The Playlist

Box Office: 'Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug' & 'Frozen' Fend Off 'Wolf of Wall Street' & 'Walter Mitty'

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • December 29, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
We're in the last leg of the winter holidays and it shows at the box office with strong holdovers leading the pack. This weekend, in between Christmas and New Year's Eve, marks that wonderful time when whole families pile in droves to see those films they've been hearing so much about (Did you take Nana and Pop-Pop to see "August: Osage County"?), those who can escape to catch up on Oscar contenders. ("Her" is in limited release and well worth the drive) and an interesting third group reveling in the holiday cheer (not naming names, but we know someone over the age of 10 who saw "Frozen" for the third time).

"Thoroughly Bogus," "Disastrous," "Atrocious": First Reviews For '47 Ronin' Arrive

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 23, 2013 12:53 PM
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  • 6 Comments
47 Ronin
A ballooning budget, reshoots, editing room wrangles and more have long marked "47 Ronin" as a cinematic poison apple. And certainly, with a weak opening earlier this month in Japan, where the story is common and has been retold numerous times, it seemed the writing on the wall. But was the negative buzz fair? After all, "World War Z" went through its own turmoil and emerged victorious, with a sequel on the way, so perhaps the same could happen for Keanu Reeves' samurai blockbuster, right? Well, probably not.

Watch: 3 Clips, Animated Prequel & Featurette For '47 Ronin' Starring Keanu Reeves

  • By Ben Brock
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  • December 17, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
47 Ronin
“47 Ronin” is a thing that is happening, which, believe you me, is saying something given how long it's been delayed (check out last month's set visit report for more on the chaos of bringing Keanu Reeves' sometime passion project to cinema screens). But made it now is, and released it shall be, on the traditional Japanese holiday known as Christmas Day. And thus, like the reindeer before Santa, come the clips and featurettes.

Oscars: It's 'Hobbit' Vs. "Hustle' Vs. 'Slave' Vs. 'Gatsby' In Production & Costume Design Races

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 2, 2013 3:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Oscars, Production & Costume Design Races, 2013, American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave, Great Gatsbya
The Coen Brothers' glorious "Inside Llewyn Davis" hits theaters at long last this week and while its award prospects in general are somewhat on the tightrope, some of its better chances lie in the design categories: the beautifully realized world of early 1960s New York has a good chance of nominations in the Production Design and Costume Design categories. As such, we're going to spotlight these areas this week, along with their less-loved little brother, Make-Up and Hairstyling.

Watch: Magic & Monsters In 2 Clips From '47 Ronin'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • November 19, 2013 10:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
47 Ronin,
With production first beginning in 2011, it’s an understatement to say that Carl Rinsch’s 3D samurai epic “47 Ronin” is a long time coming. A little over a month separates us from the Keanu Reeves-starring film, and to ease the wait, Universal Pictures has released two new clips from the film.

Keanu's Samurai Training Regime, How To Shoot 3D, Committing Seppuku & More Learned On The Set Of '47 Ronin'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 6, 2013 4:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments
47 Ronin,
On Monday, we took you on the set of "47 Ronin," Universal's great tentpole hope for the Christmas season. Long-delayed (it was originally set for release last November) and with a troubled production history, the film tells the famous Japanese story of the 47 Ronin, former samurai who spent a year planning their revenge on the man who wronged their master, with two major twists: one is that one of their number is Kai, a "half-breed" played by Keanu Reeves, the other is that the vision of first-time director Carl Erik Rinsch was to set the film in "a dream of Japan," with fantastical creatures and heightened action.

On Set: Carl Rinsch's Ambitious Blockbuster '47 Ronin' Starring Keanu Reeves

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 4, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
47 Ronin, set visit
Things that have happened in the two-and-a-half years since I was on the set of Universal's hopeful Christmas blockbuster "47 Ronin" in June 2011: A presidential election, a government shutdown, three fall TV seasons, four Marvel movies, two "Fast & Furious" movies, two "Paranormal Activity" movies, three World Series, one complete Kim Kardashian marriage (and another engagement), the release of three albums by One Direction, and one fully-achieved Matthew McConaughey comeback. I've moved house four times, I've fallen in and out of love at least once, I've left my full-time job at The Playlist, and one couple I'm friends with have conceived and given birth to two whole children. What I'm saying is, this has been a long time coming.

Interview: Keanu Reeves Talks 'Man Of Tai Chi' '47 Ronin'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 31, 2013 5:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Man of Tai Chi
To put it bluntly, "Man of Tai Chi" kicks all kinds of ass. The film follows the Faustian rise and fall of Tiger Chen (the actor's name and also the character's name), who gets involved in a deadly underground fighting ring led by a wonderfully over-the-top villain named Donaka Mark. Keanu Reeves, who knows a thing or two about kung fu fighting thanks to his role in the trio of "Matrix" films, both directed and co-stars in the film as Donaka (who, unsurprisingly, gets all the best lines). We got to speak to Reeves about what about this project made him want to direct it, whether or not his experience in the film world documentary "Side By Side" inspired any of his choices, and what, exactly, is going on with his other big martial arts project of 2013, "47 Ronin."

Abandoned, Enslaved, Destined: Watch The New Trailer For Keanu Reeves' '47 Ronin'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 28, 2013 11:38 AM
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  • 1 Comment
47 Ronin, Keanu Reeves
As "World War Z" proved this summer, a blockbuster movie going through numerous delays and production woes doesn't automatically add up to a box office bomb. In fact, the zombie thriller was one of Brad Pitt's most successful films of his career, and for audiences at large, the bad blogosphere buzz didn't seem to deter them from buying tickets. So, will the same fate await "47 Ronin"?

Keanu Times Two: New Trailers For 'Man Of Tai Chi' & '47 Ronin'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 3, 2013 10:29 PM
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  • 5 Comments
If you like Keanu Reeves, and more crucially, you like watching Keanu Reeves fight, then the next few months are going to be a good time for you. The actor and now actor-turned-director, has two movies on the way, that will both feature him kicking various kinds of butt, both as a good and bad guy.

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