<p>Larry the Cable Guy and Emily Mortimer</p>

Larry the Cable Guy and Emily Mortimer

Watch: Larry the Cable Guy and Emily Mortimer laugh it up for 'Cars 2'

The unlikeliest romantic duo in movies this year sits down to discuss their new film

Who would have guessed that the most fun I'd have at the "Cars 2" press day would be with Larry The Cable Guy?

I'm no snob.  I don't spend my time sneering at Larry or at his audience.  I am perfectly happy accepting that not all entertainment is manufactured for me, and that not every audience is going to want the same things I want.  I think some critics find it necessary to dismiss anything they don't personally enjoy, but that's silly.  Nobody is the ideal audience for everything.

When I was getting settled in, just before the cameras rolled, I asked Larry if he would ever make the same sort of professional switch that Dwayne Johnson did when he stopped going by "The Rock" and just became "Dwayne Johnson" on a full-time basis, and Larry responded with a quick and confident, "Nope."

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<p>&nbsp;This man has a lot of toys.</p>

 This man has a lot of toys.

John Lasseter on 'Cars 2,' story, and the future of shorts at Pixar

The studio exec/director with motor oil in his veins

John Lasseter's name has been synonymous with "Pixar" since it's inception. Although he directed the first three Pixar films "Toy Story," "A bugs life" and "Toy Story 2," "Cars 2" marks his return to directing a feature at Pixar since the original "Cars" released in 2006.

Lasseter sat down with us during a press day the company held in March after we had screened about half an hour of footage of the film and seen a presentation on the set design and lighting. The man loves to talk about his work and his company and his characters. I found it comical that he uses the term "I" and "we" somewhat interchangeably when talking about Pixar, given who he is this is completely understandable and expected. It was obvious that he holds the "Cars" characters very dear to his heart. The man is enthusiastic. Did I mention he likes to talk?

Read the interview after the jump

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<p>Nice to see his flippers are still firmly fixed in the 60's...</p>

Nice to see his flippers are still firmly fixed in the 60's...

Credit: Disney

Watch: First official trailer for 'The Muppets' premieres

There are some things Gen X is not cynical about

In a recent interview with HitFix for "Bad Teacher" Jason Segel refused to reveal his "marketing strategy to to take over the world with Muppets." But the release of the first official, non-parody trailer for "The Muppets" shows that there is some kind of master plan for the marketing of the everyone's favorite Marionette/Puppets.

The funny thing is, after the sharp, surprising, and hilarious parody trailers, this first official one is a little bit of a letdown. It's just a trailer. Some funny jokes in it, but pretty light on story, so it really doesn't give us any more information than: It's a movie, and all the Muppets are in it.

Starting with the romantic comedy parody "Green With Envy" and Ending with the Ryan Reynolds' voiced Green Lantern spoof, the sting or parody Muppet trailers have been great. To a certain degree I wish they'd kept making those with their own jokes so that I don't get any more spoilers, but I nitpick.

Watch the trailer after the jump

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<p>Tow Mater (Larry The Cable Guy) takes center stage in 'Cars 2' along with Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer)</p>

Tow Mater (Larry The Cable Guy) takes center stage in 'Cars 2' along with Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer)

Credit: Pixar/Disney

Review: 'Cars 2' skews young, adds action, embraces the absurd

HitFix
B
Readers
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Pixar seems determined to totally revamp the franchise with this second film

At some point, you just have to let things go.

That's the decision I made after a scene in "Cars 2" where they're discussing the need for alternative fuels since they are starting to run low on fossil fuels.  Someone is explaining about how there are only so many dead dinosaurs and now they're running out of oil and they have to find new ways to power cars, and Mater, listening to this, turns to someone and says, "The dinosaurs did what, now?"

They have dinosaurs in the world of "Cars"?  Really?  If I start thinking about the implications of that, my head will explode.  Instead, I just surrendered myself to the notion that logic is not the strong suit of this particular franchise, and it helped me enjoy the film more.  Pixar is one of the strongest studios in town when it comes to story and character, and I think they've been very good at worldbuilding in general.  The bottom line with these movies is that John Lasseter, the grand poobah of all things Pixar, loves cars.  And because of that, they make movies about a world of cars.  And that's really all the logic that matters.

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<p>Michael O'Donoghue was one of the most lacerating wits to ever work as a writer for 'Saturday Night Live,' and it is a shame his film career never quite took off.</p>

Michael O'Donoghue was one of the most lacerating wits to ever work as a writer for 'Saturday Night Live,' and it is a shame his film career never quite took off.

Credit: NBC/Broadway Video

Saturday Night At The Movies: What exactly was 'Arrive Alive,' and what happened?

Our first look at a draft of the scuttled Willem Dafoe comedy offers some answers

Last week, we talked about Eddie Murphy's career and the way it has served to disappoint fans of his early work with almost surgical precision.  In that piece, I didn't even include a story that depressed me more than almost anything else I've ever heard about Eddie.

Around the time "The Goods" was coming out, the lovely Tamar over at Paramount asked me and a few other writers if we wanted to have lunch with Neal Brennan, who directed the film.  Brennan was the co-creator of "Chapelle's Show," and he's a guy who has been working in LA comedy for years.  As we talked, the conversation touched on any number of topics, and at one point, Brennan told us about an evening where Eddie Murphy came to Chapelle's house.  Over the course of that long night hanging out, Eddie, Dave Chapelle, and Brennan all started pitching ideas for sketches, eventually realizing that they had enough material to put together a sketch comedy movie.  Eddie was energized by the material they were bouncing back and forth, according to Brennan, and by the time he left, they had all agreed that they were going to find a place to make the film together.  That turned out to be the last contact Brennan had with him, which is terribly sad.  Can you imagine a sketch comedy film with a fire-in-his-belly Murphy going head to head with Chapelle, determined to prove something?  It could have been glorious.

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<p>In one of the stunts that almost cost him his life, Vic Armstrong doubles for Indiana Jones in 'Last Crusade'</p>

In one of the stunts that almost cost him his life, Vic Armstrong doubles for Indiana Jones in 'Last Crusade'

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Motion/Captured Podcast with guest Vic Armstrong, stunt double to Indy, Bond, and Superman

A great conversation that goes from 'You Only Live Twice' to 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

It's been a while.

Matters were complicated because the last podcast I recorded got eaten by my computer, something I had to tell Scott after the fact.  It's a shame, too. That was just before Cannes, and it was a really solid podcast overall.  We had the director of "Trollhunter" on as a guest, and we played a great round of Movie God, and it was just a fun, spirited conversation that got totally vaporized somewhere on my hard drive.

It was my fault, no doubt.  I am just competent enough with the software I use to edit the podcast to be dangerous.  I don't really know what I'm doing, but I like to pretend that I do.  This week, I was very careful, and I am pleased with the end result.

Part of that is because I finally got Scott Swan back over to the house to record, something that isn't always easy to do.  His schedule and my schedule are increasingly hard to synch up.  But more than that, I'm glad I was able to record this week because the interview I've got for you is one of my favorites since I joined HitFix.

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<p>The technical term is &quot;zapping&quot;</p>

The technical term is "zapping"

Will you watch the final 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' trailer?

The very end of over ten years of Harry Potter trailers

The third and final trailer for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" hit the scene today, and given that Drew swore earlier not to watch it in a twitter post, It is left to me to bring it to you.

As the guy that puts up all the video on HitFix, I am not afforded the luxury of not viewing such things. I have to watch all the trailers and all the clips, and though it may somewhat lessen the surprises of watching a film for the first time, at least I know when I can go to the concession stand and not miss much.

 If you, like Drew, do not want to know anything new about it, or the movie, stop reading now. There are lots of other great news items to read about, including an awesome "Cars 2" article about frighteningly violent Pixar movies have become, just a few posts down. If not, video and more after the jump.

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<p>Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, currently winning accolades and awards for their series 'Sherlock,' are set to reunite now for Peter Jackson's two-film adaptation of 'The Hobbit'</p>

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, currently winning accolades and awards for their series 'Sherlock,' are set to reunite now for Peter Jackson's two-film adaptation of 'The Hobbit'

Credit: BBC Films

Benedict Cumberbatch signs for two key roles in 'The Hobbit,' including Smaug

Sherlock and Bilbo will be reunited for Peter Jackson's two-part epic

One of the greatest characters in "The Hobbit" is the dragon who lies at the heart of the quest that takes Bilbo Baggins from the comfort of the Shire to the heart of the Misty Mountains, and since they decided to make "The Hobbit," I have been waiting to hear who they would announce to play Smaug.

When Guillermo Del Toro was attached, I think there was at least a 60% chance Ron Perlman was the man for the job, but with Peter Jackson casting as wide a net as he has for casting on the films, I figured it would be someone surprising and possibly out of left field.  For those of us who are fans of "Sherlock," the BBC series that stars Martin Freeman, already cast as Bilbo, the announcement today is one of the coolest possible choices.

Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch will play Smaug, both as a voice and through performance capture for the face, and it strikes me as a tremendous choice.

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<p>Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as real-life A's manager Art Howe in Bennett Miller's adaptation of 'Moneyball' this September.</p>

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as real-life A's manager Art Howe in Bennett Miller's adaptation of 'Moneyball' this September.

Credit: Sony Pictures

First trailer for 'Moneyball' shows off Pitt as Redford and a serious Jonah Hill

Is there a movie in the Michael Lewis book? Here's your first chance to judge

Last night, when I introduced a special screening of "Attack The Block" at the Arclight in Hollywood, they ended up showing two trailers in front of the film.  One was that crazy "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" trailer, which plays as a total assault on the senses in the theater.

The other was the just released trailer for "Moneyball," the first glimpse we've gotten at the new movie by Bennett Miller, and I'm surprised by just how much I liked the trailer in general. 

I've had some real questions about how they're going to turn the book into a movie, and I'm not sure how this subject matter translates to something that will travel around the world.  One of the most fundamental questions is how you make a movie like this out of a story that doesn't have a Hollywood-approved happy ending.

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<p>An alien warship hovers over the surface of Barsoom in production art for Andrew Stanton's upcoming 'John Carter'</p>

An alien warship hovers over the surface of Barsoom in production art for Andrew Stanton's upcoming 'John Carter'

Credit: Walt Disney Company

'John Carter' gets a poster, but what movie is it trying to sell?

Andrew Stanton talks a great game as Disney kicks off their ad campaign

"John Carter" might technically qualify as the "longest-in-development" movie of all time.  They've been trying to make a film version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs character since the very beginning of the film industry, and yet, for myriad reasons, the film that comes out next year represents the very first onscreen vision of the character and the world he lives in.  Considering next year is also the 100th anniversary of the creation of John Carter, that seems astounding to me.

During the era where Harry Knowles was working to produce a version of the film with a round-robin of directors including Jon Favreau, Kerry Conran, and Robert Rodriguez, I watched a lot of the work they were doing, including production art and concept work, and the one thing that was obvious no matter who was in charge was that Barsoom and the world of John Carter is a rich feast for the right filmmaker, and it's all a matter of how you choose to embrace all the opportunities laid out by Burroughs in the first place.

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