<p>I sincerely hope his extended family of colleagues and friends feel blessed to have known him in what must be an awful moment for them all.</p>

I sincerely hope his extended family of colleagues and friends feel blessed to have known him in what must be an awful moment for them all.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Thoughts on Paul Walker's passing and the way we deal with celebrity death

Sometimes, all you need to do is be decent when others are in pain

The worst thing about dying young is the hole you leave in so many lives. Paul Walker's car accident tonight must have shocked and devastated the people he's worked with over the years, and I can't imagine how this feels for the people who are part of the "Fast and Furious" franchise. No one could have predicted that they would be shooting a seventh film right now when the first one opened a mere 12 years ago, and they certainly couldn't have predicted the way the franchise became a family affair over time, both onscreen and off. I can't think of any other action series that is so explicitly focused on the notion of the way we build our families, and I suspect that's a big part of the completely unironic appeal of the films.

More than anything tonight, I am haunted by the idea of someone having to tell his daughter about his passing. Meadow Rain is only 14 years old, and while there is no good age for lose a father, the pain of losing one right as you're entering one of the most confusing, difficult, emotionally turbulent times of life seems profoundly upsetting to me. Whatever reaction I'm having to Walker's passing tonight isn't about the movies he made or the movies he might have made or how I did or didn't feel about his work. It doesn't have to be. More than anything, it's that simple sharp pang of empathy at the thought of how his passing affects the community around him, both personal and professional.

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<p>Peter Parker and Harry Osborne seem as baffled by the new spoiler-laden banner for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' as I am.</p>

Peter Parker and Harry Osborne seem as baffled by the new spoiler-laden banner for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' as I am.

Credit: Sony Pictures

New 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' poster reveals major character spoilers

Wait... wasn't this supposed to be a secret?

Secrets are a funny thing in this business. When you work in a scoop-based economy, secrets are counter-intuitive. You don't keep a secret; you print it, right?

This summer, when we interviewed Andrew Garfield about his return for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," there was a spoiler that we discussed off-camera, and it was obvious that he believed it to be the film's biggest surprise. He really wanted me to keep the secret, and I was happy to oblige. I've erred plenty of times on the side of "Wait, you didn't want people to know that?" and I find it's a balancing act that I'm constantly trying to strike. I recently got called to the carpet by a filmmaker I've known since the early '90s who may well be done talking to me because of how angry he was at me for revealing details about his film before he was ready for them to be revealed, and especially because of the way I handled it.

Imagine my surprise this morning then when I logged on and saw a new triptych poster for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" that quite literally takes that spoiler and makes it the center of the image.

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<p>Little known fact... Jason Voorhees gives awesome piggy-back rides.</p>

Little known fact... Jason Voorhees gives awesome piggy-back rides.

Credit: Warner Bros.

This potentially terrible 'Friday The 13th' remake has a release date

Is this really all that horror films can do at this point?

When Paramount announced yesterday that they would be releasing "Friday The 13th" on March 13, 2015, it took most people by surprise.

There have been a number of rumors swirling about what approach they're taking, and while they now have a release date, they're a long way from having a script or even a director. HitFix can confirm that this is indeed the found footage film that has been mentioned, and that it is once again going to reboot the series from the start, which is a very confusing approach considering the 2009 film was also a remake of sorts.

The thing I liked most about Marcus Nispel's "Friday The 13th" was the way screenwriters Mark Swift and Damian Shannon managed to condense the first three films of the franchise into one movie. We got the death of Jason's mother in the opening scenes of the movie, we got a long stretch with deformed hillbilly baghead Jason, and we eventually got the hockey-mask wearing icon version. The film was the first time anyone actually tried to explain the way Jason would get around Camp Crystal Lake so quickly as well as the reason he seems to always know where everyone is. It seemed like a really interesting way to restart things without throwing out the entire franchise.

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<p>The new trailer for Laika's 'The Boxtrolls' offers a peek at just how gorgeous the art of stop-motion animation really is.</p>

The new trailer for Laika's 'The Boxtrolls' offers a peek at just how gorgeous the art of stop-motion animation really is.

Credit: Focus Features

'The Boxtrolls' trailer is an ode to the magic of stop-motion animation

The studio that made 'Corlaine' and 'ParaNorman' is keeping the art form alive

At this point, I've visited enough sets that there is a sameness to it that has managed to rob the experience of some of its magic. Not all, but some. Sure, I can appreciate amazing craftsmanship and I love watching actors work, especially when something wonderful is happening between them, but there's no real mystery to it at this point.

On the other hand, when I visited the London sets for "The Corpse Bride" and got to spend a few days wandering around the amazing sets they built for the film, it was remarkable. Looking at the way they built everything by hand, looking at the amazing builds they did for the characters, I felt like I was looking at real magic. Watching these things come to life, one frame at a time, I learned once again to believe that there is a miracle that happens in animation. The same was true when I went up to Seattle to visit Laika Studios when they were working on "Coraline." Every single item, every single costume, every single thing that appeared in every single frame, all of it made right there in-house, all of it extraordinary.

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<p>Forest Whitaker plays the patriarch of a broken family in the new Kasi Lemmons adaptation of the Langston Hughes classic 'Black Nativity'</p>

Forest Whitaker plays the patriarch of a broken family in the new Kasi Lemmons adaptation of the Langston Hughes classic 'Black Nativity'

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review: 'Black Nativity' turns a traditional pageant into a holiday family drama

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
As adaptations go, this one's a complete reinvention

Langston Hughes is a modern giant, a significant artist who worked as a poet and a playwright and whose work was an important part of this country's understanding of the black experience. One of his most enduring creations was "The Black Nativity," a re-imagined musical take on the traditional Nativity pageant, complete with music and dance, and it is still being performed all over the world today. Adapting it to film would seem like a strange proposition, but writer/director Kasi Lemmons approached it as an opportunity, not a challenge, and the result is an earnest, heartfelt family drama that is overwrought at times, deeply felt at others, but which certainly feels like one of the more unique things I've seen in a theater this year.

Watching no trailers for something can create the most interesting reactions in a theater. While I was aware of the basic background of the Langston Hughes production, I didn't realize Lemmons had built an entirely new story around it, or that she had made a full-blown musical. The moment the main character, Langston (Jacob Latimore), begins to sing about his experience as a young black man growing up without a father in Baltimore, I realized this wasn't going to be what I expected. Instead, Lemmons built a story that she sets the Nativity into as a sort of central point, an event that brings her characters to an epiphany. Her film is much more about the way people either do or don't live the message of the Nativity in their own lives and their own communities.

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<p>Quentin Tarantino, seen here in Miike's 'Sukiyaki Western Django,' may be saddling up again for a return to the Old West since it sounds like he's almost done writing his new script.</p>

Quentin Tarantino, seen here in Miike's 'Sukiyaki Western Django,' may be saddling up again for a return to the Old West since it sounds like he's almost done writing his new script.

Credit: First Look International

Quentin Tarantino says his new script is a Western and it's almost finished

But which Western, and when will he shoot it?

One thing was very clear when watching "Django Unchained" last year: Quentin Tarantino was delighted to finally be making a Western.

I don't blame him. The conditions when making a film in the genre can be difficult. I know that John Carpenter has told me several times that the whole reason he's never made a real Western is because of how much he hates horses. You're outside, you're typically on a location, and it's not easy work. Tarantino took to it, though, so much so that it looks like he might be giving it another try.

Tonight, Tarantino was a guest on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," and a friend of mine went to the taping to see what happened. He Tweeted from NBC's studios about a comment that Tarantino made, and it's news even if it's still somewhat vague news. He said the director was sipping moonshine during the interview and that he revealed that he is almost done writing his next film. He also revealed that it's a Western.

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<p>The ladies of 'Spring Breakers' know full well that you're going to want to rent their film, but if you watch it with your family expecting a wacky comedy, you're in for a pretty big surprise.</p>

The ladies of 'Spring Breakers' know full well that you're going to want to rent their film, but if you watch it with your family expecting a wacky comedy, you're in for a pretty big surprise.

Credit: A23/Anapurna

13 recent movies you should never ever watch with your family

We warn you of some potential family gathering minefields in theaters and on home video

The holidays are almost here, and for many people, that means happy family gatherings with warm conversation and time well-spent together. For an equal number of people, that means finding something to watch so no one has to really talk to each other, and the best way to deflect things via movies is to find something everyone enjoys.

The worst way to do it is to throw on "Irreversible" and belly laugh all the way through.

I'm not saying you'd do that. Not you. You're a decent person, not Max Cady from "Cape Fear," and you would never intentionally make everyone in the family uncomfortable. You would never pick a film that would freak out your parents or your siblings or your kids or your spouse. You would never put something on that would stop conversation cold, replacing it with dense walls of silent judgment directed at you, just because you thought it was funny to freak everyone out.

Right?

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<p>Ming Na-Wen is front and center in this week's episode, but is 'Repairs' the character showcase it should have been?</p>

Ming Na-Wen is front and center in this week's episode, but is 'Repairs' the character showcase it should have been?

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

Agent May's past plays a big part in this week's creepy new 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Is the reveal worth all of the build-up?

We're nine episodes into the season now. At this point, there's really no point in saying things like "Wait for it to find its voice" or "they're still figuring it out." Sure, things can continue to change, but this is "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", and it's time to stop grading on a curve. Besides, this episode is written by Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon, the creators of the series, so this is a chance for them to demonstrate what the show they think they're making really is.

Heading into the episode, my first question is whether or not they're really going to give us Agent May's full backstory and the explanation of her nickname "The Cavalry" already. If so, then I think it's clear the paradigm in serialized television has changed and become more season oriented than ever before, with set-ups and pay-offs coming closer together, presumably to avoid pulling a "Red John" or a "Lost" or a whatever you want to call the sort of home-stretch fumble that's making "How I Met Your Mother" such a chore as it tries to wrap things up.

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<p>'Hello, it's the super. Could you let me in?&nbsp;I've come to make sure your remake is bland and largely ineffective.'</p>

'Hello, it's the super. Could you let me in? I've come to make sure your remake is bland and largely ineffective.'

Credit: Film District

Review: Josh Brolin comes out swinging but Spike Lee's 'Oldboy' can't land a punch

HitFix
C-
Readers
n/a
The very definition of an unnecessary remake

A man is kidnapped and forced to spend 20 years in isolation, in captivity, controlled but not harmed. He is finally allowed to escape and then he is given a single question to answer: who kidnapped him, and why?

It's an almost irresistible set-up for a film, and when Chan-wook Park adapted it as the middle part of his "Vengeance" trilogy, it was a perfect match of filmmaker and material. There is a fury to the film that is still somewhat terrifying when you see it, and Park delivers each new twist to the narrative like he's holding a knife that's already buried deep between two ribs, like he is enjoying each twist, knowing exactly what damage he's doing. While much of Spike Lee's best work is driven by a simmering anger, it's a very different kind, and his new version of "Oldboy" feels like someone stranded by material rather than someone liberated by it.

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<p>At least know we know why Magneto's not popular with the Dallas police department.</p>

At least know we know why Magneto's not popular with the Dallas police department.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

50 years later, the truth is out: Magneto was the man behind the magic bullet

Or was he? New 'Days Of Future Past' hints arrive online

One of the things that is always interesting when a film changes directors or writers or any key member of a creative team is seeing how much of the original plan for the film stays intact. Back when Matthew Vaughn was set to make the sequel to his own "X-Men: First Class," he seemed more than happy to reveal certain details and ideas about how he'd approach the film.

In particular, he talked about opening the movie with the assassination of JFK, then revealing how Magneto would be revealed to be the killer, driven by a fury that Kennedy took credit for the Cuban Missile Crisis solution, pretending mutants had no part in it at all. Our interview about his plans was pretty widely quoted at the time, and when he left the film, I assumed they pretty much scuttled Vaughn's plans completely.

After all, he wasn't planning to do "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" at the time. That idea came after he departed the film, and we've heard now that the new film is set in 1973, which would seem to leave the JFK thing out completely.

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