The Playlist

10 Great Modern Day Actor/Director Collaborations

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 17, 2013 2:17 PM
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  • 41 Comments
10 Actor/Director Collaborations
The hallowed halls of cinema are littered with iconic and unforgettable director/actor collaborations. The muses that feed the filmmaker, the director that inspires the actor. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, Ingmar Bergman and half his repertory including Bibi Anderson, Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow, Werner Herzog and his toxic relationship with Klaus Kinski, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Vitti and Michelangelo Antonioni, Spike Lee and Denzel Washington, Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart—no matter what time period of movies you look at, no matter whether it be high or low art, the classic collaborations are countless.

The Good, The Bad & The Weird Of Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 15, 2013 2:13 PM
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  • 52 Comments
This weekend, Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim," a monster mash about giant creatures that come through an inter-dimensional portal on the ocean floor and the giant robots constructed to fight them, was neither an outright dud nor a smash. Beaten to number one by "Despicable Me 2," we can't imagine a third place finish was what Warner Bros. had in mind for their $200 million summer movie. Was it too much of a fan letter to nerds and comic book stores for the general public to care? Did the marketing campaign stumble? Did it need an A-list star? We're sure conference rooms at WB today are having meetings asking those exact same questions, but there's also the simple question of whether or not the movie actually delivered.

5 TV Comedy Actors Turned Movie Stars (5 More Who Floundered)

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 12, 2013 12:29 PM
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  • 13 Comments
With "Grown Ups 2" starring "SNL" alumnus Adam Sandler and "King of Queens" star Kevin James opening this weekend, and "The Way Way Back" with Steve Carell of "The Office" fame out since last week, your local multiplex will soon be playing a choice of films with star actors who originally made their names in TV comedy shows. All three of these guys have carved out the kind of big-screen success that means we arguably now associate them more with movies than with television, but that's a trick that many have tried and only few have really pulled off.

Comedy Sequels: The Few Good, The Plentiful Bad & The Genuinely Weird

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 11, 2013 4:10 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Comedy sequels: best, worst, weird
With the release of “Grown Ups 2” this weekend, Adam Sandler enters rare territory: this is the first-ever sequel for quite possibly the most bankable comedic personality of his generation. Other actors would have found a way to continue the saga of “The Waterboy” or allowed a triumphant return for “Happy Gilmore,” but Sandler, until recently, has built his career on savvy choices and (debatably) original characters and stories.

The Underseen & Undercelebrated Roles Of Johnny Depp’s Career

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • July 11, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Johnny Depp movie
“I didn’t sell out, I bought in,” is one of our favorite movie quotes, and we’ll leave it to you to decide if it applies to a certain oddball-turned-A-lister. The career of Johnny Depp is an interesting one, to say the least, and with the outright flop of “The Lone Ranger” last weekend (which did less opening business than “John Carter” did), Disney (and presumably Depp too, to a degree) are likely still feeling the burn of that failure. “Remember when Johnny Depp could do no wrong and was one of the most adventurous actors on the planet creating a body of work that most actors could only dream of?” we wrote recently of Depp’s career. It seems like another lifetime ago, but Johnny Depp was once a relatively uncompromising actor who decided to eschew Hollywood in favor of his own weird and wonderful path.

Retrospective Shabadoo! The Films Of Adam Sandler

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 10, 2013 4:28 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The Films Of Adam Sandler
Beloved on “Saturday Night Live” and loved a lot less since then, one need look no further than recent conversations about a box office weekend showdown (“Pacific Rim” vs. “Grown Ups 2”) to see just how far Adam Sandler's reputation has sunk with some audiences. Often perceived as a moronic blight on comedy and movies, this point is sometimes difficult to argue, especially in recent years as the quality of his comedies has become nearly negligible (though Armond White will fight you on that opinion to the death; that respected critic loves the man).

The Films Of Guillermo del Toro: From Worst To Best

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 9, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Guillermo del Toro Films
There are few cinematic fantasists as fascinating or beloved as Guillermo del Toro. This is a man whose unparalleled imagination could probably power whole city blocks, someone who dreams not in colors or smells but in entire universes and species. And in the handful of features he's directed, he's let us into these new worlds, which are almost always darkly macabre and tinged, either subtly or explicitly with elements of the supernatural.

Oh, That Guy: 15 Character Actor Villains You Love To Hate

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 3, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 45 Comments
Character Actors You Love To Hate
When we talked to William Fichtner about his role in "The Lone Ranger," as reptilian villain Bartholomew "Butch" Cavendish (a character boldly reimagined from the character's original incarnations), he told us, "I've played some characters who are rough in nature but I've never looked at a character like, 'Oh I can't wait to play this bad guy.'" Well, we can't wait for him to play the bad guy. Fichtner is one of countless character actors, many who were steadily employed in the '80s and '90s, whose oversized personalities and penchant for playing villainous goons, made them unforgettable (even if you couldn't quite place their names). Those of us who would study movie posters like they were the stats on the back of baseball cards, would easily recognize, identify, and follow their careers, but for many, these actors would appear and be met with a knowing, "Oh yeah, it's that guy..." For those guys everywhere, and to celebrate Fichtner's truly awesome villain, we thought we'd run down some of our favorite character actor creeps.

Ready To Draw: 9 Showdowns Between Western Classics And Their Remakes

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 2, 2013 1:12 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Western remakes header
When you read the words "remake" or "reboot," what comes to mind? If you're lucky, "Ocean’s Eleven," which took a solidly made Rat Pack heist movie and updated it for the new millennium. If you're not so lucky, "Arthur," which taught a valuable albeit obvious lesson: cheeky British comedians are not interchangeable. At worst, you're still shaking from flashbacks to the first time some hack bashed your childhood memories to a pulp. In either case, remakes are a mixed bag and should be taken with something between a grain and pound of salt, and the process of making one is a double-edged sword: the remake's task is to rework a tried and true concept without stepping on the original's toes or alienating its built-in fan base.

Down With White Houses? 15 Pairs Of Dueling Movies & Their Respective Battles

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 27, 2013 4:31 PM
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  • 33 Comments
White House Down vs. Olympus Has Fallen
Zeitgeist is a funny thing. The fact is, as much as we like to roll our eyes at Hollywood’s lack of originality, and as much fun as it is to delve into conspiracy theories and gossip about who stole what from whom, oftentimes remarkably similar ideas bubble to the surface simultaneously but independently of each other, rooted, we have to presume, in some common unconscious impulse. Of course, sometimes it is just stealing, but that’s a tricky one to prove. Whatever the reason, when it happens in Hollywood and the wind is right, you get a stand-off: similar projects being made at a similar time, like this weekend’s “White House Down” (review here) vs March’s “Olympus Has Fallen” (review here) or "The World's End" vs "This is the End" (you can read more about 2013's apocalypse movie face-off here) that will inevitably be compared to one another when it comes to the box office performance/critical response crunch.

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