Review: 'Child 44' wastes Tom Hardy in a long, muddled non-thrilling thriller
Credit: Lionsgate

Review: 'Child 44' wastes Tom Hardy in a long, muddled non-thrilling thriller

HitFix
C-
Readers
n/a
This film has no idea what story it's telling or what genre it is

Having never read the novel by Tom Rob Smith, I can't really comment on "Child 44" as an adaptation. Often, even I feel like a movie doesn't work, as long as it resembles the book, fans seem placated, and that might be the case here. Coming to it cold, though, my reaction is one of bewilderment. I have no idea what movie they thought they were making or why people flipped out for the book, because there's nothing in this film that would suggest a compelling story compellingly told.

Tom Hardy stars as Leo Demidov, who was orphaned and left in a miserable hellhole, eventually escaping and enlisting in the Russian army as a teen. When WWII came, he fought, and he eventually ended up in Berlin, where he become a propaganda icon thanks to his part in a pivotal battle and his posing for a famous photo. As the film gets going, Russians are adjusting to life in the '50s, and Leo works as an agent for the MGB.

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Patty Jenkins takes over as director of Warner's 'Wonder Woman' film
Credit: Warner Bros.

Patty Jenkins takes over as director of Warner's 'Wonder Woman' film

What does this mean for the long-in-development project

Patty Jenkins was the original director of "Thor: The Dark World." While no reason for her departure beyond the omnipresent "creative differences" were cited, it obviously dented her reputation.

You can deny it all day, but after she left that film, she has worked exclusively in TV. Sure, TV is a good job, but she was in the mix on big giant movies before that. It will never stop baffling me how someone like Robert Schwentke can direct something as terrible and financially disastrous as "R.I.P.D." and then get handed a giant franchise sequel as a reward, while someone like Jenkins can simply stall out on a big film and find herself sent back to Lifetime Network for her trouble.

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Exclusive: Kristen Wiig reeeeeally likes Oprah in new film 'Welcome To Me'
Credit: Alchemy

Exclusive: Kristen Wiig reeeeeally likes Oprah in new film 'Welcome To Me'

Kristen Wiig's work in "Welcome To Me" is pretty terrific, and she pulls off something that could have easily blown up in her face. She plays a character who is deeply, profoundly mentally ill in a film that is funny and sad in equal measure without ever taking a cheap or sensational approach to whatever it is that's wrong with her.

Not easy.

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Exclusive: Big cats play scary games in a clip from the deliriously crazy 'Roar'
Credit: Drafthouse Films

Exclusive: Big cats play scary games in a clip from the deliriously crazy 'Roar'

Plus further details on tomorrow night's LA screening of the film with our moderated Q&A

While I was waiting for the screening of "Unfriended," I was sitting with some friends and the conversation turned to "Roar", as it often does if I'm involved right now.

After all, if there is any film being released theatrically this year that deserves to be obsessed over, it is "Roar." This oddity from 1971 was rediscovered by Tim League and the rest of the amazing Drafthouse Films team, and they're releasing it in limited markets starting this Friday. I've written my review of the movie, and I mean it sincerely when I say that the pull quote they used from me in the trailer for the film is one of the proudest moments of my entire career writing about movies.

What makes the film special? Why have I seen it five times and I'm still willing to drive from Anaheim to Sherman Oaks after a long day at Celebration just to see the film for the sixth time and then do a Q&A? Because this is a movie that simply should not exist.

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Want to see what a hand-animated Brad Bird version of 'The Spirit' looked like?
Credit: Pixar

Want to see what a hand-animated Brad Bird version of 'The Spirit' looked like?

Brad Bird's got a couple of intriguing almosts out there that drive me crazy as a fan of his work.

We'll be writing more about Bird and his work between now and the release of "Tomorrowland," but this morning, we're going to take a look at one of those films that didn't happen, but could have and, if we're being honest, should have.

I'm not a huge fan of the original "The Spirit" comic strip, but it's not because I dislike it; I just don't know it at all. I assume it is nothing like the horrible Frank Miller film, and I'm going to also assume it was a precursor to much of the superhero pulp that followed.

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Review: 'Unfriended' uses new social media language for familiar ghost story
Credit: Universal/Blumhouse

Review: 'Unfriended' uses new social media language for familiar ghost story

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
A game cast makes this one fairly painless, although silly

"Unfriended" is a very silly film.

"Unfriended" is also a very clever film. For a very silly film. And that combination of clever and silly will most likely make "Unfriended" a small sensation of sorts among the audience it is clearly chasing. It made me laugh when a group of teens paused mid-conversation to explain to one another what a "troll" is, because every person in that conversation would 100% already know that word. It's clearly a nod to the idea that my parents might see "Unfriended," and they wouldn't know, so someone has to explain it. The makers of "Unfriended" shouldn't worry, though, because there's little or no chance my parents would ever see this movie.

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Sylvester Stallone has become the new Mickey in first image from 'Creed'
Credit: Warner Bros

Sylvester Stallone has become the new Mickey in first image from 'Creed'

The first time I really took notice of Michael B. Jordan was the back-to-back combination of "Chronicle" and his work on "Parenthood." What was immediately apparent was that Jordan was a remarkably poised young man, someone with an intensity that felt like it was grounded in a profound decency.

Working with Ryan Coogler, Jordan garnered a fair amount of justifiable attention and praise for "Fruitvale Station," an angry and heartfelt look at just one of the many murders committed against unarmed young black men by police officers in this country, a film that now feels vaguely ahead of its time, sadly. The two of them got a big bump out of that movie, as often happens.

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Bryan Singer thinks Olivia Munn is a Psylocke for an 'X-Men' role
Credit: Marvel Comics

Bryan Singer thinks Olivia Munn is a Psylocke for an 'X-Men' role

When I used to make semi-frequent appearances on "Attack Of The Show," it was always made easier by co-hosts Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn. Kevin walked that fine line between game show host and uber-nerd, and Olivia was the living embodiment of Amazing Amy's "Cool Girl" speech.

Since she's made the jump to acting full-time, Munn's been defined, like most actors, by the strength of the material she's given. In the best written scenes on "The Newsroom," she's proven herself a fairly sharp and interesting performer.

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5 Rules for Designing a 'Star Wars' Character
Credit: Disney

5 Rules for Designing a 'Star Wars' Character

Hard to argue with the guy who designed Darth Maul

One of the people most directly responsible for the design of the "Star Wars" prequel is Doug Chiang, so it seemed only fitting that I would hop on the phone with him to discuss "Star Wars: The Digital Collection" the morning after the announcement was made.

Before we spoke, Fox sent over a clip from the extras on the "Digital Collection," and in it, Doug talks about lessons he learned from George Lucas about design, lessons that Disney summed up for me in the following bullet points:

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'Suicide Squad' leader David Ayer teases a glimpse of Jared Leto's Joker look
Credit: DC Comics

'Suicide Squad' leader David Ayer teases a glimpse of Jared Leto's Joker look

Someone's a big 'Killing Joke' fan

UPDATE: 4/24/2015

And here he is...

UPDATE: 4/16/2015

Jared Leto seems to have shared a little more on snapchat.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

David Ayer seems to have developed a wicked Twitter habit.

More likely, someone smart in the publicity/marketing food chain at Warner Bros. encouraged him to develop a wicked Twitter habit to help stoke the frenzy around what it hardly a guaranteed slam dunk.

Sure, there are a number of things that the film has going for it, and in today's climate, the first non-Superman or Batman shot fired in the DC vs Marvel war is going to be closely scrutinized. And, yes, I know that "Suicide Squad" is at least Batman-adjacent and might, for all we know, end up featuring the world's greatest detective in a cameo or even a small supporting role. But it's not a "Batman movie" in the sense that he's the driving force of the film.

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