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The Playlist

The Essentials: Michelangelo Antonioni

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 5, 2013 3:12 PM
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  • 16 Comments
The Essentials: Michelangelo Antonioni
While he had made five previous movies, 1957’s “Il Grido” being the most essential of the bunch, Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni’s career didn’t really begin in earnest until a May 1960 evening at the Cannes Film Festival where his latest film, “L'Avventura” was met with boos, exaggerated yawns, loud jeers, even derisive laughter. Antonioni had made a mysterious, sparse and opaque film that would define the rest of his career — an unusual movie, like many others that would follow, where “nothing happens,” at least in the estimation of his harshest critics.

5 Films About Real-Life Sporting Controversies

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 5, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment
5 Films About Real-Life Sporting Controversies
It will surprise exactly no one to learn that few of us here at the Playlist ever sat at the jocks’ table in high school and only a very few of really count ourselves as major sports fans. However there are aspects of modern sporting culture that, whether or not we find ourselves transfixed by the swing of a bat or the call of a line judge, we can’t avoid becoming caught up in. With sportsmen and women become uber-celebrities off the pitch/field/court/lawn as well as on, there’s an unavoidable tendency to make them into mythic symbols of how talent and application can indeed bring everything our society defines as success: wealth, fame, respect and glory.

12 Movie Stars Who Experienced Career Resurrections

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 31, 2013 4:27 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Movie Stars /Career Resurrections
This week “The Dallas Buyers Club” opens (you can read our review here), and it features a riveting, committed, physically gruelling and very likely-to-be-Oscar-nominated performance by Matthew McConaughey. If he is nominated, however, McConaughey will be at least a little in debt to the buzz that’s surrounded him of late as the newest member of what we could call the Comeback Club—that rarefied group of people who have, sometimes on a dime, turned their movie careers around and breathed new life into what was once moribund. It takes a great deal of luck to pull off this trickiest of acts, and for every actor who’s managed to hang onto their newly regained spot on top of the pile for a few years, there are ten who’ve briefly clambered all the way up only to topple off again a moment later.

The Playlist Team Picks Their 13 Scariest Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 31, 2013 12:19 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Favorite horror movies
On the off chance you haven't literally tripped over a pumpkin in the last five minutes, we're here to remind you that tonight we celebrate the single greatest excuse ever invented to get trashed and wear skimpy clothing: Halloween. But of course, in addition to its status for some as a nationwide night of consequence-free hedonistic abandon, for others, Halloween has a deeper, more rarefied spiritual function: as a time to discover the limits of rationality; to test the boundaries of your relationship with the unknown and unknowable; in short, to scare yourself shitless.

15 Of The Most Impressive Actor Transformations

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • October 29, 2013 5:19 PM
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  • 19 Comments
Best Physical Transformations
As we move deeper into the awards campaign season, a glut of films with showy central performances are hitting our screens, “For Your Consideration” for Academy voters. Over the years it’s been the subject of many a comedy sketch that there are a few markers of an Academy-friendly role, and this week’s “Dallas Buyers Club” (you can read our review here) is pretty much lousy with with them: it’s based on a true story, deals with AIDS and features not one but two instances of actors undergoing rapid and dramatic physical transformation to play their parts.

The 5 Best Deleted Scenes, The 10 Best Quotes & More From ‘The Counselor’

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 29, 2013 2:21 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Counselor, Deleted Scenes
Yes, for a film that none of us wholeheartedly loved (and some of us vehemently disliked), we remain kind of fascinated with the Ridley Scott’s toxic morality cesspool that is “The Counselor." Or rather we should call it Cormac McCarthy’s “The Counselor” because he is probably the true author here, in the best sense of the word. Scott—who mostly shoots the script as is to the letter—is more like the vessel and filmmaker who processes it to the screen, rather than the auteur who birthed it. Such is the nature of faithfully adapting the works of Mr. Bleakness and Lack Of Humanity himself.

10 New Horror Blu-rays To Haunt Your Halloween

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 28, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 3 Comments
10 New Horror DVDs
Halloween is a holiday that practically demands that at least at some point during the lead-up to the actual night, you stay in and watch some of your favorite horror movies. Not only has the weather just changed, facilitating an urge to stay indoors, but there always seems to be old school classics that are finally released from their vault to reign terror anew. That's certainly the case this year, with a whole host of scary movies making their way to the high definition Blu-ray, so that every frame of horror can terrify you with additional clarity. We've decided to run down a list of ten horror movies worth trick-or-treating for. Beware! It's spooky!

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.

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