<p>It is distinctly possible that Natalie Portman has never been cuter than she is as Isobel in 'Your Highness'</p>

It is distinctly possible that Natalie Portman has never been cuter than she is as Isobel in 'Your Highness'

Credit: Universal

Seven new clips show just how silly Franco, Portman and McBride get in 'Your Highness'

Get a look at a bloodthirsty warrior woman and a perverted wizard in these clips

I'm pretty sure I'm not breaking embargo simply by saying that I love "Your Highness."  Not in any halfway, almost, make apologies sort of way, either.  It is a case of a movie that feels like it was made for me.  It got me laughing about two seconds into it, and kept me laughing until the closing credits finally rolled.

I have no doubt that a big part of my reaction to "Your Highness" is based on growing up when I did and ingesting all the astoundingly awful fantasy films of the '80s.  There were a few good ones, certainly.  I think the original "Conan The Barbarian" by John Milius is a legitimately great film.  I think "Sword and the Sorcerer" is crazy low-budget trash that delivers every pulpy thrill you'd want from the material.  I think there are moments in some of them that are fun.  But by and large, the genre is made up of hyper-serious movies about very silly things.

When you see "Your Highness," it's impressive how they manage to make a comedy genre film without directly referencing other movies.  That seems to be a dying art, and for someone like me, who gets tired of the "nudge, nudge, hey, did you see that movie, too?" school of comedy, it's depressing to live in the era of "Family Guy".  "Your Highness" will certainly make you think of those crazy '80s fantasy films, but in a broad sense.  If you have a fondness for those movies, you'll be laughing at things that non-genre-savvy audiences might not pick up, but for me, it's not because I was laughing at a reference, but rather because I recognized just how sincere Danny McBride and co-writer Ben Best and director David Gordon Green really are about all of this.

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<p>Jennifer Garner deserves better than a clumsy retrofit of one of Agatha Christie's iconic characters</p>

Jennifer Garner deserves better than a clumsy retrofit of one of Agatha Christie's iconic characters

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Why would Jennifer Garner want to play a 'young hot' Miss Marple?

More importantly, does anyone out there need another Agatha Christie adaptation?

There are times when no matter how hard you try to come up with the stupidest idea in Hollywood history as a joke, someone else is out there working to come up with the stupidest idea in Hollywood history for real.

And this week, it looks like someone succeeded.

I understand that we are in the age of the reboot.  I understand that when you reboot something, you should probably make some big choices that guarantee you're not just doing what someone else has done before.  I understand that adaptation is not a process that involves literally putting every syllable of something onscreen.  All of that is a given.

Let's also be clear that I like Jennifer Garner, more than I think I'm "allowed" to like her.  I find her incredibly winning on film, and I think there's a decency to her that is very appealing.  She's a beautiful woman, certainly, but she carries herself like a former nerd who had that "take the glasses off and WHOA!" moment we've seen in a million high school movies, a woman who didn't grow up canonized just for how she looks.  It makes her seem approachable on film, human-scaled, unlike some movie stars who project an untouchability.  It also means she's not the easiest person to cast, because she's not just a "type."

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<p>There will definitely be a moment when Warner Bros. decides to make a 'Justice League' movie, but it's a safe bet it won't be in the year 2013</p>

There will definitely be a moment when Warner Bros. decides to make a 'Justice League' movie, but it's a safe bet it won't be in the year 2013

Credit: DC Comics/Ed Benes

Is there really a 'Justice League' film happening in 2013?

A major industry newspaper starts a crazy rumor... but is it possible it's true?

Okay, let's be logical about this.

That's the first thing I'd say regarding any rumor you hear.  Think about the logic of what you're reading or, in many cases, re-reporting, and ask yourself if it makes basic sense.

For example, when The LA Times does a major profile of Jeff Robinov, who has finally been promoted to the job of president of Warner Bros. after many years of working as one of their top execs and as a very powerful agent before that, one would assume that piece has been vigorously fact-checked.

As a result, when reading that piece and looking at the passage that talks about the way Robinov wants DC superheroes to step in and replace the "Harry Potter" franchise that's wrapping up this summer, it would be easy to accept everything in those two short paragraphs as simple truth.

If you haven't read the article, let me share those paragraphs with you so we're clear what we're talking about:

His most immediate hurdle is filling the void that will be left this summer when the multibillion-dollar "Harry Potter" series shepherded by Horn ends. Robinov is betting on DC Comics characters to take center stage starting in June with the $200-million-plus production "Green Lantern."

He's then aiming to release new "Batman" and "Superman" films in 2012 and "Justice League," a teaming of DC's top heroes, in 2013.

Makes perfect sense, right?

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<p>Chris Hemsworth tries to draw a sword... er, a hammer... from a stone in this summer's 'Thor'</p>

Chris Hemsworth tries to draw a sword... er, a hammer... from a stone in this summer's 'Thor'

Credit: Paramount/Marvel Studios

New 'Hangover' and 'Thor' posters make it feel like summer's here

An IMAX exclusive and a close-up look at the morning after

It's summer, right?

I get confused because of the way I see movies.  My schedule is not the same as the calendar schedule, and it leads to some confusion about when things are coming out and how soon they're going to be screening for the general public.

When I start seeing all the marketing materials for the summer movies kicking into high gear, it makes me feel like the season is actually starting instead of still a month or more away.  Today, there are two new posters out for May releases, and they both do a nice job of selling tone.

So far, I like that they're playing things understated for the campaign for "The Hangover Part II."  There's no reason to play hardball with an audience when you're making a sequel to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.  I like that the poster is just an image for the four guys looking pretty much worn down and burnt out.  I still laugh every time I see Ed Helms and his Tyson-style face tattoo, and it's looking more and more like that monkey is this movie's equivalent to the baby in the first movie.

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<p>The kids from 'Attack The Block' may seem scary at first, but that's because you haven't seen the monsters from outer space that they have to fight.</p>

The kids from 'Attack The Block' may seem scary at first, but that's because you haven't seen the monsters from outer space that they have to fight.

Credit: Optimum Releasing

SXSW surprise 'Attack The Block' coming to LA for one night and we've got your tickets

30 of you will have a chance to see one of the year's coolest films early

Have I mentioned yet that I love "Attack The Block"?

It's hard sometimes when you see a movie at a film festival that you fell head over heels in love with, particularly when that movie does not have a US distributor lined up.  If you're in the UK, you'll see "Attack The Block" on May 13, 2011.  But if you're here in the States, there's nothing.  No release date.  No one set to release the film.  And so far, the conversations we're hearing in the press include such lunacy as subtitling the English-language movie for a US release or, even scarier, a remake.  Which is hopefully not a conversation anyone actually involved in releasing the film ever really has.  Nobody's finding a better cast of real kids than this one, and nobody's going to do what Joe Cornish did as a director.

Let me be clear: if you remake "Attack The Block" for the US market, I hope you get an entire colony of fire ants in your urethra.  And I hope they're very, very angry.

If you live in Los Angeles, I have a lovely surprise for you.  This coming Thursday night, we're going to be participating in a special screening of the film, and I'm authorized to offer 15 pairs of tickets to you, the viewing public.  You want to see it now?  You want to avoid a huge wait?  You want to see what it looks like before somebody tries to make it "better" for an American audience?  Here's your chance.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence pretty much played out one of the key scenes from 'Hunger Games' with her red-carpet appearance at this year's Academy Awards</p>

Jennifer Lawrence pretty much played out one of the key scenes from 'Hunger Games' with her red-carpet appearance at this year's Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Cheat Sheet: All you need to know about 'The Hunger Games'

As the first film gears up for release one year from this weekend, we look at the phenomenon

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, a new feature we'll be running from time to time here at HitFix, designed to help catch you up on all the pop culture phenomenons you don't have time to digest yourself.

It's hard to keep up some days.  Every time you turn around, some new book series or comic book or video game has become the big buzz item, and if you haven't read it or seen it or played it already, you can feel lost in the conversation.  I'm the sort of person who will push myself to read an entire series or watch an entire series or play a game simply so I understand what people are discussing, which is why I've actually read the Twilight books from start to finish.  I found them painful the entire time, but I can also speak with some sense of personal authority about Stephenie Meyers and her writing, and it's not just some knee-jerk reaction over what I sort of half-understood based on a Wikipedia entry or a movie trailer.

Right now, "Hunger Games" is heading into production with Jennifer Lawrence attached to star as Katniss Everdeen, and if you've never read the books, you might be wondering why fans are so rabid about this series of books, why they're so invested in the casting of the lead, and what you might be expecting to see in theaters in 2012.  That's why we've decided to make "Hunger Games" the first entry in our Cheat Sheet series, and hopefully by the end of this article, you'll be able to observe the rest of the casting and the crazy hype with an expert's eye.

And who knows?  Maybe a few of you will even be motivated to pick up the novels by Suzanne Collins as a result.

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<p>Abbie Cornish and Emily Browning could not have been more adorable at the press day for 'Sucker Punch.' Literally. We measured, and it would have been impossible.</p>

Abbie Cornish and Emily Browning could not have been more adorable at the press day for 'Sucker Punch.' Literally. We measured, and it would have been impossible.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Emily Browning and Abbie Cornish are the heart of 'Sucker Punch'

Our final interview for the new Zack Snyder film features the two most important characters

Our last interview we're posting for the Zack Snyder film "Sucker Punch," opening today, is with the two young women who ultimately represent the heart of the film.

I remember meeting Emily Browning for the first time at a screening in Austin, part of the Butt-numb-a-thon, where she and her co-star from "A Series Of Unfortunate Events" flew in for a post-film Q&A.  She was so young, and they both seemed a little overwhelmed by the flight, the event, the film, and everything else.  It feels to me like that happened two years ago, but that's impossible.  Looking at her in "Sucker Punch," seeing how she's dressed, how she conducts herself, how much she's changed, it's obviously been a while.  I felt like I was already an old man at that initial meeting, and she was just a little kid, and now she's an adult, undeniably, and that must make me very old.  Disturbingly old.  Like maybe I should go lie down somewhere so I don't hurt myself old.  Sheesh.

Sweet Pea, played by Abbie Cornish, is incredibly important to the way the film works, and because they couldn't really explain that to us on set, I didn't realize just what sort of role she might have in things.  It's no accident that Browning and Cornish were teamed for the press day, because their roles in the film are equally significant.  Cornish has been turning in strong and interesting work in almost everything she's done since "Somersault," and I think it's just a matter of time before she finds the role that really pushes her over the top.  She has a strong bond with Jena Malone's character, Rocket, who is Sweet Pea's sister, but she also serves as the skeptic in the group, the one who wants to play it safe.

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<p>I'd love to see Disney use a short like 'Lonesome Ghosts' as a guide for what they could do with a feature film starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy</p>

I'd love to see Disney use a short like 'Lonesome Ghosts' as a guide for what they could do with a feature film starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy

Credit: Walt Disney Company

The Morning Read: Could Mickey Mouse end up starring in his first feature film?

Plus Brian Trenchard-Smith, Harry Bosch, and the 'Don't Look Now' debate

Welcome to The Morning Read.

This week, Dimension Films made anyone who saw "Scream 4" sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding the ending of the film, and it's smart marketing in a way.  They've made sure the ending won't be printed, and if it is by someone who didn't sign the NDA, then that becomes the story, and it's news, and it feeds back into discussion of "Scream 4," and that's sort of what they're counting on.  It led to some awkward interview moments when the cast refused to answer any questions about that ending, even though the press had already seen it, but so be it.  Is discussing the fact that there's an NDA about the ending the same as discussing the ending?  Is this one of those endless feedback loops?  Simply by typing it out, have I created a paradox that will erase me completely from the timeline?

Speaking of timelines, it appears Commander Future will return in April.  I'll let you know exactly when it drops, but your feedback helped guarantee his return, so thanks for that.

Now let's jump into today's Morning Read and get this weekend underway.  I'll be working all weekend at press events for "Hanna" and "Your Highness," but there'll be plenty of content for you here on the blog, including more of my SXSW catch-up.  There are three separate episodes of the podcast coming as well, including a great one I recorded with James Gunn and Rainn Wilson of "Super."

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<p>Look at how into me all three of them are.&nbsp; It's almost not fair to tease Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens with such unregulated sex appeal, but it's my job.</p>

Look at how into me all three of them are.  It's almost not fair to tease Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens with such unregulated sex appeal, but it's my job.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Vanessa Hudgens and Jena Malone talk expectation vs. reality on 'Sucker Punch'

Joined by Jamie Chung, the girls explain their reactions Zack Snyder's crazy new film

Each of the individual young women who star in "Sucker Punch" would test the paying-attention skills of any red-blooded guy sitting across from them, but you put Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens together in a room and then dare me to keep my mind on the conversation, and it's almost like a hidden camera show.

The truth is that these are charming young performers who are thrilled with the film they just made, and I wanted to talk to them about their expectations for the film versus the way it looks in its final form, and I wanted to talk to them about the process.  And it was a good conversation, too.  Jena Malone in particular clearly communicates her excitement about the movie in this piece, and I find their exuberance right now to be really lovely.  Whatever happens with the movie, whatever the majority reaction is to it, I suspect this will remain one of the most important milestones for the entire cast because of the experience they had and the bonds they formed with the rest of the ensemble.

What different backgrounds they come from, too.  Chung is a reality TV discovery, and so far we've seen very few of them make serious runs at feature film careers.  Chung has a quiet charisma that I found affecting in her work as Amber in the film, and I hope this is just the start for her. 

Malone, of course, has been acting since she was a child, and she's managed to make a very interesting transition into adulthood.  No surprise with some of the mentors she's had on her films.  When you have Jodie Foster as a resource, chances are you'll manage to make the jump from young actor to grown-up fairly well, your professional soul intact. 

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<p>Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish, and Vanessa Hudgens all work towards an escape in Zack Snyder's new film 'Sucker Punch'</p>

Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish, and Vanessa Hudgens all work towards an escape in Zack Snyder's new film 'Sucker Punch'

Credit: Warner Bros/Legendary

Review: Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch' swings and misses with big images and muddled ideas

Major narrative decisions by Snyder the writer leave the director high and dry

From the very first frames of the film, "Sucker Punch" rejects reality.  There is a naked theatricality to the staging of the first few images, and then writer/director Zack Snyder drops us into the worst night in the young life of Baby Doll (Emily Browning).  It's a specific decision, as is practically everything in every frame of the film, and it's one of many choices where I think Snyder the writer may have let down Snyder the director in ways that make the film a grand fascinating almost, a near-miss, an ambitious just-this-close.

The story the film tells is fairly straightforward, but the way the story is told is anything but.  Baby Doll had a younger sister until one awful night after their mother died when their stepfather (the suitably toadlike Gerard Plunkett) went crazy and terrible things happened.  Baby Doll is taken to an asylum for women, a gothic mental hospital where she's basically handed off to Blue (Oscar Isaac) with a payment that guarantees that in a few days, a specialist will show up to give her a lobotomy, taking any secrets she might have out along with the grey matter.  Baby Doll can't handle what she sees going on around her, and she has a break with reality.  To her, it's not an asylum.  It's a brothel.  And it's not run-down and disgusting, it's opulent and lush.  The other girls aren't mental patients, they are girls pressed into dancing (and more) for rich clients in an elaborate theater.  Dr. Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino) isn't a psychiatrist trying to reach the girls through therapy, but is instead the madame, teaching these girls how to dance for their lives, literally.  And Blue isn't just an abusive orderly who will do anything for money, he's actually a pimp, the man in charge, and the main obstacle between Baby Doll and freedom.

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