The Playlist

British Actor-Director Noel Clarke Prepping MMA Movie in The Vein of 'The Wrestler'

  • By Sam Price
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  • July 7, 2011 2:42 AM
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Noel Clarke is a prolific actor and director, probably still best known to British audiences and internationally for a stint on “Doctor Who” and his youth dramas “Kidulthood” and “Adulthood,” though he’s appeared across a diverse array of genres and worked with under-appreciated British directors like Philip Ridley and Neil Marshall in fare like “Heartless” and “Centurion”. While his early directorial efforts might not aspire to the sociological exactitude of say, Andrea Arnold or Shane Meadows or the artistry of work being done by director Ben Wheatley ("Down Terrace") or Eran Creevy’s (“Shifty”), his films attempt to deal with social issues of class and race in what could have been an otherwise patronizing and pejoratively ‘urban’ working-class environment.

Rupert Grint & Jonathan Pryce To Star In WW2 Soccer Drama 'Wartime Wanderers'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 6, 2011 2:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Considering how hard it is to make a decent sports movie at all (boxing and baseball seem to fare best, but even then there's plenty of dross focusing on both pastimes), it's not surprising, considering the general American apathy towards the game, that soccer, or football as the rest of us call it, hasn't had much success on the big-screen, bar Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric" and Tom Hooper's mostly strong "The Damned United" a couple of years back. "Escape to Victory?" No. "Kicking and Screaming?" Not so much. "When Saturday Comes?" Definitely not.

Scott Free Working On Christmas Film From 'Black Death' Director, Emma Thompson Rom-Com & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 13, 2011 5:18 AM
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Ridley and Tony Scott (pictured above, with Jerry Bruckheimer) are prolific enough as directors -- the former currently shooting his return to the sci-fi world that turned out his best film, with the intriguing "Prometheus," the latter coming off his best film in years, the hugely enjoyable actioner "Unstoppable." But they're also hugely prolific producers, through their Scott Free banner, being behind not only their own projects, but also those for other filmmakers, like "In Her Shoes," "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "The A-Team" and "Cyrus," as well as TV work like "The Good Wife" and "The Pillars of the Earth."

Shynola Music Video Directing Crew To Make Feature Debut On Adaptation Of Sci-Fi Novel 'The Red Men'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 12, 2011 10:45 AM
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After the likes of Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and David Fincher, the stigma that once came with the idea of music video directors moving into the feature world has now disappeared, and it's seen as an effective training ground for directors, even if most of those who move into the cinematic world are closer to the Michael Bays and Dominic Senas of the world. Amidst a very ambitious Cannes slate (also including the now Jack White-aided Kinks musical "Schoolboys in Disgrace"), British production company Warp Films have announced that they're going to help a group of the most talented directors in the field to make their big-screen debut.

Imogen Poots & 'Submarine' Star Craig Roberts To Star In Heist Romance 'Comes A Bright Day'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 11, 2011 10:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Kevin McKidd & Timothy Spall Also In Cast, Paul Smith To Design CostumesWe're not sure if there's ever been a documented case of a romance springing out of a bank robbery. We're pretty sure we'd be too busy trying to not get shot to get our flirt on with an attractive stranger, but maybe that's just us. In the movies, however, nothing seems to get the blood rushing to the important areas than being held up, or holding up: from "The Thomas Crown Affair" to "A Fish Called Wanda" to last year's "The Town," screenwriters seem to believe that heists and the big L-O-V-E go hand in hand.

Review: 'Thor' Is Overstuffed, But Still A (Mostly) Pleasant, Consistently Entertaining Surprise

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 5, 2011 5:07 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Note: Our U.K. writer saw the film early and this review was first published on April 26, 2011

James McAvoy Says He'll Star Eran Creevy's British Crime Thriller 'Welcome To The Punch'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 12, 2011 2:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Update: Deadline reveals that the film will shoot in July (leaving plenty of room for "Anna Karenina") with the film drawing comparisons to "Heat."

Watch: Trailer For 'Johnny English Reborn' Makes Us Genuinely Concerned For Dominic West's Career

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 8, 2011 1:41 AM
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  • 6 Comments
For getting on fifteen years now, Working Title, the biggest dog in the U.K. production company world, have carved out a severely profitable niche in family comedies that, while they barely make an impact in the U.S. market, manage hugely impressive grosses internationally -- a remarkable feat, considering that comedy is the hardest genre to translate successfully. Starting with the biggest, "Bean," in 1997 (which managed a haul of $250 million worldwide, five times the U.S. take), they've come along every few years, with one equally successful sequel to that film, "Mr. Bean's Holiday," and a pair of "Nanny McPhee" pictures

Michael Fassbender & Liam Cunningham To Star In Northern Irish Punk Movie 'Good Vibrations'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 5, 2011 12:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment
David Holmes To Write The ScoreConsidering the way in which punk rock changed the music world so comprehensively, it's surprising that relatively few films have been made following the great bands of the era. There have been great documentaries, from "The Filth and the Fury" to Ramones doc "End of a Century" and "Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten," and a handful of dramatic features -- "Sid and Nancy" and "SLC Punk," while both flawed, have much to recommend them. But for the most part, the genre has produced films closer to the terrible Ian Dury biopic "Sex & Drugs & Rock and Roll" than to anything else.

Ben Drew (aka Plan B) To Star Opposite Ray Winstone In 'The Sweeney'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 5, 2011 1:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments
'Trainspotting' Writer John Hodge To Pen ScriptAs a seminal British TV cop show, "The Sweeney," which followed Flying Squad members Carter (Dennis Waterman) and Regan (John Thaw) as they bust heads across London, has long proved influential in the genre -- it's more or less the total inspiration for popular sci-fi series "Life on Mars" -- and it's no surprise that a big-screen reboot has been in the works for years. The film came within weeks of filming in 2008, with Ray Winstone as Regan and Michael Fassbender as Carter, but Fox Searchlight balked at a relatively high (for the U.K.) $16 million budget, and the plug was pulled.

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