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The Playlist

10 Great Performances That Deserve Emmy Nominations (But Probably Won't Get Them)

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 27, 2013 2:19 PM
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  • 39 Comments
As we said yesterday when we were running down the best TV shows of the last year, the season is officially over, and Emmy voting for the 2013 installment of the awards closes tomorrow. Having run down our favorite series, we wanted to turn our attention to some of the performers who've been appearing in them.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Arnold Schwarzenegger's Notorious Flop 'Last Action Hero'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 27, 2013 1:11 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the release of John McTiernan's "Last Action Hero." Ostensibly a spoof of hyper-violent action movies, wherein a young boy named Danny (Austin O'Brien) is magically transported into the world of his favorite action star (Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course), the film went on to become one of the most notorious flops in Hollywood history – an example of the fateful collision of artistic arrogance, unreasonable expectations and a faulty product whose concept never fully solidified. It's a movie that should have been a straightforward send-up of things like “Lethal Weapon” but included jokes about cartoon cats and references to “The Seventh Seal.” McTiernan, who is currently serving a year sentence in federal prison for lying to a federal officer, gravely described "Last Action Hero" to Empire Magazine as "the worst time I’ve ever had in this business.” It was that traumatic.

Bringing 'The Heat': 10 Good, 5 Bad And 5 Weird Buddy Cop Comedies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 26, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 19 Comments
10 Good, 5 Bad And 5 Weird Buddy Cop Comedies
Given the immense unknowable diversity of the thriving planet on which we live, statistics state that there must exist somewhere a human adult person, maybe an abandoned jungle orphan who was raised by wolves, who has never experienced a buddy cop film. Haha, just kidding, that’s absolutely impossible. From the genre’s sputtering beginnings in the '70s, the crescendo built until some sort of sociological tipping point was reached with “Lethal Weapon” in the late 80s, leading to a Cambrian explosion of renegade cops teamed with straitlaced partners much to the chagrin of their permanently choleric police captains, whose ass the Commissioner/Mayor was almost constantly riding. The decades since have seen the genus evolve its own subspecies at an alarmingly rapidly rate: the cop-and-a-kid movie, the cop-and-a-dog movie, the cop-and-a zombie movie, and so on.

The 15 Best TV Shows Of The 2012/2013 Season

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 26, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 114 Comments
Unlike the movies, which do operate on a January-December basis when it comes to awards consideration, the TV season is a slightly different proposition. With ratings dipping in the summer, new shows tend to be unveiled in September or early fall, and are usually wrapping up by May. The rise of cable networks like FX and HBO has staggered this more, but the Emmys taking place in September tends to mean that the season has a more definitive end at this time of year.

The Films Of Roland Emmerich: From Worst To Best

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 26, 2013 12:02 PM
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  • 19 Comments
The Films Of Roland Emmerich
When it comes to bringing popcorn ready, big screen spectacle to the multiplex, there are few filmmakers (except for maybe Michael Bay) who do it with as much flair as Roland Emmerich. The German-born director has been making theater speakers rumble ever since "Universal Soldier," but he really made his mark in the '90s thanks to the White House exploding "Independence Day" (which has a sequel coming in 2015) and the monster movie "Godzilla." And since then, films like "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012" have come to define the trademarks most audiences know him for -- high concept FX vehicles in which the world is at peril, but rescued by an everyman who saves the day.

‘World War Z’ Endings: The Bloody Battle In Russia Vs. Damon Lindelof's Rewrite, What Was Changed & Why

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 25, 2013 12:31 PM
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  • 16 Comments
World War Z, Brad Pitt
History is littered with movie productions that went haywire and melted down (we recently chronicled a few that survived bad buzz and some that didn't). Either imploding on set because of director/actor spats, budgets that ballooned into excess causing for major flops, or any number of confluent forces that created disaster. Some films escaped their thought-to-be impending doom (“Avatar,” “Titanic”) and others (“John Carter,” “Battleship,”), well, they pretty much lived up to their “this is going to bomb” narrative.

A Look Back At Season 6 Of 'Mad Men' & What May Lie Ahead In The Final Season

  • By Cory Everett
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  • June 25, 2013 10:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The sixth season of AMC's "Mad Men" came to a close Sunday night, wrapping up what has been arguably its most divisive season yet. As usual the highlights were in no short supply -- the mini-movie meditation "The Doorway," the amphetamine-fueled "The Crash," Don and Betty's temporary reunion in "The Better Half" and the final moments of "In Care Of" just to name a few -- but despite great episodes for whatever reason this season never seemed to coalesce as well as in previous years. Throughout much of the season, it was unclear if the narrative deja vu was a flaw in the writing or sort of the point of the story being told. And coming off a phenomenal season five, you couldn't help but feel that maybe season six just couldn't reach the highs of last year's paradigm-busting episodes. Ironically, the turning point for many this season came midway through when Don and Ted make a pact to merge Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler, Gleason and Chaough.

The Best & Worst Of 'World War Z'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 24, 2013 4:36 PM
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  • 18 Comments
World War Z
The people have spoken, and they have said braaaaaaains. Brad Pitt’s would-be runaway monster of a zombie movie “World War Z” is a hit and coming in at #2 this past weekend with the highest opening of Pitt’s career. Bad buzz be damned, ‘WWZ’ overcame the odds, the drama, the negative media attention to come out a solid winner (though as history shows, not every troubled production gets a happy ending). Sure, with global costs that could reach $400 million, it might be impossible for ‘Z’ to break even, but at this point, let’s face it, the movie wasn’t a colossal bomb and Paramount is breathing a deep sigh of relief. In fact, if the movie keeps going and has legs then its mooted sequel may not be in doubt, even if the movie can’t break even (studios always throw good money after bad and once they’ve started an investment, they don’t like to just chop it off at the wrist because it bled a little). And so, the final verdict on the Marc Forster-directed “World War Z” after everything that went down? Well, it’s pretty terrific in spots, ok in others, a little clunky at times and pretty problematic if you’re looking at it discerningly (you can read our original review here). But put it this way: it’s nowhere near the disaster we were lead to believe it might be. If you’re looking at it from a pure thrill ride perspective, “World War Z” is likely going to win, but as usual, we thought we’d drill down a little deeper and deconstruct the elements that are great, the ones that are so-so and the ones that weren’t so great. Or the “Best & Worst Of World War Z” for the sake of clean communication. Our thoughts below.

5 “Cursed” Movie Productions That Survived Bad Buzz And 5 That Didn't

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 24, 2013 3:51 PM
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  • 14 Comments
5 Movies With Bad Buzz
“World War Z” will in all likelihood be looked back on as an important turning point in the narrative of bad buzz prematurely equating to a flop. It's an interesting case study for studios trying to turn back the tide on troubled productions. These days, with transparency and information as available as it is, bad buzz can severely hurt a film. Look at “Gangster Squad” (delayed and then had its ending reshot), “Battleship” (delayed, looked like Michael Bay at sea) or “John Carter” (delayed, had a title changes, suffered from a terrible marketing campaign). These are three recent films that only reinforced the traditional narrative -- these movies are troubled, therefore they’re going to suck.

Predicting The 2013 Venice Film Festival Line-Up: Are 'Gravity,' 'Twelve Years A Slave' & More On The Way?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 24, 2013 1:23 PM
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  • 6 Comments
We're now about a month on from the end of the Cannes Film Festival, which means that, if we weren't already, it's time to start looking forward to the fall festival season. TIFF, Telluride and NYFF are all sneaking up, and just before them comes the Venice Film Festival, whichcelebrates its 70th anniversary in 2013.

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