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The Playlist

Review: 'The Union' Is A Love Letter To Leon Russell From Cameron Crowe & Elton John

  • By The Playlist
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  • February 3, 2012 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
A documentary portrait by filmmaker and avid music lover Cameron Crowe ("Almost Famous," "Pearl Jam Twenty"), "The Union" has a pretty simple concept: chronicling the making of The Union, the eponymously titled album by Elton John and the ultimate rock & roll session man Leon Russell, a musician also known for a solo career featuring his angelic gravely voice and mix of rock, country, blues, and gospel.

Watch: Four Clips Of Cameron Crowe & Elton John Discussing Their Documentary With Leon Russell "The Union'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • February 1, 2012 3:57 PM
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  • 2 Comments
While on the surface it appeared as if Cameron Crowe laid dormant after 2005's "Elizabethtown," the truth is quite the opposite. The "Vanilla Sky" filmmaker wrote a Marvin Gaye film (still unproduced as of now) and a "Jerry Maguire"-like romantic comedy set in Hawaii with a spiritual element to it ("Deep Tiki," also unproduced), and in 2011, released two films: the documentary, "Pearl Jam Twenty," and the feature-length effort, "We Bought a Zoo" starring Matt Damon (which grossed almost $72 million domestically; not bad for a film which some called a box-office dude at first).

Justin Timberlake Tops Elton John's Wishlist For His Biopic 'Rocketman'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • January 3, 2012 9:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
When Justin Timberlake played Elton John for David La Chapelle in his video for "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore," we figured it would be the first and last time he'd take on the role of the music icon. But it looks like that tongue-in-cheek performance has placed him right on the top of John's wish list for his upcoming biopic "Rocketman."

Review: 'Lion King 3D' Maintains All of the Majesty of the Original, With Added Dimensional Sparkle

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 14, 2011 7:03 AM
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  • 4 Comments
A few years ago, Disney planned a theatrical release for a 3D version of "Beauty & the Beast," using the cutting edge, post-"Avatar" technology that we've all come to know so well (and sometimes dread just as much). The conversion took place, at great expense, but the theatrical engagement (originally set for February, 2010) never materialized. Still, the studio pressed ahead (Walt always said that good ideas never die), and this week the studio's traditionally animated crown jewel "The Lion King," in a shiny new 3D format, will get a proper release – in 2,000 3D screens across the country. But what does a 3D version of a traditionally animated movie look like, exactly? And is it worth seeing again, with a 3D ticket surcharge no less?

Review: 'Gnomeo And Juliet' And The Existential Plight Of The Lawn Gnome

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 11, 2011 3:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments
In the "Toy Story" movies, though credibility was strained, an effort was made to keep humanity in the dark about the existence of toys that move on their own. Because of the lack of actual damage done, and with a certain ambiguity towards their adventures, there was no need to question the actual existence of the toys as some sort of fluke in God's grand design.

'Gnomeo & Julet' Director Kelly Asbury Talks the Narrative Quality of Elton John Songs

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 10, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Plus: His Take on the Nearly Endless Development Process & Why Everyone Gets Uptight About the Movie's EnglishnessDisney and Rocket Films' "Gnomeo & Juliet," opening nationwide this Friday, has had a storied production history that could be its own compelling film. The story of star-crossed lawn ornaments was set up as a joint Disney/Rocket Films production in the first part of the aughts, under the supervision of "Beauty and the Beast" co-director Gary Trousdale, with Kate Winslet and Ewan McGregor attached (they're now replaced by Emily Blunt and James McAvoy). The project fell apart, only to regain steam and be cut down again when Pixar's John Lasseter was installed, as the head of Disney's animation division (this was around the time he axed Chris Sanders' "American Dog," before neutering it and turning it into the toneless "Bolt"). The project was finally rescued by executive Dick Cook, who set it up not at Disney Animation proper, but with Miramax instead. Of course, with Miramax since being sold, Walt Disney are now taking on distribution duties for the film. At the end of all the back and forth, this take on the Shakespearean classic, thankfully, did not end in tragedy.

Soundtrack For 'Gnomeo & Juliet' Is Basically An Elton John Greatest Hits Collection

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 22, 2010 3:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments
One of the real trials for parents forced to drag their tiny progeny to the multiplex to see a film is sitting through a kid's pic with irritating songs sung by irritating characters. And while we have yet to weigh in on Disney's animated garden gnome film "Gnomeo & Juliet," at least parents won't have to endure a bunch of aggravating cutesy songs.

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