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The Playlist

Review: 'Million Dollar Arm' With Jon Hamm, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin & Bill Paxton

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 14, 2014 6:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Million Dollar Arm
In terms of in-house branding, the "Disney sports movie" has almost as much instantly recognizable cachet as something like their animated princess movies or Marvel superhero flicks. Movies like "Cool Runnings" up through "Remember the Titans" and "Miracle" have the same general, crowd-pleasing formula of being based on a true story, set in the past (either immediate or distant) and featuring a truly likable lead who, against all odds, triumphs at the end. These movies are as warm and comforting as your favorite old sweatshirt. And usually they're just as surprising. With "Million Dollar Arm," the awkwardly titled new Disney sports movie, the studio mixes up the formula with mostly winning results; the unpredictability does them some good.

Review: 'Grudge Match' is 'Rocky' vs. 'Raging Bull,' But We Lose

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • December 23, 2013 8:30 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Grudge Match
“Grudge Match” can’t possibly live up to its billing, which essentially pits "Raging Bull" pugilist Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro) against “Rocky” namesake Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), finally settling the bets of cinematic boxing fans everywhere. The film’s narrative echoes the problem its stars face: can two former champions remind of us why we rooted for them in the first place?

Shirley Maclaine, Alan Arkin & Vera Farmiga Are 'The Locals' In Italian/Jewish Romeo & Juliet Riff

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2011 4:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments
For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo. It's not surprising that William Shakespeare's tale of star-crossed lovers has provided the inspiration for dozens of films over the years, but there seems to be something in the water at the moment in particular: Disney had a surprise hit at the start of the year with their (very loose) animated take, "Gnomeo & Juliet," while Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth are gearing up for a more faithful version, while Keira Knightley and Lily Collins are supposedly competing for the lead in "Rosaline," which will focus on the titular girl, who Romeo is in love with before he gets all flustered by Juliet.

The '70s Come Alive In First Set Pics from Ben Affleck's 'Argo'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2011 10:01 AM
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  • 3 Comments
For the last few weeks Ben Affleck has been hurriedly assembling an eclectic cast for his next directorial effort, the historical thriller "Argo." We've watched (and reported) as Affleck has brought together a wonderful cast of actors, including Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston (in a role that forced him out of Ruben Fleischer's "Gangster Squad" and apparently "World War Z"), Kyle Chandler, Tate Donovan, Richard Kind and Michael Parks, who all appear alongside the talented director-star.

Alan Arkin To Play Spy-Turned-Movie-Producer In Ben Affleck's 'Argo'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 10, 2011 12:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Any budding screenwriters could take more than a few hints from the career arc of Ben Affleck. From Oscar-winning wonderboy, Hollywood's next big thing, to much-mocked star of flops like "Paycheck," "Gigli" and "Surviving Christmas," to critically-adored director of terrific Boston crime flicks "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town," Affleck's had quite a ride, but he's firmly back on top now, to the extent that he's got the lead role in Terrence Malick's as-yet untitled next film.

'The Muppets' Add Alan Arkin, Billy Crystal, JCVD To Loaded Cast

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • November 16, 2010 1:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Hollywood casting can be like musical chairs. So when people bemoan how certain actors don't take quality projects, or how others don't work that often, it's usually just a case that they haven't managed to stay in the public eye. Which probably benefits Disney's "The Muppets" since a cavalcade of stars looks to be lining up to feature in the comedy.

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