The Playlist

Exclusive: James Ponsoldt Talks Going Widescreen In 'The Spectacular Now' Featurette Plus Win The Film On DVD

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 13, 2014 4:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Spectacular Now
2013 is behind us, and 2014 lies ahead, but there are likely still a handful of movies from the past year you haven't yet caught up on. And one worth making room for is James Ponsoldt's "The Spectacular Now."

The Playlist Staff's Most Overrated And Underrated Films Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 24, 2013 7:03 AM
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  • 161 Comments
Overrated/Underrated 2013
You have to be especially careful with the words “overrated” or “underrated.” Some people don't like the terms, thinking that they're condescending or snide, elevating your own opinions over those of the majority. And arguably they have a strong point, but the words do serve a purpose—how else is a writer meant to sum up their feelings when they're swimming against the tide? And sometimes, that tide is among your own colleagues. See, we're not a hive mind at The Playlist, though we might sometimes give that impression. Like any group of colleagues, we disagree from time to time. Scratch that, we disagree quite a lot, and it's rare for a film to hit theaters without at least one member of staff bucking the consensus, when a consensus can even be reached.

Joe Swanberg Ranks 'All Is Lost,' 'Pain & Gain,' 'Short Term 12' & 'The Spectacular Now' In Best Films Of 2013 List

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 19, 2013 3:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Okay, time to wash out the bitter taste from Rex Reed's Worst Films Of 2013 list and get back to the good stuff. The latest person to weigh in with their thoughts on the year in movies is prolific and passionate filmmaker Joe Swanberg. Even though he dropped two movies in 2013—"Drinking Buddies" and "All The Lights In The Sky"—with another one headed to Sundance ("Happy Christmas"), he still managed to get in enough movie-watching to put together a list of his faves in 2013 (though he adds he hasn't seen many of the awards season-type movies).

Edgar Wright's Top 10 Films Of 2013 Includes 'Spring Breakers,' 'Rush,' 'Prisoners' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 18, 2013 9:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Spring Breakers
With one movie to promote heavily on both sides of the pond ("The World's End") and another major franchise movie gearing up ("Ant-Man"), that Edgar Wright had time to keep watching films enough to put together a top ten of 2013 is pretty impressive. But it comes with a caveat: like many folks, the last-month crush of films makes it hard to catch up with everything, so be forewarned, this list was compiled with Wright, at the time of putting it together, having not yet seen a handful of movies including "12 Years A Slave," "Dallas Buyers Club" or "American Hustle" (all of which open in the U.K. in 2014).

Savannah Film Festival: James Ponsoldt Talks 'Spectacular Now,' Taking On Hilary 'Rodham' & The Power Of 'Pure'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 4, 2013 4:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt.
Sitting down with James Ponsoldt backstage at the Lucas Theater in Savannah, Georgia, one thing becomes immediately clear: he loves movies. Already thrilled that his latest "The Spectacular Now" is screening at the Savannah Film Festival in a cinema first build in 1921, my conversation with the director is peppered with references to classic cinema and the answers to my questions are thoughtful and deeply infused by his admitted voracious movie watching habits, which have left him with a clear sense of what he enjoys in his film experiences and what he doesn't. And at the end of the day, no matter the genre, budget or any other factor, it's characters he's fascinated by, and the more complex they are, the more he's invested and involved.

Savannah Film Fest: Miles Teller Talks Long Haul Of 'The Spectacular Now' & Switching Gears For 'Divergent'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 1, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Spectacular Now
Sustaining the buzz from January at the Sundance Film Festival until October, ten months later, is no easy feat. Plenty of movies have floated out of Park City with oodles of press and praise, only to be forgotten by time it comes for their release. But it speaks to the quality of filmmaking, and the authenticity of feel, that James Ponsoldt's "The Spectacular Now" didn't suffer such a fate. The picture rolled into the Savannah Film Festival this week with both the director and star Miles Teller on hand to present the film, which was shot in Athens, Georgia. And we got a few moments to chat with Teller about the movie, his drumming skills and transitioning from indie pictures to full blown tentpole productions.

Miles Teller Says 'Divergent' Sequel Could Get In The Way Of 'Fantastic Four'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 28, 2013 4:50 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Miles Teller
While attending the Savannah Film Festival, Fandango talked to Miles Teller, star of this year's wonderful teen romance "The Spectacular Now" (and also the odious college comedy "21 and Over"), about what he's got coming up next. Teller also stars in next year's high profile YA adaptation "Divergent," whose sequel is set to begin shooting imminently. But what about that other hot property Teller has been attached to? You know, the one with the Invisible Woman and The Thing…

BFI London Film Festival Diary Day 3: 'Nebraska,' 'Starred Up,' 'A Touch Of Sin' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 12, 2013 10:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Nebraska
The big gala on the first Friday of the BFI London Film Festival was for Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" [D+], which heads up the LFF's Journey strand (last year's major innovation saw the festival split into multiple themed sections, mostly named after verbs for some reason—Laugh, Dare, Debate, Thrill etc.) Warmly received when it premiered at Cannes, the film's been a longtime passion project for the helmer, who directs for the first time from a script that he didn't write. He's certainly found a like mind in screenwriter Bob Nelson, as many of the director's favorite subjects—the Midwest, the American Dream, thick lashings of social satire—are touched on in this story of a father (Bruce Dern) and son (Will Forte) who head on a reluctant road trip together to pick up the million dollars that the dad believes he's won. Also present and correct, unfortunately, is the sneering attitude that Payne all too often takes to his characters.

Watch: 2 New Clips & Photos Of 'The Spectacular Now'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 5, 2013 6:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Spectacular Now
Given their volume, scope and scale, studio blockbusters naturally consume the moviegoing conversation every summer, and a good chunk of the audiences' money. But given the iffy quality of this season's tentpoles ("The Lone Ranger," "The Hangover Part III," "After Earth," "The Wolverine" et al), 2013 is likely going to go down as the summer when the indie alternatives made for much richer options. Just look at August, it's overflowing with good indie choices, and one of them likely to long outlive the lifespan of fare like, "Red 2," "R.I.P.D." and "White House Down" is James Ponsoldt's "The Spectacular Now." A smart, well-observed and sensitive coming-of-age film, the movie also boasts two terrific performances by up and comers Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley (and note it has a fairly rare 90% Rotten Tomatoes score; check out our Sundance review here).

Review: James Ponsoldt's 'The Spectacular Now' Starring Shailene Woodley & Miles Teller

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 1, 2013 7:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Spectacular Now
Sutter Keely (Miles Teller) is the charming, good time guy who lives in the moment. Self-assured, he’s the life of the party, popular, and he and his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) breeze through their high school experience. Sutter and Cassidy are like a teenage power couple that rule parties thanks to their appeal and all the social lubricants at hand. But, writing an admission letter to the Dean of a university, Sutter reveals his life is at a crossroads. Thinking she's caught him with another girl, Cassidy has dumped him, when the truth is that Sutter was using his good-time skills to help get his timid friend Ricky (Masam Holden) laid. But Cassidy isn’t having it and Sutter can’t see why this is the straw that broke the camel’s back with her.

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