'Holy Motors' director Leos Carax and Sparks develop movie musical together
Credit: IFC Films

'Holy Motors' director Leos Carax and Sparks develop movie musical together

It sounds like a film being engineered expressly for our interests

Everyone gets excited about movies for different reasons.

There are plenty of times that something is announced and I look at Twitter or Facebook and see that people are going nuts for it, and I'm left cold by the news. Sometimes it's because a nostalgia button's been pushed, sometimes it's because of the creative elements involved. And there are plenty of times I put up a piece of news here and I'm thrilled about it and there reaction from you guys is a sort of deafening silence.

So when I say that this is the most exciting film news that I've heard so far in 2015, I accept that my own excitement level may be pitched somewhere different than yours. But there's no way I can downplay the dopamine rush I got when I read that Leos Carax is deep into development of a new movie musical that will feature music by Sparks.

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From 'The Thin Man' to 'Dogfight': A broken-hearted Valentine's playlist
Credit: Warner Bros.

From 'The Thin Man' to 'Dogfight': A broken-hearted Valentine's playlist

Ten movies that we hoped would help us heal during a very hard holiday

It has not been an easy week.

At the start of the week, we had our editorial meeting here at HitFix, as we do every Monday, to talk about both the week ahead and longer-term projects as well. For fairly obvious reasons, there was a fair amount of talk about Valentine's Day content, and I mentioned a few different ideas that I might write about, including one that I'll end up publishing at some point about Steve Martin.

But even as I pitched a few ideas, I found myself uncomfortable with the entire idea of writing about romantic films right now. Honestly, I was hoping to spend this week with my head down and then just sail right through this weekend without writing about love at all, because for the first time in my adult life, I am no longer sure what I think about it.

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Gina Carano and Colossus join Ryan Reynolds for 'Deadpool'
Credit: Universal Pictures

Gina Carano and Colossus join Ryan Reynolds for 'Deadpool'

One year till the long-rumored film is finally in theaters

I'm confused about something… why does "Deadpool" need comic relief?

It looks like the long-rumored Tim Miller movie is finally moving forward, and once something starts casting, the momentum is such that I think it's safe to say there really will be a "Deadpool" movie.

Adding Gina Carano to anything is fine by me. I am unfamiliar with Angel Dust, the character she's said to be playing, but after "Haywire," the movie that convinced me that James Bond should wear more adorable little hats, it's clear she's got the goods. I liked her performance in the film, and every time she goes into action mode, she is more than convincing. TJ Miller is the name they say will provide the "comic relief" for the movie. I'm still not sure why that would be required in a film about the Merc With The Mouth, but...

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An all-star cast wrestles with ghosts in gorgeous trailer for 'Crimson Peak'
Credit: Universal/Legendary

An all-star cast wrestles with ghosts in gorgeous trailer for 'Crimson Peak'

Guillermo Del Toro looks to have finally built his ultimate haunted house

There are plenty of movies released that I am perfectly happy knowing everything about before they ever show up in a theater. Then there are those films that I try to know nothing about because I imagine they will be such finely-tuned experiences that I don't want to deprive myself of that pleasure.

Such is the case with Guillermo Del Toro's new film, "Crimson Peak," his latest film, and while I did watch the trailer, I feel like I still know next to nothing about it, which I love. After all, we don't get a new movie from Del Toro every year, and this one in particular marks a sort of collision of the two different filmmakers that Del Toro can be. There's the guy who makes these big fun crazy blood-filled bags of popcorn that don't really look like anyone else's idea of what a mainstream movie is, and then there's the guy who makes lovely small-scale Spanish-language films that play like fever dreams full of ghosts and heartbreak.

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Why 'Law & Order: SVU' did more harm than good with their Gamergate episode
Credit: NBC

Why 'Law & Order: SVU' did more harm than good with their Gamergate episode

No one looks good in the episode that makes all gamers look bad

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is not what it once was. At its best, the series walked a tightrope between "ripped from the headlines" storytelling and a light touch on the way the personal lives of the cops and the lawyers would bleed into their work. The best years of the show focused on the increasingly tense partnership between Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).

It's a show I watch out of habit at this point more than anything, and every now and then, they find an interesting angle on a real-life conversation. As a result, I was curious about this week's episode because I wanted to see how they would handle a fictionalized version of the Zoe Quinn/Gamergate story. To be clear, I think the entire Gamergate thing has been a repulsive example of the worst of what the Internet can accomplish, a disturbing, ugly skirmish in a larger cultural war, and I don't think there's much that is grey about the situation. For those still blissfully unaware of the situation, it began with a break-up between a game developer named Zoe Quinn and her boyfriend, who decided to publish a detailed and wildly inappropriate open letter to her about intimate issues. From that incident, a firestorm erupted that has given voice and focus to a very hate-filled minority, primarily made up of young white men who feel some sense of ownership over gaming and the definition of a gamer.

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Martin Starr charms in exclusive clip from his romantic new film 'Amira & Sam'
Credit: Drafthouse Films

Martin Starr charms in exclusive clip from his romantic new film 'Amira & Sam'

You can see this one at home and avoid the 50 crowds of grey altogether

Valentine's Day is Saturday, and we'll have some themed material rolling out for you over the next few days. I'm writing a couple of pieces right now, and I'm also really excited to present an exclusive clip from a film that would make a very nice, very cool choice to share with that special someone this weekend.

Martin Starr was in a film I saw at Sundance this year called "I'll See You In My Dreams," a very sweet, very honest little movie about a woman (Blythe Danner) starting to open back up to the idea of dating for the first time in over 20 years. Starr plays a pool guy who becomes an unlikely confidante for Danner, and one of the joys of the film is watching the way they play scenes together. Martin's wry delivery and Danner's impeccable combination of Southern grace and comic skill make them a lovely match.

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What happens when everyone decides to make James Bond movies at once?
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Warner Bros/New Line/Sony Pictures

What happens when everyone decides to make James Bond movies at once?

'Kingsman,' 'UNCLE,' and 'SPECTRE' are all aiming at the same iconography

It seems appropriate that Matthew Vaughn and Guy Ritchie began their film careers working together, and that they each seem to have helped define the British film industry now for sixteen years, because this year, both have decided to take on the most British of all British subjects… James Bond.

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Superman and a Winklevoss kick cold war butt in first 'Man From UNCLE' trailer
Credit: Warner Bros.

Superman and a Winklevoss kick cold war butt in first 'Man From UNCLE' trailer

This looks like some serious '60s throwback fun

From the first encounter they have on the street, the car-to-car gunfight, to the big boat action at the end, this looks like a blast.

I am really happy to see Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer here. Warner Bros. has a fair amount invested in Cavill at this point, and while I may not hold the most popular position on "Man Of Steel," I think Cavill in general was well-received. I like the voice it sounds like he's doing here, and I think Armie Hammer's Russian growl is very funny at first listen.

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Review: '50 Shades Of Grey' is glossy but hollow and comes up limp
Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: '50 Shades Of Grey' is glossy but hollow and comes up limp

HitFix
C+
Readers
n/a
Tasteful? Sure. Engrossing? Not really.

I never thought I'd say this about a bigscreen adaptation of "50 Shades Of Grey," but it's true: the damn thing's just not trashy enough.

The urge is understandable. When Dana Brunetti and Mike De Luca bought the EL James book, they knew full well what they were buying, and they knew that the first thing they had to do was approach this as a top-of-the-line A-list production across the board if they wanted anyone to take it seriously. The distance between this and about ten million movies that played on Cinemax at 2:00 in the morning is not that great, and if this is going to be the equivalent of the book as a movie, then it can't just be a modest hit. It needs to be a monster, a phenomenon. It needs to be something that people go see over and over, that people can't stop talking about.

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SXSW Midnights adds Turbo kids, eternal cannibals, heavy metal and deathgasms
Credit: SXSW

SXSW Midnights adds Turbo kids, eternal cannibals, heavy metal and deathgasms

It's going to be a wild ride this year

Jerod Neece, one of the masterminds behind the wildly-successful-and-constantly-metastasizing SXSW Film Festival, just tweeted the full line up of midnight movies. I think there was a certain poetry to the way he put it:

Ahhhhh, Jerod, you silver-tongued devil. What do you have up your sleeve?

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