<p>Karl Urban as Judge Dredd feels the heat in a scene from 'Dredd 3D'</p>

Karl Urban as Judge Dredd feels the heat in a scene from 'Dredd 3D'

Credit: Lionsgate

Want to win an early screening of 'Dredd 3D' for you and your Mega-City?

We've got the details on you can enter to win

Right now, I'm seeing a tendency among studios to do special free screenings based on demand that they try to calibrate by using various new companies and methods, and it's exciting.  Nothing speaks better for a film than screening the film itself, and today, we've got a chance for you to win a local screening of Lionsgate's new release, "Dredd 3D".

It's simple to enter, too.  Remember, in the world of "Dredd 3D," there is just one city, but it stretches from Boston to Washington DC, and it's now called Mega-City One.  Keep that in mind as you check out what Lionsgate had to say about the event:

Citizens of Mega-City One, the law is on your side!  If this is not your city block, simply head on over to The Dredd Report, the number one news source for all things Mega-City One, where you can see if your block has been chosen and enter to win an early screening of DREDD 3D, in theaters September 21.

All you need to do is send an e-mail to info@hitfix.com and be sure to include your full name, age, and the city/town where you live, with the subject line "Dredd 3D Phoenix."  You can do that any time between now and Monday the 10th at 12:00 noon PST.  We'll be sending out e-mail notifications to the winners as well as posting their names here in this article on Monday.

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<p>Karl Urban IS the law in 'Dredd 3D'</p>

Karl Urban IS the law in 'Dredd 3D'

Credit: Lionsgate

Review: 'Dredd 3D' offers up a grimy hyper-violent faithful take on the comic icon

HitFix
B
Readers
A-
Stylish and bloody, 'Dredd 3D' should give genre fans a thrill

For many Americans, 1995's Danny Cannon film "Judge Dredd" was their introduction to the long-running English comic book, and it managed to poison the well for the character almost completely.  Hopefully enough time has passed that when audiences walk into "Dredd 3D" later this month, the 1995 version is no longer an issue for them and they're able to just give this new film a shot without any baggage.

I'd heard good things after the Comic-Con screenings of the film, and it seems to be picking up a head of steam as far as critical reactions are concerned.  There were rumbles about behind-the-scenes difficulties during production, but none of that is visible in the final product, which is a hyper-violent action film that manages to perfectly capture a sort of world-weary attitude that really sells the reality of life in Mega City 1.  Karl Urban's performance as Judge Dredd, a legendary figure in the city, is suitably grim and badass, and there's not a hint of ego in the way he vanishes into that costume and that permanent scowl.  We see one quick encounter between Dredd and a van full of genuinely stupid criminals at the start of the film, one of them taking hits of a drug called Slo-Mo that seems to almost freeze time for the user.  Right away, you get a sense of just how far the film will go in terms of violence when Dredd fires what is essentially a flare into a guy's mouth, causing his whole head to catch on fire from the inside.  It's a crazy image, and just a hint of what's ahead.

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<p>Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play opposite ends of the same life in 'Looper'</p>

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play opposite ends of the same life in 'Looper'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Joseph Gordon-Levitt kills in the human and heady 'Looper'

HitFix
A
Readers
B+
One of the year's best films mixes big ideas and big emotion to stunning effect

One of the oldest time travel "what if" questions deals with the very idea of changing the future through one single action.  "If you could go back in time and kill Adolf Hitler as a child, would you?"  After all, with that one action, you would erase so much pain and horror that it seems like a more-than-fair trade, right?

But what if instead of immediately leaping to the idea of murdering a child, no matter who that child is or is going to become, you took a less easy route?  What if you went back in time and raised Hitler Jewish instead?  What if instead of killing him, you connected him to a faith and a tradition and you changed his entire set of values and beliefs?  It's not a single action, and it doesn't sound easy, but it does raise a far more pointed question about the hypothetical situation.  Can you erase an evil by committing an evil?  Can you do good by doing bad?

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<p>Be afraid, Chris... be very afraid.</p>

Be afraid, Chris... be very afraid.

Credit: Jeff Wadlow/Universal Pictures

'Kick-Ass 2' director Jeff Wadlow teases the start of production on Twitter

A half-glimpse of Mother Russia is just one of the highlights so far

That look on Chris Mintz-Plasse's face pretty much says it all.

It is slightly miraculous that there is a "Kick-Ass" sequel.  I really like the first film, but while it did decent business, I wasn't convinced it did enough business for them to move forward with a follow-up.  Even when Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. published the sequel as a comic, it didn't seem like any sort of guarantee.

Over the last few months, the film's been coming into focus as they've started casting and as the returning cast has started talking about getting back to the characters they played in the first film.  I've interviewed Chris as well as Aaron Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz this summer, and they all said they were looking forward to a return to the world of the movie, but I also got a sense of caution from them, as if they were aware just how tenuous the whole idea was.

About a month ago, I finally read Jeff Wadlow's script for the film, and as far as I'm concerned, this thing can't get to theaters fast enough.  If you didn't like the first one, I'm not sure the sequel will change your mind, but if you did, they're turning everything up this time.  And if the new cast they're adding is any indication, it's going to be a much crazier movie.

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<p>His role in 'The Slammin' Salmon' gave Duncan a big showcase for his big personality.</p>

His role in 'The Slammin' Salmon' gave Duncan a big showcase for his big personality.

Credit: Anchor Bay Entertainment

A personal goodbye to 'Green Mile' star Michael Clarke Duncan

A look back at the moment that gave him the rest of his career

The term "gentle giant" is a cliche, but in the case of Michael Clarke Duncan, it was completely appropriate.

I find it difficult to believe that Duncan is gone.  I find it hard to write about his passing, because it doesn't seem real.  Duncan was one of the most genuine wide-open souls I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, and my many encounters with him over the years all left me convinced he was someone who would work for the rest of his life, always in demand, always good when he's hired.

I remember hearing about him first.  Harry Knowles came back from his visit to the set of "Armageddon" completely and utterly in love with him.  No other way to put it.  Harry was convinced that of the entire sprawling ensemble, positively dripping with testosterone, Michael Clarke Duncan was the biggest personality, the guy he couldn't stop watching.  He was doing other films, busy with TV work, but "Armageddon" was a major jump into the foreground for him.  You can see him in "Bulworth" and "A Night At The Roxbury," and he's good considering what he's given to play, but he had to find the right thing, something that really showcased him.

Then came "The Green Mile."

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<p>Bradley Cooper seemed excited to discuss the possible film version of 'Hyperion' which he's co-writing when we spoke at the press day for 'The Words'</p>

Bradley Cooper seemed excited to discuss the possible film version of 'Hyperion' which he's co-writing when we spoke at the press day for 'The Words'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Bradley Cooper talks about adapting the science-fiction classic 'Hyperion'

The 'Hangover' star doesn't think of himself as a writer

It is fitting that Bradley Cooper plays a writer in his new film "The Words."

To be more specific, he plays a frustrated writer, a man whose attempts to break into the world of publishing are met with indifference until he stumbles across a long-lost manuscript, known to nobody, and decides to claim it as his own.  He ends up winning acclaim for the piece and falling into a life that he doesn't earn, even as the real author of the piece stumbles across his own words, finally in print after having disappeared for almost a half-century.

It's a really nice performance by Cooper, but these days, he's not pretending to be a writer.  He's doing it.  He's working on adapting the Dan Simmons novel "Hyperion" into a film, something that's been frustrating filmmakers for a while now.

When I sat down with Cooper and Brian Klugman, one of the writer/directors of the movie, I didn't intend to bring up the project, but it seemed like a natural progression in the conversation, and I was curious to see what he had to say about the state of the script right now.

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<p>Milla Jovovich wanted to show me how she's approaching the title role in the inevitable action science-fiction reboot of 'I Love Lucy'</p>

Milla Jovovich wanted to show me how she's approaching the title role in the inevitable action science-fiction reboot of 'I Love Lucy'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Milla Jovovich is giddy to go back to battle in 'Resident Evil: Retribution'

The delightfully daffy star of the franchise is on fire for our interview

J'adore.

Pretty much the moment Richard Linklater cut to the extreme close-up of Michelle, the character played by Milla Jovovich in the wonderful "Dazed & Confused," as she rolled a joint, I was smitten.  Smote.  However you want to say it.  Same thing happened when she held up that ID to the security guard and insisted that her name was "LeeeeelooDallasMoooolteeeepass."  It's absurd how adorable she is as the divine being in Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element," and she gives one of those performances that is so dedicated that even if you don't like it, you have to marvel at it.  Throw in the album she recorded in her teens full of personal, lyrical doodles, and I never really stood a chance.

I am fascinated by the way Screen Gems has essentially been handed over to two married couples at this point.  I recently chatted with Kate Beckinsale about working with her husband, Len Wiseman, in the "Total Recall" remake, and Jovovich has a similar set-up with her husband, Paul W.S. Anderson.  They seem like a pretty self-contained unit, happy to keep cranking out these increasingly strange and oddball zombie epics, and she seems like she loves the fans whenever I see her talking about these movies or showing up on a Comic-Con panel.  I may not like these films very much (and I'll have a review of the new one for you on Friday), but I like her enthusiasm, and I like that she's found a niche where she seems really happy.

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<p>Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner almost managed to keep straight faces in this scene from 'Hansel &amp;&nbsp;Gretel:&nbsp;Witch Hunter'</p>

Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner almost managed to keep straight faces in this scene from 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunter'

Credit: Paramount Pictures/MGM Studios

Want to see Jeremy Renner in 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" and if so, why?

Calling this trailer 'remarkable' might not be a compliment

I think I'm over the whole "so ridiculous it's fun" thing.

Either that, or I'm waiting until someone actually creates something that genuinely looks like fun before I say that again.  Today, the trailer for "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" finally arrives online and I can't help but feel like I'm looking at a parody of a "cool" movie trailer.

Jeremy Renner is so decidedly modern and he and Gemma Arterton appear to have so little chemistry that I'm feeling like even before you get to the film's ridiculous premise, the movie is already hobbled.   Sure, it's hard to judge the end result from a trailer, but part of me feels like I'm looking at the new version of "The Brothers Grimm," and if Terry Gilliam failed to make that premise work, I'm not sure Tommy Wirkola (whose "Dead Snow" was fun) is the man for the job.

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<p>You know something serious is going down in Rian Johnson's 'Looper'&nbsp; if Bruce Willis is making that face</p>

You know something serious is going down in Rian Johnson's 'Looper'  if Bruce Willis is making that face

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Looper' needs your help, and we've got a mission for you

Is it viral marketing or a cry for help from the future?

One of the things I'll be doing at the Toronto Film Festival this year is catching up with "Looper," the Rian Johnson film I first saw last year in a rough state.  I'm excited to see the finished movie and to sit down with the cast for some interviews.

Today, though, came a firm reminder that my vacation is over.  As much as I've loved having time off with my kids as I recharged the battery for what is going to be a very busy month ahead, I was aware that the flurry of work was going to begin the moment I returned.  Sure enough, there was a knock on the door this morning and a guy who looked suspiciously like a young Bruce Willis was standing there.  He handed me an envelope and said, "You've got a mission.  Get to it."

Oddly, he hopped on what looked like a NY bike messenger's bike and took off down my driveway, leaving me to head back inside and look to see what it was he'd brought me and what explanation there was for his actions.

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<p>By the time 'The Phantom Menace' arrived in theaters in 1999, I felt like I'd already seen every frame of the film.</p>

By the time 'The Phantom Menace' arrived in theaters in 1999, I felt like I'd already seen every frame of the film.

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

The Vacation Read: Which do you prefer, anticipation or total spoilers?

We wrap up our week away with a look at how we prefer to learn about films

Wow… has it been a week already?  I'm probably curled into a fetal position right now, weeping about the fact that I'm already done with my vacation.  A week sounds like it's going to be a long time, but then when it actually happens, it's over as soon as it starts.

Today, I want to wrap up this week of conversations by talking about anticipation.  I think modern movie marketing is so pumped up and aggressive that much of the joy of waiting for a film to be released has been diminished.  For me, unfortunately, the process has been completely distorted because of the way we cover trailers and set visits and editing room visits and early cuts and more.  By the time a film comes out these days, I feel like I've already had the experience, and it's harder and harder for me to have anything approaching a "normal" experience.

I grew up loving the anticipation.  The wait between the release of "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" may have only been three years, but it felt like forever, and every single day of those three years, I was manic for information about what was coming.  I spent that time in a constant fog of daydreaming about what might happen, what could happen, what should happen.  I loved it.

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