'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Gary Oldman prefers to drop the exposition, thank you
Credit: HitFix

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Gary Oldman prefers to drop the exposition, thank you

And co-stars Keri Russell and Jason Clarke seem to agree

When I sat down to talk with Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Jason Clarke, it was a few days after Oldman's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show to try to put to rest the controversy over comments he made during his recent Playboy interview.

I'm glad it had already fizzled out. I've met Oldman before, in a very odd circumstance involving a film directed by a mutual friend, and I really enjoyed chatting with him then. He's a smart guy with a very specific background during an era of British independent film that I find wildly interesting. I could spend hours talking to him about his early work and the filmmakers he's worked with if he'd indulge me, and it would never occur to me to delve into politically correct language.

When discussing "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes," the exceptional new film by Matt Reeves, one of the things I found interesting is just how spare the film is in terms of typical exposition. The film works with an efficiency that's very similar to the storytelling in the last film Reeves made, "Let Me In," and it's one of the many things that makes "Dawn" feel special among typical summer movie blockbusters.

Read Full Post
Exclusive: David Fincher teases with a new piece of evidence from 'Gone Girl'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Exclusive: David Fincher teases with a new piece of evidence from 'Gone Girl'

And there's a new trailer on the way on Monday

Because I see almost everything at a press screening, it's rare that I see trailers in the theater, and I sometimes forget just how different it is to see something on the bigscreen as opposed to at home on my computer.

Case in point: the "Gone Girl" trailer. At home, I thought it was good, but in the theater, I found it much more powerful and effective. Trent Reznor's comments that Fincher made "a nasty movie" have me very curious to see what he's done with Gillian Flynn's already substantially wicked book. There is a brutal cynicism about love at the heart of this one, and while Fincher wasn't immediately the obvious choice for this movie, it feels like he may end up being the perfect choice.

Read Full Post
Scott Derrickson has already found a perfect Doctor Strange, but is Marvel ready?
Credit: Screen Gems

Scott Derrickson has already found a perfect Doctor Strange, but is Marvel ready?

It's time to introduce a little more color to the Marvel movie universe

Short version: let's see Marvel add some different shades to the Marvel movie universe.

Read Full Post
Review: 'Deliver Us From Evil' offers up a grimy real-world take on supernatural horror
Credit: Screen Gems

Review: 'Deliver Us From Evil' offers up a grimy real-world take on supernatural horror

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
Strong sense of mood balances a familiar script nicely

So, basically, it's "CSI: 666."

Makes sense. Jerry Bruckheimer doesn't really do horror films. When you look back at his long and storied career as a producer, you see several recurring things, but horror seems like it's never really been part of his cinematic diet. I guess you could argue that some of the "Pirates" movies have some creepy elements, but those films are ultimately family adventure movies with a healthy dose of comedy thrown in.

So what attracted him to the story of Detective Ralph Sarchie, a real-life NYC officer who gets involved in a case that subjects him to some insane supernatural attention? Hard to tell, but the finished film, directed by Scott Derrickson and adapted from Sarchie's non-fiction book by Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman, plays like a police procedural first and foremost. It's a dark and grimy film, and while I think it's juggling a whole lot of cliches, there is something genuinely admirable about the way it tells this story and the way it handles the supernatural onscreen.

Read Full Post
At least we know for sure who Andy Serkis is not playing in 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

At least we know for sure who Andy Serkis is not playing in 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron'

We were confused by this week's news

One of the banes of my existence is imprecise language.

How many stories do you think are generated each week because someone misreads something or because the language in the original piece was confusing? A great example last week was watching people excitedly post the news that you'd be able to see the entire film "Guardians Of The Galaxy" in IMAX on Monday, and that it would be 17 minutes longer than the regular theatrical cut!

Uhhhh… no.

Read Full Post
Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' will live again as a series for Starz
Credit: William Morrow

Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' will live again as a series for Starz

So does this mean they'll call it 'American Godz'?

HBO can't make everything, damn it.

It's fascinating to me how "Make it a series for HBO!" has become a rallying battle cry for genre nerds everywhere any time there's something that seems hard to figure out as a feature film. And while I'm sure HBO would happily put every single thing ever on the air, that's just not economically possible. They have to choose, and sometimes they don't particularly love having to make those choices because they end up losing material that they would like to make simply because they don't have enough room or time to produce every show.

Michael Lombardo recently expressed excitement about the possibility of doing a "MaddAddam" series with Darren Aronofsky, and in the same interview, he talked about how upsetting it was to lose the rights to "American Gods," which they tried to develop for a while.

Read Full Post
Review: Melissa McCarthy's dream project 'Tammy' is a disappointing misfire
Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Melissa McCarthy's dream project 'Tammy' is a disappointing misfire

HitFix
D+
Readers
n/a
With husband Ben Falcone, she's made a brutally unfocused comedy

For many comedy performers, the ultimate sign of success is being able to create a comedy film that is tailored to their sensibilities, that shows off their strengths as a performer, and that they feel some sense of authorship over, and Melissa McCarthy has more than earned that right. It's not about "Bridesmaids" or "Identity Thief" or any individual performance she's given so far, and it's not about "Mike and Molly" or the fanbase she's built there. It's about a certain degree of inarguability that a performer reaches, and that's where McCarthy is right now.

Along with her husband Ben Falcone, she wrote "Tammy," a road-trip movie that Falcone directed, and if this is the reward she gets for all the hard work that got her to this point, then I'm glad they both got to have the experience. I just wish they'd made a good movie in the process.

Read Full Post
<p>&#39;I... Am... Groot!&#39; &#39;Hulk... kill... Groot!&#39;</p>

'I... Am... Groot!' 'Hulk... kill... Groot!'

Credit: Marvel Animation

What Mark Ruffalo's not telling you when he talks about Marvel's 'Planet Hulk' plans

If it's not a stand-alone film, then where will we see the Hulk next?

Now that Mark Ruffalo's giving lots more interviews about his role in "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" and he's talking about the possibility of another solo Hulk movie, there are certain questions that are being repeated and rehashed in a  million different ways and places, and watching from the sidelines without comment is becoming impossible for me.

As a result, I may have to delve into spoilers a bit here. I also need to be careful because I visited the London set of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," and anything I saw or learned during that trip is heavily embargoed. So I'll tread lightly, but in order to fully address the rumors that are bouncing around, I'll need to discuss one major event from the final act of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron."

Read Full Post
American remake of cult-classic shocker 'Audition' in the works for director Richard Gray
Credit: Shout! Factory

American remake of cult-classic shocker 'Audition' in the works for director Richard Gray

This one's going to be tricky to get it right

This was inevitable.

The premise of "Audition" is irresistible as a horror movie set-up. It's not only clever, it also does a tremendous job of commenting on just how casual the misogyny is in many horror films, from concept to execution to the marketing. "Audition," at least in the original Miike film, is about setting those scales right, delivering some magnificent horror to those who have earned it.

Read Full Post
Review: 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" is a daring and dazzling accomplishment
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" is a daring and dazzling accomplishment

HitFix
A+
Readers
n/a
This series is actually getting better from film to film

One of the words that was used most frequently when describing "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" was "surprise," and with good reason. After all, the previous attempt to bring the long-running science-fiction franchise back to life was a nightmare, a truly terrible film that is a narrative disaster even among the narrative disasters that mark many of Tim Burton's lesser films. It seemed like Fox had limped along trying to get an "Apes" movie made for so long that they were willing to try anything.

Scott Frank came close to getting a film make called "Caesar," and it sounded like he was on the right track. His basic idea started with a Fox-mandated remake of "Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes," but went in a very different direction. His film was designed to be a hard-science story about what might happen if we made the advance in genetic modification that would lead to apes that spoke and thoughts the same way we do, and he researched the state of the art of motion-capture and character animation.

This was around the end of 2008, the start of 2009, and when he moved on, Fox must have remained excited about the basic idea. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver pitched their own origin movie, using alzheimer's research as the jumping-off point, and they ended up writing the film that Rupert Wyatt directed. That film, featuring a performance by Andy Serkis as Caesar, wasn't the biggest box-office hit of 2011, but it was a film that was respected and liked and that people were pleasantly delighted by, something that almost always ends up creating more passionate fans. It's one thing when we've all got some pop culture icon jammed down our throats. Even when it's done well, it feels pre-packaged. But when something that we aren't expecting wins us over, we tend to be much more passionate about it.

Read Full Post