Universal makes a deal for full run of Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles' novels
Credit: Warner Bros

Universal makes a deal for full run of Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles' novels

Will this be '50 Shades Of Grey' with fangs?

It's going to be an interesting next few years for fans of Anne Rice and, specifically, her most famous creation, the Vampire Lestat.

I still remember the furor around the first attempt to adapt the character to the bigscreen, with Rice basically freaking out over the casting of Lestat. Neil Jordan's "Interview With The Vampire" is a beautiful movie, perverse and strange and gorgeously made, and I'd argue it's about as good a film as anyone's ever going to make from that source material.

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Summer Movies Flashback 1999: 'South Park' surprise and scathing 'Star Wars' reactions
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd./Paramount/Warner Bros.

Summer Movies Flashback 1999: 'South Park' surprise and scathing 'Star Wars' reactions

It was a very special summer for me for more reasons than what was onscreen

Our continuing look back at some of the biggest summers we've lived through takes us back 15 years to one of the best recent movie seasons overall.

In honor of the 2014 summer movie season, Team HitFix will be delivering a mini-series of articles flashing back to key summers from years past. There will be one each month, diving into the marquee events of the era, their impact on the writer and their implications on today's multiplex culture. We continue today with a look back at the summer of 1999.

It was the summer I became Moriarty.

To be fair, I had been contributing to Ain't It Cool for a little while already by that point, and I had been slowly but surely embracing the potential of the website and the audience that I was reaching. I had already taken a few trips to Austin, including a memorable stay at the third Quentin Tarantino Film Festival, and in the spring, I was asked at the last moment if I would attend ShoWest in Las Vegas. ShoWest is known today as CinemaCon, and it's a trade show where the studios share highlights from their upcoming slate with the theater owners. I went because I was positively crazy about "Star Wars" and I was hoping to to see new footage from it, or perhaps something from the first new Stanley Kubrick film in over a decade.

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Exclusive: Fists fly in behind-the-scenes clip from 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Blu-ray
Credit: Marvel Studios

Exclusive: Fists fly in behind-the-scenes clip from 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Blu-ray

Chris Evans calls his fighting style 'meat and potatoes'

I spent part of Wednesday morning at a special event for Disney Consumer Products, looking at toys and clothing and home video releases for the rest of 2014. One of the Blu-rays that they were most excited about was "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and why not? At this point, Marvel's as close to a sure bet as there is in this industry.

I'm excited to get my hands on the Blu-ray so I can see the film again. I know there are deleted scenes on there, and there will no doubt be a whole fistful of extras, and just to show you what you can expect, we've got a special little sneak peek today.

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Review: 'Into The Storm' offers visceral thrills but can barely keep a straight face
Credit: Warner Bros/New Line

Review: 'Into The Storm' offers visceral thrills but can barely keep a straight face

HitFix
C+
Readers
n/a
You want tornadoes? Oh, yes, there are tornadoes.

Steven Quale's movie before this was "Final Destination 5," which turns out to be a pretty great training ground for the specific skills he would need to pull off the admittedly impressive technical challenge that is "Into The Storm."

When you're directing a "Final Destination" movie, you don't have a bad guy you can point the camera at. You don't have Michael or Jason or Freddy. Instead, you've got bad luck and the environment and timing and all these subtle things all in play, and that's what ends up killing the characters. You have to be able to show that, communicate the notion of how it's all connected. You have to give character to a malevolent force that has no actual shape or form. I think Quale did a fine job, and he was the one who got to shoot that great ending that brought the entire series into a different focus, making his one of the pivotal movies of the franchise.

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Will Arnett says shooting 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' was like a different language
Credit: HitFix

Will Arnett says shooting 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' was like a different language

If nothing else, he's mastered running up.

Will Arnett is the odd man out in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

On the TV show that remains, for many fans, the definitive version of the characters so far, Vernon Fenwick is an adversary, a foil both for April O'Neil and for the Turtles themselves. In this new film incarnation, Fenwick is the cameraman who works most often with April O'Neil (Megan Fox), and he knows that she wants out of puff-piece features. He also knows how the game works, though, and he doesn't really seem to believe she's going to get her break. He's the cynical voice of reality.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger announces wrap on latest sequel 'Terminator: Genisys'
Credit: Paramount

Arnold Schwarzenegger announces wrap on latest sequel 'Terminator: Genisys'

It's going to drive me crazy every time I have to type that for the next year

More than most people, I understand the burning desire to get one more great "Terminator" film out of the weirdest, most haphazardly-run mega-franchise in modern film.

After all, the 1984 original remains one of the greatest indie action films ever made. Beautifully plotted and incredibly well-built, "The Terminator" is one of those movies where everyone involved was in tune and they turned out something special as a result. And 1991's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is one of the great action sequels, escalating the scale of the mayhem while offering some very smart twists on both character and plot.

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Review: 'The Hundred Foot Journey' is pretty, but largely drama-free
Credit: Walt Disney Studios/Dreamworks Pictures

Review: 'The Hundred Foot Journey' is pretty, but largely drama-free

HitFix
C-
Readers
C+
Just because Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey signed off doesn't mean it works

When you say someone in Hollywood is a hard-working actor, they might have over 100 films on their filmography, an astounding feat these days. When you say someone in Bollywood is a hard-working actor, you can multiply that by two or even three times, easily. In the case of Om Puri, one of the stars of Lasse Hallstrom's film version of "The Hundred-Foot Journey," a novel by Richard C. Morais, he's an institution, the star of over 11,000 movies.

I may be off by 10,800 or so, but the point remains… Puri is an icon, and if only to watch him play opposite Helen Mirren, the two of them throwing attitude back and forth at one another, I would have to recommend a viewing. As it turns out, the film is a mild pleasure at best. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it, and it's well-crafted, but the screenplay by Steven Knight is so remarkably free of anything resembling actual drama that I'm almost mystified by it.

Basically, the film tells the story of a young man named Hassan (Manish Dayal) who decides he wants to be the best chef in the world, and then he is, and nothing really gets in his way or slows him down at all, and he also gets the girl and everything else he wants. The end.

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'Frozen' director set to adapt classic novel 'A Wrinkle In Time' for Disney
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Frozen' director set to adapt classic novel 'A Wrinkle In Time' for Disney

Why wasn't she also announced as the director of the film today?

Written by Madeleine L'Engle, "A Wrinkle In Time" is an unusually beautiful science-fiction book that would most likely be categorized as "YA" if it were published today. It tells the story of the Murry kids, an unusual family of geniuses whose father has disappeared. When three mysterious women enter their lives, 14-year-old Meg, her 10-year-old twin brothers, and 5-year-old wunderkind Charles Wallace all end up stepping through a tesseract and into a stranger world than they could have ever imagined.

It is a dark story, and one of the things I find most striking about the book is the way it manages to embrace both the strong Christian faith that was very important to L'Engle as well as her fascination with quantum physics. That's not a common mixture of influences, and yet it feels like a natural fit in her work. Faith and science seem to be two halves of one thing, not at odds, and it's little wonder she approached almost 40 publishers before someone finally took a chance on her work.

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Fantastic Fest 2014 unveils wave one of programming with Kevin Smith and 'ABCs of Death 2'
Credit: Drafthouse Films

Fantastic Fest 2014 unveils wave one of programming with Kevin Smith and 'ABCs of Death 2'

Could the tenth anniversary fest be the best one yet?

It's that time of year again, isn't it?

There is no greater party on Earth for fans of genre films than Austin's annual Fantastic Fest, and ten years in, they just keep making it better.

"In 2014, we are taking no prisoners. This festival is going to set new boundaries of decadence, destruction and debauchery." - Tim League

As much as I love events like Cannes, Sundance, or Toronto, I can't imagine the directors of those festivals ever issuing that statement. The scary thing is that Tim League isn't kidding. Fantastic Fest is special because it's much more than just movies being screened. Every day is packed with events that elevate the entire festival, and with this year taking place at the new Alamo Drafthouse on S. Lamar, complete with the brand-new Highball, it feels like it's going to be a blow-out the likes of which even the most avid Fantastic Fest fan has never seen before.

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Megan Fox says she would have done anything to be in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'
Credit: HitFix

Megan Fox says she would have done anything to be in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

She seems well aware of what people want from this movie

One of us burped during this interview. I'm not pointing any fingers but it wasn't me.

Before sitting down to talk to her about "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," I had interviewed Megan Fox two other times, and under very different circumstances.

The first time was at Toronto, where we spoke about the film "Jennifer's Body," and it was a zoo. It was one of the weirdest press days I've ever done. There was something in the air, some crazy energy, and by the time I got into the room, everyone was on edge, and it was really hard to get anything out of anyone. The second time was on the set of "This Is 40," and we just sat in a room off to the side of everything else and chatted for a half-hour. That conversation left me with a very different impression of Fox, and I felt like she is well aware of her image, both good and bad.

In this new incarnation of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," her character is essential to the creation of the Turtles in the first place, and we talked a bit about whether or not that was part of her decision to do the film.

"There was no script when I first attached myself to this movie. I just wanted to be in it because I was a fan as a kid. And I was like, 'I'll do anything to be in this movie. Put me in this movie. I'm a superfan. Please please please."

And then came a moment I've always had nightmares about, because if it was me this happened to, the video would be horrible. But Fox laughs her way through it, and damn it, she keeps going, just as poised as before.

"I'm really relieved to see how integrated she is into their story and how important she is to them now. As Jonathan describes it, April is 'our window into the Turtles,' and that was fun for me."

Look, anyone can memorize things for an interview and learn how to sell the product and put a good face on it… that's part of doing publicity for movies. You've got something to sell, and I'm well aware of what most of these interviews are. But listening to Fox talk about this, she seems to be fully aware of why kids are going to go see the film.

"The Turtles are where it's at, man."

Well-said, Miss Fox.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is in theaters everywhere on Friday.