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  • The Playlist
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    Jennifer Lawrence Finally Locked In For 'The Hunger Games'

    The process of casting a high-profile, much sought-after role in a major would-be franchise is a complex one, with the advent of movie blogs such as ourselves. Every stage of the process is now as public as it could be, save some kind of weekly reality show documenting it, and it has the side effect of making the casting process seem endless. It's only six weeks or so since rumors of any kind started flying around regarding Gary Ross' adaptation of immensely popular young adult novel trilogy "The Hunger Games," but it's dominated the news to the extent that we're nothing but delighted that a decision's finally been made on the casting of Katniss, the central role.

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  • Spout
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    SXSW 2011: First Idea is to Blame the Government in "Attack the Block," "The Divide" and "Phase 7"

    For a while there, movies about alien invasions and zombies and viral outbreaks were complicated by their insistence to make the government or some similar higher power the true villain. Never mind the thing that was literally killing people, though that is a frightening threat all its own. The ultimate evil was the scientists, military, politicians, etc., who originally created or ordered the wickedness that got out of control. It reflected many conspiracy theories, which pinned most anything on the government. But now we've got two films, both at SXSW, that merely return to theorizing rather than full-on implicating those usual suspects. They are "Attack the Block" and "Phase 7."

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  • The Playlist
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    Netflix Enters Original Content World By Backing David Fincher/Kevin Spacey Series 'House of Cards'

    The term 'game-changer' gets bandied around a lot, but rarely accurately. "The Matrix Revolutions," for instance, was billed as such. So was "Tron: Legacy," and neither seem to have changed any games, as such. "Avatar" has the most claim to the title, seeing as how it immediately encouraged every other film in town to go 3D, but it was also pretty much a once-in-a-generation phenomenon: "Mars Needs Moms" proved only this weekend that 3D and motion capture in no way ensures any kind of box office success.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    New Bridesmaids Trailer

    This looks even better than the first one.

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  • The Playlist
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    Update: Liam Neeson Confirmed For 'Taken 2'

    Update: Well that was fast. Deadline reports Liam Neeson and Luc Besson have made nice and the actor is closing a deal to reprise his role.

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  • The Playlist
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    SXSW Review: 'Kill List' Is A Shocking, Emotionally Resonant & Horrific Ride

    Few movies have scarred and emotionally terrorized people (including some on the Playlist staff) more than this year's SXSW Film Festival entry "Kill List," the sophomore feature from Ben Wheatley ("Down Terrace"). With its intriguing mixture of kitchen-sink domestic drama, hit man thriller, and creepy mysticism, it's the rare horror film -- which isn't really a "horror film" per se, but includes psychological, emotional and physically horrifying moments -- that doesn't play into any conventions of the genre. Every time you think you've pegged it neatly into one of the aforementioned genres, it'll swing around and surprise you again, and the film concludes with an unexpected wallop that packs a visceral and psychically emotional punch that will leave you gasping for air and reeling on the floor. "Saw 3D" it's not.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    SXSW Short Ends: Todd Rohal, Robert Longstreet, and Steve Little

    Bored with dry land and inspired by the bizzaro river journey undertaken in director Todd Rohal's SXSW feature The Catechism Cataclysm, the Reverse Shot team sets sail on Town Lake in downtown Austin with Rohal, who reveals the names of those in the mumblecore set harboring truly unspeakable urges. Meanwhile, co-stars Robert Longstreet (Take Shelter, Pineapple Express) and Steve Little (Eastbound & Down) get comfy in the most feared ship on the high seas.

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  • The Playlist
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    Exclusive: Ti West's Next Feature Will Be The Sci-Fi Film, 'The Side Effects'

    Director Ti West was rolling through Austin this week, unveiling his latest horror flick "The Innkeepers" at SXSW where it made its world premiere. We caught up with the director for an interview and naturally, talk turned to what he might do next and while he's trying to keep it under wraps and is cagey about what details he can drop, he did give us a title and a taste of what the picture will be about.

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  • Spout
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    SXSW 2011: "Bellflower" and "The Divide" Overdose on Testosterone

    My first official day of SXSW kicked off full throttle with a documentary about (alleged) domestic terrorists armed with Molotov cocktails, a movie about "Mad Max"-obsessed slackers with homemade flamethrowers and ridiculously souped up cars, and a midnight post-apocalypse thriller that continually abandons layers of sanity and morality and ends up far more FUBAR than anything in Austin directly associated with that acronym. Oh, and I attended a party for that middle film in which they held a cricket eating contest and a crazy old Austinite showed up wearing half a set of handcuffs on his wrist (the other half was apparently hacked off). Basically, this is the kind of first day I anticipate and welcome. I'll ignore the doc here (that goes elsewhere) and present some thoughts on the latter two films, Evan Glodell's "Bellflower" and Xavier Gens' "The Divide."

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  • The Lost Boys
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    Camp Out: A Picturefest Fundraiser

    A few weeks back, I introduced Picton Picturefest on this blog, an event me and some fellow Canadians are in the process of planning for this summer. Essentially, Picton Picturefest is a little film festival and "cinephile camp" for youth near my hometown in Southern Ontario (clearly inspired by this little experience)... Somehow, it manifested from that idea to a full-fledged operation, with 20 us - filmmakers, film producers, film festival employees, media artists - now part of the "Picturefest Collective," a non-profit organization with government funding and some serious ambition to make Picton Picturefest a reality.

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