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Venice Review: ‘Cymbeline’ Starring Ethan Hawke, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, Penn Badgley & Anton Yelchin

5 hours ago

A hamfisted attempt to breathe some relevance into one of Shakespeare’s more unfashionable plays, Michael Almereyda’s “Cymbeline” works best as a cautionary tale about the dangers accepting that everything written by The Bard is “timeless.” Laboring under the misconception that the problem with the play as written was the singular lack of Apple products, (“Prithee, hie and away to an iPhone that we may snapchat till the morrow, good sir”) and not the awkward, coincidence-laden plot nor the jawdroppingly regressive gender politics, both of which remain mystifyingly intact, Almereyda makes only the most cosmetic of changes. Language (admittedly streamlined), storyline, character and even place names remain, only the clothes, cars and gadgets differ. Still a lot of name actors get to thesp about a bit with their thous and wherefores, and some even do it rather well, so there’s that. In the most successful attempts at this sort of modernization, »

- Jessica Kiang

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Review: 'No No: A Dockumentary' A Joyful Look At One Of Baseball's Most Legendary Players

5 hours ago

On June 12th, 1970, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates named Dock Ellis, known for his oversized personality on and off the diamond, threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. A no-hitter is defined by a team not being able to earn a single hit and it’s a pretty phenomenal feat, with only 282 no-hitters having been thrown in Major League Baseball since 1875. But what makes this particular no-no even more astounding is that Ellis, who up until that time was most notorious for wearing tiny hair curlers in his fro during practice (and subsequently being forced to remove said curlers), was high on LSD for the entire game. This is the starting point for the delightful new documentary “No No: A Dockumentary,” which, while focusing a fair amount of time on this particular game, also goes to great lengths to show you the other sides of Ellis—as a ballplayer and human being. »

- Drew Taylor

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Contest: Win Kelly Reichardt's 'Night Moves' Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning & Peter Sarsgaard On Blu-ray

5 hours ago

If you're not be able to hit Venice, Telluride or Tiff this year, perhaps now's the time to catch up with a movie that was creating a lot of buzz in 2013 on the circuit. Kelly Reichardt's "Night Moves" hit Venice, Tiff and the BFI London Film Festival a year ago, going on to hit countless more fests before opening in limited release this year. But if it didn't play near you, we've got some Blu-ray copies to share with some lucky readers.   Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard, the film follows follows three radical environmentalists who come together to blow up a dam in Oregon. But the consequences of their actions begin to unravel the group, test their trust, and may push one of them over the edge. It's tense stuff, recalling Alfred Hitchcock and Claude Chabrol (read our review), and one worth tracking down. So how »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Casting: Vince Vaughn To Star In Michael Dowse's 'The Politician,' Melanie Laurent Joins Brad Pitt's 'By The Sea' & More

7 hours ago

While Vince Vaughn is expected to take a role in "True Detective," the actor knows what side his bread is buttered on, and it's the comedic side. The actor will star in the Seth Rogen-produced, Michael Dowse ("Goon," "What If")-directed "The Politician." The Black List script by Matthew Bass and Theodore Bressman follows "a politician in Washington D.C. who is caught in a scandal with some hookers. The man and his underachieving accomplice go on the run from the FBI, U.S. Marshals and a gang of drug dealers." Wacky. This one will probably have to wait until Vaughn's HBO duties are finished before it rolls. [THR] Melanie Laurent has joined "By The Sea," which marks the onscreen reunion of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The latter will direct and co-star in the movie, and the specific details are being kept tightly under wraps. [Tout Le Cine] Emma Roberts and "Mad Men »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Tiff Interview: Kevin Costner Talks 'Black & White,' Reteaming With Mike Binder And Producing Feature Films

7 hours ago

Kevin Costner is in the midst of something of a career resurgence, which is a very good thing, if you're a fan of the actor's work. It all started with History and A&E's miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," a smash hit that earned Costner both Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his leading turn. Since then, he's diversified, taking small, memorable roles in giant franchise movies like "Man of Steel" and "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," while anchoring smaller, wide ranging efforts like Ivan Reitman's sports drama "Draft Day" and the Luc Besson-produced thriller "3 Days to Kill." For his next, Costner takes a leading role in "Black & White," a tense racial drama set to premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. We got a chance to chat with him about what drew him to the project, what it was like re-teaming with his "Upside of Anger" director Mike Binder »

- Drew Taylor

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Dan Stevens Denies 'Escape From New York' Rumors So Watch This Clip From 'The Guest' Instead

7 hours ago

So, just before the long weekend, the folks over at Starlog dropped a short list of names they said were in the running to play the lead in the forever-brewing "Escape From New York" remake. It was essentially a wish list, featuring Charlie Hunnam, Jon Bernthal and Dan Stevens, and they noted none of the actors had read for the movie. However, even without a director attached, the site insisted an offer would go out to one of them soon, just don't expect Stevens to be the guy who gets a call. As quickly as the reports surfaced, the actor tossed them aside. “(Laughs) I just heard [the rumours] this morning,” Stevens told Flickering Myth last week. “It’s the first I’ve heard of it. It’s hilarious if it’s true! I don’t know anything about it. But it’s lovely to have it bandied about.” So yeah, enough about that, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: First Clip From James Franco's 'The Sound And The Fury'

8 hours ago

It's not a film festival without James Franco unveiling a short film, book of poetry, feature effort, art installation or something, and so the polymath is rolling into Venice with "The Sound And The Fury." Yep, the work of William Faulkner is getting the Franco treatment, again, and the first clip is here to give you a sampling of how it all turns out. Joey King, Tim Blake Nelson, Ahna O'ReillySeth RogenDanny McBride, Scott Haze, Jon Hamm and Franco himself all appear in this saga about the lives and intrigues of the southern Compson family, who find themselves in decline. This clip reveals that Franco has dropped the split-screen stylization of his previous Faulkner effort, "As I Lay Dying," and as a result, the drama appears more direct and intense. Overall, it seems more accomplished than that the previous effort too, so we're curious to see if Franco nailed it this time out. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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12 Films To See In September

9 hours ago

Do you hear that sound? No, it’s not studio bean counters digging in their office couches for a few extra quarters, wondering what happened to their box office this summer. One of the slowest seasons at theaters in quite some time—despite it being a pretty strong one in terms of quality—has come to a close, but surely that will be forgotten now that it’s time for the fall movie season launch. That sound you hear is actually actors, directors, writers, etc. working on their award acceptance speeches. And for good reason. We love this time of year, when the big festivals happen (you can follow our Telluride and Venice coverage right now). New great films are discovered left and right. And big, highly anticipated prestige pics finally start getting in front of our eyeballs, so we can decide if they make the grade or not. Before the month even started, »

- Erik McClanahan

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Directors: Ross Katz To Helm Nicholas Spark Pic 'The Choice,' Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, John Moore & More With New Gigs

10 hours ago

Well, here's something we weren't expecting. Ross Katz — a filmmaker who got good notices with his HBO flick "Taking Chance," is heading to Tiff with "Adult Beginners," and produced "In The Bedroom," "Lost In Translation" and "Marie Antoinette" — is now taking on a Nicholas Sparks property. Katz will direct an adaptation of the author's "The Choice," which tells the story of "Travis Parker and Gabby Holland, who meet first as neighbors in a small coastal town and end up pursuing a relationship that neither could have foreseen." Obviously. Production will begin in October. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo ("28 Weeks Later") is heading over to Fox to work on "The Last Witness." He'll develop the project — "a ticking-clock thriller about the lone survivor of a bomb attack in Boston" — with the idea he'll also direct, and will work off a script from Stefan Jaworski ("Those Who »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The Playlist's 15 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

10 hours ago

The Telluride International Film Festival is done for another year (read all our coverage here), and though the Venice Film Festival has some big movies still yet to unspool, it too is starting to wind down (catch up with our ongoing coverage here). Which can only mean one thing: it's time to head north for the Toronto International Film Festival. Cannes, Berlin and Venice might have the cinephile prestige, but Tiff is rapidly making an argument for being the biggest film festival in the world, with huge movies being unveiled and more to watch than you could ever hope to see. As we're sure you're aware by now, it's also become an increasingly crucial Oscar launching pad: every Best Picture winner since "No Country For Old Men" has been featured at the festival. We're just 24 hours away from the festival kicking off, and the Playlist team are heading to Toronto as we speak. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Watch: First Trailer And Clip From Shakespeare With Machine Guns 'Cymbeline' Starring Ethan Hawke & Ed Harris

11 hours ago

Shakespeare has received no shortage of contemporary cinematic takes, but we'd reckon there are few that have involved machine guns. So welcome to Michael Almereyda's "Cymbeline," which is not his first journey down the Bard's path. He's the filmmaker behind 2000's slick version of "Hamlet," but this looks like a different animal entirely. Boasting an all star cast —Ed Harris, Milla JovovichPenn BadgleyAnton Yelchin, John LeguizamoDakota Johnson, James Ransone, Delroy Lindo— this film takes Bill Shakespeare's somewhat obscure play regarding the battle between Roman and Celtic nobility, and switches it up to involve motorcycle gangs, corruption and drug dealing. English literature just got a lot more interesting for tenth graders! This first clip demonstrates a keen sense of mood and cool…that is, before Ed Harris goes full Rambo. And the new trailer gives a pretty good impression of the overall vibe. No release dates, but the. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Telluride Review: ‘Madame Bovary’ Starring Mia Wasikowska, Ezra Miller, Paul Giamatti & Rhys Ifans

11 hours ago

It is not prerequisite that the period costume drama needs a hook, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Joe Wright’s stylish “Anna Karenina” dazzled with a theatrical approach, and Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights” employed an austere commitment to form coupled with an expressively Malick-ian appreciation of nature. Gracefully pitched acting can also be enough (see James Gray’s “The Immigrant”), but unfortunately for Sophie Barthe, her adaptation of “Madame Bovary” is largely bereft of these qualities in any compelling form. Instead, the movie is delivered in a restrained, far-too measured tone that is often flat and enervating. There have been countless TV and film adaptations of “Madame Bovary.” In cinema, Vincente Minnelli, Albert Ray, Claude Chabrol and Jean Renoir have all had a go at Gustave Flaubert's debut novel, but rarely has Flaubert’s sensibilities been rendered for the screen by a female director. But feminist thoughtfulness »

- Rodrigo Perez

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Watch: 10-Minute Stanley Kubrick Tribute 'Kubrick's Poetry'

12 hours ago

It’s impossible to underestimate Stanley Kubrick’s influence on worldwide cinema. Aside from being one of this writer’s favorite directors (in fact, only Akira Kurosawa prevails, by a hair), his immaculate compositions each take full advantage of symmetry and depth. That is perhaps why Vimeo user Marc Müller decided to edit a poetic tribute to Kubrick’s work by juxtaposing some of his most famous shots with five classical pieces he used in his films. The clip begins with "The Blue Danube" from "2001: A Space Odyssey" playing over a series of Kubrick’s trademark tracking shots. This section works as a beginner’s introduction to Kubrick. Then we switch to a more somber tone with Handel’s "Sarabande," from the underrated "Barry Lyndon." You'll likely be surprised to see how this piece of music works perfectly with dialogue from "Full Metal Jacket." We then jump from Ludwig Van Beethoven’s "Symphony #9" to. »

- Oktay Ege Kozak

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Watch: Brutal, Bloody Nsfw Extreme Red Band 'ABCs Of Death 2' Trailer Presents 26 New Ways To Die

12 hours ago

Tired of jump scares, weary of reboots, and generally bored by what the horror genre is offering these days? Well, you're sure to find a remedy somewhere in "ABCs Of Death 2," with the anthology series arriving this fall with a fresh sequel, presenting 26 new directors, 26 new ways to die and a red band trailer you will not be able to watch at work. Todd Rohal, Rodney Ascher, Bill PlymptonVincenzo Natali and Larry Fessenden are among some of the bigger names in the two dozen-plus pack of filmmakers assembled here, and as you might expect from that variety of talent, selections range from weird to surreal to frightening to back again. Representing filmmakers from around the world, this is an international flavoring of what the horror genre is up to globally, and should be of interest to genre fans for that alone, but we're sure the promise of plentiful »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Martin Scorsese To Direct Casino Ad Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro & Brad Pitt

13 hours ago

Yes, it’s for commercial purposes, but who doesn’t want to see this team work together? Martin Scorsese will be directing a short film to promote Melco-Crown Entertainment, a global resort and casino brand. The short will star early Scorsese favorite Robert DeNiro, late Scorsese favorite Leonardo Di Caprio and an unknown newcomer named Brad Pitt. Ratpac Entertainment’s Brett Ratner and Rsa’s Jules Daly will produce the film. The film’s content is not known, but it will probably be pretty glitzy. It will premiere next year at Melco-Crown’s new film-themed resort Studio City in Macau. This will be the first time DeNiro and DiCaprio will have worked together in a Scorsese film (though outside of Scorcese, they teamed on "This Boy's Life," with De Niro pointing his young co-star Scorsese's way). If this news made you think of Scorsese as a mere commercial director, here »

- Oktay Ege Kozak

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Park Chan-wook To Direct 'Fingersmith' Adaptation; Watch The Full 2005 BBC Production Starring Sally Hawkins

13 hours ago

After reportedly battling Fox Searchlight over "Stoker," and given the lukewarm response the film received from critics and the box office, Park Chan-wook is going back home for his next feature. And it will be another opportunity for the stylish director to put his imprint on a different cinematic sub-genre. Screen Daily reveals that Park will direct an adaptation of Sarah Waters' novel "Fingersmith." It's a Dickensian tale of female thieves, but this Korean-language take will take place when the country was under Japanese rule. Here's the Amazon synopsis of the novel:  Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a "baby farmer," who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves —fingersmiths— for whom this house in »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: New Trailer For 'Monsters: Dark Continent' Brings The Battle To

14 hours ago

What made Gareth Edwards' "Monsters" so refreshing and "Godzilla" so disappointing is that the former film brought a sense of atmosphere, beauty and awe to the monster movie genre. While Edwards was criticized for playing hide-and-go-seek with the titular creature in this past summer's blockbuster, his feature debut worked because there was no history attached to his creature, and so the mystery sustained much more beautifully and evocatively. But no one really goes to the multiplex these days for those qualities, and so it's not a shock that the Edwards-less sequel "Monsters: The Dark Continent" seems to up the thrills and kill the nuance. A new trailer has arrived for the Tom Green-directed movie, and it multiplies the number of monsters tenfold, brings in the military and paints the proceedings in a pretty thin, not particularly well elaborated terrorism allegory. That said, the action does look intense: we did enjoy the dog vs. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Telluride Review: Ophir Award Nominee 'Dancing Arabs'

14 hours ago

"Dancing Arabs" indulges in a peculiar kind of late ‘80s/early ‘90s nostalgia: a fond wistfulness for a time in the Middle East when Jews and Arabs mostly despised each other, but actual casualties from terrorism or reprisals were few… friendships across the racial/religious divide were more common… and the dream that a West Bank boy and Israeli girl could date only seemed 99 percent impossible. As quaint longings for a more innocent era go, this beats getting misty over Roxette. The coming-of-age film had its American premiere in Telluride after bowing at the Jerusalem Film Festival, in the city where it was largely shot. Its loosely-based-on-a-true-story narrative concerns Eyad (Tawfeek Barhom) being sent off by his proud Arab parents to attend Jerusalem’s finest school; that his ex-activist dad dislikes Jews as much as the next guy isn’t even a factor. In study hall, he falls hard for »

- Chris Willman

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Focus World Picks Up David Cronenberg's 'Maps To The Stars' For 2015 Release, Might Be VOD-Only

15 hours ago

With strong reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival (read ours), appearances at the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival on the horizon, and an imminent U.K. release (check out the trailer), you might think that it would be a priority for eOne to get David Cronenberg's "Maps To The Stars" into theaters stateside Asap. But it appears that's not the case. In fact, the distributor has handed the movie off to Focus World, which means you'll be waiting a lot longer to see this film, and it may not even be on a big screen near you. Screen Daily reports whatever awards season chances "Maps To The Stars" might've had (three time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore won Best Actress in Cannes for her turn in the movie) have been snuffed out, as the film won't be released in the U.S. until early 2015. What's more, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Telluride Review: Nick Broomfield's 'Tales Of The Grim Sleeper'

15 hours ago

Nick Broomfield’s new documentary is a little bit "Dateline," a little bit Ferguson. "Tales of the Grim Sleeper" offers up the identity of the titular serial killer in the opening minutes, but it still revolves around a whodunit. Or, really, a who-didn’t-do-anything, since the movie’s central mystery is why the Lapd took decades to find a killer believed to have murdered dozens (maybe hundreds, Broomfield suggests) of african-american prostitutes over a 25-year period in perpetually troubled South Central L.A. The likeliest answer to that puzzle of apparent police inaction may be so self-evident as to not generate much suspense. But Broomfield still has a knack for keeping audiences grim and alert, thanks to an inexhaustible ability to find indelible characters to put on screen. 'Grim Sleeper' ultimately turns out to be less about ineffectual policing in the African-American community —although that angle is clearly more relevant »

- Chris Willman

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