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The Playlist

On The Rise 2014: Cinematographers To Watch

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 6, 2014 3:57 PM
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  • 17 Comments
On The Rise -- Cinematographers in 2014
In what’s become an annual tradition, this week we’re kicking off our On The Rise series of features in which we take a look at emerging and blossoming talent across a variety of fields. This year, we’re expanding our remit to encompass a couple more categories and subcategories, but we’re starting with a perennial favorite: cinematographers.

Discuss: Are We On The Cusp Of A Video Game Movie Revolution?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 6, 2014 2:59 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Video Game Revolution feature
If you’re sick of the wave of comic-book movies over the last few years, you’d better brace yourself: the video game movie is coming, and it’s coming for you. The end of last week saw the announcement that another attempt is being made to ramp up zombie game “Dead Island” as a movie: originally in the works with Lionsgate back in 2011, the project’s now set up at Occupant Entertainment, which is co-producing alongside the game’s creators, Deep Silver.

Discuss: What Does The Success Of 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Mean For Future Marvel Movies?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 4, 2014 1:54 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Unless you’ve been locked in the Kyln, you probably noticed that “Guardians Of The Galaxy” opened this past weekend. Marvel’s latest extravaganza, a space adventure directed by Troma graduate James Gunn, was seen in advance of its release as the riskiest of the studio’s ten movies: based on a mostly comic known only to "Marvel Zombies"; unfamiliar characters; significantly different in setting and tone to megahit “The Avengers”; a cast comprised of untested B-listers as well as A-listers voicing an animated raccoon and a tree.

11 Films To See In August

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • August 1, 2014 2:03 PM
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  • 4 Comments
10 Films To See In August
So, another year, another month of August to end the summer movie season with a whimper, amirite? Perhaps, but we here at The Playlist took the tagline to “American Beauty,” way back in 1999, to heart… look closer. There’s still plenty of McMovies to clog your cinematic arteries, but sometimes, those blockbusters are tasty. And if you step outside of the multiplex, there are plenty more movies that give you a more healthy, balanced cinematic diet.

20 Sophomore Films From Celebrated Debut Directors

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 31, 2014 3:22 PM
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  • 15 Comments
20 Sophomore Films From Celebrated Debut Directors
This week sees the release of John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary.” Among the many things the film is--a black comedy; a murder mystery; a darkhearted fable; an anti-authoritarian screed--it is also a second film, coming on the heels of an admired debut, “The Guard.” “Calvary” is such a specific film, so unlike most anything else you’ll see this year, that it doesn’t easily lend itself to generalizations about the shape of the director’s career at this early stage, however in the feel of McDonagh digging in, getting into heavier, darker and less compromising territory, we can see a valid, some would say admirable, response to the challenges of the sophomore film.

The Essential Jacques Demy: The Director's Candy-Colored Films Get The Criterion Treatment

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • July 30, 2014 3:23 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Jacques Demy, Essentials, Criterion
“French director Jacques Demy didn’t just make movies—he created an entire cinematic world.” So say the good folks at Criterion over at the page for the recently released box set of perhaps the most undervalued member of the French New Wave. Demy stood out compared to the rest of the movement, insofar as he embraced a lot of Hollywood cliches—storybook romances, melodrama, musicals (quelle horreur!). But at his best, Demy did all that while subverting audience expectations.

The Playlist Summer 2014 Movie Song Mixtape

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 30, 2014 2:32 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Summer 2014, mixtape
When it comes to the delicate art of the mixtape, context is everything. And in the context of us hurtling toward the end of summer (ok fine, there’s another month left, and a few big releases still on the calendar, but we’re getting nostalgic nonetheless) we thought we’d emulate Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) in this week’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” who has a cherished memento from Earth in the form of a cassette of classic songs, by putting together a mixtape of our own.

10 Comic Books That Deserve To Be Movies

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 29, 2014 3:55 PM
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  • 37 Comments
10 Comic Books That Actually Deserve To Be Movies
As we all know, you can’t swing a cat in a multiplex without hitting a comic book movie of some kind (or without being prosecuted on animal cruelty charges). So far in 2014, “I Frankenstein,” “300: Rise Of An Empire,” “Noah” (kind of), “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” “Edge Of Tomorrow,” “Snowpiercer” and “Hercules” have all leapt from the page to the big-screen, with this Friday’s Marvel movie “Guardians Of The Galaxy” soon to join them, not to mention “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For,” and Helen Mirren vehicle “The Hundred-Foot Journey” before the month is out. Ok, not the Helen Mirren one.

The Films Of Werner Herzog: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 29, 2014 2:06 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Werner Herzog, retrospective
It was 2011 when we first attempted our own "Fitzcarraldo"-like endeavor in writing a comprehensive retrospective on the films of the notoriously prolific Werner Herzog. Since then, not only has he added six or so more titles to his filmography, he's been feverishly at work on the seventh—the much-anticipated "Queen of the Desert" which we were hoping to see pop up on a Fall festival announcement list, but no news there yet... However, to tide us all over, today Shout Factory are releasing a limited edition, highly covetable collection of sixteen Herzog films on Blu-ray, and that has given us the excuse to go back and relook, update and generally spruce up our retrospective (which includes all sixteen of those, incidentally). And that's something we're going to do pretty much any chance we get, being huge fans of the utterly unique, brazenly individual German-born director.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's 12 Best Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 24, 2014 3:05 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Philip Seymour Hoffman's 12 Best Performances
This Friday should have been a cause for celebration: the release of "A Most Wanted Man," an adaptation of John Le Carre's novel by one of our favorite working filmmakers, Anton Corbijn ("Control," "The American"), and starring one of our finest working actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Instead, it's a bittersweet occasion: as we all know, Hoffman heartbreakingly passed away in February, only a few weeks after the film (and "God's Pocket," released a few months back) premiered at Sundance. It was the last film that Hoffman saw to completion: he was in production on what will turn out to be his very final pictures, the two-part finale to "The Hunger Games" series, when he passed.

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