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  • The Playlist
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    'Moneyball' Soundtrack Band This Will Destroy You Scoring Indie Documentary 'The Deep Field'

    Besides the fine performances by Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, along with Bennett Miller’s impeccable direction of this year's “Moneyball,” another aspect of the film worth singling out for praise is the score by Mychael Danna. Though as we mentioned on our list of Best Scores and Soundtracks of 2011, post-rock outfit This Will Destroy You also had a hand in creating one of the film’s signature pieces of music with the track “The Mighty Rio Grande,” which was also featured prominently in the film’s trailer.

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  • Press Play
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    VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG - Chapter 3: Communication

    Steven Spielberg's movies are often described as hopeful, optimistic, sweet -- or, pejoratively, as sentimental, naive, and "feel-good." In some sense, all those adjectives are right. Many of his movies are transcendently cheerful. Even the bleakest offer a shred of hope for humanity, or else lament when it falls short of its potential. And all share an underlying belief: that misunderstandings could be fixed, problems solved, and disasters averted if we could all just learn to get along. And before we can get along, we must communicate. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the first major Spielberg film to put this theme in the foreground. But nearly all his movies touch on it: 1941 and the Indiana Jones films treat it lightheartedly, Close Encounters, E.T. and The Terminal with poignant warmth. In many of the historical dramas, we see both successful and failed attempts at communication depicted in an array of moods and modes. Ironic, hopeful, despairing -- even coolly journalistic.

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  • The Playlist
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    New Look At Martin Freeman As Bilbo In 'The Hobbit,' Trailer Will Appear Online Tomorrow

    While the Steven Spielberg-directed “The Adventures of Tintin” finally reaches theaters stateside this week, it will also bring along a lovely gift for fans of that film’s executive producer and “Lord of the Rings” trilogy mastermind Peter Jackson. As we told you back in November, the trailer for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is set to play in front of the much anticipated Spielberg blockbuster, but for fans eager to get another early taste of Jackson’s return to Middle Earth, a new image may provide you with the sort of sneak peek you’ve been waiting for.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Critics Keep Voting for Tree of Life, from Chicago to Indiewire Poll

    Critics are lining up behind Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." While critics groups don't have as much predictive impact as Guild awards like the Screen Actors Guild, they do add to to winners' patina, build credibility and consensus, and keep attention on some must-see titles.

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  • Press Play
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    GREY MATTERS: Martin Scorsese's interesting year

    Aside from being a lousy whitewash out to prove God-knows-what, Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World doesn’t even live up to some simple realities, things like the fact that when you’re Martin Scorsese, you most certainly do have a huge responsibility when taking on such an undertaking. Nobody will ever again have your resources, access or your name, and the sobriety of purpose and sheer cred that goes with it. And now, to super-complicate matters really interestingly, we have Hugo, easily one of Scorsese’s top five films, a masterpiece, coming mere months on the heels of the Harrison debacle. The two films, in eternal orbit and connected by “George” as a name and notion – of the guitar player and his revolution in sound, and of the disgraced special effects trailblazer, Georges Méliès, who, in our world, delighted a small, asthmatic Italian-American boy in Little Italy almost 60 years ago with his lowest-fi wonders.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Post-Blackness: Every Movement Needs a Manifesto

    Post-Blackness: Every Movement Needs a Manifesto

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    More: Reviews, oped
  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Trailer For Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight Rises' Hints At A Dark & Epic Final Conclusion To The Batman Saga

    Yes, you may have seen a cruddy version of Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" trailer a few days ago, the third and final film in his epic Batman trilogy, or the big-screen version in front of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," but if you struggled to hear and see what it all was about, behold the beautiful, high-definition version that is not only incredibly impressive, but looks wickedly ominous and striking. The wonderful thing that Nolan does with all his trailers is make the stakes of his films look incredibly high, as in do-or-die, and "The Dark Knight Rises" looks no different. This looks dark with deep and powerful consequences around every corner. It appears that some kind of army is rising and it's something that neither Batman nor Gotham has ever faced.

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  • The Playlist
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    Ridley Scott Downplays 'Alien' Connection To 'Prometheus,' Gives A Shout Out To Insane UFO Theorist; Plus New Promo For Trailer

    There's been some confusion as to whether or not Ridley Scott's hotly anticipated return to sci-fi, "Prometheus" (out June 8th, 2012, galaxy-wide), is a prequel or a reboot or somehow connected to his earlier, influential "Alien." Various cast and crew members have said conflicting things, and the absolute secrecy surrounding the project certainly hasn't helped to clear anything up (although when we spoke to Charlize Theron a few weeks ago, she did let a little something slip). In a recent interview with Filmophilia, Ridley Scott both downplays the film's connection to "Alien" before, in the same interview, backtracking and saying there's a concrete link. Sir Ridley is going loco!

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Halle Berry's "Show Addicts Anonymous" In Pre-Production; Will Likely Be Her Next After "Cloud Atlas"

    It looks like this just might be Halle Berry's next project once production on Cloud Atlas is wrapped, which she co-stars in. 

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' A Harrowing But Sometimes Inelegant Directorial Debut from Angelina Jolie

    Angelina Jolie's presence in "In the Land of Blood and Honey," a film she directed but wisely chose not to star in, is both a gift and a curse. On the gift end, it's a megawatt star bringing some serious attention to an incident in our recent history that has either been glossed over, underreported, barely acknowledged or forgotten about completely – the atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina that brought ethnic cleansing back to Europe for the first time since World War II. Conversely, there will be those who claim, since Jolie is fabulous and wealthy and drop-dead sexy (besides being a U.N. ambassador and outspoken human rights advocate), that she has no business portraying what is still an incredibly raw part of the very recent past. For the most part, though, Jolie tells a compelling, tragic story, framed inside of an unlikely romance, and pulls it off without pulling any punches.

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