<p>James Cameron, onstage with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this weekend.</p>

James Cameron, onstage with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this weekend.

Credit: Aaron Morgan/Ain't It Cool

SBIFF: James Cameron gets an award from Schwarzenegger

The 'Avatar' director gives a loose and fun Q&A with Leonard Maltin

One of the main attractions of the Santa Barbara Film Festival is the way its timed right in the middle of Oscar season, so that the tributes that are planned frequently serve as showcases for recent nominees.  Roger Durling's programming looks positively prescient many times, and this year was no exception.  He books these things early, and his call to put together a big tribute to Sandra Bullock turned out to be right on the money.

Less of a gamble was the inclusion of James Cameron, whose "Avatar" is now pretty much the biggest damn thing in the history of biggest damn things.  Even if he hadn't been nominated for Oscars this year, his work on "Avatar" would be worth the conversation, and the film's seismic impact on pop culture only makes it even more worthy of discussion.

The idea of getting the Governator to come down and actually present Cameron with the honor makes for an irresistible press opportunity.  Dustin Hucks, our man at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this year, was on hand to witness the Q&A, and he's got a report for us this morning that does a pretty good job of giving us a taste of what was discussed and the mood of the event overall.

Take it away, Dustin:

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<p>Michel Cote and Louis-Jose Houde co-star in 'Fathers and Guns,' the highest-grossing French-language film in Canadian history.</p>

Michel Cote and Louis-Jose Houde co-star in 'Fathers and Guns,' the highest-grossing French-language film in Canadian history.

Credit: Alliance Vivafilm

SBIFF: 'Fathers and Guns' and 'Mother' both play

A huge Canadian hit and the new film from Bong Joon-ho make an interesting double-feature

Dustin Hucks is still at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, working hard to secure interviews, see films, and send me updates as much as possible.  If you missed his first two reviews here at HitFix, you should catch up.  He reviewed "The Wild Hunt" and "When You're Strange" on Saturday.

This is my first time really working with Dustin, but so far, I'm impressed by how much he's sent me, and by how he's handling the pace of the festival in general.  This weekend, for example, he sent me two reviews that I thought I'd run together, both foreign-language titles, both with reason to pay attention to them. 

In the case of the first film, "Father and Guns," you can expect to see a Sony remake of the film sometime soon.  They bought it for Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy to produce, and it's little wonder.  The original was a monster hit in Quebec last year, and it's the highest-grossing French-language film ever released in Canada now.

The second film is the latest effort from Bong Joon-ho, the director of "Memories Of Murder" and "The Host," and I'm seeing the film a little later this month myself.  I'm a big fan of his work, and I think he's one of the most important voices in Korean cinema right now.  Anytime he releases a film, it's automatically an event as far as I'm concerned.

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<p>Chia Min-Seo plays a woman who slowly becomes paralyzed by her fear of meat in the Korean drama 'Vegetarian,' part of this year's Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Chia Min-Seo plays a woman who slowly becomes paralyzed by her fear of meat in the Korean drama 'Vegetarian,' part of this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: Bluetree Pictures

Sundance 2010: 'Vegetarian' disturbs and provokes

A demented character drama puts me off my feed

There are few things that drive me as nitpick crazy as a film that plays a film festival that has a terrible IMDb page and no press notes.  I'll still be able to tell you what I thought of the film, obviously, but I won't be able to talk about the characters or the actors by name.  This is a Korean film by a first-time director, and not a main entry in the festival, so it looks like it's basically flying under the radar.

No matter.  It's easy enough to say that it's a smart adult character drama that carries an unexpected erotic charge amidst a barrage of profound sorrow that seems to be woven into the fabric of the film.  It's not as easy to describe why, but I'll give it a shot.

When the film starts, it's a dark and angry family drama in which  Yeong-hye (Chae Min-seo), the younger of a pair of adult sisters, has a terrible dream that results in her decision to stop eating meat.  More than that, though, she grows almost phobic of it.  She can't have it in the house, and she can't have any milk or eggs in the house, either.  After a while, she can't even stand the smell of her husband (Kim Young-jae) if he's eaten meat during the day.  She rejects it to a degree that seems mentally unhinged, like the mere thought of it is too much for her to bear.  Basically, it starts off like a distinctly Korean riff on the Todd Haynes film "Safe."

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<p>Joe Johnston says there's still a while to go before we see 'Jurassic Park IV' in theaters</p>

Joe Johnston says there's still a while to go before we see 'Jurassic Park IV' in theaters

Credit: Universal Home Video

'Jurassic Park IV' absolutely does not feature gun-toting dinosaurs

Joe Johnston clears up when we are going back to 'Jurassic Park'

The other future project I discussed yesterday with Joe Johnston is the long-rumored "Jurassic Park IV."

If you weren't reading my work on Ain't It Cool, you may not have read my report on the proposed sequel that was written by William Monahan and John Sayles.  It led to Sayles accusing me of breaking into Steven Spielberg's personal computer at one point, which was just nuts.  I did no such thing, but I guess the project was supposed to be under lock and key.

You can read that original report here.

That was back in 2004, and I figured they must have moved on by this point, even if they did have two giant A-list names on that script.  For those of you who don't remember the report, here's the most important part of the article:

"There’s the eight-year-old-boy side of me that thinks that a DIRTY DOZEN-style mercenary team of hyper-smart dinosaurs in body armor killing drug dealers and rescuing kidnapped children will be impossible to resist. And then there’s the side of me that says... WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

[The main character] is put in charge of training these five dinosaurs, X1 through X5, and the first thing he does is name them.  'Any soldier worth his pay has a name to answer to, not a number,' he says.  So we are introduced to Achilles, Hector, Perseus, Orestes, and Spartacus, each of them a specially created deinonychus, which is sort of like a miniature T-rex.  They have super-sensitive smell and hearing, incredible strength and speed and pack-hunting instincts, and they have modified forelegs, lengthened and topped with more dextrous fingers, as well as dog DNA for increased obedience and human DNA so they can solve problems well.  All of this is topped off with a drug-regulating implant that can dose them with adrenaline or serotonin as the situation demands."

Seriously.  That's what the script was about.  A commando team made up of gun-toting super-smart dinosaurs.

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<p>If this scene is not in the new &quot;Captain America&quot; film by Joe Johnston, I&nbsp;shall promptly take to the internet and declare the entire endeavor a failure.&nbsp; Be warned, Marvel. &nbsp;Be warned.</p>

If this scene is not in the new "Captain America" film by Joe Johnston, I shall promptly take to the internet and declare the entire endeavor a failure.  Be warned, Marvel.  Be warned.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Red Skull set to battle 'Captain America' in 2012

Plus more details on the next big Marvel movie from director Joe Johnston

Last night, I saw Joe Johnston's new take on "The Wolfman," and then today, I sat down for chats with Johnston, Emily Blunt, and the uber-cool Hugo Weaving.  Before the event, Universal wisely asked outlets to try to actually focus on "The Wolfman" instead of using all of their interview time pumping the talent like they are slot machines designed to spit out "scoops."

It's tough, because if I don't ask anything about the next films from these people, then we lose because all the sites that do that will run 50 headlines, regardless of how much new information they get.  If I do give in and ask those questions, then I'm doing exactly what I don't like.

The balance, I believe, is to try to focus on the work until the wrap-up, when a few quick questions about what's next seem conversational and logical, and today, when we reached minute 13 of our 15 minute talk, I finally worked my way around to the subject of his next film, "Captain America."

Here's our conversation about it:

Drew:  So I know you're prepping "Captain America" right now...

Joe Johnston:  Yes.

Drew:  ... and I know you've said that it's largely period.  Does that mean we're going to see some of the other Silver Age characters in the film?

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<p>A suitably medieval moment from 'The Wild Hunt,' a movie about role-playing gaming out of control, playing as part of the Santa Barbara International Film&nbsp;Festival.</p>

A suitably medieval moment from 'The Wild Hunt,' a movie about role-playing gaming out of control, playing as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Credit: Mad Monkey Films

SBIFF: 'The Wild Hunt' offers up an uneven game

LARPing offers an unsuccessful canvass for a new film

I'm reeeeeally looking forward to the Joe Lynch film "The Knights Of Badassdom," written by Matt Wall and Kevin Dreyfuss.  I bring it up because there's a similarity to the basic concept of that film and the next film that Dustin Hucks is reviewing for us from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

See if you agree.  The Joe Lynch film deals with a group of role-players who are on a weekend excursion when one of them accidentally calls up a real demon, forcing them to have to live the roles that they've all been playing, and either kill or be killed.  It's about that fine line between fantasy and reality and what happens when that line is removed.

The thing is, I assume (not having read it, but knowing Lynch and how infectiously hilarious he is at all times) that the Joe Lynch film is going to be wild and silly and fun and gory and exciting and big, and it's going to play to the popcorn side of the basic idea.  And that's awesome.  Plus he's got Peter Dinklage, so he pretty much automatically wins.

Keep that description in mind as you read this review by Dustin Hucks of a film that's been playing the festival circuit for a little while now.  Dustin caught up with it at the Santa Barbara International FIlm Festival, where he's a guest reviewer for HitFix this week, and here are his thoughts on "The Wild Hunt":

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<p>Jim Morrison at the Hollywood Bowl with about a gajillion adoring fans in Tom DiCillo's documentary 'When You're Strange,' playing as part of the Santa Barbara Internation Film Festival</p>

Jim Morrison at the Hollywood Bowl with about a gajillion adoring fans in Tom DiCillo's documentary 'When You're Strange,' playing as part of the Santa Barbara Internation Film Festival

Credit: Tom DiCillo

SBIFF: Tom DiCillo's 'When You're Strange' looks back at The Doors

In which we introduce a guest reviewer for the festival

I couldn't make my schedule work this year for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, but I'd been talking to the team who handles publicity for the festival about attending or covering it in some way, and when I couldn't swing it, an interesting alternative presented itself.

Meet Dustin Hucks.

Dustin's a Santa Barbara local with strong ties to Austin, a city that is obviously very near and dear to my heart.  Last year, he ran from Burbank to Lubbock, TX to raise money for the American Cancer Society, something I'm fairly sure I could never pull off.  So he's got that going for him, and I think you'll agree, he's not the typical online geek by any means.  Most of them couldn't run 500 feet if they were being chased by the undead, myself included.

He's also a screenwriter and a film fan, and since he was already planning to attend the festival, the idea of him sending reviews and interviews to me so I could publish them here at Motion/Captured seemed like a win-win situation.  It's going to give me (and you, as well) a chance to get to know him, and it'll give us a look at the programming at the festival this year, and hopefully some solid interviews as well.

His first review is for Tom DiCillo's documentary about The Doors, which I missed when it played Sundance in 2009.  I grew up on The Doors and went through a prolonged Jim Morrison phase, so I'm curious what new information DiCillo's film might have for a fan like me.  I think I like the Oliver Stone movie more than anyone associated with the band, but more as a fan's idea of what the Doors were like than as a real record of the band.  I always laughed at the way Ray Manzarek described the film to me, and his disappointment with it.  "It's a white powder movie about a psychedelic band."  Perfect.

Dustin... take it away: 

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<p>The mere mention of the film 'Burlesque' is excuse enough to post scantily-clad photos of Christina Aguilera, so I&nbsp;hope they make 50 films in the franchise</p>

The mere mention of the film 'Burlesque' is excuse enough to post scantily-clad photos of Christina Aguilera, so I hope they make 50 films in the franchise

TMR: Buster, 'Burlesque,' 'The Basics,' and Besson brighten up a rainy LA Friday

Plus a red-band 'Cop-Out' trailer and amazing new 'District 9' props

Welcome to The Morning Read.

I can't believe we're already wrapping up the week.  It feels like this one flew by, but maybe it's just the rigor of being back on my daily schedule after the lunacy of Sundance.  Whatever the case, I'm looking forward to checking out Joe Johnston's "The Wolfman" tonight, and then I've got a long weekend of catching up on some other projects.

First things first today, it looks like William Goss has responded to my challenge with his first entry in our two-sided new series, "The Basics," and he's written up the Marx Brothers classic "Duck Soup."  I am pleased to see his reaction to the movie, and not remotely surprised that he's fallen in love with Groucho Marx.  I'll fire off my next volley to him with a Valentine's Day theme soon.

I had a couple of people write to ask me why I would want to do a series like "The Basics," and I tried to explain to them how important I think film literacy is to anyone who wants to write about movies online.  I mean, sure, you can just jump in and start writing about what you're watching now, but if you don't have a baseline knowledge of what's come before, then how do you even have the vocabulary to offer up that opinion?  It should be a point of pride for a film critic that you know what you're talking about.  To explain it another way, check out this piece.

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<p>Jody Hill and Danny McBride, pictured here at the 'Foot Fist Way' premiere, are reuniting for the film &quot;L.A.P.I.&quot;</p>

Jody Hill and Danny McBride, pictured here at the 'Foot Fist Way' premiere, are reuniting for the film "L.A.P.I."

Danny McBride and Jody Hill reunite for 'L.A.P.I.'

Newly-formed Rough House Pictures buys their first pitch

Variety just put up a story that I'd link you to if they weren't hidden behind a paywall these days.  Oh, well.  I guess I'll just have to paraphrase and share the good news with you m'self.

When I was at Sundance, I was walking out of the "Cyrus" premiere at the Eccles, desperate to get to a bus for the next screening, and I ran into a group of familiar faces standing together outside, including Danny McBride, Jody Hill, and David Gordon Green.  They all seemed really excited by what they'd just seen, and we talked for a moment about the Duplass Brothers film and how "Your Hightness" is shaping up and finally about Rough House Pictures, the new company they just set up as part of Mandate Pictures.  Their assigned task is to develop small comedy films that can be delivered at a price, and it sounds like they're already up and running.

For example, today they announced that Jody will direct "L.A.P.I.", a Los Angeles-based detective film that will star Danny.  That combination is reason for comedy fans to rejoice, and even without any further story details being known, consider that one of my most-anticipated films right now.  What I find interesting is that the script for the film did not originate with McBride and Hill, a la "Foot Fist Way." 

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<p>This image from Lucio Fulci's &quot;Zombie&quot;&nbsp;is as beautiful as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel... only with a zombie and a shark.</p>

This image from Lucio Fulci's "Zombie" is as beautiful as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel... only with a zombie and a shark.

Credit: Blue Underground

Motion/Captured Must-See: Lucio Fulci's 'Zombie' wraps up the A-Z list of our first 26 titles

Zombie versus shark! Zombie versus shark!

Welcome to The Motion/Captured Must-See Project.

When I started this last year, I didn't have a set publication schedule.  It was only this year that I decided that it should run every Thursday.  I don't have a set agenda for what's going to get covered when, and it's not organized by any chronlogy or theme.  That makes it hard to figure out what to publish, and so for the first 26 entries on the list, I decided to go from A-Z, picking one film for each letter.  When I started, I wasn't even sure what the 26 titles would be, with one exception.

I always knew that I'd be writing about Lucio Fulci when I got to that last letter.

It would have been easy to pick the Costa-Gravas film "Z" for this entry, and at some point, we'll loop back around to talk about it, but one of the points of my list is that the true essentials, the films that have shaped me, are made up of equal parts high and low art.  Film snobs creep me out just as much as fanboys in their extremism.  I think one of the things that is glorious about cinema is how it encompasses everything.

Lucio Fulci, like many Italian genre filmmakers, tried his hand at a number of filmic styles over the course of his career, including spaghetti westerns, giallo thrillers, and gangster films. Today, though, he’s probably best known for his gore films like "House By The Cemetary," "Gates Of Hell," "The Beyond," and, of course, 1979's "Zombi 2," which was released in America as "Zombie."  It's the film that made his reputation.  Personally, I think his best film is "The Psychic," which is also worth discussion at some point, but for now, let's look at the version of "Zombie" that Blue Underground released on DVD a few years back.

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