The Playlist

10 Reasons Why '21 Jump Street' Exceeded Expectations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 19, 2012 12:57 PM
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  • 8 Comments
On paper, "21 Jump Street" was not an enticing proposition. A reboot of a 1980s TV series with a ludicrous premise -- fresh-faced cops go undercover as high school students. Produced by Neal Moritz, a man whose last attempt at an action-comedy reboot of a famous property was the dreadful "The Green Hornet." Directed by two first-time live-action feature directors. Written by the man behind "Project X." And starring Jonah Hill, coming off a terrible R-rated comedy flop, in "The Sitter," and Channing Tatum, a man whose previous turns weren't so much performed as whittled out of wood. 

The Dardenne Brothers Say They Originally Planned A Different Ending For 'Kid With A Bike'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 17, 2012 9:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments
What can be said about the Dardenne brothers that five Cannes awards don't already say much more definitively? Even a mediocre splotch in their oeuvre is twelve notches above most other contemporary films that get paraded around on the blogosphere.

SXSW '12 Interview: Guy Maddin Talks Making 100 Short Films In 100 Days In Four Countries With Current Project 'Spiritismes'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 16, 2012 4:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
If you've been at a film festival at the last few months, chances are you've bumped into Guy Maddin. The idiosyncratic Canadian director of "Twilight of the Ice Nymphs," "The Saddest Music In The World" and "My Winnipeg," has a new film, offbeat haunted house tale "Keyhole," starring Jason Patric and Isabella Rossellini, and he's been on the festival circuit in a big way, debuting the film at TIFF (read our review from there), before heading to Halifax's Atlantic Film Festival, and then last month Berlin (where we interviewed the director), before landing in the last week at SXSW.

Discuss: Are 3D Re-Releases For 'Titanic' & 'Jurassic Park' Just The Tip Of The Nostalgia Iceberg?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 16, 2012 1:04 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Yesterday, Universal announced that they'd shifted their hopeful Tom Cruise blockbuster "Oblivion" into April, to make way for a prime, heart-of summer slot for a movie that will be twenty years old in 2013 -- a 3D re-jig of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park," the one-time biggest hits of all time. And it's one of a wave of these stereo-ized re-releases, from last fall's surprise hit "The Lion King" and February's "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" (with the sequels planned to hit over the next five years) to next month's "Titanic 3D."

SXSW '12: Richard Linklater & Matthew McConaughey Talk Revisiting Wooderson In Prospective 'Dazed And Confused' Sorta-Sequel

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • March 16, 2012 10:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Despite his status as something of an indie auteur, Richard Linklater is reassuringly populist in his thinking about movies, particularly when it comes to sequels. In 2004 he produced a sequel to “Before Sunrise” entitled “Before Sunset,” and after “School of Rock” became a runaway success, he and star Jack Black have spent years trying to mount a follow-up. But when it comes to his much-beloved “Dazed and Confused,” Linklater hasn’t explored that possibility as actively, although in interviews not long ago he mentioned the possibility of a second installment – well, sort of.

23 High School Movies That Get The Passing Grade

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 15, 2012 4:17 PM
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  • 44 Comments
Considering it's where most of us (bar the weird home-schooled kids) spend our crucial formative years, where we have our first fights, our first loves, our first tentative steps into adulthood, it's no surprise that high school has long been a popular setting for a movie. A range of genres (but generally leaning towards comedy) have taken place in those hallways, particularly from the 1980s onwards, when John Hughes, among others, made an entire career out of the lives and loves of 15-18 year olds.

Tony Kaye Says He's Still Editing Long-Lost 'Black Water Transit' Film; Still Plugging Away On Experimental Project 'Lobby Lobster'

  • By Jen Vineyard
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  • March 14, 2012 6:11 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Tony Kaye's first film this decade is "Detachment" -- and his follow-up is called "Attachment." Though they're not part of the same story, the two projects are related, the director told The Playlist.

'21 Jump Street' Directors Chris Miller & Phil Lord Talk Deleted Scenes For DVD, Shooting Action & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 14, 2012 12:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments
One of the biggest compliments you can pay a movie like the new Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum vehicle "21 Jump Street" -- based on a old television property and seemingly hatched inside a coldly cynical meeting between studio chiefs and big-name action producers (in this case "Fast and Furious" overseer Neal H. Moritz) -- is what a huge surprise it is. If you had told us a few weeks ago that we would be staggering out of the theater, our sides aching from laughing too hard and our heads spinning from what a smart, fun, earnest, movie it was, we wouldn't have believed it ourselves. But it's true. "21 Jump Street" really is that good. And a big part of what makes it so fresh is that it comes from a couple of new live action directors – "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" helmers Chris Miller and Phil Lord. We talked to them about the transition from live action to animation, what they wanted to incorporate into the movie, and why Dave Franco asks Tatum about his choice in music.

5 Unnecessary, Unwanted Sequels That Bit The Dust & 5 More That Are Somehow Getting Made

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 13, 2012 3:33 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Earlier today, producer/enemy of quality Neal Moritz confirmed what anyone with a brain and cursory knowledge of the box office charts of early 2011 was aware of: a sequel to "Green Hornet," his Michel Gondry-directed, Seth Rogen led superhero movie of last January, isn't happening any time soon. The film wasn't a giant flop -- it made a good-but-not-great $98 million domestically, part of a total $227 million worldwide haul. Not a bad number, but considering the movie cost $120 million plus whatever they poured into the extensive marketing campaign, the profit margin was likely razor thin.

SXSW '12 Interview: 'Frankie Go Boom' Director Jordan Roberts On The Inspiration Behind Putting Ron Perlman In A Dress

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 13, 2012 1:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment
We weren't sure what to expect of "Frankie Go Boom," the sophomore directorial feature from director Jordan Roberts. There were the helmer's diverse previous credits, from directing ensemble dramedy "Around The Bend," which starred Christopher Walken, Michael Caine and Josh Lucas, to writing the narration for the hit documentary "March of the Penguins." Then there was the film itself: with cast members like Chris O'Dowd and Lizzy Caplan, it seemed like it could be a post-Apatow comedy, but then came that teaser poster, of Ron Perlman in a dress. What on Earth was this thing?

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