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The Playlist

Review: 'Heatstroke' Starring Stephen Dorff And Maisie Williams

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 15, 2014 7:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Heatstroke
The sun bears down on the characters in “Heatstroke," a new suspense thriller set in the African desert. At first it feels like an inspired location, a way to provide color to a familiar hide-and-seek chase actioner. But as the film goes on, the sun almost seems as if it's burning its own location, bearing down on its characters as a constant, unspoken judge. It's the sun who is going to reveal a hiding space, the sun who is going to keep water out of reach. It's the sun that will provide constant reminder of regret for the mistakes characters make.

Zach Galifianakis Has 'Tulip Fever,' Sienna Miller Visits Ben Wheatley's 'High Rise' & More

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • May 14, 2014 9:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Zach Galifinakis Bored To Death
Other than the premieres of many high-profile and exciting films, the Cannes Film Festival is also host to a marketplace where production companies try to entice distributors—or just regular old financiers—to buy into projects. As a result, many news of castings or just plain brand-new films filter out of that glamorous place, and naturally we’ve rounded up a few of those items for your easy-reading pleasure below.

Interview: Gabe & Alan Polsky On 'The Motel Life,' Future Projects And Producing For Werner Herzog

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 8, 2013 2:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Motel Life, Alan & Gabe Polsky
Well, it's been a long time coming, nearly a year in fact since its 2012 Rome Film Festival debut, where it picked up three awards—editing, screenplay and the coveted Audience Award—but "The Motel Life" (our review here) is finally making its way onto screens this week. The debut film from producing-turned-directing brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky, starring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff with Dakota Fanning in a small role, the film is based on the 2006 novel by musician and writer Willy Vlautin and tells the story of two brothers who flee their Reno motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.

Review: Sweet, Sad 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff & Dakota Fanning

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 6, 2013 7:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments
On the surface, there should be nothing particularly special about producer-turned-director brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky's debut, "The Motel Life." Threatening to sound like indie-by-numbers on paper, the film, based on the well-received novel of the same name by Willy Vlautin, is indeed familiar in its downbeat, disenfranchised Americana setting and even some of its themes: familial love, redemption and the fragility of hope in the face of ill-starred circumstances. But while it doesn't reinvent the wheel, or revolutionize the genre, it achieves its modest ambitions affectingly well, in no small part due to a clutch of cherishable performances, especially from leads Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff, as brothers Frank and Jerry Lee.

Exclusive: Poster For 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff & Dakota Fanning Plus Watch The New Trailer

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 24, 2013 4:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The fall moviegoing season is nothing short of dominated by star-driven, heavy-hitting drama, as the studios all jockey for awards season gold. But there are plenty of smaller pictures that might not have the benefit of multi-million dollar campaigns but are no less potent and worthy of investigation. And one effort to keep an eye out for on the horizon is Alan and Gabriel Polsky's "The Motel Life."

Review: Lebanese Civil War Drama 'Zaytoun' Starring Stephen Dorff

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • September 20, 2013 8:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
How affected you are by the closing scenes of "Zaytoun" may depend on your pre-existing knowledge of the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli incursion in the country. Nothing’s spelled out in "Zaytoun" other than pointing out the date and location -- Beirut, 1982 -- but that would place the events depicted in the film shortly before the Sabra and Shatila massacre so brutally recalled in 2008’s “Waltz With Bashir.” It’s not something that directly impacts upon the story told on screen, but that the film assumes knowledge of will fundamentally affect the emotional impact its final act carries for different viewers.

Exclusive: 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, & Dakota Fanning Hits Theaters In November

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 5, 2013 4:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Motel Life
The fall film season just won't let up this year and one more understated gem of a movie is joining the fray: Alan and Gabriel Polsky's 2012 Rome film fest entry, "The Motel Life." Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, and directed together by the Polskys (producers of "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" and "Little Birds") the drama depicts a pair of working-class brothers who flee their Reno motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident. Today, Polsky Films announced a November 8, 2013 release for "The Motel Life" in 15 cities nationwide, and on VOD via FilmBuff.

Watch: Trailer For Adventure Drama 'Zaytoun' Starring Stephen Dorff

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 15, 2013 12:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While it seemed for a brief moment that the career of Stephen Dorff might be in for a mid-period ascension thanks to his turn in Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," that didn't quite happen. As we documented in our feature 10 Actors Hollywood Tried And Failed To Make Happen, Dorff has pretty much gone back to doing a mix of movies you never heard, the occasional blockbuster and...well, "Zaytoun." And after making the requisite festival stops last year, it's coming to theaters and a new trailer has arrived.

10 Actors Hollywood Tried And Failed To Make Happen

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 31, 2013 1:21 PM
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  • 147 Comments
Actors That Hollywood Tried to make Happen and failed
This week, a small-scale indie Australian surfing movie called “Drift,” which details two surfing brothers struggling to overcome their debt-ridden backgrounds and avoid a descent into criminality, opens in limited release. It shares almost nothing in common with the Biggest-Movie-Of-All-Time “Avatar” except its star, Sam Worthington, who in fact plays third lead here behind two largely unknown Aussie actors as the brothers. If it seems like a far cry from Pandora for Worthington, well, that’s because it is. Nothing to do with the quality of the film, but just in terms of the whisper-quiet buzz it’s getting, which Worthington’s presence alone should have beefed up if his stock in Hollywood meant anything at all. Yet despite a concerted effort that happened back there, Worthington just hasn’t ever become a bankable studio lead, and so here we are.

Review: 'Tomorrow You're Gone' A Stylized Neo-Noir That Goes Nowhere Slowly

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 5, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It’s exceptionally strange to be reviewing a film so soon after the passing of Roger Ebert. Surely he’s the reason why most of us write reviews, why we’ve ever felt the need to tap our keyboards once the end credits begin to roll. We love and admire the deep thinkers who favor academic readings of film, but we really want to be Ebert, brimming with humor and personality, able to succinctly describe the most complex concepts for audiences of all persuasions. I wonder exactly what Ebert would have made of “Tomorrow You’re Gone,” a low-budget, low-temperature noir with direct-to-DVD production value, but nonetheless hitting movie screens this Friday.

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