The Playlist

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.

10 Great Performances That Deserve Emmy Nominations (But Probably Won't Get Them)

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 27, 2013 2:19 PM
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  • 39 Comments
As we said yesterday when we were running down the best TV shows of the last year, the season is officially over, and Emmy voting for the 2013 installment of the awards closes tomorrow. Having run down our favorite series, we wanted to turn our attention to some of the performers who've been appearing in them.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Arnold Schwarzenegger's Notorious Flop 'Last Action Hero'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 27, 2013 1:11 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the release of John McTiernan's "Last Action Hero." Ostensibly a spoof of hyper-violent action movies, wherein a young boy named Danny (Austin O'Brien) is magically transported into the world of his favorite action star (Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course), the film went on to become one of the most notorious flops in Hollywood history – an example of the fateful collision of artistic arrogance, unreasonable expectations and a faulty product whose concept never fully solidified. It's a movie that should have been a straightforward send-up of things like “Lethal Weapon” but included jokes about cartoon cats and references to “The Seventh Seal.” McTiernan, who is currently serving a year sentence in federal prison for lying to a federal officer, gravely described "Last Action Hero" to Empire Magazine as "the worst time I’ve ever had in this business.” It was that traumatic.

Bringing 'The Heat': 10 Good, 5 Bad And 5 Weird Buddy Cop Comedies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 26, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 18 Comments
10 Good, 5 Bad And 5 Weird Buddy Cop Comedies
Given the immense unknowable diversity of the thriving planet on which we live, statistics state that there must exist somewhere a human adult person, maybe an abandoned jungle orphan who was raised by wolves, who has never experienced a buddy cop film. Haha, just kidding, that’s absolutely impossible. From the genre’s sputtering beginnings in the '70s, the crescendo built until some sort of sociological tipping point was reached with “Lethal Weapon” in the late 80s, leading to a Cambrian explosion of renegade cops teamed with straitlaced partners much to the chagrin of their permanently choleric police captains, whose ass the Commissioner/Mayor was almost constantly riding. The decades since have seen the genus evolve its own subspecies at an alarmingly rapidly rate: the cop-and-a-kid movie, the cop-and-a-dog movie, the cop-and-a zombie movie, and so on.

The 15 Best TV Shows Of The 2012/2013 Season

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 26, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 107 Comments
Unlike the movies, which do operate on a January-December basis when it comes to awards consideration, the TV season is a slightly different proposition. With ratings dipping in the summer, new shows tend to be unveiled in September or early fall, and are usually wrapping up by May. The rise of cable networks like FX and HBO has staggered this more, but the Emmys taking place in September tends to mean that the season has a more definitive end at this time of year.

The Films Of Roland Emmerich: From Worst To Best

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 26, 2013 12:02 PM
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  • 19 Comments
The Films Of Roland Emmerich
When it comes to bringing popcorn ready, big screen spectacle to the multiplex, there are few filmmakers (except for maybe Michael Bay) who do it with as much flair as Roland Emmerich. The German-born director has been making theater speakers rumble ever since "Universal Soldier," but he really made his mark in the '90s thanks to the White House exploding "Independence Day" (which has a sequel coming in 2015) and the monster movie "Godzilla." And since then, films like "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012" have come to define the trademarks most audiences know him for -- high concept FX vehicles in which the world is at peril, but rescued by an everyman who saves the day.

‘World War Z’ Endings: The Bloody Battle In Russia Vs. Damon Lindelof's Rewrite, What Was Changed & Why

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 25, 2013 12:31 PM
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  • 16 Comments
World War Z, Brad Pitt
History is littered with movie productions that went haywire and melted down (we recently chronicled a few that survived bad buzz and some that didn't). Either imploding on set because of director/actor spats, budgets that ballooned into excess causing for major flops, or any number of confluent forces that created disaster. Some films escaped their thought-to-be impending doom (“Avatar,” “Titanic”) and others (“John Carter,” “Battleship,”), well, they pretty much lived up to their “this is going to bomb” narrative.

A Look Back At Season 6 Of 'Mad Men' & What May Lie Ahead In The Final Season

  • By Cory Everett
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  • June 25, 2013 10:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The sixth season of AMC's "Mad Men" came to a close Sunday night, wrapping up what has been arguably its most divisive season yet. As usual the highlights were in no short supply -- the mini-movie meditation "The Doorway," the amphetamine-fueled "The Crash," Don and Betty's temporary reunion in "The Better Half" and the final moments of "In Care Of" just to name a few -- but despite great episodes for whatever reason this season never seemed to coalesce as well as in previous years. Throughout much of the season, it was unclear if the narrative deja vu was a flaw in the writing or sort of the point of the story being told. And coming off a phenomenal season five, you couldn't help but feel that maybe season six just couldn't reach the highs of last year's paradigm-busting episodes. Ironically, the turning point for many this season came midway through when Don and Ted make a pact to merge Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler, Gleason and Chaough.

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