<p>Alexander Skarsgard tries to soothe the skittish Kirsten Dunst on the night of their wedding in the shattering new film 'Melancholia'</p>

Alexander Skarsgard tries to soothe the skittish Kirsten Dunst on the night of their wedding in the shattering new film 'Melancholia'

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Watch: An exclusive clip from 'Melancholia' with Kirsten Dunst and Alexander Skarsgard

Lars Von Trier's latest is gorgeous even in this short glimpse

I have an unabashed love for the new Lars Von Trier film "Melancholia."  I think it's the best thing he's done since he made "Breaking The Waves," and right now, if I had to pick, I think it might be my choice for best film of the year.

It is, therefore, a pleasure to be able to present an exclusive clip from the film for you.  This weekend, the movie will be available on On Demand, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Playstation, and Zune, and then will open in theaters on November 11.  It's funny… I wrote yesterday about how Universal is skirting some real controversy with their VOD plan for "Tower Heist," but for Magnolia, their business model uses VOD as a pre-theatrical window.  They've completely inverted the typical model, and it seems to be working for them.

I want to encourage you to see the film on the biggest and best screen possible.  If you've got a great system in your house and you can crank it up and really lose yourself in the movie, great.  Do so.  But if you can, wait for it to play theatrically, because it is a lush and sensual film.  Much of the first half of the movie takes place at the wedding of Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), where we watch anxiety and fear eat away at what should be a joyous occasion for Justine.

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<p>Sure, little Kristi looks like a cute kid, but you haven't met her friend Toby yet from 'Paranormal Activity 3'</p>

Sure, little Kristi looks like a cute kid, but you haven't met her friend Toby yet from 'Paranormal Activity 3'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Listen: The directors of 'Paranormal Activity 3' join the podcast from Austin

Plus 'Human Centipede 2,' Fantastic Fest wrap-up, and more calls from you

September was a blur.

By the end, I felt like I had stayed on a Tilt-A-Whirl too long and my equilibrium was shot, but I loved it all.  Toronto was great, and I published two big podcasts about Toronto just before I left town to head to Austin.  Now, I'm finally on the other side of the wonderful Fantastic Fest, and I've come back with one less interview than I expected.

I'll explain in the actual podcast, but the short version is my computer just plain didn't record something.  And as a result, it doesn't exist.  And so in this week's podcast, I discuss the interview that didn't record with Scott and try to relate some of the highlights as best I can.  It's a disappointment for me, but hopefully I convey some of the flavor of what it's like to chat with make-up legend Rick Baker for a half-hour.

We cover a fair amount of ground this week.  I've got FEARnet's lead critic Scott Weinberg on to discuss "The Human Centipede 2," I sit down with the directors and star of "Paranormal Activity 3," and we go through many of the highlights of Fantastic Fest this year.

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<p>Ben Stiller and Matthew Broderick are two of the stars of 'Tower Heist,' which will hit VOD&nbsp;in Atlanta and Portland three weeks after it is released in theaters.</p>

Ben Stiller and Matthew Broderick are two of the stars of 'Tower Heist,' which will hit VOD in Atlanta and Portland three weeks after it is released in theaters.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Universal tests VOD market with 'Tower Heist' home debut three weeks after release

Will Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy be the test that finally changes things?

The theatrical model I grew up with is dead.

Sure, theatrical release is still the first stop for studio films, for the most case, but the window between when something plays in a theater and when it arrives at home is shrinking rapidly, and today, Universal Pictures unveiled a startling plan to bring the big-budget comedy "Tower Heist" to VOD a mere three weeks after it hits theirs on November 4.

They're going to be testing the idea in Portland, OR and in Atlanta, GA, and it's got a steep ticket price.  $59.99 is more than any typical PPV movie charges, but it's not typical in any way.  If this does work, it could change the way studios handle big-ticket releases, and I would bet they'll telescope the release dates even more.  If they can get people to pay $60 a pop to sit at home and watch a big new release, why not do it on opening weekend?  Why not go ahead and start at day one?

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<p>I'm guessing there's about an hour of this in the mirror to start each morning at the Downey household, followed by a standing ovation.</p>

I'm guessing there's about an hour of this in the mirror to start each morning at the Downey household, followed by a standing ovation.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Robert Downey Jr. will have his day in court as 'Perry Mason' for Warner Bros.

How many franchises can one movie star juggle?

I foresee a future in which every single franchise film stars either Computer-Generated Johnny Depp or Computer Generated Robert Downey Jr. or, on occasion, both of them.  It is inevitable.

The latest step towards this sure-to-be-reality is the announcement today that Robert Downey Jr. will be the star of "Perry Mason," a new film and potential franchise that Warner Bros. will be releasing.  I've been reading some of the pulp work of author Erle Stanley Gardner recently, and I'm surprised by how sharp and contemporary much of it is.  He's most famous for creating Mason, and it's exciting to hear that they're not only going to use his work as the basis of the film, but they're also planning to set it in the period 1930s Los Angeles that Gardner captured so well in his work.

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<p>Lars Von Trier, seen here just after his infamous Cannes press conference, now says he will no longer speak in public or grant interviews.</p>

Lars Von Trier, seen here just after his infamous Cannes press conference, now says he will no longer speak in public or grant interviews.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Lars Von Trier retires from public speaking over police inquiry into 'Nazi' comments

Has it really come to this?

As I started flipping through headlines this morning, one of the first that caught my eye had to do with Johnny Depp apologizing for making a comment in a recent interview that compared photo shoots to being raped.

I am amazed how much time anyone in the public eye spends apologizing these days.  We have reached a point in culture where there is so much energy spent getting crazy about words that offend us that we seem to have stopped listening to the intent behind them.  Publicists have to put out daily fires that could easily be avoided if people just shrugged things off instead of organizing rallies over stupid off-hand comments.  It all makes me think of a word Berkley Breathed coined in "Bloom County" some thirty years ago, "Hyperoffensensitivity."

This was on my mind already when I saw a message appear in my inbox that simply said "A Statement From Lars Von Trier" in the headline.  Before we discuss it, I'd like to run the statement in full:

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<p>Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) race into trouble in 'The Adventures Of Tintin'</p>

Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) race into trouble in 'The Adventures Of Tintin'

Credit: Paramount/Nickelodeon/Dreamworks

Brand new UK trailer for 'Adventures Of Tintin' features eye-popping action

A strong cast and WETA working overtime looks like a winning combination

I don't care what anybody else says.  At this point, I am flat out excited about the impending release of "The Adventures Of Tintin".

It's exciting enough that Spielberg and Jackson are working together, and whatever you think about this film or that film, specific titles from either filmography, if that combination of brainpower doesn't excite you, then we simply don't have a common starting point in any conversation about film.

It's exciting enough that Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish were brought in to finish what Stephen Moffat began, and again, that's one of those equations that puts lead in the pencil, figuratively speaking.

And after the reaction many people had to Andy Serkis in "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes," it's a safe bet that there will be a lot of attention on his performance as Captain Haddock, which has always been one of the most enjoyable characters in the Tintin universe.

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<p>Werner Herzog, seen here at a film festival in Mexico earlier this year, will appear as the bad guy in the new Tom Cruise film 'One Shot'</p>

Werner Herzog, seen here at a film festival in Mexico earlier this year, will appear as the bad guy in the new Tom Cruise film 'One Shot'

Credit: AP Photo/Bernardo De Niz

Werner Herzog will try to kill Tom Cruise in first Reacher movie 'One Shot'

Can casting the right bad guy balance out the wrong lead in the movie?

I've been saying for years that Werner Herzog strikes me as a Bond villain in search of a movie, and now, it appears he's going to be playing the main bad guy in "One Shot," the first film adapted from the wildly popular series of novels about Jack Reacher written by Lee Childs.

I've written already about my irritation at the casting of Tom Cruise in the role of Jack Reacher, and no matter what Lee Childs says, I can't get past it.  I think the Reacher series is one of my favorite ongoing modern pulp series, and a big part of that is the sheer pleasure that happens when big giant Jack Reacher decides it's time to rain some hurt down on some deserving scumbag.  And as written, Reacher is a giant.  He's a huge hulking brute of a guy, and there is much time and energy spent describing him that way and making sure that pays off in the way confrontations unfold in the books.

I like Tom Cruise.  Don't get me wrong.  I think he's fun to watch, and in the right roles, he is absolutely iconic.  But he's not Jack Reacher as written.

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<p>Blake Lively, seen here at the CinemaCon Awards in March, has passed on 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,' raising serious questions about the film's fate</p>

Blake Lively, seen here at the CinemaCon Awards in March, has passed on 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,' raising serious questions about the film's fate

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Blake Lively passes on 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,' so will it ever happen?

We look at the troubled history of the film so far

Serious question.  By a quick show of hands, how many of you are seriously excited about or interested in a film version of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"?

I ask because I'm a little confused by the way this one's coming together.  Or not coming together, as the case may be.  According to Variety's Justin Kroll and Jeff Sneider, Blake Lively has now officially passed on playing Elizabeth Bennett in the film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel.  I actually had to go look up who the current director of the film is, and I'm wondering if Craig Gillespie is going to stay on the film for much longer.  This thing's been through a lot of hands in the last few years, and it's no closer to making it to the screen now than it was at the start of the process.

As a book, I guess I can acknowledge the joke, but I made it through about four chapters of the novel when it came out before I set it aside.  I'm all for post-modernism and mash-up culture, but it has to add something beyond a gimmick, and I'm still not convinced that "P&P&Z" does.

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<p>I'm guessing Jeff Goldblum won't be back even if David Cronenberg does end up making his proposed sequel to his 1986 hit 'The Fly'</p>

I'm guessing Jeff Goldblum won't be back even if David Cronenberg does end up making his proposed sequel to his 1986 hit 'The Fly'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

David Cronenberg has written a screenplay for a 'Fly' sequel

So are we ever going to see it turned into a film?

One of my least favorite moments of the year so far was writing a mediocre review for David Cronenberg's new film "A Dangerous Method."  I love Cronenberg's work, and I consider him one of the most interesting and exciting filmmakers working anywhere today.  Even when I don't like a film he makes, which is rare, I like the conversation about it, the experience of seeing it, and the knowledge that he's still working.

One of the most remarkable parts of his career is the way he managed to shake the horror genre, something many horror filmmakers are incapable of doing.  Studios and audiences love to put filmmakers into easy boxes, and Cronenberg's work was so outrageous that it would have been very easy to imagine him spending his whole life working in horror.  Instead, he managed to redefine himself so completely that it's possible that there are film fans who don't even know him as a horror filmmaker.

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<p>Darth Vader is currently blowing the minds of a new generation of kids all over America thanks to the release of the Blu-rays of the 'Star Wars' series</p>

Darth Vader is currently blowing the minds of a new generation of kids all over America thanks to the release of the Blu-rays of the 'Star Wars' series

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Film Nerd 2.0: We finally reach The Moment with 'Empire Strikes Back' on Blu-ray

In which a long-anticipated moment is far more emotional than expected

Before I left for Fantastic Fest, I showed the 1977 "Star Wars" to my boys.

I left the Blu-ray box set sitting on the shelf where I have all of my "to be played" discs, standing up so the boys could see the cover.  I did that specifically to torture them.  I wanted them to itch every single time they walked in the room while I was gone.  And I know them well enough to know that they would manufacture reasons to be in my office to do things, because that's what they do every day all day.  My shelves are a constant source of discovery for the kids, whether it's books or movies or games or music.  They're always asking to sample something.

And after I left for Fantastic Fest, I talked to the boys on the phone, and each phone call would begin with Toshi saying some variation on "Daddy, when you get back, it's going to be Friday, and on Friday, it's going to be too late, and on Saturday, we're going to watch 'Empire Strikes Back,' right?"

"Yes."

"How many days is that?"

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