Yep, that's pretty much exactly what we thought Jared Leto as Joker would be
Credit: Warner Bros.

Yep, that's pretty much exactly what we thought Jared Leto as Joker would be

Lots of tattoos and self-modification make this version of Mr. J stand out

In what is sure to generate a ton of conversation, David Ayer has released a photo of the full Joker look for "Suicide Squad" via Twitter, and it's certainly striking.

Jared Leto is playing the character this time, and they've been teasing fans now for almost a full month with hints and glimpses. There was a paparazzi photo earlier this week of Leto on-set, showing someone a photo on his phone, and it looked like a finished Joker image.

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Two exclusive tracks from Mondo's Death Waltz vinyl release of 'The Guest'
Credit: Mondo's Death Waltz Recording Company

Two exclusive tracks from Mondo's Death Waltz vinyl release of 'The Guest'

Plus details on this very cool release of the '80s throwback score

The collector market for film fans has evolved quite a bit from when I was a young fan. Sure, there were opportunities for me to spend my money, but these days, there are so many better opportunities and better items. There's the entire poster phenomenon, best embodied by the success of Mondo, which has spurred what feels like an entire industry. I recently got talked into joining some commission groups, so now I've got some ultra-limited art coming my way that I look at as even more special because I had a hand in designing it.

It was inevitable that soundtracks would also end up being major collector pieces, and one of the great frustrations for me when I was a younger film fan was realizing just how random the process is by which scores get released. There are some great companies now doing important archival work, like La-La-Land Records, and recently two titans in the collecting world merged, resulting in Mondo's Death Waltz Recording Company, which is poised to own your wallet for the near future.

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A visit to the set of 'Entourage' becomes an exercise in inertia
Credit: Warner Bros.

A visit to the set of 'Entourage' becomes an exercise in inertia

In its own way, this sort of sums up the truth about the way flms are made

One of the most remarkable accomplishments I've ever seen, in all of my time visiting film sets, was the completely-to-scale Warner Bros. backlot that was built for "Entourage: The Movie."

Wait… I'm looking at my notes… I'm wrong. That was the actual Warner Bros. backlot, and it was an afternoon last year when a group of journalists were invited to do a set visit in perhaps the least exciting location possible. I know that for many people, it is a thrill to step onto a studio backlot, and that thrill is part of what "Entourage" has always traded on when peddling its fantasy version of the Hollywood life to audiences. But in this case, we ended up standing for a few hours in what may be the least interesting spot on a lot, between two soundstages.

When I was invited to attend the "set" of the film, I immediately pictured one of the show's famous odes to movie star decadence, a house party overflowing with girls and booze and drugs and girls, and I marked the day on my calendar. Cut to: eight or nine of us standing around between those two aforementioned soundstages, waiting.

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Oren Peli's long-missing 'Area 51' finally gets a release date and trailer
Credit: Paramount Insurge/Blumhouse Tilt

Oren Peli's long-missing 'Area 51' finally gets a release date and trailer

And it's right around the corner

This might be a textbook case of "waiting too long."

Then again, I may underestimate the public's appetite for films in which characters run around while dramatic things you can almost see happen. I may be wrong. It may well be that people are actually still excited about "The new film from the director of 'Paranormal Activity.'" I suspect they're not, and that the moment for Oren Peli to release a second film should have been about five years ago, but Paramount Insurge is going to put it to the test when they finally, after long last, release "Area 51" in May.

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New 'Mad Max' game trailer makes the Wasteland positively beautiful
Credit: Warner Bros Games

New 'Mad Max' game trailer makes the Wasteland positively beautiful

This looks like a rare licensed title that may stand successfully on its own

Okay, so the "Mad Max" video game is its own thing, not directly tied to "Fury Road," and shouldn't be approached as an adaptation or a companion piece at all. It's just "Max Max," an original take on the world and the character that was developed at the same time as "Fury Road." It's supposed to be a very separate thing, and when I spoke to George Miller in Austin, he said he'd had some input in big broad ways, but that the game design team at Avalanche Studios definitely did their own thing.

I can't wait to get my hands on this one. It looks like that rare licensed game where they've taken the things we know about the character and turned those things into smart fun gaming choices. This new gameplay trailer is almost ridiculously cool. I love that you build your own car, and that you can continually tweak and refine it. That's one of the things about Miller's world that I have always loved, that sense that even in the midst of the Apocalypse, people are still going to take the time to assert their personalities through their cars, their weapons, their clothes. They are still people, and they are still going to find ways to be individuals.

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Miller and Lord will supervise an animated 'Spider-Man' film for Sony
Credit: Marvel Animation

Miller and Lord will supervise an animated 'Spider-Man' film for Sony

Sony will release the movie in 2018

Because Phil Lord and Chris Miller seem to be determined to build an entire career out of choices that no one would ever see coming, they have just announced that they are set to produce and write an "Animated Spider-Man" movie that will be in theaters July 20, 2018.

This will be produced with the cooperation of Marvel, but word is that it will exist independent of and in no way connect to the Spider-Man films that Sony and Disney are set to co-produce.

Sony Pictures is set to bring the web-slinger back to the bigscreen in animated form with Miller and Lord supervising, and word is that they would love for the pair to direct although that is in no way confirmed at the moment. We're excited to see what that's going to look like.

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Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson on making fans crazy in 'Ultron'
Credit: HitFix

Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson on making fans crazy in 'Ultron'

Marvel's oddest new couple talks about the human moments in the summer's biggest sequel

One of the things that fans are going to be most excited by when they see "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" is the developing relationship between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff. We see our first indications of it when she finds Hulk on the battlefield at the end of the opening action sequence, and she initiates "the lullaby," a technique they've developed for calming the Hulk and allowing Banner to regain control.

Overall, Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson do some of my favorite work in the new film, and not just in that great scene between the two of them in the middle of the movie. Ruffalo is playing both Hulk and Banner now, and there is some great stuff he does in both roles. I really like the whole Science Buddies thing that Banner and Stark have going on, but what Ruffalo does so well is play the jokes that Whedon loves to write without ever playing against the truth of Banner's ongoing nightmare.

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Review: Don't get me wrong... there's a lot about 'Age Of Ultron' to like
Credit: Marvel Studios

Review: Don't get me wrong... there's a lot about 'Age Of Ultron' to like

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
At its best, this is a master class in what Marvel does well

When Joss Whedon took the job as director of "The Avengers," he had a specific challenge to overcome. Even after the success of the individual movies featuring Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, it seemed like a nearly impossible task, juggling so many giant personalities in one coherent story.

Now the challenge is very different for him as writer/director, because he's following up one of the biggest films of all time, and he's also laying groundwork for the entire next phase of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The last time a director found himself in a similar position with Marvel was Jon Favreau on "Iron Man 2," and it's interesting to see the ways Whedon has responded differently, and the ways in which he's fallen into some of the same traps. Make no mistake… "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" is both a better film and a better sequel than "Iron Man 2," but I think it's clear at this point that as long as Marvel continues to build one large interlocked continuity, there are certain stumbling blocks that they will continue to face with the movies.

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Brad Bird's new 'Tomorrowland' trailer puts the emphasis on action
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Brad Bird's new 'Tomorrowland' trailer puts the emphasis on action

Is this movie going to be 30 minutes long, or are they hiding everything?

Based on this new trailer, it looks like almost every shot we've seen so far from Brad Bird's "Tomorrowland" is from the first third of the movie.

Either that, or it's a very short movie.

Of all of the summer blockbusters, this is the one I know the least about. There's been a cone of silence over their post-production that has been genuinely impressive. I haven't heard anything about screenings. I haven't heard from anyone who's seen it. I haven't heard a peep, and this late in the process, that is enormously rare.

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See This Or Die: 'Don't Look Now'
Credit: Paramount Home Video/Criterion Collection

See This Or Die: 'Don't Look Now'

Nicolas Roeg's heartbroken horror film is his masterpiece

Our weekly feature in which a writer answers the question: if you could force your friends at gunpoint to watch one movie or TV show what would it be?

Time is not a river, running one direction, no matter how we perceive it. Time is an ocean in which we are eternally immersed, and the older I get, the more I realize that we are all Billy Pilgrim, constantly awash in our own past and present, doing everything we can to survive them so we might see some future.

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