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Empire Big Screen '11 Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Reminds Us Why We Love The Movies

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 16, 2011 4:02 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Good god, it's been a bad year at the cinema. It's not so much that there've been a lot of awful films, although of course there have. It's more that there have been a lot of deeply average ones, and very little greatness to share around. Even the better end of the scale, it's not quite scratched the right itch for us: as good as, say, "Beginners" or "Win Win" or "Midnight in Paris" are, they don't quite get the synapses firing in the way that truly great cinema does. It's the kind of thing that the crime flick has always done well -- there's a reason that the Cahiers du Cinema crowd worshiped early American genre pictures, for example, but there's been little to be excited about even in that department. So it's lucky that Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" has come along: it's a shot of pure cinema straight to the eyeball, and one that's stopped us from losing the faith just as we were about to start looking for gigs at What Yacht Magazine.

Empire Big Screen '11: Nicolas Winding Refn Says 'Wonder Woman' A Go If He Does 'Logan's Run' Right

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 16, 2011 1:37 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Plus Nine More Things We Learned From The 'Drive' DirectorMore and more of The Playlist team are catching up with Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive," and every one of us that has seen it has loved it: it's easily one of the best movies of the year. The film was the secret screening at Empire Big Screen in London on Saturday night (we'll have a full review later), and Refn came up for a Q&A afterwards, moderated by the magazine's Damon Wise, which revealed a few insights into his top-notch crime drama, as well as an update on the status on what Refn hopes will be his biggest film to date. Below, ten highlights from the Q&A. Warning: some mild spoilers for "Drive" may be ahead.

French Poster & More New Images From Roman Polanski's 'Carnage'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • August 13, 2011 12:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Alexandre Desplat Replaces Alberto Iglesias As Film's ComposerWhile it may seem like heavier fare, "God of Carnage," the Tony-winning play by Yasmina Reza which Roman Polanski's "Carnage" is based on, is actually a comedy first, with some dramatic elements dashed in. In fact, one of the film's stars, Kate Winslet, recently revealed that the work is so riotously funny that during a performance of the play on Broadway in 2009, she "actually peed my pants, and not just once." Not exactly what we were expecting but it's definitely something we can get on board with.

First Look At The Cast Of 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' & Hear A Portion Of Trent Reznor's Score

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 11, 2011 12:58 PM
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  • 4 Comments
It might be one of the most anticipated movies of the year, but we're still relatively in the dark about David Fincher's version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." There was that attention-grabbing poster of course, and a perfectly-edited teaser trailer, but there's still a lot to come for the R-rated studio-funded version of a mystery tale that's already proven a giant hit both in Stieg Larsson's original novels, and in the Swedish trilogy of films, which launched Noomi Rapace to international stardom.

Ennio Morricone's 'Days Of Heaven' Soundtrack Gets 2-Disc Re-Release With Never Before Heard Music

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 1, 2011 3:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment
As is the case when working with most geniuses, collaborating with Terrence Malick ain't easy. While there's a small core group of inner-circle people who have never left his side -- editor Billy Weber, production designer Jack Fisk, and casting director Dianne Crittenden to name a few -- even these lifers have all stated on the record how, despite loving Terry to death, it can be immensely difficult at times to discern exactly what it is he wants. History shows that Malick himself doesn't know the answer which can infuriate collaborators. While cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki will have lensed three Malick pictures in a row ("New World," "The Tree of Life" and the upcoming untitled romance), new collaborators that stick around is rare.

Review: Chemistry Really Cooks In The Uneven, But Super Charming 'Crazy Stupid Love'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 27, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Precariously mixing elements of broad comedy, bittersweet heartache, charming romance and soulful, surprisingly mature dramatic moments, "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is an endearing and winning summer comedic drama. It succeeds in spite of some messy plotting, dicey adulteration of tones, and too convenient and ridiculous sequences that threaten to unravel a well-made, mostly well-written picture about love and marital discord.

That Explains The Trailer Music: Clint Mansell Scoring 'The Iron Lady'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 22, 2011 3:37 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Just a couple of weeks ago, the first teaser trailer for the highly anticipated, and likely Meryl Streep Oscar vehicle, "The Iron Lady" hit the interwebs and it was a little...odd. In addition to being much more lightweight than we expected a film about Margaret Thatcher to be, the most curious aspect was that it was scored to Clint Mansell's “Welcome To Lunar Industries” from his excellent score for "Moon." Well, turns it out it wasn't just a lazy decision on behalf of whoever cut the trailer.

A.R. Rahman To Score Alex Kurtzman's 'Welcome To People' Starring Chris Pine & Olivia Wilde

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 14, 2011 9:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments
For screenwriter Alex Kurtzman—best known for penning blockbusters like “Star Trek,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Mission: Impossible III”--he couldn't ask for a better batch of talent as he readies his directorial debut, "Welcome to People." The film stars Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer and Mark Duplass, and it will also feature a little cameo by Jon Favreau. But it appears the quality list of collaborators doesn't end there as Kurtzman has enlisted one of the best known and celebrated film composers in the world to tune up his movie.

'Goblet Of Fire' & 'Thor' Composer Patrick Doyle Scoring Pixar's 'Brave'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 6, 2011 3:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It seems almost everything about Pixar's "Brave" is a shift in direction for the famed animation studio. Featuring a female protagonist for the first time in their history, the film is a fantasy-like fable that seems more in the wheelhouse of Disney during their heyday than in Pixar's much more contemporary catalog to date. But in keeping with the idea of shaking things up, the studio has enlisted a new name to score the movie, one that has never worked with Pixar before (sorry, Randy Newman).

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Star J.B. Smoove Bags A Role In Sacha Baron Cohen's 'The Dictator'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 6, 2011 1:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Star's Brother Erran Baron Cohen To Compose The MusicMore or less everyone involved in long-running HBO comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has done pretty well out of it outside of the day job: creator/star Larry David toplined a Woody Allen film (albeit a terrible one...) and bagged a supporting turn in "The Three Stooges," Jeff Garlin's become a Pixar stalwart second only to John Ratzenberger, while Cheryl Hines got to make her directorial debut on "Serious Moonlight." But perhaps the biggest breakout seems to be the actor who's behind one of the most seminal supporting characters on the show: J.B. Smoove, who's played Leon Black on the last couple of seasons of the sitcom.

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