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The Playlist

5 Paul W.S. Anderson Action Scenes Everyone Can Appreciate

  • By Alex Suskind
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  • February 21, 2014 1:01 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Paul W.S. Anderson, Action features
For critics, Paul W.S. Anderson is the ideal punching bag—a terrible director with a penchant for churning out clichéd action flicks. If you take a look at his Rotten Tomatoes page—where the highest-rated project is the straight-to-video sequel “Death Race 3”—you will get an idea of the response the filmmaker’s work tends to receive.

From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • February 20, 2014 2:03 PM
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  • 72 Comments
The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki
When it premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in August, "The Wind Rises," which hits theaters this week, was accompanied by the announcement that it would be the last feature film from director Hayao Miyazaki. It may be that that turns out to be premature—the filmmaker has said as much several times before—but if this truly is his last film, it'll prove to be a monumental loss to cinema.

5 Iconic '90s Music Videos Directed By McG

  • By Alex Suskind
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  • February 20, 2014 12:00 PM
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  • 12 Comments
McG 3 Days To Kill
Here’s a little piece of ‘90s trivia for you: the guy who co-wrote Sugar Ray’s infectious hit “Fly” is the same man who directed “This Means War.” I can’t be the only one who finds that strange. Today, Joseph McGinty Nichol— aka McG — is best known as the filmmaker behind mediocre action flicks including “Charlie’s Angels” and “Terminator Salvation.” Critics like to rag on McG, and I’m not here to argue with them; there’s a reason why David Edelstein called “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” a “third-rate ‘Austin Powers’ picture cut to the whacking, attention-deficit-disorder tempo of ‘Moulin Rouge.’” However, there’s more to the director than middling, uninspired popcorn flicks.

The 15 "Edgiest" Oscar Best Picture Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 19, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 29 Comments
Edgy Best Picture oscar nominees
“Ugh, the Academy, so conservative” goes the cliché, as bloggers and pundits the movie world over take a moment to roll their eyes and sigh before diving back in to beaver away on one of a million pieces about this year’s nominations, the pros and cons, the good picks, the bad picks, the odds, the ends (hey, we’ve done a few ourselves with more on the way!) But while that knee-jerk stance is an easy one to adopt (and also comfortable—setting the speaker above the choices in question by virtue of the fact that they’re not challenging enough, not cinephile-y enough, too MOR, too bland), it doesn’t take account of those times when we’ve been surprised by the august body. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which does absolutely skew older-white-male in its demographics (as does the film industry, folks) has, on occasion given us pause—nominating a film which, in content or execution, might seem to be light years away from its wheelhouse: explicit in its treatment of sexuality, or extreme in its violence or just wholly different to our idea of an “Oscar movie.”

10 Great Documentaries That Weren't Nominated For An Oscar

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 18, 2014 2:50 PM
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  • 17 Comments
Best Documentaries Not Nominated For Oscars
With "The Act Of Killing," "Cutie And The Boxer" and "The Square" among the nominees, this year's Best Documentary Feature category is one of the strongest we can remember. But that doesn't mean that the Academy got everything right. Many of the year's most notable non-fiction films were ignored, most notably Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell," a movie which managed to top many critical lists and was widely acclaimed as not just as one of the best documentaries of 2013, but as one of the best movies of any kind.

5 Things To Expect At The Oscars After Last Night's BAFTA Awards

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 17, 2014 12:05 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Less than two weeks remain until the Academy Awards, and Sunday night brought the last major ceremony (excluding the Spirit Awards, which plays in a slightly different sandbox) before then: Oscar's cousin from across the Atlantic, the BAFTAs. As you might have seen, "Gravity" won the most trophies, with six BAFTAs including Best Director and Best British Film, but it was "12 Years A Slave" that came away with the big prize of Best Film, while also picking up Best Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor. The winners, losers, and everyone else in the British film industry are currently struggling to get over their hangovers, but for everyone else, the question lingers -- how, if at all, does it affect the Oscar race?

Unpopular Opinion: Maybe Harvey Weinstein Should Cut 20 Minutes From ‘Snowpiercer’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • February 14, 2014 2:30 PM
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  • 23 Comments
Snowpiercer
In case you’re not a totally dialed-in geek for this one, a battle has been raging in the press for several months over a movie that few journalists have actually seen. That film is South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming sci-fi graphic novel adaptation, “Snowpiercer,” featuring an international cast that includes Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Alison Pill, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Korean actors Song Kang-ho, Ko Ah-sung and many more. And the drama percolating over the last few months has been pitted as a classic David and Goliath story of art versus commerce.

For The Lovers, The Lonely, The Heartbroken & More: The Playlist Guide To Valentine's Day Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • February 13, 2014 3:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Valentine's Day
It's here. Again. Though it feels like it's only a few weeks since we were bombarded with Hallmark ads, reminder e-mails and a Nicholas Sparks movie in theaters, it's been a whole 364 days since the last Valentine's Day, and tomorrow, as ever, will see the world's couples (hopefully) have a special evening, and the world's singles go into something close to crisis mode.

10 Reasons Why The Original 'RoboCop' Can't Be Beaten By The Remake

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 13, 2014 1:01 PM
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  • 19 Comments
With the remake of Paul Verhoeven's "RoboCop" lumbering mechanically into theaters nationwide this week, there has been a lot of talk, online and elsewhere, about how the remake simply cannot live up to the 1987 original. But what there's been precious little of is a discussion of why the original film is so highly regarded; instead the deafening pre-release backlash just seems like a general kind of foggy, nostalgia-tinged outrage that is both inarticulate and unhelpful. And, all things considered, the remake isn't all that bad; read our colleague's review here. Still, there's no question that the remake won't manage to have the same kind of impact the original did, so we're taking this chance (having longed for one for a while) to look back to the future of Detroit, and examine exactly why that original film felt so fresh and new.

Discuss: Is The Success Of 'The Lego Movie' To Be Celebrated...Or Feared?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 12, 2014 12:00 PM
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  • 11 Comments
The Lego Movie
This past weekend brought the first bonafide blockbuster of 2014. Despite terrible weather and the Winter Olympics as competition, Warner Bros' "The Lego Movie" came in just south of $70 million, marking it the second-best February opening, and the fourth-best non-sequel animated opening, of all time. More surprising, at least to some, was the wild critical adulation that greeted its release: at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a higher score than all but two of the Oscar nominees this year (for whatever a RT score is worth). Hell, even notable contrarian Armond White liked it. And on this occasion at least the consensus is right, because "The Lego Movie" is a total delight, the best animated movie since Pixar still gave a shit, and by some distance the most inventive and enjoyable wide release of this young year.

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