The Playlist

Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx & Dane DeHaan

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 8, 2014 7:03 PM
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  • 52 Comments
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Jamie Foxx
As far as superhero reboots go, "room for improvement" was probably the best way to sum up 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man." Certainly financially, the film made a very healthy $750 million worldwide, but that's still less than any of the three Sam Raimi films that preceded it. And creatively, the film had some strong building blocks—an increased emphasis on romance, a hugely appealing central pairing in Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (plus support from ringers like Sally Field and Martin Sheen), a bright sense of humor, a fresh-ish take on the characters—but a patchy script, disappointing action and lackluster villain meant that there was plenty of opportunity for a sequel to prove itself worth of the title "amazing."

Watch: Final Trailer For 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Spins A Web For The Sequel

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 19, 2014 9:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
While you might still be miffed that "The Amazing Spider-Man" told the origin story you already knew, director Marc Webb admits to Rolling Stone he actually turned down a script for the first movie that ditched it altogether. "It was different. It still had the Lizard in it, but it was a script that jumped ahead in time and relied on knowledge of the comic books that I don't think everyone had," he explained to the magazine. "Tonally, it was a little more tongue-in-cheek and glib, and I didn't feel the emotional connection. I just didn't know how else to develop that bond than with an origin story. I feel like it pays off in this movie, because now Andrew Garfield embodies Peter Parker."

Watch: New Clip From 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Plus Soundtrack Will Include Pharrell, Alicia Keys & More

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • March 14, 2014 10:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Another day and Sony’s marketing campaign continues to assault your senses despite “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” release date being nearly two months away. For fans that means a new action-packed clip from the film and our first taste of the film’s soundtrack.

Sex, Poop & Norman Mailer: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti & Others Degrade Themselves For Matthew Barney's Art

  • By Jordan Hoffman
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  • February 13, 2014 2:00 PM
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  • 8 Comments
River of Fundament
Before anything: brass tacks. Matthew Barney's new film “River of Fundament” features a number of taboo-breaking, provocative scenes. They are unsimulated and shot in close-up, rubbing your face in their shock value. I could give you a list of 25 such moments, but we’ll stick with three.

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

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 6, 2014 4:06 PM
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  • 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.

Review: Decent & Well-Acted 'Saving Mr. Banks' With Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 10, 2013 7:07 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Saving Mr. Banks
Though the general public doesn't always share their enthusiasm, Hollywood loves making movies about itself. Whether fictional or based in reality, it's rare for a year to pass without some kind of film about filmmaking, from classics like "Sunset Boulevard" and "Mulholland Drive" to, uh, not-classics like "Hitchcock." In recent years, "The Artist" and "Argo" have both been critical and commercial successes (and not coincidentally, Best Picture Oscar winners), and Disney are clearly hoping that the same kind of success follows for "Saving Mr. Banks," which examines one of the family friendly company's most beloved films, 1964's "Mary Poppins," and their own founder and figurehead, Walt Disney, here played by megastar Tom Hanks.

Watch: First Trailer For 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Plus Web Of New Images From The Film & Commentary

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 5, 2013 8:27 AM
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  • 24 Comments
With Warner Bros. bulking up "Batman Vs. Superman" with Wonder Woman, the Marvel-verse continuing to expand like so many waistlines at an all you can eat buffet, it's time for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" to level up in the superhero arms race.

BFI London Film Festival Review: 'Saving Mr. Banks' With Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 20, 2013 6:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Saving Mr. Banks
Though the general public doesn't always share their enthusiasm, Hollywood loves making movies about itself. Whether fictional or based in reality, it's rare for a year to pass without some kind of film about filmmaking, from classics like "Sunset Boulevard" and "Mulholland Drive" to, uh, not-classics like "Hitchcock." In recent years, "The Artist" and "Argo" have both been critical and commercial successes (and not coincidentally, Best Picture Oscar winners), and Disney are clearly hoping that the same kind of success follows for "Saving Mr. Banks," which examines one of the family friendly company's most beloved films, 1964's "Mary Poppins," and their own founder and figurehead, Walt Disney, here played by megastar Tom Hanks.

Review: Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender & More

  • By Chris Willman
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  • October 17, 2013 7:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment
12 Years A Slave
Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” instantly establishes itself as the most unflinching of all slave dramas, which is to say, there is plenty of flinching, not to mention cowering and recoiling and passing out, thanks to beatings and whippings that arrive at roughly 10-to-15-minute intervals throughout a 133-minute running time. “Amistad,” meet the Marquis de Sade, in the form of slavemaster Michael Fassbender, who puts his victims through more tortures than Mel Gibson ever could have imagined for Jesus.

Samuel L. Jackson Says Elizabeth Olsen Set For 'Avengers 2,' Paul Giamatti Says He's Back For 'Spidey 3'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 3, 2013 1:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While there is still no official casting for "Avengers 2: Age of Ultron," probably because the movie is still a considerable time away from hitting theaters, it looks like Marvel is getting their ducks in a row. Unless something goes horribly wrong, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is pretty much set to play Quicksilver in the movie, with Elizabeth Olsen long rumored to play his sister, Scarlet Witch. Well, consider that rumor confirmed?

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