I've got my top ten list locked now, which is always a liberating moment for me. Now I can start celebrating all the movies that didn't make the list, because as usual, there are about 50 movies that I genuinely enjoyed, that I think are worth seeing, and that I would tell anyone should be part of their 2014 film experience.
Each year, the midnight shift at Sundance belongs to me, and that's the way I like it. I've had some of my most memorable experiences at the festival happen as part of the midnight screenings, and I look forward to this announcement every year.
I'm surprised to see "It Follows" there. That's been playing festivals since Cannes, and while it's good, I wouldn't expect to see Sundance use one of the slots for a film that's been seen as much as this one has already.
There are not many things that would have me out of bed and waiting for them at 3:00 in the morning, but I love the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, and I'm ready for the follow-up to "Skyfall."
Sony's done a tremendous job of treating James Bond like the crown jewel of the company, and they're treating this next movie like a major event. My guess is that we're not going to have too many more films with Craig playing the role, so I want each one to be special at this point.
Rolled out of bed and started in with films, fresh off the stack, in whatever order they were piled in there. And in order, I watched "Wild" with Reese Witherspoon, Jenny Slate in "Obvious Child," the emotional bulldozer that is "Still Alice," with Julianne Moore, and finally the new Tommy Lee Jones Western that he co-stars in with Hillary Swank, "The Homesman."
I honestly didn't know Chris Rock had this in him.
As a stand-up, Rock is one of the greats. The way he evolved was incredibly impressive, and by the time he released "Bring The Pain," he was in complete command of his craft. He knew how to ride an audience to victory.
On film, though, I don't think Rock has ever even approached mastering things the way he has with live performance. He's done stuff I've enjoyed, and one of the things that made his early work noteworthy was just how extreme he was. His scene in "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" was one of that film's biggest laughs for me. For literally years afterwards, the thought of "One rib!" would kill me all over again. He got to play with Eddie Murphy in "Boomerang," and I remember being excited to see the two of them in a scene, knowing how huge an influence Eddie was for him. He's good in "CB4." But he's in a lot of films where there was absolutely no sign that anyone knew what to do with him and his particular personality.
I am not sure I expected that watching "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" would lead to my deepest conversation so far with my kids about divorce.
Leave it to Tom Cruise.
Not long ago, Toshi was pushing for more movies about spies. Anything, really. He has been reading about spies since I showed him his first Bond film almost two years ago, and since most of that series is inappropriate for him, he's been chafing, desperate to see something new.
When I was picking up my screeners from the HitFix office yesterday, I started to sort them to try to decide what I would watch first, and I put "Locke," Steven Knight's film starring Tom Hardy, near the top of the stack.
Things change quickly sometimes, and that was certainly the case this week for me. Instead of heading to London, I found myself stymied when it came to actually laying hands on my passport. Even now, two days later, I have no idea where it went, so I am in LA enjoying the rains and making my last big push to catch up on films before we lock our top ten lists for the year here at HitFix.
While Zack Snyder is busy playing with the most recognizable action figures in the Warner Bros. playset, it appears that David Ayer is the one making the most unlikely DC film announced so far, with a cast that is, frankly, insane.
There have been rumors about who might play what for several months now, but today, it appears to be official, and I am genuinely surprised. I know that there are three names that end up on any short list at Warner at this point, and I assumed that's why we heard their names in the mix on this movie. Instead, all three of them are actually in the film, and Ayer is suddenly the guy in charge of what could be one of the biggest and strangest movies of the modern comic book era.
Every once in a while, I open an e-mail and just start laughing at what kind of opportunities I'm given.
When someone asks if you want to spend time with Ryan O'Neal, Malcolm McDowell, and Leon Vitali to discuss working with Stanley Kubrick, there's only one correct answer to that. Of course. Absolutely. The interview was arranged to help promote the release of "Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection," a new Blu-ray box set that includes eight of his films, a new documentary about the legendary filmmaker, a new hardcover book, and a whole mess of extra features that have been assembled from other earlier releases.