The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: 'Cars 2' Continues Pixar Formula, 'Green Lantern' Plummets

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 26, 2011 5:27 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The numbers on “Cars 2” don’t actually matter, except for the stat-hounds regularly following the weekly box office noise (us!). “Cars 2” exists to facilitate Disney’s biggest merchandising cash cow, a multi-billion (annually!) property that needs no further justification. As Pixar seems like a studio that hopes to branch out into more ambitious directions (in theory), they will need something to keep the lights on when, and if, they should fail. Even if the reviews continue to be the worst ever received by a Pixar film, the “Cars” franchise will live on.

Weekend Box-Office: Is 'Green Lantern' The End Of The Superhero Gravy Train?

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 19, 2011 5:34 AM
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  • 14 Comments
Perspective is necessary. $53 million is a whole lotta money. $53 million could buy several houses, it could feed many people, it could save lives. $53 million is also a pretty good opening for a somewhat higher-budgeted film, provided advertising isn’t through the roof and there aren’t a massive amount of back-end benefactors involved. But for “Green Lantern,” which cost upwards of $200 million before a massive ad campaign even by superhero standards, this is not a strong opening.

In Theaters: 'Green Lantern' Takes On 'Popper's Penguins'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 17, 2011 5:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Hello darlings. Please be patient with me today. I have decided to take "Green Lantern" as a personal affront to my being a grown ass woman with a need for grown ass movies. I just can't anymore with this childishness! Adolescent boys are ruling the world, and it's never more apparent than when examining the steaming piles of CGI comic book hash we get served up every summer. And you know, I'll take an "X-Men: First Class" or a "Captain America." At least these enhanced beings are located in a world that is rooted in some kind of reality with real stories and real problems (Nazis!). Even just reading our review of "Green Lantern" confused me with the made-up planets and the imagining stuff and the glowing rings and Peter Sarsgaard's giant head. No. Just no. Do not want. And don't expect me to want it either! We can't have nice movies if we don't hope for and expect entertainments that are better than this. All of you are on notice.

Review: ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ Shamelessly Calculated Studio Fare

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
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  • June 17, 2011 1:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Jim Carrey must have taken "I Love You Philip Morris" languishing on the shelf for two years while hankering for a release date to heart. Enter "Mr. Popper’s Penguins," a film that when set alongside the gay con man comedy can demonstrate the “one for me, one for them” philosophy with crystal clarity. ‘Penguins’ is lazy, calculated, overlong and most importantly, lacking even a bit of genuine fun.

Noah Baumbach & Ben Stiller's Version Of 'Mr. Popper' Would've Centered Around Peyton Manning

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 15, 2011 9:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
While "Mr. Popper's Penguins" will arrive in theaters this weekend with Jim Carrey doing his familiar rubber face schtick, you might remember that at one point "Greenberg" duo Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller were going to reteam on the film. Unfortunately, they both wound up dropping out but their work survived and when current director Mark Waters was first circling the project he was sent the script they put together. It was pretty out there, and he didn't get it at all.

Jim Carrey Wants To Be 'Bruce Almighty' And/Or 'Dumb And Dumber' Again

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 4, 2011 2:54 AM
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  • 1 Comment
There's merit to the idea of stars aging and eventually losing sight of what their fans want. Which is why Arnold Schwarzenegger opted for "The Governator" and "Cry Macho" as potential comeback projects, or Sean Connery signing on to something like "The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen" despite claiming to not understand a single word of the script. While Jim Carrey might not be as old as these people, he is threatening to take the path of Harrison Ford, which is to do a bunch of indifferent middlebrow studio films that no one cares for, and then return to a beloved character decades too late. With Ford "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull" paid off, but we aren't expecting the same fortune to smile on another tired Jim Carrey sequel.

Watch: Full Trailer For 'Mr. Popper's Penguins,' Plus New Clips From 'The Hangover Part II'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 20, 2011 12:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Plus 2 Clips From 'Submarine' & TV Spots From 'Horrible Bosses'Another day, another batch of video footage goodness from upcoming comedy releases. Although goodness may be a stretch when it comes to the most substantial: the full trailer for the Jim Carrey vehicle "Mr. Popper's Penguins." A loose adaptation of the children's book classic, with "Mean Girls" director Mark Waters at the helm, the teaser didn't exactly look hugely promising, and if anything the full length version is worse, showing Carrey sleepwalking through the exact same dad-who-neglects-his-kids-because-he-works-too-hard beats as he was fifteen years ago in "Liar Liar." Just think: only a year ago, Noah Baumbach was going to direct this. [MSN]

Which Summer Films Won't Make You Feel Like You've Been Lobotomized? The May-August Movies: Part 1

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2011 6:03 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Something's in the air. The days are getting longer. The weather's getting warmer. Your IQ is dropping by the day. That's right, it's the start of the summer movie season! The critical darlings that get you through the winter moments are a thing of the past, replaced by CGI-packed blockbusters, comedies and the occasional kids' flick, designed principally as a way of tempting you into an air conditioned theater to spend money on ice cream and nachos.

Jim Carrey Mails It In Again In Trailer To 'Mr. Popper's Penguins'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 24, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 5 Comments
When Richard and Florence Atwater wrote "Mr. Popper's Penguins" in 1938, do you think they expected, one day, it would be a vehicle for an over-the-hill comedian where he teaches the titular creatures to dance to a grating late-twentieth-century pop staple that people only like for ironic reasons? Because that is what the trailer for "Mr. Popper's Penguins" represents. The book has been turned into a big summer release from Fox, that can serve equally as a merchandising opportunity, because what kid isn't going to want their own plush penguin after seeing this saccharine clip?

Fox Reshuffles Lineup, Bumps 'Rise Of The Apes' To Thanksgiving, 'Mr. Popper's Penguins' To June

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 15, 2011 4:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Andrew Niccol's 'Now,' David Gordon Green's 'The Sitter' Also Shift DatesWith the news of the March 2012 launch of Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" comes a wave of rescheduling on the part of Fox, restructuring their 2011 and 2012 lineups for maximum strategic effect. The biggest changes emerge from the release date shuffling of prospective blockbusters "Mr. Popper's Penguins" and "Rise of the Apes," the former being bumped upwards, the other moving from a summer to a winter slot.

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