The Playlist

Review: 'The Rebound' Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones Is A Loose Ball That No One Will Want To Grab

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • February 6, 2012 11:02 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
You don't need to see many movies to understand that in Hollywood, once a woman hits forty, she suddenly lacks relevance. She's not sexy, she's not assertive, and if she doesn't have a man, there must be something wrong with her. Just recently, Twitter users collapsed under a Super Bowl-related avalanche of anti-Madonna tweets. As she played the halftime show, many wanted to discuss the abnormality of her body, and her biceps -- she was being punished for actively trying to stay relevant at an advanced age. We should all be so lucky.

Review: 'The Union' Is A Love Letter To Leon Russell From Cameron Crowe & Elton John

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • February 3, 2012 1:03 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
A documentary portrait by filmmaker and avid music lover Cameron Crowe ("Almost Famous," "Pearl Jam Twenty"), "The Union" has a pretty simple concept: chronicling the making of The Union, the eponymously titled album by Elton John and the ultimate rock & roll session man Leon Russell, a musician also known for a solo career featuring his angelic gravely voice and mix of rock, country, blues, and gospel.

Rotterdam Review: Takashi Miike's 'Ace Attorney' A Stylish, Bizarre Video Game Adaptation & Legal Satire

  • By Brandon Harris
  • |
  • February 3, 2012 12:03 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Takashi Miike made his first big international splash in Rotterdam, with "Audition" in 2000, and then began a run of productivity that few filmmakers, even famously prolific ones, can match. This is the man who made "Visitor Q," "Ichi the Killer" and "The Happiness of the Katakuris" in the same year. Even crazier, that was less than half of his output in 2001, a year in which he made seven feature films. He made fifteen movies in all between 2001 and 2003, including "Gozu," which savvy critics rightly acknowledge is his best film. Perhaps Miike has mellowed in recent years. He’s only been making two or three films anually for the past half decade.

Rotterdam Review: Vincent Gallo's Unhinged, Dual Role Performance Can't Save Pretentious 'Legend Of Kaspar Hauser'

  • By Brandon Harris
  • |
  • February 3, 2012 10:47 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Disco, flying saucers, long-haired Sheriffs who speak in the lilting accents of American southerners on Italian beaches. You can’t fault director Davide Manuli for trying. He throws everything at the wall that is his update of “The Legend of Kaspar Hauser” and if only a tiny fraction of its sticks than so be it. I admire him for trying. Not that there’s much else to admire.

Review: 'Splinters' Is A Compelling Surfing Doc With More On Its Mind Than Just Hanging Ten

  • By Ryan Sartor
  • |
  • February 3, 2012 7:22 AM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
By focusing on cultural barriers rather than killer waves, director Adam Pesce has created a compelling surfing documentary in “Splinters.” The film explores life in the remote Papua New Guinea island of Vanimo, where surfing is considered not just the most important of sports, but the only real means by which young men and women can get off the island and see the world. The film climaxes in Papua New Guinea’s first national surfing competition, the winner of which will get to compete against world-renowned surfers in Australia.

Review: 'Love Etc.' Is A Sweet Valentine To Love In NYC

  • By Katie Walsh
  • |
  • February 2, 2012 6:33 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Consider "Love, Etc." to be an antidote to the cloying saccharine taste of cynical big-studio cash grabs like "Valentine's Day." Yes, both films chronicle love in different forms and at different times in life, but "Love Etc." does so with a sense of both gravity and sweetness. The film opens with a 79 year old Al Mazur singing his original composition "Everyday's a Holiday in Brooklyn," and chatting with his 89 year old wife, Marion, setting the tone for this gem of a doc from Jill Andresevic. After this introduction to a lasting love, and a credits sequence capturing the everyday moments of affection between couples and families in New York City, a hand-drawn animated map takes us (via subway) to our first stop: Jamaica Hills, Queens, where engaged couple Chitra and Mehendra are just waking up. This intimate morning scene is punctuated by the sweetest of nothings from Mehendra: "I have to move the car." A fitting metaphor for a film that celebrates the quotidian moments of love and relationships in all stages and walks of life.
More: Review

Review: 'Big Miracle' Has A Lot of Heart But Not Much Of A Pulse

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • February 2, 2012 1:03 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
In the new true-life eco-adventure "Big Miracle," three gray whales are trapped under a large sheet of ice near Barrow, Alaska (the same town the vampires took over in "30 Days of Night"), drawing nationwide media attention and the political interest of then-president Ronald Reagan, who sees it as a PR coup that could land his Vice President George Bush in the White House. Various groups (Greenpeace, an oil magnate, the indigenous people) seize upon the crisis as an opportunity to push their various agendas, with a single goal in mind: freeing the whales. With so much riding on the situation for so many people, then, it's strange that "Big Miracle" is placid and free of drama, tension, or any kind of stakes. It's so good-natured, its heart so large, that it just merrily swims along; you're never once worried that anything will go wrong.

Review: 'The Woman In Black' A Smart, Stylish & Atmospheric Old School Horror Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • February 2, 2012 11:57 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a walking wound. Still mourning the death of his wife a couple of years after she gave birth to their son, the young lawyer has seen his career put into jeopardy and this worry is compounded by the bills beginning to stack up. The patience and sympathy of his boss is beginning to run out, and in a last chance to save his job, Arthur is given the task of heading to the remote village of Crythin Gifford to settle the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House. Arthur's boss warns that the locals have been a bit uncooperative, a description the lawyer will soon find to be an understatement. And despite a calculated effort by the citizens, who literally put him on a carriage back to the station to catch the train to London, he perserveres, and is slowly ensnared in a mystery that has essentially paralyzed the town.

Review: Teens & Superpowers Are A Volatile Mix In Refreshing & Clever 'Chronicle'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • February 2, 2012 10:57 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
Having superpowers these days seems to be no fun at all. Christian Bale is forever haunted by moral conundrums, death, and pain both physical and emotional in Christopher Nolan's Batman films. Spider-Man's enjoyment of his wall-crawling skills are usually tempered by tears and emotions (emphasis on the emo), in Sam Raimi's trilogy. Meanwhile, Thor has some kind of Shakesperean level issues going on with this family and Iron Man seems rather blasé about it all. So, when the trio of Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Matt (Alex Russell) and Steve (Michael B. Jordan) gain their superpowers by accident in "Chronicle," they react the way any teenage boys would with the newfound gift of telekinesis -- they're fucking thrilled. And even better, it seems that's just the start of their abilities. 

Review: 'The Innkeepers' Is Less 'House Of The Devil,' More 'Scooby Doo'

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • February 1, 2012 2:00 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Ti West has found a formula, and by god, he’s sticking to it. The indie helmer began in the world of micro-budgeted horror, where financial reasons necessitated a slow burn and eventual third act reveal. As his budgets have increased, his approach hasn’t changed, favoring this methodical strategy to the money-shot-driven approach by most modern horror filmmakers.

Email Updates

Recent Comments