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The 20 Best Summer Blockbusters Ever

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 19, 2014 2:54 PM
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  • 15 Comments
The 20 Best Summer Blockbusters Ever
Over a month ago, perhaps feeling daunted by the seemingly endless summer season stretching out in front of us and the sheer volume of popcorn we were going to have to eat, we brought you our list of The 20 Worst Summer Blockbusters Of All Time. But now that we’re in the thick of it, and we’ve had a few more decent big titles open (“22 Jump Street,” “Edge of Tomorrow” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” all had their charms) we’re turning that frown upside down, and bringing you our rundown of the 20 Best Summer Blockbusters of all time. But that “hooray for everything!” vibe is a little misleading. As we’ve proven to ourselves so many times before, stable, long-term professional relationships of mutual respect and admiration tend not to be shaken by debates over whether “Jonah Hex” is empirically worse than “Battlefield Earth,” but are much more likely likely to be rocked to their very foundations by arguments over whether X treasured childhood classic is better than Y worldwide box-office hit. Let’s have a moment’s silence for the old friendships this list has torn asunder.

‘Obvious Child’ Director Gillian Robespierre & Jenny Slate Talk Boundaries In Comedy, Naturalism, Improv, More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • June 19, 2014 12:15 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Obvious Child, With Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman and Gillian Robespierre.
Razor-sharp writing, taut direction, and a stellar central performance by Jenny Slate anchor Gillian Robespierre’s debut directorial feature “Obvious Child.” You’ve likely heard otherwise, its treatment of abortion dominating conversation and even the film’s promotional material, but while Robespierre wanted to buck convention with her narrative aims, she recognizes why the safer romantic comedy choices exist. “I watched those kind of films recently, and they’re still entertaining. We just wanted to tell the other side,” she says about the film, which follows New York stand-up comic Donna (Slate) as she discovers she’s pregnant after a drunken one-night-stand.

The Devil In The Detail: Thoughts On 'Chinatown' On Its 40th Anniversary

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 18, 2014 4:00 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Chinatown Nicholson B/W
I still remember the first time I ever saw a two-dollar bill. It was in a wallet, on a TV screen in the living room of my childhood home. The wallet belonged to a dead woman called Ida Sessions, and it was Jack Nicholson who was riffling through it: Social Security Card; Screen Actors Guild Membership; two-dollar bill. I was maybe 12 or 13 and had never even set foot in America, but like anyone in the English-speaking world who watched way too many movies, I felt I knew the country like the back of my hand. Certainly its currency, which seemed more like real money than the colorful, monopoly notes we used, so often had I seen it brimming out of briefcases, left contemptuously on nightstands or fluttering down like green confetti after an explosion. But I had never seen a two-dollar bill, so that, of all things, was the detail that snagged my attention the first time I watched Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown.”

12 Performers Who Deserve 2014 Emmy Nominations (But Probably Won't Get Them)

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 17, 2014 3:13 PM
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  • 39 Comments
Actors Deserving Emmys, Summer 2014
We're having a sustained and much needed break from the Oscars, but that doesn't mean that awards are completely banished from the cultural landscape. For better or worse, Emmy season is sneaking up. The biggest and most prestigious TV awards in the calendar ended their qualifying season at the end of May, and ballots opened only a few days ago, with voting set to finish next week, ahead of the announcement of nominations on July 10th (with the awards themselves following on August 25th).

Summer TV Preview: 16 Upcoming Shows That May Fill The 'Game Of Thrones' Gap

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 16, 2014 2:34 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Summer TV Preview: 2014
Did you know that in the 70 days since April 6th, the world’s population has increased by about 15,690,000 people, which is roughly equivalent to the current combined populations of Pennsylvania and Iowa? Of course not! That’s just one of the fascinating things that has been happening on our planet while we were all too busy anticipating, watching, critiquing and dissecting Season 4 of “Game of Thrones” to notice (find all our ‘Thrones’ coverage here). But with what is probably the show’s most controversial season coming to its end last night (finale recap), paradoxically—or maybe not, following the “no such thing as bad publicity” paradigm—on a probable viewership high, our Sunday evenings for the next few months are suddenly free: a gaping maw of endless exciting possibilities. Why not schedule an extra SoulCycle class, polish up that rusty Spanish or study world population expansion?

Ranked: Our Favorite Directing Duos From Best To Worst

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 12, 2014 4:03 PM
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  • 22 Comments
Best Directing Duos
This weekend comedy sequel “22 Jump Street” hits theaters, on a wave of goodwill and giggly advance reviews (our own included). For once it seems the usually barren ground of the comedy sequel has yielded something decent, and that is cause for celebration indeed. But already now the question is starting to bubble to the surface: well, why are we surprised? What did we expect? Didn’t we know that the infallible genius directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller are behind it?

10 Soccer Movies That Hit The Back Of The Net For The 2014 World Cup

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 12, 2014 12:55 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Anti-sports folk, look away now: today marks the beginning of the 2014 World Cup, and we're a little bit excited. We know that it's hardly the biggest deal on the sporting calendar for much of the U.S, but we love the beautiful game, and the month-long festival of soccer (or football, as people who name games in an accurate manner call it) is pretty much unbeatable when it comes to seeing the best of the best play their trade.

‘Ghostbusters II’ At 25, And 10 Other Sequels That Stalled & Killed Their Franchises

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 11, 2014 3:45 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Sequels That Killed The Franchise
30 years ago last week, “Ghostbusters” hit our screens. It was an anniversary feted by many, (ourselves included, check out our nostalgia trip back to summer 1984), with articles, celebrations, appreciations, oral histories and even the announcement of a forthcoming theatrical re-release all timed to capitalize on the film’s now-classic status. By contrast, the 25th anniversary of “Ghostbusters II,” which happens this week, comes upon us largely unheralded, with perhaps just a far-off slow clap and an internet tumbleweed or two to mark the occasion. Safe to say the sequel is not quite as beloved as the original.

16 Musicians-Turned-Film Composers And Their Breakout Scores

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • June 9, 2014 4:56 PM
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  • 20 Comments
Musicians Turned Composers
Increasingly over the last two decades, musicians and bands have looked upon the film score and seen a rare opportunity to challenge themselves in a new medium, and also to gain a break from non-stop touring. The results have been an eclectic, unconventional bounty. Last month, Mica Levi of Micachu and the Shapes delivered an iconic three-note theme to Jonathan Glazer’s “Under The Skin” that rattled the senses, while Devonte Hynes (Lightspeed Champion, Blood Orange) struck a dreamy pop tone of high-school nostalgia with his score to Gia Coppola’s directorial debut, “Palo Alto.”

The Real Story Behind Those Rick Baker 'Night Skies' Photos

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 5, 2014 4:19 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Rick Baker, Night Skies
It all started with a tweet. On May 22nd, Rick Baker, the make-up wizard and self-proclaimed "monster maker" behind everything from "American Werewolf in London" to "Maleficent," posted an old, black-and-white photo to his Twitter account. The caption read: "As requested, the Night Skies alien. Not finished, no eyes. Cover the top of his head and tell me who he looks like." The photo was in reference to the infamously canceled "Night Skies," a project that he worked on with Steven Spielberg. The next day, Baker blocked out the top of his head, added eyes, and proclaimed the creature "ET's dad." This lead to a flurry of internet speculation, mislabeling "Night Skies" an "E.T. The Extra-terrestrial" prequel or a follow-up to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." It was neither. And here's the story.

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