The Playlist

Wes Anderson Seeking Out Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Angela Lansbury & More For His Next Movie

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 9, 2012 3:32 PM
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  • 7 Comments
"Moonrise Kingdom" not only earned Wes Anderson some of the best reviews in years, but has also done extremely well in limited release, where it's pulled in $37 million worldwide thus far and has been cracking the top ten domestically, even though it's in less than 900 theaters. And it seems he's very eager to get back behind the cameras.

Willem Dafoe Still Baffled By Failure Of 'John Carter'; New Pixar Stamps Introduced

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 5, 2012 10:43 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Today "John Carter" will be released on DVD and Blu-ray and, presumably, will be seen by a much larger audience than what turned up it when it was released theatrically this past spring. (The Blu-ray is a handsome, features-packed affair well worth picking up if you feel any love for the movie.) The film, which Disney recently admitted would cost the studio $200 million in lost profit, quickly became a cautionary fable about what happens when you try to launch a franchise based on a century-old property that no one much remembers anymore. One of the film's stars, Willem Dafoe, who played a Martian warrior named Tars Tarkas, is still baffled by the critical and commercial indifference the film received.

Willem Dafoe Gets 'Out Of The Furnace' With Christian Bale

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • April 27, 2012 10:22 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Talk about having an impressive ensemble. “Crazy Heart” helmer Scott Cooper has already lined up a remarkable array of players for "Out of the Furnace," his first directorial effort since his breakout hit landed actor Jeff Bridges a Best Actor Oscar. The Black List-approved script is set in Indiana in 1986 and follows Slim (Christian Bale), recently released from prison, who intends to marry his girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) but instead is drawn into a quest for revenge when his brother (Casey Affleck) is murdered after getting involved in the gambling racket. This supposedly “No Country For Old Men”-like picture also has Sam Shepard, Woody Harrelson and Forest Whitaker, and has now added one more exceptional thespian to the mix.

The Mix: Alamo Drafthouse Coming To New York City; Let's Start A Petition For Beyoncé In 'Spider-Man 2' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 6, 2012 9:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Mix: movie related odds and ends, or just stuff we think is awesome or interesting, that is fit to print in a bite size format. Read on...

Review: '4:44: Last Day On Earth' Envisions The Apocalypse Without Much Imagination

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 22, 2012 5:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment
There's something very wrong in Abel Ferrara's "4:44: Last Day On Earth." The world, as the title would suggest, is coming to an end, and Ferrara, the fuck-you auteur behind "King of New York" and the non-Nic Cage-adorned "Bad Lieutenant," is content with keeping things inside a spacious apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There aren't any fireballs ascending heavenward, or steely buildings splintering into a million computer generated pieces. The anguish here isn't global, but personal, and instead of millions of people, Ferrara zeroes in on an arty couple, played by Willem Dafoe (channeling his "Antichrist" persona of earnest concern, except with more levity and less genital mutilation) and the young Shanyn Leigh.

SXSW '12 Review: 'The Hunter' Is An Eerie And Deeply Affecting Eco-Thriller

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 11, 2012 5:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments
In their 2006 book "Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger," authors Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson, then researchers at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, talked about becoming obsessed with a stuffed Tasmanian Tiger that they would walk by every day in the museum. It became "something akin to amorous fervor," and eventually they decided to take a trip to Tasmania to see if the tiger, which officially became extinct in 1936 when the lone survivor died at the Hobart Zoo, still existed, somewhere in the wild. It's the kind of mysterious animal – lithe, beautiful, angular – that inspires this kind of devotion, even decades after its extinction.

Willem Dafoe Talks Wearing Stilts & Working With Taylor Kitsch In Disney's Blockbuster 'John Carter'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • March 7, 2012 12:04 PM
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At this point in his career, Willem Dafoe has the luxury of doing the films he wants to do. The actor’s tastes generally stray towards indie, but he’s unafraid of the mega-blockbuster when he does venture from his comfort zone. It’s hard to imagine Dafoe wasn’t offered other “big” films after his acclaimed turn as the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man,” but for the most part, following the superhero franchise, the actor reverted back to his roots of smaller scale filmmaking. But this spring finds him back at the multiplex in Disney’s “John Carter.” “I’m always happy to make a movie no matter what the size of it that looks like it’s got a pedigree and has a chance of being beautiful,” Dafoe tells The Playlist during a recent interview in Carefree, Arizona.

Willem Dafoe Says He's Signed On For 'John Carter' Sequels, But Still Unsure About Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • February 21, 2012 12:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Over the course of his three decade career, Willem Dafoe has been a difficult actor to pinpoint, both as an indie darling, and equally at home in big budget fair like “Spider-Man” and this year’s Disney tentpole, “John Carter.” Dafoe portrays Martian Tars Tarkas in the latter, a long-awaited adaptation of the influential Edgar Rice Burroughs tales first penned in the late 1800s.

Watch: Brief New 'John Carter' Featurette Continues Us Down The Road Of Cautious Optimism

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 3, 2012 12:17 PM
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  • 5 Comments
"John Carter" is now about a month away from hitting screens and it remains, largely, a mystery. The first live-action feature directed by Pixar wizard Andrew Stanton (who previously helmed "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E") has been plagued by bad buzz and rumors of massive budgetary overruns. While there's still a lot riding on "John Carter," we do have to remember that the script was co-written by Michael Chabon, that the film was largely developed at Pixar, and that Stanton could very easily make just as seamless a transition from animation to live action as his Pixar cohort Brad Bird did on "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." While the trailers haven't inspired much awe, a new micro-featurette (via Bleeding Cool) does lift our spirits, showing new footage and an actual sense of the tone and scale of the project.

Review: Starpower Like Julia Roberts & Ryan Reynolds Can't Save Flaccid 'Fireflies In The Garden'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • October 12, 2011 12:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
“Fireflies in the Garden” is the cinematic equivalent of going out to dinner with your friend’s family and then having to watch them all fight like cats and dogs the whole time: it’s got to be worse for the people going through it, but you sure as hell have no interest in watching it. Writer-director Dennis Lee, who I can only imagine drew from a deep well of personal experiences – or if he didn’t, clearly suffers from dysfunction envy – created this vivid tale of an embittered writer returning to his childhood home to confront a troubled past. But he failed to realize that personal catharsis isn’t the same as popular entertainment, especially if the characters barely qualify as real people, which is why the only thing more false in “Fireflies in the Garden” than its flaccid melodrama is its clichéd emotional redemption.

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