The Playlist

David Gordon Green Talks ‘Joe’ & Reveals How He Convinced Nicolas Cage To Star In His Dark, Tiny Indie Drama

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 10, 2014 5:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Joe, Nicolas Cage
While he stated early on that the eclectic careers of Danny Boyle, Steven Soderbergh and Gus Van Sant were the ones he strove to emulate, the career of David Gordon Green has nevertheless puzzled those who expected him to follow a singular track. Perhaps because he was touted as the heir apparent to Terrence Malick in his early indie filmmaking days a preconception was formed, but regardless, much has been made about Green's "about face" turn toward studio comedies (three in a row: "Pineapple Express," "Your Highness" and "The Sitter"). Perhaps settling into a pattern audiences and pundits alike are more comfortable with, Green has returned to his roots and quickly knocked out a succession of indie films. The latest is "Joe" a dark drama, but one that continues to defy genre and expectation.

20 Best & Worst Films Made From Black List Scripts

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 10, 2014 3:12 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Tomorrow sees the release of Ivan Reitman's "Draft Day," a sports drama starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. There aren't many reasons that it's particularly notable, other than being a late-period Ivan Reitman movie that doesn't have terrible reviews (merely middling ones). However, it's claim to fame is that it's one of only a handful of produced movies to have topped the famous Black List when it was in screenplay form.

The Films Of Nicolas Cage: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 10, 2014 2:00 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Joe, Nicolas Cage
Yes, the career of Nicolas Cage has taken what one can argue is a serious nosedive in recent years. His frightening hairline has become the butt of endless jokes, his personal life is always a mess (he named his son Kal-El after Superman and he's on his third wife), and his take-a-paycheck career choices of late (seemingly endless riffs on "Taken" that barely get theatrical releases, things like "Seeking Justice," "Stolen," "Trespass," and on the way, a reboot of the bonkers Biblical apocalypse flick "Left Behind") have made him an even bigger laughing stock (maybe the tax problems and reported ridiculous spending habits explain these terrible tendencies).

The 10 Best Performances In The Films Of Jim Jarmusch

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 9, 2014 2:56 PM
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  • 8 Comments
10 Best Performances In Jim Jarmusch Movies
It all seems so obvious in retrospect. Of course, of all the parts Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston were born to play, a pair of lovelorn vampires battling the ennui of immortality in a Jim Jarmusch movie should always have been at the top of the list. “Only Lovers Left Alive,” which opens this weekend (review here), makes good on that logline and then some, delivering Jarmusch’s most deliriously enjoyable film in ages (see our complete retrospective of his films here), and showcasing as ever a cast that turn in terrific performances right down to the smallest supporting performer. But it’s Hiddleston and Swinton who carry the film, and they do so with such louche grace that they make their vampiric lifestyle seem dark and twisted and tortured and yet also so seductive and alluring and downright sexy, that at the potential cost of our eternal souls we’d proffer our own necks to them at the drop of a hat.

The Best Performances From The 'Game Of Thrones' Cast

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 8, 2014 3:46 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Game Of Thrones Feature
Oh, “Game of Thrones,” we’ve missed you so. But now that, as of Sunday's season opener, we are back in the warm embrace of a new season of the HBO phenomenon (which has officially been renewed for two further seasons), we’ve also found ourselves plunged back into the midst of one of the biggest ensemble casts on TV, and occasionally snapping our fingers at the screen going “Him! Him! That guy! Wasn’t he in that thing with the other guy from whatjacallit?” It’s one of the great joys of this exquisitely made show that the cast is so rich and deep and full of “that guy” character actors, but it can also be a bit of a pain when their other credits don’t come readily to mind, or when they’re rendered so unrecognisable under prosthetics, accents and/or exotic costumes that you simply can’t place them.

Jonathan Glazer Talks The Detached & Alien Point Of View In The Elusive ‘Under The Skin’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 8, 2014 3:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Under The Skin
More than 10 years in the making from stem to stern, Jonathan Glazer’s enigmatic, genuinely unnerving sci-fi drama “Under the Skin” starring Scarlett Johansson was unleashed last week at BAMcinématek with the director on hand along with producer James Wilson. It’s a visionary, deeply engrossing piece of filmmaking, with minor echoes of Stanley Kubrick and louder reverberations of Nicolas Roeg, but still a wholly unique and hauntingly distinct piece of cinema. Featuring little dialogue, a fierce and immersive sound design and a mind-disquieting score by Mica Levi, “Under the Skin” is all sensory sound and vision, as close as we get these days to pure cinema.

Best And Worst Of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 7, 2014 12:01 PM
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  • 31 Comments
Captain America 2, Best/Worst
This past Friday, after opening worldwide a few weeks earlier and performing like gangbusters, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the ninth Marvel Studios movie to date, arrived in the U.S., and swiftly proceeded to be the biggest opening of 2014 to date, smashing April records with a hefty $96 million weekend. That's a big step up for the second adventure to topline Chris Evans' super-soldier Steve Rogers to date, no doubt helped by very positive reaction from fans and critics alike.

Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 3, 2014 4:00 PM
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  • 195 Comments
Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked
Even by the ambitious standards of Marvel, 2014 is going to be a big year. They've got this weekend’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (review here) and hopeful franchise-starter “Guardians of the Galaxy,” while rival studios have the forthcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (at Fox) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (at Sony). No matter who is bringing them to the screen, Marvel has become a blockbuster brand, underscored by “The Avengers” scoring the third-highest-grossing-film of all time.

Ranked: Jonathan Glazer's Music Videos

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 3, 2014 1:09 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Ranked: Jonathan Glazer's Music Videos
As part of our continuing efforts to make everyone in the world go see "Under the Skin," which opens this Friday, earlier in the week we featured a rundown of director Jonathan Glazer's top ten commercials. But, advertising is not the only string to his bow (though no doubt the most lucrative), Glazer is also a well-known music video director, who, while not quite as prolific in this area, still boasts more than a couple of touchstones in his short videography. What's also notable about his promos is that within them, like with his commercial work, you can trace the evolution of the stylistic elements that Glazer would bring to his features, from the crisp lines and bold colors of the poolside terrace in "Sexy Beast," to the somber, chilly palette of "Birth," to the imagery of "Under the Skin" that ranges from gritty to sleek to surreal. It's a treat to watch a director as visually confident as Glazer work in a longer format, but it's also a treat to look through his back catalogue to see that confidence grow and mature.

'The Matrix' Anniversary: 7 Pre-Bullet Time VFX Effects That Blew Our Minds

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 3, 2014 12:07 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Matrix CG feature
15 years ago this week, a pair of siblings with only a modest cult indie movie under their belt, to that point, released a film you might have heard of: “The Matrix," a heady and immediately classic mashup of sci-fi, cyberpunk, Baudrillardian philosophy (or a distortion thereof) and anime, all wrapped up in an immensely compelling Messiah-myth story. On a macro level, the Wachowskis' film was such a successful fusion of all its various influences that it felt like something new, raked in just shy of half a billion dollars worldwide, and spawned a franchise (which we won’t talk about any further here for fear of spoiling the celebratory atmosphere). But on a micro level “The Matrix” was revolutionary too, delivering, in amongst some terrifically stylish set and costume design and spectacular action setpieces, one of the most jaw-dropping effects we’d ever seen to that point in a film: Bullet Time.

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