptian Theatre, and he also brought the first six minutes of his highly-anticipated new film, “American Hustle.” However, a host of technical issues—including screening the first two minutes almost completely without sound—led the director to grow a little ornery (“We should probably shut it off,” he said, before escaping the stage to settle the problem). But even those couldn’t dismantle the comic energy and early promise that his latest effort sampled.

They Will Kill Us: First Clip From 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 6, 2013 9:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Of the many things being promised in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"—bigger, better, more financially lucrative—is smoother camerawork thanks to Francis Lawrence's decision to forgo handheld. The result? Well, watching this first clip from the sequel, you won't get motion sickness.

New Images From 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Plus IMAX Poster, Featurette & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 5, 2013 1:42 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Lest you think Lionsgate is not covering every possible base when it comes to "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," part of the blanket marketing campaign includes a tie in sandwich at Subway. Yes, really. Nothing like a dystopian saga about the 99% under the foot of the 1% to really have you hankering for a horse-meat and plastic-cheese footlong, but I digress. The bottom line is more stuff from the 'Catching Fire' whirlpool of stuff that they want you to see before the movie has arrived, so strap in your eyeballs.

New Photos: Spike Jonze's 'Her,' Kate Winslet In 'Labor Day,' 'Catching Fire,' 'Anchorman 2' & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 2, 2013 3:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Her, Joaquin Phoenix
November has rolled around, so it's officially that time of year: the holiday movie season. Both the L.A. Times and the New York Times have gotten deep into the action with great features in their movie sections which provide a heap of new photos from several highly anticipated movies. First up is a film we've already seen (read our NYFF review here), but one that's highly anticipated by many of us who haven't seen it nonetheless: Spike Jonze's "Her" (December 18th, in limited release), which features the stellar cast of Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt.

Watch: First Trailer For 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Starring Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 29, 2013 8:51 AM
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  • 23 Comments
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
After no shortage of rumors, lots of set photos, a stinger at the end of this summer's "The Wolverine," and the return of Bryan Singer to the director's chair, bringing two schools of "X-Men" together for one massive outing, it's time to see if this all works. The the first trailer for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" has arrived.

"Would You Like To Be In A Real War?" Watch The Final Trailer 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 27, 2013 10:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
‘In every scene we asked ourselves, ‘How would these people feel if they came back to the Hunger Games?',” producer Nina Jacobson told EW recently regarding the mission of respecting the heart of author Suzanne Collins’ sequel, "Catching Fire." “What happens when you come back from these experiences of war, not what happens in a movie when you’ve kicked a lot of ass?” In the case of Katniss and Peeta, they come back from the initial "Hunger Games" as heroes, but not for long.

First Look: Official Images Of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' WIth Old & New 'X-Men' Cast

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 25, 2013 9:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Wolverine
Next summer's big budget superhero romp "X-Men: Days of Future Past" certain sounds, er, ambitious. Combining time travel, alternate realities, and two different casts of X-Men (those from Bryan Singer's original movies and the "swinging sixties" variants featured in "X-Men: First Class"), it sounds like it could be a mess of fun… or just plain messy. We'll get the first taste from the movie in the form of a teaser trailer released next week, but until then, Empire has unleashed a whole slew of new photos from the film, featuring mutants both old and new. Excelsior!

New Photos Plus First TV Spot For 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Featuring Coldplay's "Atlas"

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 15, 2013 4:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The citizens of Panem only have to wait 37 days until the 75th annual Hunger Games begin. Translation: 'Catching Fire,' the sequel to “The Hunger Games” is right around the corner. Directed by Francis Lawrence this time (“Water for Elephants,” “I Am Legend”), the sequel brings back returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland along with new cast members Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Lynn Cohen, Jena Malone and more.

'The Glass Castle' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Lands 'Short Term 12' Director Destin Cretton

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 9, 2013 8:59 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Destin Cretton 'The Glass Castle' Jennifer Lawrence
If you've been around this blog, you might've heard about a little film called "Short Term 12." It's one that we've already named one of The Best Films Of The Year...So Far, and in addition to putting Brie Larson into the awards season conversation early on (while she won't get into the Oscars, the Indie Spirits are calling her name) it firmly marked the arrival of director Destin Cretton. Last year's "I Am Not A Hipster" director made the waves that he surfed on in 2013 with the raw "Short Term 12," and how he's getting a bigger board to ride on.

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