<p>With one lift, Kenny Ortega guaranteed the rest of his career and made Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze into momentary superstars in 1987's 'Dirty Dancing'</p>

With one lift, Kenny Ortega guaranteed the rest of his career and made Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze into momentary superstars in 1987's 'Dirty Dancing'

Credit: Vestron/Lionsgate

Kenny Ortega moves from choreographer to director on 'Dirty Dancing' remake

This is a director-movie match that makes sense

This morning, I put up a piece in which I discussed the upcoming remake of "Footloose" with the film's director, Craig Brewer.  In that, we talked about what it was that he brought to the table when he approached the movie, and what the original meant to him.  Whenever you're making a remake of a film, I'm always curious what the hook is that gets a director interested in spending several years of their life working on something that's already been made once before.

That's an easy question to answer when it comes to "Dirty Dancing" and Kenny Ortega, though.  It's no surprise that they're remaking the film.  It's one of those things that seemed inevitable just because of the nostalgic weight of the first film's title.  People love "Dirty Dancing," and it continues to resonate in pop culture.  If you've seen "Crazy Stupid Love," one of that film's big laughs is built on a signature moment from the 1987 romantic drama.

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<p>Will Marvel try to get a sequel to 'The Avengers' ready for 2014, or do they have something else on the drawing boards?</p>

Will Marvel try to get a sequel to 'The Avengers' ready for 2014, or do they have something else on the drawing boards?

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel heats up the summer 2014 blockbuster race with secret release dates

Plus Pixar claims a weekend of their own three years away

The gamesmanship involved in picking release dates a year or more out has been a tradition for some time now in Hollywood, but things seem to be escalating to an almost absurd level at this point, especially with Marvel Studios claiming two dates in 2014 for films that they aren't even willing to name yet.

It's one thing when Lionsgate announces a date for the sequel to "The Hunger Games" before the first one is in theaters.  That's a move that is designed to impart a certain degree of confidence in the first film that they're shooting now.  After all, if they're already planning for when they're going to release the second film, then things must be going incredibly well on the first film, right?  There's no way this is going to turn out to be another "Golden Compass" or "Eragon," right?

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<p>Everybody cut, everybody cut... everybody cut 'Footloose&quot;... with Craig Brewer's remake of the '80s hallmark set to open in October.</p>

Everybody cut, everybody cut... everybody cut 'Footloose"... with Craig Brewer's remake of the '80s hallmark set to open in October.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Interview: Craig Brewer on 'Footloose,' remakes and directing musicals

Why did Kenny Wormald get the part that made Kevin Bacon famous?

Musicals require a very particular skill set as a filmmaker, and one of the frustrating things about trying to pick a director for a musical is that it's not something that everyone has the background for, and since musicals aren't as omnipresent a part of our film culture as they used to be, it's a lot harder to build that skill set with pratical experience.  It's even harder to become really good at it, and I think that's why the moment someone has directed a film that is even vaguely dependent on music, studios immediately put that person in a box.

I get the feeling Craig Brewer is perfectly happy being in that particular box, and that music is his way into a movie in the first place.  Last week, I spoke with Brewer about the film he's just finished, the remake of "Footloose."  Brewer was a guest at BNAT, and a very approachable, outspoken film fan who has been carefully trying to figure out his place in the studio system.  Brewer's first two films were strong examples of voice, and in both, music was practically a character.  When we got on the phone, I asked him what his first reaction was when they brought him "Footloose, and what sort of opportunities he saw in the material.

"When they first brought up 'Footloose,' I said, 'Absolutely not.'  I probably passed on it like twice."  He laughter thinking about it.  "We have a very good relationship with the head of the studio at Paramount, and Adam [Goodman] called me and was like, 'What are you doing?  You know you're the perfect person to do this.  The first film means so much to you.'  And they wanted it done the right way.  They wanted it done with heart, and with affection for the first film, and they wanted to give me freedom to make it my movie."

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<p>Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari are the most terrifying bank robbers you've ever seen in '30 Minutes Or Less,' or it's free.</p>

Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari are the most terrifying bank robbers you've ever seen in '30 Minutes Or Less,' or it's free.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: '30 Minutes Or Less' offers up uneven fun with Eisenberg, Ansari, McBride

HitFix
B-
Readers
B
Solid but slight film gives talented cast room to play

There are some films that are uneven that I have a hard time recommending because that quality destroys narrative tension or undermines suspense or just leads to an unsatisfying experience.  With comedies, though, even an uneven one can be worth seeing because of the laughs that do work, and that's the case with "30 Minutes Or Less," which features a strong cast, some big laughs, and a strangely thin script that feels almost tossed away.

There was a moment after the release of "Zombieland" where Ruben Fleischer was being offered every giant movie in town, and instead, he took a step back to make what is ultimately a very small movie.  Sure, Jesse Eisenberg is coming off of "The Social Network," and Danny McBride and Aziz Ansari and Nick Swardson are all fairly high-profile names in the comedy world these days, but the scale of "30 Minutes Or Less" is incredibly small, and the film barely runs 85 minutes.  It is efficient to the point of being slight, and I think it is actually not quite ambitious enough.  The film winds down just at the point where it feels like it should be kicking into a higher gear, and the result is slightly disappointing.  I'd still say you should see it if you like the people involved, but expect a movie that leaves you smiling without ever quite pushing you over to the full-blown laughter that all that talent might suggest.

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<p>A close-up look at Anne&nbsp;Hathaway as Selina Kyle in 'The Dark Knight Rises'</p>

A close-up look at Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Credit: Warner Bros./Legendary

First look: Anne Hathaway suits up as Catwoman for 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Is Warner in danger of having paparazzi ruin the whole film?

It's difficult enough for studios to figure out the logistics of giant location shoots these days when juggling things like tax incentives, movie star schedules, and an uncertain economy.

But when you factor in a secrecy-obsessed director, one of the most famous characters in pop culture, a rabid fanbase dying to know more, and a hungry paparazzi, you have the perfect storm that is the production so far of Christopher Nolan's mega-sequel "The Dark Knight Rises."

For much of the shoot so far in Oakland, PA and in other surrounding parts of Pittsburgh, there have been non-stop streams of paparazzi photos of the set and the cast.  Our first good look at Tom Hardy in his Bane costume came from a shoot on the Carnegie-Mellon campus, and the same shoot has now started yielding photos of Anne Hathaway's stunt double, in full costume, riding the Batpod.

In response, Warner Bros. has done the only thing they can do, really, and they've finally released their own official image.  And although it was obviously taken in a different location, they managed to choose a picture of Selina Kyle on the Batpod, suggesting that she either has a close working relationship with Batman in the new film, or access to the place where he stores all the cool toys. 

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<p>'What dost thou mean, he has only done TV?' 'It's really good TV.' 'I will lodge thine really good TV where the sun darest not shine, Coulson.' 'Did I mention it was really good?'</p>

'What dost thou mean, he has only done TV?' 'It's really good TV.' 'I will lodge thine really good TV where the sun darest not shine, Coulson.' 'Did I mention it was really good?'

Credit: Marvel Studios

'Game Of Thrones' director Brian Kirk may helm 'Thor 2' for Marvel

As the search for a director heats up, we get a glimpse of Marvel's game plan

It's not often that I'm left absolutely stumped by a name when a director is announced, especially on a giant tentpole project like "Thor 2," but that's how I felt when I read the report that Brian Kirk is in early negotiations to make a deal for the sequel to Marvel's first big superhero movie this summer.  It all clicked when I read that he was one of the directors for the first season of HBO's "Game Of Thrones," though.  HitFix contacted Marvel Studios reps who would not confirm the hire at this point, saying instead that they are "actively looking."   And while I don't know Kirk, I can guess why he's in the mix.

After all, fantasy has always been one of the more commercially difficult genres to get right, and it can be all about trying to find a tone that works, which is never easy.    George R.R. Martin's epic series of novels seemed to me to be a whole series of challenges for anyone looking to adapt them, and the show has proven to be a culmination of a whole bunch of those smart choices.  If you're Marvel and you're looking for someone who can handle a piece that is set on Earth and in Asgard and that has to somehow ground these fantastic elements, then why not reach out to someone who was part of a show that pulled it off in an admirable way?

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<p>Laurie Holden took some time out of a crazy Comic-Con schedule to talk to us about her hit show 'The Walking Dead'</p>

Laurie Holden took some time out of a crazy Comic-Con schedule to talk to us about her hit show 'The Walking Dead'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Laurie Holden feels secure about her future on 'Walking Dead'

What's ahead in season two of the hit show?

Laurie Holden is no stranger to the world of the Comic-Con audience or television shows with rabid fanbases.  Her role as Marita Covarrubias on "The X-Files" was a key part of that show's underlying mythology.  She played a crucial part on "The Shield" as Agent Olivia Murray late in that show's run.  She's made a strong showing in horror films like "The Mist" and "Silent Hill."  And, of course, she played a major part in the first season of the TV adaptation of Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead," and that's why she was in San Diego two weekends ago.

I detailed the chaos surrounding our attempts at interviews for this show in the first piece I wrote, and in the midst of all of that, we did manage to wrangle a few minutes with Holden, who I met on the set of "The Majestic" over a decade ago.  She's one of Frank Darabont's favorite actors, one of those people who he turns to over and over like her fellow "Walking Dead" cast member Jeffrey De Munn, and she's a key member of the core cast.  On any other show, that would translate to job security for as long as there's a series.

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<p>Jonah Hill is probably not the dude you want to leave your kids with, all things considered, in David Gordon Green's new comedy 'The Sitter'</p>

Jonah Hill is probably not the dude you want to leave your kids with, all things considered, in David Gordon Green's new comedy 'The Sitter'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Watch: Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell, filthy language, and kids in 'The Sitter' red-band trailer

Wait... what is it that nice guys do best?

David Gordon Green is sitting somewhere this morning, watching the reactions to the new trailer for "The Sitter," and he's laughing himself silly at the frustration that "serious" film critics have with the direction his career has gone.

When I first met David, it was at the Ebert Overlooked Film Festival, where his film "George Washington" was being shown and celebrated.  For a short time, the easy way to describe Green's work was using Terrence Malick as a sort of touchstone.  Since "Pineapple Express," though, he's been doing something very different, indulging a side of himself that his film school friends all knew was there but that his earliest features didn't even remotely suggest.

I really like R-rated mainstream comedy David Gordon Green.  I think he's a very different filmmaker than earnest dreamy little indie drama David Gordon Green, and that's fine with me.  I'll take a film from either one of them, but what I like about R-rated mainstream comedy David Gordon Green is that he's flat-out crazy.  He does not care about the rules of what you "can" or "can't" do in a comedy.  He doesn't even seem to understand that there are rules, or that you aren't supposed to do certain things, or the the meaning of the word "taboo."  He is a gleeful anarchist, and I like that element of danger in his work.

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<p>Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds spend a considerable amount of time discussing the logistics of handling each other's junk in 'The Change Up,' and hilarity ensues.</p>

Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds spend a considerable amount of time discussing the logistics of handling each other's junk in 'The Change Up,' and hilarity ensues.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'Change-Up' wastes talented cast, makes Reynolds and Bateman too slimy

HitFix
C-
Readers
n/a
Leslie Mann stand-out in cast, still stranded by script

There was an episode of "The Sarah Silverman Program" in their final season where the large gay couple played by Brian Posehn and Steve Agee switched bodies when they both touched a Chinese dragon phone at the same time.  It was exactly as ludicrous as that sounds, and the entire episode was a very knowing riff on this entire weird subgenere of comedy.  There have been countless variations on this basic formula, so doing it today requires something different, some new perspective or insight or metaphorical journey that the body switch can illustrate.  The good news is that finally, date rapists and people who think Tucker Max is too "old-fashioned" have their very own "Freaky Friday."

It's a shame because the bare bones of the premise is fine, exploring the perceptions of married and single life from the other side of the fence.  You can absolutely do the smart version of this, but instead, this is the urgently dirty version, and it's too focused on shocking to do much else.  Here, when the film reaches for heart, it feels false.  It makes for a really uneven experience, a misfire of tone, and it commits the cardinal sin for me of being frantic instead of funny.

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<p>Bobcat Goldthwait's 'God Bless America' is one of the ten films that will be part of Toronto's Midnight Madness line-up this year at the International&nbsp;Film Festival.</p>

Bobcat Goldthwait's 'God Bless America' is one of the ten films that will be part of Toronto's Midnight Madness line-up this year at the International Film Festival.

Credit: Darko Entertainment

Toronto 2011: Midnight Madness features Bobcat, bad cops, nightmares to spare

Exciting line-up announced for this year's festival

Even before I started attending the Toronto International Film Festival, I was well aware of the reputation of their midnight movie programming, and in the years I've been attending, that reputation has been backed up with great choice after great choice. There was one day this spring, at the start of April, where something like three different choices from the previous year's programming was all released theatrically at the same time.  And these movies were some of the most talked about indie releases of the year, including "Insidious," "Super," and "Stakeland."

I was out this morning seeing something else when the announcement went live this morning, but all week long, Colin Geddes has been dropping hints and linking out to photos from the films, and I was guessing, and except for the one film that I've already seen, all of my guesses were wrong.

I'm okay with that.

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