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The Playlist

Retrospective: The Films Of Ang Lee

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 19, 2012 12:01 PM
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  • 15 Comments
For a filmmaker who’s tackled a wide range of genres, from minor-key Chinese-language comedies to epic kung-fu action, from nuanced literary Americana to iconic CGI-driven superheroics, it’s actually relatively easy to spot an Ang Lee film if you know what you're looking for. Superficially, the Taiwanese-born, American-trained filmmaker has an deeply eclectic and diverse taste in subject matter, setting and even style (one could never imagine that “Sense & Sensibility” and “Hulk” came from the same director from the shooting techniques used alone), but all kinds of thematic links recur across the director’s work -- family, repression, duty, thwarted love or desire. Whether it’s 1940s Shanghai or Civil War-era Missouri, you can find the same humanistic concerns, even as the filmmaker finds new things to say about them.

10 Adaptations Of Russian Novels To Get You Ready For 'Anna Karenina'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 16, 2012 3:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Today sees the release of Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina," the latest attempt to adapt Leo Tolstoy's unruly epic of Russian literature to the screen. It's far from the first, with silent versions arriving as early as 1910, while the most recent was Bernard Rose's take in 1997. But Wright's version numbers among the best, thanks to a fine cast, a bold, cinematic approach to the material, and astonishing production values. You can read our review of the film here.

Scorsese At 70: 5 Of His Most Underrated Films

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 16, 2012 12:33 PM
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  • 36 Comments
Tomorrow, November 17th, one Martin Charles Scorsese turns 70. One of the most celebrated American filmmakers in the history of the medium, Scorsese first broke out in the 1970s, coming out of the mentorship of Roger Corman (for whom he made "Boxcar Bertha") to direct the astonishingly confident "Mean Streets." And over the years, the director has made multiple classics, from "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" to recent awards-laden triumphs like "The Departed" and "Hugo."

8 Things Learned About 'Sunset Boulevard' Now Out On Blu-Ray/DVD

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • November 16, 2012 11:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Man, you gotta love the wit and bite of Billy Wilder. It's hard to pick a best film from the great Austrian-born American filmmaker who made an indelible mark on Hollywood in the '40s, '50s and '60s, making major contributions to American cinema with "Some Like It Hot," "Stalag 13," “The Apartment,” the rediscovered acidic gem "Ace In The Hole," “Double Indemnity” and “The Lost Weekend,” to name just a few (you can dive into our full-blown retrospective to get our take on all his work). But if you had to choose one picture to represent the greatness of Wilder you might be forced to acknowledge the sheer brilliance of perhaps his best known film, "Sunset Boulevard,” his last collaboration with his screenwriting partner Charles Brackett.

The Essentials: 5 Amazing Joe Wright Scenes You Need To Know

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 15, 2012 1:14 PM
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  • 6 Comments
In just five movies, British director Joe Wright has established himself as a master stylist with an almost painterly eye for shot compositions and spatial geography. On the eve of his newest film, "Anna Karenina," we thought we would go through the five most amazing shots in his oeuvre (whittling them down was something of a challenge). As an added bonus, we got to talk to Seamus McGarvey, the cinematographer behind behind three of the five scenes, including the one from "Anna Karenina," about what it was like crafting these truly unforgettable moments. We've included the scenes where possible, but of course, you can check out each of these films on home video.

Bill Condon Combining 'Breaking Dawn' Movies For Single Extended Cut & 10 Things Learned About 'Breaking Dawn Pt. 2'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 15, 2012 11:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In just a few hours, the final "Twilight" movie will hit theaters. With an impressively speedy five movies in four years, audiences have seen teen Bella (Kristen Stewart) fall for a mysterious new classmate, Edward (Robert Pattinson), stop him from committing suicide, fight off an army of newborn vampires led by the evil Victoria, get married, have a baby, and transform into a vampire herself.

Discuss: Which 'Twilight' Stars Will Still Have Careers Once The Franchise Ends?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 14, 2012 11:01 AM
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  • 30 Comments
And so they face the final curtain. This week "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2," the fifth film in the franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling young-adult vampire novels, will hit theaters (read our review here). And while Lionsgate and Summit are hoping to extend the life of their cash cow, for the moment this movie marks the end of the franchise and the story of star-crossed lovers Edward Cullen and Bella Swann.

5 Directors Who Could Helm The Next James Bond Film

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 13, 2012 12:20 PM
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  • 42 Comments
Even by the standards of the second most successful franchise in cinema history, "Skyfall" is doing extraordinarily well. The 23rd James Bond film, which has picked up some of the best reviews in the history of the franchise, has topped off an amazing couple of weeks at the box office with a $90 million opening weekend in the U.S., bringing it to over $500 million worldwide in only 17 days. By next weekend, it will easily have overtaken "Casino Royale" to be the franchise's top worldwide grosser, and could be on course to be the first billion-dollar Bond.

The Disc-Less: 5 Re-Evaluated Classics Not Available On DVD, Including 'Greed,' 'Song Of The South' & 'Ishtar'

  • By Peter Labuza
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  • November 13, 2012 11:04 AM
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  • 12 Comments
On November 19th, Criterion will be putting out the infamous maudit film, Michael Cimino’s "Heaven’s Gate." The film is a masterwork, a tragedy that is both extremely intimate and expansive in scope, rich in both its visual feast and its emotional narrative. Studio clashes and misguided reviews made it one of Hollywood’s most notorious flops, essentially killing United Artists. However, reevaluation and this new restoration has finally shed light on this great work of cinema. This week, we highlight five more American epics that were dismissed at their release, and hope DVD releases will lead to their reconsideration.

Jon Spaihts Confirms His Leaked ‘Prometheus’ Script, Titled ‘Alien: Engineers’ Is Legit; 6 Things That Changed In The Original Script

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 12, 2012 4:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
There are two types of “Prometheus” fans: those who are huge fans of the “Alien” franchise and thus have poured over every ounce of the amazing bounty of extras in the “Prometheus” Blu-Ray, and those who are more casual, who want to know a bit more, are perhaps a bit puzzled and intrigued by the Damon Lindelof-penned, Ridley Scott-directed sorta-prequel to the 1979 film. We’ll assume you’re in the latter camp.

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