<p>Flying is just par for the course at this point in the series as Vin Diesel returns for 'Furious Six'</p>

Flying is just par for the course at this point in the series as Vin Diesel returns for 'Furious Six'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'Furious Six' delivers the biggest action yet in this unstoppable series

HitFix
B+
Readers
A+
Can this series really survive the loss of Justin Lin?

If you don't like surprises being ruined for you, definitely don't go read the cast listing for this film on the IMDb.

At this point, I suspect you know where you stand on this series. I find myself wildly impressed by what Justin Lin and screenwriter Chris Morgan have pulled off, reinventing a series that had limped to a stall before they signed on. Even more impressive, they did it by embracing the three radically different films that came before and they found a way to roll them all into an ongoing soap opera mythology, and with each new film, they seem to refine the formula even more.

In the last film, they introduced Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs, an international lawman who was chasing Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his extended criminal family, and they basically came up with an excuse to turn the films into gigantic stunt-laden caper movies that turn into this sort of sustained rolling wave of automotive mayhem all over the world. At this point, the ensemble includes Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), his wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) who is also Dom's sister, Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky), Gisele (Gal Gadot), Han "Seoul-Oh" (Sung Kang), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and the newest member of Hobbs' team, Riley (Gina Carano). In this film, they're all assembled to go head to head with Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), a shadowy ex-military figure who has been running various jobs all over the world. Hobbs uses a photo taken during one of Shaw's jobs to bait the hook, since it reveals that one member of Shaw's team appears to be Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), Dom's former girlfriend who was supposedly killed back in film number four, "Fast and Furious."

Read Full Post
<p>Right after this photo, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg announced their intention to remake every Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy together.</p>

Right after this photo, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg announced their intention to remake every Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy together.

Credit: HitFix

Karl Urban and Simon Pegg talk about bringing some light to 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Plus how devoted do you have to be to be called a 'Trekkkie'?

Karl Urban and Simon Pegg are both valuable parts of the chemistry that drives the new "Star Trek" series.

Pegg was someone I already knew I liked enormously before "Star Trek" arrived, and it's interesting to see how JJ Abrams has turned Pegg into comic relief in two different franchises. The Scotty from these movies is a very different person than the Scotty we saw Doohan play for all those years. I have trouble imagining Doohan sprinting around a hangar trying to figure out how to open a door or getting sucked through a water pipe system. Pegg, though, is down for pretty much anything they throw at him, and he works his ass off to entertain in the new film.

Urban, on the other hand, is a guy who hadn't really come into focus for me until "Star Trek." I didn't dislike him or his work, but he didn't make the strongest impression as an actor, and I had trouble figuring out if he had much of a personality. Whoever first thought to have him read for Bones deserves a bonus, though, because he is perfect in the role. So far, I'd argue he's the greatest underutilized asset that the series has, and if they continue with more movies, I pray they give Urban more to do. He deserves it.

Read Full Post
<p>Justin Bartha seems perfectly happy to discuss the possibility of a 'National Treasure 3'</p>

Justin Bartha seems perfectly happy to discuss the possibility of a 'National Treasure 3'

Credit: HitFix

Justin Bartha says 'National Treasure 3' is still a possibility

Will he be heading out on a new adventure soon?

Over the weekend, I drove to Las Vegas so I could sit down with the cast and crew of "The Hangover Part III" and talk to them about the film.

At this point, the actors seem relaxed because they've finished. Whatever happens with this last film, their work is done now. Whatever people end up thinking about the new film, they've taken their shot and wrapped up one of the unlikeliest franchises in modern memory.

I spoke to director Todd Phillips, lunatic co-star Ken Jeong, the members of the Wolfpack, and, in the final room, Justin Bartha and Heather Graham. My first observation is that Graham is a vampire. It's the only explanation for how she looks exactly the same now as she did 20 years ago. It's spooky.

Read Full Post
<p>Sarah Polley has every reason to smile now that her new film 'Stories We Tell' is opening</p>

Sarah Polley has every reason to smile now that her new film 'Stories We Tell' is opening

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Sarah Polley talks about the artistic freedom that led to her brilliant new 'Stories We Tell'

An interview with one of the most exciting young filmmakers working

These days, a number of my interviews are done by phone because I am juggling some complicated scheduling around the lives of my kids. It's just a fact of parenthood… you make space for all of their stuff because you have to. You do it no matter how hard it is, because it means something to them and you only get one shot at that.

At least, that's how I feel right now. I know people who have made that sort of effort and still managed to fumble things, and no matter how hard we want everything to work out for our lives and the lives of our kids, that's not always the case and we know that. And sometimes, the stories we tell ourselves or that we tell our kids are used to help paper over some sort of hurt, and we justify it by saying we're trying to avoid hurting them any more than is necessary.

What happens when you get away with a story for so long that you forget you told it, until someone else starts peeling away at the edges of it? What happens when you discover that something you've accepted as part of your daily life, one of the fundamental truths of your world, is simply not true?

All of this is dealt with in Sarah Polley's remarkable new film "Stories We Tell," which I gave a fairly breathless review earlier this year. The film is available now for you in a number of different ways, and I want to urge you to give it a try. It is as exciting in its own way as any of the summer blockbusters, and smarter than all of them rolled up into one.

Read Full Post
<p>Robin Wright is front and center as 'Robin Wright' in the new film 'The Congress'</p>

Robin Wright is front and center as 'Robin Wright' in the new film 'The Congress'

Credit: Independent Films

Must Watch: First trailer for 'The Congress' is a mind-bending techno dream for Robin Wright

New animation/live-action hybrid from 'Waltz With Bashir' director looks crazy

I thought "Waltz With Bashir" was a gorgeous film. I didn't think it always hit the same heights dramatically that it did visually, but it was an intriguing way to give a fresh look to what is essentially a talking heads documentary.

Since then, I've been curious to see how filmmaker Ari Folman would follow up that picture. He decided to start with a Stanislaw Lem science-fiction novel, then adapt it loosely and use it to explore the notion of whether or not our essence is something that can be captured by a computer, much less recreated.

For years now, I've heard people in Los Angeles talking about the idea of scanning movie stars into computers, head to toe, as a way of allowing them to freeze themselves at a particular moment in time, using their digital model to appear in films while their physical form continues to age. We're not at that point yet, but it's something that people have been actively considering for a while, and the conversation raises any number of points about technology, ethics, performance, and what it is we respond to when we watch someone.

Read Full Post
<p>We may not have shared cocktails, but I&nbsp;had a great time interviewing Jessica Walter for 'Arrested Development' anyway.</p>

We may not have shared cocktails, but I had a great time interviewing Jessica Walter for 'Arrested Development' anyway.

Credit: HitFix

Jessica Walter calls her roles on 'Archer' and 'Arrested Development' a 'gift'

How can someone this nice play the two most insane mothers on TV?

Jessica Walter is all sorts of awesome.

First, she is part of one of my favorite animated shows, and not just of recent vintage, either. I think "Archer" belongs in the pantheon of animated comedy. That show is funny on so many simultaneous levels that it makes me dizzy. I love it as a spy comedy, as a comedy about a stunted manchild and his relationship with his mother, and as a non-stop barrage of some of the dirtiest things that have ever made me laugh.

Second, she's the mother of the Bluth family, and that alone would secure her place in the all-time hall of fame. Her work as Lucille was a major part of what made the show special. Watching her manipulate her children and grapple with the ethical vacuum that is her husband and somehow never spill a drop of any of her martinis… well, that's talent.

Beyond that, I wonder how many younger fans of her work in those shows are familiar with the role that first made her an icon to me, Clint Eastwood's "Play Misty For Me." She is outstanding in that film as a woman who is completely obsessed with a radio disc jockey played by Eastwood. It was his first film as a director, and it's still one of the best roles he's ever given an actress in his work.

Read Full Post
<p>JJ&nbsp;Abrams seems happy with 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' his second time helming the series</p>

JJ Abrams seems happy with 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' his second time helming the series

Credit: HitFix

JJ Abrams talks about approaching 'Star Trek Into Darkness' as a stand-alone experience

And he explains how everyone tried to make this film both deeper and richer

At this point, it's just funny that I've never done a formal sit-down interview with JJ Abrams.

After all, we've been colliding now for years. For a while, I made an accidental habit out of busting his biggest secrets wide opens months before they were supposed to be revealed, and in the case of his Superman script, before film had even rolled.

It was during the production of the first "Star Trek" that we called a truce, and since then, our e-mail correspondence has been somewhat cordial. Abrams is still playing the game, though, as should be perfectly clear to anyone who goes back to read this article after they see "Star Trek Into Darkness."

I don't blame him at all. That's what the modern world of film marketing is all about. These days, there is an illusion of transparency as the studios have created a system that brings journalists to almost every set and where the entire process is being written about, from development to release. There's still a ton of control being exerted over every part of that presentation, though, and in the case of the films that Abrams has been making, he has gone above and beyond in his quest to keep certain elements of his films secret until they are released.

Read Full Post
<p>Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine had a contest at the press day for 'Star Trek Into Darkness' to see who could look more like the 'Mad' magazine drawing of themselves. The winner? Everyone.</p>

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine had a contest at the press day for 'Star Trek Into Darkness' to see who could look more like the 'Mad' magazine drawing of themselves. The winner? Everyone.

Credit: HitFix

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine will definitely do 'one more' after 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

The actors talk about owning the iconic roles now

I'm really sorry I couldn't get away to be the one in London interviewing the cast and crew of "Star Trek Into Darkness" for HitFix, but if we had to send someone else, I'm glad we sent Guy Lodge.

I got to spend some time with Guy earlier this year at Sundance, and one of the many reasons I'm proud to be a part of Team HitFix is because we've got Guy writing film reviews for us. Guy is a very smart, very English critic, and having his voice in the mix with mine and with Greg's and with Kris Tapley's is part of what makes our site what it is. Guy will be handling a lot of our Cannes reviews this year (I won't be making the trip, unfortunately) and Greg Ellwood will also be there.

Guy sat down with, among others, the one-two punch of the day, Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine. I look at these guys and it seems to me like someone grew them in a lab, specifically to be the stars of "Star Trek."

Read Full Post
<p>Sandra Bullock's going to be tested severely in 'Gravity'</p>

Sandra Bullock's going to be tested severely in 'Gravity'

Credit: Warner Bros

Sandra Bullock struggles with panic in amazing teaser trailer for 'Gravity'

Plus we get a glimpse of some zero-g Clooney as well

That is how you cut a teaser trailer.

I would be perfectly happy if I didn't see another frame of footage from Alfonso Cuaron's upcoming film "Gravity" until it opened in October. Until today, we've managed to go without seeing any moving images, and I already knew I was desperate to see the film.

Now, though, after that trailer? Holy cow. "Gravity" tells the story of two astronauts, played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, who are in the middle of a space walk when their craft is hit by debris and Bullock becomes separated from the ship.

There is no more humbling concept to me than being adrift in space, alone and without any protection beyond the space suit you're wearing. If you want to feel very small, just looking up into space will do that, but to actually be lost in it, not sure if you're ever going to see another person again… I would imagine there's no easy way to express the horror that would set in.

Read Full Post
<p>James McAvoy was fairly clean-cut for 'X-Men:&nbsp;First Class,' but that may not be true for his return to the role next year</p>

James McAvoy was fairly clean-cut for 'X-Men: First Class,' but that may not be true for his return to the role next year

Credit: 20th Century Fox

James McAvoy is looking shaggy on the set of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

Xavier is pretty much the opposite of bald this time

One of the keenest pleasures of "X-Men: First Class" was seeing how Matthew Vaughn treated the styles of the '60s while also making a heightened-reality X-Men movie. I thought they walked the line very carefully, and the costume design work by the great Sammy Sheldon was immaculate and often very cheeky.

Bryan Singer has been tweeting all sorts of things from the set of "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" so far, and they're still just gearing up. I'm glad to see they didn't just jump right to shaving James McAvoy's head and that, if anything, Xavier's looking a little shaggier this time.

I'm curious to see how this one works. I still don't know if it's more of a sequel to "First Class" with cameos from the other timeline, or if it's a return to the Singerverse with cameos from the "First Class" team. Either way, it's such an interesting collision of actors that it's going to be thrilling to see it play out.

Read Full Post