<p>Sir Anthony Hopkins brought some very strong and unusual choices to his work as Methuselah in Darren Aronofsky&#39;s &#39;Noah&#39;</p>

Sir Anthony Hopkins brought some very strong and unusual choices to his work as Methuselah in Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah'

Credit: HitFix

Sir Anthony Hopkins on philosophy and shamanism in 'Noah'

The acting titan talks about the amazing location where he shot his scenes

Sir Anthony Hopkins is one of those people I look forward to speaking with at any press day where he appears because I know that whatever he gives you, it's not a rote answer he's given a thousand times, and that's something I value at this point.

I understand why actors fall into that, and there are certainly people who are very good at it, who can make it feel fresh each time, but it doesn't change the basic mechanism, which is that junkets turn you into a hamster on a treadmill, and it's very hard for someone to keep their focus for a full day of that, no matter who they are.

Hopkins, though, simply doesn't play the game. I get the sense that if you walk into the room with something you actually want to discuss, he's game. Talking to him about how he approached the role of Methuselah for Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" was interesting because of how clearly the character is drawn from a shamanic tradition.

Read Full Post
<p>&#39;Call Of Duty: Ghosts&#39; is the latest addition to our XBox One library here&nbsp; at Team HitFix.</p>

'Call Of Duty: Ghosts' is the latest addition to our XBox One library here  at Team HitFix.

Credit: Activision/Infinity Ward

Game Night: 'Call Of Duty Ghosts' joins the line-up for our third broadcast

We're still just starting to figure all of this out

Sometimes an entire week goes by and you barely even turn on the machine.

Last Friday night, we played a good deal of "Titanfall," and then after the mandatory 475 hour install, we got to play some "Dead Rising 3" as well. This week, a third title showed up from my GameFly account, and late last night, I got "Call Of Duty: Ghosts" fully installed, and then played the first two or three levels. So far, it feels a lot like a "Call Of Duty" game. I thought the addition of Riley-vision, where you can control your German Shepherd like it's a drone plane, was sort of wackadoo, but that's one of the things I like about gaming… crazy ideas appear in all sorts of games.

Other than last night, though, I haven't had time for anything this week. I haven't watched anything at home, and I haven't had any time for gaming. I was on the road until Wednesday, I was busy with my kids all weekend, and then once I got back to town, I've been writing non-stop to catch up.

Read Full Post
<p>Joe Manganiello&#39;s hair seems to have fully recovered from the trauma of &#39;Sabotage&#39;</p>

Joe Manganiello's hair seems to have fully recovered from the trauma of 'Sabotage'

Credit: HitFix

Joe Manganiello talks about standing up to icon Arnold in 'Sabotage'

When is this guy playing a superhero?

There are many reasons to learn how to pronounce Joe Manganiello's last name. First, it's a sign of respect, and Manganiello deserves that. Second, it's a simple courtesy that should be extended to anyone you're going to have a conversation with. And finally, Manganiello stands about eight-foot-three and could easily fold about 95% of us in half and shove us up our own butts without breaking a sweat, so perhaps we should try to avoid angering him.

There are a few scenes in "Sabotage," the gnarly new crime thriller from David Ayer, where Manganiello goes head-to-head to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and all I could think during those scenes is that you could clone Arnold, stack both of them on top of each other, and they still wouldn't be the same size as Manganiello. While that sounds like it would be a huge advantage, it's often not in Hollywood. Since the average height of a working movie star is four-feet-nine-inches, being a giant can make it hard to cast someone.

Thankfully, there are directors who are willing to take the chance, and as soon as someone figures out that Manganiello is basically a real-world superhero, he'll end up with some film franchise that launches him to the next level of stardom. After all, he's got a very centered charm, he has worked as a stunt performer which makes him even more credible as an action star, he's got a strong personality, and he's able to play dangerous at the drop of a hat. His work on "True Blood" gave him a chance to show off his range, and he's rumored to be in Terrence Malick's upcoming "Knight Of Cups," although no one is officially in a Malick movie until Malick finishes editing it.

We talked about how it was for him to go head-to-head to Arnold in "Sabotage," and he strikes me as a guy who takes full advantage of every opportunity he gets. His choices for how to play his character are interesting, both in terms of the external (his hair is something else) and the internal. He gives pretty good crazy, and when everyone's chewing scenery, it's hard to stand out. I hope this is the beginning of even more big roles for the guy, because anyone who can stand his ground against an icon like Arnold is ready to step up and become an icon in his own right.

"Sabotage" opens everywhere today.

PS - it's "Man-jen-ello."

Read Full Post
<p>Michael Pena plays the famed labor leader in Diego Luna&#39;s long-in-the-works &#39;Cesar Chavez&#39;</p>

Michael Pena plays the famed labor leader in Diego Luna's long-in-the-works 'Cesar Chavez'

Credit: Lionsgate

Review: Diego Luna's 'Cesar Chavez' is a noble but lifeless failure

As with many biopics, hero worship prevents any real drama from sneaking through

There is no doubt that when Diego Luna took the stage to introduce the world premiere of his film "Cesar Chavez" at this year's SXSW, he was honestly moved by the entire experience of getting the film made, and it is obviously important to him. It was an emotional introduction to a film that took him a long time to get made, and I would never begrudge him that genuine sense of accomplishment.

Unfortunately, "Cesar Chavez" has the same problems that plague many biopics, and it is a reminder of just how problematic the genre is as a whole. Just because someone did something that was important doesn't mean their life is suitable for a motion picture. Like many biopics, "Cesar Chavez" offers up a very specific point-of-view on the labor organizer and his accomplishments, and the respect that Luna has for his subject is clear in every moment of the film. The script by Keir Pearson is admirably restrained in many ways, but it is also almost completely devoid of anything that would give the film the feel of actual life. This is a movie full of wax figures, where even their flaws are perfect. Just to show that Chavez wasn't perfect, the film repeatedly returns to his troubled relationship with one of his sons, but it is resolved in such an on-the-nose way that even his problems seem more noble and beautiful than most people's successes.

Read Full Post
<p>Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in action movie mode, but to very different ends, in the new crime-thriller &#39;Sabotage&#39;</p>

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in action movie mode, but to very different ends, in the new crime-thriller 'Sabotage'

Credit: Open Road

Review: Schwarzenegger leads a rowdy ensemble in the crazy sleazy action film 'Sabotage'

The latest from director David Ayer is unabashedly mean and dirty

From the moment "Sabotage" begins, it's obvious that David Ayer has something nasty in mind, but it's only once you've settled in and spent some time with it that the truly sleazy heart of "Sabotage" becomes clear. This is a movie set in a world where everyone is a giant piece of garbage, and even the ostensible hero of the movie is a horrible person, corrupt and broken and incapable of recognizing justice, much less dispensing it.

Ayer took a Skip Woods action script and turned it into something more distasteful, and I mean that with all due affection. This feels like the '80s action films where established icons suddenly showed up in these genuinely dirty movies, graphic simply for the sake of being graphic. "10 To Midnight" and "Tightrope" are two films that immediately jumped to mind when I saw this, or Stallone's "Nighthawks" or "Cobra." In this, Schwarzenegger stars as John Wharton, a badass DEA officer who leads a badass DEA strike team. He's earned the nickname Breacher because of how many impossible places they've taken down, and he's managed to build himself this totally fearless and insane group of human weapons. When something happens to Breacher that tests his faith in the job he's given his life to, he proposes a payday to his crew, and they put together a plan to steal a pile of cartel cash during a raid.

Read Full Post
<p>Jennifer Connelly was as lovely and as intense as ever when we sat down to discuss her new film &#39;Noah&#39;</p>

Jennifer Connelly was as lovely and as intense as ever when we sat down to discuss her new film 'Noah'

Credit: HitFix

Jennifer Connelly talks about working in the remarkable world of 'Noah'

Plus we discuss the film's dense moral landscape

Here's how you know Darren Aronofsky is a lunatic.

In his new film, "Noah," Jennifer Connelly survives the end of the world and has to listen as thousands of people die outside, and then still has to face the possibility of more death and horror even after that, and she still gets off lighter than she did in her last collaboration with the director.

Connelly's career has been distinguished by her affinity for dark subject matter, and she's not one to run from trauma on film. It makes it strange as someone who enjoys her work. It's hard to "enjoy" watching her suffer in film after film, even if she does it quite well.

Read Full Post
<p>This is what happened when I reminded Josh Holloway that, technically speaking, we are the same gender.</p>

This is what happened when I reminded Josh Holloway that, technically speaking, we are the same gender.

Credit: HitFix

'Sabotage' star Josh Holloway would really like to live through an entire movie

America's Sean Bean opens up about his worst on-screen habit

The same day I sat down to talk to Josh Holloway about his new film "Sabotage" was the day that the PaleyFest 10th reunion panel for "Lost" was held, so it's safe to say Holloway was in a pretty great mood when we spoke.

Here's what I don't get about Hollywood. "Lost" arrives on television and becomes a massive cultural hit, and one of the most charismatic cast members of that show looks and swaggers like an authentic movie star from day one. And here we are, ten years after the premiere of that show, and Holloway still hasn't had that one great movie role that could have pushed him over the top. Why is that? How is he not at the top of the list every time you're casting an action film? How is he not already in London getting ready to steal "Star Wars" out from under the rest of the cast? In what world is this guy not huge?

Read Full Post
<p>Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies have to survive a day of the most intense storms possible in the new found-footage thriller &#39;Into The Storm&#39;</p>

Richard Armitage and Sarah Wayne Callies have to survive a day of the most intense storms possible in the new found-footage thriller 'Into The Storm'

Credit: New Line Cinema

Found-footage thriller 'Into The Storm' features crazy large-scale tornado action

We've come a long way since 'Twister'

Because every generation deserves their own "Twister."

Somewhere today, Jan De Bont is sitting in front of YouTube, pressing "play" over and over again and saying to himself, "Look at what they did." I remember talking to producer Todd Garner not long before he left to go start work on this film, and he was giddy about what they were planning to do. Looking at this first trailer, it's obvious that they have spent their time and money planning massive set pieces in which tornadoes are pushed to a place that nature's never subjected us to, and if you're a fan of chaos and destruction, "Into The Storm" is the summer movie for you.

It makes perfect sense to hire Steven Quale as director. After all, directing a "Final Destination" movie is basically an exercise in juggling mayhem. The film is a found-footage movie, and while I'm tired of that device in general, it makes a certain sense here.

Read Full Post
<p>Mila Kunis is much more than she initially appears to be in the wild new film &#39;Jupiter Ascending&#39; from The Wachowskis, creators of &#39;The Matrix&#39;</p>

Mila Kunis is much more than she initially appears to be in the wild new film 'Jupiter Ascending' from The Wachowskis, creators of 'The Matrix'

Credit: Warner Bros

New 'Jupiter Ascending' trailer drops Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis into one weird wild world

How are people not excited about this yet?

It baffles me how modern film nerds can get crazy excited for the nineteenth new version of something they've seen before, but when we're just a few months out from a new original science-fiction action film from the filmmakers behind "The Matrix," there's a general attitude of "eh".

Maybe the Wachowskis are simply working on a different calendar than anyone else. I have no doubt that "Speed Racer" will, in the long run, eventually be acknowledged as a bona-fide family classic, and when more filmmakers start doing work that is influenced by the tremendous, confident visual language of that film, it will get its full due as a genuinely adventurous piece of mainstream cinema. Same is true of "Cloud Atlas." Time will be very kind to that film and its ambitions, and I think there are audiences who would have been profoundly impacted by it that still haven't seen it, that may not even know it exists.

If there's one thing that Warner Bros is going to do for "Jupiter Ascending," they will make sure that you know it exists. This is a big film for them, and this new trailer seems to be a much better glimpse at the scale of the movie and the truly crazy new world that the Wachowskis have created.

Read Full Post
<p>A streamlined Aronofsky sat down with us to discuss his ambitious and impressive new film &#39;Noah&#39;</p>

A streamlined Aronofsky sat down with us to discuss his ambitious and impressive new film 'Noah'

Credit: HitFix

Darren Aronofsky on making 'Noah' feel fresh to modern audiences

Plus we discuss the style choices he made in telling this famous tale

It's safe to say that I am a big fan of the work of director Darren Aronofsky.

From "Pi" to "Requiem" to "The Fountain," he made such huge leaps forward each time that the anticipation of what he might do next became a fascinating game, especially since he wasn't exactly cranking out a new movie every year. He's managed to reinvent himself onscreen with his last few films, in new ways each time. "The Wrestler" felt like him stepping into a world completely outside his own experience. "Black Swan" is a beautiful, haunting film that struck an unexpected nerve with audiences around the world. That was four years ago, and since then, he's been hard at work trying to bring his most personal vision yet to the screen.

It seems almost impossible to sit down with him for six minutes to discuss a film as richly imagined and densely detailed as "Noah," but that was the task tried to accomplish on Sunday. I was still grappling with my own reaction to the film less than a day after seeing it, and Aronofsky is trying to distill the entire experience down into words after spending most of his creative life thinking about this idea in one form or another.

Read Full Post