Why am I not as excited about 'Star Wars' now as I was in 1999?
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Why am I not as excited about 'Star Wars' now as I was in 1999?

Dear god... am I dead inside? Or is something else at work here?

One of the memories that I treasure most from 1998 came when I was driving from LA to Palo Alto with my friend Pete. I had a copy of "The Beginning" with me, the script by George Lucas, and he had a CD player loaded up with the soundtracks for the first three films. I read the script aloud while he drove, and by the time we got to his family's house for Thanksgiving, we were both convinced that we were going to get an amazing gift in movie theaters in May of 1999.

History has proven the two of us to be a wee bit overenthusiastic. While I am not a rabid prequel-hater the way many people are (watching the films with my kids radically changed my opinions on them and their place in the overall saga), I think there is something magical about the original three that only becomes more clear with time and distance. It's not as simple as saying "practical effects!" over and over the way some fans seem to think it is, and if you want to really appreciate just how barely the original films worked, you just need to read the amazing behind-the-scenes books that J.W. Rinzler wrote about each of them. I just recently finished reading the Kindle versions of each, completely with audio and video clips a-plenty, and they are astonishing. More than anything, they reminded me of all the ways the "Star Wars" films originally inspired my love of the craft of filmmaking, and fantastic filmmaking in particular.

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Hawkeye debuts new duds and a little friend for 'Captain America: Civil War'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Hawkeye debuts new duds and a little friend for 'Captain America: Civil War'

I now have a new item for my 2016 wish list

Okay, damn it… Hawkeye better shoot an arrow that's got Ant-Man riding along at some point in "Captain America: Civil War," or I'm suing someone for getting my hopes up.

In a very low-res image that he posted via Twitter this morning, Jeremy Renner revealed his new Hawkeye outfit, and the publicity still reveals a new friendship in the Marvel universe that could pay some hilarious on-screen dividends. I mean, just being able to write that opening sentence makes me so happy on a basic fundamental lifelong fan level that it's almost silly. We live in a world where we've gotten far enough down the road with these movies and these characters that we can have these kinds of crossovers and it's not the entire point of the movie… it's just a fun part of the overall story they're telling.

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'The Martian' and Rooster Teeth part of dazzling Fantastic Fest 2015 line-up
Credit: 20th Century Fox

'The Martian' and Rooster Teeth part of dazzling Fantastic Fest 2015 line-up

The 11th edition of the festival promises to be as rowdy as ever

It is time for me to make my peace with the fact that I will not be at Fantastic Fest this year. Last year's fest was one of my favorites ever, fitting for a tenth anniversary, and I would love to go this year. It's just not in the cards, though.

It guts me, too. The event continues to grow and change and evolve, and it features one of the greatest programming teams in the business right now. There are films playing at the festival that I'll see in Toronto, and I'm sure I'll catch up with others, but that's not the point. Fantastic Fest is an experience, and an amazing one.

If you want to go, you still can. "DAYTIME ONLY Badges, FAN Badges, and 2ND HALF Badges for Fantastic Fest 2015 are available for purchase here," today's press release urged. If you can go for the second half, you'll get repeat screenings of most of the films, and you'll have a chance to hear from people what they're loving the most.

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Hollywood loses its mind as Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence co-write a movie
Credit: Amy Schumer/Twitter

Hollywood loses its mind as Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence co-write a movie

I may go start a line outside the theater today

None more excited.

That is how I feel about the news that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer are co-writing a screenplay right now. We already knew that the two of them were friends and had vacationed together, with some amazing jet ski photos having made the rounds thanks to Schumer. But when Lawrence revealed to the New York Times that the two of them are already 100 pages into a collaboration, it was genuinely exciting. Keep in mind, there's no studio involved, and there's no word on where or when they want to make it, but I would imagine this is going to be one of the easiest greenlights for any studio to give ever.

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The cultural gender war heats up for Anne Hathaway in sci-fi-horror 'The Shower'
Credit: Warner Bros.

The cultural gender war heats up for Anne Hathaway in sci-fi-horror 'The Shower'

One more of last year's Black List scripts makes its way to the screen

There's a British horror-comedy from 2009 called "Doghouse," written by Dan Schaffer and directed by Jake West. In it, a group of guys trying to help a friend deal with his divorce all go to a small village where a virus has turned every single woman into a man-eating monster. Literally.

The movie's not quite the misogynistic nightmare that sounds like, but it also isn't quite smart enough to be the movie that it wanted to be, a cutting piece about the culture war between the genders. Well, it looks like Anne Hathaway's going to get a shot at trying to make the good version of the film now thanks to the news that "The Shower" is going to be made.

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How this week's Nintendo news could shape the future of gaming and movies
Credit: Nintendo

How this week's Nintendo news could shape the future of gaming and movies

It's time we start thinking about this in a new way

If Nintendo could make all knowledge of the 1993 Rocky Morton/Annabelle Jenkel "Super Mario Brothers" movie disappear, I'll bet they do it. Even if it cost a ton of money, they'd pony up and they'd do it happily. Whatever that movie is, and I have met a few people who think it's actually a good movie, it is not anything that resembles any of the actual Mario games. It's such a bizarre and off-kilter interpretation of what someone thought Mario was that it's kind of impressive.

Yesterday, Fortune published an interview on Nintendo's return to movie production, and my first thought was, "Dear god, why?!"

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How 'Brazil' gave me the answers to life, the universe, and everything
Credit: The Criterion Collection

How 'Brazil' gave me the answers to life, the universe, and everything

A search for faith led me to a darkened theater

I never had a crisis of faith, because I never had any real faith in the first place.

My parents were not wildly religious, but it was important to their lives in a general sense. My father's mother was a church organist, and my mother's mother was active in her own church in any number of ways. Both of my grandmothers lived in Memphis, so when we'd visit them, we'd have to make sure to schedule a trip long enough to show up at each of their churches at least once, just so they got to show off their grandchildren to their friends.

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'Suicide Squad' cast ruins their rotten reputations on way to wrap party
Credit: Warner Bros

'Suicide Squad' cast ruins their rotten reputations on way to wrap party

Stop being nice! You're bad guys!

"Suicide Squad" has wrapped production.

One of the things that surprised me most about the Comic-Con sizzle reel that then turned into a Comic-Con leak that then turned into an official release was that it only represented two weeks worth of shooting. They packed a hell of a lot into that first two weeks of production, and it makes me wonder what a real trailer for the film is going to look like once director David Ayer and Warner Bros. have had time to consider it more carefully.

The cast should be careful, though. If they keep doing random nice things, they're going to ruin their reputation. Consider this, for example:

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Do we really want a digital Peter Cushing in a new 'Star Wars' film?
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Do we really want a digital Peter Cushing in a new 'Star Wars' film?

Things are about to get really creepy in Hollywood

We're at the dawn of a new age.

It is, to be blunt, a very creepy new age. If you saw "Ant-Man," you got a glimpse of it in the opening scene where '80s-era Michael Douglas shows up, and for the first time, it felt like they could stage actual dramatic scenes involving actors who have been aged backwards or, in the most extreme possible cases, brought back from the dead.

For years, there's been a script in LA that has been an example of someone's ambition exceeding the ability of the town's FX artists. "The Gemini Man" was supposed to pit a mysterious serial killer against an older police detective, only to reveal that the killer was a decades-younger clone of the detective, allowing "Unforgiven"-era Clint Eastwood to go head to head with "Dirty Harry"-era Eastwood. That's just an example of who they could cast, of course. It could have been any actor who had shot enough films as a younger actor for them to be able to draw sufficient reference material to use to build the younger version.

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Lily Tomlin and the generational feminism of her new film 'Grandma'
Credit: HitFix

Lily Tomlin and the generational feminism of her new film 'Grandma'

We sat down with a national treasure to talk about absolutely everything

I don't keep a running list of all the people I have or haven't interviewed over the last 17 years. I think my first official Ain't It Cool interview was either with Brad Bird or maybe Neil Gaiman. Or was it Kevin Spacey? I have memories of many of the interviews I've done. Specific questions or reactions. But as many things as I remember, I'll bet I've forgotten five times more things, simply because of the sheer volume of all of the interviews I've done.

There are people I know I've never spoken with, though, because if I had, those memories would not fade. And one of the people that I have always wanted to meet and talk to about their work was Lily Tomlin. I say "was" because as of last Friday, she is no longer on my "to do" list. We sat down to talk about her new film, "Grandma," as well as anything else I could pack into 20 minutes, and the result was a delightful way to spend part of a busy afternoon.

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