<p>It's anybody's guess how Fox will handle iconic characters like Sue Storm or Ben 'The Thing' Grimm when they reboot 'The Fantastic Four'</p>

It's anybody's guess how Fox will handle iconic characters like Sue Storm or Ben 'The Thing' Grimm when they reboot 'The Fantastic Four'

Credit: Steve McNiven/Marvel

Fox officially announces 'Fantastic Four' reboot

And they hire the writer of "Batman & Robin" to prove they're serious

Okay, I'll start this on a positive note.

Herc over at AICN suggested Jeff Goldblum for Reed Richards and Christoph Waltz for Dr. Doom.

I concur.  Waltz for Doom?  Concur, concur, concur.

Having said that, I'm absolutely not shocked to see this moving forward.  For one thing, IESB announced this in March.  This is just the official confirmation from the studio now that they've got a writer onboard.  Michael Green (a writer for "Heroes") has been signed to kick things off as screenwriter, although if I were him, I wouldn't count on making it to the finish line.  I'm sure Fox will run it through several different writers by the time it shoots.  That's just the way they make the sausage.

I'm more curious to see who they bring on as director.  Akiva Goldsman is producing the movie, and it's impossible to bring that up without pointing out that he did, in fact, write "Batman and Robin," and no quantity of Oscars can ever enable him to time travel backwards and erase that. 

[more after the jump]

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<p>Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart' is one of the films getting the deluxe BluRay treatment today</p>

Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart' is one of the films getting the deluxe BluRay treatment today

Credit: Paramount Home Video

Home Entertainment Forecast: 'Braveheart' hits BluRay

Plus 'Heroes,' Sundance faves, and 'Muramasa' for the Wii

Welcome to the Home Entertainment Forecast for September 1st, 2009. 

I'm revamping the way I want to do this, and part of that is because I want to encourage you to check out the Forecast feature here on the site.  I think some of you come here from links from other sites, and some of you may have my blog bookmarked, and some of you come in on the front page, where you see everything laid out. 

But if you take a few minutes and sign up as a HitFix user, and you start putting events into your forecast... particularly if you check out a music preview or a movie preview for the rest of the fall... I think you'll get a good idea of how useful it can be as an extension of everything you read on HitFix, from me, or from Dan Fienberg, or Melinda Newman or Katie Hasty, or Greg Ellwood.  The whole point of this site is to, hopefully, present you with a barrage of stuff we feel like we want to share with you, and you decide what you like of it, then customize your experience so that you're getting content about that stuff in particular.

I also think the definition of what home entertainment is changes a little bit each few years now, so I'd like to offer up a look at everything I think is hitting the shelves this week that qualifies.

For example...

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<p>The cast and crew of 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' celebrate as Edgar Wright wraps production on his newest film on a verrry interesting set.</p>

The cast and crew of 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' celebrate as Edgar Wright wraps production on his newest film on a verrry interesting set.

Credit: Universal Pictures/Edgar Wright

TMR: 'Scott Pilgrim' wraps, Disney buys Marvel, and 'Lying' gets a poster

Plus wild 'Wild Things' assumptions and zombies on Google maps

Welcome to The Morning Read.

As I've said, I'm gearing up for almost a month on the road.  Toronto's going to be a full week, and then Fantastic Fest is another ten days, and there may be a set visit in there somewhere that takes another three or four days.  Point is, if I'm going to keep the Morning Read up and running while I'm gone, I've got to get better at it.  I've gone from five times a week to some weeks where I barely get two of them up on the site.

Unacceptable.

I think part of the problem is that I get precious about it sometimes, as I do with almost everything, and then I get tied up in knots if I can't "pull it off" just right.  Ridiculous.  This is just a way to parse what's going on in a given morning, and it only works if I actually put it together and publish it.

So these may be shorter than they have been in the past, but hopefully I can get back onto a five-a-week schedule or something very close, and this time actually keep up some sort of a presence for the column while I'm on the road.

[more after the jump]

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<p>'Say it! SAY IT!' 'Okay, okay! Yes, I want to see 'Rambo 5'!' 'Well, you can't, cause I'm going to pop your head like a zit.'</p>

'Say it! SAY IT!' 'Okay, okay! Yes, I want to see 'Rambo 5'!' 'Well, you can't, cause I'm going to pop your head like a zit.'

Credit: Lionsgate

Stallone heads down Mexico way for 'Rambo 5'

One of Hollywood's most unlikely comebacks seems on-track to continue

And speaking of Nu Image/Millenium... and we just were... they're pulling the trigger on yet another sequel I'm optimistic will be big and bloody and most likely awesome.

Sylvester Stallone has done the unlikely and caught what must be a third or even fourth wind in his career, and he did it by cashing in both of his iconic character.  "Rocky Balboa" is most likely the last last "Rocky" movie, and I give Stallone credit for knowing exactly what buttons he needed to press to make that movie work.  My reaction to "Rocky Balboa" is the same reaction I have to "JCVD."  But "Rambo IV" was just bloody and silly and occasionally too serious and political on the most surface of levels.  And that's what made it work.

Now it sounds like "Rambo 5" is off and running, and this time, he's going to plunge headlong into the border wars between Mexico and the USA as Rambo tries to rescue a girl who disappears near the border, navigating the difficult distance between human trafficking and the drug trade.  At this point, Stallone has obviously become a muscle-headed verson of the political cartoons in the newspaper, and it suits him.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Nic Cage and Jay Baruchel together on-set for 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' earlier this year in New York.</p>

Nic Cage and Jay Baruchel together on-set for 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' earlier this year in New York.

Credit: Walt Disney Company

Nic Cage goes 3D with 'Drive Angry'

Director of 'My Bloody Valentine' puts Cage behind the wheel

Is it just me, or is Nicolas Cage working harder than ever before these days?

Admittedly, after people get a load of what he does in "Kick-Ass," I think he's going to be more in-demand than ever before.  But every time I turn around right now, I read about something else he's got going, and these don't seem to be endless development projects that go nowhere.  Instead, these are films that shoot one right after another, and as a result, there are something like five or six films a day coming out next year starring Cage.  Every day.  All year long.

Add one more, and it already sounds like it's going to be one of the are-you-serious-I-think-I-have-to-see-that titles of the bunch.  Patrick Lussier, whose "My Bloody Valentine" remake was huge, silly fun in 3D, is set to direct a new 3D film starring Cage as a father whose daughter is killed and whose granddaughter is kidnapped. 

He goes after the men who did it, and it turns into some hyped-up 3D hybrid of "Death Race" and "Duel" and that last epic half-hour of "The Road Warrior."  "Taken" behind the wheel.

At least, that's what I hope it turns into.  It is, after all, called "Drive Angry."

[more after the jump]

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<p>Jolie Vanier and Jimmy Bennett are the stars of the new family comedy 'Shorts' from director Robert Rodriguez</p>

Jolie Vanier and Jimmy Bennett are the stars of the new family comedy 'Shorts' from director Robert Rodriguez

Credit: AP Photo/Warner Bros.

The Motion/Captured Review: 'Shorts'

Rodriguez goes kiddie while Quentin goes to war... and to what effect?

First of all:  Toshi thought "Shorts" was the bomb.

He went with me one recent afternoon to the Warner Bros. lot where we found our way to one of the smallest screening rooms I've ever seen there.  It was projected onto the back of a dude sitting at his desk, and we had to stand in his cubicle with him.  Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that small, but small. 

Didn't matter.  For the film's entire running time, Toshi was positively pinned to his chair, and afterwards, he ran around playing "Shorts" all afternoon with his profoundly confused baby brother.

And why wouldn't he?  He's four years old, and "Shorts" offers up the potent and timeless fantasy of a magic wishing rock that can do anything at all.  It also runs a "Monkey's Paw" riff on the idea, illustrating clearly that most wishes can and will end up going terribly wrong, and that you'll never really get what you want simply by wishing for it.  I think this makes huge sense as a little kid movie.

For adults, "Shorts" is less painful than the "Spy Kids" sequels or "Shark Boy And Lava Girl" were.  It's generally amiable, the kids are talented enough, and the adult cast all strikes a very particular Robert Rodriguez tone.  Considering how cool Robert is, and how some of his stuff has a genuinely dirty edge to it, he's sort of a ham.  He loves big and silly and colorful, and when he makes a film for kids, it never feels like an adult making a film that's been market-tested and pre-approved and researched and focus-grouped.  Instead, it sort of feels like another kid got hold of all the resources of a movie studio and made exactly the sort of film you would expect a kid to make.  Messy, loose, with a story that doesn't work in any sort of classic sense.  And somehow, it works.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Martin Lawrence and Will Smith strike a pose in Michael Bay's gleefully amoral 'Bad Boys II'</p>

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith strike a pose in Michael Bay's gleefully amoral 'Bad Boys II'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Sony hires a writer for 'Bad Boys 3,' but Bay and stars still unsigned

Could there be a 'Bad Boys' without Smith, Lawrence, and Bay?

You wanna know my favorite part of the story that Borys Kit ran regarding the now-officially-in-development "Bad Boys III" this morning?

It's this paragraph:

"The 'Boys' movies feature Smith and Lawrence as Miami detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, caught up in cases involving car chases and explosions."

Borys, there is no finer way to sum up the appeal of the films than that, and I thank you for the precision of that description.  "Cases involving car chases and explosions," indeed.

I'm not the world's biggest Michael Bay fan, but I dearly love "Bad Boys II."  In fact, I think it's the high point on his filmography, and one of the most savagely reprehensible giant-budget action films of all time.  It is absolutely without any moral compass, and that's sort of fascinating to watch.  As stories go, "Bad Boys II" is wafer-thin, particularly bizarre considering how good the writers were that they threw at the movie.  Jerry Stahl.  Ron Shelton.  Seriously talented guys there.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Anna Wintour in a scene from RJ Cutler's new documentary 'The September Issue,' at home in the world where she is queen</p>

Anna Wintour in a scene from RJ Cutler's new documentary 'The September Issue,' at home in the world where she is queen

Credit: Roadside Attractions

The Motion/Captured Review: 'The September Issue' is unexpectedly absorbing

Documentary veteran R.J. Cutler takes audiences inside the workings of the world's biggest fashion magazine

I've got to start getting ready for Toronto and Fantastic Fest.  I'm on the road for most of September, and I'll be expected to file a ton of reviews.  So if I'm going to do that, I'd better start pacing myself now, like I'm practicing for a marathon.  How better to start that than by writing a review of a movie I saw at Sundance in January?

Ahem.

Roadside Attractions is just now opening R.J. Cutler's latest documentary feature, "The September Issue," in theaters around the country.  When I first read a description of the film in the Sundance catalog, I wasn't interested at all.  Cutler's name is what got me to take a chance on the movie, though.  He's a prolific and consistently classy documentarian, with a resume that includes films like "The War Room," "The Perfect Candidate," "Thin," and the series "American High," among others.  The participation of someone I trust as much as I trust Cutler trumps subject matter in my book.

I'm glad I took the chance, too, because "The September Issue" is arresting, absorbing human drama that just happens to be set in the world of fashion.  That's a world that means nothing to me personally, so if the film were just "about" fashion, it wouldn't be something I'd have much enthusiasm for.  Instead, Cutler uses the production of Vogue's annual September issue, the most important of their year, as a way of peering into the personal dynamics that play out within the magazine.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Seth Rogen wants you to know that 'Green Hornet' is still coming, and if anything, it just keeps getting better</p>

Seth Rogen wants you to know that 'Green Hornet' is still coming, and if anything, it just keeps getting better

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Seth Rogen explains 'Green Hornet' release date shift

'Green Hornet' and 'Funny People' star tells HitFix why Black Beauty is on the move

I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear:  a date change for "The Green Hornet" does NOT mean that the film is dead.

I still feel bad that my reporting of those (obviously incorrect) rumors created difficulties for Rogen right as they were trying to find a new director.  That eventually turned out quite well for them, though, when they signed Michel Gondry, who has been quite vocal about his plans for the film.  I'm intrigued by the idea of Gondry helming a big-budget action film, almost as much as I'm intrigued by the idea of Seth Rogen starring in one.  The search for Kato also proved to be a lengthy process, finally resulting in the casting of Jay Chou.

Now, though, with cast members like Cameron Diaz and Nicolas Cage signed on as well, it looks like the film may finally be ready to roll.  It's just that there's no way they're going to rush the film for a release date next summer.  So when Collider.com ran the story earlier that the film is moving, I decided to ask Seth directly what he thinks of moving to Christmas.

According to Seth, that's a good thing.  Here's what he had to say when I asked him about it this afternoon:

[more after the jump]

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<p>Tony Randall in the fourth-wall-breaking opening moments of Frank Tashlin's classic Madison Avenue comedy, 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?'</p>

Tony Randall in the fourth-wall-breaking opening moments of Frank Tashlin's classic Madison Avenue comedy, 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Motion/Captured Must-See: 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?'

Frank Tashlin turns Jayne Mansfield into a live-action cartoon

Right away, Tashlin's screwing with you.

Over the familiar Fox logo, the longer extended Cinemascope version of it, Tony Randall plays the fanfare, the snare drum and the upright bass, seated in the left-hand corner of the giant scope image.

And as the Fox logo fades out, Randall remains against black, and we cut in close, a distinctly theatrical interaction with the "curtain," so to speak.

"Oh, the fine print they put in an actor's contract these days..."

Well, hello, Daffy Duck. 

Randall's not just breaking the fourth wall, he's doing it in a voice that, considering it was 1957 when "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" was made, belonged almost exclusively to cartoons or humor magazines... but rarely feature Hollywood movies.

It's a sassy sort of ribbing of the idea of movies in general.  It's explosive deconstruction of form, the way the Looney Tunes cartoons used to do on a regular basis.  Little surprise, then, that Frank Tashlin, the director of this live-action film, was one of those legendary Termite Terrace animation gods.  This movie is as close as I can imagine to a live-action Warner Bros. cartoon in sensibility, and Tashlin pulls it off perfectly.

[more after the jump]

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