<p>Leonardo Di Caprio is lost within a dream within a dream within a dream in Christopher Nolan's brain-bending thriller 'Inception,' still sparking heated conversations among audiences</p>

Leonardo Di Caprio is lost within a dream within a dream within a dream in Christopher Nolan's brain-bending thriller 'Inception,' still sparking heated conversations among audiences

Credit: Warner/Legendary

Finally... as promised... 'Inception': One Last Kick

Yes, it's true, we're going even deeper into Christopher Nolan's dream thriller

Would you believe me if I said that the delay between part one of this article and part two was a way of demonstrating a story point about limbo in the context of how it's used in Christopher Nolan's "Inception"?

Would you pretend you believe me for the sake of our friendship?  How about if I promise to make this article better than the first one?

I will apologize for taking so long with this.  My vacation (the single longest stretch of time I've taken away from work in the past four years, according to my wife) was certainly responsible for some of the delay, but it was more than that.  It seems like it's been forever since the first review I wrote for the film.  Which I liked.

But, honestly, I don't think I did a very good job with the first half of this revisit article.  I was working too hard to impress, and I think I sort of cocked it up.  Summary is fine, and I really was trying to lay all the pieces on the chess board so we could talk about the moves Nolan makes in the film, but it's not analysis, and what a re-review should be on the rare opportunity that I write one is a chance to dig deeper into a film once spoilers don't matter anymore.  So instead of calling this part two of the earlier article, let's take a cue from Hollywood and call this a reboot instead.

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<p>Psssst... Karl... I&nbsp;don't think they have a Starfleet in the world of &quot;Judge Dredd&quot;</p>

Psssst... Karl... I don't think they have a Starfleet in the world of "Judge Dredd"

Credit: AP Photo

Karl Urban IS the law in a new 'Judge Dredd' film

Rumor finally confirmed as reboot moves forward

There are things I like about the 1995 film version of "Judge Dredd," directed by Danny Cannon.  I think it's got a great look, particularly in the way they designed the urban landscapes, and at the time, it was about as cutting edge a future city as we'd seen on film.  I love the Jerry Goldsmith piece of music that was written for the trailer, even if it never did show up in the movie.  And I think there are a few moments where they sort of captured the world of the original comic series quite well, with some of the side characters and environments.

Which is not to say it was a good movie.  It wasn't.  A big part of the problem is that you can't cast a movie star as recognizable as Sylvester Stallone and ask him to wear a mask that obscures 2/3 of his face for the entire running time.  And, sure enough, Stallone's ego forced the filmmakers to find an excuse to get the mask off for a good portion of the film.

Wrong.  WRONG.

I'm not the sort of person who insists that each and every detail of a comic make the jump to the big screen (or a novel or a play or any other source material), but when something is a key part of a character's identity the way Dredd's mask is, then you should do your best to honor that.  And it sounds like the producers of the proposed new "Judge Dredd" movie, now officially set to star Karl Urban as the lead character, understand exactly what it will take to bring Dredd to the screen successfully.

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<p>Uhhhhh... nope.&nbsp; No idea what the heck that is.&nbsp; I just know I'll probably see it in my nightmares later.&nbsp; Thanks, Wes.</p>

Uhhhhh... nope.  No idea what the heck that is.  I just know I'll probably see it in my nightmares later.  Thanks, Wes.

Credit: Relativity/Rogue

Watch: Wes Craven dreams up a brand-new killer in 'My Soul To Take'

Looks like 'Scream' and 'Nightmare' had a baby

I'll say this for it... the trailer looks slick.

I respect Wes Craven as a survivor in this business, but some of the films he's made have been as cheap and sleazy as anything in the genre.  His early films have all the style and charm of porn, and even after he would take a step forward with a film like "A Nightmare In Elm Street," he was still perfectly capable of taking a step backward with garbage like "Deadly Friend" or "Shocker."  

Before we see "Scream 4" hit theaters, we've got a new Craven creation that will introduce the Riverton Ripper and a kid named Bug.  Will they carry the same iconic weight as Freddy Kruger or Ghostface?  Only time will tell, but from this first trailer, it looks like there's a little of both in this movie's DNA.

Slasher movie tropes in full force?  Check.  Dreams and childhood secrets play an important part?  Check. Possible supernatural killer?  Check.  Kid wrestling with the nature of waking reality while his friends die around him?  Check.

I'm curious if this would still have gotten made after "Scream 4," or if this was meant to take the place of the "Scream" series for Craven, who has been pretty vocal about not just wanting to be a horror filmmaker.  When you meet him and speak with him, he's one of the most soft-spoken and cultured horror icons I can imagine.  He speaks like a guy who makes chamber dramas about serious subjects, not a guy whose career can be summed up in one giant body count.  Still, there aren't a lot of offers being made for him to direct "Music Of The Heart 2," so it feels like "My Soul To Take" was his way of buying back a little of his cultural relevancy, maybe paving the way for him to make something closer to his heart.

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<p>You know why Marpessa Dawn has that satisfied smile on her face?&nbsp;&nbsp;Because she just saw Criterion's new Blu-ray edition of 'Black Orpheus.'</p>

You know why Marpessa Dawn has that satisfied smile on her face?  Because she just saw Criterion's new Blu-ray edition of 'Black Orpheus.'

Credit: The Criterion Collection

DVD Shelf Double-Feature: 'OSS 117: Lost In Rio' and Criterion's 'Black Orpheus"

A completely different pair of films, connected only by an amazing location

Rio's been on my mind lately.

The new script I wrote with my longtime collaborator Scott Swan is set in Brazil, and we spent months researching the country and, specifically, Rio, which is a case study in contradictions.  No other city I can think of makes the distinction between rich and poor so visually dramatic, so geographically symbolic.  You can stand on Copacabana Beach, one of the most beautiful resort destinations on Earth, and stare up past rows of exclusive shops and expensive restaurants at the multi-colored favelas splashed across the hills above the city, poverty packed into carefully controlled areas and shoved out of the way, allowed to run rampant as long as it stays where it "belongs."

Surprisingly, there aren't very many great Rio films.  Sure, there's the searing "City Of God," and there's the brutal "Elite Squad," both of those fairly recent.  But considering the vibrant culture, both high and low, that has always been part of the fabric of the city, ti seems strange how under-represented it is on film.  It's a tourist spot that films glance over the surface of without ever dealing with the city's real beating heart.  On a recent evening during my vacation, I decided to watch two films that shared Rio in common, one on DVD, the other on Blu-ray, and in the end, they couldn't have been more different.

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<p>'Battle Los Angeles' is a major release for Sony next March, and now they're trying to stop Universal from releasing 'Skyline' before that.&nbsp; Do they have a case?</p>

'Battle Los Angeles' is a major release for Sony next March, and now they're trying to stop Universal from releasing 'Skyline' before that.  Do they have a case?

Credit: Sony Pictures

Sony threatens Hydraulx over 'Battle: Los Angeles' and 'Skyline' similarities

But do they really have a case?

When I was preparing for the "Skyline" panel that I moderated at Comic-Con this year, I visited the Hydraulx studios in Santa Monica, where they showed me a chunk of what they're working on for the film.

At the same time, while I was walking around their studio, they were working on at least two other films.  One was the "Avatar" special edition I just discussed with James Cameron, which was really just a case of Hydraulx finishing some of the FX sequences they had originally worked on for the film, and the other was "Battle: Los Angeles," the Jonathan Liebesman-directed SF action film that is hitting screens in March of next year.

At the time, I talked to the Hydraulx guys, including brothers Greg and Colin Strause, about the idea that they were working on two alien invasion films at the same time, and I asked how they distinguished between the two.  They were very clear at the time that there's not much in common between the films besides the broad strokes, and they were extra-careful to make sure that the work wasn't overlapping in any way.  "Skyline" is a very important film for the studio, since this is the first time they're putting their own money on the line and making something that they developed in-house using their own equipment.  They made the movie for a fraction of what any Hollywood studio would have spent, and they are making it as a way of indulging fanboy fantasies that would be almost impossible to get through the development system.

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<p>Brooklyn Decker IS&nbsp;Battleship in 'Battleship:&nbsp;The Movie,' which not even Z-A-Z could apparently dream up.&nbsp; Okay, she's 'Sam,' but the point stands.</p>

Brooklyn Decker IS Battleship in 'Battleship: The Movie,' which not even Z-A-Z could apparently dream up.  Okay, she's 'Sam,' but the point stands.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

'Battleship' casting, Toronto anticipation, and a wee bit of housekeeping

A few thoughts on recent news and a look ahead

Yes, I know I owe you an "Inception" piece.

Fate has done its best to keep that piece from you.  I blame a faceless conspiracy of shadowy people who booked last minute travel, sabotaged computer cords and hard drives, and who threw a ton of news in the way of me writing.

No excuse, I know.  I seriously haven't had a working computer since midday Saturday, though.  I have had my notebooks with me, though, and I finished the piece in longhand.  So now let me just get a little bit of news out of the way here this afternoon and then go to a charter school open house for Toshi, and then tonight, I can start to catch up, although the article itself will most likely be online late tomorrow.

It's been a very cool weekend, by the way.  I interviewed a legend, a guy who absolutely lived up to my every expectation, and spent some time looking at the work being done on what I anticipate is going be a monster holiday hit.  Embargos being what they are, I'll probably be able to share those stories with you right around the time of the home video release, but we'll see what we can do.

I have another piece I'm working on that is a glimpse inside the recording and orchestration process with Michael Giacchino, which was an amazing afternoon recently, and I look forward to that sometime this week.

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Chloe Moretz is Abby in 'Let Me In'

Chloe Moretz is Abby in 'Let Me In'

Credit: Overture Films

Matt Reeves' Vampire Tale 'Let Me In' to Open Fantastic Fest 2010

'Cloverfield' director to unleash mini vampire on Austin

Fantastic Fest officials have announced they will open the Texas Genre-fest with the U.S. Premiere of the kid-vampire movie "Let Me In" starring Chloe Moretz (Kick Ass), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road.)

We at HitFix.Com has been following Matt Reeves' adaptation of the 2004 Swedish novel "Let the Right One In" by John Ajvide Linqvist since darn near the beginning, and it seems appropriate that the film would be chosen for the opening night of the festival.

Every time we speak to him, Reeves' perspective seems well suited for creating an American version of a story many of us got to know from the Swedish film by Tomas Alfredson of the same name. Creating a movie based on source material that's already known can be dangerous territory for any director, but the casting seems perfect. We will see if  hunches pay out on September 23rd in Austin.

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Poster for I'M STILL HERE

Poster for I'M STILL HERE

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Watch: Joaquin Phoenix insists 'I'm Still Here' in Casey Affleck's new doc

Lawsuits may be rushing release date

It seems that the old saying: "there's no such thing as bad publicity" is constantly tested in Hollywood. Magnolia Pictures today released the official trailer for "I'M STILL HERE" (all-caps on purpose, btw) the Casey Affleck directed documentary about the "tumultuous year in the life of internationally acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix."

The film, Affleck's first, follows Phoenix as he announces his retirement from acting in the fall of 2008 (whom many thought was a hoax) and follows him as he pursues a hip hop career. The jury is still out on if this is a "Borat" type mockumentary or something more earnest, or somehow both. If there is any "funny business" it's certainly not alluded to in the press materials.

Magnolia picked up the film on July 14, a little over a month ago, and plans on releasing it one short month from now on September 10th.

Why the rush? You may ask.

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Sam Rockwell and Oliver Platt at the Gotham Awards

Sam Rockwell and Oliver Platt at the Gotham Awards

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Oliver Platt will be The Man In Black in 'X-Men: First Class'

Still no Cyclops cast in X-Men Prequel

Matthew Vaughn appears to be casting the superhero prequel "X-Men: First Class" in record time. It's being reported by Deadline that Oliver Platt will be joining the ensemble as a non-mutant, somewhat government-agent-sounding "The Man In Black.

The film centers around Charles Xavier and Magneto's early friendly relationship, and perhaps the creation of the first incarnation of the superhero group The X-Men. Originally published in 1963 by Marvel Comics, "The X-Men" were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, it is yet unknown how closely the film will follow the early story lines of the comics, but we do know that certain characters will be in it from the casting news.

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George Lucas in Orlando

George Lucas and Star Wars gets the Disney Treatment in Orlando at Celebration V

Credit: AP Photo/Disney, Todd Anderson

George Lucas Announces Star Wars Saga will Finally Come to Blu-Ray Next Year

And Jon Stewart Gets His Own Action Figure

In the never ending quest to get movie fans to completely re-buy their entire home-video collections, (some of us for the third time), it has been announced that all six live action Star Wars films will at long last be released on Blu-Ray in one massive box set, due for release in the fall of 2011.

This news was given to thousands of fans at the "Star Wars Celebration V" convention in Orlando, Florida by George Lucas himself, in rollicking presentation moderated by Jon Stewart.

In what was the main event for convention, Stewart asked Lucas questions submitted by the fan community online, and one the most frequently asked questions involved the series' release on the HD format. With a sly smile, Lucas said "I wish I could say it was coming out this year" paused dramatically "But it's not, it's coming out next year" as the crowd went wild.

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