The Playlist

Tribeca Review: 'Queen: Days Of Our Lives' Is A Good Overview Of The Classic Band's Career

  • By Cory Everett
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  • May 2, 2012 9:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Compared to other mega-selling bands like say, The Beatles, the story behind Queen is not quite as widely known. Formed in London in the early ‘70s, the band was responsible for a slew of hits over the two decades or so, traversing genres from rock to opera to disco sometimes within the same song, before singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in the early ‘90s. Told through archival footage and interviews with two of the band’s principal members guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor (bassist John Deacon has quietly refused to participate in any of the band’s recent activities since retiring a few years ago), “Queen: Days Of Our Lives” is a compelling overview of the classic band’s career. The group originally formed during college as an outfit called Smile before Mercury joined up and renamed the band which would eventually go on to record a slew of massive hits including “We Will Rock You,” “We Are The Champions,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” “Under Pressure” among many others.

Review: Though Beautiful & Touching At Times, 'My Way' Fails To Deliver An Authentic Experience

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • May 1, 2012 12:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment
“My Way,” from one of Korea’s most famous and acclaimed directors, Kang Je-kyu, is a venture of expansive and expensive proportions, recounting two men’s overlapping lives, and set against the backdrop of the Second World War. The film opens with a runner suddenly taking the lead at the 1948 Olympic Marathon in London. Just as quickly, we are pulled 20 years back and half the world away, to Korea under Japanese occupation. Two young boys – one the grandson of a prominent Japanese official, the other his Korean servant – run a footrace, and the metaphor for national conflict commences. Shots of their running feet transition from this playful moment to all-out competition, as the boys are swiftly replaced with teenage versions of themselves, involved in a heated rivalry.
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Hot Docs Roundup: 'Despite The Gods' Fascinates, 'Beauty Is Embarrassing' Is Heartwarming & 'About Face' A Fun Look At Fashion

  • By Samantha Chater
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  • May 1, 2012 11:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Aussie filmmaker Penny Vozniak's "Lost in La Mancha"-esque documentary “Despite The Gods," following director Jennifer Lynch and her experiences making her third film in India, is a low budget docu-delight. Lynch is the beating, empathic heart of the film, an endearing combination of raw emotional honesty and self-deprecating humor. After surviving a critical flogging at 19 for her first film "Boxing Helena," and enjoying the relative success of her second film "Surveillance," Lynch still had a lot to prove with her third film. However it is clear from day one this will not be the film she envisions it to be. The film in question is "Hisss," a Bollywood action tale of a snake that turns into a woman, and then back again

Hot Docs Review: 'Big Easy Express' A Rambling, Affectionate Tour Documentary That Should Make Fans Happy

  • By Samantha Chater
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  • May 1, 2012 10:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Director Emmett Malloy has returned with an excellent follow up to 2009’s “Under Great Northern Lights” with another winning concert documentary titled "Big Easy Express." In a tight 60-odd minutes, the film follows three bands, Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Old Crow Medicine Show, as they travel from San Francisco to New Orleans, Louisiana, on a sold-out 6-stop tour, aboard the most beautiful-looking train you've ever seen. From the opening tracking shot that follows 'Magnetic Zeroes' singer Jade Castrinos as she walks through the various rustic train cars, past Mumford and Sons playing in one, 'Old Crow' in another and right down the back to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Malloy's film is not only beautifully soundtracked, courtesy of all three bands, but is also dreamily captured.

Tribeca Review: Morgan Spurlock's Crowd-Pleasing 'Mansome' Is Cute, But Unilluminating

  • By The Playlist
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  • April 30, 2012 6:41 PM
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  • 1 Comment
What makes a man shave his chest? Sport a hirsute, ridiculously long and absurd-looking beard? Bleach his anus, thread his eyebrows or play around with his facial hair in any number of manscaping ways? These are some of the questions posed in Morgan Spurlock's latest cheery and congenial documentary, "Mansome."

Review: 'The Avengers' Has Its Issues, But Mostly Delivers Thrilling, Engaging, Blockbuster Fun

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • April 30, 2012 10:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Everything that works in “The Avengers” really works, but not everything works in “The Avengers.” A virtuoso collection of action set pieces framed by an uninspiring “getting the team together” narrative which should have been accomplished in all of those post-credits sequences in earlier Marvel movies, Joss Whedon’s stab at superheroes delivers plenty of what makes both him and his subject matter appealing, as well as an abundance of mythological set-up that’s somehow simultaneously redundant and contradictory. But as the best (or perhaps most consistently engaging) Marvel movie since the original “Iron Man,” “The Avengers” is a winning piece of popcorn entertainment that does better with characters in an ensemble setting than many ever did when they starred in their own vehicles.

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

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 28, 2012 12:22 PM
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  • 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 and leaving the system a scorched earth for his clients to walk over the ashes.

Tribeca Review: 'Una Noche' A Funny, Bawdy, Hopeful Debut Picture From Lucy Mulloy

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 28, 2012 9:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There’s a youthful energy running through “Una Noche” that threatens to overwhelm, from its sun-kissed first image to its final moments on the sands of the beach. Alive and vibrant, Lucy Mulloy’s often bawdy first feature is narrated by Lila, a blossoming teenage girl confused by her sexuality, alienated from the local girls. The language is Spanish, but teenage cruelty is universal, as her peers mock her slight body hair and tomboyish interest in taekwondo.

Review: 'Payback' A Dense Dissection Of Debt Based On The Musings Of Margaret Atwood

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 27, 2012 3:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
What is the essence of debt, and what is debt that doesn't have a money solution? Canadian essayist, novelist, activist, and general "ist" Margaret Atwood pontificates on the complex nature of this kind of liability in "Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth," a non-fiction book and the spring-board for Jennifer Baichwal's concisely titled"Payback." Atwood's deconstruction of the idea is incredibly deep, at times both frightening and amusing; Baichwal attempts to translate her lecture into a documentary/video essay and succeeds in creating something original yet still retaining the strength of the author's voice. The director manages to look at what various people owe to each other, from small scale (what convicts owe to both their victims and society) to all encompassing (how we, as humans, beholden to our planet).

Review: 'Get The Gringo' Is An Enjoyably Excessive Mel Gibson Crime Flick

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 27, 2012 12:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments
On the same day that Mel Gibson’s new movie, the enjoyably junky and excessively violent “Get the Gringo” (formerly “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”), was screened across the country via a bizarre satellite transmission (based out of Austin, Texas), another expletive-laced Gibson rant was unleashed on the internet (this time, instead of his estranged girlfriend, Gibson’s ire was directed at “Showgirls” screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, shockingly not for writing “Showgirls”). It was a perfectly timed example of the duality of Gibson the artist (he not only stars in ‘Gringo’ but also co-wrote and produced) and Gibson the unhinged fucking madman. It’s enough to make you wonder if maybe Gibson hasn’t succeeded despite his obvious insanity, but because of it, especially since “Get the Gringo” is so insanely entertaining.

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