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The Playlist

Interview: 'Neighbors' Star Seth Rogen Talks Making It Relatable, Improv With Zac Efron And The Movie's Distinctive Look

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 8, 2014 3:03 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, Neighbors
This weekend's big, R-rated studio comedy "Neighbors" is funny in the way that big, R-rated studio comedies rarely are (read our review here). In the movie Seth Rogen plays a man in his thirties, who is happily married (to a flawless Rose Byrne) and with a new baby. Of course his suburban idyll is disrupted when a rampaging fraternity (led by Zac Elfron, his malevolent charisma turned all the way up) shows up and moves into the house right next door to theirs. That leads to an all out war between the boring suburbanites and the hard partying frat brothers that have invaded their neighborhood. While at South by Southwest, where the movie first premiered (it received a riotous response), we sat down with Rogen and chatted about the movie, what the appeal of the script was for him, what Byrne brought to the role, and how the distinctive look of the movie was developed.

Interview: 'Neighbors' Duo Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg Talk 'The Interview,' Developing 'Preacher,' Crazy 'Sausage Party' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 7, 2014 12:26 PM
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Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in This Is the End
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have the kind of career that young comedy writers look upon with envious eyes. The two writer/producers have had an unprecedented streak, nimbly shifting from one hit R-rated comedy to the next, while occasionally stopping to expand their focus and bring in new collaborators (like "Warm Bodies" filmmaker Jonathan Levine, who they worked with on "50/50"). And for the most part these guys have stuck to their guns, honed their craft, and had tremendous success. We got a chance to speak with them at the South by Southwest Film Festival, where they debuted "Neighbors" to a thunderous response (read our review), and the unusually frank duo let us in on a whole battery of upcoming projects.

Interview: 'Belle' Director Amma Asante On Her Charged & Groundbreaking Period Drama

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 1, 2014 2:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
A good candidate for the unexpected sleeper indie crossover of the summer looks to be Fox Searchlight's "Belle," which hits theaters this week. The film tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, born in the West Indies in 1761 to an aristocrat, Admiral Sir John Lindsay, and an African slave. She was brought back to England and, as her father's sole heir, albeit an illegitimate one, was raised among great privilege, though not allowed to participate in all aspects of society (she had to dine separately from the rest of her family for instance).

Interview: Kevin Spacey Talks 'Now: In the Wings On A World Stage,' Jesse Eisenberg Playing Lex Luthor & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 1, 2014 12:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Now: In the Wings on a World Stage
Kevin Spacey, a world-class actor who has conquered stage, screen, and Netflix, is placing another feather in his cap: he's about to self-release "NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage," a documentary that thrillingly chronicles the worldwide production of William Shakespeare's "Richard III," mounted by Spacey and his "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes. When you watch the documentary, it's hard to not be taken aback by the sheer size of the production, from the dozens of actors to the massive sets (and the truly jaw-dropping venues that they got to play all around the world).

Tribeca Interview: Billy Crudup Compares 'Glass Chin' To 'Watchmen,' Wants Role In 'Star Wars 7'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 30, 2014 6:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Glass Chin
One of the absolute highlights of this year's unusually robust Tribeca Film Festival was Noah Buschel's "Glass Chin" (read our review here). It's the tale of a down on his luck former boxer named Bud (played by Corey Stoll) who gets seduced by the criminal underworld. And there's no one more seductive than Billy Crudup, who plays J.J., a kind of loan shark/restaurateur, in a performance that borders on being downright mesmerizing. Crudup is a wonderful actor but in "Glass Chin" he taps into something really powerful and odd. And we were lucky enough to chat with him about the process of creating the character, which he equates to the experience making Zack Snyder's "Watchmen." Oh, and he gets a shout out J.J. Abrams for a "Star Wars" job too.

Interview: 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Producers Avi Arad & Matt Tolmach Talk Spin-Off Plans, Crossovers & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 30, 2014 2:00 PM
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  • 5 Comments
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Kevin Feige might be the sorcerer supremre of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but when it comes to the "Amazing Spider-Man 2" (and it's own expanding universe), Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are it. Arad is the guy who, back when he ran Marvel, got the comics company back on its feet and started Marvel Studios as a company that could eventually rival any of its Hollywood contemporaries. (It's also worth noting that without his aggressively innovative management, Disney would have never bought Marvel.) Arad now shepherds the crown jewel property that is, as of yet, out of Disney's hands: Spider-Man. Together with Tolmach, Arad's new goal is to rival Marvel's sprawling cinematic landscape, complete with a whole continuum of spin-offs and sequels. We talked about the possibility of multiple cinematic Spider-Men, if the Mary Jane footage will ever see the light of day, and whether or not they see the Spider-universe infecting the small screen too.

Interview: ‘Blue Ruin’ Director Jeremy Saulnier Talks Grounding The Revenge Film, Facial Hair & Embracing Limitations

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • April 24, 2014 2:11 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Blue Ruin
As arguably few surprises resulted from last week’s Cannes lineup, last year’s inclusion of “Blue Ruin” came as an utter shock to its DP-turned-director, Jeremy Saulnier. “I was on the way to a corporate video shoot in Cleveland, and had sort of accepted that this movie wasn't going to break through and I'm going to go back to my day job,” he said when we sat down with him recently in Los Angeles. Passed over by Sundance and on uncertain terms with the Cannes jury, the film persisted, making it into Directors' Fortnight, thoroughly wowing audiences, and picking up the FIPRESCI Prize as a result.

Interview: Tom Hardy & Steven Knight Discuss Their One-Man Gamble In The Risky, Mesmerizing ‘Locke’

  • April 24, 2014 11:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Locke
Tom Hardy has defined his career by playing very distinct and willfully hard-as-nails men. His breakthrough came in portraying a sociopathic prison inmate in “Bronson,” then came a flamboyant dream criminal in “Inception,” a taciturn bootlegger in “Lawless,” an intractable UFC pugilist in “Warrior,” a dogmatic terrorist in “The Dark Knight Rises” and he’s about to play the iconic wasteland traveler that Mel Gibson made famous in “Mad Max: Fury Road” next year.

Video Interview: Rory Culkin And Lou Howe On The Tormented Soul Of Tribeca Drama 'Gabriel'

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • April 23, 2014 12:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Gabriel, Rory Culkin
From the opening scenes of “Gabriel" (read our review), the debut feature from writer/director Lou Howe, the audience is immediately tossed into the ongoing tumult that is the life of the title character, a troubled young man brilliantly played by Rory Culkin. We’re not given any clues to the drama, other than a years-old love letter from a girl named Alice, to whom Gabriel plans to propose. While this seems odd (if he’s planning to propose, why doesn’t he know where Alice lives?), it’s also instantly compelling. We want to find out who Gabriel is, where he’s coming from, and why he won’t answer his phone.

Video Interview: Mary Elizabeth Winstead Juggles It All In Tribeca Drama 'Alex Of Venice'

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • April 22, 2014 1:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Alex of Venice, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
When actresses and audiences alike lament the lack of interesting roles for—and movies about—women as central characters, “Alex of Venice” should be held up as a shining example of what could be. The independent feature, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Smashed,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) as the title character, whose tenuous grasp on her multitasking life is rocked when her husband (Chris Messina, who also directed) announces he is leaving.

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