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The Playlist

'Lone Survivor' Director Peter Berg Talks Beards, 'Battleship' And What's Going On With The 'Friday Night Lights' Movie

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 17, 2013 3:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Lone Survivor
Peter Berg is a manly director. After shepherding such testosterone-soaked films as "Very Bad Things," "The Rundown," "Friday Night Lights," and "Battleship," the director has set his sights on bringing his passion project to the big screen, in spectacularly violent fashion. "Lone Survivor" is based on Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's nonfiction account of how his elite unit was ambushed and fell in the rocky mountains of Afghanistan. As told by Berg, it is a film full of fire and fury and men doing incredibly manly things. We got a chance to speak to the director, who told us about pulling together his cast, what his thoughts on "Battleship" are more than a year later, the movie's patriotic tone, and more.

Interview: Eric Bana Talks The Real Life Politics Behind 'Closed Circuit,' His Life After 'Hulk,' And Whether Or Not He'd Do 'Star Wars'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 29, 2013 6:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Ciarán Hinds, Eric Bana, Closed Circuit
Now is a very good time for "Closed Circuit," a movie about the British judicial system and the proliferation of CCTV around London, to be released. With the firestorm of controversy surround illegal surveillance, Edward Snowden and PRISM, and the general feeling of unease knowing that there is a pretty good chance that the email you sent to your college roommate is being intercepted and reviewed by some higher power, it's an ideal moment for a claustrophobic, conspiratorial thriller like "Closed Circuit." Few thrillers tap into the zeitgeist like this film does. In the film, Eric Bana plays Martin Rose, a public-court lawyer assigned to defending a Turkish national who seems to have played a role in a deadly London bombing. As his investigation continues and he navigates Britain's controversial closed court system, he's drawn into a shadowy, conspiracy-laced world and reignites an old flame with his "special advocate" lawyer.

Review: 'Closed Circuit' Starring Eric Bana & Rebecca Hall

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 27, 2013 9:02 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Focus Features is starting to build their own exclusive tentpole weekend each year. Marvel usually claims the opening May slot of every summer, and different studios trade off the lucrative July 4th period. But Focus has rubber-stamped the under-attended Labor Day weekend as theirs, with middlebrow adult pictures that raise some interesting socio-political issues before delving into melodramatic gibberish by the third act. These films are surprise financial successes, and portray a certain artfulness at times, with “The Constant Gardener” and “The Debt” modest potboilers with similar weaknesses ("The American" is somewhat more of a success in that regard, but cut from a similar cloth). Joining that group is the latest in that tradition, “Closed Circuit,” which delivers the same deceptively empty pleasures as the latter two, a formula that’s beginning to show its cracks.

Eric Bana To Play The King In Cary Elwes' Directorial Debut 'Elvis & Nixon'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • October 24, 2011 1:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Danny Huston In Talks To Star As President NixonAs if the art of acting wasn't difficult enough, how about taking on a character that would lay claim to being the most regularly portrayed and impersonated in real life and a role that warrants it's own lengthy section on Wikipedia dedicated to listing all the people who played the exact same part on screen in the past? That's the challenge fronting Eric Bana who will soon play Elvis Presley in Cary Elwes' directorial debut, "Elvis & Nixon."

Eric Bana To Pull Off 'Brilliant' Diamond Heist

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 27, 2011 3:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Is the heist movie making a comeback? Last year's "The Town" excited audiences with its gritty heist sequences, while this summer's "Fast Five" found the car franchise refashioning itself into something else entirely, and later this year Louis Leterrier will combine illusions and bank robberies when he starts filming "Now You See Me." Well, "Legally Blonde" and "Killers" director Robert Luketic is getting in on the action, and having signed on to direct "Brilliant" earlier this year, he's now found his leading man.

Weekend Box Office: 'Hop' Defeats Four Newcomers; 'Your Highness' Flops Loudly And Rudely

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 10, 2011 4:48 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Earlier in the year, the tepid box office returns were something to be ignored, as 2011 was competing with the previous year, with both “Avatar” and then the anomaly of “Alice In Wonderland” each raking in a cool billion. Well, it’s April, and it’s time for Hollywood to panic. There have been no genuine out-of-the-box hits so far this year and lots of flops, and the two (barely) $100 million grossers considered underperformers (“Rango” and “Just Go With It”). Let’s face it, part of it is a failure of marketing, but the blame must be laid on inadequate product. Even when it comes to the early year doldrums, this has been a banner year for garbage.

Review: 'Hanna' A Study In Merciless Violence, Strong Performances And Block Rockin' Beats

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 6, 2011 11:25 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In "Hanna," Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan graduates to the next stage of her career, the one that all "respected actors" reach -- the action stage, where her piercing looks and astute natural intelligence are replaced by kicks, punches and improbable stunts. The anomaly, of course, is that Ms. Ronan has become a remarkably accomplished, borderline preternatural performer at a young age, and so the action phase of her career -- admittedly, a brief tour as opposed to the extended sojourn other actresses might enjoy -- has arrived fairly early. Such is the natural gimmick at the heart of "Hanna," one that audiences should find familiar by now: the little girl with wolf's teeth and bear's claws.

'Hanna' Director Joe Wright Calls "Bullshit" On 'Sucker Punch's Faux Feminism

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 3, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 26 Comments
One of the many things that we took particular umbrage with in reviewing Zack Snyder’s unerringly nasty, totally boring “Sucker Punch,” was its horrible gender politics. Keep in mind that this is a movie in which a bunch of young girls, to escape the psychic and physical pain of getting regularly raped by a swarthy orderly, zap themselves into a make-believe fantasy world in which they wear next-to-nothing, engage in adolescent male videogame theatrics and take orders from a gruff older man (played, with some aplomb, by Scott Glenn).

James Spader, Ryan Phillippe, Carla Gugino & Eric Bana Join Sheldon Turner's 'By Virtue Fall'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 29, 2011 2:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Colin Farrell OutIn the works for about a year now, there is a whole lot of fresh movement on "Up In The Air" scribe Sheldon Turner's directorial debut "By Virtue Fall." A fresh cast is now in place, and while one big star who has been circling seems to be on board, one has also departed.

Watch: Trying To Kiss A Teenage Assassin Is Dangerous In New U.K. Trailer For 'Hanna'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 3, 2011 11:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
We have to admit, the first trailer for Joe Wright's "Hanna" didn't do much for us, not really delivering on the 'Bourne'-esque vibe we were expecting, but the new UK trailer plays much better and points to something perhaps slightly different than the Matt Damon franchise.

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