Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Sundance Review: David Sedaris Adaptation 'C.O.G.' Features Fine Performances But Might Work Better As An HBO Series

  • By Cory Everett
  • |
  • January 27, 2013 11:15 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Based on an essay in “Naked,” David Sedaris' hugely popular collection of autobiographical short stories, “C.O.G.” is notable for being the very first film adaptation of the author's work. Though he’d previously turned down all other offers to adapt his stories, the essayist was impressed by writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s pitch as well as his previous film “Easier With Practice” and decided to let him have a shot. Whether this adaptation is successful or not may depend on your familiarity with the author’s work.

Review: 'The Taste Of Money' Is A Deliciously Diabolical Domestic Melodrama From South Korea

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • January 25, 2013 11:53 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Thanks to the recession and the growing divide between the very rich and the extremely poor, along with the volcanic if somewhat ineffectual Occupy movement, the inner lives of those in power have become even more fascinating and dastardly. In "The Taste of Money," the newest film from largely unsung South Korean director Im Sang-soo, we get a private peek behind the scenes at a ruling class family in all its icky, decadent, morally unwell glory. And while "The Taste of Money" might have a lot on its mind, it's still a melodrama – a gloriously decadent, gorgeously photographed melodrama – a movie where people burst into tears and act very badly towards each other, all while wearing really fabulous clothes.

Review: 'Supporting Characters' Is A Middling Movie, But A Decent Would-Be Pilot Episode For A Show We Might Watch

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • January 25, 2013 10:44 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
What fascinates about “Supporting Characters,” the new relationship comedy premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, is that its greatest strength also registers as its most notable weakness. This decidedly Noo Yawk tale of an editing team in New York City and their satellite friends would be at home as an extended pilot on IFC, with these two best friend leads getting into all sorts of middle-aged male troubles. It’s good, and bad, just like TV.

Sundance Review: 'In A World...' A Low-Key Charmer & Promising Directorial Debut For Lake Bell

  • By Cory Everett
  • |
  • January 25, 2013 9:43 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
One of the worst things you could say about a comedy is usually that it has a wide appeal. The most interesting comedies are the ones that tend to be hyper-specific, focused on an insular world of some kind (think '70s newsrooms in “Anchorman” or '80s summer camp in “Wet Hot American Summer”), while the ones pitched to the widest audience end up having storylines like “Hardworking ad executive can’t seem to get her love life together!” Just ask Judd Apatow, who learned on “Freaks & Geeks” that the more specific something is, the more it tends to resonate.

Review: 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' Isn't Boring, But It Is Unrelentingly Stupid

  • By Katie Walsh
  • |
  • January 25, 2013 9:00 AM
  • |
  • 9 Comments
Do you want the good news first or the bad news? Let’s start with the good. Firstly, “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” is less than 90 minutes long. That’s good. Also, Gemma Arterton is really pretty and wears a lot of awesome leather pants and gloves and vests and things. Those are also good. The title sequence was neat. And, it’s not boring. It is however, unrelentingly stupid, suffering from the worst screenplay this side of “The Room.” Do not pass go, do not collect $200, proceed directly to The Playlist’s Worst Of The Year 2013 List. In the words of Gretel: “Are you fucking kidding me?”

Review: 'Movie 43' Strains For Laughs With Uninspired Collection Of Comedy Shorts

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • January 25, 2013 8:03 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
What is there to say, analytically, about “Movie 43”? Not released in theaters as much as inexplicably materializing in front of our very eyes, “Movie 43” has no moral, no overarching story, and no point other than the opportunity for Hollywood stars to play silly for a short while. Some of them relish this – a few of the performers are a natural at studied wackiness. Some aren’t as comfortable. Others just seem like they’re passing the time. The filmmakers who collaborated on this anthology film, however, mostly fit that last description. Despite the title, this… thing…is barely a movie.

Review: 'Parker' Is A Visually Indistinguishable, Punishingly Violent, And Painfully Inert Pulp Trifle

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • January 25, 2013 12:01 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
The character of Parker is one of those icons of hard-boiled pulp fiction – a smart alecky bruiser created by legendary novelist Donald Westlake (under his Richard Stark nom de plume), who appeared in over a dozen novels, a handful of cinematic adaptations (most notably portrayed by Lee Marvin in "Point Blank"), and a number of cross-media platforms (like the recent beautifully realized comic books written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke). In the novels, Parker wasn't a superhero – he was a criminal who would take a beating or bite a bullet but keep on chugging; an unstoppable everyman.

Sundance Review: Stripper Comedy 'Afternoon Delight' Plays Rough But Will Leave You With A Smile On Your Face

  • By Cory Everett
  • |
  • January 24, 2013 5:43 PM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
The premise of “Afternoon Delight,” admittedly, does not sound terribly appealing: to spice up their sex life, a Silverlake couple goes for a night out at a gentleman’s club and subsequently take in a stripper in need of help. From that logline alone you can glean that their relatively buttoned-up sex lives will get a jolt of temporary excitement, the threat of infidelity will loom larger in their house and this will undoubtedly turn out to be a very big mistake for all of them. Unfortunately for those who may have skipped out on the film because of its broad premise, “Afternoon Delight” is one of the unexpected highlights of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Review: 'Knife Fight' Is Political Mud-Slinging For Dummies

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • January 23, 2013 8:03 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
For those of you who felt “Ides Of March” was entirely too cerebral and challenging, here comes the dunderheaded “Knife Fight.” A political satire that treads no new ground, this name-heavy comedy wastes an engaging central performance by Rob Lowe, who is completely game to play all sides of the political machine, swinging from the gubernatorial rafters like a contemporary “Phantom Of The Paradise,” bent on sabotaging his opposition, screwing the system and leaving little more than scorched earth for his clients to walk over.

Review: Gamer Culture Remains Cinematically Untapped Despite Well-Meaning Disappointment 'Noobz'

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
  • |
  • January 23, 2013 6:59 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Don't get us wrong -- from the moment we laid eyes on "Noobz," a sinking feeling set in. The final product could prove generic at best or a travesty at worst, one of those interminable films that's just bad. Still, a tiny pocket of hope lingered, a miniscule possibility that this film could in some way capture the passion, obsession and community that "Indie Game: The Movie" highlighted to great effect. "Noobz" snuffs out that hope early on, despite co-writer, director, and co-star Blake Freeman's repeat attempts to capture base gamer culture. This is due in part to the script, co-written by Freeman and Marvin Wilson, which briefly touches on the aimless, low-ambition lives of four gamers and then spirals off into the done-to-death road-trip-to-the-big-money-tournament plot. Freeman also damages his own production by playing one of the characters -- Cody, a cocky, careless pit of bottomless pessimism who elicits the least sympathy since Seth Rogen's acidic Britt Reid dragged down Michel Gondry's 'The Green Hornet.'

Email Updates

Recent Comments