The Playlist

Review: JFK Drama 'Parkland' Starring Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti & More Feels Like A Cheap Cash-In

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 2, 2013 8:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Parkland
Ever since "PT 109," which detailed his WWII war record and was released while he was still in office, President John F. Kennedy has been catnip to Hollywood. After all, he was good looking, charismatic, had a dark secret life of womanising, among other things, and of course, was assassinated three years into his presidency—an event that inspires debate and conspiracy theories to this day. He's been the subject of great films (Oliver Stone's "JFK") and bad ones (recent miniseries "The Kennedys"), and been played by everyone from Cliff Robertson to James Marsden (in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"). This November marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dealey Plaza, and as such, it was inevitable that there'd be some kind of film to mark the occasion. We just wish it wasn't as terrible as "Parkland."

Review: ‘All Is Bright’ Starring Paul Rudd & Paul Giamatti Is A Mostly Joyless Misfire

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 2, 2013 6:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Director Phil Morrison hasn't made a film since his exceptional debut indie, "Junebug," which launched Amy Adams in 2005. Brimming with life, even without the Oscar-nominated and very-worthy firecracker Adams performance, the movie is flush with an idiosyncratic humanity and especially complex and uniquely written characters. However, his long belated follow-up, "All Is Bright,” arriving some eight years after his auspicious beginning, possesses little traces of the spark that made "Junebug" so special.

We Had Him: Watch 4 New Clips From JFK Drama 'Parkland' Starring Paul Giamatti & Billy Bob Thornton

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • September 19, 2013 11:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Parkland
Oliver Stone's 1994 drama “JFK” may have provided only one perspective of the events leading up to John F. Kennedy's assassination, but as the tragic event's 50th anniversary nears this coming November, it seemed extremely likely that another examination was coming. Enter “Parkland,” the directorial debut of journalist and author Peter Landesman, which brings together a talented ensemble cast to delve back into the case—many of whom feature in a selection of four new clips from the period drama.

First Clip & New Photos From 'Parkland' Starring Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 10, 2013 11:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Parkland, Efron
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, undoubtedly one of the central flashpoints of the modern American experience and a singular event that has inspired as much theorizing, speculation, and conjecture as any in history. Perhaps it is a result of its insolubility that it retains such an ability to capture our imagination endlessly, whatever the reason, the books and films keep on coming. The latest in JFK-assassination-related ephemera is "Parkland," a drama that looks at the events immediately following the president's murder, through a prism of characters who were on the ground in Dallas. The large ensemble includes Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti (as Zapruder!), Billy Bob Thornton, James Badge Dale, Jacki Weaver, Colin Hanks and Marcia Gay Harden. Now the first clip and a bunch of stills have been unveiled, so start your theorizing.

Watch: New Trailer For 'All Is Bright' Starring Paul Rudd & Paul Giamatti

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • September 6, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Paul Rudd,Paul Giamatti, Almost Christmas
It's been eight years waiting for a follow-up from Phil Morrison, director of the wry Oscar-nominated drama “Junebug,” and now that the occasion's finally arrived, he's unfortunately faced with being the second Paul Rudd two-hander this year. “All Is Bright,” which premiered in April at Tribeca (under the awful title “Almost Christmas”), sees Rudd paired with Paul Giamatti and selling Christmas trees to resistant passers-by. Hilarious, right? Well, a new trailer has dropped, suggesting that the tone for the film is more “Bad Santa” than “Prince Avalanche.” So that's something.

Venice Review: JFK Drama 'Parkland' Starring Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton & Jacki Weaver

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 1, 2013 10:14 AM
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  • 15 Comments
Ever since "PT 109," which detailed his WWII war record and was released while he was still in office, President John F. Kennedy has been catnip to Hollywood. After all, he was good looking, charismatic, had a dark secret life of womanising, among other things, and of course, was assassinated three years into his presidency—an event that inspires debate and conspiracy theories to this day. He's been the subject of great films (Oliver Stone's "JFK") and bad ones (recent miniseries "The Kennedys"), and been played by everyone from Cliff Robertson to James Marsden (in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"). This November marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dealey Plaza, and as such, it was inevitable that there'd be some kind of film to mark the occasion. We just wish it wasn't as terrible as "Parkland," which premieres (in competition, inexplicably) at the Venice Film Festival today.

Watch: Trailer For JFK Assassination Drama 'Parkland' Produced By Tom Hanks, Starring Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 21, 2013 9:21 AM
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  • 8 Comments
When it comes the assassination of JFK, it's still one of the most sensitive wounds in America's history, with a recent study suggesting that only 24% of Americans buy the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. But another case will be made for that theory with the upcoming "Parkland," a star-studded take on the events of November 22, 1963, and director Peter Landesman is making clear his intentions. "This is a movie about the ground truth from the ground level," he told USA Today.

Listen To Robin Wright Sing & Watch Two Featurettes From Ari Folman's 'The Congress'

  • By Jason Guimaron
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  • July 31, 2013 9:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
After receiving rave reviews for his animated feature “Waltz with Bachir” in 2008, Israeli director Ari Folman divided critics with his new movie “The Congress” at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes this year. Our reviewer on the field described the piece as ambitious, unique and bold but "overloaded with too many ideas". The film is "regularly diverting from any sort of central narrative to follow tenuous and ill-explained threads that end up in a foggy limbo" and "it poses the old question of whether the immense ambition of the project should be admired over the fact that it falls down on so many of those ambitions."

Watch: New Trailer For 'Romeo & Juliet' Starring Hailee Steinfeld

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 26, 2013 9:47 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Romeo & Juliet Hailee Steinfeld Douglas Booth
Why does the story of "Romeo & Juliet" continue to resonate hundreds of years after it was first written? Well, it turns out that Bill Shakespeare was onto something as teens and tortured, yearning romance go together like peanut butter and chocolate, and the fundamental story is so good it can be reinvented no small amount of ways and still resonate. This is probably why this year we're getting year another movie version movie, and it will be one that will embrace the period in which it was written.

Review: DreamWorks Animation's 'Turbo' Featuring The Voices of Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 17, 2013 5:47 PM
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  • 1 Comment
With some DreamWorks Animation movies, you can practically see and hear the pitch meeting that they came out of, as fully realized as any of the whiz-bang 3D computer graphics that will eventually coat movie theater screens nationwide. There are a few executives there, some animators, maybe one of the marketing guys (to represent such vaunted interests as toy manufacturers and video game designers). Someone yells out, "What about a panda bear that does kung fu?" and the rest of the room agrees (and the video game guy gets very excited). Or, in the case of this week's "Turbo," there was probably a meeting after it was widely reported that Disney makes something like $4 billion a year from selling stuff related to the Pixar movie "Cars." "What about a snail… That wants to be a racer?" You can picture the rest of the room sheepishly nodding their heads, and then the guys responsible for the actual movie sweating bullets because, good lord, how do you make an animated movie about a snail that wants to be an Indy 500 racer? It turns out: you don't.

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