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The Playlist

Review & Recap: The Scheming Continues In 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3, Episode 6 'The Climb'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • May 6, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Game of Thrones, Season 3, Varys, Little Finger
Welcome back Throne Gamers, whether you want to be or not! This week's episode, "The Climb," directed by Alik Sakharov, continues to dwell on the scheming and interpersonal machinations of those who happen to have a bit of power in Westeros, who are all desperately trying to pull one over on the person next to them just to save their own skin. No one seems to be in any sort of comfortable position, and all of the tricks they play on each other are borne out of sheer terror of being displaced in the power food chain. And that's the game of thrones, right? Sadly, there is little to no ass in this episode.

Review: 'The Great Gatsby' Is A Decadently Empty Tale Of Empty Decadence & Impossible Love

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 6, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 45 Comments
The Great Gatsby
The distinctive, vista-obsessed movies of Baz Luhrmann are nothing if not stylish, generally flamboyant and lavish in their candy-colored visual treatments. Subtlety has never been of much interest to the Australian filmmaker who has leaned heavily on melodrama and romantic fairy tales told in a passionate, bright Technicolor style. But sincerity and resplendent ardor have generally anchored his always-plush films, even when they’ve been too long and affected (“Australia”) or overpowered with the odor of teen angst (“Romeo + Juliet”). Luhrmann, it seems, was born to tell stories of impossible love in the most sumptuous ways possible.

Recap: Memes & A Paul Simon Parody Does In The 'Veep'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 5, 2013 10:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The second season of "Veep" is finally on the upswing after stumbling out of the gate, with last week's episode showing what the writers can do with just a little bit of focus. And this week's "The Vic Allen Dinner" mostly takes the same tack, finding comedic potential in a simple premise and then driving to the hoop and while it might not be a slam dunk, it's a solid alley-oop.

Review: Found Footage ‘Frankenstein’s Army’ An Uninspired Disappointment

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • May 5, 2013 9:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment
What can be written about “Frankenstein’s Army”? Don’t see it. You may say, "But it looks so interesting with its WWII-era steam-punk and maybe it’s so bad that it’s good." Just don’t. It may scream, “Come see me!” to horror and genre fans, but please don’t or if you must, at least make sure you have a clear path to the exit and/or ear plugs.

Review: 'Aroused' A Desperate Attempt To Be Revealing About An Already-Revealing Industry

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 4, 2013 11:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Aroused
There’s a probing, but flattering documentary yet to be made about the secret lives of porn stars. Unfortunately, “Aroused,” the directorial debut of photographer Deborah Anderson, is not it. This mostly black-and-white documentary boasts what pretends to be an uncensored look at the inner lives of porn stars, ostensibly a side project along to Anderson’s evocative primary skill. She brands them “some of the most successful women in the business of sex,” but the sixteen performers selected for showcase seem to be secondary to Anderson’s elaborate set-up.

Review: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Often Thrills, But Undone By An Underwritten Villain & Thin Story

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2013 5:44 PM
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  • 25 Comments
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Cast your mind back four years or so, to stardate early May 2009, and remember a time when J.J Abrams wasn't yet the anointed savior of Hollywood. He had an ever-growing fanbase, and had already been behind at least one bona-fide small screen pop culture phenomenon. But his influence on the big-screen up to that point only extended to a few screenwriting credits, mostly forgotten, a producing credit on disposable sleeper hit "Cloverfield," and directing "Mission: Impossible III," an enjoyable, but somewhat interchangeable entry to the Tom Cruise spy franchise.

Review: 'Michael H. Profession: Director' Is An Interesting But Never Essential Portrait Of Michael Haneke

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 3, 2013 1:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Michael H - Profession: Director
Described memorably as the Minister of Fear by the New York Times some years ago, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke has been terrorizing audiences and holding them emotionally and psychologically hostage ever since his career began. Fond of rigorous, excruciatingly brutal portraits of human suffering, misery and seemingly sadomasochistic torture, Haneke's vision of such painful aims is always unflinching, coldly dispassionate and cruelly voyeuristic. With the absence of joy, hope and relief in his movies, and a stringent, rap-on-the-knuckles approach that sometimes verges on being scolding, many have assumed Haneke to be a soulless misanthrope, humorlessly putting audiences through the paces because he can.

Review: Olivier Assayas’ ‘Something In The Air’ A Gorgeous Autobiography Marred By Underdeveloped Characters

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2013 8:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
He’s been something of a critical favorite for a while now, but after making the hugely acclaimed “Summer Hours” and the TV miniseries/theatrical marathon “Carlos” within a few years of each other, French filmmaker Olivier Assayas has firmly cemented himself as one of the more exciting directors in world cinema. And to celebrate the success, Assayas has decided to look back, returning to the autobiographical milieu of his international breakout “Cold Water.” But while that film, a teen romance set in the early 1970s, was a rather intimate, small-scale film, Assayas has come up with something much grander with “Something In The Air” (or “Apres Mai”).

Tribeca Review: ‘Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia’ Is A Forgettable Film About An Unforgettable Figure

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • May 2, 2013 8:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Gore Vidal is fascinating. Whether you agree with his politics or you enjoy is witty brand of snark or neither, he led an incredible and prolific life – one that could encompass multiple documentaries and this ultimately becomes the pitfall of “Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia” as it tries to make a singular documentary of such a multi-faceted and well-known figure.

Review: 'Dead Man's Burden' Is A Stunningly Shot, Slow Burner Of A Classic, Yet Modern Western

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • May 2, 2013 6:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments
One of the most cinematically gorgeous independent films in a long time, “Dead Man’s Burden” (along with fellow 2012 indie “Beasts of the Southern Wild," shot on Super 16) truly makes the case for celluloid. While watching this meditative Western, one simply wants to drink in the beauty of the image, and yes, that image is created on 35 mm film. They don’t make RED cameras that can do what film achieves in terms of sheer richness of image. In the age of digital everything, might independent film, at one time the dominion of digital, be the savior of celluloid? “Dead Man’s Burden” (the directorial debut of Jared Moshé) demonstrates just why film is important, simply by being beautiful. But beyond that, it’s also a moody, violent, classic, yet modern Western.

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