<p>Robert Downey Jr. stops for donuts in 'Iron Man 2,' currently filming around Los Angeles</p>

Robert Downey Jr. stops for donuts in 'Iron Man 2,' currently filming around Los Angeles

Credit: Paramount Pictures

TMR: Robert Downey Jr. suits up as Iron Man and Sasha Grey reaches deep

Plus politicians and filmmakers talk about what films formed them and home gaming goes 3D

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Rupert Murdoch is obviously a very successful and smart man, so when I say that the old man's off his meds, I mean that with the utmost respect.  If he really believes that he's going to swing the internet around to a model where everyone's paying for access to sites, I'd like to introduce him to 1996, where he'll be very happy.  Check out what Murdoch had to say just before they served him applesauce and happy pills.

I know filmmakers who seem rabidly interested in audience response, and I know filmmakers who profess not to care what anyone thinks as long as they are happy with their film.  I think it has to be some middle ground between those attitudes for a film to really work, but it's an interesting question, and Kim Voynar digs into it today.

Wanna see a new picture of Robert Downey Jr. in a partial Iron Man suit?  People is happy to oblige you.  It's cool not only as a first look at the sequel, but also as a look at how much of the suit is practical and how much is an effect in some shots.

An equally interesting question is "What movie most affected you, and how?"  It's a great way of learning who someone is.  The movies you love, the movies you internalize... they say a lot about your character and your values, even if you don't realize it.  The more passionate you are about a film, the more revealing it is.  Alice Jones of The Independent asked filmmakers and authors and politicians to talk about the films that defined them, and she got some great answers.

There are many, many, many reasons you should read Vern's summer movie preview, but I can best sum it up with one reason in particular:  Jim Jarmusch Slurpee cups.

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<p>Jeff Katz was one of the key players in bringing "Wolverine" to the screen</p>

Jeff Katz was one of the key players in bringing "Wolverine" to the screen

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Jeff Katz emerges as an American Original

Nerds worldwide celebrate as one of their own takes the wheel

Talk about a company name designed to look good in headlines.  I've always loved Terry Gilliam's infantile urge to name his production company Poo Poo Productions, just so lawyers would have to have serious conversations about Poo Poo, but I think most sane people want a name that conveys an attitude and suggests what you should expect.  I like it when people bite off more than they can chew right out of the gate.  If you name your company "Bad-Ass Ninja Robot Shark Productions," and you've got a logo that's four and a half minutes long and cost $2 million, you are making an inherent promise to your customer.  I always laugh at the way people try to either go vague or "aha!" cute.  And I wonder if there are people who regret their company name after living with it for a while.

All things I pondered as I opened the press release for Jeff Katz's new entertainment company, American Original.  I met Jeff many years ago at New Line, as a junior executive there.  He was incredibly young at the time... I think 13 or 14... and he had already had this wild other earlier career in the world of professional wrestling.  And talking to him, I was amazed not that New Line had him meeting with people to discuss genre movies, but more that they would even let him in the building.  He was way too real, too unpolished, too in love with movies and genre fare and comic books and pop culture to be anyone who any corporation would let make any degree of decision.  It does not surprise me at all that he would announce his new company today as a "nerd machine."  It does not surprise me at all that he's only 30 and he's not only worked for two studios (he had a good run at New Line before making the jump to Fox, where he was hired specifically to be the House Nerd.  It does not surprise me at all that he's a really good comic book writer (his Booster Gold stuff is, yes, gold), since he seems to ingest comics and video games and pretty much everything nerd on a steady IV drip.

It just surprises me when something like this actually happens to people who should be making these choices.  It's rare.

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<p>Zach Galifianakis will ask anyone anything, and I admire him for it</p>

Zach Galifianakis will ask anyone anything, and I admire him for it

Credit: Getty Images

TMR: Zach Galifianakis Questions Natalie Portman and Nick Fury Onset For 'Iron Man 2'

Plus a beloved character takes the mic for 'Toy Story 3' and new 'Holmes' photos surface

Welcome to The Morning Read.

I can't believe I'm seeing new Pixar in 3D tonight.  I remember when I was a kid... it took forever from when I would hear about a film to when a film came out.  Maybe it's because I was rabid about fewer films that it seemed to take so long, or maybe it's just a symptom of getting older.  A year can disappear in the time it takes me to get out of bed in the morning.  These days, from the moment I hear about a film to the moment I see it, things seems telescoped to the point of absurdity.  I think part of that is because we are so awash in hype that it feels like something's "done" from the moment it's announced.  I'm not complaining... I love that directors are actually on Twitter between takes.  It's a bizarre new world of interaction between filmmaker and audience, and it's fun to watch it constantly changing.

I wish someone was actually making games for "Blade Runner" or "The Fifth Element" that looked like the samples that Pete ran over at /Film today.  Gorgeous stuff.

RT: @Jon_Favreau Scarlett's first day on set in the Black Widow outfit. You've never heard a crew get so quiet so fast.

I love talking film theory with friends, and really getting into the semantics of it and just spending a whole evening following one topic to another.  Of course, some people just like to watch movies for entertainment and not dig any deeper, and that's cool.  I would never fault anyone for getting... you know, actual entertainment out of their entertainment products.  But when I want to get film nerdy, it's good to have friends who can indulge you and who have the vocabulary to really dig into it.  I can think of a handful of friends who will read every word of this Jonathan Rosenbaum article, but I hope each and every one of them sees the link, because they'll love it.

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<p>Bradley Cooper is one of the main choices being considered for the big-budget movie version of 'The Green Lantern' by director Martin Campbell</p>

Bradley Cooper is one of the main choices being considered for the big-budget movie version of 'The Green Lantern' by director Martin Campbell

Credit: AP Photo/Peter Kramer

HitFix Exclusive: Does The Green Lantern have a 'Hangover'?

We have news on who may be slipping on the power ring for Warner Bros

"Who the hell is Bradley Cooper?!"

That was my producer on the horror film we've been trying to cast for the last six months when I first brought up the idea of casting Bradley Cooper as the lead in the film.  I've liked the guy's work since the first season of "Alias," but when you're casting a film, specifically in the independent world, there's a list of people that they'll consider, and how much money your financiers will give you depends largely on who you have playing the lead in the film.  And when his name came up last summer, at my suggestion, it was quickly apparent that no one signing the checks knew or cared who he was.

Man, are they gonna be sorry.

I just got out of a screening of "The Hangover," and while my review for that is embargoed and won't be published until closer to the film's release, I can safely say that everyone involved is going to have a very, very good summer.  And Cooper in particular really steps up in his first comic lead.  He's demonstrated some real range over the last few years, and this feels like a sort of graduation for him as a performer.

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<p>Dom DeLuise</p>

Dom DeLuise

Credit: AP Photo

TMR: Dom DeLuise remembered and Ebert contemplates mortality

Plus new 'Princess And The Frog' footage and Vern talks 'Wolverine'

Welcome to The Morning Read.

It's a week of many screenings.  I think after I see "Up" tomorrow night, I'm sort of done with all the big May titles.  I was pleasantly surprised by the new Sam Mendes film last night, and today, I'm off to check out what's being called by many "the big comedy of the summer."  It's feeling like summer for sure now, and so before I get started on another full day of running around, let's see what's going on out there this morning.

Roger Ebert's interview with James Toback yielded some remarkable material, and he's run big chunks of unfiltered Toback on his main site.  What's interesting is the way Toback's observations on death and God and mortality and madness serve as a bookend to Ebert's own thoughts about the end of life and what's beyond, a subject that I'm sure anyone with profound health issues has had to consider closely.

Okay, Warner Bros., enough with the viral marketing.  It is not acceptable to kill Swedish people just to sell tickets to "Terminator: Salvation."

Quint's new A Movie A Week column examines "Phone Call From A Stranger" today.  As always, Quint's a ton of fun to read as he chips away at expanding his film knowledge, one title at a time.

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<p>Walt Disney plans to release 'Ponyo,' the latest film from animation master Hayao Miyazaki, later this year in the U.S.</p>

Walt Disney plans to release 'Ponyo,' the latest film from animation master Hayao Miyazaki, later this year in the U.S.

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

TMR: Miyazaki's 'Ponyo' poster online and new 'Up' clip on Hulu

Plus new 'Basterds' posters and Rod Lurie toasts Roger Ebert

Welcome to The Morning Read.

As one of you pointed out in our comments section, The Morning Read took a torpedo last week.  Sorry about that.  It was the one thing that got squeezed.  The way it got squeezed led me to question how I can make this column a little more time-efficient than it is.  And I think the answer is that this isn't meant as the one-stop catch all headline list.  We have a lot of good headline content on the site already, the simple raw feed news stories that people like to read.  This person got cast in this, this dude's directing this thing part two, the comic book turned video game turned kabuki turned movie turned totally different comic book is being developed.  That's the raw feed headline stuff that runs across the internet pretty much concurrently.  Even when someone breaks something, the result is a rash of headlines that repeat the break.  It's the way things work.

Instead, this is where I want to set the tenor for whatever else I'm going to run during the day.  This is where I want to share the other stuff that is out there, the deeper content or the ridiculous, things that I think absolutely have to be read, or things that bother me.  Things that are fun.  I'm going to start dropping in Tweets I read and simply RT them as I would on Twitter. 

And I'm not going to take all damn day about it. 

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<p>Brad Silberling directs Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, and Anna Friel on the set of 'Land Of The Lost'</p>

Brad Silberling directs Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, and Anna Friel on the set of 'Land Of The Lost'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Brad Silberling screens five new clips from 'Land Of The Lost'

The director also sits down to discuss Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Michael Giacchino and more

Two weeks ago, I ran some "Land Of The Lost" coverage on Ain't It Cool and here at HitFix, a bit of tandem set reportage.  I actually did that set visit last summer, so it had been a while, and the last part of that coverage was supposed to be the interview I did onset with Brad Silberling.  I say "supposed to be" because my digital recorder failed me.  Or I failed me.  Or there was a nuclear war near my house and an EMP erased something.  But whatever the case, I gooched it completely, and so my third part of the coverage simply evaporated.

Thankfully, Lindsey from Universal called and asked if I wanted to visit the editing room at Fox where Silberling is just putting the final touches on "Land Of The Lost" for its summer release.  He offered to show me some scenes, and then we could sit down and talk.

Caveat emptor:  the scenes I saw were not in context.  They were simply scenes.  My reaction to them is not meant as a reaction to the overall film.  Seems self-evident, but you'd be surprised how many people don't see the difference between discussing a visit like this and actually writing a review.  After doing this enough times, it's obvious that you can put together fifteen great minutes of a lousy film, and it's been done to me before.  So take this as what it is... a discussion of parts of the film, judged individually.  I know this should be a given, but some people still seem to think that seeing 20 minutes of something will magically rob me of my ability to judge the final film as a whole.  Hardly.

Having prefaced it properly, the scenes were very funny and very weird.  Which seems appropriate since the source material is a twisted Sid and Marty Krofft TV show from the '70s.  "Weird" is in the DNA of this project.  One of the reasons I don't think it's some major violation of the property to make it an overt comedy is because the show, like most of the Krofft shows in the '70s, was completely lunatic to begin with.

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<p><span style="font-size: x-small;">Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh struggle with their addictions to heroin and each other in 'Rush'</span></p>

Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh struggle with their addictions to heroin and each other in 'Rush'

Credit: MGM Home Video

Motion/Captured Must-See: Roadblocked by the letter 'R'

In which our reviewer struggles with writer's block and reviews two great films

This isn't going to be your typical entry in this column so far, but then again... this is a very free-form column, so I don't think it should be a huge issue.  Besides, you're going to get two reviews for the price of one here, so even though it's taken a while to get to this article, I hope it'll end up being worth it.

A couple of Thursdays ago, I took the night off to go see The Cinemapocalypse at the New Beverly.  I'll have more to say about the films I saw at that event in an article coming soon, but for now, I mention it only because I was at the concession stand between films in the double-feature, talking to my friend Damon, and he was mercilessly busting my balls, as friends are wont to do.

"So, tell me, Drew... how many times have you seen 'Howard the Duck'?"

"Well, keep in mind, Toshi's a fan and since they sent it to the house, he's watched..."

"Just a number.  How many times?"

Sigh.  "I dunno.  Eight?  Nine?"

"And how many times have you seen Jean Renoir's 'Rules Of The Game'?  Remind me again?"

"... none."

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<p>Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark in 'Iron Man 2,' due onscreen Summer 2010</p>

Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark in 'Iron Man 2,' due onscreen Summer 2010

Credit: Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios

'Transformers 2' final trailer premieres and 'Iron Man 2' first look now

Paramount kicks this summer and next into high gear at the same time

I know it's only May 1st, but is there any doubt at all, my fellow movie nerds?  It is summer.

It's funny how excited I am to see "Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen" at this point.  I didn't expect to like the original film by Michael Bay... but I did.  And now, looking at the just-released final trailer for the new film, I find myself genuinely excited to see something that looks huge and preposterous and over-the-top.  It looks like 20 times more robot action than the first film, and that means more of what I'm interested in... Giant Robots Breaking Things.  Including each other.

Check out the exclusive debut of the new trailer at Yahoo! Movies now.

Meanwhile, over at USA Today, Paramount has released the first image from the now-shooting set of "Iron Man 2," and although it's not a huge spoiler, it's nice to see Downey back in action as Tony Stark, and to see the suggestion of other suits that have been built in the time between the first film and this one.  I've got a portion of the photo running here with this story, but to see the entire image, go check out the original story.

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<p>Rachel Nichols goes from green girl in 'Star Trek' to Scarlett in 'GI Joe' this summer</p>

Rachel Nichols goes from green girl in 'Star Trek' to Scarlett in 'GI Joe' this summer

Credit: Paramount Pictures

New 'GI Joe' trailer blowing stuff up online now

Update: Watch the official domestic trailer, it ain't subtle

Okay, so it's Thursday and I have to run out the door for one last thing this week, and then I can start turning the last two days into actual articles for you guys to read.  It seems like every couple of weeks, things come to a head when I have one of those days where I can't get to a computer for more than 20 minutes at a time.

I did manage to write a "Lost" recap in the wee hours last night, but even that, I wish I'd had more time to get it right.  I was nodding off while trying to get it posted, and that's a shame.  It was a really big episode for the show, and there's more worth discussing about it.

Yesterday, I went over to the Fox lot to watch a chunk of "Land Of The Lost" and then sit down with Brad Silberling to interview him.  I'll have that for you tomorrow.  It's a good talk, and the stuff I saw was very funny and verrrrrrry weird.  In a good way.  I also interviewed Rian Johnson, director of "The Brothers Bloom," yesterday, and I think that's a great conversation that we'll have for you a few days before "Bloom" hits screens in May.

Next week's going to be crazy with travel and screenings and interviews, and I'm having to give up on my own nocturnal lifestyle in order to figure out how to do everything.  The only way I'll be able to bring you guys content is to get really religious about my sleep.  And since I'm a horrific insomniac, I'm buying a big hammer I can use to knock myself out, and I think that should take care of it.

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