<p>Reggie (Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson)&nbsp;head back in time in the odd family comedy 'Free Birds'</p>

Reggie (Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson) head back in time in the odd family comedy 'Free Birds'

Credit: Relativity Media

Review: Wilson and Harrelson can't make uneven animated comedy 'Free Birds' fly

HitFix
C-
Readers
n/a
Silly time travel comedy really doesn't work

If you didn't read my "About Time" review earlier this week, it serves as a sort of unintentional preamble to this review, since by one of those weird quirks of film development and release, they're both time travel movies.

Richard Curtis uses the idea of time travel to explore the idea of what the heart wants. It's that simple. If you could do it, how would you build yourself the perfect life? It is a device that allows him to write about everything, really. He explores a lot of ideas in his film, and in some very personal ways.

"Free Birds," on the other hand, asks a big silly question: what if turkeys could change the first Thanksgiving so turkey never makes it on the national menu?

But… wait… is that a silly question? The film opens in a turkey farm, and it makes explicit in the first few moments that these turkeys are being fattened up for eventual slaughter. Reggie (Owen Wilson) is the one turkey who can see through to the code of the Matrix. He knows what's coming. And as a result of his near-constant state of panic, he's ostracized, an outsider.

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<p>'What do you mean you can't find 2016 on the map?&nbsp;We can't just land in 2015 because you feel like it, Chewie! WHAT&nbsp;ABOUT&nbsp;THE&nbsp;SCRIPT?!'</p>

'What do you mean you can't find 2016 on the map? We can't just land in 2015 because you feel like it, Chewie! WHAT ABOUT THE SCRIPT?!'

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Disney and Lucasfilm clash as 'Star Wars' maintains hyperspeed course for 2015 release

Watch: McWeeny and Ellwood talk film's delay

At some point soon, JJ Abrams may need to reach out to the world of "Star Wars" fandom just to calm them down, because the official silence is starting to get very, very noisy indeed.

Today's article in "The Hollywood Reporter" will no doubt whip "Star Wars" fans into a frenzy as they worry about what they will or won't see in theaters in 2015, and we decided to chat about it a bit as well.

Disney didn't buy the "Star Wars" franchise so they could tenderly soothe the nerves of worried fans. They bought it because they are a merchandise driven company, and "Star Wars" remains giant business even in the down periods between movies. Adding a new film to the mix sends the toy business into overdrive, and I suspect Disney is already building the vault where they plan to keep all the money that Bob Iger will swim in, Scrooge McDuck-style, after hours.

While I think fans have every right to worry, I also think we've reached a point where there is very little that any "Star Wars" fan has to say that hasn't already been said a thousand times, and all the hand-wringing ultimately doesn't help anything. People who are determined to hate JJ Abrams already have their minds made up, and I doubt anything's going to make them feel better. I get tired of all the conspiracy speak about Damon Lindelof and Kurtzman and Orci, though, and I wish fans had a way of stepping outside themselves to hear their own shrill arguments sometimes.

Greg Ellwood and I discussed what this could mean and what to take away from today's news in the video you'll see embedded here. I think Kennedy is a very strong producer overall, and I suspect she will continue to push for the best possible film, and perhaps the mix of her strengths and the things that Abrams does well will end up resulting in a movie that will restore faith rather than reconfirming the lack of it.

We'll see, and it sounds like we'll see in 2015, come hell or high water.

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<p>Loki and Thor are forced to find some way to trust each other if they're going to save Asgard and the rest of the Nine Realms in 'Thor:&nbsp;The Dark World'</p>

Loki and Thor are forced to find some way to trust each other if they're going to save Asgard and the rest of the Nine Realms in 'Thor: The Dark World'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Review: 'Thor The Dark World' expands the universe even while suffering some sequel issues

HitFix
B-
Readers
B+
Phase Two still feels mighty, but Marvel's machine creaks and groans a bit

Which one is harder, issue number one or issue number two of a comic book?

In a first issue, you have to explain a premise. You have to set up a world. You have to convince people to come back for a second issue. There's a lot of things that have to work, or there's no reason for anyone to keep reading. WIth a second issue, it seems like some of that pressure would be off, but I feel like it might be the opposite. In many cases, it feels like the pressure of finding the right second story to tell is difficult because every option is open and there is no template for what a second issue has to be.

Marvel struggled with "Iron Man 2," easily the weakest of the Phase One films they released. I think there are plenty of things to enjoy in "Iron Man 2," but I also think it's a structural mess, and in many ways, it feels like little more than a bridge between other films. This time around, the script by Christopher Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely aims to tell an epic story that introduces more of the Nine Realms than just Midgard (aka Earth) and Asgard, and there are many things that the film gets right. In particular, I like the way they mash up the science-fiction and fantasy elements in a way that would probably make Jack Kirby tap-dance if he'd lived to see it.

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<p>There is no shampoo on Earth strong enough to stop Satan.</p>

There is no shampoo on Earth strong enough to stop Satan.

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Want two tickets to see the 1979 lunatic horror film 'The Visitor' in LA?

Drafthouse Films unleashes a whole lot of crazy in theaters this weekend

Do you want to win tickets to see "The Visitor" in Los Angeles this weekend at CineFamily?

Before you answer that question, let me tell you a little bit about "The Visitor," which you may not be familiar with yet. I wouldn't blame you. It's a 1979 film that is fairly hard to describe. Well, actually, I would say it looks like an Italian guy fell in love with both "Close Encounters" and "The Omen" and couldn't decide which one he wanted to rip off, so he ripped off both of them and then sprinkled in some genuine all-his-own low-budget insanity that is only enhanced by the idea that he got recognizable American movie stars for many of the key adult roles. What makes it hard to fully describe is the weird way all of those obvious influences come together. It's a deeply strange film, and that makes it a perfect fit for Drafthouse Films.

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Exclusive: Paz de la Huerta's 'Nurse 3D' gets a sexy crazy new poster and a 2014 release date

I hope the movie is just as wild as the campaign

It feels like the campaign for "Nurse 3D" has been simmering for a while now, and Lionsgate has finally picked a date for the film. You'll be able to see the movie in select theaters and On Demand on February 7, 2014, and to mark the occasion, Lionsgate sent over a brand new poster for the film.

That's exciting because the posters so far have been fun. There was a limited release one-sheet for this film last year that was just straight-up explicit, a close-up of what I assume was Paz de la Huerta's boob. I assume that because Paz de la  Huerta seems to be perpetually naked in pretty much everything, and that would seem to be one of the reasons to hire her for a movie.

Today we've got the newest poster for "Nurse 3D" as an exclusive debut for you, and once again, what this communicates is "Paz de la Huerta," "sexy," and "wild ride," which seems like a winning game plan overall for the studio.

I sincerely love it when studios steer into the lurid when they're selling something like this, and I'll be curious to see if the film is even half as fun as the campaign they've run so far. The film stars de la Huerta along with Corbin Bleu and Katrina Bowden, and here's the synopsis:

By day Abby Russell is a dedicated nurse, someone you wouldn’t hesitate to trust your life with. But by night, her real work begins…using her smoldering sexuality she lures cheating men to their brutal deaths and exposes them for who they really are. When a younger nurse starts to suspect Abby's actions and compromises her master plan, Abby must find a way to outsmart her long enough to bring the cheater you’d least expect to justice.


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<p>Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, and Morgan Freeman discussed the  differences between shooting in Las Vegas and New Yor on the streets  when we discussed their new film 'Last Vegas'</p>

Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, and Morgan Freeman discussed the differences between shooting in Las Vegas and New Yor on the streets when we discussed their new film 'Last Vegas'

Credit: HitFix

The stars of 'Last Vegas' on avoiding temptation while shooting in Sin City

Plus a discussion of whether Vegas or New York is harder to shoot in

Have you ever had any variation on the stress dream where you're going to do something that you're not prepared for in any way? Like you show up for a test, and not only do you realize that you're not ready for the test, but you've never been in the classroom before, it's in a language you don't speak, and you're naked?

Well, now imagine you're sitting across from Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Michael Douglas when it happens.

That was my Saturday morning in Las Vegas recently. Thanks to a profound miscommunication, there was no screening of the film for me when I got to Vegas. I saw "Bad Grandpa," which was also doing interviews in town at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino across the street from Aria, where the "Last Vegas" interviews were taking place, but not "Last Vegas," so it became clear that I'd have to do the interviews without knowing what we were discussing.

In the entire time I've been here at HitFix, I've never walked into an interview unprepared. There was nothing I could do about it. I had not seen the film, and so there was no way for me to ask specific questions to the cast or the crew. All I could do was try to have a little fun and not embarrass myself.

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<p>Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy take their time-traveling father/son act on the road during Richard Curtis's powerfully and beautiful 'About Time'</p>

Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy take their time-traveling father/son act on the road during Richard Curtis's powerfully and beautiful 'About Time'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Richard Curtis delivers smart and personal time travel fable in 'About Time'

HitFix
A
Readers
A+
It's not what his fans might expect, but it's better as a result

Richard Curtis has made a career for himself by writing about love. Seems like a fairly simple topic at first glance, and one could argue that he created an entire subgenre of what could be broadly described as "the Working Title rom-com." His voice has been a major part of the comedy landscape for much longer than fans of just his films realize, and to some extent, you can divide his career into everything before "Four Weddings And A Funeral" and everything afterwards.

With his new film, "About Time," he seems to be wrapping things up, and it's a little disconcerting to see how final it feels. Many of the ideas he's tackled in his work over the years are present in "About Time," and it feels like he's grappling with his own legacy in the film. He's also doing it without the sort of star power that has driven some of his biggest successes, and I suspect the movie will surprise many audiences, and not always in the right way. Last night, as I was leaving my screening, a couple was walking through the Arclight behind me and the woman was complaining non-stop that this isn't some broad comedy about Rachel McAdams trying on hats and getting herself a man. She seemed almost offended that the film grapples with notions of family and mortality and the way we use time and how we prioritize the people and the events in our lives. It was a much heavier meal than she expected, and it obviously upset her.

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<p>Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson seem entertained by the prospect of time traveling turkeys as we discuss their new film 'Free Birds'</p>

Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson seem entertained by the prospect of time traveling turkeys as we discuss their new film 'Free Birds'

Credit: HitFix

Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson on time travel and turkeys for animated 'Free Birds'

The laid-back stars seem pleased with their new family comedy

By far, the most laid-back interview room I've walked into this year was Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson teamed up to talk about their new animated family comedy, "Free Birds."

Wilson plays Reggie, who is an oddball in the turkey world as the film opens. He lives on a turkey farm, and he is well aware of what the endgame is regarding their existence. He knows that they are served as food, and he knows that Thanksgiving is the great enemy. When he is picked to become the Presidentially Pardoned Turkey one year, he goes home with the President and his little girl and settles in for a life of comfort, learning to love delivery pizza and television.

That's when Jake (Harrelson) shows up, a big strong dumb turkey who has a plan and a crazy story to tell. His crazy story turns out to be right, though, and he and Reggie steal a time machine with one explicit purpose: go back in history and stop the Pilgrims from making turkey the centerpiece of the original Thanksgiving.

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<p>Leonardo Di Caprio is home alone in 'The Wolf Of Wall Street,' but it's a $32 million home built off the ill-gotten gains from innocent investors.</p>

Leonardo Di Caprio is home alone in 'The Wolf Of Wall Street,' but it's a $32 million home built off the ill-gotten gains from innocent investors.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

DiCaprio and Jonah Hill play 'Wolf Of Wall Street' as black-comedy in new trailer

Could this be the savage satire we deserve about the financial crash?

The only way to approach the recent and ongoing excesses of Wall Street is through the filter of jet black comedy. Anything else would simply hurt too much at this point.

Thankfully, the new trailer for Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf Of Wall Street," which is now set for Christmas Day as our own Kris Tapley noted earlier this afternoon, suggests that Scorsese and screenwriter Terence Winter have taken the non-fiction book by Jordan Belfort, the loathsome stockbroker scumbag who is played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film, and transformed it into something that feels like a "Dr. Strangelove" by way of "Goodfellas," a wicked spin on a bunch of characters who don't care who they have to eat to get fat.

Jonah Hill is emphasized much more in this new trailer than in the original "Black Skinhead" trailer from July, and it looks like a hell of a performance. I am mesmerized by every single shot of his teeth.

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<p>It may be harder to get completely debauched when you get older, but the cast of 'Last Vegas' gives it a try.</p>

It may be harder to get completely debauched when you get older, but the cast of 'Last Vegas' gives it a try.

Credit: CBS Films

Review: De Niro and Douglas ground the obvious 'Last Vegas' amidst some solid laughs

HitFix
B-
Readers
B-
Kline and Freeman get to play and seem to have a blast doing so

"It's pretty much exactly what you think it is."

Go ahead and put that on the poster, CBS Films. If you've seen the trailer for this movie and it looks like something you might enjoy, I think it's a safe bet that you will enjoy it. "Last Vegas" is told with enough charm and energy that it should please audiences heartily. The cast, including Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, and Mary Steenburgen, makes it all seem very simple and natural and loose, and Jon Turtletaub keeps the focus on the people, not the high-concept idea of old guys on the loose in Las Vegas with a bunch of boner pills. This is much closer to the comic identity of "Cocoon" than it is to "The Hangover," and that seems to be the point.

The script by Dan Fogelman, who also wrote last year's "Crazy Stupid Love," is in the same vein as that film, nakedly sentimental but also determined to land every joke, and it's a pretty simple affair. Billy (Douglas), Paddy (De Niro), Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline) have been friends since they were kids in Flatbush, and over the years, they've always stayed in touch.

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