The Playlist

Whit Stillman Writing/Directing ‘Cosmopolitan’ For Amazon Studios; Moving His Jane Austen Movie Idea Into Novel Form

  • By Edward Davis
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  • January 29, 2014 5:54 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Is Amazon Studios the next Netflix? Not quite, but it’s not for lack of trying and some have already called them a Hollywood threat. Lots of stuff is cooking over there: the John Goodman-starring political comedy “Alpha House,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Barbarella;” even the “Zombieland” series may potentially land there. “World War Z” director Marc Forster’s “Hand Of God,” starring Ron Perlman, is also nearing an official pilot green light.

The Good, The Bad & The Weird Of Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 15, 2013 2:13 PM
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  • 52 Comments
This weekend, Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim," a monster mash about giant creatures that come through an inter-dimensional portal on the ocean floor and the giant robots constructed to fight them, was neither an outright dud nor a smash. Beaten to number one by "Despicable Me 2," we can't imagine a third place finish was what Warner Bros. had in mind for their $200 million summer movie. Was it too much of a fan letter to nerds and comic book stores for the general public to care? Did the marketing campaign stumble? Did it need an A-list star? We're sure conference rooms at WB today are having meetings asking those exact same questions, but there's also the simple question of whether or not the movie actually delivered.

Review: 'Bunraku' Wants To Be 'Sin City' But Is More Like 'The Spirit'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 1, 2011 2:31 AM
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  • 4 Comments
When you go to see any movie, particularly a genre picture, you are required to make a handshake deal with the film regarding the world it's trying to establish. If the picture can successfully convince you that, yes, this is a world of superheroes who are now retired, or this is a planet where no one has ever told a single lie, then you have no choice but to evaluate the movie on these terms.

Empire Big Screen '11 Review: By Crom, 'Conan The Barbarian' Is Unbelievably Awful

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 16, 2011 10:00 AM
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  • 22 Comments
For a good quarter of a century, since Arnie hung up his loincloth in 1984's "Conan The Destroyer," people have been trying to bring Robert E. Howard's pulp sword-and-sorcery hero back to the big screen, most notably in John Milius' unmade "King Conan," while The Wachowskis, Robert Rodriguez and Brett Ratner have also made various attempts at the material. Finally, he's returned for some rapin' and pillagin', thanks to Lionsgate and "Friday the 13th" director Marcus Nispel, with "Game of Thrones" star Jason Momoa as the Cimmerian. We caught the film's European premiere at Empire Big Screen tonight: was it worth the wait?

Empire Big Screen '11 Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Reminds Us Why We Love The Movies

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 16, 2011 4:02 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Good god, it's been a bad year at the cinema. It's not so much that there've been a lot of awful films, although of course there have. It's more that there have been a lot of deeply average ones, and very little greatness to share around. Even the better end of the scale, it's not quite scratched the right itch for us: as good as, say, "Beginners" or "Win Win" or "Midnight in Paris" are, they don't quite get the synapses firing in the way that truly great cinema does. It's the kind of thing that the crime flick has always done well -- there's a reason that the Cahiers du Cinema crowd worshiped early American genre pictures, for example, but there's been little to be excited about even in that department. So it's lucky that Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" has come along: it's a shot of pure cinema straight to the eyeball, and one that's stopped us from losing the faith just as we were about to start looking for gigs at What Yacht Magazine.

Comic-Con '11: Guillermo Del Toro & Ron Perlman Keep Hope Alive For "Epic, Gigantic" 'Hellboy 3'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 22, 2011 1:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Ron Perlman Hints That He'll Be In 'Pacific Rim'Of the many, many, many projects Guillermo Del Toro has in various states of development, the one fans tend to ask about the most is "Hellboy 3." So no surprise that at the FilmDistrict panel this afternoon at Comic-Con, where Del Toro was talking up "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark," the subject once again came up and while it doesn't look like it's on the immediate horizon -- Del Toro has "Pacific Rim" to work on -- it does sound like an idea gnawing at the back of their minds.

Cannes Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's Low-Slung '80s Crime Drama 'Drive' Has A Dark Majesty

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 19, 2011 12:22 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Why is "Drive" -- a seemingly trivial affair about a stuntman and part-time getaway driver, played by Ryan Gosling, pulled into deep and bloody waters on the neon-and-streetlight lit streets of L.A. -- even at Cannes, let alone in competition? It's not merely because of the bloody-but-brilliant background of director Nicolas Winding Refn, whose films (the "Pusher" trilogy, "Bronson," "Valhalla Rising") have demonstrated both an eye for composition and a taste for the jugular. It's not merely because of the film's cinematic roots, with the production seemingly crafted as a clear tribute to '80s-era Michael Mann and other synthesizer-and-faux-leather action-crime stories. Rather, you can make a case that "Drive" is here because action cinema and genre cinema are too important -- and too exciting, enthralling and, yes, artful when well made -- to be merely dismissed as suitable only for hacks to make and dolts to watch. French enthusiasm for American crime cinema from the '40s and '50s gave us the vocabulary and value set to truly appreciate film noir -- and anyone who can truly appreciate film noir will appreciate "Drive."

Plenty Of New Images Unveiled From Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • May 8, 2011 2:49 AM
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  • 14 Comments
First Look At Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston & Oscar IsaacWith the Cannes Film Festival right around the corner, one film we're champing at the bit to hear and see more of, is Nicolas Winding Refn's latest effort, "Drive."

Tom Cruise Not Quite Set For 'Mountains Of Madness'; Slowly Inching Forward To 'Rock Of Ages'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • January 14, 2011 4:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Cruise Not Officially Signed On To Either Project Yet; Seth Rogen Denies His Musical InvolvementOK quickly, two things. While Tom Cruise will probably sign on to star in the musical "Rock of Ages" eventually, the man is notoriously picky so he must be asking for the script to be tweaked slightly or something because he's been in discussions to take a supporting part in Adam Shankman's new film for what feels like more than six months now (OK, it's more like four).

Review: 'Season Of The Witch' Provides Swordplay, Ghouls And Ron Perlman's Forehead

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 6, 2011 10:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There's black magic everywhere in "Season of the Witch." Be prepared for winged demons taking to the sky. Gird yourself for the specter of zombie monks. Secure your temperament against the threat of mutant werewolves. And mind the massive forehead of veteran character actor Ron Perlman. No stranger to swords, forests and monsters, Perlman -- all upper body and grunts -- smirks his way through the production, setting the tone in that he's not going to take anything all that seriously. But when a supernatural monster comes at him, you can be sure he will headbutt said demon several times.

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