<p>George Miller, seen here during the production of this week's new release 'Happy Feet Two,' is not only a guest on this week's podcast, but a major inspiration to our other guest, Evan Glodell</p>

George Miller, seen here during the production of this week's new release 'Happy Feet Two,' is not only a guest on this week's podcast, but a major inspiration to our other guest, Evan Glodell

Credit: Warner Bros.

Listen: George Miller and Evan Glodell join us for a special Motion/Captured Podcast

The director of 'Road Warrior' and the filmmaker behind 'Bellflower' on one podcast?

This week's Motion/Captured Podcast is one of my very favorites we've done so far, and I owe it all to the fickle nature of film releases.

When I saw "Bellflower" at this year's Sundance Film Festival, one of the first things that made me fall in love with it was the way the film made subtle nods to George Miller's amazing "Mad Max 2," better known here in the US as "The Road Warrior."  Now, I've got Evan on the podcast to talk about the home video release of his film, and it just happened to be the same week that Miller's new film "Happy Feet Two" is arriving in theaters.

The way we handled the recording was by having Evan come out to the house on Sunday night to record the main body of the podcast, and then I talked to Miller by phone on Monday afternoon.  There's a great deal of give and take between the segments, and I think it's a really great conversation that unfolds as a result.

We've also got a call this week during our Movie God/Remake This! segment from Keven Van Den Brink, one of our regular callers now, and he's once again calling in from the Occupy Nashville site, so we talk a little bit about how that's going and how things have evolved since the last time we spoke to him.

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<p>Merida, voiced by Kelly MacDonald, is the lead in Disney/Pixar's 'Brave,' due in theaters June 2012</p>

Merida, voiced by Kelly MacDonald, is the lead in Disney/Pixar's 'Brave,' due in theaters June 2012

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Pixar

First full trailer for Pixar's lush 'Brave' arrives online

HitFix
B+
Readers
B
Their first female lead looks like a strong role model

There was a teaser over the summer that I thought set an immediate tone, but now, we've got our first big look at "Brave," and for anyone concerned that "Cars 2" signaled a shift into a lower gear for Pixar, this seems to be a pretty strong repudiation of that idea.

It's especially interesting to see how strong this female-driven fairy tale looks coming on the heels of the two "Snow White" trailers.  I'm an immediate fan of what we're hearing of Kelly MacDonald as the voice of Merida, the main character in the film.  I was totally dumbstruck by MacDonald in "Trainspotting," her first big film role, and it has been a pleasure to watch her repeatedly prove that she's one of the most consistent and endearing actors of her age group.  If you're looking to cast a strong voice that's genuinely Scottish to anchor this attempt to really shake things up at the studio, then MacDonald seems positively inspired.

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<p>Jessie Wiseman and Evan Glodell share a rare happy moment in 'Bellflower,' the blistering study of love gone wrong that arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this week.</p>

Jessie Wiseman and Evan Glodell share a rare happy moment in 'Bellflower,' the blistering study of love gone wrong that arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this week.

Credit: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Exclusive: The ladies of 'Bellflower' pick their favorite post-apocalypse films

What do Larry Clark, Scientology, and Kevin Costner have in common?

Let's talk about the ladies of "Bellflower."

I am fascinated by the accusations I've read that "Bellflower" is in some way a misogynistic film, and I heartily disagree.  I think the movie is meant to be enormously personal, and I don't buy for a second that Woodrow, the main character played by writer/director Evan Glodell, is a woman-hater.  Far from it.  He's a guy who is easily crushed because of how much he lets himself fall when he meets Milly, played by Jessie Wiseman, and the dynamic between her and her best friend Courtney, played by Rebekah Brandes, may be poisonous, but that's because of who they are, not what gender they are.

Yesterday, we ran a list of Glodell's five favorite post-apocalyptic films, and today, I thought we'd hear from both Wiseman and Brandes.  I fully expect there will come a point very soon where we hear that Wiseman has been cast in a Hollywood film or a TV show as the younger sister of Christina Applegate.  It's inevitable.  She's an interesting mix of tough and tender, and I always think it's interesting in a case like this to see what someone picks when talking about a specific genre.

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<p>Robin Williams plays two roles again in the new family sequel 'Happy Feet Two' opening this weekend</p>

Robin Williams plays two roles again in the new family sequel 'Happy Feet Two' opening this weekend

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Robin Williams gets serious about his crazy work in 'Happy Feet Two'

A legendary funny man plays it straight to discuss the new George Miller sequel

Robin Williams is an institution.

I'm sure that's not something an actor wants to hear, particularly one who still pushes himself out of his comfort zone so regularly this far into a career, but it's true.  He really is a living legend, and the pleasure at this point comes from watching the choices he makes.

In "Happy Feet Two," he once again plays two roles, and they're very different in attitude.  He's Ramon, the lovesick penguin who is still on the hunt for a mate, and he also plays Loveless, who appears this time as the most ardent cheerleader for Sven, a false prophet who shows up promising to save the penguins and teach them to fly.

It's hard to believe, but this may be the first formal interview I've done with Williams.  I've met him before, and we had a great and funny encounter a few years back when we ran into each other at Meltdown Comics, which Williams told me is one of his favorite places anywhere.  He's always been very genuine when I've run into him, and in this case, I was showing up about halfway through his second day of press for the film, and everyone I talked to was raving about how he was so on fire in their interview, doing impressions and voices and jokes.

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<p>Lily Collins is certainly fetching as Snow White, but Tarsem's 'Mirror, Mirror' looks like a little bit of a nightmare</p>

Lily Collins is certainly fetching as Snow White, but Tarsem's 'Mirror, Mirror' looks like a little bit of a nightmare

Credit: Relativity Media

Watch: Julia Roberts anchors the unintentional nightmare of the 'Mirror, Mirror' trailer

HitFix
D
Readers
D+
Now that we've seen glimpses of both Snow Whites, who's the fairest?

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest trailer of them all?

Fair question to ask now with the release of Relativity Media's first peek at their comic fantasy "Mirror Mirror," which finds itself in direct conflict with the recently-released first trailer for "Snow White and the Huntsman," a far more sober-minded take on fairy-tale reality.

Today's trailer is interesting, especially in light of the idea that distributor Relativity Media is dealing with the morning-after fallout from the release of "Immortals," their big Greek mythology-as-modern-action-movie that was also directed by Tarsem Singh, who Relativity has bet big on.  The idea that they had him direct another fantasy so quickly, even before "Immortals" was in theaters, suggests that Relativity really liked what they saw.  I wasn't able to make it to "Immortals" before it came out, and it's been a crazy few days since then, so I have no idea how the film came together.  I know the overall critical reaction hasn't been particularly kind, and I've certainly had both great ("The Fall") and not-so-great ("The Cell") reactions to Tarsem's previous films, so I can see how a movie by him might be divisive.

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<p>Miss Piggy is the center of a romantic triangle in 'The Muppet Saga,' the latest parody campaign on behalf of Disney's Thanksgiving release of 'The Muppets'</p>

Miss Piggy is the center of a romantic triangle in 'The Muppet Saga,' the latest parody campaign on behalf of Disney's Thanksgiving release of 'The Muppets'

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

See Kermit and Piggy as star-crossed lovers in 'The Muppet Saga' posters

But who's the Jacob to Kermit's Edward?

I can't help myself.  I'm Muppet Mad at this point.

You'll see for yourself in a very few days, and when you do, I'm willing to bet that if you've ever loved The Muppets, you'll find yourself utterly defenseless when the film comes out.

For example, there's the music.  There are a few classic callbacks, including a freakshow casino jingle version of the "Rainbow Connection" that is sort of amazing, and it's nice to hear those old faves again.  The new material, though, is just as strong, which is a really welcome thing.  This is fun movie music, smart and funny and sweet, and even something as potentially terrible as Chris Cooper rapping in character as an evil billionaire named Tex Richman works on repeat listens.

But what the Muppets ultimately gets right is the characters, and recognizing what made them icons in the first place.  And they are.  They really are.  Anyone underestimating the deeply-seeded love that many people have for these characters hasn't seen it close up.  Jason Segel just recently signed up for Twitter, and in the first day or so of having his account, he told the story of a guy in his 40s who had a breakdown during an interview with Kermit in Mexico City, and the guy just started to hug Kermit while crying and mumbling in Spanish, and everyone except Jason got weirded out.  

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<p>Evan Glodell is the star of 'Bellflower,' as well as the writer/director, and he sent in a list of his favorite post-apocalyptic films</p>

Evan Glodell is the star of 'Bellflower,' as well as the writer/director, and he sent in a list of his favorite post-apocalyptic films

Credit: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Exclusive: Evan Glodell, star of 'Bellflower,' picks his five favorite post-apocalypse films

The writer/director of one of the year's best films picks some surprising titles

I'm a big fan of "Bellflower."

I think that's been pretty clear since January when I ranted and raved and ran both a pair of interviews and a review during the festival.

Now it's finally arriving on home video this week, and the Blu-ray is flat out gorgeous.  It's also got the DVD inside, and it's a handsomely packaged release by Oscilloscope Laboratories.  In honor of the release at home, I'm going to be running some lists this week that were put together by the cast of the film, in which they name their favorite post-apocalyptic films.

First up, fittingly, is Evan Glodell, who wrote and directed the film, and he also stars in it.  He's a real talent, and an interesting guy overall, and yet when he sat down this weekend to record the podcast, he confessed that he has some strange blind spots in terms of what he has or hasn't seen.

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<p>Elijah Wood sat down with HitFix to discuss his new film, 'Happy Feet Two'</p>

Elijah Wood sat down with HitFix to discuss his new film, 'Happy Feet Two'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Elijah Wood talks about memories of Brittany Murphy on 'Happy Feet Two'

We also talk about George Miller and sequels

Elijah Wood seemed startled when he saw me at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

"What are you doing here?"

"Interviewing you."

"I didn't know you did the TV stuff."

"Well… I do.  See you in there."

It's weird because I see Elijah several times a year in Austin at this point at film festivals, and I think he's a really sharp, fun film fan.  I know him from his constant interest in music, his fondness for Texas barbecue, and his willingness to indulge every crazy, glorious whim of Tim League's.  It's almost always a surprise for me at this point when I see him in something like FX's show "Wilfred," which was a dark, twisted ride this season, one I liked a lot, and I think it struck him the same kind of strange seeing me in this context.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence is prepared to sacrifice herself to save her sister in the new trailer for Gary Ross's bigscreen adaptation of 'The Hunger Games'</p>

Jennifer Lawrence is prepared to sacrifice herself to save her sister in the new trailer for Gary Ross's bigscreen adaptation of 'The Hunger Games'

Credit: Lionsgate

Watch: Full-length 'Hunger Games' trailer gives us good look at Katniss Everdeen's world

HitFix
B+
Readers
B
Does Jennifer Lawrence look like the Girl on Fire to you?

Well, here it is.

I've gotten to the point where I was tuning out any and all talk about "The Hunger Games" because I didn't want to feel exhausted by the  movie before I ended up getting a chance to see it.

Today, I'm ready to take a look at the new trailer and finally get a real look at what it is that Gary Ross has done adapting this monster hit series of books into what Lionsgate hopes is going to be a monster hit series of films.

I watched the trailer twice this morning, and my reaction so far is that it looks like Ross has done it.  It's a tonally interesting bit of world building based on the footage we've seen here, and I'm really liking the sense of reality that the trailer establishes.  Jennifer Lawrence looks like she's going to be a strong presence as Katniss Everdeen, the girl who is chosen to compete in The Hunger Games, a gladiator battle to the death that's held once a year in The Capitol.  We get a glimpse of almost everyone in the trailer, including Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and, of course, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson as the two young men who represent different paths Katniss might take in her life.

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<p>Snowy,&nbsp;Captain Haddock, and Tintin get caught up in dangerous business in Steven Spielberg's rollicking new 'The Adventures Of Tintin'</p>

Snowy, Captain Haddock, and Tintin get caught up in dangerous business in Steven Spielberg's rollicking new 'The Adventures Of Tintin'

Credit: Paramount/Nickelodeon/Dreamworks

Review: Spielberg's 'The Adventures Of Tintin' offers remarkable action and energy

HitFix
A
Readers
A-
Strong performance-capture work gives this technical marvel a human edge

"The Adventures Of Tintin" is a preposterously fun movie, first and foremost, regardless of what technology was used to make it.  It is very old-fashioned in storytelling terms, but cutting-edge in the way it's told.  It tells a rough-and-tumble adventure story that is more real-world than much of what Hollywood makes these days, but it's animated in a way that removes it from reality completely.  It is a film that seems to hinge on a number of contradictions, and that friction is just one of the reasons I really loved the experience.

Much has been written about how long Steven Spielberg's been interested in making a film version of Herge's long-running comic series, and one of the biggest questions that I've heard repeatedly is "Why would he do it as a performance capture animated film?"  I think the first answer to that question is obvious after you see the movie and you see Snowy, Tintin's canine sidekick, in action.  Snowy is a major character in the film, and has an outsized personality.  Trying to get the same performance out of a real dog in the middle of a film also involving stunts and special effects and international travel would be a nightmare, and as it is, Snowy is one of the main highlights of the movie now.  Also, there is a sense of scale and abandon to the way the action is staged in the film that would be a nightmare to orchestrate in live-action, and I think working in animation has set Spielberg free in a way I'm not sure we've ever seen from him before.

Ultimately, though, the tools used wouldn't matter if the film was no fun.

And this film is nothing but fun.

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