Chris Pratt says he'll never see 'Jurassic World' the way fans will
Credit: HitFix

Chris Pratt says he'll never see 'Jurassic World' the way fans will

The nicest new movie star in Hollywood talks about how he sees his movies

At the end of the press junket for "Jurassic World," there was a photo posted by one of the guys who runs the junkets of two kegs. One was PBR, the other was Dos Equis. Not the most expensive gesture in the world, but one that speaks volumes. Pratt sees how hard these guys work at these things, and it's non-stop for days at a time. He didn't have to do anything for the crew, but the gesture says that Pratt recognizes that he may be the movie star, but he's standing on a lot of backs to reach that spotlight.

The first time I met Pratt, I was in an elevator in San Francisco, checking into my hotel, there for a set visit to "The Five-Year Engagement." At that point, I knew Pratt from "Parks and Rec" only, and we started talking. He was super-gracious and effusive, and the same was true later that evening when I ran into him on the set.

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25 Years In LA Part 1: Gene Hackman, Eazy-E, and Albert Brooks defending a film
Credit: Scott Swan

25 Years In LA Part 1: Gene Hackman, Eazy-E, and Albert Brooks defending a film

We move to town, settle in, and use our first job to meet plenty of famous people

When I left Tampa, it was the crack of dawn. I was in the passenger's seat of the Chevette that Scott Swan owned, and we were on our way to California to be rich and famous.

I was 20 years old. I thought I had all the answers. I had a screenplay called "The President Must Die!" with me that I was sure was going to be produced by the following summer with an all-star cast. We had all of them picked. Harrison Ford, Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams. Scott and I had spent the entire spring writing it, and we were done. Absolutely, completely, positively done. It was perfect. It was going to be a huge hit. This was the logical next step.

This wasn't our first script, either. We had written a script together called "Moondance" during my first year of college, and a script called "A Weekend Away" during my second year of college. They were both comedies featuring the same main character, Jerry Salmon. We had tried to raise the money to make "A Weekend Away" during the spring, while I was finishing school, and we had come up dry. We were looking for just under a million dollars, and we just didn't knock on the right doors.

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Want to see what happens when crowdfunding shows Uwe Boll what he's worth?
Credit: Uwe Boll's Tax Shelter Theater

Want to see what happens when crowdfunding shows Uwe Boll what he's worth?

Someone peed in Uwe Boll's cereal, and the results are delightful.

Whenever I see someone bag Ed Wood as "the worst filmmaker ever," I try to engage them in that conversation and offer up the alternative view that no one, no matter how desperately lacking in talent, can ever be considered the worst filmmaker of all time when their movies are so painfully sincere and personally revealing. I would argue that cynicism is far worse than lack of talent, and when you're talking about people who are genuinely terrible filmmakers, Uwe Boll is as cynical as they come.

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First teaser footage sets up Matt Damon's Mars nightmare 'The Martian'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

First teaser footage sets up Matt Damon's Mars nightmare 'The Martian'

Ridley Scott's "The Martian" is going to suffer some inevitable comparisons to things like "Gravity" and "Interstellar" and even "Prometheus" pre-release, and the real trick here is seeing whether or not the film can shake those comparisons.

One of the things that helps in the footage that was released today is how warm and human it is. Andy Weir's book is a smart piece of hard science-fiction, but it's also a very human story, and it could be one of the most accessible things Scott's ever directed.

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'Ask Drew' examines what studios can learn from 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Credit: Warner Bros

'Ask Drew' examines what studios can learn from 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Plus we play an especially brutal round of Movie God

Been a while, hasn't it?

There is only one problem with our video team, and that is that they are a finite number of human beings, and we throw more work at them than anyone could possibly accomplish. Yet they do, week after week. Part of the reason "Ask Drew" was on vacation was because there just wasn't time to get it done on top of everything else we were doing.

Thing is, it's going to stay busy here, so we're going to do our best to get this back in the rotation every few weeks. When I put out the word about this week's episode, you guys sent in plenty of questions as always, including a pretty ferocious Movie God challenge.

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Tom Cruise heads underwater and into the air in new "Mission Impossible' trailer
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise heads underwater and into the air in new "Mission Impossible' trailer

And who is that intriguing female lead?

Twenty years.

That's how long Tom Cruise has been making "Mission: Impossible" films. I kind of love that every sigle film in the franchise is a different director. Over the last three films, though, the series has snapped into a much more rigorous sort of overall continuity, and it's done a much better job of building a team that lasts from film to film.

From JJ Abrams to Brad Bird to Christopher McQuarrie now, we've seen Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) put together a team, and in this one, it looks like we get Jeremy Renner, Smon Pegg, and Ving Rhames together, along with uber-hot newcomer Rebecca Ferguson. I love the various set pieces we get a glimpse of here, and the craziest of the bunch appears to be the one at the start of the trailer, with the weird whirlpool and the strange underwater stuff.

I'm not going to pretend like these movies have all been masterful executions of perfect plots, but I am excited to see the latest one to see how McQuarrie ups the stakes from the last one. In that film, it felt like Brad Bird finally perfected what a "Mission: Impossible" movie is supposed to look like, and McQuarrie did an excellent job with Cruise in "Jack Reacher."

So does this mean that between the excellent place they left the last film and the remarkable talents of Mr. McQuarrie, this is going to be the best "Mission: Impossible" of the bunch?

The Led Zeppelin certainly does not hurt.

We'll find out when "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" opens July 31, 2015.

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Review: 'Insidious: Chapter 3' is the most familiar trip to The Further so far
Credit: Gramercy Pictures
C

Review: 'Insidious: Chapter 3' is the most familiar trip to The Further so far

Prequel adds nothing new to what is starting to feel like a small world after all

With the third chapter of the "Insidious" series, Leigh Whannell steps up to take over as writer and director on the second franchise that he started with James Wan. As today's "Aquaman" news made clear, Wan has become a major asset to studios now, and while I doubt he's made his final scary film or even his final small film, I doubt we're going to see him make any more films in the "Saw" or "Insidious" worlds again.

So why not Whannell? After all, if there's anyone who understands this world, it's him. He was the one who created the mythology, after all, when he wrote the first film, and he's played Specs, part of the paranormal investigation team headed by Lin Shaye, in the other two films. When I first saw the set-up for this film, I assumed it would be an early adventure for Specs, Elise (Shaye), and Tucker (Angus Sampson), and I thought that sounded great. I like that Shaye plays her part as someone who deeply believes, someone who has great respect for the surreal experience that these people are going through when they come in contact with her, while the guys are both far less ethereal about the whole thing. It's a fun contrast, and they never felt like simple knock-offs of real TV paranormal "ghost hunters" or of the Ghostbusters, which is harder than it sounds.

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Weird Crush Wednesday: We're haunted by JoBeth Williams in 1982's 'Poltergeist'
Credit: MGM/UA Home Video

Weird Crush Wednesday: We're haunted by JoBeth Williams in 1982's 'Poltergeist'

Suburbia sure looked good to us in Tobe Hooper's well-loved horror film

When "Poltergeist" was released to theaters, I was 12 years old, and it was smack dab in the middle of the best summer of movies I'd ever seen. Film after film after film, I felt like these movies were hitting me right smack dab in my own particular pleasure center, and when I walked into "Poltergeist," I was ready for anything.

One of the most complicated things about my reaction to the film was thanks to JoBeth Williams, who played Diane Freeling in the movie, the mother to the family that was troubled by the visitation. In the movie, she was 33 years old, a suburban mom, pretty much the opposite of what most kids at the age of 12 would consider an object of desire. It is safe to say that I had a full-blown out-of-control crush on Williams by the end of the film, though, and I'm not sure I could have even pulled it apart to explain why at that point in time.

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This is one seriously good-looking end of the world
Credit: Relativity

This is one seriously good-looking end of the world

This is one seriously good-looking end of the world

One of the films I was quite taken with at Sundance this year was Craig Zobel's latest, "Z For Zachariah," and now that we're six months into the year, it remains one of the films I've most enjoyed this year.

It's a simple movie, and I get the feeling that fans of the Robert C. O'Brien novel may have some difficulty with the adaptation, but it packs a powerful punch thanks to Zobel's expert work with his trio of lead actors. Chris Pine is sly and insinuating in his role as the guy who stumbles into and potentially spoils a sort of post-world paradise that Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor have made for themselves in a valley that was somehow skipped when the world ended. Ejiofor is going to break a lot of hearts with his work as the guy who liked being alone in the world, and who is sure that as soon as Robbie is offered a choice, he won't be the choice she makes.

It's Robbie that makes this one really special, though. I've been writing about how impressive her work is since "The Wolf Of Wall Street," and I think she single-handedly elevates "Suicide Squad" with her casting in the role of Harley Quinn. Watching Paul Dini's delighted reactions to her on social media is my favorite thing about "Suicide Squad" set photos so far. If anyone has the final word on whether or not they think Harley is being done properly, it would be the creator of the character. Robbie has managed to demonstrate remarkable range in just a handful of films, and while she is a striking young woman, she manages to disappear into the roles she plays. She has a great ear for accents and voices, and her work in "Z" is particularly subtle and affecting.

We've got the new exclusive debut of the one-sheet for the film today, and I'm really pleased to be able to present it:

I'd direct your attention back to my review of the film, our interview with the cast which is embedded above, or the longer interview with Craig Zobel that our own Katie Hasty conducted.

"Z For Zachariah" is in theaters on August 21, 2015.

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First 'Fallout 4' trailer shows a post-apocalyptic Boston in bloom
Credit: Bethesda Game Studio

First 'Fallout 4' trailer shows a post-apocalyptic Boston in bloom

Looks like "Fallout" fans are in for one heck of a year.

Long-rumored and only confirmed today after a fun 24-hour countdown clock, "Fallout 4" will take the post-apocalyptic gaming franchise to Boston, and part of the fun of the premiere trailer today is looking at the way the design of the game plays off of familiar Boston landmarks. For people who have lived in the city (I assume my buddy writer/producer Kevin Biegel is going actually move into the game), it's going to be even more of a blast, but these games aren't just jokes about real estate.

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