<p>Zac Efron at ShoWest accepting an award, caught in the middle of his best Dean Martin impression</p>

Zac Efron at ShoWest accepting an award, caught in the middle of his best Dean Martin impression

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

The Morning Read (4.14.09) Zac Efron is Jonny Quest... sort of

Plus 'Anti-Christ' trailer and Sasha Grey and Movieline's return

Tuesday?  Already?

I hope you take a moment to check out the interview I did with Jody Hill.  I think it's a decent read, and it was sort of perfect timing to talk to him about both "East Bound and Down" and "Observe and Report ," and to chat film nerd to film nerd, which always makes for better conversation.

What's going on out there this morning?  Most of the webmasters were Tweeting as they went to sleep about how there was nothing going on.  Slow news day.  "Harry Potter" trailer coming later this week... but not yet.  Thursday.  6 PM PST.  What else?  "Date Night" has a pretty solid cast so far.  Ummm... McG's doing a musical.

Oh... and Zac Efron's going to play "Jonny Quest."  Only they're not going to call the film "Jonny Quest"?  Then how about Zac Efron develops an original film called "Adventure Dude" and Warner Bros. can make Dan Mazeau's sort of bad-ass family adventure script with a real 12-year-old star and Dwayne Johnson instead?  And I'm puzzled... is Warner Bros. really going to change the name of the film because they're afraid of the grosses of "Speed Racer"?  It's madness.  The whole point of developing all these endless sequels and remakes and reboots and reimaginings and rerererererewhatever is for the "name brand recognition," right?  "Jonny Quest" called something else is worthless.

Marilyn Chambers... very sad.  Young, too.  I think her work in "Rabid" is, no exaggeration, great.  It's a really disturbing, emotionally bare performance that makes the horror very, very personal.  Whatever anyone thinks of her porn past or whatever people say about her lifestyle, I think she had at least one great performance in her, and I'm glad she hooked up with a filmmaker like Cronenberg at a moment like that.  Some actors never get that chance.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Jody Hill takes a moment at the premiere of 'Observe And Report' with Michael Pena, Anna Faris, Seth Rogen, and Ray Freakin' Liotta</p>

Jody Hill takes a moment at the premiere of 'Observe And Report' with Michael Pena, Anna Faris, Seth Rogen, and Ray Freakin' Liotta

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

The Motion/Captured Interview: Jody Hill

Comedy's newest hotshot discusses 'Observe and Report' and 'East Bound and Down'

The first time I met Jody Hill, he was hanging out on the set of "Superbad," just... ummm... observing, I suppose.  And since I was there to report on the set, I guess there's some kismet in the idea that our first full-length interview would be for this film.  This was my last interview of the morning, just after the Austin SXSW premiere, and everyone was buzzing on the energy of the screening the night before, so what was set to be a 15 minute interview stretched a liiiiiiiiitle long, as you'll see below in a free-wheeling conversation about Fantastic Fest, David Gordon Green, the North Carolina posse, "East Bound and Down," working with his cast, and more.

Motion/Captured:  Hey, Jody.  How are you, man?

Jody Hill:  Good.  I feel like we've seen each other, but we haven't really had a chance to talk at this festival.

M/C:  Yeah.  I'm sorry you guys have to bail right after this and you don't get to enjoy any Austin.

JH:  I know, man.  It's kind of a crazy schedule.  I've gotta come back here, though, man.  This town's sick.

M/C:  Come for Fantastic Fest.

JH:  Yeah?  Is that good?

M/C:  It's at the end of September and, title for title, best festival I've ever been to.

[much, much more after the jump]

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<p>Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner in a dark comedy for the ages, the great 'Prizzi's Honor'</p>

Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner in a dark comedy for the ages, the great 'Prizzi's Honor'

Credit: MGM Home Video

Motion/Captured Must-See: 'Prizzi's Honor'

Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner star for the great John Huston

Have you ever hated a film the first time you saw it?

I mentioned how "Night Moves" hooked me right away, from the moment it starts with that score and the names "Gene Hackman" and "Arthur Penn" like a promise.  Well, "Prizzi's Honor" was a film that I eagerly anticipated the first time I saw it, excited about the cast and the director and the reviews and when that movie ended, I was so goddamn mad at it that I couldn't see straight.  I hated it. 

I had this immediate near-physical reaction to it.  The final shot is someone on the phone, by a window, the light from outside on their face as they talk softly.  And yet an image that benign outraged me and turned me completely against the film.

Years passed and I remained steadfast in my hatred of it.  If it came up, I just dismissed it completely, but to my secret pleasure, the film's reputation didn't last.  The film just came up less and less, a forgotten footnote for both Nicholson and Turner, and little more than a trivia question answer for Anjelica Huston.  I felt vindicated, like history felt the same way about it as I did.  And when it came out on DVD from MGM Home Video, it was on a super cheapo disc with a cheap transfer.  It's nothing special.  It showed how little regard there was for it, just some catalog shovelware to be sent directly to the $9.99 shelves.

So I picked it up.  Almost out of pity.  And I watched it again.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Rachel Nichols plays one of what may be several Orion slave girls in the JJ Abrams 'Star Trek'</p>

Rachel Nichols plays one of what may be several Orion slave girls in the JJ Abrams 'Star Trek'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Morning Read (4.13.09) On Green Chicks (Again) and B-Movies

Plus Twitter and the death of 'Starlog'

Yeah, so... that Weekend Read?  Didn't happen.

And I'm not surprised.  As I've said at least one other time since starting here at HitFix, blogging isn't the same thing as what I was doing at Ain't It Cool.  It's much more demanding of time and attention, and if I'm going to have content here for you to read in any sort of timely manner, I have to pace myself.  I have to set aside specific time to work on specific things, and then hopefully give you enough to read of enough variety to stay engaged.  It's that simple, isn't it?  I'm asking you to check this blog on a daily basis, so maybe I should make sure there's something here each day that I think is worth sharing.  Many times each day if I'm really doing my job right.  I'm not just writing reviews or feature stories for Ain't It Cool, or editing a few news pieces.  It's a much higher volume job.  And I've always, always, always got ideas about how to improve things.

So if you notice me trying new features out or article types, feel free to tell me what you like and what you don't, and what you want more of and what you want less of.  I'm hoping that as I hone my chops, the goal is to give you a steady and reliable stream of content that best reflects the conversation between the writer and his readership.

There's a lot of people out there thinking about this sort of thing.  People who make their living providing online content.  People who work in other media, but who are realizing that it's all moving towards one giant Great Media Singularity, where everything just comes into your home in one fat-ass digital gravy pipe, with news and TV feeds and channels a la carte and subscriptions to studio film libraries where you can just watch whatever you want whenever you want and your e-mail and your Tweets and your online heartbeat monitor and your video games and your movies will all sync up... because isn't that what it's evolving toward at a gallop?

We'll all be living in the Matrix soon enough.  Some of us just already have real estate here.

[more after the jump]

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<p>So does that make this an 'Extract' extract?</p>

So does that make this an 'Extract' extract?

Credit: Miramax Films

The Afternoon Read (4.10.09) 'Extract' teaser poster premiere

Plus the debate on date rape in 'Observe and Report' rages online

I know it's basically the end of the day already.  That's just how Friday worked out this week.  And on top of that, Firefox has decided to randomly sodomize me over and over and over and over this afternoon, making a column as labor-intensive as this one almost impossible to pull off.  So I'm going to make this a relatively short Afternoon Read, and then I'll work to put together a longer, weirder Weekend Read full of all the stuff I bookmarked this week but never quite found a spot to post.  It's going to be a busy weekend of catching up here at the blog, so make sure you keep checking between now and Monday.

Let's kick things off with a poster premiere. 

Earlier this week, we were one of a few sites to debut the teaser trailer for "Extract," the new film from writer/direcector Mike Judge.  Today, we're pleased to offer you the exclusive first look at the poster for the film.  You'll see a glimpse of it here in the article, but for a big high-res look at the whole thing, just click here.  If you've seen the trailer, I think the poster image is both painful and very funny.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Seth Rogen at the premiere of 'Observe and Report' in LA, privately delighted by just how twisted his new film really is.</p>

Seth Rogen at the premiere of 'Observe and Report' in LA, privately delighted by just how twisted his new film really is.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

The Motion/Captured Interview: Seth Rogen

The writer-actor-producer talks 'Observe and Report,' 'Funny People,' and more

One of the first news stories I ran here at HitFix nearly ruined my cordial relationship with Seth Rogen.

The first time I met him was at the premiere of "Anchorman."  There were crowds around Will Farrell and Steve Carrell and David Koechner and Paul Rudd, people congratulating them on their work.  But when I saw Seth Rogen at a table, I made a beeline for him to talk about his small role as a news cameraman and, more importantly, his work on "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared."  I was thrilled to meet the guy, and I remember telling him, "I hope Hollywood figures out what to do with you.  You should be playing bigger parts than just the cameraman."

Hah.  Talk about an understatement.

Hollywood has definitely figured out what to do with Seth Rogen in the last few years, and I've been on-set for a number of his recent films, including "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Knocked Up," "Superbad," and "Pineapple Express."  And the more time I've spent around him, the more it's become obvious that this is a guy who is deadly serious about being very funny.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Anna Faris vamps for the cameras at the LA premiere of 'Observe and Report'</p>

Anna Faris vamps for the cameras at the LA premiere of 'Observe and Report'

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

The Motion/Captured Interview: Anna Faris

Ditzy onscreen, but focused in person, a 'Scary Movie' star grows up

I wish I'd known that people were going to get up in arms over a scene in "Observe and Report" and intentionally misread it so I could have asked Anna Faris about it during our time together in Austin.  Alas, I made the mistake of believing that my fellow film critics had the ability to actually understand the full context of a scene.  Oh, well.  That'll show me.

Instead, when I sat down with Faris on the patio of the Four Seasons in Austin the day after I saw the premiere of "Observe and Report," we talked about her work to define herself as a comic persona in Hollywood, how strange it is to play yourself on a show like "Entourage," and what she sees in her future.  I found her charming, forthcoming, and very focused, and not at all like the characters she typically plays, which reinforces my view that to play dumb successfully, you've got to be fairly smart. 

She claims that it was hard to even get an audition for this film, but at the Q&A after the screening, Jody Hill introduced her as "the funniest woman alive," so I think this is a relationship that has definitely clicked at this point.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Matt Dillon and Michael Eric Kramer struggle against authority in the teens-gone-wild classic 'Over The Edge'</p>

Matt Dillon and Michael Eric Kramer struggle against authority in the teens-gone-wild classic 'Over The Edge'

Credit: Warner Home Video

Motion/Captured Must-See: 'Over The Edge'

Was this story of teens gone wild the most dangerous film Orion ever released?

I miss Orion. 

I used to love seeing their logo in front of movies.  They made a lot of movies, big and small, and they picked up films for release other people wouldn't.  They were a hip label.  It does not surprise me at all to see the Orion logo on the front of "Over The Edge," a great teens-against-the-world movie set in New Granada, a planned community in the middle of nowhere that has gone horribly, horribly wrong.  What does surprise me is that Orion, of all distributors, chickened out when they were confronted with Jonathan Kaplan's film, and they refused to release it to theaters out of fear.

What the hell could be in a movie about teenagers that would cause a distributor to lose their nerve altogether?  Is this like some Larry Clark movie gone mad, some filthy, crazy, dangerous thing?  Are we talking about something so graphic that no one would be able to sit through it?  Actually... no.

So why would a film finished in 1979 get dumped to HBO in 1981?  Why was it shelved for two years?  And why would a film that the distributor didn't even want to release end up on a list of the movies I feel you absolutely have to see?  What is it about "Over The Edge" that causes such passions, both good and bad?

[more after the jump]

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<p>Vin Diesel heartily approves of the idea of more Riddick movies... but does Universal agree?</p>

Vin Diesel heartily approves of the idea of more Riddick movies... but does Universal agree?

Credit: AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito

The Morning Read (4.09.09) Will Riddick's 'Chronicles' continue?

Plus working with David Foster Wallace, the evolution of a rumor, and a maskless Michael Myers

God, it feels like I've been up forever already today, and yet it's 9:30 and I'm just sitting down to the Morning Read.  The more astute of you noticed yesterday that there was no Read of any kind, morning or afternoon.  Blame that one on a day that started really late, because my alarm simply didn't go off near me.  It may have gone off.  It may not have gone off.  We'll never know, since tiny monkey hands carried it far, far from my bedroom, well before that hypothetical moment of going off.  It's amazing to me what I have to explicitly explain to my sons is "against the rules."  I didn't realize there were as many rules as there are, but I'm learning more of them every... single... day.

Did you check out my "Lost" recap from last night?  Great episode.

How about that new trailer we premiered for the Mike Judge film "Extract"?  Best use of CGI bong smoke ever.

Or how about a fistful of new stills from Fox's summer line-up?

[more after the jump]

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<p>Gene Hackman ponders some of life's great mysteries in Arthur Penn's moody 'Night Moves'</p>

Gene Hackman ponders some of life's great mysteries in Arthur Penn's moody 'Night Moves'

Credit: Warner Home Video

Motion/Captured Must-See: 'Night Moves'

Arthur Penn's great modern noir starring Gene Hackman

How long does it take for you to know that you love a movie?

For me, it depends.  Some films, I'm not sure about until days or even weeks after I see them, once they settle in.  But other films, it's instant.  As soon as Michael Small's score kicks in and "Gene Hackman" shows up as the first title, I knew that "Night Moves" had me.

Part of it is because I love detective fiction.  And more specifically, I love detective fiction set in Los Angeles.  The history of our city has been told through detective stories, from Chandler to Ellroy to Connelly to Mosely, with hundreds of other authors in-between, and it's a fascinating prism through which we can view the moral and social evolution of a town that's never been terribly concerned with morals except in public.  That dichotomy between the face Hollywood shows the world and the face it wears in private is one of the reasons it is such a perfect place to set a detective story.  Our city is a metaphor.  Robert Towne understood that when he wrote "Chinatown," and he was even smart enough to build the entire mystery around the process that turned a desert into a place people want to live.  It's an illusion, and Towne nailed it with his classic screenplay to such a degree that people study it these days.

It's a shame that "Night Moves" isn't better known or more well-liked, because it's a great nod to the tradition of detective fiction without being an empty homage or a retread of something someone else did.  It's an original screenplay by Alan Sharp, and as directed by Arthur Penn, it's a searing look at the politics of sex, and the way people use it for a million different ends, like money or drugs or power, and how rare it is that someone simply uses it for the sheer pleasure of the encounter.  Sex is currency in the world of Harry Moseby, and he's a broke man walking in the land of the wealthy.

[more after the jump]

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