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The Playlist

The Best & The Worst Of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 25, 2013 1:40 PM
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  • 66 Comments
Catching Fire, feature
Now officially the all-time November opening record holder, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" was always a fairly sure thing in terms of box office. But what's more impressive is the advance word on the film (our own included), and the buzz around it, which has been so positive, with it being touted as the rare sequel that improves on the original, and with many going so far as to compare it to "The Empire Strikes Back." (Though, to be honest, we think that comparison is more to do with how open-ended it feels, with the good guys separated and some of them still imperiled, at the film's close.) Some of us might not go quite that far, but certainly director Francis Lawrence has made good on delivering a broader, more nuanced and more layered film than the first, which is fitting considering he was adapting what we'd consider the best of the three books, by quite some distance.

Review: 'Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters' Starring Logan Lerman, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion & More

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 7, 2013 9:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment
You really have to be careful with these young adult franchises. “Harry Potter” managed to lock up participants for what became an annual entry in the series, as audiences watched these kids grow into functioning young adults. That franchise knew the value of time; three and a half years later, we have the second film in the “Percy Jackson” saga, and the cast is comprised of college-age kids playing much younger versions of themselves, and embarrassed to do so. “Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters” is most interesting because of what it can’t help being: a too-late sequel years after the zeitgeist, clearly the product of a lowered budget and adjusted expectations following a not-well-received first picture. Keep the flame, Percy. Keep the flame.

Tribeca Review: Neil LaBute Goes Back To Basics In Spartan, Scintillating 'Some Velvet Morning'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 22, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
When filmmakers find themselves in a rough place, they tend to dial back their productions, usually by necessity, but also as a refresher course in refueling the creative spirit. Playwright Neil LaBute has had a rough go of it in his last few big-screen adventures: "Lakeview Terrace" was a half-baked contemporary thriller clearly made to fill the personal coffers, though one could argue it reflected an intriguing take on contemporary race relations in suburban communities. And remaking "Death At A Funeral" nearly shot-for-shot was always going to be a thankless task. The fact that these two films followed the misunderstood-but-still-questionable "Wicker Man" remake seems to point to a creative force in decline, at least onscreen -- LaBute remains active in the world of shorts and stage, where his reputation has yet to be sullied.

Stanley Tucci & Chris Cooper Join Robert Redford's 'The Company You Keep'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 13, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Say what you like about Robert Redford's directorial efforts (like, for instance, that "Quiz Show" aside, they very closely replicate the experience of watching paint dry. Underwater), but he knows how to stack a film with a cast of ringers. Even a film as dull as his recent "The Conspirator" was able to attract names like James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson and many more, mainly drawn by the opportunity to work with one of the all-time great movie stars.

Watch: Trailer For Star-Studded Financial Drama 'Margin Call' Arrives

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 26, 2011 1:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Given that it was as significant an event in the world as any in the last century, it's not surprising that Hollywood have finally turned their eye to the 2008 financial apocalypse; even if it's unlikely to bring in the teens, it's inherently dramatic subject matter, and this year has already seen Curtis Hanson's solid "Too Big To Fail," and people like George Clooney potentially eyeing the subject in the near future. Next up is "Margin Call," the starry drama that picked up solid reviews at Sundance this year.

Stanley Tucci & Cloris Leachman Join Colin Firth & Cameron Diaz In Caper Comedy 'Gambit'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 16, 2011 8:27 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Plus Earth-Shattering, Game-Changing First Look At The FilmAre you a young filmmaker, slowly coming to the realization that the film you've been sweating over for months, if not years, isn't quite going to be what you hoped, even before you start filming. There's one simple solution. Cast Stanley Tucci. Scientifically proven to make every film 15% better, the veteran character actor doesn't just shine in good films, like "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Easy A," but he also proves the few spots of pleasure in terrible ones, like "The Core," "The Lovely Bones" and "Burlesque."

Stanley Tucci Is Caesar Flickerman In 'Hunger Games'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 9, 2011 7:43 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Now that we got news about Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and the Cannes Film Festival out of the way, here's a "Hunger Games" update. Yawn.

Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci & Lenny Kravitz Sought For 'Hunger Games'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 29, 2011 12:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ethan Jamieson & Tara Macken Cast As District 4 PlayersWhile most of the "Hunger Games" casting so far has centered around the smaller names that populate the various Districts in the game (please see the most recent casting of Ethan Jamieson and Tara Macken), it seems that the filmmakers are not done headhunting for big names to join the franchise-starting film and now three more stars are being tossed into the rumor mill.

Still Without A Lead 'Jack The Giant Killer' Adds Stanley Tucci As Villain; Bill Nighy & John Kassir

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 9, 2011 8:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Nicholas Hoult Said To Be The Frontrunner For The Role Of JackWhile Bryan Singer's "Jack the Giant Killer" still needs to lock down a lead actor, the filmmakers are confidently moving ahead and have slotted some major roles in the film.

Can They Do The Oscars Too, Please? Stanley Tucci & Patricia Clarkson To Host Gotham Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 15, 2010 6:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
While "Easy A" was a show for the film's star Emma Stone, we would be remiss in talking about the film if we didn't mention that Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are equally hilarious and charming as her parents in the film. So we can't really be too surprised then that the duo have been tapped to host 20th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on November 29.

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