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The Playlist

20 Oddball Sci-Fi Films Of The 1970s

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 7, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 21 Comments
Somewhere between 1968's “2001: A Space Odyssey” and 1977's “Star Wars” something happened in the culture. Storytellers, perhaps inspired by the way the hippie, counter-culture was fizzling out, combined with the still-dragging-on war in Vietnam, and post-Watergate disillusion, began to look at the future in a somewhat darker, more idiosyncratic way than had been the case before, with recurring themes of environmental disaster, utopias gone sour, and the end of all things.

5 Things You Might Not Know About The Coens' Cult Classic 'The Big Lebowski'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 6, 2013 1:06 PM
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  • 23 Comments
Aside from perhaps "The Ladykillers" (and even that film features a great Tom Hanks performance, at least), it's hard to find at least one Coen Brothers movie that doesn't have passionate supporters that declare it the best thing the directing duo ever made. From debut "Blood Simple" to the recent megahit western "True Grit," every Coen picture has its advocate (this writer has an unconditional adoration of their 1994 commercial disaster "The Hudsucker Proxy," for instance). But none of their films are more beloved than "The Big Lebowski."

6 Directors Who Could Helm The Next James Bond Film

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • March 6, 2013 12:02 PM
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  • 13 Comments
Somewhat shocking (to fans), but not completely surprising news this AM. Sam Mendes, the director of "Skyfall," the highest grossing -- by a large margin with $1.1 billion -- and arguably most popular James Bond film ever decided to pass and won't be directing "Bond 24." While the "American Beauty" director suggested in recent interviews he might take on the next installment -- something the Bond producers would have loved, we're sure -- he had flipped and flopped and it doesn't come as huge surprise Mendes moved on if you've paid attention to his creatively peripatetic career.

Not In Kansas Anymore: The Long History Of Disney And 'The Wizard Of Oz'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 5, 2013 2:22 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Not In Kansas Anymore: The Long History Of Disney And 'Oz'
This weekend's opulent 3D fantasia "Oz, The Great And Powerful," directed by former "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi, is one of Disney's biggest movies of the year – a dreamy, technologically advanced marvel that cost $200 million to produce and god knows how much to market. And while this is the latest film from the Mouse House to flirt with the "Wizard of Oz" mythos (originally developed in a series of best-selling fantasy novels by American author L. Frank Baum), it is far from the first. In fact, Disney has been doggedly pursuing the world of Oz, to varying degrees of success, since the late '30s. The odyssey that Disney took to get to "Oz, the Great and Powerful" is more fraught with danger, pain, and dead-ends than anything involving a yellow brick road. Thankfully, nowhere in this story does a flying monkey with the voice of Zach Braff appear.

10 Films To See At SXSW Film Festival 2013

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 5, 2013 1:19 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Preview: 10 SXSW Films We Are Looking Forward To
A couple of months on from Sundance, and a few weeks after Berlin wrapped up, and we're about to hit the third major movie event of the year, as the SXSW Film Festival gets underway on Friday. The festival has grown in importance, giving a certain kind of indie picture (and studio flick) a boost as spring gets underway, and the last few years have seen "Undefeated," "Monsters," "Bridesmaids," "21 Jump Street," "Weekend" and "Cabin In The Woods" among those buoyed by SXSW audiences.

In A Crowded Summer 2013 Blockbuster Season, Which Risky Films Will Be Hits & Which Will Flop?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 4, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 19 Comments
2013 has claimed its first would-be-blockbuster casualty. This past weekend saw "Jack The Giant Slayer," Bryan Singer's long-delayed $200 million fairy tale movie, open to a decidedly underwhelming $28 million, putting it on the path to losing "John Carter"/"Battleship"/"Total Recall"-style sums of money. It was hardly a surprise (most people with half a brain saw this coming months ago), but it's another illustration that for every expensive film that proves to be a hit, there's at least one that fails entirely to connect with the audience that it needs.

The Lost & Unmade Projects Of Stanley Kubrick

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 4, 2013 11:59 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Cinephiles woke up on Sunday to some exciting and unexpected news about a project from a filmmaker who continues to inspire debate and discussion more than a decade after this death. Steven Spielberg announced he would be taking Stanley Kubrick’s unmade, long-in-development “Napoleon” and bringing it to television as a miniseries. This is nothing short of monumental news, but as devotees of Kubrick know, it’s just one of a handful of projects that he either decided not to make or never got the chance to.

10 Films Worth Tracking Down In Theaters In March

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 1, 2013 2:54 PM
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  • 7 Comments
It's been a long, dark couple of months at the start of 2013, with not all that much that's been worth seeing, bar a few bright spots like "Side Effects" and "No." But as the days start to get sunnier and warmer (we hope so, at least, or we're going to jump off something tall fairly soon), the prospects at movie theaters are improving a bit too.

Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2014 Best Director Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 1, 2013 12:23 PM
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  • 12 Comments
In recent years, trying to predict the Oscar nominees in the Best Director category has been especially tricky. In the past, you could just translate over your Best Picture nominees, maybe swap one out for a better-known or showier filmmaker, and you were relatively likely to be correct. But ever since the Academy made the switch to having more than five nominees in the top category it's become more unpredictable, especially if you're trying to make your predictions a year in advance.

Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2014 Best Supporting Actor & Actress Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 28, 2013 3:42 PM
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  • 22 Comments
Premature Predictions: The 2014 Best Supporting Actor & Actress Nominees, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Josh Brolin, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell
We're coming to the end of our week previewing possible contenders for the 2014 Academy Awards, having already examined Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. There's one more piece to come after this, but right now, we're going to take a look at the trickiest categories to predict this far out: Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

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