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The Playlist

10 One-Man Show Movies

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 22, 2014 2:04 PM
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  • 10 Comments
feature, 10 One-Man-Show Movies
If there's any justice in the world, many of you will spend 85 minutes of your upcoming weekend in a car with Tom Hardy. "Locke," the formally-rigorous, real-time Steven-Knight-directed film opens on Friday, and it's terrific: a taut drama that unfolds like a thriller despite being a small, detail-specific, domestic story; and an absorbing Richard Burton-inflected showcase for its sole onscreen star. Hardy, aided by the offscreen voices of Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott and others via his handsfree phone ( the way Knight organized the calls, so that they came to Hardy "live" is fascinating) is just brilliant, crucially underplaying most of the time, as though aware that with only him onscreen (also immobile), the tiniest tic is magnified exponentially. It's the kind of tour de force that highlights by contrast just where so many other single-actor films go wrong.

Sundance Review: ‘The Voices’ Starring Ryan Reynolds Wrings Dark Comedy From Candy-Colored Carnage

  • By James Rocchi
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  • January 20, 2014 9:06 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The Voices
The fourth film from director Marjane Satrapi ("Persepolis," "Chicken with Plums"), "The Voices" navigates the line between the gruesome and the goofy with a step as nimble as a tight-rope walker going over a sea of broken glass. It’s an extraordinarily warm and funny movie about a likable schizophrenic murderer; it’s candy-colored and meticulously composed and yet also shiny with fresh wet blood. It’s weird and funny and perfectly-pitched, and to cap off its catalog of rare feats, it also features an immensely likable performance from Ryan Reynolds.

Casting: Ian McKellen Is Old Man Sherlock Holmes, Christina Hendricks Expanded In 'Dark Places'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 5, 2013 12:38 PM
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  • 0 Comments
 Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
As the Toronto International Film Festival gets underway in the great white north, we're bracing ourselves for a number of big-time casting notices. So let's run through some of the biggest casting news of the day before we really get buried under an avalanche of other deals. We've got word about who will star in Jim Mickle's follow-up to his English-language horror remake "We Are What We Are," a casting change/expansion for Gillian Flynn adaptation "Dark Places," Ian McKellen playing a crotchety old Sherlock Holmes for his "Gods and Monsters" director Bill Condon and news about where the stars of "Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Under the Dome" and "Rescue Me" are headed next.

10 Actors Hollywood Tried And Failed To Make Happen

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 31, 2013 1:21 PM
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  • 147 Comments
Actors That Hollywood Tried to make Happen and failed
This week, a small-scale indie Australian surfing movie called “Drift,” which details two surfing brothers struggling to overcome their debt-ridden backgrounds and avoid a descent into criminality, opens in limited release. It shares almost nothing in common with the Biggest-Movie-Of-All-Time “Avatar” except its star, Sam Worthington, who in fact plays third lead here behind two largely unknown Aussie actors as the brothers. If it seems like a far cry from Pandora for Worthington, well, that’s because it is. Nothing to do with the quality of the film, but just in terms of the whisper-quiet buzz it’s getting, which Worthington’s presence alone should have beefed up if his stock in Hollywood meant anything at all. Yet despite a concerted effort that happened back there, Worthington just hasn’t ever become a bankable studio lead, and so here we are.

20 Superhero Movies That Couldn't Fly All The Way To The Big Screen

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 25, 2013 2:18 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Superhero movies that never came to pass
This weekend "The Wolverine," starring Hugh Jackman as the adamantium-clawed avenger (is he ever not playing Wolverine?), will be slashing its way onto screens nationwide. But as fans know, this wasn't the original vision that Jackman and Fox had in mind. No, that version was to be helmed by Darren Aronofsky as his follow-up to his Oscar-winning "Black Swan," and we can only imagine what his take would've been on the story (based in part on the great Frank Miller/Chris Claremont run from the '80s) that serves as the foundation for this reboot. The movie's prolonged Japanese shoot was cited as the reason for his departure, but one also wonders if he would've been able to have the full creative sway he's used to.

Review: 'R.I.P.D.' Starring Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 19, 2013 8:57 AM
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  • 10 Comments
One day a studio will fund a $100 million plus tentpole, screen the finished version, and flat-out deem it un-releasable, unwatchable and unmarketable. Until then, we only have reminders that that day is coming, in the form of misguided boondoggles like “R.I.P.D.,” a picture that Universal is releasing in order to create a silver lining around a $130 million cloud. What’s horrifying is that this expensive misfire runs a little less than ninety minutes, which means that there’s likely a 105-110 minute long version that the producers hacked up in order to get the maximum amount of 3D showtimes to not embarrass the studio on opening weekend. Judging by the released product, that version is likely even worse, if such a thing were possible.

Review: DreamWorks Animation's 'Turbo' Featuring The Voices of Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 17, 2013 5:47 PM
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  • 1 Comment
With some DreamWorks Animation movies, you can practically see and hear the pitch meeting that they came out of, as fully realized as any of the whiz-bang 3D computer graphics that will eventually coat movie theater screens nationwide. There are a few executives there, some animators, maybe one of the marketing guys (to represent such vaunted interests as toy manufacturers and video game designers). Someone yells out, "What about a panda bear that does kung fu?" and the rest of the room agrees (and the video game guy gets very excited). Or, in the case of this week's "Turbo," there was probably a meeting after it was widely reported that Disney makes something like $4 billion a year from selling stuff related to the Pixar movie "Cars." "What about a snail… That wants to be a racer?" You can picture the rest of the room sheepishly nodding their heads, and then the guys responsible for the actual movie sweating bullets because, good lord, how do you make an animated movie about a snail that wants to be an Indy 500 racer? It turns out: you don't.

Watch: Trailer For 'R.I.P.D.' With Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges Looks Like Some Spooky Summer Fun

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 17, 2013 6:10 PM
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  • 21 Comments
RIPD, Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges
In terms of "most anticipated summer movies," "R.I.P.D.," a new supernatural action film from Universal that stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, before today, didn't even chart. In fact, we're not sure we quite understood what it was even supposed to be – it has a primo July 19th release date but very little in terms of pre-release hype, save for a vaguely "Men in Black"-ish teaser poster and a funny/cool name (it stands for "Rest In Peace Department" – love the puns). But with the debut of a full trailer, it looks like "R.I.P.D." could be one of the sleeper surprise of the summer, promising gobs of goofy, spooky fun.

Ryan Reynolds Is Not Actually Confirmed For The 'Highlander' Remake

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 27, 2012 3:27 PM
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  • 6 Comments
With a holiday coming up next week, it's been a pretty slow news week and the morsel making the rounds that Ryan Reynolds has joined the brewing "Highlander" remake was likely too good to resist. But alas, it's not true.

Review: Starpower Like Julia Roberts & Ryan Reynolds Can't Save Flaccid 'Fireflies In The Garden'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • October 12, 2011 12:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
“Fireflies in the Garden” is the cinematic equivalent of going out to dinner with your friend’s family and then having to watch them all fight like cats and dogs the whole time: it’s got to be worse for the people going through it, but you sure as hell have no interest in watching it. Writer-director Dennis Lee, who I can only imagine drew from a deep well of personal experiences – or if he didn’t, clearly suffers from dysfunction envy – created this vivid tale of an embittered writer returning to his childhood home to confront a troubled past. But he failed to realize that personal catharsis isn’t the same as popular entertainment, especially if the characters barely qualify as real people, which is why the only thing more false in “Fireflies in the Garden” than its flaccid melodrama is its clichéd emotional redemption.

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