<p>Blink 182 signs autographs for fans on the WARPED&nbsp;tour in the new documentary 'No Room&nbsp;For Rockstars'</p>

Blink 182 signs autographs for fans on the WARPED tour in the new documentary 'No Room For Rockstars'

Credit: Vans Off The Wal

Watch: An exclusive clip from Warped Tour documentary 'No Room For Rockstars'

Blink 182 makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance

One thing that's going to be fascinating to watch unfold in the next few years is the ways films are distributed.  We live in an age where the landscape seems to shift daily, and as a result, the people who will be best suited to succeed are the ones who are willing and able to embrace new ways of thinking and who are willing to try new models to deliver movies to people, both theatrically and at home.

On March 1, 2012, next Thursday night, there will be a one-night-only theatrical engagement for the new documentary "No Room For Rockstars," which traces the history of the Vans Warped Tour.  Directed by Parris Patton, the film features many of the bands who were featured on the tour over the years.

In addition to showing the film, the event (you can find out which theaters are participating at the film's official website) will also feature a panel discussion with producer Stacy Peralta, director Patton, and several other people including the band Suicide Silence, conducted live from the Santa Monica Laemmle's Monica 4-plex.  The film played at the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival, and it will also play at next month's SXSW fest in Austin, before arriving on iTunes on April 2 and DVD on May 15.  Festivals, one-night live simulcasts, and then an iTunes release before DVD?  That's certainly not the way I'm used to seeing a film get released, but that's good.  I like that small films can find their own way these days.

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<p>Someone told me 'Wanderlust' was a comedy, but based on this, it appears to be a documentary about trying to balance modern schedules and a home life.</p>

Someone told me 'Wanderlust' was a comedy, but based on this, it appears to be a documentary about trying to balance modern schedules and a home life.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Rudd and Aniston in 'Wanderlust' features big laughs but a very thin plot

HitFix
B-
Readers
B-
David Wain's latest lands a lot of jokes but doesn't stick

There are very few TV shows from the '90s that have had as big an impact on film comedy today as "The State," which is kind of amazing considering how much of a cult item that was when it was still on the air.  Almost everyone from that show has gone on to have a healthy career playing parts in comedies, both mainstream studio fare and edgier indie material.  David Wain has been able to carve out a career for himself starting with the well-liked "Wet Hot American Summer," and his last film, "Role Models," was a charming low-key gem.

One of the things that bugs me most in a comedy is that moment that occurs when the laughs stop and the plot kicks in, and "Wanderlust" is guilty of that in a big way.  It's a shame, too, because there's a lot of the film that is genuinely funny.  The film tells the story of George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston), a married couple who are just taking the big step of buying their first apartment in New York City, and they manage to do so just as the bottom drops out of things.  When George loses his job and Linda can't sell her documentary, they begin to suspect they've got to come up with a plan B, and unfortunately, that involves George's psychotically competitive brother Rick (Ken Marino) in Atlanta.  As they're driving down to move in with him, they have to stop for the night, and that's how they find Elysium, a commune that's a holdover from the '60s.

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<p>'On Her Majesty's Supernatural Secret Service' pretty adequately sums up the general vibe of Daniel O'Malley's debut novel, 'The Rook'</p>

'On Her Majesty's Supernatural Secret Service' pretty adequately sums up the general vibe of Daniel O'Malley's debut novel, 'The Rook'

Credit: Hachette Book Group

One Thing I Love Today: 'The Rook' is smart contemporary spy fantasy, and wildly ambitious

HitFix
B+
Readers
A+
For a first novel, 'The Rook' is awfully confident

Daniel O'Malley's debut novel covers some familiar ground, but the reason I'm picking it as today's OTILT is because it manages to wring something new from that familiar ground, and the result is an exciting fantasy thriller that mixes the modern espionage genre with the sort of magical world posited by the "Harry Potter" books.  It's an intriguing collision of genre, and it works far better than I would have guessed just from reading the synopsis.

From the very beginning, the book takes a fresh perspective to tell the story, with Myfanwy Thomas "waking up" inside her body, completely unaware of who she is or how she's gotten into the situation where she finds herself, surrounded by dead bodies in a park in London.  It's not quite a "Bourne Identity" situation, since the Myfanwy that wakes up is not the same person who was attacked, and she has to figure out how she ended up in this body.  Thankfully, the old Myfanwy (pronounced "Miffany," according to the narrator) knew that something cataclysmic was coming, and so she wrote herself a series of notes so her new inhabitant could pretend to be her and solve the mystery of how this identity exchange took place.

What she learns is that she is a Rook, and she works for an organization that handles any and all supernatural invasions or disturbances in England.  There are two Rooks in the organization, and a handful of other positions, and as many agendas in play as there are other employees.  The other Rook is a four-bodied identity named Gestalt, for example, and Myfanwy finds herself hard-pressed to maintain the illusion that she is this person who she never met.

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<p>When Sam Worthington said he wanted to pay tribute to 'Ride The Lightning' in the new fantasy action film 'Wrath Of The Titans,' director Jonathan Liebesman took him literally.</p>

When Sam Worthington said he wanted to pay tribute to 'Ride The Lightning' in the new fantasy action film 'Wrath Of The Titans,' director Jonathan Liebesman took him literally.

Credit: Warner Bros/Legendary

Watch: New 'Wrath Of The Titans' trailer puts the emphasis on monsters

No one can accuse this sequel of playing it conservative when it comes to scale

I wasn't a big fan of the remake of "Clash Of The Titans," but I do like the genre that it represents.  We need more giant monsters in our movies.  I'd argue we need more giant monsters in all movies, regardless of what they're about.  "The King's Speech" without monsters, for example, might have won Best Picture of 2010, but "The King's Speech" WITH giant monsters?  That would win Best Picture of All Time.  You see the difference?

Even though I didn't really care about anyone or anything in "Clash Of The Titans," they've pretty much guaranteed that I'm excited to see the sequel, "Wrath Of The Titans" because the new trailer that just arrived appears to be wall-to-wall giant monsters, and there ain't nothing wrong with that, philosophically speaking.

We talked to Sam Worthington about what he considers a big fat do-over, and how that gives him a chance to get this one right since he feels like he didn't get it right the first time.  The same was true inside Legendary, which is a shame because I know how much the original "Clash of The Titans" meant to the executives there.  This was not a case of cynically remaking something because of some spreadsheet, but rather a case of someone intensely trying to recapture a feeling they had when they saw something and falling short.

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<p>'YOU&nbsp;CAN'T&nbsp;EMBARGO&nbsp;THE&nbsp;ROCK!' Dwayne Johnson uses Twitter like a blunt instrument and seems to be winning social media in general these days.</p>

'YOU CAN'T EMBARGO THE ROCK!' Dwayne Johnson uses Twitter like a blunt instrument and seems to be winning social media in general these days.

Credit: Dwayne Johnson/Twitter

Dwayne Johnson reportedly in talks to play 'Hercules' for MGM and Ratner

Could this finally be the franchise fit the actor's looking for?

I'm going to post that new "Wrath Of The Titans" trailer in a few, but it's interesting that this would show up on the same day that Variety breaks the news that Dwayne Johnson is going to star in "Big Duh: The Motion Picture."  Wait… sorry… it's "Hercules."  That's what he's starring in. That's what he was genetically created to do, truth be told, so it's good that MGM and Brett Ratner are figuring his deal out.

That's a great break for Ratner, and I think he's going to probably be a good collaborator for Johnson, whose "Team Bring It" attitude travels from set to set with him.  I've seen him work on what must be four or five films in a row now, and he sets a certain energy that everyone else keys in on.  Dwayne Johnson is a major asset to a franchise if the franchise has any juice at all.  He is a big part of what went right with "Fast Five," and he's absolutely at the heart of the "G.I. Joe" reboot. 

Even "Journey 2" gets what little mileage it gets out of him, because he's always working when he's in a scene, always trying to find something to make it work.  He's as dedicated to the little stuff as he is to the big stunt work.  He's an old-fashioned movie star who understands his own image, and he's been very canny so far about how he's played with his iconography.

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<p>Merida (Kelly MacDonald) is determined to take control of her fate in the new animated film 'Brave'</p>

Merida (Kelly MacDonald) is determined to take control of her fate in the new animated film 'Brave'

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Pixar

Watch: Pixar releases 2 1/2 minutes of new fairy tale 'Brave' as new trailer

You can see their new lead character, Merida, take control of her own fate

Disney has now released a two-and-a-half minute trailer for this summer's "Brave," and it's basically a trimmed-down version of one of the movie's key moments which was shown to the press last year at the D23 Expo.

It's a smart moment to use for many reasons.  FIrst, it's a great example of visual storytelling, and in a few quick moments, we learn a lot about the characters, the situation that Merida (Kelly MacDonald) finds herself in, and how she and her parents are at odds over her future.

In addition, it's a lovely example of how quickly Pixar can sketch character.  I feel like even though this is just two-and-a-half minutes long, we get a sense of all three of the suitors who are trying to win Merida's hand in marriage, and we get some sense of the dynamics between all of them.

Finally, I love the animation itself.  In particular, there's a moment in this scene when Merida is about to fire the last of her three arrows, and the physics of that arrow are so accurate, so well-done, that it reminds me just how far Pixar is ahead of most of their competition.

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<p>One of the real-life Navy SEALs who star in 'Act Of Valor,'and snce I assume he owns that gun for real, he's a tremendous actor with a promising future on the bigscreen.&nbsp; Now please stop pointing that at me.</p>

One of the real-life Navy SEALs who star in 'Act Of Valor,'and snce I assume he owns that gun for real, he's a tremendous actor with a promising future on the bigscreen.  Now please stop pointing that at me.

Credit: Relativity Media

Review: 'Act Of Valor' combines real-life Navy SEALs and old-fashioned Z-movie nonsense

HitFix
C-
Readers
C+
Disturbing military pageant is improbable but oddly detailed in its mayhem

"Act of Valor" is a spectacular action epic that is built around a cast of people who could probably kill me.  So… A+.  See it twice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Okay, I hope the real-life Navy SEALs who star in "Act Of Valor" just check that opening paragraph, because truth be told, I think "Act Of Valor" is the action movie equivalent of those Christian-market movies like "Fireproof" that come out, make a "surprising" amount of money, and then vanish again.  Insufferably earnest, it is a stunt more than anything, one hell of a high-concept hook but not much of a movie. 

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<p>Go ahead... you tell this guy he can't have an Oscar on Sunday.&nbsp; I want to see that.</p>

Go ahead... you tell this guy he can't have an Oscar on Sunday.  I want to see that.

Credit: Drafthouse Films

One Thing I Love Today: Exclusive new Mondo poster for Belgian Oscar-nominee 'Bullhead'

A Polish-inspired piece of art for the powerful limited release impresses

I love movie posters.

I know that seems sort of obvious, but if going to the movies is my church (and I think it is), then great movie posters are a sort of article of faith for me, objects that connect me to that thing I love.  One of the reasons I wanted to work at a movie theater when I was a teenager was so that I could have access to the movie posters, and I amassed an absurdly large collection of them, taking home everything that interested me and wallpapering my bedroom to the point where there were posters on top of posters on top of posters, a visual assault of movie-related imagery that I loved waking up to every morning.

Watching the evolution of movie posters over the last 20 years has been sort of disheartening.  Movie advertising in general has become very slick and calculated, and it all looks generally the same.  You see trends where one trailer does something and 50 trailers do the exact same thing because it worked.  You see posters that look like they took an intern 30 minutes to create in Photoshop.  You see an indifference to the idea of movie posters as art, and they are disposable as a result.

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<p>Darren McGavin starred as Carl Kolchak in the original 'Night Stalker' TV&nbsp;series, and when I look at Darren McGavin, I can't help but think 'Johnny Depp'</p>

Darren McGavin starred as Carl Kolchak in the original 'Night Stalker' TV series, and when I look at Darren McGavin, I can't help but think 'Johnny Depp'

Credit: ABC TV/MGM

Johnny Depp and Edgar Wright set to bring Kolchak back for 'The Night Stalker'

Could this be a major monster-driven franchise for Disney?

"The Night Stalker" is one of those "duh" ideas in television history, an idea that is such a natural that it almost seems like an inevitability.  The story of Carl Kolchak, a newspaper reporter who finds himself involved in chasing down the supernatural, the show is a clear precursor of something like "The X-Files," and even thought the series never quite lived up to the promise of the original TV movie, it was one of those shows that got lodged in the consciousness of anyone who saw it when it aired.

Johnny Depp is, of course, starring in this summer's "Dark Shadows," which seems to be taking the somewhat groundbreaking tactic of releasing a giant-budget Tim Burton film without a single poster or trailer.  That's about as cult a cult show as has ever existed, and stepping into the role that Jonathan Frid made creepy is going to be a very interesting role for Depp.  After that, he's headed out west to play Tonto opposite "The Lone Ranger."  So while he's on this particular nostalgia kick, why not throw in Kolchak?

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<p>A whole movie of Daniel Craig beating on people like an ape on meth, with Roger Deakins shooting it.&nbsp; Pinch me, I must be dreaming.</p>

A whole movie of Daniel Craig beating on people like an ape on meth, with Roger Deakins shooting it.  Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

Credit: Sony/EON

First 'Skyfall' videoblog suggests Sam Mendes is a lifelong James Bond fan

Want a quick glimpse of Daniel Craig as 007?

If you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm a little bit excited about "Skyfall."

It's a year where there are some big and significant franchise films coming out, including "The Avengers" and "The Hobbit" and "The Dark Knight Rises," and of all of them, the one that I have to admit has me most worked up and flustered and desperate for information about is "Skyfall."

I like what the Daniel Craig years have brought to the James Bond series, and I think they can do anything right now.  They're not painted into any corners.  They haven't done anything in "Casino Royale" and "Quantum Of Solace" that prevents them from going pretty much anywhere with the storytelling at this point.  There's a lot of groundwork laid in those two films, but to what end?

I think the key here in terms of my excitement is Sam Mendes, who I think is a talented guy whose films don't necessarily fully reflect his skills.  The attitude he's been expressing since coming on-board here, combined with what I've heard about him as a Bond fan in general, has me thinking that the producers picked the right guy to handle the 50th anniversary James Bond movie, and that there's something special in the works for us this year.

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