The Playlist

Cannes Review: Admirable Ambition Isn't Enough For James Franco's 'As I Lay Dying'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 20, 2013 11:25 AM
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  • 5 Comments
As I Lay Dying, James Franco
To be certain, James Franco has never been lacking in ambition. From the meta quasi-doc "Francophrenia (Or Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is)" to the Hart Crane biopic "The Broken Tower" to the kinky "Interior. Leather Bar." to the primate co-starring "The Ape," Franco has leapt into filmmaking, taking on challenges and narrative most other filmmakers wouldn't dare to attempt. And while there is something to admire in the ambition of the 35 year-old actor/writer/director's latest venture, "As I Lay Dying," it never amounts to much more than a curiosity.

Jim Carrey Teaming With 'Napoleon Dynamite' Director Jared Hess For Heist Flick 'Loomis Fargo'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • October 16, 2012 9:18 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Very few films, and even fewer debut features, have reached the same mass pop cultural awareness as Jared Hess’ “Napoleon Dynamite.” Unfortunately, none of Hess’ follow-ups have matched his first film in either box office or critical success. His next film, however, may at least see him back in multiplexes the world over as he brings in Jim Carrey as his leading man.

10 TV Stars Who Deserve Emmy Nominations (But Probably Won't Get Them)

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 5, 2012 12:02 PM
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  • 26 Comments
We're still months and months away from the Oscars, but the other awards ceremony of the moving image is starting to sneak up; two weeks from today, the nominations for the Primetime Emmys, the biggest awards honoring television comedies, dramas, miniseries and movies, will be announced, ahead of the ceremony itself in September. Given the stars that the small screen attracts these days, it's just as glitzy as the Academy Awards, and given that we're living in what's generally deemed to be something of a golden age of television, there are more good shows on the air than could possibly be honored in a single ceremony. Someone's going to miss out.

Danny McBride & Craig Robinson Part Of Swelling Cast Of 'Jay & Seth Versus The Apocalypse'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 22, 2011 1:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments
But It Looks Like Daniel Radcliffe Is OutWe've never liked the term The Frat Pack (for all their potty mouths, the particular comedies that those to whom the term is applied make aren't actually that fratty; Todd Phillips' output is a better fit), but there's no denying that the ever-expanding family tree of actors and comics who've risen up in the last few years, mostly thanks to the patronage of Judd Apatow, are an incestuous lot. Clearly great friends in real life, they like nothing better than cameoing in each other's work, teaming up for buddy pictures, and generally getting paid to hang out on screen.

Review: '30 Minutes Or Less' Is A Fun But Forgettable Conclusion To The Summer Of R-Rated Excess

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 5, 2011 5:31 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Zipping along at a brisk pace -- albeit one that feels like it's rushing to be over -- featuring dueling bromance buddy tales from both protagonists and villains, and mostly amusing in its vulgar humor and gags, the "action"-comedy "30 Minutes Or Less," is entertaining, but ultimately only a mild effort in the mediocre R-Rated comedy sweepstakes that have dominated this season.

Will Ferrell & Matthew McConaughey To Return For The Third Season Of HBO's 'Eastbound & Down'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • July 13, 2011 2:34 AM
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  • 4 Comments
One of the most quotable and riotously funny characters in popular culture at the moment has to be the anti-hero that is Kenny Powers from HBO's "Eastbound & Down," the brain child of Danny McBride, David Gordon-Green, Jody Hill and Ben Best.

We Read It: Casting Quentin Tarantino's Slavery/Spaghetti Western Epic 'Django Unchained'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 5, 2011 4:28 AM
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  • 31 Comments
You’ll recall in 2008 we did, what we thought, was a very good job of casting Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” (some of us are still convinced our picks were better than Q.T.’s, but that’s another story). And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Tarantino has recently finished his latest script, one entitled “Django Unchained.” So yes, we’re at it again.

Weekend Box Office: 'Hop' Defeats Four Newcomers; 'Your Highness' Flops Loudly And Rudely

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 10, 2011 4:48 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Earlier in the year, the tepid box office returns were something to be ignored, as 2011 was competing with the previous year, with both “Avatar” and then the anomaly of “Alice In Wonderland” each raking in a cool billion. Well, it’s April, and it’s time for Hollywood to panic. There have been no genuine out-of-the-box hits so far this year and lots of flops, and the two (barely) $100 million grossers considered underperformers (“Rango” and “Just Go With It”). Let’s face it, part of it is a failure of marketing, but the blame must be laid on inadequate product. Even when it comes to the early year doldrums, this has been a banner year for garbage.

Danny McBride Talks The Freedom Of TV For 'Eastbound & Down' & The Haven Of HBO

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 8, 2011 6:46 AM
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  • 13 Comments
We know you're aware already, but it bears repeating -- television is producing some of the more ambitious projects these days than their Hollywood movie studio counterparts. HBO in particular has been on the receiving end of much of the praise of late and one has to look no further than Todd Haynes' five-part "Mildred Pierce" (which ends this Sunday, tune in!) -- a sweeping, character driven period drama about a fractious mother/daughter relationship set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the Jazz Age. Now try walking onto a studio lot and pitching that. But it's not just dramas that have fared well, but comedies too. "Bored to Death," the underrated "How To Make It In America" and the animated "The Ricky Gervais Show" are just a few of the laff-filled highlights at HBO, but their crowning jewel is "Eastbound & Down." The irreverent show stars Danny McBride, an arrogant baseball player on the skids who heads back to his hometown. Even in its brief run -- two seasons of six episodes each -- the show has found a strong following undoubtedly aided by the networks' nurturing attitude.

Q&A: Danny McBride Talks 'Your Highness,' The Allure & Pitfall Of Sequels & Staying On Budget

  • By The Playlist
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  • April 7, 2011 2:56 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Comedian Talks About Potential 'Your Highness' And 'Pineapple Express' SequelsIf all goes according to plan this weekend, Danny McBride will wake up on Monday morning with comic stardom firmly within reach. For those who have been paying attention, McBride has been stealing scenes and building up a strong body of work over the past few years, with notable turns as the lead in "The Foot Fist Way," Rico in "Hot Rod," Cody the casual demolitions guy in "Tropic Thunder" and the good-hearted bro Red in "Pineapple Express." Of course, he is also the star of the cult HBO series "Eastbound & Down" as the boorish baseball player Kenny Powers. However, in "Your Highness," McBride has his biggest screen role yet as Thadeous the far less ambitious, pot smoking, lazy brother to the heroic Fabious (James Franco). The film is very much Thadeous' story as he goes from slouch to hero and McBride gets the lions share of the screentime and makes the most of it. We can't remember the last time an actor so elegantly and frequently used the word "fuck" in a variety of phrases, but McBride does so with hilarious aplomb combined with a slacker attitude that makes for a great performance all around.

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