<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.

[more after the jump]

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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.

[more after the jump]

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<p>The USS Enterprise in orbit around an oddly familiar planet on today's release of the BluRay version of the original landmark 'Star Trek' series</p>

The USS Enterprise in orbit around an oddly familiar planet on today's release of the BluRay version of the original landmark 'Star Trek' series

Credit: Paramount Home Video

On The Shelf (4.27.09) 'Star Trek' TV goes Blu, Criterion does hardcore, and Van Damme acts

Plus a mountain of trash yields a fistful of gems and last year's best horror film comes home

It's one of those weeks where there are definitely plenty of titles worth talking about, but you have to do a little digging to find them

The big deal titles... the ones you'll see on every endcap at every Target and WalMart and Best Buy... are a fairly uninspired bunch.  "Bride Wars" with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway playing sociopaths on a crime spree.  There's also the insert-dog-pun-here-tastic "Hotel For Dogs," which looks like a movie for kids who reeeeeeally love dogs.  My youngest son is momentarily obsessed, and I would imagine this film to be a hypnosis tool where he's concerned.  And there's the entirely-okay "The Uninvited," which is not poorly made or poorly acted or even poorly written, but it is familiar ground, a twist that's not particularly shocking, and a finale that sort of fizzles out offscreen instead of the showdown the popcorn movie version of this film should have built to.  I'll say this for "The Uninvited"... the BluRay transfer is rich and sharp, and a further indication that Paramount treats even a disposable title well when it comes to these high-definition transfers.  They're definitely one of the studios who seems to understand why you go through the effort of upgrading or buying a BluRay in the first place.  All three are available in mass quantity on BluRay and DVD.

Even though I've got two different versions of it on DVD, as far as I'm concerned, the big news of the day is "Star Trek: The Original Series - Season One" on BluRay disc.  I know people who have the HD-DVD version, like Hercules The Strong, who I saw at a "Star Trek" screening, and I'll bet I could find a cheap one for sale at Amoeba right now.  I still have a working HD-DVD player in the house.  But I think BluRay transfers are really starting to pop, and I just saw two Paramount transfers today that kind of blew my mind.  I'm betting all of the "Star Trek" titles are good, but I don't have any of them in the house yet.  The movies are making their BluRay debut in May, and I'm going to review it all in the weeks ahead.  I'm ready to indulge myself in the core material, the stuff that started it all, in these new spruced up versions.  I love that you can just hit angle and see the original or the new version.  I think that's how you handle this sort of thing.  That way, the purists aren't left out.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Anne Archer and Michael Douglas, co-stars of the '80s megahit 'Fatal Attraction' are reunited in 'Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past'</p>

Anne Archer and Michael Douglas, co-stars of the '80s megahit 'Fatal Attraction' are reunited in 'Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past'

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Shia LeBeouf Joins Michael Douglas and Oliver Stone in 'Wall Street 2'

First major role away since Spielberg made him the new Tom Hanks could be crucial for the rising young star

Two things occur to me when I read the news that Shia LeBeouf may co-star in the upcoming "Wall Street 2," which is set to reunite Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko and Oliver Stone as director.

First, there's the idea of LeBeouf playing "the young guy" this time, since obviously you're not going to bring back Charlie Sheen.  The thing that worked about the first one was the idea of a young idealist stepping into the cutthroat world of '80s greed and getting the guided tour by Gordon Gekko, played by Douglas with the scumbag turned up to 11.  And if the sequel is going to work at showing us how things have changed, Gekko still makes perfect sense as a tour guide, but you have to have some new fresh-faced kid fresh off the bus, and LeBeouf seems like the right guy for the job.  Over the last few years, Steven Spielberg has taken a personal interest in building Shia's career, and the results have launched the young actor onto the A-list.  Sometimes, when a "movie star" arrives all pre-packaged and pre-digested, the public wants no part of them.  I think it'll be interesting to see what happens when they get a look at Sam Worthington in "Terminator: Salvation."  But with Shia, the kid's got such a great easy onscreen charisma that I think he's worth the hype, and I suspect this move away from the protection of Spielberg will be a good one for him overall.

[more after the jump]

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<p>You... the one crying about a 'Drop Dead Fred' remake... Russell Brand is watching and he's judging you right now</p>

You... the one crying about a 'Drop Dead Fred' remake... Russell Brand is watching and he's judging you right now

TMR: Russell Brand will 'Drop Dead' and McG brings a knife to a gunfight

Plus a new Bong Joon-ho trailer, Gary Coleman at Tribeca, and Vern goes vblog

Welcome to The Morning Read.

I dunno... I'm not feeling it this morning.  There are some good things out there to read, but even after spending a couple of hours sifting through content this morning, I feel like it's one of those days where there's a whole lot going on, but very little of it interests me.

I mean, I've seen some people online getting hot and bothered about the Russell Brand remake of "Drop Dead Fred," and my first thought is "Pick your battles."  When we begin to express outrage over creatively bankrupt adaptations of creatively bankrupt originals, we lose the right to ever seriously be angry about anything.  I don't care if they remake it as S&M-themed Nazi snuff porn... the original can't be tarnished because it was junk.  And, yes, I know.... every movie is someone's favorite movie, and somewhere right now, there's a girl who has the Phoebe Cates haircut who has modeled her whole adult life after the film, and she's pushed herself into a corner where she's gently rocking while she strokes her Rik Mayall doll and softly repeats, "It can't be happening... it can't be happening..." but she's most likely got larger problems to deal with than some package deal that nets Russell Brand a paycheck and a bit more momentum in his American career.  He's a talented guy, a funny guy, and I'm sure there are really good hit movies in his future, but this can't possibly be one of them.

And speaking of Russell Brand, I find that there are all sorts of oddball little things you can pick up if you're monitoring the right Twitter feeds these days.  Frank Marshall revealed that there's going to be a teaser trailer for "The Last Airbender" in front of "Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen" this summer.  That's pretty cool.  And the great Fatboy Roberts posted a link to a site where you can download an updated version of the classic computer game "Adventure 2600."  Geeky?  Yes.  Worth playing?  Absolutely.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Megan Fox appears onset for 'Jonah Hex' and suddenly corset sales worldwide go crazy</p>

Megan Fox appears onset for 'Jonah Hex' and suddenly corset sales worldwide go crazy

Credit: Leigh Green, INFdaily

TMR: Megan Fox goes west, Universal remakes Cronenberg, and Opie steals the Vatican

Plus John Ridley explains why 'Obsessed' is important

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Wow, I just went over to the Drudge Report as I was looking around for articles for this morning, and his front page right now is like a horror movie.  I'm not sure if my favorite headline is "Americans told to wear masks" or "Cult leader escapes from French jail in helicopter," but I am sure that the entire world seems to be dunked in crazy right now.

So maybe I shouldn't even be surprised by the news that Universal is planning to remake "Videodrome."  Yes, the news makes me feel like that dude from "Scanners" just before the head explodes, but I should probably be used to the nonstop remakes at this point.  Maybe it's just that "Videodrome" is such a strange and personal vision, and Ehren Kruger is such a terrible, terrible, generic writer, but I don't see why you would even want to turn that movie into a down-the-middle mainstream anything.  It has no commercial value.  You can't tell me they research-tested the title "Videodrome" and discovered that it's beloved among some key demo group.  No way.  And since the argument for remaking these movies is that you've got built-in market value, then I'm calling "balderdash" on this one.  This is corrupt and hollow Hollywood at its worst.

Have you seen Natalie Portman's new website?  She's one of the people behind MakingOf, which wants to be exactly what it sounds like... a sort of industry-wide making-of one-stop.  They're off to a slow start, but that's to be expected.  In the end, a site like this will live or die based on how much access they get and what sort of titles they get that access to.  There are a few pieces worth looking at over there, including one on the making of "Mystery Team."  Right now, as I write this, the entire creative crew behind "Mystery Team" is at Emeryville, screening their movie for Pixar.  What a lovely collision of talent that is.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine step into the iconic roles of Spock and Kirk in JJ Abrams new take on 'Star Trek'</p>

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine step into the iconic roles of Spock and Kirk in JJ Abrams new take on 'Star Trek'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Motion/Captured Review: 'Star Trek'

JJ Abrams polishes up the Enterprise and takes it for a bold new mission

Strap in.  This may take a little while.

If you'd asked me last year if I was excited at the idea of yet another attempt to turn this 40 year old property into a viable commercial franchise, I would have said no.  I felt like "Trek" had run its course, and it was time to let it die with whatever tattered dignity it could still muster after "Enterprise" and "Star Trek: Nemesis," which is to say, not much.

"Trek" is dead.  That's what I felt last year.  I felt like it was an inevitable truth that people just needed to accept.

I've never been a complete fan of "Star Trek."  I'm more of a grazer.  I like what I like, and I disregard the rest completely.  For me, I still say that "The Original Series," the Gene Roddenberry 1960's version, is the best.  That's what I like.  I like the archetypes of Kirk, Bones, and Spock, and the way that dynamic allows the writers so much room to explore ideas.  I like the on-the-nose allegorical SF writing of the era, the Rod Serling-like way they explored the issues of the day.  And above all else, I like the optimism of Roddenberry's original vision, the idea that once Earth's problems are fixed, we can move outward, exploring in the purest sense of the word.  That vision of the future is unusual, especially since the '70s, when SF went completely dystopian and never really recovered.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Mike Tyson and James Toback spent years collaborating on a documentary which finally opens today</p>

Mike Tyson and James Toback spent years collaborating on a documentary which finally opens today

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

TMR: Zombie's 'H2' trailer premieres, McKean talks 'Tap,' and 'Avatar' details emerge

Plus this week's 'On The Shelf' with Beyonce Knowles, Jaime Foxx, Mike Tyson, Channing Tatum and more

Welcome to The Morning Read.

I'm going to be merging the "On The Screen" column into the Morning Read on Fridays from now on.  It just seemed to make more sense to us, and while today's may be a little weird while I figure out the format, I think in the long run, it'll make for a better Friday read for you guys.

Let's see what's going on out there first, before we get into this weekend's movies.  Traditionally speaking, this is the weekend where the studios just plain give up, dumping whatever they don't mind seeing crushed by the arrival of summer's first big movies next week.  So it's good we're trying the new format on an off week, so we can be ready for the onslaught of May.

Great interview with Bret Easton Ellis about his feelings on watching his work get adapted into films.  Guy sounds ridiculously well-adjusted about it, even when the end result takes the sort of critical pounding that "The Informers" is.

Also thanks to the fine folks at the A/V Club, there's a new Michael McKean interview that's worth a look.  I can't believe how many years its been since "Spinal Tap," and yet I'm still fascinated, and these stories about how the songs were written are absolute gold.

Call me crazy, but a TV series based on "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown" isn't the worst idea I've ever heard.  If it manages to capture any of the flavor of what Almodovar does on film, it could be a really welcome antidote to 99.9% of what my wife watches on TV right now, but in a way that would actually keep her watching.

[more after the jump]

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<p><span class="smallest">Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Red Mist in Matthew Vaughn's upcoming "Kick-Ass"</span></p>

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Red Mist in Matthew Vaughn's upcoming "Kick-Ass"

Credit: Marv Films

The Motion/Captured Set Visit: Chris Mintz-Plasse Kicks Ass

McLovin no more as we interview him on the set of Matthew Vaughn's unconventional superhero film

I first met Christopher Mintz-Plasse on the set of "Superbad."  When I arrived on the set, I was given my very own Hawaiian driver's license, complete with my photo on it, made out for "McLovin."  At that point, no one I would have shown the license to would have had any idea what it meant.  Now, though, it's one of those great little conversation pieces, something I still keep in my wallet.

Now, of course, everywhere Chris goes, he's greeted by that same name.  McLovin.  Understandable, since he was great in the role, and it's the kind of character that can define a young actor.  Trouble is, Chris has a lot of things he'd like to do, and he's ready to demonstrate that he's capable of more than that one character.  He seems to be picking his roles carefully right now, and if there's one part that could help put McLovin to bed, once and for all, it's the part he plays in the upcoming film version of "Kick-Ass."

Based on the hyperviolent comic book by Mark Millar, with amazing art by John Romita Jr., "Kick-Ass" tells the story of a kid who makes his own superhero costume and who goes out at night fighting real crime.  In doing so, he draws the attention of Frank D'Amico, crime boss, played by the great Mark Strong.  He pays so much attention to Kick-Ass that Frank's son decides there's only one way to get his father's attention, and that's by suiting up himself.

Enter The Red Mist.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Chloe Moretz plays Hit Girl in Matthew Vaugh's film version of 'Kick-Ass,' and Empire has the entire image as an exclusive right now</p>

Chloe Moretz plays Hit Girl in Matthew Vaugh's film version of 'Kick-Ass,' and Empire has the entire image as an exclusive right now

Credit: Marv Films/Empire

TMR: Hit Girl revealed, Cannes line-up discussed, and Arnold will be back

Plus Eli Roth talks 'Basterds,' Kim Voynar on yellowface, and the Mara sisters score big roles

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Okay... like everyone else, I woke up today to the news that the official Cannes line-up has just been announced, just a day after the announcement that they'd be premiering the first footage from the new Robert Zemeckis version of "A Christmas Carol" at the festival on May 18th.  That's almost enough news by itself for any one day.  I honestly do not have enough punches for the faces of the people who are actually attending the festival this year.  My jealousy is the size of the Cloverfield monster.  Sure, there's the general thing where I'd just love to go to Cannes some year for the experience, but this year in particular... dear god... I can't even wrap my head around how great the programming is.  It's one of those moments where things just timed out, and as a result, the festival ended up with an embarrassment of riches.

The festival opens with Pixar's "Up," and it closes with "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky," a film I wouldn't flip out about based on the title, but which happens to be directed by Jan Kounen, who is a freakin' crazy person.  Have you seen "Blueberry" or "Dobermann"?  This guy is deranged.  Count me in.  And between those two bookends?  Well, the films in competition include Jane Campion's "Bright Star," Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist," Gaspar Noe's "Enter The Void," Tsai Ming-liang's "Face," Alain Resnais's "Les Herbes folles," Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon," Johnnie's To's "Vengeance," Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock," Chan-wook Park's "Thirst," Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces," Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric," and Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."  That's unreal.  I love how everyone said Tarantino would never make it in time for Cannes.  When he wants to, that dude can get it done.  And the idea of a new Michael Haneke film in competition against a new Gaspar Noe film makes me think that audiences are about to get molested.  Both of those guys make movies that are so emotionally extreme that they should require a psychiatrist's note before you're allowed to watch them, and they're going head-to-head?  Dear god.

[more after the jump]

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