<p>Yayan Ruhian's nothing like his on-screen persona, and Arifin Putra seems ready for Hollywood movie stardom as we discuss their new film 'The Raid 2'</p>

Yayan Ruhian's nothing like his on-screen persona, and Arifin Putra seems ready for Hollywood movie stardom as we discuss their new film 'The Raid 2'

Credit: HitFix

Fight coordinator Yayan Ruhian and bad guy Arifin Putra on preparing for 'The Raid 2'

Our final interview with the team behind the amazing new action film

PARK CITY - One of the highlights of "The Raid" was the character named Mad Dog. When you name a character something like that, especially in a film that is structured as a series of escalating fights, then you'd better deliver when you finally get to the scene where this guy shows what he can do.

Since Gareth Evans had Yayan Ruhian playing the part, he was unworried, and with good reason. Ruhian is not only a gifted physical performer, but he's also a Silat instructor, and he's been one of the fight coordinators for all three movies Evans has directed using the martial art. Ruhian runs a studio of his own in Indonesia, and he specializes in a mental discipline that allows him to absorb blows to his person.

He's very good in "The Raid 2," even though he really only has three scenes in the movie. The first establishes who he is, the second challenges our idea of what he is, and then in the third, he realizes that he is being set up for a very specific purpose. In two of the three scenes, we get some sense of just how intimidating and powerful he is as a fighter, and in the third, we get an idea of how far he's come as an actor. In person, he seems lovely, very soft-spoken and modest.

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<p>That is a seriously cool riff on Cap's costume for 'Captain America:&nbsp;The Winter Soldier'</p>

That is a seriously cool riff on Cap's costume for 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Joe and Anthony Russo already in talks with Marvel to direct 'Captain America 3'

I guess this means we can start getting excited for April, right?

There seems to be a good deal of excitement right now about "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," due in large part to the news that Marvel has already signed Anthony and Joe Russo for a third film in the series.

While I'm not sure I agree with the champagne-pouring exaltations on Twitter that seem to believe this proves "The Winter Soldier" is the greatest movie ever made, I do think it's a vote of confidence that Marvel feels like they made the movie they set out to make. Until something is finished, you don't really know if it works, if it feels like a "movie" all the way through. I've seen things at various points in the process that looked good but that just didn't add up when they were all put together, and that's one of the most important things I feel like I've learned.

If Marvel and the Russos are already working on a storyline for the third film, I'm excited. I'm sure the Russos know everything that happens during "Age Of Ultron" and that they're picking up from the new status quo that exists at the end of that film. They're essentially making a sequel to both "Winter Soldier" and "Age Of Ultron," one of those quirks of working in the Marvel system right now.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence once again makes a striking Mystique.</p>

Jennifer Lawrence once again makes a striking Mystique.

25 character covers from 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' debut to mixed reaction

Is this overkill or a great way to pull an audience in?

As Empire magazine celebrates their 25th anniversary, they are planning all sorts of 25-themed events, and the first of them was today's unveiling of 25 different covers that all have to do with "X-Men: Days Of Future Past."

The reaction to the covers online has not been a good one, and I was shocked when I saw the steady stream of vitriol about each new image. Some of these designs are things we've known already from earlier films, and some of them just seem inevitable. I can see why the Quicksilver image has been controversial, and I'm still amazed by how hard it is for them to make Storm look like Storm, but overall, I think this is pretty much what I'd expect from a Bryan Singer "X-Men" movie.

The real question at this point is whether or not that's what audiences want. It's a risky proposition for Singer as a filmmaker. After all, when he left the series, it wasn't completely voluntary, and he's been able to portray himself as the wounded party this whole time. It was a shabby situation all the way around, with Singer using the possibility of a "Superman" movie to pressure Fox to do things his way on "X-Men 3," and with Fox playing hardball because they were determined to maintain control of the franchise.

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<p>Iko Uwais and Julie Estelle seem like sweet kids who could also kick your spine out of your body.</p>

Iko Uwais and Julie Estelle seem like sweet kids who could also kick your spine out of your body.

Credit: HitFix

Iko Uwais and Julie 'Hammer Girl' Estelle on how they survived 'The Raid 2'

They seem like such sweet and completely lethal kids

PARK CITY - One of the craziest moments in the Keanu Reeves film "Man Of Tai Chi" comes near the conclusion when Tiger Hu Chen finally has to face his competition in the finals of the weird underground martial arts tournament he's been working his way through, and it turns out to be Iko Uwais from "The Raid" and "The Raid 2." When they enter the ring, I readied myself for the fight of all fights, and there's something perverse about the way Reeves has Tiger Hu Chen simply refuse the fight. That would be like having your hero battle his way into a room where Bruce Lee was, then having Bruce Lee shake his hand and walk away.

Iko Uwais does not look like an action icon at first glance. He's slight, with a boyish face, and he doesn't seem particularly imposing in terms of how he's built. The moment you see him explode into action, though, it's apparent that he's a natural, both graceful and powerful. He's also becoming a better actor from film to film. In "Merantau," he seems comfortable in the fight scenes but not nearly as comfortable with dialogue. By now, though, he's gotten very good, and there are several scenes in "The Raid 2" that are emotionally powerful and very simple, with no fighting at all involved.

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<p>If even Patrick Stewart can't pull the sword from the stone, that is one seriously stuck sword</p>

If even Patrick Stewart can't pull the sword from the stone, that is one seriously stuck sword

Credit: Warner Bros

Guy Ritchie reunites with 'Holmes' producer for a six-film 'King Arthur' franchise

Warner Bros. seems determined to figure this one out

Am I the only one who remembers the Jerry Bruckheimer "King Arthur"?

Warner Bros. is definitely hoping to find something that will stand in for "Harry Potter," something that gives them a long-term recurring franchise, something that gets viewers hooked early and that keeps them on the hook for a decade or so. This is, of course, the model that every studio is chasing at the moment, but it must be frustrating for Warner Bros. because they had one of the biggest of all time, and they managed it just right.

Part of that, of course, was thanks to the involvement of Lionel Wigram, who was also the producer who brought them their "Sherlock Holmes" movies with Guy Ritchie directing Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. While they did get a second movie out of that series, it doesn't seem like there's any real urgency to making another one.

Now there's word that Guy Ritchie may be onboard to direct a tentpole fantasy film that is designed to kick off a six-movie retelling of the King Arthur legend with a script by Joby Harold.

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<p>I'd go so far as to say that without Kendrick, there is no 'Pitch Perfect' sequel</p>

I'd go so far as to say that without Kendrick, there is no 'Pitch Perfect' sequel

Credit: Universal Pictures

Elizabeth Banks set to direct Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson in 'Pitch Perfect 2'

Universal's got to consider this a top priority

"Pitch Perfect" was one of those surprises that movie studios thrive on, a small film that Universal no doubt expected would be a modest hit. It blew up into a genuine sensation, though, propelled in large part by its preposterously catch soundtrack and the unstoppable nature of Anna Kendrick's cover of "Cups."

If you run a Google search for that term, "Anna Kendrick Cups," you get 12,800,000 results. I didn't even realize that the actual name of the song is "When I'm Gone." It's just become ubiquitous under the easier name. The film also helped break Rebel Wilson internationally, and one of the things that served as punctuation in the film was the cutaways to Elizabeth Banks as one of the judges in the singing competition. Banks was a producer on the film, and she was the one who brought the project to Universal in the first place.

It looks like Banks is taking full creative control of the inevitable sequel to the film now, according to a report today. In addition to appearing in the sequel and co-producing it again, Banks will direct the sequel, and it appears they'll have both Kendrick and Wilson back as well.

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<p>Under NATO's new guidelines, we'd still be waiting for our first look at 'Jupiter Ascending'</p>

Under NATO's new guidelines, we'd still be waiting for our first look at 'Jupiter Ascending'

Credit: Warner Bros.

Theater owners establish new guidelines for trailers and posters for upcoming movies

Does this really address the problems it should address?

If you're going to establish new rules about the content of movie trailers, can we start with some sort of agreement about not including any shots from the last 45 minutes of the film?

The National Association Of Theater Owners has had rules in place about the content and length of movie trailers for quite a while, allowing a few exceptions per year. One of those rules held the running time of a trailer to under 2:30, but it appears they've decided that trailers are too long in general now, and they're reducing the maximum running time by thirty full seconds.

What I find most interesting is the idea that they're setting a new rule about how early you can start advertising a film. Right now, it is not uncommon to see teaser trailers a full year ahead of a movie's release, especially if you're talking about giant summer blockbusters. The new rule would establish that no trailer can be released more than five months before a film's release date, while marketing materials like posters and standees would be held to a mere four months before a film's arrival in theaters.

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<p>Gareth Evans took some time out from making the most badass films being made right now to talk to us about making those uber-badass movies during the Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Gareth Evans took some time out from making the most badass films being made right now to talk to us about making those uber-badass movies during the Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: HitFix

Director Gareth Evans discusses breaking bones and blowing minds with 'The Raid 2'

Watch me as I realize Evans pulled off the impossible for real in his film

PARK CITY - Even before planning for the Sundance Film Festival began at HitFix headquarters in LA, I had challenged director Gareth Evans and the cast of his new film "The Raid 2: Berendal" to a snowball fight in Park City.

After all, for the cast, this is their first time traveling together to a place with snow. Co fight master and co-star Yayan Ruhian had never seen snow in his life when he arrived, and according to Evans, Ruhian's first reaction was to grab two big handfuls of snow and just smash them to his face. His second reaction was to immediately regret his first reaction.

The damnedest thing happened, though. There was no real snow at Sundance this year. The weather's been cold and clear and dry, and so when we finally got to the day where I was scheduled to talk to the cast and the crew of "The Raid 2," we decided to shoot the chats inside the Yarrow Hotel, one of the two hotels that serve as part of the nerve center of Sundance.

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<p>Could Motoko Kusanagi finally be on her way to the big-screen, and if so, who in the heck is going to play her?</p>

Could Motoko Kusanagi finally be on her way to the big-screen, and if so, who in the heck is going to play her?

Credit: Production IG

Rupert Sanders reportedly set for 'Ghost In The Shell' movie at Dreamworks

Will this Spielberg pet project finally get off the ground?

I remember the first wave of Hollywood's flirtation with anime, and it was obvious at the time that none of the films that they talked about making were actually going to get made. They would have all been prohibitively expensive and even more prohibitively bizarre, a combination that never ends well for studios.

For a while, Guillermo Del Toro was positively manic about getting "Domu" made as a movie, and I'll admit… I would have loved to have seen that, but I acknowledge that as a commercial proposition, that is insane. "Akira" has gone through the development mill for years with any number of different directors attached, and I've read several radically different scripts for that potential project over that time. James Cameron came very close to making "Battle Angel Alita" instead of "Avatar," and there was a period of time where he transformed an entire floor of the Lightstorm building, allowing his artists to work in the environment from the movie, with the rich people's paradise overhead and the garbage-strewn Earth below.

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<p>Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion share a few laughs as we talk about their outrageous horror-comedy 'Cooties'</p>

Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion share a few laughs as we talk about their outrageous horror-comedy 'Cooties'

Credit: HitFix

Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion talk about giving 'Cooties' to Sundance

We talk about possible sequels, balancing laughs and scares, and more

One of the hardest tickets to get at this year's Sundance Film Festival was for the midnight premiere of "Cooties," a film by Jonathan Millott and Cary Murnion, but thanks to a miracle from a publicist on the film, I managed to get into the Egyptian, and I had a pretty darn good time in the process.

We featured an interview here the other day with Elijah Wood and his two partners in Spectrevision, his production company that is focused on genre movies that defy easy description, and that credo is on full display in both "Cooties" and "A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night," which they also produced. "Cooties" is one of those films that is doing several different things at once, and it's not easy to bring those together in a way that feels like one coherent voice.

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