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The Playlist

Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anne Kendrick & Ron Livingston

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 23, 2013 4:07 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Drinking Buddies
With the rise of digital filmmaking in the last decade, a new wave of DIY "mumblecore" filmmakers have risen up through the ranks. While initially many of these films were loose and unpolished, they are now are becoming more refined with many of these directors and actors now having basically integrated themselves into the mainstream (or mainstream indie anyway). Of the directors who have come of age during this digital era, perhaps none is more notorious or divisive than Joe Swanberg, the writer/director/editor/actor responsible for 12 films over the last 8 years. With an output that prolific, you would think by now you should know whether Swanberg's brand of filmmaking is your cup of tea or not.

Review: Horror 'The Conjuring' Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor & Ron Livingston

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 16, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Who would have guessed that the man responsible for spearheading the “torture porn” label would turn out to be such a classicist filmmaker? James Wan, who famously abandoned the over-long “Saw” series after its first gruesome installment, has gone on to make a number of pictures that harken back to an earlier era, less grisly and more foreboding. It’s perhaps a testament to his craft that his latest, “The Conjuring,” seems to feature no sex, almost zero foul language, and a minimal amount of blood-letting, only to still comfortably secure an R-rating. Rarely do you find contemporary horror films dedicated to genuinely scaring you instead of making you laugh ironically, recoil in disgust, or react with politically-fueled anger.

Watch: New Trailer For Joe Swanberg's Dramedy 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde & Jake Johnson

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 20, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Drinking Buddies trailer
Marking a massive shift for mumblecore director Joe Swanberg, in that it looks like he has an actual budget and is working with people you've heard of, the real pleasant surprise around the upcoming "Drinking Buddies" is that it's actually just a plain, good movie. Catching it at SXSW, we said that "relationships are hard, our biology is essentially wired to be completely destructive to monogamy and without giving away exactly how things end up [the film] does a great job of exploring that friction." Intrigued?

Tribeca Review: ‘The Pretty One’ Is A Sweet Fairy Tale Of Identity Lost Then Found

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 21, 2013 2:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments
There are movies about twins and there are movies about switching identities and there is “The Pretty One,” which uses both conceits for its tale of self and lack thereof. And to be fair, the premise of this quirky Tribeca comedic drama -- that’s ultimately much more affecting and genuinely melancholy than you’d expect -- is a little cutesy and cloying on the surface. And admittedly, the picture takes some time to find its bearings.

SXSW Review: Olivia Wilde & Jake Johnson Have Crazy Chemistry In Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies'

  • By Cory Everett
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  • March 11, 2013 12:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments
With the rise of digital filmmaking in the last decade, a new wave of DIY "mumblecore" filmmakers have risen up through the ranks. While initially many of these films were loose and unpolished, they are now are becoming more refined with many of these directors and actors now having basically integrated themselves into the mainstream (or mainstream indie anyway). Of the directors who have come of age during this digital era, perhaps none is more notorious or divisive than Joe Swanberg, the writer/director/editor/actor responsible for 12 films over the last 8 years. With an output that prolific, you would think by now you should know whether Swanberg's brand of filmmaking is your cup of tea or not.

HBO Casting: Ron Livingston and Brian Geraghty Join 'Boardwalk Empire'; Melanie Lynskey Joins Duplass Bros.' 'Togetherness'

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • March 4, 2013 10:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Ron Livingston
While HBO already has a busy spring slate with "Game Of Thrones" season 3, "Veep" season 2, "Vice" and "Behind The Candelabra" all premiering, the cable network is continuing to develop a promising lineup of news shows, while adding to existing hits. So let's dive in.

First Look: Olivia Wilde & Jake Johnson In Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • February 8, 2013 1:57 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Since 2005, director Joe Swanberg has shot over a dozen feature-length DIY films. He helped kick off the term "mumblecore" in 2005 with his debut, "Kissing on the Mouth," and he's known for micro-budgeted indies like "Hannah Takes The Stairs" (which helped launch Greta Gerwig's career), "Nights & Weekends" and "Alexander The Last." But after making about fourteen features (plus shorts) in about seven years, Swanberg's finally trying his hand at something different: a sort-of Hollywood film called "Drinking Buddies," starring the biggest names that have ever been in any of his films: Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson ("New Girl"), Ron Livingston and director Ti West.

Sundance Review: Lynn Shelton's 'Touchy Feely' Flirts With Greatness, But Proves Too Listless & Frustrating

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 20, 2013 9:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments
There's a strange and opaque energy coursing through the veins of Lynn Shelton's languid fifth feature-length effort, "Touchy Feely." It's a little mysterious, to the film’s moody credit, and it’s a little unavailable and removed, to its detriment. Lead actress Rosemarie DeWitt admitted, "I didn't really understand the character when I read the script," in the post Sundance Q&A. "But then I told her I didn't understand her either," Shelton explained. And not only does this sentiment ring true, it’s this mild inscrutableness that muddies this often compelling, occasionally sublime, but ultimately uneven family drama about energy, connections (missed or otherwise) and healing.

Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston & Jake Johnson Join Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 11, 2012 4:27 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Following in the footsteps of micro-budgeted filmmakers like the Duplass Brothers, American independent filmmaker and actor Joe Swanberg looks like he's going Hollywood for his next project. And or, at the very least, the mumblecore-y director/writer/thespian has scored himself a pretty impressive and well-known cast for his latest film. Previously having only worked on tiny-budgeted pictures, with Greta Gerwig and Mark Duplass being the biggest two actors he's worked with thus far, his latest has just added Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston and Jake Johnson ("The New Girl") to a film that already includes Anna Kendrick ("Up In The Air").

Angela Bassett Joins 'Olympus Has Fallen'; Ron Livingston Is 'The Pretty One'; David Tennant & Emily Watson To Star In 'The Politician's Husband' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 25, 2012 9:11 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Angela Bassett is the latest to join "Olympus Has Fallen," Millenium Entertainment's rival to Sony's "White House Down." Set to be directed by Antoine Fuqua, the premise is pretty much the same: White House + terrorists/bad guys = hero saves the day. In this case, it's Gerard Butler with Aaron Eckhart along for the ride as POTUS. Basset will play Secret Service director Lynne Jacobs.

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