The Playlist

Tribeca Review: 'Deadfall' Starring Eric Bana & Olivia Wilde Is Trapped In A Blizzard of Coincidence & Two-Dimensional Characters

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 26, 2012 6:17 PM
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  • 4 Comments
"Deadfall" starts off strong enough – three criminals, led by Addison (Eric Bana) and his sexy sister Liza (Olivia Wilde) speed away from some unspecified job (it's later revealed to be a casino heist). It's icy out and their driver (the only black character in the whole movie) overcompensates, avoiding a deer, which sends their car cart wheeling over a snowy embankment. As Addison and Liza climb out of the wrecked car they notice their very-dead driver, his head through the windshield. "He should have been wearing his safety belt," Bana grumbles, dripping a syrupy Southern accent on top of his natural Australian drawl. It's a perfect way to begin the movie – darkly comic, oddly thrilling, weirdly sexual (there's definitely an incestuous vibe between the siblings) – but these opening moments are probably the strongest in the movie's 94 minute running time.

Michel Gondry's 'The We And The I', Ben Wheatley's 'Sightseers' & More Headed To Cannes Directors' Fortnight

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 24, 2012 7:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Yes, there's even more. With the lineup at the Cannes Film Festival already boasting a plethora of top-tier talent and highly anticipated films, the sidebar Directors' Fortnight is not to be outdone, and today they have unveiled their unusually name-brand-heavy lineup.

Tribeca Review: 'Alekesam' Feels Less Like A Short Doc And More Like An Overlong Album Promo For Sal Masekela

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 23, 2012 6:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
At 35 minutes, "Alekesam" is a short documentary with a subject that could probably fill a Ken Burns-style PBS miniseries, full of political unrest, social uprisings, and jazz music: Hugh Masekela, a musician and activist who fought against apartheid (he was exiled from South Africa for more than 30 years), struggles to reconnect with his son Sal Masekela, a former ESPN commentator who is just now embarking on his own musical career. But while the doc tries to focus on the tenuous emotional connection between a distant father and a resistant son, it ends up coming across more as a fluffy promotional piece for Sal's new album than anything genuinely probing or insightful.

Tribeca Review: 'Rubberneck' Is A True Crime Tale That's Truly Dull

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 23, 2012 3:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Chances are, if the movie doesn't feature a dolphin with a prosthetic tail on the poster, and it carries "inspired by true events" disclaimer, then it's going to be something about murder, mayhem, or the decades-long search for the Zodiac killer. So by announcing that your movie is inspired by true events, what could have been an unsettling reveal instead becomes a waiting game: who is going to get killed, how long is it going to take, and why have you never read about it before? It may add a slight bit of tension, but it's at the cost of almost everything else. Such is the case with "Rubberneck," written, directed, and starring Lena Dunham confederate Alex Kaprovsky, which has an intriguing-enough true crime premise but ends up coming across like something you'd stumble upon on Lifetime one Sunday afternoon (but without all the laughs of, say, "Drew Peterson: Untouchable").

Tribeca Review: 'Free Samples' Isn't Worth Buying

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 22, 2012 8:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments
For some reason independent movies, especially the current wave of mumble-core with its earthy existentialism and waxy photographic quality, have the reputation of somehow being more “real” or “honest” than movies in the mainstream. Because these smaller movies arrive at some emotional truth more directly, they don’t have to dodge movie stars or CGI monsters. But watching a movie like USC grad Jay Gammill's “Free Samples,” which proudly wears its indie-ness on its sleeve like a badge of honor (when it’s really more of a disfiguring war wound), all you get are feelings of artificiality. It’s so phony and forced and cloying and cute, that you wonder how anyone could misdiagnose a movie like this as being more representative of the human experience than, say, something with werewolves or Tom Cruise.

Robert De Niro Talks 'Deer Hunter' & 'Midnight Run 2' And Judd Apatow Looks Back On His Work At The Tribeca Film Festival

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 20, 2012 12:19 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Yesterday at the Tribeca Film Festival, a special event was held celebrating the centennial anniversary of Universal Pictures. This “100 Years Panel,” hosted by Deadline staffer Mike Fleming, featured an introduction by Ron Meyer, Universal’s long-standing CEO, and panelists Judd Apatow and Robert De Niro (both frequent Universal employees and creative partners). And while this might have seemed like a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Universal’s first 100 years (and the movies De Niro and Apatow have memorably contributed), it turned out to be a slog – an excruciatingly unentertaining hour that oscillated between terse answers by De Niro and wild outbursts from Apatow.

'Lawless,' 'Killing Them Softly,' 'Cosmopolis,' 'On The Road' Lead Official Selection For 2012 Cannes Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 19, 2012 6:11 AM
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  • 26 Comments
Still the biggest and most prestigious film festival in the world, despite fierce competition, Cannes is one of the major dates in the film lover's calendar. And more so than ever this year, there's been a great deal of speculation as to what the films in competition might be. We knew that Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" was opening the festival, and we knew, as of yesterday, that "Therese D," the last film from director Claude Miller, starring Audrey Tautou, would close it.

The Playlist's 15 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 16, 2012 10:02 AM
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  • 5 Comments
This year's Tribeca Film Festival carries one of its strongest line-ups in years. In addition to films from Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance and Berlin circuit, there's also a wealth of U.S. premieres or lesser-known festival movies in the line-up that look just as promising this time around; after a relatively weak SXSW, it looks like the East Coast is getting some of the good stuff.

The Best & Worst Of SXSW '12: The Playlist's Complete Coverage

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 19, 2012 4:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments
SXSW is officially done for another year. Well, technically, it's been done since Saturday, but it's taken a few days for The Playlist team members to emerge from their BBQ & queso comas. Nevertheless, the film strand of the festival is over and it's time to look forward, to Tribeca, Cannes and whatever else lies beyond.

Happy St. Patrick's Day: Irish Director Kirsten Sheridan On 'Dollhouse,' The Word "Random" And Using Ryan Gosling's Music

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • March 17, 2012 4:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Continuing its festival run this week at SXSW, following its Berlin premiere, is a remarkable Irish film, "Dollhouse," directed by Kirsten Sheridan. The trippy, pulsing story of a home invasion scenario that is by turns scary, funny and surreal (you can read our review here), the film gained a special mention in Berlin, which is also where we caught up with its director.

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