The Playlist

Review: 'Your Highness' Is Fantasy That's Gloriously Absurd, Hilarious & Balls-Out Irreverent

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 5, 2011 5:41 AM
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  • 12 Comments
The potential failure of something calling itself "Your Highness" and being marketed, in the most blatant of terms, as a medieval stoner movie, is fairly, er, high. These are untapped waters, and a fairly ballsy decision for Universal, after several big-budgeted near-bombs, to make a big budget, very-R-rated comedy that riffs on the esoteric spate of sword-and-sorcery movies from the 1980s (like Playlist favorite "Krull"). In short: it could have been truly, eye-rollingly awful.

Review: 'His Way' An All Too Brief, Surface Look At The Life Of Legendary Producer Jerry Weintraub

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 4, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
They don't make 'em like Jerry Weintraub anymore. Born in Brooklyn, he quickly climbed the ladder, earning early success in the music business, working with a staggering array of talent including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton, John Denver and more. Once he conquered the music game, Weintraub moved over to the movie business making a name for himself with Robert Altman's "Nashville" and going on to put his mark on films like "Diner," the "Ocean's Eleven" trilogy and "The Karate Kid." It's been a hell of a ride for the producer who, now in his '70s, shows no sign of slowing down and said recently, "the word ‘retirement’ it’s not in my vocabulary—they’re gonna take me out with my boots on.”

Review: 'Wrecked' Is A Car Crash You'll Want To Look Away From

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • April 1, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
“Wrecked” does a rare thing. While most movies founder in their third act, this indie survival film actually gets more interesting and watchable in its final 30 minutes. But it’s getting to that final third that’s the real ordeal here. You’ll have to endure the first half hour, with star Adrien Brody crying and occasionally panicking as he wakes up, stuck in a car at the bottom of a cliff with no memory of who he is. It’s 30 minutes of his unnamed character struggling to free his crushed leg from an even more crushed car, wondering who the corpse in the backseat is and worrying who he might be.

Review: 'Hop' Is Like Opening An Easter Egg And Finding Nothing Inside

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 1, 2011 2:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment
"Hop," the new animation/live action hybrid from the folks that brought us this past summer's surprise smash "Despicable Me," comes with a premise so ingeniously prepackaged that you'll wonder why nobody had come up with it before. A canny hodgepodge of "The Santa Clause," "Elf," and a handful of other holiday classics (or would-be classics), it hopes to do for Easter what these films did for Christmas, complete with zippy visual effects and a chewy moral center about the nature of family and togetherness.

Review: 'Cat Run' A Fizzy Soda Of Old School Action

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 1, 2011 2:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment
John Stockwell's movies as a director pop and fizzle like the sensation of opening a soda can. He's focused primarily, almost cynically, on the youth market, with films like "Blue Crush" and "Turistas" exploring the exoticism of sensual, almost exclusively American youthful exuberance. Unfortunately, the budgets and grosses have shrunk, and Stockwell finds himself on the periphery of a filmmaking culture, as someone who makes punchy cinematic candy that no one wants to consume.

Review: David Schwimmer's 'Trust' A Thoughtful Look At A Tricky Subject

  • By Danielle Johnsen
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  • April 1, 2011 1:47 AM
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  • 2 Comments
In 2011, we are so used to relationships blossoming through the internet and various social channels that it takes awhile into "Trust" to foresee the danger lurking. Directed by David Schwimmer, the triggering thriller manages to avoid the easy pitfalls of what could resemble an afterschool special and brings depth to the uneasy subject matter of sexual predators, internet safety and parental protection.

Review: 'Insidious' Is A Haunted House Movie That Leaves Us Cold

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 31, 2011 12:08 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The following is a reprint or our review from the Film Comment Selects program at Lincoln Center.

Review: 'Source Code' Is A Decent, But Familiar 'Groundhog Day' Meets Action, Sci-Fi Thriller

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 31, 2011 11:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The following is a reprint of our review from SXSW.

Review: James Gunn's 'Super' With Rainn Wilson & Ellen Page Is Twisted, But Uneven

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 31, 2011 11:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The following is a reprint of our review from SXSW.

Review: 'Rubber' Is The Convention Defying Movie You Would Expect From A Pic About A Killer Tire

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 31, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment
"Rubber" is the story of a tire that gains consciousness and decides to kill. He doesn't talk, dance, or sing, and he doesn't develop any lasting relationships with any humans, animals, or fellow tires. How do you tell a story like this? "Rubber" seems to have already asked that question, which is why the first impression of the film is not of the tire itself, but rather the audience.

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