The Playlist

Review: Lackluster ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1’ Is Barely 1/2 A Movie

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • November 17, 2011 9:05 AM
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  • 19 Comments

Review: 'Happy Feet Two' Feels Stuck, Motionless & Terribly Cold

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 16, 2011 2:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment
There is some precedence for being genuinely excited about "Happy Feet Two" (yes, the number is spelled out). For one, the original film, 2006's "Happy Feet," was more slyly subversive than a movie about tap-dancing penguins has any right to be, with a strong thematic undercurrent that championed not only individualism but, more boldly, atheism. Plus, director George Miller, who co-directed the original (with Warren Coleman and Judy Morris) assumes chief creative control this time around, has a history of whacked-out sequels, having not only crafted the glorious "Mad Max" flick "The Road Warrior," but also the darkly hued follow-up to the sunny Best Picture-nominated "Babe," the altogether unclassifiable "Babe: Pig in the City." Plus, the trailers for "Happy Feet Two" promised a subplot about a pair of shrimp-like crustaceans (voiced by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt) on a journey of their own, which is pretty fucking weird. Sadly, though, "Happy Feet Two" is neither as visually inventive or politically in-your-face. Like many of its feathered stars, the sequel feels stuck, motionless, and terribly cold.

Review: 'Eames: The Architect And The Painter' Is As Well Made & Streamlined As A Piece Of Eames Furniture

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 16, 2011 12:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review: 'Another Happy Day' Features One Of The Year's Best Female Performances By Ellen Barkin

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • November 15, 2011 3:06 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Review: ‘The Descendants’ Starring George Clooney Is A Mature & Soulful Look At Forgiveness

  • By The Playlist
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  • November 15, 2011 1:48 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Marked by a strong, soulful performance by George Clooney, simple and economic direction, and a slow and patient gait, “The Descendants” finds filmmaker Alexander Payne working in the familiar, but not derivative, milieu of the adult drama. The film doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and while firmly within Payne’s wheelhouse, we can see the filmmaker inching towards pure drama without dramedy or resorting to the James L. Brooks method of punctuating pain with disarming laughter. That’s not to say “The Descendants” isn’t a dramedy or isn’t funny, as it certainly has its instances of comedic flair that do defuse some painful moments, but overall, one can argue that it’s Payne’s most somber and serious work outside of maybe “About Schmidt.” "The Descendants" is not without some problems either, though most aren't major dealbreakers aside from familiarity and that's purely subjective.

Review: 'Tomboy' Offers An Insight Into Gender, Identity & Adolescence

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • November 14, 2011 12:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment
This writer distinctly remembers an old, probably two minute short making its rounds on Nickelodeon in between programs circa 1990. In it, a young lass yearns to play baseball with the neighborhood boys but is turned down because of her gender. So with a sweatshirt, baseball cap, and jeans, she heads to the next game to show them a thing or two as a boy. When the jig is up and she reveals her true identity, her teammates learn an important lesson. It was an optimistic short that didn't really have much issue with the girl's questionable decision to be a boy for a day just to play a sport. Maybe it's not realistic or necessarily deep but it's aimed at a very impressionable audience, and given the constraints they had to work with, the directors had to make their point and get out before "Mr. Wizard's World" came on.
More: Reviews, Review

Review: 'London Boulevard' A Miscast Mess

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 11, 2011 12:42 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Review: Lars Von Trier Confronts Depression Head On In The Grim 'Melancholia'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 11, 2011 11:41 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Essentially shock free, the operatic, three act film plays more like an Ingmar Bergman chamber piece than anything else and the biggest surprise is just how contemplative Von Trier is this time around.

Review: '11-11-11' Is A Well-Intentioned, But Poorly-Made Horror Throwback

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • November 11, 2011 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: 'Pete Smalls Is Dead' A Caper Comedy That Doesn't Quite Cut It

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 11, 2011 10:00 AM
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  • 13 Comments

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