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The Playlist

Tribeca Review: 'Mistaken For Strangers' A Rock Doc About Two Very Different Brothers

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 18, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In this age of social media and damage control, it’s particularly difficult to make a rock doc. It’s even more difficult if your subject is The National, a successful rock band that counts The Killers and Arcade Fire as their contemporaries, popular enough to sell out major venues worldwide and even hold an audience with the President of the United States. So, go ahead, ask your neighbor what their favorite The National song might be. Go ahead. Take your time, let them try to think about it. Better yet, ask someone on the street who their frontman is.

Review: Unnerving ‘Lords of Salem’ Is Rob Zombie’s Best Film Yet

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • April 17, 2013 6:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Lords Of Salem
“The Lords of Salem” is probably goth rocker-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie’s best film, though it does often prove that the cinephile writer/director is a gifted tyro. At the same time, as his most formally mannered and tonally tempered film, Zombie’s latest also proves his versatility. Set in modern-day Salem, Massachusetts, the film follows the seduction of a disc jockey (Sheri Moon Zombie, Rob’s wife), whose family was cursed by a coven of centuries-old witches.

Sarasota Film Festival Review: Regret And Doubt Darken Intimate, Haunting Drama 'Nor'easter'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 17, 2013 6:02 PM
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  • 3 Comments
“Nor’easter” begins with a young, handsome priest divided by his duties to God and to himself, a conflict that, this time, actually feels fresh. If the expectations on God would seem to be otherworldly, so too would be the hopes directed towards his messengers, particularly Father Erik (David Call), who is called upon by an anxious family to do the impossible, to look Death in the eye and call his bluff.
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Discuss: Is Terrence Malick's 'To The Wonder' Another Profound Masterpiece Or A Parody Of His Worst Tendencies?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 15, 2013 11:57 AM
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  • 36 Comments
Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, To The Wonder
The last movie that Roger Ebert reviewed was Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder," which seems appropriately fitting. "To the Wonder" is a movie of quiet contemplation, one where an Oscar-winning movie star like Ben Affleck is mostly found in stoic silence and conventional plot mechanics are either eschewed or completely ignored. It doesn't take on the cosmic dimension of his equally divisive "The Tree of Life," but "To the Wonder" does contemplate similarly big questions about humanity, the world and our place in it.

Recap: 'Veep' Returns With Lots Of Jokes, Little Characterization

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 14, 2013 10:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
At this point you're either watching "Veep" to keep up with the endless one liners, in order to cherish the handful that make it through and result in a good belly laugh...or you're not. One complaint that we had following season one was that Armando Iannucci often put the gags in front of any kind of characterization, and he's not changing his game plan with season two. But if the season two opener is anything to go by, it results in another uneven mashup of sitcom setups in a show that always wants cut a slice through the absurd world that is DC politics.

Review: ‘Disconnect’ Is ‘Crash’ For The Web Era, And Even More Dismal Than That Sounds

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 12, 2013 2:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Many writers say they prefer not to start the writing process with a theme in mind – they simply let it emerge organically from their plot or characters. But then, plenty of films have gone the other way. The multi-strand, interconnected drama revolving around a particular subject or theme, like Steven Soderbergh’s take on the war on drugs in “Traffic,” or Paul Thomas Anderson’s examination of coincidence and happenstance in “Magnolia,” have proved particularly popular in recent years. And given that they garlanded financial and critical success, it makes sense that others have set out to follow in their footsteps.

Review: 'It's A Disaster' Is A Darkly Hilarious Apocalyptic Dramedy That's Anything But Disastrous

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • April 11, 2013 7:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Real time, one-setting films are a tricky feat to pull off, stumping even the most accomplished directors (have you seen “Carnage”?), but director Todd Berger does it with panache in his sophomore feature, a clever take on the apocalypse film, “It’s A Disaster.” Assembling a cast of eight actors in one house for a film that’s part relationship dramedy and part end-of-the-world movie, Berger keeps the setting fresh and the pace moving in a story that takes a humorous look at the problems, both epic and trivial, that threaten to ruin lives.

Review: 'This Ain't California' An Energetic Trip Into '80s German Skateboarding Culture & History

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 11, 2013 6:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The title really says it all. Far from Dogtown and Z-boys, the burgeoning west coast punk scene and the empty swimming pools that provided endless possibility, in Germany kids were bolting wheels to pieces of wood and seeing what would happen. And with a wall up separating East from West, a government that spied on its citizens and a chance to see the world a distant prospect, it would seem that a thriving subculture in the German Democratic Republic would be impossible. But, it's just the kind of fertile ground for discontent to manifest itself in bold ways, and "This Ain't California" is a docu-drama that captures it all with energy and style to spare.
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Review: Terrence Malick's 'To The Wonder' Is A Raw & Heartfelt Film Of Loss And Longing

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 10, 2013 6:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments
To The Wonder, Ben Affleck Rachel McAdams
For a man not known for being prolific, an eighteen-month gap between Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” (the filmmaker’s first film in five years) and his latest “To the Wonder” (which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last summer) isn’t just unprecedented, it’s positively mind-boggling, especially given the director is now in the midst of a pair of films, “Knight of Cups” and a still untitled effort set against the music scene.

Review: Tom Cruise Vehicle 'Oblivion' Is A Mostly Involving, Visually Spectacular Sci-Fi Epic

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 10, 2013 12:31 PM
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  • 21 Comments
Tom Cruise, Oblivion
Only a few years ago, big sci-fi action spectacles were confined pretty much to the summer months. But now, the season has crept out to the extent that it essentially lasts from the middle of February (see the release of "A Good Day To Die Hard" this year) to... pretty much the rest of the year, with barely a few weeks going by without a major tent-pole arriving. Even the once-barren month of April isn't safe anymore, with the arrival of "Oblivion," an expensive, visually lavish sci-fi picture top-lined by megastar Tom Cruise.

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