Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Review: 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Is A Satisfying, If Slightly Inferior Sequel

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 11, 2014 2:59 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
How To Train Your Dragon 2
For most of their history, which has now lasted over 15 years ("Antz" and "The Prince Of Egypt" both debuted in 1998), DreamWorks Animation seemed to be content with making a quick buck and raising a cheap laugh. Some of their output was better than others (the original "Shrek" at one end of the scale, "Shark Tale" at the other), but even the better films paled in comparison to the output of arch-rivals Pixar, however profitable they are. These days, things have changed. For one, the company's films aren't all that profitable ("Rise Of The Guardians," "Turbo" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" all disappointed financially). But for another, the quality gap has closed, with Pixar hitting something of a creative rut, and DreamWorks putting out films that are as good as or better than their rivals. Well, one film, at least: 2010's "How To Train Your Dragon," which took an unpromising premise and turned it into something funny, exciting and emotionally satisfying in a way that relatively few of their films are.

Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2015 Best Actress Contenders

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • March 11, 2014 2:10 PM
  • |
  • 80 Comments
Premature Predictions: Actresses, 2015
You know the deal by this point, so we'll get to it as quickly as we can. Every year, to draw a line under the awards season, we take a moment to look ahead at some of the possibilities for the films and performances that we could be talking about in the context of the Oscar race in the eleven months to come. We've already discussed the Best Picture and Best Actor possibilities, and now, we've picked out some potentials to succeed Cate Blanchett as the winner of the Best Actress Academy Award.

Watch: All Oscar Acceptance Speeches For Best Picture & Major Categories Plus The Entire Show In 2 Minutes

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • March 3, 2014 10:25 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Lupita Nyong'o, Oscars
For anyone watching the Oscars at home last night, they may have noticed something a different about the speeches this year....no one really got played off. It looks like the producers took it easy on the winners in 2014, rarely breaking out the orchestra to hustle people off the stage, leading to some longer than usual acceptance speeches. And in case you were in the bathroom or doing a snack refill, we've got all the major ones below.

Oscars: The Best Underrated Performances Of The 2014 Actor & Actress Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • February 3, 2014 1:47 PM
  • |
  • 10 Comments
Underrated Performances, 2014 Actor & Actress Nominees
The trouble with awards season, especially when it comes to actors who often attract nominations, is that there's a risk that it delegitimizes their work if it doesn't get recognized. If Meryl Streep, say, has countless nominations, than there could be a temptation to think of her performances in less awards-friendly fare as "lesser" work, whereas in fact, the opposite can be true—even in films that are of otherwise questionable quality, the actors can still give remarkable performances.

Oscars: How The Historic PGA Tie Keeps The Best Picture Race Wide Open, Plus Who Could Upset In The Acting Categories?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • January 20, 2014 3:27 PM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
Gravity 12 Years A Slave
For a minute, it looked as if the race might be over. David O. Russell's "American Hustle" (and the way that that phrase rhymes alone makes us glad it's a Best Picture nominee) had the momentum going into the Oscar nominations last week, and had even more after it: ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and four acting nods, one in each category, only the second movie to achieve that feat in the last thirty years (Russell's previous film, "Silver Linings Playbook," being the other).

'American Hustle' & 'Dallas Buyers Club' Win Big At SAG Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • January 19, 2014 8:08 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Dallas Buyers Club
Hollywood is certainly keeping us on our toes. In the span of a few days, we've seen the Oscar nominations, the kickoff of Sundance, the Critics Choice Awards, and last night, the Screen Actors Guild Awards. And as the winners often presage future Oscar winners, it's one that prognosticators were watching closely.

Oscars: A Look At The Best Actress Front-Runners, Including Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock & Amy Adams

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • October 16, 2013 3:00 PM
  • |
  • 32 Comments
Received wisdom has it that, in most years, the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards is less competitive than their male equivalent. It's certainly true, if it even needs to be said, that great roles for women are far, far less common than they are for men. But one only has to think of the performances that haven't been nominated in recent years to realize that it's not the lack of talent out there, so much as the Academy, or even the prognosticators, tending to be a little more conservative in their picks.

Watch: Full Trailer For Aussie Omnibus 'The Turning' Directed By Justin Kurzel, Mia Wasikowska & More

  • By Cain Rodriguez
  • |
  • August 28, 2013 9:39 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Over the past few years it seems that we’ve seen more and more omnibus films, from arty travelogues (“Paris, je t’aime”) to horror (“The ABCs of Death”). What sets “The Turning” apart, however, is that it’s an adaptation of the Tim Winton novel of the same name. While we’ve already seen a teaser for the film, and now a full length trailer has arrived for the effort.

Stream This: 'Mud,' Hugh Jackman In 'The Fountain,' Woody Allen's 'The Purple Rose Of Cairo' & More on VOD This Week

  • By Emma Bernstein
  • |
  • July 26, 2013 12:56 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Stream This
Hello streamers, and welcome back to our weekly search for the best of what's available to watch on the World Wide Web. The home entertainment system reigns supreme for another day, as two late summer flicks appear on VOD before their big screen release and a well-received picture, fresh off its theatrical run, hits the streaming services in advance of its DVD debut. Of course, there's plenty going on at the cinema too—this is blockbuster season, after all. Observing the premier of "The Wolverine," we have a much better alternative: an early-ish Hugh Jackman film, you know, before all the singing and all the muscles. And with the newest Woody Allen movie in theaters, starring the inimitable Cate Blanchett, we have celebrations of both artists. It could be that two-for-one which put us over, but with so many good VOD choices, we decided to forgo a Criterion selection for this week. Hulu Plus remains, however, and that section will be back next time, we promise. Now, let's get to the picks.

The Essentials: 5 Great Cate Blanchett Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 23, 2013 2:01 PM
  • |
  • 17 Comments
Cate Blanchett, essentials
There are very few actors, in these days of soundbites and tabloids and gossip blogs and 15-page colour spreads in which we are “invited into their beautiful home,” that we can truly say we don’t get enough of. And there are fewer still, who even in that glare of publicity that surrounds a new film’s release, do not end up somehow diminished by the process, dissected and dissassembled and repackaged and repurposed for use as a tiny cog in a big marketing machine. But Cate Blanchett is one of the rare few who manages that trick, again and again, retaining a cool, inviolate and perhaps slightly detached image, even as the performances she gives can be frightening in their engagement and commitment. And it’s another such that Blanchett reportedly gives in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” which opens this Friday, and for which she’s already garnering early awards buzz. We called it “ an outstanding firecracker turn … that has Oscar-worthy written all over it in flames” in our review.

Email Updates

Recent Comments