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The Playlist

5 Rules For Making A Successful Young Adult Adaptation

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 20, 2013 1:07 PM
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  • 4 Comments
When the "Twilight" franchise wrapped up its five-movie reign of terror last year, it had amassed more than $3 billion in box office receipts, firmly solidifying its place as one of the larger cultural events of the past decade. It also made Hollywood desperate to find the next "Twilight," with studios searching high and low for a series of young adult novels with the same romantic punch and kicky entertainment value of the Stephanie Meyer books on which the movies are based. Besides the wild success of last year's "The Hunger Games" (the sequel comes out this fall), the studios are still frantically searching for the next big thing. The latest contestant for a young adult crossover blockbuster is this weekend's "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," which concerns both demons and angels (and, like "Twilight," still manages to include vampires and werewolves). But does it have what it takes?

In Theaters: 'I Am Number Four,' 'Unknown,' 'Big Mommas,' 'Putty Hill'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • February 18, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Another Friday brings us another blockbuster, this one aimed squarely at the fluttering innards of tweenish types everywhere. And for the dads that drop them off at the theater, Mr. Neeson kicking ass, and for the true masochists, a new entry in the Granny Drag cannon. Of course, if you so choose, there are some interesting offerings in the mix, if pretty aliens and badass Neeson and Martin Lawrence don't entice you. Opening in wide release, Alex Pettyfer hopes to earn his diva behavior with "I Am Number Four," Liam Neeson stars in the reverse-amnesia vehicle "Unknown," and there's an unasked for sequel in the "Big Momma's House" franchise. In limited release, we've got some interesting stuff, including narrative/doc hybrid "Putty Hill," Gael Garcia Bernal in "Even the Rain," and Mexican cannibal flick "We Are What We Are." Let's begin, shall we?

Review: 'I Am Number Four' Is A Sci-Fi 'Twilight' With a Sense of Humor

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 17, 2011 4:41 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Based on a novel co-authored by shamed memoirist James Frey, "I Am Number Four" is a sci-fi take on the same sort of material that has made 'Twilight' an international sensation. Instead of sparkly vampires, though, it's a handsome, hounded alien played by Alex Pettyfer that takes center stage. And while it succeeds in some respects, particularly in the fact that it has a sense of humor and some jaunty action set pieces, it all too often falls into the same draggy aimlessness that largely defines the 'Twilight' franchise.

Exclusive: 'I Am Number Four' Director D.J. Caruso Hoping To 'Beat The Reaper' At Fox

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 9, 2011 11:52 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Updated: Well, it looks as per Mr. Caruso's own comments below, that he spoke out of turn. We've spoke to management and agents for the actor and while management confirms that Caruso has met with Appian Way and Leonardo DiCaprio and management has spoken to Fox about the project, no directorial deal or even development deal is in place yet. Let's place this under something that everyone hopes will happen in the future if all parties see eye to eye.

The Leftover Question Marks Of 2011 - Can These Films Possibly Be Any Good? Part 1

  • By The Playlist
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  • January 14, 2011 6:22 AM
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  • 25 Comments
The Answer Is Probably Not, But Hey, What The Hell...Our exhausting coverage of the films coming out in 2011 continues and yes, we're tired, hungry and a bit cranky. We used to call this our Least Anticipated Films feature, but this year our New Year's resolution was to be a tiny bit more positive. Frankly, the sentiment applies, but this is also the leftover films of 2011 we just don't know what to do with. Many of them look abysmal, some of us glass-half-full Playlist types (yes, there are a few among us) think, "hey, that picture might not be so bad," while other members of the group stare in shock that such an idea could be possibly floated. So yes, basically these are the films that we don't hold out too much hope, the ones we think look downright cheap and dreadful, made only to turn a buck and the occasional few that look half-decent (and may just not have fit in the character count of our Escapist Features, sue us) --- though before you bombard our comments section, please actually read what we have to say about these films before assuming we're completely writing them off. Also, while it wasn't intentional, some of us do find it amusing that most of the cast of "Twilight" fill these halls. Another trend we just realized? Leighton Meester pretty much means box-office poison (poor cute, "Gossip Girl"). Also, Hollywood seems to be banking on the mostly unknown Alex Pettyfer, but he truly looks like a charisma-free zone of blandness. Onwards to 2011, though, not necessarily upwards in this case....

Extended Trailer For 'I Am Number Four': Supernatural Alien Powers Bummer On Spring Break

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • December 23, 2010 5:32 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Totally Rad for Jet Ski Back Flips Though Whether the I-was-a-teenage-alien bombastic action flick "I Am Number Four" looks "Twilight"-esque to you or not, there's no denying the adherence to formula. Take an impossibly beautiful and broody outsider, equip with special talents otherworldly or otherwise, add a dash of tummy-fluttering flirtation with another impossibly beautiful (BUT HUMAN) kindred spirit and some baddies in swirling leather trench coats, and stir.

Trailer For 'I Am Number Four' Marks Exact Midpoint Between 'Twilight' And Brett Ratner's 'X-Men'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 8, 2010 2:14 AM
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  • 4 Comments
We were a little confused a few months back when it appeared that Dreamworks were releasing a sequel to the Doug Liman/Hayden Christensen sci-fi flop "Jumper." As it turned out, it was actually the trailer for a film called "I Am Number Four," an adaptation of the young adult novel by Oprah nemesis James Frey and co-writer Jobie Hughes, about an exiled alien, the titular number four, on the run from the rival extraterrestrial race that wiped out his people.

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