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The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: 'Think Like A Man' Back On Top, But No One Wants A 'Five-Year Engagement'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 29, 2012 11:47 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Let this be a wakeup call. For the second straight weekend, “Think Like A Man,” cast with actors actresses usually stuck playing “ethnic sidekicks” to more marketable white stars, didn’t just lead the box office, it dominated. With the film in slightly over 2000 theaters, less than any other movie finishing in the top eight, “Man” played to solid box office, with a second-weekend per-screen average of nearly $9k almost tripling similar statistics from the week’s other releases. There were four major studio releases this weekend, and none came close to this.

In Theaters: 'Bernie,' 'The Five-Year Engagement,' And 'Pirates!' Are 'Safe;' 'The Raven' Not So Much

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • April 27, 2012 5:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Happy Friday! It’s the last minute run-up to summer blockbuster season, and since no one wants to even contemplate challenging “The Avengers” next week (except for those pranksters over at DC Comics), a swell of smaller, independent, and foreign pictures are hitting theaters this weekend. And with the Tribeca and San Francisco International film festivals in full swing, we’re happy to go along. Despite the blockbuster-less slate, there’s still plenty of mystery, horror, and gun-filled action to (temporarily) sate any action lovers’ palate. Plus a romantic comedy and a maybe-for-children-maybe-for-adults animated feature. Enjoy!

'Safe' Director Boaz Yakin On Fight Choreography, 'Batman Beyond,' And How Hard It Is To Make A Movie In The Current Climate

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 27, 2012 2:24 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Few directors have had careers as varied (and, quite frankly, bizarre) as Boaz Yakin's. He started out working on screenplays for big action movies like the Dolph Lundgren "Punisher" and Clint Eastwood's "The Rookie," before segueing into more personal material as a writer/director (1994's "Fresh," 1998's "A Price Above Rubies"). Yakin would have the biggest hit of his career with a script he didn't write, with the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced inspirational football movie "Remember the Titans." Since then he has bounced around between high profile screenwriting jobs ("Prince of Persia: Sands of Time," again for Bruckheimer), personal projects (2008's little-seen "Death and Love") and genuinely WTF-worthy choices (he directed the Britney Murphy romantic comedy "Uptown Girls"). This weekend, though, he's back and kicking ass with "Safe" – a sophisticated, New York-set action movie starring Jason Statham. We talked to Yakin about his weird career, what he wanted to accomplish with "Safe," and whatever happened to his "Batman Beyond" movie.

'Safe' Producer Lawrence Bender Talks Jason Statham's Appeal & Why He Didn't Produce 'Django Unchained'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 26, 2012 1:42 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Lawrence Bender is mostly known (by film fanatics anyway) as Quentin Tarantino’s producer. Starting with “Reservoir Dogs,” Bender has faithfully produced just about everything Tarantino has been involved with (minus “Grindhouse”). And, while he has produced other projects outside the sphere of Tarantino (including, notably, “Good Will Hunting” and “An Inconvenient Truth”), this year is something of a landmark for Bender – not only is he about to unveil his kick-ass action movie “Safe,” but Quentin Tarantino is going to release a film that he didn’t produce. We talked to him about “Safe,” why he thinks Jason Statham is so appealing, and what actually went down with Tarantino.

Jason Statham Talks About Being Part Of A Legacy of Bad-Asses, 'Safe' & The Remake Of 'Heat' With Brian De Palma

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 25, 2012 12:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Jason Statham has joked that the reason he gets hired is because he's cheap and he does all of his own stunts. But this is devaluing his many strengths as an actor – he's an amazing physical performer and has a fair amount of screen presence with a kind of old school macho charm that isn't seen on the big screen all that often anymore. Statham's new movie, "Safe," is one of his better entries (his best since "The Bank Job" at least) – a lightning fast post-9/11 action movie about a desperate man who befriends a young Chinese girl who is wanted by all sorts of mobsters and crooked politicians (exemplified by Chris Sarandon's sleazy New York City mayor). We got to talk to Statham ever-so-briefly about what it is like being a next-generation bad-ass and why he was so desperate to work with Brian De Palma.

Review: Twisty, Action-Packed NYC Noir 'Safe' Is The Finest Jason Statham Actioner Yet

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 24, 2012 10:59 AM
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  • 9 Comments
The de-evolution of the modern b-action movie is disheartening. The genre has been bisected by traditionalists and new-school practitioners. The old-school, red meat types like Sylvester Stallone and their ilk believe that real men doing real stunts and delivering brutal blows is the way to go, big tough guys in big tough situations, without any youngbloods or fancy gizmos. The more contemporary action filmmaker, however, spikes the punch, utilizing heavy-duty CGI to turn Tobey Maguire into Dolph Lundgren, Cameron Diaz into Jackie Chan. Neither side seems to understand that you don't need to be Dostoyevsky to infuse the same old tropes with just a little respect for characters, stories, suspense, and high stakes. It's the story, stupid. Believe in it.

Retro Poster For 'We Need Talk To About Kevin' & New One Sheets For 'Jeff Who Lives At Home,' 'Safe' & 'Flowers Of War'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 19, 2012 3:20 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Some new posters have landed so we're gonna skip the preamble and just get to it. Want a poster for your wall that both reflects your taste in classic horror flicks, but still lets people know you're hip to contemporary cinema? The beautiful retro poster for "We Need To Talk About Kevin" should do the trick. What better way to advertise a movie about a demon spawn child than to riff on the one sheet for "Rosemary's Baby." Great work unknown graphic designer! It's also a great way to get people talking about 'Talk About Kevin' again, a triumphant return by Lynne Ramsay, featuring great turns by Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller, in a film that will leave you unsettled for days afterward. It's in theaters now.

John Hillcoat's 'The Wettest County' Gets April 20, 2012 Release Date

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 15, 2011 9:52 AM
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  • 5 Comments
When The Weinstein Company first picked up John Hillcoat's highly anticipated "The Wettest County" in Cannes this spring the plan at the time was to release the film before the end of the year, which gave the picture an awards season sheen. However, with the end of the year looming just six weeks away, and Harvey busily promoting "The Artist," "My Week With Marilyn" and "The Iron Lady" as his main contenders this fall, it quickly became apparent that "The Wettest County" was not in the cards for 2011. And alas, it now has a release date pegged for next spring, arriving on April 20, 2012.

Watch: Jason Statham Delivers Another Jason Statham Movie In Trailer For 'Safe'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 10, 2011 7:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Believe it or not, it's going to be a staggering three months until you see the next film starring Jason Statham. The actor, who brought us no less than three movies in 2011 -- "The Mechanic," "Blitz," "Killer Elite" (okay, he did a voice in "Gnomeo & Juliet" too) -- is taking a brief respite from the multiplex.
More: Safe

Lionsgate Spares Us Jason Statham Fatigue, Moves 'Safe' To March 2, 2012

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 2, 2011 2:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Also 2 More Clips From 'Killer Elite'While it isn't yet recognized by the American Medical Association, Jason Statham Syndrome is a unique condition that in which sufferers of the rare disease are suddenly prone to running over rooftops, driving recklessly and shaving their head all in the belief that they are suddenly living in a Jason Statham movie. The affliction comes about from exposure to too many Jason Statham movies in a short period of time, and the folks over at Lionsgate have wisely decided to move the action star's next effort (no, not "Killer Elite"), the action pic "Safe" to 2012.

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