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The Playlist

Review: 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Is A Satisfying, If Slightly Inferior Sequel

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 11, 2014 2:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
How To Train Your Dragon 2
For most of their history, which has now lasted over 15 years ("Antz" and "The Prince Of Egypt" both debuted in 1998), DreamWorks Animation seemed to be content with making a quick buck and raising a cheap laugh. Some of their output was better than others (the original "Shrek" at one end of the scale, "Shark Tale" at the other), but even the better films paled in comparison to the output of arch-rivals Pixar, however profitable they are. These days, things have changed. For one, the company's films aren't all that profitable ("Rise Of The Guardians," "Turbo" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" all disappointed financially). But for another, the quality gap has closed, with Pixar hitting something of a creative rut, and DreamWorks putting out films that are as good as or better than their rivals. Well, one film, at least: 2010's "How To Train Your Dragon," which took an unpromising premise and turned it into something funny, exciting and emotionally satisfying in a way that relatively few of their films are.

Review: 'RoboCop' Starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 5, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Robocop
Every movie should be approached with an open mind. Ideally, be it a film from Martin Scorsese or Friedberg and Seltzer, a reviewer should be going in without expectations, ready to play it as it lays. But it'd be dishonest to pretend that that was the case going in to "RoboCop," because it's a long-delayed remake of Paul Verhoeven's 1980s cult action sci-fi classic that, based at least on early buzz and previews, does without much of what made the original special — the satirical bite, the extreme violence, the hand-crafted effects et al. As such, even the most even-handed person could be forgiven for going in with a heavy heart, especially with the smell of the abysmal "Total Recall" redo still lingering like a fish head behind a radiator.

Review: 'Goon' Is A Middling Sports Comedy Elevated By A Surprising Turn By Seann William Scott

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 30, 2012 2:55 PM
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  • 4 Comments
It feels odd that "Goon," a brutal comedy based around the sport, from the pen of hockey-loving Apatow grads Jay Baruchel (star of "Undeclared" and "Knocked Up") and Evan Goldberg (co-writer, with Seth Rogen, of "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express"), would go on wide release in Britain this weekend, weeks before it hits theaters in North America. But nevertheless, go on wide release it has, and The Playlist was there to check it out.

Trailer For 'Game Of Thrones' Season 2, 'Mad Men' Season 5 Poster & More TV Updates

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 27, 2012 5:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment
With the Oscars now over, and putting a cap on the year in movies (for 2011 anyway) it seems now is as good a time as any to see what's happening on the small screen.

Sony Heads Into Seth Rogen & Jay Baruchel's 'The Apocalypse'

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • January 6, 2012 11:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Originally a comedy short film from the dynamic writing duo of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the twisted minds behind “Superbad,” “The Pineapple Express,” and the upcoming Ben Stiller-starring comedy “Neighborhood Watch,” “Jay and Seth Vs The Apocolapyse” has gone from interesting sensation in 2007 to a long-rumored feature film. Along with short film co-star Jay Baruchel, Rogen and Goldberg have been teasing the feature release for quite some time, with the casting of the group’s regular collaborators James Franco and Jonah Hill being announced back in September.

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.

James Franco & Jonah Hill To Feature As Themselves In 'Jay & Seth Vs. The Apocalypse'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • September 17, 2011 1:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel have teased and taunted fans of their feature adaptation of "Jay & Seth Vs. Apocalypse," the Internet sensation that hit all the way back in 2007, for far too long. But along with the recent announcement by Rogen that lensing will take place in early 2012, the actor has now revealed that two friends and regular collaborators in James Franco and Jonah Hill will be featuring in the film as themselves.

Jay Baruchel to Write 'Baseballissimo' As 'Goon' Sells For Seven Figures

  • By Sam Price
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  • September 13, 2011 2:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
The awkward kid from "Undeclared" is doing something right. Both as actor and co-writer, Jay Baruchel's name is all over the hockey picture "Goon," a vaguely "Slap Shot"-ish comedy that, until it debuted at Toronto this past week, only had going for it some fairly uninspiring posters, a less than gut-splitting red-band trailer and the weird casting combination of Seann William Scott and Liev Schrieber to its name. But the picture's apparently uproarious, a bloody laugh-fest for the ages, and has exploded the hitherto staid conventions of the hockey picture (whatever they may be), at least until Kevin Smith aims to get his way and begins work on his apparently epic two-part swansong "Hit Somebody."

New Posters and Images Debut For 'Goon' (No, Not 'The Goon')

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2011 8:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this week is "Goon," a hockey comedy co-written by Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen's writing partner Evan Goldberg, which, it should be noted, is not the David Fincher-produced animation adaptation of the Eric Powell comic book "The Goon" nor is it the two-part Kevin Smith hockey epic "Hit Somebody" (which will presumably be the "Che" of bawdy hockey comedies). What it is, as we noted when the red band trailer debuted, a mediocre-looking comedy about a hockey coach who recruits a thug (Sean William Scott) to stop a violence-prone opponent (Liev Schreiber), notable only for Schreiber's truly awesome mustache.

Seth Rogen Confirms He Won't Be In Judd Apatow's 'Knocked-Up' Spin-Off

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 7, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Actor Says His (Co-)Directorial Debut 'Jay and Seth vs. Apocalypse' Shoots In FebruaryOk, the speculation can end. Earlier this year when producer/writer/director Judd Apatow announced he was making a “Knocked Up” spin-off film that would focus on the married couple in the film played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, many assumed and or hoped, that we'd also be seeing the two leads of that comedy, Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl.

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