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The Playlist

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.)

10 International Movies That Were Cut For U.S. Release

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 11, 2013 1:19 PM
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  • 6 Comments
10 International Movies That Were Cut For U.S. Release
Earlier this week, the home video release of Wong Kar Wai's martial arts epic "The Grandmaster" was announced. Instead of featuring multiple versions of the movie, the publicity materials made it very clear that only one version would be included on the disc: the domestic roll-out's truncated 108 minute cut. The original Chinese cut, said to be very different in both tone and form, clocked in at 130 minutes. It's a release that stirs up frustration with the state of foreign films being released in America. This week's biggest source of contention, Bong Joon-ho's upcoming sci-fi flick "Snowpiercer," has been breaking box office records in South Korea but in America is facing quite a threat: the editorial might of Harvey Weinstein.

Shelved Movies: 18 Films With Delayed Releases

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 10, 2013 4:45 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Shelved movies feature
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this week’s release, Jonathan Levine's “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” (because certainly according to our lukewarm review it’s hardly the film itself), is the story of the journey it took to get it to U.S. screens. When the trio of college friends behind the initial idea (writer Jacob Forman, production designer Tom Hammock and producer Chad Feehan) managed to pull together the resources to script and make the film, and then sell it to The Weinstein Company in 2006, it must have seemed like the end of a long, hard journey.

NYFF: Alexander Payne, Bruce Dern & Will Forte Talk The Particular Tone Of ‘Nebraska’

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 9, 2013 4:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Nebraska, Bruce Dern, Payne
An alcoholic father suffering from the early onsets of dementia gets a sweepstakes notice that he’s won a million dollars. It’s a scam obviously, but the elderly man is determined to see it through, despite his wife and older son’s protests to the contrary. What’s the youngest son to do? Perhaps trying to relate and bond on a level they’ve never connected before, as he agrees to drive his father from Montana to Nebraska to track down the prize, but many detours await, including a protracted pit stop in his dad’s hometown.

Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Greengrass

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 9, 2013 12:28 PM
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  • 6 Comments
The Films of Paul Greengrass
“I really do believe, with a great, great passion, in the possibility of really good films being made at scale and in the mainstream,” Paul Greengrass said to Empire, rather ironically on the occasion of the release of his least financially successful Hollywood film, 2010’s “Green Zone.” But it outlines what seems the guiding principle of Greengrass’ work, that there is a way to make intelligent, politically relevant, “grown-up” films that appeal to a mass market.

NYFF: James Gray Almost Appeared In Wes Anderson’s ‘The Life Aquatic,’ Talks ‘The Immigrant' With Joaquin Phoenix

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 7, 2013 2:02 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The Immigrant, Gray, Phoenix, set pic
The highlight of the New York Film Festival post-screening Q&A for “The Immigrant," director James Gray's long-awaited period film, was the unlikely and rare appearance of the notoriously evasive Joaquin Phoenix. And while the press shy actor nearly stole the show from his entertaining director, funny and amusing in his own right, Phoenix did it by hardly uttering a word.

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