<p>What&#39;s this? A YA movie without a love triangle? Call the cliche police immediately!</p>

What's this? A YA movie without a love triangle? Call the cliche police immediately!

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Review: 'Divergent' succeeds largely due to Shailene Woodley and Theo James

HitFix
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Casting is incredibly important when you're trying to build a franchise

Somewhere between "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight" lies "Divergent," Neil Burger's adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel, and while I think there are some weird issues with the film, there are enough things it does right that I think it's a pretty safe bet we'll see Roth's entire series play out on film in the next few years.

At what point are we going to stop with the weird non-descriptive "Young Adult" label for these movies? What's wrong with the genre labels that already existed? "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent" strike me as similar in many ways, but "young adult" doesn't suggest anything about what you'll actually see in the film.  They're science-fiction films with young casts. They create alternate worlds or alternate histories, and they are more than willing to reach for the big metaphor.

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<p>Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse took some time to talk about fandom, cable versus broadcast, and &#39;The Strain&#39;</p>

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse took some time to talk about fandom, cable versus broadcast, and 'The Strain'

Credit: HitFix

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse on the enduring popularity of 'Lost'

Plus Cuse discusses his upcoming Guillermo Del Toro series 'The Strain'

Before last night's PaleyFest "Lost" panel began, there was a red carpet where we took our chances to try to talk to some of the people who showed up for the reunion.

I'm not great on the red carpet, and last night was a reminder of all the things that drive me crazy about the process. They put you in a space that isn't big enough for one person, let alone a reporter and a cameraman, and there's a horrifying feeding frenzy mentality that kicks in once the first person starts working their way down the line. Elbows get thrown, manners disappear, and people get aggressive about everything.

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<p>Ian Somerholder, Maggie Grace, and Josh Holloway were part of a &#39;Lost&#39; reunion sandwich at the Dolby Theater tonight.</p>

Ian Somerholder, Maggie Grace, and Josh Holloway were part of a 'Lost' reunion sandwich at the Dolby Theater tonight.

Credit: Michael Kovac for Paley Center for Media

14 things we learned from the 'Lost' PaleyFest Panel

Code words, stolen props, and the proper use of a mai tai

PaleyFest is underway, and while television is not my normal beat here at HitFix, there are exceptions. For example, I've been the one recapping "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." this season, and for the last two years it was on the air, I was also the one who was recapping "Lost."

In both cases, it makes sense because of other interests of mine. I'm fascinated by the Marvel movie universe, and not just as a fan, but also as an example of world-building in mainstream movies. With "Lost," I was a fan. Period. It was a show that hooked me with the pilot, and I watched every episode of the entire run either as it aired or within a few hours.

Sunday night's tenth-anniversary reunion of the cast and creators of "Lost" was, according to tonight's introduction, the single fastest sell-out that the festival has ever had, a testament to just how much of a hold the series still has on the ocean of fans that it earned over the years. It may have been controversial as it wrapped things up, but even the people who didn't like the ending still seem to be chewing on it, and in a world where so much of the media we digest is completely disposable, forgotten before the closing credits are even finished, "Lost" seems to be built to endure.

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<p>Just this much of the image is enough to give you an idea of the depths that are explored by Angus Sampson in &#39;The Mule&#39;</p>

Just this much of the image is enough to give you an idea of the depths that are explored by Angus Sampson in 'The Mule'

Credit: SXSW 2014

Review: Hugo Weaving has a blast in the horrifying and hilarious 'The Mule'

HitFix
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Seven days without WHAT?

AUSTIN - In the two "Insidious" movies, Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell play the two paranormal investigators who work with Lin Shaye, and I enjoyed how they almost felt like they were beamed in from another film with a more aggressive sense of absurdity. They had really fun chemistry together, and in the second film especially, they were a big part of what the films did well.

Last week, their new collaboration premiered as part of the SXSW Film Festival, and this time, the two of them are front and center. They co-wrote "The Mule," and they both play key roles in the film, with Sampson also serving as co-director with Tony Mahony. "The Mule" is dark and smart and deeply satisfying, a wicked little crime thriller with a grim sense of humor. Sampson's work in front of the camera is just as good as his work behind the camera, and I suspect "The Mule" is going to emerge as one of the films that audiences really love from this festival. It may be the most exciting surprise I've had since I got here.

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<p>Rima Te Wiata and Morgana O&#39;Reilly are a very funny mother-daughter team in the clever haunted house movie &#39;Housebound&#39;</p>

Rima Te Wiata and Morgana O'Reilly are a very funny mother-daughter team in the clever haunted house movie 'Housebound'

Credit: SXSW 2014

Review: 'Housebound' is an above-average execution of the haunted house genre

HitFix
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Smart and funny, someone needs to snap this up

AUSTIN - Sometimes at the festival you walk into a room knowing nothing, sit down, and get your skull punched in by a movie that is calibrated perfectly, that knows exactly what it wants to do, and that seems almost unnaturally confident considering it was made by a first-time feature director.

"Housebound" is one of those movies.

There is something about the New Zealand sense of humor that I find enormously charming. It's very dry, very matter of fact, and "Housebound" is that rare film that manages to be funny without defusing any of its scares. What starts out as one genre of film turns out to be something entirely different, and instead of that feeling like one big cheat, it's actually handled in such a way that you can't help but admire the writing and the careful way in which things are revealed.

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<p>Rob Thomas was thrilled to get more money to play with for the &#39;Veronica Mars&#39; film, but it sounds like he made every dollar count.</p>

Rob Thomas was thrilled to get more money to play with for the 'Veronica Mars' film, but it sounds like he made every dollar count.

Credit: HitFix

Rob Thomas talks about creating a sense of scale for 'Veronica Mars'

Plus guess what part of the film he feels like he fumbled

Rob Thomas has a habit of creating television shows I love.

As habits go, that seems to be a good one, but for some reason, these shows that he creates that I love never seem to last long enough.

Take "Cupid," for example. The first incarnation of the show ran for fifteen episodes in 1998, starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall, and it was charming and smart and featured a cast that had off-the-charts chemistry with each other.

Then there was "Veronica Mars," which managed a full 64 episodes over three seasons, starring Kristen Bell, and it was charming and smart and featured a cast that had off-the-charts chemistry with each other.

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<p>Somehow I don&#39;t think there&#39;s going to be a lot of time to sit around looking pensive as we play our first full evening of Respawn Entertainment&#39;s amazing new game &#39;Titanfall&#39;</p>

Somehow I don't think there's going to be a lot of time to sit around looking pensive as we play our first full evening of Respawn Entertainment's amazing new game 'Titanfall'

Credit: EA/Respawn Entertainment

HitFix kicks off its first Twitch TV channel with a live 'Titanfall' broadcast

You're welcome to play along, but go easy on me

It's opening weekend for the year's first giant-scale blockbuster.

It's just not happening at a theater near you.

At this point, I think it's safe to say that the launch of a AAA-title in the gaming world is just as big a cultural moment as the release of any movie, and if you want to argue it purely on an economic level, then many game releases are bigger than their movie counterparts at this point.

Monday night at midnight, I was smack dab in the middle of seeing "Among The Living" at the SXSW Film Festival, a completely lunatic new horror film from the French filmmakers behind "Inside" and "Livid." When I travel to Austin, I stay with my favorite married couple, Aaron and Kaela, and it's become a home away from home for me. Aaron's a filmmaker, but he is also a rabid gamer, and while he was having a great time seeing films at SXSW, he had made arrangements months earlier to be busy with something else while I was watching that midnight movie. By the time I got back to his house, he had already gotten "Titanfall" up and running, and he was neck-deep in the campaign mode.

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<p>Gareth Edwards seemed exhausted but excited when we sat down to talk about his vision for the new &#39;Godzilla&#39;</p>

Gareth Edwards seemed exhausted but excited when we sat down to talk about his vision for the new 'Godzilla'

Credit: HitFix

Gareth Edwards talks about the responsibility of bringing 'Godzilla' into the 21st century

Just how hard is it to design an icon that's endured for 60 years?

My kids are growing up movie crazy, but for the most part, they don't really get the whole idea of a film festival. They just see the trips I take as "those things that make Daddy busy." For the first time ever, Toshi was very jealous and annoyed by something I did at a festival thanks to the special "Godzilla" event that was held at SXSW this week.

Little wonder. Godzilla has been part of their imaginary life as long as they've been watching movies, and Toshi in particular has been head over heels in love with Godzilla from the first moment he saw him. We've watched at least a dozen of the Toho films, we've seen the "Mystery Science Theater" versions, we've been reading the "Godzilla Rules Of Earth" comics together, and there are tons of toys of not just Godzilla but the other Toho icons as well all over the house. There's only one movie poster in their room, and it's for the 1954 "Godzilla."

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<p>Chris Lowell and Jason Dohring seem to get along great as long as &#39;Veronica Mars&#39; isn&#39;t in the room for them to fight over.</p>

Chris Lowell and Jason Dohring seem to get along great as long as 'Veronica Mars' isn't in the room for them to fight over.

Credit: HitFix

Chris Lowell and Jason Dohring bond over their fight for the love of 'Veronica Mars'

You might find yourself on Team Pizlogan after seeing these two together

One of the more popular tropes of fandom today is when people break down into teams along the romantic fault lines in whatever it is they're watching, the most famous case being the "Twilight" movies and their "Team Jacob" and "Team Edward" camps.

Before Jacob and Edward divided fans, though, there was Logan and Piz, and this weekend, "Veronica Mars" will once again be able to pick sides in what I feel like is a very smart and canny nod to the way fans feel. Rob Thomas could easily have done a full reset between the end of the show and the start of the film, and he could have simply left Chris Lowell's character Piz out of things completely if he'd wanted.

If you didn't watch the show and you didn't read my guide to everything you need to know about the show to enjoy the movie that we published yesterday, I'm sure you're asking yourself "Why does he keep using the word Piz like it's someone's name?" Ah, but it was. In the third season of the show, the series shifted from high school to college, and Lowell played Stosh "Piz" Piznarski, his last name a tribute to the guy who directed the pilot episode of the show. There was a vocal percentage of fans who rejected the character completely, and those fans had to feel somewhat let down when they heard that Powell, currently featured on the excellent comedy series "Enlisted," was back for the movie.

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<p>Jason Bateman is justifiably proud of his young cast for &#39;Bad Words&#39;</p>

Jason Bateman is justifiably proud of his young cast for 'Bad Words'

Credit: HitFix

Jason Bateman on directing his young stars in 'Bad Words'

Plus he talks about how great Kathryn Hahn is

Jason Bateman is about as good a spokesman as any movie can have, and when he's finally making the jump to be a director as well as an actor, he's got plenty of reason to turn on the charm.

When I was at the Four Seasons recently, I was in the first group of people talking to him in the morning, and I was sitting outside the room where we were going to speak along with four other people. When he came walking up, he stopped and looked down at all of us, smiling. "Hey, how about we just do this out here, press conference style? Right now. Let's go."

Bateman and I are pretty much the same age, and I feel like I've been watching him on TV my whole life. I have strong memories of him on "Little House In The Prairie" and, in particular, "Silver Spoons," where he perfected the art of being smug. There was something so gleefully rotten about Derek, the kid he played, that it sort of set him as a certain type right away. Bateman never really got roles as likable as the roles given to Michael J. Fox, but it felt like he got the scripts that Fox passed on, a tendency that reached its apex when he starred in "Teen Wolf Too."

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