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The Playlist

Marrakech '12: Zhang Yimou Talks Working With Christian Bale, The Growing Chinese Box Office & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 8, 2012 9:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern," "Ju Dou," "Hero," "House of the Flying Daggers") has been making movies in his homeland of China, from within the system, for the past two and a half decades. During this time, he has witnessed, and participated in, the gradual, incremental thawing of Chinese relations with the West, and the partial loosening of the viselike grip of governmental control over film production. Honored with a tribute at the Marrakech International Film Festival, and presenting his newest film "The Flowers of War", Zhang spoke, through two translators (Mandarin-French, French-English) to a small group of journalists about his filmmaking life under a notoriously repressive regime, the themes he revisits, and working with Christian Bale. Here are five highlights from that conversation.

Will Ferrell And Kevin Hart Attached To Star In The Comedy ‘Get Hard’; Warner Bros. May Acquire

  • By Edward Davis
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  • December 7, 2012 7:03 PM
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  • 8 Comments
For years, at least in some circles, comedian Kevin Hart was known as the uppity Smart Tech Customer who almost clapped up Jay (Romany Malco) in Judd Apatow's “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” The scene is hilarious, now a classic in some circles (definitely around The Playlist watercooler), and Hart stole the show. The dimunitive comedian (5'2") has since shot up. His 2011 stand-up comedy documentary “Laugh at My Pain” turned Tinstletown heads when it earned $2 million dollars in its first week of limited release. It was one of the most solid per screen averages of the year and the film, produced for only $750,000, eventually grossed $7 million. Clearly there was an audience out there for Kevin Hart that Hollywood was just waking up to.

Quentin Tarantino Says He'd "Like To Do A Couple More" Slavery/Western Films, Talks Up A '30s Gangster Movie Again

  • By Edward Davis
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  • December 7, 2012 5:54 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Quentin Tarantino isn't always the most reliable person about the films he says he will make, particularly when it comes to would-be sequels. He's talked up a "Vega Brothers" film (which will likely never see the light of day), a "Kill Bill 3" movie (which may or may not happen), and sequels and/or prequels to "Inglourious Basterds" that sounded like fun ideas at the time, but are likely never going to come to pass (remember all these abandoned projects?). But what Tarantino is very good about (and fairly reliable with) is gazing into the future and projecting what kind of genre he's going to tackle next.

Alejandro González Iñárritu To Direct Awesome-Sounding Comedy 'Birdman'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • December 7, 2012 5:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments
“Amores Perros,” “21 Grams,” “Babel” and “Biutiful” are each of them meditations on the human condition, the interconnectedness of human suffering, and the threads that bond us through tragedy. Each one of these four films by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu are generally some form of bruising emotional journey, the latter, "Biutiful" being so bleak it bombed at Cannes in 2010. But some critics, including yours truly, loved it for its punishing but beautiful look at love and anguish (I named it my #1 movie of the year). Does Iñárritu sound like a happy man to you? If not, well, he's finally changing gears in a big, big way.

Watch: Trailer For Dave Grohl's Sundance-Bound Documentary 'Sound City'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • December 7, 2012 5:03 PM
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Drummer, guitarist, singer, frontman…and now, documentarian. The Foo Fighters and Nirvana icon Dave Grohl is premiering his debut documentary feature “Sound City” at next year’s Sundance Flim Festival, and after securing a spot in the Documentary Premieres section at the festival, we’ve now got a trailer for the film.

Disney Going Down The Rabbit Hole With A Sequel To Tim Burton's 'Alice In Wonderland'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 7, 2012 4:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments
So why is Disney prepping a sequel to a movie that even Walt Disney Animation Studios' chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson said "isn't very good"? Well, they've got about $1,024,299,904 reasons. That's how much "Alice In Wonderland" took worldwide in 2010 to make it one of the highest grossing films of all time (it's still #12 on the all time list ahead). So this was really a matter of procedure because let's face it, you don't leave a cash cow like that lying around, so yes, a sequel is on the way.

Shane Black Says 'Iron Man 3' Will Be A "Techno-Thriller" Plus Japanese Trailer Shows Off A Bit More Footage

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • December 7, 2012 4:36 PM
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  • 2 Comments
We’ve already been informed that “Iron Man 3” will most certainly not be a serious movie despite a rather serious looking trailer, so it looks like we should get ready for a totally not serious “techno-thriller” next summer. That’s Shane Black's latest description of the third "Iron Man" installment, but that description was also preceded by the words “gritty” and intense,” so at this point it doesn’t sound like even Shane Black’s sure just how frivolous or serious this thing's going to be.

George Clooney's 'Monuments Men' Gets Oscar-Ready Release Date; Spring Set For Malick, Almodóvar & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 7, 2012 4:23 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Well, duh. A WWII story with a cast that includes Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Matt Damon Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban, George Clooney's "Monuments Men" (which he'll also take a role in) is now slated for a "Hey-pay-attention-to-me-awards-season" date of December 20, 2013.

Nicolas Winding Refn Teams With Denzel Washington For 'The Equalizer,' 'Only God Forgives' Hits May 23rd

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 7, 2012 3:42 PM
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  • 12 Comments
We can't quite say we saw this coming. As Nicolas Winding Refn puts the finishing touches to his "Drive" follow-up, "Only God Forgives," many had assumed that he would move on to his "Logan's Run" remake with BFF Ryan Gosling. But the actor recently departed the project, and one perhaps suspects that Refn's lost his taste for the film as a result, as word's been very quiet on it late. But it looks like the director's next film will be a studio movie after all, rather than "I Walk With The Dead" with Carey Mulligan. But it won't be "The Button Man," a thriller set up at DreamWorks, and it won't be "Logan's Run."

ln Theaters: Will You Be 'Playing For Keeps' With Shirtless Gerard Butler Or Rolling In 'Hyde Park' With Bill Murray?

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • December 7, 2012 2:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments
It's kind of a weird weekend at the movies, with no major release except for shirtless, hunky Gerard Butler learning about love, life and soccer or something in "Playing For Keeps." Meanwhile, arthouses get the fading Oscar chances of "Hyde Park On Hudson" starring the always awesome Bill Murray. Check out your options below and tell us where your hard-earned dollars going this weekend.

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