Yes, Jennifer Lawrence has a new haircut.
And, yes, it's freakin' adorable.
One of the reasons people seem to like Lawrence on an almost chemical level is because she seems to present the "real" Jennifer Lawrence in any interview you see, something that is not easy to do. There is a very real and understandable drive to protect some degree of your privacy when you are a public figure, and I don't blame anyone for doing their best to guard parts of themselves.
But Lawrence, simply by virtue of how she carries herself, makes it seem like she's got nothing to hide and no filter with which to hide it. She is outspoken and charming and very direct about things. It helps when she's comfortable, and at this point, I think it's safe to say that she's comfortable when it comes to speaking about anything regarding "The Hunger Games."
Yes, Jennifer Lawrence has a new haircut.
What does a December release mean for a "Star Wars" film?
In practical terms, nothing. The film is the film. There won't be any difference in the film just because they're releasing it on a different date. But in terms of sentiment, it's a huge deal for "Star Wars" fandom, and more than anything, this would seem to announce clearly that this is not all going to be out doing everything the same way it's always been done.
Recently, there was word of a behind-the-scenes struggle between Robert Iger and Kathleen Kennedy over the release date of "Star Wars: Episode VII," with the producer pushing for a possible 2016 release. A December date in 2015 seems to be the best possible compromise, giving director JJ Abrams and his entire creative team more room to get the script ready and put the right amount of polish on the universe.
The release of a new film by Joel and Ethan Coen is one of those moments that I like to savor each time it happens precisely because none of us have any idea how many more of them we'll get. I feel like they have been on an amazing run recently, and if anything, they're getting more daring, more controlled, more impressive. Their films have a thematic density that is dazzling, and they never seem to be struggling to make something "important," instead simply following their own peculiar muse to consistently interesting effect.
Oscar Isaac stars as Llewyn Davis, a folk singer struggling at the fringe of the scene in Greenwich Village in 1961, and he's facing a moment that any artist who does not find immediate success must face at some point, the question of whether or not to continue working in a field where you are frustrated. Llewyn survives thanks to a complicated economy based on free cigarettes, sleeping on couches, and showing up somewhere just in time to get invited to stay for dinner, and he seems like he's on the verge of breaking through to real success. After all, he sees it happening to the people around him. His friends Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan) are a real draw as a duo, and he feels like he's very close to having a moment of his own if he can just play the right gig.
"Young-adult literature" did not technically exist when I was a young reader, so it's kind of amazing to see just how huge a piece of the publishing pie the broad genre has become. I've been trying to decide what I think the definition of a young adult novel is, and I think the best version of it has to do with fiction that captures that moment where someone is wrestling with their identity and defining their place in the world. It often seems to be concerned with someone learning a sense of personal responsibility, and while the general trappings of the genre can be ridiculous and exaggerated, like zombies and vampires and werewolves, there is something genuine that they seem to address when they're done well.
Meg Rosoff's "How I Live Now" was well reviewed and won several awards, and while it was a success, no one would ever look at this and think that it's going to become the next "Twilight" or "Hunger Games." Wisely, instead of trying to shoehorn Rosoff's small and delicate book into the wrong shape, the script by Jeremy Brock, Tony Grisoni, and Penelope Skinner is a modestly-scaled story, and Kevin Macdonald has made a movie that feels like a largely internal journey, a window into the heart of Daisy (Saoirse Ronan), an angry girl who is on the verge of becoming an angry woman before she is sent for a summer to a relative's farm. It's often melodramatic to call something "life-changing," but that's very true in this case, and it's handled with genuine grace and subtlety.
Making lists is one of those things that unites film fans, and it seems to be an almost reflexive action. "What's that? 'Thor: The Dark World' is coming out? Hmmm… seems like we should rank all the Marvel movies so far."
For the purposes of this particular gallery, the HitFix staff voted on every Marvel title since "Blade" was released, and as always, I was surprised by the final result. It's interesting when we get people like Guy Lodge voting in these because he will flat out tell us that he's not a fanboy, and yet that makes his votes more urgent because he's looking at them as a film fan first.
There were some titles that I was not surprised to see here as well. It does not surprise me to see that the sequels to both "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" still place so high on the list. Those films were both made near the start of this superhero cycle, and there was such an amazing energy about them, about what these filmmakers were starting to recognize as the potential of these movies and these characters. It still shines through when you watch the movies, and that sense of invention is what makes the best of these movies so exciting.
At this point, someone might want to check to see if Hugh Jackman still knows for sure that he's not really Wolverine.
Chris Eggertsen and I decided to discuss today's surprising news about James Mangold and Hugh Jackman both working together on a new "Wolverine" sequel, and I think it's a solid look at some of the biggest ramifications of the news. In the meantime, if you loved the movie, there's going to be even more of it when it arrives on home video.
If you're enjoying our new emphasis on video (or if you're not), I'd love to hear some feedback from you about it. We'll be doing more and more as we settle into HitFix Headquarters in the heart of Hollywood.
"The Wolverine" will be on Blu-ray and DVD on December 3, 2013.
Death must be a part of this show, even more than any of the other Whedonverse shows. If you are willing to work in this world, and if you are willing to put yourself on the line, then we must see that death can happen, and that's just part of it. For that to work, though, there can't be a cheat code that will always save every cast member. If you're not willing to destroy the status quo, then none of it matters.
Having said that, tonight's episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." is the first time I've felt any emotional connection to the show, and it seems like it establishes some key things about these characters in a more direct way than we've seen so far.
For example, I was getting tired of the "Fitz carrying a torch for Skye" thing after just a few weeks of it. It feels like very familiar ground, and I don't just want to see earlier Whedon characters renamed and plugged into this show. Xander's crush on Buffy was fine for a while, but that show learned quickly that he couldn't just pine away for her forever. It's a dead end for a character.
I'm curious to see how filmmakers cast Cobie Smulders in the future. She's had an interesting decade with "How I Met Your Mother" launching her to prominence. A mere ten years ago, she was one of the young stars of ABC's flash-in-a-pan series "Veritas: The Quest," but once she was part of the break-out ensemble comedy that's wrapping things up with a controversial final season right now, it seems like she would suddenly start getting bigger roles.
Oddly, that's not how it has played out. I like "The Slammin' Salmon," and I think she's funny in it, but that's the biggest film role she played before "The Avengers," where she made her first appearance as Maria Hill. "Delivery Man" is still a smaller supporting role, but it's a step in the right direction. Next year, she's starring in a David Wain comedy along with some folks like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Michael Shannon, Ed Helms, and Christopher Meloni. In addition, she's the voice of Wonder Woman for "The LEGO Movie," and she'll be back as Hill for the S.H.I.E.L.D.-centric "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."
Living in a house that would be defined demographically as Latin-American has given me a very different perspective on what gets made, how things get released, and how specific groups are targeted in the campaigns for some movies and not for others.
Hollywood certainly seems aware that there is a huge audience out there that is both Hispanic and buying movie tickets, and so they're working overtime to figure out how to reach out to them. Look at the trailer for Paramount's latest entry in the "Paranormal Activity" franchise. They are well aware that a huge portion of the audience for horror films, driving those opening weekends, are young Latin males, and the same is true of superhero films.
One of the biggest box office stories of the year, relative to the size of the fin, is the success of "Instructions Not Included," a small Mexican film that was written and directed by Eugenio Derbez, who also starred in the film. It managed to open in fifth place over the Labor Day weekend with over $10 million, and I guarantee something like that gets the money guys at the studios worked up.
There are oh-so-many things I wish I could say about "Guardians Of The Galaxy" already, and pretty much none of them that I am at liberty to actually share.
That's a little bit infuriating. One of the best friends that any film can have is word of mouth, and while I understand completely that Marvel doesn't want to share certain information at the wrong time with people, and that they wisely want to focus more on the movies people can see now than on the movies that are almost a year away, it's still hard not to share a certain informed enthusiasm when something warrants it, and I feel like "Guardians Of The Galaxy" does.
Or it could, anyway. Obviously anything can happen, and there have been countless films that have looked good on the set and that have had strong early footage and that simply haven't come together properly. In this case, writer/director James Gunn is telling what I think it's safe to call the single strangest Marvel movie so far, and he's got to create this entire corner of the universe and make it all work in terms of tone.