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The Playlist

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.

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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  • 66 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."

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