Jack Reynor on the chaos of 'Transformers' and the honor of 'Macbeth'
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Jack Reynor on the chaos of 'Transformers' and the honor of 'Macbeth'

The young star talks about the thrills of both of his new films

Greg Ellwood assures me that the buzz about Jack Reynor and his work in "MacBeth" later this year is very positive, and I'm glad I got a chance to ask Reynor about it. When I asked him if there was a culture shock that kicked in going from "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" right into Justin Kurzel's film version of "the Scottish play" with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard starring, he got real serious real fast.

He lit up when it was mentioned. "It's a step in my career that I'm incredibly proud of," he said, "and I am… fortunate to be in a position to do something like that… it was an amazing experience, and I worked with people who I have just the height of respect for."

Discussing the insane on-set conditions of making a Michael Bay "Transformers" film, Reynor was all smiles. "Not doing it is not really an option."

Reynor and his co-star Nicola Peltz discussed the practical effects and stunt work that even the primary actors in a Bay film are called on to do. It's a mark of honor to survive one of his sets with all four limbs intact, I'd even say. Bay likes to create a very real environment for these incredibly complicated effects, and part of what makes me laugh in the theater is seeing how huge the scale is this time of some of the practical builds and mechanical rigs and the way they marry things together. The next-level slick that is on display is ridiculous. That's what I can't really get past with Bay. He's diabolical in the way he stages things. He may well be a madman, and if that's true, then the "Transformers" films are even more important as they document his swing into this kind of wild, over-the-top kinetic destruction, played at a volume and a size that's just not possible for anyone else to do.

"There are things that Nicola and I were called on to do that we will never ever do again in our lives," Reynor said, almost wistful about it, even as he laughed at the memory in disbelief.

For the full video interview, watch the embed at the top of this story.
"Transformers: Age Of Extinction" opens everywhere tomorrow.

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Review: 'Earth To Echo' is a sweet small scale spin on the classic 'E.T.' formula
Credit: Relativity Pictures

Review: 'Earth To Echo' is a sweet small scale spin on the classic 'E.T.' formula

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
Strong FX and a stronger kid cast brings this one together

One of the hardest things about the way this generation of filmmakers has internalized the movies that inspired them is that watching their movies can sometimes feel like you're reading a laundry list of the things that they saw when they were younger, rather than watching something where all of those influences have crystallized into something new.

"Earth To Echo" could accurately be described as a "found-footage" riff on "Explorers" and "E.T.", and that description would certainly impart something of the film to someone. But the thing that "Earth To Echo" most accurately reflects from the best of the '80s movies that continue to linger with viewers, even 30 years after many of them first hit theaters, is that sense of something genuine about the kids. When I look at "E.T.", the first thing that strikes me as remarkable is just how right Spielberg got all of the kids in the film. Not just Elliott and Gertie and Michael, but all the kids in that film felt like actual kids who I knew at the time, my friends or the brothers and sisters of my friends, both older and younger. That was one of the huge appeals of Spielberg's early work, that rowdy sense of reality spilling out of the edges of the frame. When you watch the scenes in "Close Encounters" where it's just Roy Neary and his kids at home, there is nothing about those scenes that feels conventionally written. Instead, it's like Spielberg set up a camera in a real house and just captured the sort of chaos that defines family life. It's true of "Jaws," it's true of "Sugarland Express," it's true of "Poltergeist," and in its best moments, it is true of "Earth To Echo."

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<p>Oh my good look at them</p>

Oh my good look at them

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Sarah Polley set to write and direct John Green's 'Looking For Alaska'

Earlier book by the blockbuster author could finally be on its way to theaters

John Green has become something of a big deal since the opening of "The Fault In Our Stars," and more power to him. I am all for anything that gives power to the writer as opposed to basically anyone else in the food chain. Green sold the rights to this novel to Paramount years ago, and my guess is that as soon as "Fault" opened, they got real excited about what must have been a wildly reasonable investment.

Sarah Polley, writer/director of 'Take This Waltz' and 'Stories We Tell,' and Academy Award-nominated for her screenplay 'Away From Her,' is set to write and direct 'Looking For Alaska.' The book, by 'Fault In Our Stars' author John Green, has been in development for years, but is picking up steam as 'Fault' crosses the $100 million domestic box-office mark.

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'Ask Drew' looks up with 'Interstellar' and 'Starman'
Credit: Warner Bros./Paramount

'Ask Drew' looks up with 'Interstellar' and 'Starman'

Plus a very particular match-up in this week's Movie God

I was going to try to shoot an "Ask Drew" a few weeks ago, but it fell right between two week-long trips out of the country, and the Saturday I was poised to come in, I basically just collapsed.

The video team was ready and waiting, though, and as soon as I hit the office this week, they were ready to throw me in front of a camera and shoot a new episode. The great thing about the way you guys have responded to these so far is that we are not hurting for questions. There's always a stack of stuff ready to be answered, and the video guys are always happy to see more submissions arrive at video@hitfix.com.

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Kelsey Grammer on being in this summer's 'Transformers,' 'X-Men,' and 'Expendables'
Credit: HitFix

Kelsey Grammer on being in this summer's 'Transformers,' 'X-Men,' and 'Expendables'

Is he the most unexpected action star of the year?

If you were to ask me who the guy would be who appeared in the most giant action movies this summer, I would have never in a million years been able to call that person as Kelsey Grammar. Never.

It's actually kind of amazing. Sure, it seems natural that he was one of the people who filmed a surprise return in Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days Of Future Past." It was still a great moment in the theater, and when I sat down with Grammer during my time in Hong Kong for the press event for "Transformers: Age Of Extinction," we ended up talking about it for a moment. In particular, I wanted to ask him about the way Nicolas Hoult has expanded our understanding of Hank as a character, and I thought his response was great.

He's also an Expendable, and even he seems well aware how strange that is. I understand why they would want to add Wesley Snipes or Antonio Banderas or Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford, but Grammer? Fascinating. I'm curious to see if he's a good guy or a bad guy, and how he fits into that ensemble. I have learned not to be too excited about how an "Expendables" movie will actually work, but I can still be curious to see how Grammer fits into the thing.

I was shocked to see he even appears in "Think Like A Man Too," the not-surprising hit sequel. I mean, seriously… everything's coming up Grammer right now. His biggest role in any of them appears to be his role in "Transformers: Age Of Extinction," which is the one I was there to speak to him about. Harold Attinger is a shadowy government dude who seems to have no problem selling out the Autobots or the human race, and Grammer plays him with a withering sense of condescending hatred to anyone in his way. It's a nice way into a fairly pat character, and I think that's just Grammer for you. He plays smart really well, and you add amoral to that mix, and it gets fun real fast.

"Transformers: Age Of Extinction" is in theaters on Friday.

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George Lucas picks a Chicago site for his $700 million pop culture museum
Credit: AP Photo

George Lucas picks a Chicago site for his $700 million pop culture museum

San Francisco seems furious, but they had their chance

Oh, San Francisco, you had one job.

Hold on before you get worked up, though, folks. It's not like George Lucas just threw a dart to pick the spot to open his new museum. It sounds like he made a huge effort at opening a museum in San Francisco, but those efforts ended in frustration, and as a result, there will be a museum designed to hold Lucas's huge private collection of "illustrations, comic art, graphic art, animation, and other popular art forms," as The New York Times put it, and it will be in Chicago.

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Legendary 'The Good The Bad & The Ugly' star Eli Wallach passes away at 98
Credit: MGM/UA Home Video

Legendary 'The Good The Bad & The Ugly' star Eli Wallach passes away at 98

We look back at his amazing legacy

98 years old.

Remarkable. I can't imagine making it to 98. I can't imagine the breadth of life experience you could have in that amount of time. Eli Wallach leaves behind a truly great filmography and a family life that is enviable, having been married to the same woman, Anne Jackson, since 1948. She had a hell of a filmography herself, and they had three children together. I am in awe of anyone who can build a life that solid for that long, never mind someone who works in the film industry, where relationships are, at best, impermanent, and at worst, inconsequential.

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Ridley Scott's Matt Damon-starring adaptation of 'The Martian' may be his next film
Credit: Sony Pictures

Ridley Scott's Matt Damon-starring adaptation of 'The Martian' may be his next film

Simon Kinberg suggests a timeline for the big-screen version of the Andy Weir book

I'm confused. Is Ridley Scott making the "Prometheus" sequel for a 2016 release, or is he making "The Martian," with Matt Damon starring in the Drew Goddard adaptation of the book by Andy Weir? We've heard several possibilities, but according to Simon Kinberg, a producer on "The Martian," it appears that a choice has been made. The comments were made during a podast appearance with Jeff Goldsmith.

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Chris Hemsworth discussed playing 'Doc Savage' for 'Iron Man 3's Shane Black
Credit: Marvel Studios

Chris Hemsworth discussed playing 'Doc Savage' for 'Iron Man 3's Shane Black

If you're casting the original pulp hero, Hemsworth seems like a great choice

Last September, Shane Black did an interview with Jim Vejvoda at IGN, and the subject of "Doc Savage" came up. Black was discussing the casting challenge that Doc Savage poses, since the character was always described as being larger than anyone else, exponentially speaking. You could do it as an effect, I'm sure, but it helps if you start with someone who's already gigantic.

To that end, Jim suggested Chris Hemsworth. I concur. During a recent event of some sort that I might be heavily embargoed over, I may or may not have had reason to see Hemsworth in person in a very particular costume that showed off just how absurdly proportioned he is. I'm a long-time Doc Savage fan, and I know how I've pictured the character based on the way character in the stories react to him. He is unsettlingly large. He doesn't quite seem to be the same species as the normal human men around him. I think Hemsworth totally works if you're trying to cast that, and it helps that he is crazy talented as well. I think it would be fun to watch him play a lead in a Shane Black film, since I'm sure Black's take will have plenty of sly character humor built in, and Hemsworth is great at playing things so straight that they become funny.

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Stanley Tucci on new 'Hunger Games' fans and the scale of 'Transformers' action
Credit: HitFix

Stanley Tucci on new 'Hunger Games' fans and the scale of 'Transformers' action

Plus which performance of his should have gotten more attention at the time?

One of the most immediate pleasures of flying to Hong Kong to cover the release of "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" was sitting down with the always-charming Stanley Tucci to talk about his role as "Excellent character actor screaming at the CGI robots."

As I said in my review, these are really weird movies. I am still baffled by John Malkovich in the third film. There's an entire scene in that film where I can't even fully describe what it is he's doing. I went back recently just to look at that moment, and it looks like Malkovich is on Ecstasy and that he's fixated on one of the robots, practically rubbing himself against it. It's bizarre. I'm not sure about the entire role that he played. He has a deeply strange opening scene, and it just seems to get weirder from there, like the entire perverted "Three's Company" bathroom scene.

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