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The 5 Most WTF Moments From 'The Counselor'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 28, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 33 Comments

5 Most WTF Moments From 'The Counselor'
Acidic, cynical, perhaps having a twisted laugh on those who think they’re in control of their own fate, Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” is an incredibly moribund and bleak poem about greed, chance, and the dark side of man. It’s like a merciless and blistering riff on the adage, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” And coming from the mind of celebrated author Cormac McCarthy (“The Road,” “Blood Meridian”), known for grim and unforgiving stories of fate, morality and the dark shadows of human nature, what did you expect? It’s classic McCarthy chiseled down to the bloody bone (and note this isn’t his first script: McCarthy wrote a screenplay for 1977’s “The Gardener's Son”—watch it in full here).

What's Goin' On? 6 Movies Pushed To 2014 And Why They Moved

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 24, 2013 4:30 PM
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  • 6 Comments
6 Movies Pushed Into 2014
Movies are dropping like flies from the Oscar season this year. Or rather, that seems to be the conventional wisdom out there as a handful of pictures have moved out of the awards season, switched dates or been punted into 2014. And you’ve heard time and time again that it’s a crowded season this fall and winter. And it is, but it’s really no more crowded than any other year -- this prestige season is always busy and there are always casualties and movement. Sure, the Oscar landscape is changing, and there’s been seismic shifts under our feet. George Clooney’s “Monuments Men” is now landing in February, what everyone thought was a surefire Oscar nominee in “Foxcatcher” has moved to unknown lands in 2014 and several other pictures thought to be 2013 Academy contenders have also adjusted plans.

17 Films Rated NC-17: Did They Deserve The 'Certificate Of Doom'?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 24, 2013 4:01 PM
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  • 70 Comments
18 NC-17 Films
So with its super-long and undeniably graphic sex scene, among other explicit moments, “Blue is the Warmest Color,” which is released this week, was always going to get slapped with an NC-17 rating in the U.S. But unlike many other films in a similar situation, its unassailable position as a near-universally lauded (our own review is here) Cannes Palme d’Or winner has placed the idea of cuts being made for the U.S. market out of the question. For which we heave a sigh of relief, of course: better for us that the film is released, with whatever certification, uncut, than we get some kind of hacked up version that scrapes an R. Still, it’s a debate that surrounds the inevitably controversial rating ever since it was introduced to replace the old X certificate, with an NC-17 assessment being regarded by many as, basically, the kiss of box-office death for anything but the most buzzed-about film. It carries with it not only the automatic reduction of the potential audience by exactly that segment of the population most likely to go to the theater, but also distribution woes that range from certain cinemas refusing to screen NC-17s, to certain video stores refusing to stock the DVDs.

12 Celebrated Novelists-Turned-Screenwriters And How They Fared

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 24, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 7 Comments
12 Celebrated Novelists Turned Screenwriters And How They Fared
There was a time when everyone wore hats and screenwriting was a lot less respectable a specialization for a writer than it is today. Stories of “legitimate” authors and playwrights doing the “Barton Fink” and selling out to Hollywood were nearly as legion as the tales of their boorish mistreatment once there: the studios that commodified their creativity, the honchos who more or less paid for words by the pound, the seismic shift between being the author of a finished piece of work, however underappreciated, and being regarded as one pair of hands on an assembly line. It’s no wonder that for a while there, Hollywood became a bogeyman to authors and the adage that screenwriters were little more than failed novelists was born. After all, who but a failed writer would put themselves through such debasement?

Oscars: Which Films Will Pick Up Original & Adapted Screenplay Nominations?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 23, 2013 5:09 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Oscars 2013: Original & Adapted Screenplay Nominations
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Twilight Zone. As long as almost anyone can recall, the Adapted Screenplay category has been more far more competitive than the original script slot. In general, more Academy-friendly films tend to have been adapted from novels, non-fiction books, plays, articles, or from other material, with the competition for original fare proving thinner. As a result, the Original Screenplay category has quietly been one of our favorites, allowing foreign-language films, tiny indies or genre fare to pick up nominations where they'd otherwise have difficulty.

15 Weird & Disturbing Sex Scenes That Have Scarred Your Memory

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 23, 2013 4:19 PM
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  • 64 Comments
15 Weird & Disturbing Sex Scenes
Let’s get this out of the way, right off the bat: there will be mild spoilers here—but these spoilers have already been posted online and not by us. Got that? I mean, we all read the Internetz, so… Anyhow, Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” opens in theaters this weekend. Written by venerable American author Cormac McCarthy, “The Counselor” stars Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt as its principal cast. The picture is a morality drama about a greedy lawyer (Fassbender), who finds himself in over his head when he decides to delve into the dark world of drug trafficking. Shit backfires and things go way south for said attorney.

5 Michael Fassbender Films You May Not Have Seen

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 22, 2013 2:03 PM
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  • 15 Comments
5 Michael Fassbender Films You May Not Have Seen
Michael Fassbender has had a good run of it these past few years. It's a hot streak (one which saw him the recipient of the "staggering honor" that was Playlist Man of the Year 2011) that looks set to continue with the Irish/German actor moving between critically adored arthouse films and broad-appeal tentpoles with ease, often for directors who he's impressed before. Obviously, right now he can be seen reuniting with "Hunger" and "Shame" director Steve McQueen on the Oscar-tipped "12 Years A Slave," while this week also seems him back with "Prometheus" helmer Ridley Scott in the Cormac McCarthy-penned "The Counselor." Next year will again see him do the indie/tentpole one-two: in Lenny Abrahamson's "Frank" (the director previously cast Fassbender in a Mastercard commercial before either had made the real leap to features), before he returns as Magneto in "X-Men: Days of Future Past."

Trailer Deconstruction: Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 18, 2013 1:47 PM
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  • 29 Comments
Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson movies are possibly the closest thing to an event movie for the … I was going to say something like "indie nerd cinephile set," but the truth is Anderson’s films are beloved by all kinds of audiences—those who love tentpoles, cineastes, sci-fi aficionados, etc. His visual vocabulary is so idiosyncratic, so singular and distinct, it has practically become a brand or genre unto itself and it can be appreciated by anyone who simply loves movies.

The Essentials: Robert Redford

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 17, 2013 2:04 PM
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  • 11 Comments
The Essentials: Robert Redford
This Friday, one of the most powerful films of Robert Redford's career comes to the big screen in "All Is Lost" (our review). Stripped of most of the things that made him a star, both externally (he's now 77 and his costume seems to have been purchased during a 40% off sale at J. Crew) and internally (gone is his affable charm), here he gives the kind of raw, fearless performance that actors of his status and importance all too often shy away from. In short: "All Is Lost" isn't safe. But then again, Redford has never really played it safe. From his choices both as an actor and a director (most recently with this year's uneven political thriller "The Company You Keep") to his continued political activism, to his cockamamie goal of creating an essential film festival experience in the snowy slopes of Park City, Utah, Redford has long been resistant to anything even remotely reasonable.

Our 15 Favorite Prison Breaks At The Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 15, 2013 2:01 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Prison Break Feature
“You’ll like it, it’s about a prison break” says Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption” about the book they’re shelving, Alexander Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo.” “We oughta file that under ‘educational’ too, oughtn’t we?” quips Red in reply, and indeed, with the sheer number of prison escape books and movies that exist, you’d imagine that all a really dedicated inmate has to do is watch or read enough of them before they’d stumble across a plot that could be adapted for their own situation. (Note: The Playlist does not condone real-life attempts at fleeing prison unless you’re totally innocent, a prisoner of war or you have a really cool plan that involves disguises and dummies and stuff.)

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