<p>Edgar Wright shares a light moment on-set with Mary Elizabeth Winstead during the production of 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World'</p>

Edgar Wright shares a light moment on-set with Mary Elizabeth Winstead during the production of 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World'

Credit: Edgar Wright

Watch: Edgar Wright discusses orchestrating the sweet mayhem of 'Scott Pilgrim'

Watch the warm-up for our big interview later this week

Edgar Wright is a madman.

I don't understand how he's still able to get out of bed these days.  It seems like he's been pulling 30-hour-days on "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" for about four years straight, and yet when I saw him at the press day for the film or when we sat down for a one-hour interview you'll read here later this week, he seemed to be in his typical good spirits.  Amazing.

Even more insane, we were just the start of his press duties.  Right after he wrapped up in LA, Edgar hit the road with the cast for a multi-city press tour that doesn't wrap up until Austin on Thursday.

This interview is just a warm-up for the longer piece I'll run, but it gives you a wee bit of Edgar in the flesh as opposed to just words on a page.  Edgar is now the first person I've ever had a transcriber tell me "never again" over, and I'm guessing it's the combination of unbridled energy and his distinctive accent, as well as several other people sending her Edgar interviews in the same week.

I'm glad we got to put some of our talk on tape, though, because I think he's the best advocate I know for his work, a guy whose enthusiasm for what he's made is evident in every conversation, and who doesn't know how to do things in half-measures.  In conversation, Edgar exhibits all the same hyperactive film geek passion that he does in his movies.

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Still From "Skyline"
Credit: Universal Pictures

Watch: Universal's New 'Skyline' Teaser Sucks You In

It's a good Idea to listen to Stephen Hawking

Anyone who attended the San Diego Comic - Con this year could not have missed the gigantic billboard for the film "Skyline" that graced the face of the hotel overlooking the convention center. In it, what may have been a space ship hovered over a sky-blue skyline and if you got close enough to the building you could see thousands of little people-shaped silhouettes being sucked up into it.

Accompanying the billboard was a truly ingenious "How did they come up with that?" gag where hundreds of little human shapes were carved out of soap bubbles and allowed to rise up over the hotels' air conditioning exhausts in front of the sign and up into the sky.

I noticed these cool little "bubble men" as I raced from press line to press line as one does when one "works the Con" and didn't manage to catch any of the presentations for the film as Drew did.

The one thing I gathered from the sign and the bubble-guys was this: In "Skyline" people get sucked up into a spaceship against a pretty blue sky.

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<p>Mary Elizabeth Winstead</p>

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Credit: Katy Winn/AP

Watch: Ellen Wong and Mary Elizabeth Winstead love 'Scott Pilgrim'

And we return the sentiment in a major way

Oh, my.

Last night, I saw "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" for the third time.  I know, I know... it's almost ridiculous at this point, but I can't stop.  I feel like a 13-year-old "Twilight" fan.  I love this movie, and in particular, I love the two ladies in the life of Scott Pilgrim.

It really doesn't matter what your taste is in either boys or girls... someone in this movie is going to ring your bell.  It is an adorable cast, top to bottom, and the fact that they're all great in the fights, funny, cool, AND lovely... well, it's just too much to bear.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been working for a while now, but she's never really had that one breakthrough role that defined her for audiences.  Ramona Flowers is by far the best part she's had, but the very nature of who Ramona is might keep this from being the breakthrough for her.  Ramona is unknowable, careful to guard herself, and even at the end of the film, she remains the biggest enigma of the movie.

Ellen Wong is about to steal the hearts of boys of all ages, and for good reason.  She took the occasionally psycho Knives Chau of the book and gave her so much heart and soul that she became just as worthy of Scott's love and attention as Ramona, something that wasn't necessarily the case in the books.  I've seen some discussion of Knives as a stereotype, and a bit of humorless harumphing from people who feel that she offers a negative image of Asian girls.  That's just silly, though.  Knives is a sweet, innocent teen girl taking her first steps into defining her own identity, and Ellen nails the character, making her efforts understandable and even endearing.  "I didn't even KNOW there was good music until, like, two months ago!"  Oh, Knives.

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<p>Brandon Routh and Satya Bhabha play two of the Evil Exes in 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,' opening in theaters this Friday.</p>

Brandon Routh and Satya Bhabha play two of the Evil Exes in 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,' opening in theaters this Friday.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Watch: Evil-Exes Brandon Routh and Satya Bhabha on 'Scott Pilgrim'

They discuss playing bad and how to be spontaneous on such a precise film

Gentlemen, if you ever want to feel like a total blob of crap, the easiest way to accomplish that is by sitting across from Brandon Routh for a few moments.

Back when "Superman Returns" was about to come out, Legendary Pictures held a special screening of the film on the Warner Lot, and afterwards, guests had the chance to either pose for a photo with Routh or with Kevin Spacey.  My wife didn't have to think at all about the choice, dragging me into the line for Routh.  In the picture we ended up taking, my wife has a smile on her face I'm not sure I've ever seen directed at me.

And these days?  Routh's at least twice as ripped as he was when he played Superman.  I can only imagine what would happen if I unleashed her on him now.

Playing the Evil Exes in "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" has got to be one of the best gigs for any actor in 2010, and every single one of the cast members who played an Evil Ex appears to have had an amazing time doing so.  Routh is so good in the role that it almost feels like he's rebooting his career here, and for most audiences, this will be an introduction to stage veteran Satya Bhabha.

Sitting down to talk to the two of them, we jumped right in to discuss playing "bad guys" who aren't, strictly speaking, bad, as well as how they were able to be spontaneous on the set of a film as meticulously constructed as this one.

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<p>Michael Cera, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Kieran Culkin present an award onstage together at the 2010 MTV&nbsp;Movie Awards.</p>

Michael Cera, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Kieran Culkin present an award onstage together at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards.

Credit: Photo Group

Watch: Anna Kendrick, Kieran Culkin, and Aubrey Plaza discuss 'Scott Pilgrim'

Julie F**king Powers, Scott's kid sister, and the great Wallace Wells all at once? Bliss

Yes, it's finally "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" week here on HitFix, and we're going to be counting down the days until the release of Edgar Wright's bigscreen adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's six-part comic series with interviews with the cast and the filmmakers.

I wrote about my unconventional afternoon with Michael Cera just before I left on vacation, and in that piece, I talked about the set-up that Universal put together on two different soundstages for those of us also doing video interviews.  It was an impressive effort on their part, and no matter what happens with "Scott Pilgrim" when it opens this weekend (I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for $300 million by Monday... is that too optimistic?), no one can say Universal did anything less than bust ass for this film.

The first group I sat down to speak with during the press day was made up of Anna Kendrick (Scott Pilgrim's sister Stacy), Aubrey Plaza (the acerbic Julie Powers), and Kieran Culkin (the scene-stealing Wallace Wells), and it was a nice warm-up for the day. 

All three of these actors have plenty of room to shine in the film, and it was great to speak to them as a group.  It's obvious that the entire cast has become close during this process, and very protective of each other.  It's sweet to see them all as a group, like at the San Diego screening of the film, and to see how very, very happy they are with the final product.

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<p>Adam McKay is the ringleader of the deranged new comedy 'The Other Guys'</p>

Adam McKay is the ringleader of the deranged new comedy 'The Other Guys'

Credit: Sony Pictures

The M/C Interview: Adam McKay on 'The Other Guys'

Plus learn which film he feels should have won Mark Wahlberg an Oscar

They should set up a special scientific team to study Adam McKay's brain, because there is something gloriously, wildly wrong with it.

The last time I spoke to McKay was for "Anchorman," and since then, it's been interesting to watch his voice getting more and more clear with each film.  It was only after seeing "The Other Guys," though, that it all snapped into focus for me, and I was finally able to articulate to him during this interview exactly what it is that I think distinguishes his work from anyone else making movies right now.

Drew McWeeny:  Hey, how are you?

Adam McKay:  Good, how are you?

Drew:  Good.  Good to see you again.

Adam:   How are you, man?  You have one of the great names by the way.

Drew:  Oh, thank you.

Adam:  McWeeny, man.

Drew:  I've found that people don’t forget it.

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<p>Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, and Randy Couture are just a few of the names lending their macho firepower to the ensemble action movie 'The Expendables'</p>

Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, and Randy Couture are just a few of the names lending their macho firepower to the ensemble action movie 'The Expendables'

Credit: Lionsgate

The M/C Review: 'The Expendables' less than the sum of its mighty parts

Is it possible to be nostalgic for good ol' fashioned mayhem?

There are a few moments during its running time where "The Expendables" manages to become the movie it should be, where it feels effortlessly bloodthirsty and appropriately over-the-top.  There are moments of real red-meat action-movie glory, with bodies blown in half and entire buildings vanishing in white-hot explosions and one-liners that actually land a punch.

I've enjoyed this late-career resurgence by Sylvester Stallone.  Both "Rocky Balboa" and "Rambo" demonstrated a real understanding of his own iconography, and walking into "The Expendables," I hoped he was going to do the same for his whole cast, and that this would be a knowing celebration of the macho ensemble movie, a great big men-on-a-mission flick with a fat bag of mayhem to unleash on audiences conditioned by modern action films to expect special effects and shaky cams. 

And, like I said, there are moments where the film almost pulls it off, but not enough of those moments, and they are unfortunately wrapped in a big limp noodle of a movie, a largely impotent mess that wastes its cast to no memorable effect.  Taken as a whole, "The Expendables" is a disappointment, and a frustrating one at that.

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<p>Nothing beats a bunch of Harryhausen skeletons spoiling for a fight... nothing.</p>

Nothing beats a bunch of Harryhausen skeletons spoiling for a fight... nothing.

Credit: SPHE

Film Nerd 2.0: 'Jason And The Argonauts' on Blu-ray and Harryhausen at AMPAS

Harryhausen's greatest classic still plays as fresh as ever

One of the first things I had planned for my vacation was a trip to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wilshire.  I've been there before for screenings and premieres, but I never realized they have a gallery in the building on the fourth floor.  Some friends urged me to go, though, and thank god they did, because Toshi and Allen and I visited the Ray Harryhausen Exhibit, put together to celebrate his 90th birthday and his remarkable career.

God bless Sony for their Blu-ray releases of the Ray Harryhausen library, or at least as much as they own of it.  We've already incorporated earlier titles like "20 Million Miles To Earth," "It Came From Beneath The Sea," and "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers" into our regular rotation here in the house, and "The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad" caused a riot the first time we watched it.  The last Harryhausen film we watched together was the 1981 version of "Clash Of The Titans," when Warner released it on Blu-ray, and again... instant love.

Through all of this, though, there's been one title I've been wanting to show them, and finally, SPHE has issued a gorgeous new high-definition transfer of "Jason and the Argonauts," one of the greatest works of film fantasy.  As soon as it showed up and Toshi saw the skeletons on the back cover, it was just a matter of time until we were going to screen it.

The films that Ray Harryhausen contributed to rarely used movie stars, and dramatically they could sometimes be stilted, awkwardly structured, or filled with stiff performances.  Unlike some films, those things never seem to derail his movies in the least.  In many ways, I think of "Jason and the Argonauts" as the quintessential Harryhausen film, and revisiting it with my sons, I love it more than ever.

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<p>Allison Janney and Michael Lerner star in the disturbing new Todd Solondz film 'Life During Wartime'</p>

Allison Janney and Michael Lerner star in the disturbing new Todd Solondz film 'Life During Wartime'

Credit: IFC Films

The M/C Interview: Todd Solondz discusses 'Life During Wartime'

The acclaimed director talks about following up his personal vision
I'm glad Todd Solondz is still making films, and that there is a place for him in the movie landscape.  Even if I don't love every one of his films, I think his voice is a significant one, and when everything comes together, his work can break your heart with the force of a punch from Bruce Lee.
"Life During Wartime," which I reviewed out of Toronto last year, is a sort of summation of his work, a quasi-sequel to both "Welcome To The Dollhouse" and "Happiness," and it seemed like the perfect time to finally chat with him, even if it was a brief conversation:
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Luke Wilson in 'Middle Men'

Luke Wilson in 'Middle Men'

Credit: Paramount

Watch: Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht Talk Internet Porn and 'Middle Men'

Also James Caan and Luke Wilson Together Again

Sometimes junkets can drag on forever. The "talent" may take it's time or things simply take longer than expected. Not so with the Middle Men affair last Sunday. Two interviews, in and out, nobody gets hurt. A quick paced and lighthearted affair, much like the movie it was promoting.

Someone told me later that Luke Wilson wasn't feeling well, but the man hides it well. Besides a little cough here and there, and the way he glared knives at the publicity person's dog before we started the interview, I wouldn't have known the difference.

Cutting these later on I could tell that his energy level's a little low, but it was a pleasure to meet him. I'm a longtime fan. We talked about his character and what is was like to work with  James Caan again years after Mr. Caan was so kind as to appear with him in "Bottle Rocket." Their roles in this movie are similar to "Bottle rocket" and it really gave me a nagging sense of Deja-Vu throughout, until I realized that I was actually remembering them from that film.

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