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The Playlist

5 Great Eddie Murphy Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 9, 2012 3:46 PM
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  • 7 Comments
You might not have noticed, but Eddie Murphy has a new movie in theaters today. That's a slightly loaded sentence: "A Thousand Words" was shot four years ago, has been barely screened for critics (those who have seen it have been vicious), and is being put into a mere 1900 theaters, nearly half as much as the week's biggest opening, "John Carter." And all this for a man who was once the biggest star on the planet.

10 SXSW Soundtracks To Look Out For Including Scores By Members Of Pearl Jam, Vampire Weekend, Menomena, Tortoise & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 8, 2012 2:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment
SXSW is barely 24 hours away from starting (catch up with part one and part two of our preview pieces here), and at this point, it's important to be reminded that one of the things that makes it unique is a particular focus on the crossover between music and film, something that's been a particular interest of ours since the very earliest days of The Playlist. It doesn't just have a whole sidebar dedicated to music documentaries (with this year's batch including films around LCD Soundsystem, Paul Simon and Big Star), and a music festival that runs alongside, but it also seems to attract a disproportionate number of scores by indie and rock musicians to its fictional entries.

Discuss: After 'Project X,' 'Chronicle' & Universal's $5 Million Retool Of 'Ouija' Is Low-Budget The New Mega-Budget?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 7, 2012 2:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
After a brutal year at the box office in 2011, with many seemingly sure-fire things underperforming, the studios have been breathing a sigh of relief in 2012 so far. For each of the nine weekends of 2012 so far, takings at U.S. theaters have been significantly higher than the equivalent weekendsin previous years, and two movies, "The Vow" and "Safe House," have already crossed the psychologically vital $100 million barrier, with "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" a dead cert to join them by the end of next weekend.

14 SXSW Movies We've Already Seen Including '21 Jump Street,' 'Marley,' 'Killer Joe,' 'Bernie' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 7, 2012 12:59 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Yesterday, we ran through fifteen movies that we're dying to see at this year's SXSW, but the Austin, Texas festival doesn't just have world premieres: there's also a selection of films that have played film fests elsewhere in the world over the last months, from Venice and Toronto to Sundance and Berlin.

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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  • 0 Comments
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.

15 Most Anticipated Films Of SXSW 2012: From Will Ferrell In Spanish To The Lost Duplass Bros. Movie & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 6, 2012 3:03 PM
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  • 3 Comments
While Sundance still gets the headlines, the last few years have seen the film strand of South By Southwest, the Austin, Texas cultural conference, become just as vital to the movie world as Robert Redford's baby. The past few festivals alone witnessed some of the best movies of their respective years debut, from low-budget indies like "The Puffy Chair," "Beeswax," "Tiny Furniture" and "Cold Weather" to more mainstream fare like "I Love You Man," "Adventureland" and "Bridesmaids," to international genre hits like "Kill List," "Attack The Block" and "Monsters."

Director Justin Kurzel Talks About The World Of 'The Snowtown Murders' & His Dark Comedy Followup

  • By Julian Carrington
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  • March 2, 2012 6:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Despite taking a short film called “Blue Tongue” to Cannes Critic’s Week in 2005, Australian director Justin Kurzel isn’t a member of the Aussie collective Blue Tongue Films, which includes “Animal Kingdom” writer/director David Michôd and star Joel Edgerton (also of acclaimed MMA drama “Warrior”). Comparisons will be inevitable, however, in that like “Animal Kingdom,” Kurzel’s debut feature is an uncommonly accomplished crime drama about a naive teen corrupted by the poisonous, sociopathic tutelage of a deranged father figure. The two films also share cinematographer Adam Arkapaw who spent time behind the camera for both productions. If there’s a key difference, though, between Kurzel’s film, “The Snowtown Murders,” and Michôd’s "Animal Kingdom," it’s that the former is based on a horrific true story. Specifically, “Snowtown” dramatizes the events of Australia’s notorious Snowtown murders (also called the “Bodies in Barrels murders”), perpetrated by John Justin Bunting and three accomplices, one of whom was teenager James Vlassakis. "Snowtown" is a grim, hard-to-watch chronicle of how Vlassakis was lured into Bunting's world, eventually participating in his brutal, vicious murders.

Are Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio & Vanessa Redgrave Headed For The Oscars? Predicting Best Supporting Actor & Actress 2013

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 2, 2012 12:59 PM
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  • 49 Comments
When it came to our super-early Oscar predictions last year, we weren't too far off when it came to Best Picture, or even the lead acting categories. But Supporting Actor & Actress? That was something of a disaster. Ok, so we called Christopher Plummer's victory, but aside from that, we were way off.

Could Bill Murray & Keira Knightley Be Oscar Winners? We Prematurely Predict Best Actor & Actress At The 2013 Academy Awards

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 2, 2012 11:58 AM
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  • 86 Comments
At the Academy Awards, Best Picture might be the big prize, but the ones that both the winners and the audience have the most emotional connection to tend to be the acting prizes. Seeing a beloved star, or a fresh-faced newcomer, finally pick up a statue more often than not ends up leading the mainstream media coverage; it's always more moving than some producer's acceptance speech.

Indie Filmmaker Hal Hartley Talks Becoming Truly DIY, The "Difficult" Edges Of His Actor D.J. Mendel & His Latest Film 'Meanwhile'

  • By Brandon Harris
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  • March 1, 2012 6:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
One of the preeminent voices in American independent film’s nascent boom years during the H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations, Hal Hartley’s visibility has waned as his stylistic preoccupations have diverged from American arthouse audiences’ tastes, but his trademark sensibility is in fine form in his most recent film "Meanwhile," which, after bowing at last year’s Era New Horizons Film Festival in Poland, had its American premiere last night at the IFC Center in New York (more screenings of his films are playing with Hartley in attendance up until until April 4).

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