<p>Bilbo&#39;s worked too hard to get there and back again for New Line to go changing titles on him now.</p>

Bilbo's worked too hard to get there and back again for New Line to go changing titles on him now.

Credit: New Line Cinema

Is New Line planning to change the title of the final 'Hobbit' film?

They wouldn't do that this late in the game... would they?

There are fan sites, and then there are fan sites. The One Ring has been around long enough that they have earned their spot atop the mountain as the end-all be-all source for news on all things involving the cinematic interpretations of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien.

When they call a source reliable, they've been doing this long enough to know what that means, and they wouldn't publish a random rumor unless they were fairly sure there is truth to it. So let's use that as a jumping-off point and just take it as a given that when The One Ring says that New Line is considering a title change for the final chapter of "The Hobbit," there's something to it.

The original plan for bringing "The Hobbit" to the screen was to break it into two parts. The first would be called "An Unexpected Journey," and the second would be "There And Back Again." When they made the decision to break the story into three parts, they named the second film "The Desolation Of Smaug" and left "There And Back Again" as the final title. There was a moment where they registered a possible alternative title, "The Battle Of Five Armies," but that seemed like something they considered without ever committing to it.

Read Full Post
<p>Wolverine&#39;s winning personality is once more front and center in &#39;X-Men: Days Of Future Past&#39;</p>

Wolverine's winning personality is once more front and center in 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Final 'X-Men Days Of Future Past' trailer pulls out all the stops and looks mammoth

Could this be Singer's return to form?

I'm not sure why they're calling this the final trailer for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past." With a month to go before the film's release, I would imagine we're going to get pounded with marketing materials that are going to show us more and more of the film in an effort to get audiences to show up.

My own kids have been working to catch up with the "X-Men" series for the last month, and just tonight we watched "X-Men: First Class." I was struck again by just how much I like that film's take on the relationship between Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender), and there is no way to quantify how lucky they were to sign Jennifer Lawrence before she became a giant star. This film may feature an army of cameo appearances from the cast of the first three movies, but it is still very much a sequel to "First Class," and a bridge to "X-Men: Apocalypse," where we'll once again follow the younger cast.

Read Full Post
<p>Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall struggle mightily to make &#39;Transcendence&#39; work, but there&#39;s no saving a film this deeply dopey.</p>

Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall struggle mightily to make 'Transcendence' work, but there's no saving a film this deeply dopey.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Johnny Depp looks bored by the silly science-fiction ideas of 'Transcendence'

HitFix
C-
Readers
A+
Consider this the anti-'Her'

Jack Paglen is the sole credited writer of "Transcendence," the new science-fiction film starring Johnny Depp, and if he really is the man responsible for the script, then it scares me to learn that he's been hired to write the big-screen "Battlestar Galactica" reboot.

One of the truths of science-fiction is that anytime we as a culture try to get our heads around a jump forward in technology, one of the ways we do that is by imagining the very worst case scenario, so it should come as no surprise that as we discuss ideas about The Singularity and trans-humanism, "Transcendence" arrives to serve as this decade's "Lawnmower Man," a deeply stupid movie that uses smart ideas as a springboard but without any real sense of what they're talking about. Wally Pfister, best known until now as the cinematographer on Christopher Nolan's big films, makes his directorial debut here, and as dumb as Paglen's script is, Pfister seems to have no feeling whatsoever for the staging of sequences or for any sort of dramatic narrative momentum. Make no mistake… "Transcendence" is a stiff, but one that is produced with enough polish that it almost successfully disguises its true nature.

Read Full Post
<p>Actually seeing Patton Oswalt in the Marvel universe feels like there&#39;s been a tear in reality... a totally awesome tear.</p>

Actually seeing Patton Oswalt in the Marvel universe feels like there's been a tear in reality... a totally awesome tear.

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' are on the run after last week's meltdown

And it looks like Patton Oswalt's ready to help

I tuned in just in time this week to catch Ward's act of betrayal again, followed by the HYDRA symbol instead of the SHIELD one. I'm less convinced now than last week that Ward is faking anything. Those three bullets he put in Hand at close range would seem to be fairly inarguable, and as more back-story was revealed over the course of the episode, it seems like Ward has been garbage since frame one.

That's cool. That's the version of the story I hope they're telling. If he turns out to just be faking everything, it's going to really irritate me. Right now, Ward suddenly got a personality, and he's suddenly an interesting character with some actual dimension to him. If they try to wrap everything up this year by just making him a good guy again, it's going to feel like it's just not playing fair anymore. There are only so many times you can have characters switch sides and only so far you can push them when they're working undercover before it becomes ridiculous. They're in a very interesting place for the story and the characters right now, and I'm hoping they push forward without trying to eventually roll everything back to the status quo.

More than anything, what last week's episode reminded me of was the Super Bowl episode of "Alias" where they blew up SD6, the covert agency that Sydney Bristow worked for. It was a great move, but it also started the show down a creative path that it never quite recovered from, and I think it may have been a mistake in hindsight. If you're going to blow up the premise of your show, you'd better have a great plan in place for how to build from there.

Read Full Post
<p>Based on this image, I&#39;m pretty sure the border is completely safe thanks to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the upcoming film &#39;Border Guards&#39;</p>

Based on this image, I'm pretty sure the border is completely safe thanks to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the upcoming film 'Border Guards'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly teaming up on immigration comedy 'Border Guards'

There's a great writer in the mix as well, so we're excited

What an odd bit of synchronicity. For the last week, I've had "Step Brothers" sitting on the shelf by the TV in my office and I've been considering watching it again. Finally, as I started getting ready to write a few pieces this afternoon, I threw the film in and hit play. As the first scene started to play, I went back to my e-mail and found a heads-up from Greg Ellwood about a story that just broke regarding the third collaboration between Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly.

It's safe to say that I am a fan of the combination of McKay and Ferrell. I feel like they have such a great voice when they create characters, and one of the things I like most is seeing how they incorporate other comedy voices into what they do in each new project. For example, in "The Other Guys," it was really smart making Will Ferrell the straight man and giving Mark Wahlberg the main role as the explosive lunatic, and Eva Medes in the same film looked like she was having the time of her life playing one of the strangest characters of her career. In "Talladega Nights," John C. Reilly made a fantastic sidekick to Ferrell's character, which made it even more fun to watch them go after each other in "Step Brothers."

Read Full Post
<p>Ricky Gervais is so happy to be returning to the role of David Brent that he&#39;s dancing.</p>

Ricky Gervais is so happy to be returning to the role of David Brent that he's dancing.

Credit: BBC Home Video

Ricky Gervais will play David Brent again for a new mock-documentary project

Nobody makes me cringe more, and I can't wait

Last year, David Brent started popping up again for the first time in a while, and there were rumors of a larger possible project happening. I am always happy to see Ricky Gervais working, and he seems very happy about the way his latest series "Derek" has been received. It would be dishonest to say that I'm anything less than thrilled to hear, though, that Gervais is making a big return to playing the part that put him on the map in the first place.

This year, Gervais will be performing a number of gigs in character as David Brent, and the performances will be filmed as part of a "documentary" about Brent's pursuit of his dreams of being a pop star. "It's going to be tragic," Gervais told MTV in the UK. "It's not going to be what he thinks it is."

The last decade or so, we've seen a tsunami of the comedy of the uncomfortable, so much so that it's become very hard to get a cringe out of me at this point. It's easy to lose sight of just how much of a lightning bolt "The Office" was when it initially hit, and just how amazing Gervais was at walking that fine line between sympathetic and simply pathetic. His version of Brent was always in love with the idea of being an acclaimed entertainer, and it makes perfect sense that he would still be pursuing that dream now.

Read Full Post
<p>When you think of &#39;Friday the 13th,&#39; this is most likely the image that comes to mind, but is Paramount considering a major shake-up for the next film?</p>

When you think of 'Friday the 13th,' this is most likely the image that comes to mind, but is Paramount considering a major shake-up for the next film?

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Friday the 13th' found footage reboot picks up a 'V/H/S' director

Good pick for filmmaker, but we're still worried

It's taken a surprisingly long time for Paramount to officially hire a director for the next film in the ridiculously long-running "Friday the 13th" series.

"V/H/S" is going to end up being one of those things where people are constantly looking back at it as a pivotal moment for the directors of the various segments in both of the films. Already this year, we've seen one feature film from the guys billed as Radio Silence, and while I missed "Devil's Due," it seemed like it had some fans. I thought their segment in "V/H/S" was enormous fun, and I also really liked the first segment, in which a bunch of guys who seem like the prototypical bros decide to videotape a night in a motel room with a girl they're all going to take turns with.

The director of that segment, David Bruckner, is Paramount's pick now to once again bring Jason Voorhees to life. Considering the approach that Paramount is reportedly taking to the new film, which we detailed in an article back in November, Bruckner makes perfect sense. As we said, this is being designed as a found footage movie, and it's an approach that Paramount's Adam Goodman has been pushing heavily while they were trying to find writers and now that they're bringing on a director.

Read Full Post
<p>Ben Affleck&#39;s starting to realize that he might, in fact, be completely screwed in David Fincher&#39;s adaptation of the best-selling novel &#39;Gone Girl&#39;</p>

Ben Affleck's starting to realize that he might, in fact, be completely screwed in David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel 'Gone Girl'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Ben Affleck looks great in the first moody trailer for Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

Looks like Fincher's taking on the news media in this one

There's a cover version of "She" that Elvis Costello recorded for "Notting Hill" that positively floors me every time I hear it. I think Costello has one of the great male signing voices of the last 40 years, and that song is positively perfect for him, full of longing and regret and that particular blend of joy and pain that distinguishes the best love stories. It's not a song he wrote, though. It was first recorded by Charles Aznavour in the '70s, and he did versions in several different languages.

I've always wanted to use the Costello version in a particular film. I've had it in my head since I wrote a scene in a script at least a decade ago, and since then, I've hoped that no one would use it, that it would pretty much completely fade away. And now David Fincher's gone and ruined that for me, and even worse, I can't be mad about it because he did it so damn well.

Richard Butler, the lead singer of the Psychedelic Furs, is the performer of the version that's in the "Gone Girl" trailer, and while I don't think his version is remotely as effective, it's perfect for the trailer, and the rushed, almost off-key vocals capture some of the weird, off-center anxiety that is so obviously part of Fincher's adaptation of the massive best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn.

Read Full Post
<p>If they could make him look exactly like this, it might make a &#39;Blade Runner 2&#39; interesting, but short of it, aren&#39;t we asking the filmmakers to ruin the first film&#39;s ambiguity?</p>

If they could make him look exactly like this, it might make a 'Blade Runner 2' interesting, but short of it, aren't we asking the filmmakers to ruin the first film's ambiguity?

Credit: Warner Bros

Harrison Ford discusses 'Blade Runner 2' during rowdy Reddit AMA

Plus he shuts down some geeky questions in his own delightfully grumpy manner

Oh, Harrison.

While Harrison Ford is one of the few guys working right now who I could indisputably call "iconic," I find myself ambivalent about his persona when he's giving interviews. I've had some good chats with him, and some that were more difficult, and it completely seems to be up to his mood at the moment we sit down.

The same can be said about his appearances on talk shows. He's done it well at times, and there are other interviews where it looks like he wants to crawl out of his skin, and for an actor, he seems to have no interest in disguising his feelings at all. He seems perfectly happy to snarl at someone if he thinks they ask him something stupid or obvious, which makes it extra-surprising that he was willing to do a Reddit AMA to help promote the new documentary series "Years Of Living Dangerously."

Read Full Post
<p>As long as ABC agrees to put Hayley Atwell in the red dress from &#39;Captain America: The First Avenger&#39; every week, I&#39;m all in for the proposed series.</p>

As long as ABC agrees to put Hayley Atwell in the red dress from 'Captain America: The First Avenger' every week, I'm all in for the proposed series.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Hayley Atwell's 'Agent Carter' rumored to be heading to ABC series pick-up

The series could give Atwell a major showcase for her talents

Anything that puts Hayley Atwell on my TV once a week is a good thing.

It's that time of the year, where we hear all sorts of rumors about what might or might not be happening. This morning, one of the bigger stories concerns another ABC Marvel series, one that would run concurrently with "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", which is well on its way to a second season pick-up.

While I haven't seen anything specific about the approach they're taking to the proposed series "Agent Carter," it would obviously hinge on Hayley Atwell's character from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," one of the most interesting female leads they've had in any of the Marvel movies. It sounds like it would essentially serve as a prequel to the series they already have on the air, but is that enough of a change to make this worth the greenlight?

Read Full Post