'Iron Man 3' director Shane Black signs to bring the 'Predator' series back to life
Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Iron Man 3' director Shane Black signs to bring the 'Predator' series back to life

Even better, he's co-writing with his 'Monster Squad' writing partner

Oh, I see what you did there, Fox. Sneaky. I like it.

I'm not even remotely surprised that Fox is working to make a new "Predator" movie. I don't really care what they call it… reboot, remake, sequel, update… whatever. They'll never stop making "Predator" movies. They'll do it anytime they've got an idea that's even vaguely commercial, because it's an evergreen property for them. They don't have to license any rights. They're not playing with someone else's material. Like with the "Alien" series, they own "Predator" completely, and they've proven repeatedly that they're willing to bend those icons in a million different ways.

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Review: 'Snowpiercer' is a bold and brilliant science-fiction vision
Credit: The Weinstein Company

Review: 'Snowpiercer' is a bold and brilliant science-fiction vision

HitFix
A
Readers
A
A great cast knocks it out of the park in this one-of-a-kind thriller

One of the things that has been fascinating during the last 15 years of writing about films has been watching the way various genres or movements or international scenes have had their moment. One of the most exciting of those was the emergence of the new Korean cinema, and there were so many good movies and so many exciting filmmakers working all at once that it felt like something very special.

I have a particular fondness for the work of Bong Joon-ho, and I think he's managed to avoid being pigeonholed because of the way he's never really repeated himself as a filmmaker. My first exposure to his work was at the Fantasia Film Festival, where I saw "Barking Dogs Never Bite." Right away, I was drawn in by his kinetic sense and by the very human weaknesses of his characters. "Memories Of Murder," his next film, positively destroyed me. It's as rich and rewarding a crime movie as Fincher's "Zodiac," and it's also built on a foundation of frustration. When he made a monster movie with "The Host," what made it special was the way he also took the opportunity to comment on the dissolution of the modern Korean family. His last film, "Mother," defies any easy genre characterization, and it features maybe the strongest performance in any of his films so far.

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Mark Wahlberg discusses how important 'Transformers' is to his kids
Credit: HitFix

Mark Wahlberg discusses how important 'Transformers' is to his kids

Plus we learn how 'Ted' got him ready for the giant robots

Hong Kong in the summer time is a whole different magnitude of hot and humid than I think I've ever experienced before. While I'm sorry we didn't end up doing the interviews for "Transformer: Age Of Extinction" outside where you could have seen more of the city, I get it. It was punishing weather, and I'm sure if you're Mark Wahlberg, you don't want to to spend six hours sitting in that while people ask you about working with giant robots.

I am an unabashed fan of Wahlberg, both as an on-screen presence and as a person. I think he's had a fascinating personal evolution over the last twenty years, and I love the way filmmakers have evolved their own thinking about how to cast him and what roles he fits. One of the best things that happened to him was when people realized that his earnestness can be wildly hilarious in the right context.

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Review: 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' is new evolution of weirdest series around
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' is new evolution of weirdest series around

HitFix
B-
Readers
F
And Mark Wahlberg doesn't even sing 'The Touch' one time

Here's the thing… you're going to read a lot of reviews of "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" that will exist primarily to give the critic writing the review a chance to entertain other critics. That drives me crazy. Even when a film is as over the top horrifyingly awful as, say, "Winter's Tale," I'll still try to engage with the material, because that's only fair. I may hate everything about it, but if I'm not willing to treat the film with the same level of scrutiny that I treat everything else, then why bother writing about it?

The "Transformers" series so far is, by far, one of the strangest giant franchises in production. I've reviewed all of the films, and I think they are genuinely worthy of examination, not only in the context of Michael Bay's career, but also within the framework that the films have created for these stories. The first film is probably the easiest one to like. It was a fairly clever concept to hang the entire thing on the story of a boy and his first car, which just happens to turn out to be an intergalactic warrior robot who is part of a war that has found its way to Earth. The film is really, really busy, and the story tries so hard that it gets irritating, but it benefits from a handful of solid comic performances and a sense that there is something awesome about these giant shape-shifting mechanical creatures. The second film…

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<p>I&#39;m almost sure we won&#39;t see this in &#39;Episode VIII,&#39; but it&#39;s still awesome.</p>

I'm almost sure we won't see this in 'Episode VIII,' but it's still awesome.

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rian Johnson directing 'Episode VIII' is a sign of the thinking behind the 'Star Wars' series

So who should end up in the chair for 'Episode IX'

The announcement of Rian Johnson as the writer/director of "Star Wars Episode VIII" is exciting for a number of reasons, not least of which is because it indicates something about the way Lucasfilm views the sequel trilogy.

If I were to guess, I would say Marvel isn't going to hire many more writer/directors in the future, even if James Gunn and Joss Whedon both crush it with "Guardians Of The Galaxy" and "Avengers: Age Of Ultron." The fall-out from the "Ant-Man" situation has been fairly brutal, and while I'm curious to see what Peyton Reed and Adam McKay make of the project they're inheriting, the loss of the Edgar Wright version is just plain going to sting.

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<p>Well, that can&#39;t be good.</p>

Well, that can't be good.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

New 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' trailer is emotional and terrifying

But if you're already sold, you may not want to see how much this gives away

We often talk about movies that are game-changers, or we talk about the cutting edge of visual effects, but jumps forward are often marked in tiny baby steps.

That does not appear to be the case with "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes."

I just recently re-watched "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes," and the way they incorporated performance into the character animation for Caesar was remarkable. Andy Serkis and Weta Digital brought that character to life in a way that didn't just push the envelope… it shredded it. And in the new film, it looks like they've had to do that on a massive scale, bringing dozens of characters to life with that same degree of finesse.

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'Jurassic World' director teases his dinosaurs on Twitter
Credit: Universal Pictures

'Jurassic World' director teases his dinosaurs on Twitter

Looks like we'll see some old-school full-sized puppets in this one

Only time will tell if Colin Trevorrow gets "Jurassic World" right, but I think at this point it's safe to say that he gets Twitter right.

I'm impressed by the way he handled the leak of the early story details. Instead of going into defensive mode, he steered right into it, and he seemed happy to confirm some things while denying others. More than anything, it felt like he was clarifying because he knows what it's like to be a fan who is soaking up every little tiny bit of information that comes out about something.

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New 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' international trailer features more Rocket Raccoon
Credit: Marvel Studios

New 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' international trailer features more Rocket Raccoon

Disney keeps cutting better and better trailers for this one

It seems appropriate that the first thing I'd post from Hong Kong would be an international trailer for an upcoming movie.

There is no question that "Guardians Of The Galaxy" mania has gripped my home these days, and each new clip or poster seems to whip my kids into a frenzy. That culminated this weekend in a lovely moment when we ran into Bradley Cooper at the Los Angeles premiere of "Earth To Echo." He posed for a photo with the two of them, and my six-year-old got a chance to tell Cooper how much he loves it in the last trailer where Rocket Raccoon fixes his balls in his spacesuit. I'm not sure I've ever been more proud.

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<p>Hiccup and Toothless in &quot;How To Train Your Dragon 2.&quot;</p>

Hiccup and Toothless in "How To Train Your Dragon 2."

Best and Worst of 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'

Wait, there was a worst in this movie?

Audiences are finally getting a chance to see "How To Train Your Dragon 2" this weekend, and pretty much every parent I know is excited about that news.

Why? Well, the first one was an underdog hit for Dreamworks Animation, and it's the sort of film that people walk out of feeling surprised. If you can do that, then you'll get an audience to show up for a sequel because they are actually excited, rather than just bludgeoned into submission by marketing muscle. The flip side to the enormous expectations people have for the sequel is that it makes it that much harder for the filmmakers.

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<p>&#39;22 jump Street&#39;</p>

'22 jump Street'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Best and Worst of '22 Jump Street'

Is the Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill sequel better than the 2012 remake?

One of the first conversations I had on Twitter after arriving home from London on Thursday evening was about whether or not "22 Jump Street" is a good comedy. I really enjoyed the movie, and I think it's got a lot going on just below the surface. It's like the world's most insane subversion of the "Beverly Hills Cop" model ever attempted, and it made me laugh like a maniac.

It's clear, though, that some of us at HitFix laughed harder at the film than others, and that's fine. That's how comedies normally are. There are any number of comedies that I adore that people hate, and I would never try to argue the point with them. For me, laughter is an involuntary thing, and when I spend pretty much the entire running time of a film laughing, I'd call that a successful comedy. It was true of the first "21 Jump Street," and it's equally true of the sequel.

We decided to look at the best and worst things about "22 Jump Street" here, and the whole HitFix editorial team took a shot at it.

For me, the one thing I can't decide if I liked or disliked is a pretty big spoiler so I didn't mention it in my first review. I guess I liked this one thing, but disliked the way it was resolved in the film. As they work undercover to find a new drug being sold to college students, Jenko (Channing Tatum) tries to get close to a football player named Zook (Wyatt Russell). From the moment Jenko and Zook meet, they've got a relationship right out of a romantic comedy, and they play it over the entire film. I wish they would have had Jenko realize at some point in the film that he's actually gay, because I think it would have been a fascinating way to twist the buddy comedy norms. Tatum's such a super-cop in the film that revealing he's gay would challenge expectations in a big way.

What are the things the rest of Team HitFix liked and disliked? Open the gallery below, and let's see how many you agree and disagree with.

"22 Jump Street" is in theaters now.

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