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The Playlist

The Best & Worst Of ‘The Wolverine’

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 29, 2013 2:19 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Are American audiences starting to get bored with superhero movies? While 20th Century Fox’s “The Wolverine” did solid business overseas this weekend, the James Mangold-directed picture failed to outperform the routinely loathed “X-Men Origins: The Wolverine” stateside, making for the 2nd lowest grossing opening weekend of any X-Men movie so far (though on par with “X-Men: First Class,” and just slightly higher than the original “X-Men”). Was a lack of “X-Men” in Wolverine’s personal story to blame? The movie itself seemed to do favorably, considering its "A-" Cinemascore for those that actually paid to see it, but clearly American audiences didn’t come out in droves.

6 Things You Can Likely Expect From Zack Snyder’s ‘Superman & Batman’ Movie

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • July 26, 2013 7:19 PM
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  • 48 Comments
superman and batman
OK, we’re finally catching up with this near-exhausting week. Last weekend at Comic-Con, director Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. unveiled a huge bombshell. Nope, not a “Man Of Steel” sequel or a “Justice League” movie. Instead they unexpectedly went laterally and announced an untitled “Superman and Batman” film (perhaps much to the lament of pure Superman fans who are probably still reeling from the fact that the masked crimefighter just hijacked a second “Man Of Steel” right out from under them).

10 Of Woody Allen's Best Female Characters

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 26, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 17 Comments
10 Of Woody Allen's Best Female Characters
There are a few stock criticisms often leveled at a new Woody Allen film: his characters are all neurotic messes; his films are relentlessly white and upper-middle class; when he tries for profundity, he flounders; when he leaves Manhattan, he never achieves anything like the heights of his New York-set stories; his eye for his own approximate generation's foibles and concerns has always been sharper than that for the much younger... the list goes on. But however much you may have your knives out, you just can't accuse Allen of not writing decent roles for women.

Let's Talk About Sex: 20 Movies About Losing Your Virginity

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 26, 2013 12:05 PM
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  • 17 Comments
Losing Your Virginity Feature
You never forget your first time, they say. And even if you were to try very hard to expunge the memory, Hollywood will do its best to keep on reminding you anyway. With seemingly another R-rated comedy released every week, (this week's being "The To Do List" starring Aubrey Plaza, opening this Friday, read our review here), The First Time has become increasingly well-trafficked territory, and it's not hard to see why. Really it's a screenwriter's dream—an (almost) universally relatable life-stage conundrum (in the Western world, anyway) that is ripe with potential for misunderstandings, social embarrassment and awkwardness, and that's just within the more comedic end of the spectrum.

Big in Japan: 10 Movies To Watch Before 'The Wolverine'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 25, 2013 3:41 PM
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  • 6 Comments
10 Movies To See Before The Wolverine
"The Wolverine" isn't just another stand alone movie. Following the disastrous "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," it's a complete tonal overhaul, with the property being rebuilt almost from the ground up. While there might be traces of the character's 'X'-past, particularly in the somewhat-garbled third act, there is still a very clear attempt to remake the character inside a more atmospheric, emotionally rich context. That, coupled with the movie's welcome change in scenery (it's set mostly in Japan), makes it a very, very different X-perience than you're used to. Sure, it has plenty of it's own issues, regardless (you can read our review of the Hugh Jackman movie here), but keeping all this in mind, we thought this would be a good opportunity to run through a list of ten movies that will get you ready for "The Wolverine" - whether literally, spiritually, or thematically, these movies share some mutant DNA with everyone's favorite metallic-clawed hero.

The Essentials: 5 Great Cate Blanchett Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 23, 2013 2:01 PM
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  • 17 Comments
Cate Blanchett, essentials
There are very few actors, in these days of soundbites and tabloids and gossip blogs and 15-page colour spreads in which we are “invited into their beautiful home,” that we can truly say we don’t get enough of. And there are fewer still, who even in that glare of publicity that surrounds a new film’s release, do not end up somehow diminished by the process, dissected and dissassembled and repackaged and repurposed for use as a tiny cog in a big marketing machine. But Cate Blanchett is one of the rare few who manages that trick, again and again, retaining a cool, inviolate and perhaps slightly detached image, even as the performances she gives can be frightening in their engagement and commitment. And it’s another such that Blanchett reportedly gives in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” which opens this Friday, and for which she’s already garnering early awards buzz. We called it “ an outstanding firecracker turn … that has Oscar-worthy written all over it in flames” in our review.

10 Great Modern Day Actor/Director Collaborations

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 17, 2013 2:17 PM
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  • 41 Comments
10 Actor/Director Collaborations
The hallowed halls of cinema are littered with iconic and unforgettable director/actor collaborations. The muses that feed the filmmaker, the director that inspires the actor. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, Ingmar Bergman and half his repertory including Bibi Anderson, Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow, Werner Herzog and his toxic relationship with Klaus Kinski, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Vitti and Michelangelo Antonioni, Spike Lee and Denzel Washington, Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart—no matter what time period of movies you look at, no matter whether it be high or low art, the classic collaborations are countless.

The Good, The Bad & The Weird Of Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 15, 2013 2:13 PM
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  • 52 Comments
This weekend, Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim," a monster mash about giant creatures that come through an inter-dimensional portal on the ocean floor and the giant robots constructed to fight them, was neither an outright dud nor a smash. Beaten to number one by "Despicable Me 2," we can't imagine a third place finish was what Warner Bros. had in mind for their $200 million summer movie. Was it too much of a fan letter to nerds and comic book stores for the general public to care? Did the marketing campaign stumble? Did it need an A-list star? We're sure conference rooms at WB today are having meetings asking those exact same questions, but there's also the simple question of whether or not the movie actually delivered.

5 TV Comedy Actors Turned Movie Stars (5 More Who Floundered)

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 12, 2013 12:29 PM
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  • 13 Comments
With "Grown Ups 2" starring "SNL" alumnus Adam Sandler and "King of Queens" star Kevin James opening this weekend, and "The Way Way Back" with Steve Carell of "The Office" fame out since last week, your local multiplex will soon be playing a choice of films with star actors who originally made their names in TV comedy shows. All three of these guys have carved out the kind of big-screen success that means we arguably now associate them more with movies than with television, but that's a trick that many have tried and only few have really pulled off.

Comedy Sequels: The Few Good, The Plentiful Bad & The Genuinely Weird

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 11, 2013 4:10 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Comedy sequels: best, worst, weird
With the release of “Grown Ups 2” this weekend, Adam Sandler enters rare territory: this is the first-ever sequel for quite possibly the most bankable comedic personality of his generation. Other actors would have found a way to continue the saga of “The Waterboy” or allowed a triumphant return for “Happy Gilmore,” but Sandler, until recently, has built his career on savvy choices and (debatably) original characters and stories.

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