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The Playlist

'The Help' & 'The Artist' Lead The Field At Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 14, 2011 9:36 AM
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  • 8 Comments
In the seventeen years that they've been running for, the annual Screen Actors' Guild Awards have proven to be a pretty reliable precursor for the acting categories at the Academy Awards. And why shouldn't they? With the actors who nominate their peers for the Oscars overwhelmingly being SAG members, there's always going to be a natural link, and certainly by the time the guild award their prizes, it's a good time to make a bet. In the last few years, they've only missed Penelope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Marion Cotillard in "La Vie En Rose" and Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine" as winners, while the nominees tend to match up heavily -- last year, seventeen out of twenty in the acting categories were the same, while all five nominees in the Outstanding Cast category won Oscar nominations. 

National Board Of Review Gives Best Picture & Director To 'Hugo'; Tilda Swinton & George Clooney Take Acting Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 1, 2011 4:14 PM
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  • 8 Comments

Weekend Box Office: 'Cars 2' Continues Pixar Formula, 'Green Lantern' Plummets

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 26, 2011 5:27 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The numbers on “Cars 2” don’t actually matter, except for the stat-hounds regularly following the weekly box office noise (us!). “Cars 2” exists to facilitate Disney’s biggest merchandising cash cow, a multi-billion (annually!) property that needs no further justification. As Pixar seems like a studio that hopes to branch out into more ambitious directions (in theory), they will need something to keep the lights on when, and if, they should fail. Even if the reviews continue to be the worst ever received by a Pixar film, the “Cars” franchise will live on.

In Theaters: 'Cars 2' Races 'Bad Teacher' To The Finish Line

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 24, 2011 6:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The box office arms race of 2011 continues this weekend, as we all recover from the sight of Ryan Reynolds' green CGI suit. This weekend, two contenders enter the ring. In one corner, we have the tried-and-true bread and butter, the consistent money maker, loaded with high end talent and a brand to back it up, not to mention merchandising out the wazoo-- yes, it's Pixar's "Cars 2." And in the other corner, we have the underdog, the newcomer with a loud-ass bark and still questionable bite, the promising but not yet proven genre, the raunchy lady comedy, "Bad Teacher." Two will enter, and one will exit with its tail between its legs, the shattered dreams of unproduced scripts fluttering sadly about its ankles. No pressure or anything, Cammie!

Review: 'A Better Life' Is Uneven, But A Well-Intentioned & Modest Human Story

  • By The Playlist
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  • June 24, 2011 4:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Sincerely rendered, modest and at times, a little too simplistic, Chris Weitz's "A Better Life," is neverthless a labor of love and a quiet, well-intentioned examination of family, father-son relationships and immigration issues in the U.S. Chalk it up to guilt. No, not white guilt, franchise guilt. After delivering two back-to-back rather bankrupt genre tentpoles (the polar bear coke commercial, anti-religion campaign "The Golden Compass" and the vacuous "Twilight: New Moon") director Weitz pulls a full 180 with his small-scale humanist drama, and he's a better man (and filmmaker) for it. If only every empty and tentpole obsessed director felt as though they needed to make similar amends. Not that atonement washes away all sins nor creates a perfect movie, but at the very least, even if it misfires ocassionally, which is does, the intent is pure -- and that's a start.

Alexandre Desplat's 'A Better Life' Score Detailed; David Wingo & Jeff McIlwain Tune Up 'The Sitter'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 26, 2011 4:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment
A couple bits of soundtrack news this afternoon.

'Green Lantern,' 'Drive,' 'A Better Life' Lead New Los Angeles Film Festival Additions

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 11, 2011 8:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Guillermo Del Toro Announced As Guest Director, Will Premiere "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark'Considering it's the world center of the movie industry, it's surprising that historically speaking, Los Angeles never really had a film festival to rival the likes of Cannes, Venice and Berlin. But a quarter of a century ago, things started to change: the excellent AFI Festival celebrated its 25th year in its most recent incarnation, while the Los Angeles Film Festival, goes from strength to strength every year.

Watch: Moving Trailer For Chris Weitz's Low-Key Indie Drama 'A Better Life'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 24, 2011 5:49 AM
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  • 2 Comments
After spending some time in the tentpole world directing "The Golden Compass" and "Twilight: New Moon," director Chris Weitz has shifted gears for his next film, turning in a low-key drama that, from the first trailer debuted by 24 Frames, looks to be a winner.

Poster For Chris Weitz's 'A Better Life'; Director Says It's A Movie "Bella Would Go See"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 31, 2011 10:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments
It's been a while since Chris Weitz has done anything low-key like "About A Boy." He followed that film with two tentpole efforts -- "The Golden Compass" and "Twilight: New Moon" -- with the former leaving a bad taste in his mouth (he said New Line treated him like dirt. Ouch.) And while the mega success of 'New Moon' was the ultimate fuck you to New Line -- and while he was contemplating the director's chair for "Breaking Dawn," he ultimately didn't do it saying that "my mind would explode" if he entered a third tentpole film.

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