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The Playlist

The Essentials: The 5 Best Bill Murray Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 4, 2012 12:03 PM
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  • 15 Comments
This week sees the release of "Hyde Park On Hudson," the biopic of FDR that, despite a prestige-heavy cast and seemingly nakedly chasing the success of "The King's Speech," isn't riding as big a wave as we might've expected after premireing on the fall festival circuit in September. It may yet become a popular hit, but it looks unlikely to fulfill the purpose it was seemingly created for -- to finally win Bill Murray, one of our most beloved actors, an Oscar.

The 10 Films Worth Tracking Down In Theaters In December

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 4, 2012 11:13 AM
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  • 3 Comments
With November done, there's only a few weeks left of 2012, and as ever, they're positively stacked with movies. The month is back-loaded with the usual mix of family fare, blockbusters and awards hopefuls, and no less than sixteen major movies will hit screens between the 19th and the 28th of December. To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, we've picked out ten of the key releases that, whether they work or not, will be dominating the conversation all the way into 2013. Check them out below, and let us know what you're most looking forward to in the comments section.

Exclusive: David O Russell Says His FBI Abscam Film Will Be An “Intense, Insane, Colorful & Funny Crime Drama”

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • December 3, 2012 2:55 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Many have posited that when F. Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives, he meant, we cannot escape our pasts. Someone who has proven that maxim wrong is director David O. Russell. As he told THR directors' roundtable recently, the latter half of the aughts landed in the filmmaker in a tricky place.

The Essentials: 5 Great Ernst Lubitsch Films

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 30, 2012 2:20 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Sadly, the name Ernst Lubitsch isn't one that's batted around much by the hip young gunslingers of the movie world. Given that he passed away in the 1940s, there are many whose grandparents were barely out of short trousers the last time a Lubitsch picture was in theaters, and only a few filmmakers (Wes Anderson the most recent) mention him as a touchstone these days. But we're firmly of the belief that cinema would be much improved if every screenwriter and director sat down for a weekend with the films of the much-missed director.

"I Don't Want A 3-Hour 'Django Unchained' Either": Highlights Of Quentin Tarantino's Directors' Roundtable Chat

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 29, 2012 1:50 PM
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  • 3 Comments
One thing that we're really, really looking forward to in the Christmas movie season is the return of Quentin Tarantino to the press circuit. Now that he's finished his eighth movie, "Django Unchained," (which starts screening for press over the weekend), the filmmaker can get on with the busy business of selling the movie. And love him or hate him, one can't deny Tarantino knows how to talk, and his colorful appearances on the press tour always make for interesting reading/viewing. He is, as you might expect, like a character from one of his movies come to life.

5 Great '70s Crime Thrillers

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 29, 2012 12:27 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Though The Weinstein Company are selling it as a Tarantino-esque shoot 'em up, audiences going to see "Killing Them Softly" once it opens this Friday will find they've been subjected to something of a bait-and-switch. This is because Andrew Dominik's film (his first since the acclaimed "The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford") is something of a throwback to the crime pictures of the 1970s when the films were rich in political subtext, full of characters beaten down by a rotten economy, and not necessarily packed with action or lightness.

John Williams Turned Down Scoring 'Heaven's Gate' & More Learned From The Criterion Edition Of Michael Cimino's Cult Film

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • November 29, 2012 10:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
A critical re-assessment of "Heaven's Gate" is now underway thanks in no small part to the Criterion Collection, who just released on DVD and Blu Ray the new 2K restoration of the controversial 1980 Michael Cimino-directed western. The film's notoriously troubled production history, scathing first-run reviews and poor initial box office is the stuff of “movie disaster” legend, and understandably downplayed in this new, director-approved release.

10 Undervalued Actors Who Deserve To Get More Work

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 28, 2012 2:26 PM
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  • 33 Comments
This week sees the release of Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly," a gripping little crime movie than threatens to be one of The Playlist's highlights of 2012. And among its many pleasures is the chance to see some character actor favorites like James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, and newer up-and-comers like Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn given substantial roles to chew on. Best of all is a major role for the incomparably great Richard Jenkins.

Interview: John Hillcoat Talks The Top 5 Influences For His Prohibition-Era Gangster Movie 'Lawless'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 28, 2012 11:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
This past summer, "Lawless," a gripping, based-on-a-true-story gangster movie from Australian director John Hillcoat, opened and closed without much fanfare, despite its uniformly excellent cast (included: Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Shia LeBeouf, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska and Gary Oldman) and the fact that it was a really terrific movie. Thankfully, if you missed it in the theaters, you have a second chance as "Lawless" debuts on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes this week. To mark the occasion, we got to speak to Hillcoat about the top five films that influenced his thrilling film.

5 Key Directors Of New Australian Cinema As Andrew Dominik's 'Killing Them Softly' Hits Theaters

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 27, 2012 1:01 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Though born in New Zealand, Andrew Dominik, the director of this week's "Killing Them Softly," moved to Australia at the age of 2, and was raised there. And around thirty years later, he provided a firecracker up the arse of the nation's film industry by directing "Chopper," a biopic of colorful criminal Chopper Read that made Eric Bana a global star, and firmly launched Dominik as a filmmaker to watch.

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