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The Playlist

Interview: 'Neighbors' Star Seth Rogen Talks Making It Relatable, Improv With Zac Efron And The Movie's Distinctive Look

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 8, 2014 3:03 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, Neighbors
This weekend's big, R-rated studio comedy "Neighbors" is funny in the way that big, R-rated studio comedies rarely are (read our review here). In the movie Seth Rogen plays a man in his thirties, who is happily married (to a flawless Rose Byrne) and with a new baby. Of course his suburban idyll is disrupted when a rampaging fraternity (led by Zac Elfron, his malevolent charisma turned all the way up) shows up and moves into the house right next door to theirs. That leads to an all out war between the boring suburbanites and the hard partying frat brothers that have invaded their neighborhood. While at South by Southwest, where the movie first premiered (it received a riotous response), we sat down with Rogen and chatted about the movie, what the appeal of the script was for him, what Byrne brought to the role, and how the distinctive look of the movie was developed.

First Clip & New Photos From 'Parkland' Starring Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 10, 2013 11:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Parkland, Efron
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, undoubtedly one of the central flashpoints of the modern American experience and a singular event that has inspired as much theorizing, speculation, and conjecture as any in history. Perhaps it is a result of its insolubility that it retains such an ability to capture our imagination endlessly, whatever the reason, the books and films keep on coming. The latest in JFK-assassination-related ephemera is "Parkland," a drama that looks at the events immediately following the president's murder, through a prism of characters who were on the ground in Dallas. The large ensemble includes Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti (as Zapruder!), Billy Bob Thornton, James Badge Dale, Jacki Weaver, Colin Hanks and Marcia Gay Harden. Now the first clip and a bunch of stills have been unveiled, so start your theorizing.

Zac Efron Is A 'Narc,' Zach Braff Adds Kate Hudson To 'Wish I Was Here'

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • May 22, 2013 6:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Even if we wouldn't say he's quite cracked it yet, we've got a lot of respect for the way that Zac Efron is trying to establish himself as a proper grown-up adult actor. After all, the "High School Musical" series would be an albatross for many, but Efron's quietly been banging out a diverse mix of parts, and while things like "The Paperboy" and "At Any Price" haven't quite paid off yet, he's heading in the right direction. The actor's got several promising projects in the can already, including rom-com "Are We Officially Dating?," JFK ensemble drama "Parkland" and Seth Rogen/Nick Stoller comedy "Townies," and now, hot on the back of signing on to Eran Creevy's "Autobahn," the actor's just lined up thriller "Narc." Sounding a bit like a laugh-free "21 Jump Street," the project's being described as a based-in-fact, college-set version of "Donnie Brasco," and will see the actor play a fratboy who's busted for cocaine possession, and who agrees to become an informant to avoid jail time. The film's set up at Fox

Anna Kendrick Joins Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here,' Zac Efron & Amber Heard To Star In Eran Creevy's 'Autobahn'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 16, 2013 10:39 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Damn it. Just when we thought we were going to be able to ignore Zach Braff's controversially crowd-sourced sophomore feature, he goes and casts Anna Kendrick. According to The Wrap, the "Pitch Perfect" star, so often the best thing in whatever she's in, has joined the cast of Braff's currently-prepping "Wish I Was Here." The actress will play the love interest of Braff's character's brother (Josh Gad), a young cosplayer named Janine. Manic Pixie Dream Girl alert! Mandy Patinkin is also in the cast (Mandy Patinkin Dream Girl alert!), and Kendrick will next be seen in the questionable-looking "Rapturepalooza," which opens on June 7th.

10 New Photos From 'At Any Price' Starring Zac Efron & Dennis Quaid

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 12, 2012 11:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
To play one early September festival could be seen as a shot in the dark, but if you manage to hit the trifecta of Venice, Telluride and TIFF, you know that the people behind the film have got some confidence in the finished product. Not many films ticked all three destinations off their box this year -- Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell," Michael Shannon vehicle "The Iceman," a few others -- but one of the more prominent has been "At Any Price," the muscular, powerful drama from "Goodbye Solo" director Ramin Bahrani.

Venice Review: Ramin Bahrani's 'At Any Price' A Patchy But Powerful Melodrama With A Fantastic Performance By Dennis Quaid

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 30, 2012 5:09 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The first three feature films by Ramin Bahrani – 2005’s “Man Push Cart,” 2007’s “Chop Shop” and 2008’s “Goodbye Solo” -- were extremely well-regarded by festival and art-house crowds (Roger Ebert called Bahrani “the director of the decade”), but barely made a dent on the wider cultural consciousness, receiving fairly limited releases and so far, making Bahrani a favourite of cinephiles, but far from a crossover success. But four years since his last film, Bahrani is back at Venice, the festival which made his name with “Man Push Cart,” for a film that threatens to push him towards the mainstream, with a starry cast and a distribution deal already in place from Sony Pictures Classics. And while perhaps not quite up there with the low-key, humanistic triumphs of his earlier films, “At Any Price” does seem likely to win him further and wider recognition.

Sony Pictures Classics Acquire Ramin Bahrani's 'At Any Price' With Zac Efron & Dennis Quaid

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 3, 2012 7:24 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Of all the director/actor pairings of the year, the one between the acclaimed, but so far firmly arthouse-y Ramin Bahrani, the helmer of "Man Push Cart" and "Goodbye Solo," and Zac Efron, fresh-faced star of the "High School Musical" franchise, is one of the most curious. But after festival plaudits and rave reviews, Bahrani seems ready to break out to a wider audience, while Efron, to his credit, is looking to be taken seriously as an adult leading man, showing up at Cannes with (the admittedly badly received) "The Paperboy," and attaching himself to the remake of "Easy Money" and the Nicholas Stoller/Seth Rogen comedy "Townies," among others.

Seth Rogen & Zac Efron Team For R-Rated Comedy At Universal

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 22, 2011 11:51 AM
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  • 2 Comments
While Universal killed two high-profile, risky, ambitious efforts recently, putting the kibosh on Guillermo del Toro's "At the Mountains of Madness" and Ron Howard's "The Dark Tower," the studio isn't afraid to spend money. It's just that those holding the purse strings are choosing wisely and if you've been paying attention to the box office this summer, there is one genre that is not only making mad bank, but is also, generally speaking, pretty cost-effective: the R-rated comedy. "The Hangover Part II," "Horrible Bosses" and most importantly, from Universal's perspective, "Bridesmaids," have been smash successes. So it's no surprise then that they're still willing to throw even more money behind the R-rated laffer.

Ramin Bahrani Casts Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron In New Project; Also, Pigs Can Apparently Fly Now

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 15, 2011 11:39 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Ramin Bahrani is pretty ace. The Iranian-American director broke through with 2005's terrific "Man Push Cart," and then followed it up swiftly with 2007's "Chop Shop" and 2008's "Goodbye Solo." There's not a bad film among them, all three humane, touching and cosmopolitan, and he's one of the most interesting young filmmakers around -- Roger Ebert even went as far as to call him the filmmaker of the decade in 2009. But strangely, we've not covered the director that much here at The Playlist: his last film hit theaters in 2008, and sadly new work, aside from the Werner Herzog-featuring short "Plastic Bag," hasn't really been forthcoming.

Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire & Zac Efron Starring In Lee Daniels' 'The Paperboy'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 13, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
'Modern Family' Star Sofia Vergara Confirmed For CastLee Daniels hasn't quite had Hollywood bowing before him in the same way that some directors do after picking up an Oscar nomination -- in his case, for "Precious." It's not that the director hasn't gotten involved in projects -- he's attached to no fewer than five, and two, the civil rights drama "Selma," and the White House-set tale "The Butler," were close to happening, with A-listers like Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington attached. But the films never quite got going, for one reason or another, and Daniels is yet to make his follow-up to the film that made his name.

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