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  • The Playlist
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    Mickey Rourke Had Surgery To Look Like Gay Rugby Player Gareth Thomas, Biopic Shoots In September

    The comeback of Mickey Rourke has been a faltering thing. After years in the wilderness, the actor returned in force with an Oscar-nominated turn in Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," and followed it up with supporting roles in bona-fide blockbusters "Iron Man 2" and "The Expendables." Since then, however, things haven't been so hot, with long-delayed films "13" and "Passion Play" mostly disappearing on release, while Rourke's self-destructive tendencies came out again when he bashed not only those films, calling them (accurately) ''terrible," but also director Martin McDonagh, who Rourke labelled a "jerkoff" after he bailed on the helmer's film "Seven Psychopaths." The actor instead lined up the kind of direct-to-video actioners that he was stuck in the 1990s, films like "The Courier," "Black November" and "Java Heat."

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  • The Playlist
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    Maggie Gyllenhaal & Rhys Ifans Circling Noah Baumbach's 40-Hour-Long HBO Series 'The Corrections'

    Nothing demonstrates the status of HBO these days better than "The Corrections." Jonathan Franzen's novel was hugely acclaimed on publication in 2001, later landing atop many of the "best of the decade" literary lists, and was soon snapped up for a film version by Scott Rudin, one of the most important producers in Hollywood, and the man behind some of the most acclaimed novel-to-film translations of the last decade, from "Wonder Boys" to "No Country For Old Men."

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Oh, There's Michael...'Underworld: Awakening' Answers Questions You Never Cared Enough To Ask

    “Where’s Michael?” shouts warrior vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale) urgently in the trailer for “Underworld: Awakening,” the fourth film in the other vampire/werewolf franchise. “Who’s Michael?” muses a large portion of the audience, presumably a little less urgently, in reply. Because while the ‘Underworld’ films undoubtedly have their appeal -- you don’t goose your way beyond a trilogy without some kind of following making it financially enticing -- they really don’t inspire the kind of widespread fandom that might immediately make the average moviegoer clutch their heart in worry over the fate of Selene’s hybrid werevamp macguffin boyfriend.

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  • The Playlist
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    Robert Pattinson's 'Bel Ami' & Steven Soderbergh's 'Haywire' Latest Additions To Berlin Film Festival

    So, Robert Pattinson fans, just how devoted are you? Always eager to see him fight for Bella in the "Twilight" franchise, a lot of those same fans seem to disappear when does anything that doesn't involve vampires and werewolves. As long expected, his upcoming literary adaptation "Bel Ami," has been confirmed this morning make its world premiere (out of competition) at the Berlin International Film Festival, and we'll be curious to see if RPatz lovers will tolerate him playing a cad.

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  • Hope for Film
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    A Case for Truly Free Short Films

    We all love a success story. We'd hear more of them if we realigned our definition of success. For most emerging filmmakers, success will come from discovery. Movies need to be seen and certain practices limit that. I don't recall how I met Matt Morris. I believe it was through social media online. He thought I would like his short film, and he was right. He had a good sense on how to engage me without wasting my time or taking advantage of my availability. I have really enjoyed seeing how he has gotten his work done and seen. Today he shares some of what he's learned with everyone; sharing seems to be in his DNA. If only that happened more...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    A Prelude to HBO and David Milch's 'Luck' - 'Hill Street Blues,' 'NYPD Blue,' 'Deadwood'

    For years, I thought David Milch had only one series in him.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'Wish You Were Here' With Joel Edgerton & Teresa Palmer An Overwrought, Undercooked Mystery

    Although its title implies either a whimsical journey of self-discovery or an ironic riposte to the vacation from hell, the story of “Wish You Were Here” is, in either context, a disappointingly pedestrian experience. The story of a husband and father trying to return to his normal life after a vacation with his wife and her sister that ends in the disappearance of his sister-in-law’s boyfriend, Kieran Darcy-Smith’s Australian import inspires a deluge of possibilities and provocative thoughts in its audiences’ heads, but languid pacing undermines the too-simple and ultimately too-conventional revelations that wrap up its simmering mysteries. Nevertheless, strong performances from the four leads sustains its unhurried approach far longer than the payoff deserves.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Coriolanus—movie review

    I don’t know what Shakespeare purists will make of Coriolanus, but as cinematic storytelling it’s awfully impressive: a muscular, contemporary reading of the play, deftly abridged and adapted by the prolific John Logan, who also wrote Hugo and Rango this year. The primary hero, on screen and off, is Ralph Fiennes, who not only makes a formidable directing debut but delivers a ferocious (and commanding) performance in the leading role.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Haywire—movie review

    In the old days a film like this would have been called a “programmer” and fulfilled its modest ambitions as the second feature on a double bill. Alas, we don’t have double features or programmers anymore; every movie carries weight, and expectations, with it. Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire has all the trappings of an “A” movie, including a big-name cast and impressive international locations, but it never rises above the level of a “B.”

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    We Need To Talk About Kevin—movie review

    To say that this is not an easy film to watch is putting it mildly. No one would deny Tilda Swinton’s superior performance, but people were sharply divided when We Need to Talk About Kevin screened at the Telluride Film Festival last fall. Some folks I spoke to were downright angry. When I finally caught up with the film, I could barely stand to sit through it.

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