<p>Ward and Skye dig deeper into Skye's family mysteries on this week's new 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'</p>

Ward and Skye dig deeper into Skye's family mysteries on this week's new 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' pushes Skye's family mystery to the forefront this week

I know they're trying to make us care... but do we?

Considering last week's return from hiatus, "The Magical Place," was the hyped episode where we were promised important answers, it seems odd that this week's episode "Seeds" was far more persuasive at convincing me that there is actually something interesting happening in "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." at this point.

After all, last week pulled the typical "replace the question with more questions" move, but I think it did it through a sort of ham-handed ineptitude more than careful engineering. I think they felt like the end of that episode would be duly shocking and carry more weight than it did. While I think the image of the thing working on Coulson's brain was interesting, I don't think it was explained in a way that made it particularly compelling. If all it took to bring him back to life was Nick Fury demanding that they do even more surgeries on him than normal, that doesn't seem like a secret worth hiding. I get that they were worried about him recalling the massive traumatic pain and horror, and I know that there are surgeries that they are forced to do at times where the patient has to be awake, and that the accounts of those events can be horrifying. But it still just doesn't feel like it's enough of an answer or an interesting enough twist on the question.

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<p>'12 Years A Slave' has elicited some strong reactions since its debut at Toronto, but Armond White may be the first person to be drummed out of an organization over it.</p>

'12 Years A Slave' has elicited some strong reactions since its debut at Toronto, but Armond White may be the first person to be drummed out of an organization over it.

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Contentious critic Armond White expelled from New York critic's group over heckling

Ugly situation raises questions about critics and awards

It would be very easy to say something glib about Armond White's expulsion from the New York Film Critics Circle, but I don't think it's an easy situation, and I don't think it's the sort of thing that should be dismissed with an easy joke.

I didn't make a huge deal out of it when I got the news earlier this year, but since I know you can keep a secret, I'll tell you that I was over-the-moon excited and a little overwhelmed to be admitted to the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. I am a newly minted member, and that means that for the first time ever, I voted on the awards for the organization, something that may strike some of you as odd if you've been reading my work for a while.

After all, I've been writing about movies online since 1996, and in those 17 years, I have been fairly consistent in my opinion about awards shows, and in particular, the Oscars. I have never pretended to be excited about awards or what they "mean." I think there's something really unpleasant about the way a full third of the film year seems to be focused entirely on whether or not someone gets a gold statue to put in their house, instead of the films themselves. I am not going to just randomly change my position now, either. I still feel the same way, with a single exception.

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<p>The guy's last name is Strange... it's like Johnny Depp was born to play that part.</p>

The guy's last name is Strange... it's like Johnny Depp was born to play that part.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Report: Johnny Depp in early talks to play Marvel's 'Doctor Strange'

Someone's got to step in when Robert Downey Jr. wraps things up

Latino Review didn't wait very long before they started getting up Marvel's nose for 2014, did they?

Look, casting Johnny Depp as pretty much anything is a no-brainer these days, especially at Disney. "The Lone Ranger" didn't dent his star power one little bit, and if they do end up casting him as Dr. Strange, that's intriguing.

What is more important, though, is who they hire to direct, and I think that's the truth with all the Marvel movies at this point. I'm excited about "Guardians Of The Galaxy," and sure, part of it is because I find the notion of a gun-toting raccoon with a bad attitude so unbelievably crazy that I can't believe that's actually part of a real movie that will play in real movie theaters. But the reason I have faith that the film will actually be something new, something we haven't seen from Marvel before, is because I've spoken to James Gunn and I've seen how much room they've given him to define the world the way he wants to.

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<p>Jonah Hill is nothing like his character in 'Wolf Of Wall Street,' and thank god for that.</p>

Jonah Hill is nothing like his character in 'Wolf Of Wall Street,' and thank god for that.

Credit: HitFix

Jonah Hill talks about working with his hero Martin Scorsese on 'Wolf Of Wall Street'

And he can't stop smiling about it

The first time I met Jonah Hill was on a neighborhood street just off Zelzah near CSUN in the San Fernando Valley. It was a nighttime shoot for the film "Superbad," and I went to watch a scene involving Jonah, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who was the complete unknown the scenario. I knew Jonah's work from "Accepted" and "40-Year-Old Virgin," and I was a big "Arrested Development" fan already, but when I was first told that those three were the leads, I had no idea what to expect.

One of the pleasures of writing about film over a long stretch of time is watching the way people come into focus, the way your first impressions of them evolve as they evolve, the way their work changes. It's one of the things I think critics can do that is valuable, being able to lay out a context in which to view someone's work. I'm just as interested in the way Jonah Hill's persona has developed from film to film and the friction between his work in "This Is The End" and "Wolf Of Wall Street" in the same year as I am in any of the individual jokes or moments he's played onscreen. I think he made the jump to being taken seriously that many comics have attempted over the years, and in many cases, they've fumbled that moment. Bill Murray may be well-regarded now for films like "Lost In Translation" or "Moonrise Kingdom," but that took time. When he made "The Razor's Edge," audiences just weren't interested. Belushi wanted to make that jump, but he never quite got there. Jim Carrey has wrestled with his own identity onscreen, and while I think he's done amazing dramatic work, he's worth more box-office in an overt comedy. Even among the guys who he's worked with, Hill seems to be having an easier time in bigger films. I love "Take This Waltz," but I think right now, Seth Rogen is still seen primarily as a comic presence first.

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<p>I&nbsp;don't know who this is, but 20th Century Fox would be very happy if Brad Pitt decided to play him.</p>

I don't know who this is, but 20th Century Fox would be very happy if Brad Pitt decided to play him.

Credit: Wizards Of The Coast/Hasbro

Simon Kinberg and Fox deal themselves in for 'Magic: The Gathering' movies

This one's definitely got a fanbase, but what's the movie?

Simon Kinberg has asked me not to reveal his greatest secret, but at this point, I feel it is my duty so that young writers who look at how many things he's juggling at one time understand how he's able to pull it off.

Clones. Dozens of them.

That's the only way it could possibly work at this point. Think of everything he's got his name on right now. He's one of the producers of "Star Wars: Rebels," the next major piece of "Star Wars" canon to be introduced on Disney XD this year, and he's involved in the new "Star Wars" films as well. He's part of "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" and its follow-up, "X-Men: Apocalypse." He's producing a remake of "Murder On The Orient Express" with Ridley Scott and Mark Gordon. He's in charge of getting "Fantastic Four" back up and running, and he's also working on Neill Blomkamp's next film "Chappie."

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<p>Ellar Coltrane will age over a decade during the running time for Richard Linklater's audacious experiment 'Boyhood,' just added to the Sundance schedule.</p>

Ellar Coltrane will age over a decade during the running time for Richard Linklater's audacious experiment 'Boyhood,' just added to the Sundance schedule.

Credit: Sundance Film Festival

Richard Linklater's experimental 'Boyhood' added to Sundance line-up at last minute

This one's been in the works for a while

Last year, when it was announced that "Before Midnight" was going to play the Sundance Film Festival, it was a bit of a shock. Richard Linklater managed to keep the entire production under the radar, and it was a lovely surprise to realize that it was already finished and we'd be seeing it shortly.

This year, Linklater managed to surprise again with this morning's announcement that "Boyhood" has been added to the Sundance schedule in the TBA slots that many of us had noted on the schedule. It is unusual for Sundance to leave a prime slot in the Eccles theater unclaimed, so we figured there was something interesting that they were working to secure. I would have never guessed it would be "Boyhood," though, and it seems crazy to me that after years and years of waiting, I'm actually going to get to see the film this coming week.

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<p>Not just a new hand, but a new haircut as well? Everything's coming up Jaime on season four of 'Game Of Thrones'</p>

Not just a new hand, but a new haircut as well? Everything's coming up Jaime on season four of 'Game Of Thrones'

Credit: HBO

First full trailer for 'Game Of Thrones' season four looks epic and intense

Is it okay to call a trailer the highlight of the Golden Globes?

The only way I can deal with the time that elapses between seasons for "Game Of Thrones" is to forget the show exists completely. While I think many modern television shows have gotten scientifically precise about dropping cliffhangers on audiences from week to week, there is something about "Game Of Thrones" which sinks the hooks in just that little bit deeper, and season three was a fantastic example of that.

HBO took advantage of all the eyes locked on the Golden Globes tonight to roll out the first full trailer for season four of their most exciting series, and it certainly looks like this coming year is going to be full of monumental events.

More than anything at this point, I'm dying to see how David Benioff and D.B. Weiss handle the adaptation moving forward. While I wouldn't call anything about wrestling "A Song Of Ice and Fire" onto the screen "easy," I think the first three books offer a fairly solid dramatic spine, and while there were hard choices they had to make for each season, it still seemed like the basic starting place was a good one.

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<p>Jesse Plemons, seen here on 'Breaking Bad,' may be in the race for a major role in the new 'Star Wars'</p>

Jesse Plemons, seen here on 'Breaking Bad,' may be in the race for a major role in the new 'Star Wars'

Credit: AMC

Report: Jesse Plemons being eyed for role in JJ Abrams' 'Star Wars Episode VII'

Young 'Breaking Bad' star said to be heading to LA to discuss the part

One of the pleasures of the final two seasons of "Breaking Bad" was watching the evolution of Todd, the character played by Jesse Plemons. His All-American Opie Cunningham exterior hid a truly dark heart, and Plemons played the role beautifully.

He's been working for fourteen years, though. "Breaking Bad" may have seemed like a breakthrough moment for Plemons, but it's one that he's been building to for a while. He played young Matt Damon in "All The Pretty Horses" back in 2000, a damn fine piece of casting, and then he ended doing small roles on a lot of TV shows for a while before "Friday Night Lights" finally came along and he got the role of Landry Clarke.

TV has never been an issue for Plemons, and one of the things you learn as an actor when you're working in television is to commit for a long period of time, and anyone who signs on for "Star Wars Episode VII" is going to have to be ready to be associated with "Star Wars" for the rest of their life. I'm not sure you really can explain to someone just how big an impact something like "Star Wars" is going to have on their lives.

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<p>I&nbsp;wish they'd have released the image from this same scene where Affleck tries smiling for the cameras.</p>

I wish they'd have released the image from this same scene where Affleck tries smiling for the cameras.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Gone Girl' screenplay adaptation more faithful than Affleck interview suggests

Fans should be excited about the way Gillian Flynn adapted her own book

"Does any couple possibly know each other better than we do, right now?"

When Amy asks that question of Nick in Gillian Flynn's screenplay adaptation of her massively popular novel "Gone Girl," it's a genuinely provocative query. That's not a spoiler, either, because you have no idea where that happens on the timeline of the story of what happens between a married couple when the wife disappears on the morning of their fifth anniversary and all the evidence clearly makes it seem like the husband killed her.

I'll confess that it threw me at first when David Fincher signed on to make the film, because it seemed almost too popular a pick. Then again, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" sold a bazillion copies, so I guess this is within the same general wheelhouse. This week's cover story in "Entertainment Weekly" is built around interviews with Fincher, Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, and Gillian Flynn, and they make a pretty strong case for why this particular chemical match game might result in something special.

There's one quote in particular that has people really worked up, though. It's sort of a weird convoluted quote, though. It's David Fincher quoting Ben Affleck's reaction to Flynn's adaptation of her own work: "Ben was so shocked by it. He would say, 'This is a whole new third at! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.'"

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<p>Demetri Martin and Lake Bell star in the pointed 'In A World...'</p>

Demetri Martin and Lake Bell star in the pointed 'In A World...'

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Exclusive: First 10 minutes of Lake Bell's sharp and funny 'In A World...'

Is this enough of a glimpse to convince you?

Lake Bell has always demonstrated a knack for comedy, and since 2003, when I first saw her in "Miss Match," a short-lived TV vehicle for Alicia Silverstone, she has appeared in at least 30 different films or TV shows. Like any actress, she is at the mercy of Hollywood in terms of what roles she plays. Or at least… she was.

"In A World…" played at last year's Sundance Film Festival, and I missed it there. Then I proceeded to miss it at least a half-dozen other times, including the actual release date. Finally, when it showed up on the stack of screeners I watched at the end of the year, I made sure to give it a shot.

Written and directed by Lake Bell, "In A World…" follows Carol (Bell), her father Sam (Fred Melamed), and the very specific little community of people who do voice-over work, and in particular, voice-over work for movie trailers. Sam is one of the kings of the voice-over world, and he seems to be grooming a younger guy, Gustav (Ken Marino), to be his successor, which quite rightfully infuriates Carol.

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