<p>Looks like Lucas Till is enlisting for 'X-Men:&nbsp;Days Of Future Past' after all</p>

Looks like Lucas Till is enlisting for 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' after all

Credit: 20th Century Fox

On the eve of Comic-Con, a flurry of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' rumors arrive online

Are we excited yet?

If I were a betting man, I'd put a little money down on the possibility of 20th Century Fox featuring "Days Of Future Past" at their Comic-Con panel this weekend.

For one thing, it's the single most important franchise that the studio owns at the moment. They are determined to figure out how to keep "X-Men" movies churning out for the near future, and a big part of that game plan is getting this next movie right. Sure, they're hoping "The Wolverine" is a hit with audiences, but the one that has to work is "Days Of Future Past." After all, it's based on arguably the biggest storyline to ever be published in that series, and if they do get it right, they'll be able to cross their original trilogy with the rebooted "First Class" in a way that means it is all part of one big series.

Read Full Post
<p>Both of my kids thought this was MechaGodzilla at first glance. In related news, my kids are awesome.</p>

Both of my kids thought this was MechaGodzilla at first glance. In related news, my kids are awesome.

Credit: Mondo/Phantom City Creative

A striking new 'Godzilla' poster for Comic-Con raises the question of apocalypse fatigue

At what point have we had enough of the end of the world?

One of the things that filmmakers would do well to take away from this year as an important lesson is that we have reached the point of apocalyptic overload as a collective audience.

It makes sense. One of the things that special effects crews have gotten very good at is destroying cities. At this point, it's such a familiar image that it almost doesn't register in terms of how horrifying it would be if it were real. Last night, my oldest son was in my office and a preview for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" came on before whatever movie I had put in the player. He hasn't seen the film, but he stopped to look at the trailer, and the big "money shot," if you will, is the total and immediate destruction of London. Looking at it out of context like that, as a thrown-away bit of mayhem designed to get you to buy a ticket, it struck me as really distasteful.

One of the biggest sticking points regarding "Man Of Steel" for many of you appears to be the way the chaos and destruction of the final battle with Zod escalates and the sheer scale of the destruction. As violent as that fight is, what I found upsetting in the film was the effect of the World Engine, the terraforming device that consists of two machines, one on either side of the planet. The destruction caused by that device is truly horrible to witness, and I don't think Zack Snyder downplayed that at all. You see cars and buildings and people sucked up into the gravity field and then slammed back to Earth with such brutality that you know nothing could survive it.

Read Full Post
<p>JK&nbsp;Rowling, seen here at a 'Harry Potter' event in 2011, managed to have a commercial and critical hit this spring under the fake name 'Robert Galbraith'</p>

JK Rowling, seen here at a 'Harry Potter' event in 2011, managed to have a commercial and critical hit this spring under the fake name 'Robert Galbraith'

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

JK Rowling publishes acclaimed mystery 'The Cuckoo's Calling' under a pseudonym

Now that the secret's out, what will her next fake name be?

At the start of this summer, I decided to finally read "The Casual Vacancy" by JK Rowling, and I burned through it quickly.

I think it's a great read, a very angry book about the definition of community in today's England. It's well-observed, it's adult, and it doesn't pull any punches as it barrels towards a painful, upsetting finish. It is not what you would expect from her, and it suggests that the England of her Potter books is even more of a fantasy construct than one might think.

After all, she wrote a series of books about the coming of age of a powerful boy wizard and, just as importantly, the generation of magicians his own age, all of them shaped by the events of all seven of the books. She did so without ever suggesting more explicit relationships as the kids grew older, hormones kicked in, and they got ready to graduate from Hogwart's.

Read Full Post
<p>I hope the sequel is just three solid hours of this and fart sounds.</p>

I hope the sequel is just three solid hours of this and fart sounds.

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Because absolutely no one asked, Johnny Depp signs to make 'Alice In Wonderland 2'

But at least he'll be able to buy another island

One of the worst things about the miserable "Alice In Wonderland" was the way it served as a needless sequel to the original story, casting Alice as a warrior who was part of some ancient prophecy, returning to "Underland" after a long absence. Because of that structure, the notion of a sequel to that film becomes even more narratively useless than normal.

But, hey, at least Johnny Depp can count on another $50 million or so.

I wouldn't care as much if it seemed like Depp was still doing a "one for them, one for me" sort of thing, but it's been a while since he's been that guy. Sure, he helped Bruce Robinson finally get a film made again with "The Rum Diary," but part of that is the debt that he felt like he owed Hunter S. Thompson, who always wanted a film version made from that book. Most of his credits for the last few years have been brutally mainstream, and it's getting harder and harder to remain a fan of the guy's work when they announce a fifth "Pirates" movie or a wildly unwanted "Wonderland" sequel.

Read Full Post
<p>Hugh Jackman didn't stab me even one time during our conversation about 'The Wolverine,' so I'll count that as a victory.</p>

Hugh Jackman didn't stab me even one time during our conversation about 'The Wolverine,' so I'll count that as a victory.

Credit: HitFix

Hugh Jackman talks about playing the character for the sixth time in 'The Wolverine'

Plus find out what he happily stole from Darren Aronofsky

It's not often that my eight-year-old son and my seventy-something-year-old mother are both jealous of me over the same interview, but that pretty much sums up the preposterously broad appeal of Hugh Jackman.

"The Wolverine" marks the sixth time that he has played the character, and he'll do it again next summer for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," and at this point, I'd say he owns the character in terms of public perception. What makes "The Wolverine" work is the way it builds off of even the less successful films in the series to explore the sadness and pain that drive the character at this point.

I stopped in New York for approximately 24 hours on my way back from London, and within an hour of me getting to my hotel, I was sitting across from Jackman, jet-lagged and punchy and not entirely sure what was going on. Even so, as soon as you start talking to the guy, he's so engaged and enthusiastic that you want to respond in kind.

Read Full Post
<p>Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield are front-and-center in the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's SF&nbsp;masterpiece 'Ender's Game'</p>

Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield are front-and-center in the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's SF masterpiece 'Ender's Game'

Credit: Lionsgate

Lionsgate issues official response to growing 'Ender's Game' author controversy

Does the author's personal opinion affect your interest in the movie?

Last night, a Twitter account called "Phoenix Movie Bears" asked me if I had an opinion about Orson Scott Card and his rabid anti-gay rhetoric. As a group of LBGT movie fans, it is an important question to them, and it looks like they asked the question of a large number of people. Some webmasters wrote back that they will be covering "Ender's Game" because they are interested in it as a movie, and they seemed to accept that without argument. Personally, I have not spent a lot of time on the subject in print because I felt like the most effective way to deal with it was to simply go silent. At this point, publicity is publicity, and "good" or "bad" doesn't really enter into the equation.

But today, Lionsgate sent out an official statement on what is obviously starting to become a problem for them, and it seems like this is as good a moment as any to weigh in. I'm only going to do this once, because I made the decision at the start of the year that I would not be reviewing "Ender's Game" or covering it during production. That hasn't changed. I love the book, and in fact just put it onto my oldest son's Kindle as one of the many science-fiction novels he was given for his birthday. I hope he enjoys it.

When it comes to supporting Card today, though, I'm unable to see my way clear to ignore his nauseating homophobia. And while Lionsgate seems to believe his current attitudes have nothing to do with their film, I'd say that's not true. The book may not reflect his views, but as the author, he's going to benefit from the financial success and high profile of the movie. He is tied to "Ender's Game" on a profound level, and I have a hard time seeing how anyone could claim otherwise.

Read Full Post
<p>Hiccup is back and he's figured out a new way to travel in 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'</p>

Hiccup is back and he's figured out a new way to travel in 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks Animation

Gorgeous teaser trailer for 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' takes flight

I love the simplicity of this one

As teaser trailers go, this one's kind of terrific.

So often these days, marketing feels like a blunt instrument designed to beat you into submission. "YOU. WILL. SEE. THIS. MOVIE. OR. YOU. ARE. A. LOSER." It's so aggressive that it can become numbing by the time a film finally rolls into theaters.

Here, though, there seems to be a trust that this moment is enough to remind us of the tactile pleasures of "How To Train Your Dragon" while promising that things have changed enough to warrant a new trip to the theater. The flying sequences in the first film, especially if you saw the film in a great 3D theater, were incredibly immersive and beautiful, and the way they both remind you of that while introducing this one new element is enormously effective.

Read Full Post
<p>Believe me... there's not much smiling or laughing in 'The Conjuring,' which is the summer's scariest movie.</p>

Believe me... there's not much smiling or laughing in 'The Conjuring,' which is the summer's scariest movie.

Credit: HitFix

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga talk about faith and fear in James Wan's 'The Conjuring'

The stars of the year's scariest movie talk about the way it came together

I sincerely hope that "The Conjuring" is just the first of many films in which Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play Ed and Lorraine Warren.

After all, the Warrens spent decades investigating paranormal phenomena in real life, and the film introduces a structure that practically screams for sequels. We see that the Warrens have in their home a room where they keep all of the various items they have removed from the haunted houses and the other supernatural events they've witnessed, and that room serves as a sort of museum and safehouse in one. Everything in that room has a story of its own, and "The Conjuring" begins with the story of the Annabelle doll, a sort of introductory haunting to show us who the Warrens are.

Read Full Post
<p>Seriously... someone book these guys on a comedy tour, because they are awesome together.</p>

Seriously... someone book these guys on a comedy tour, because they are awesome together.

Credit: HitFix

Charlie Day and Ron Perlman dig deep into the details of 'Pacific Rim'

Can we get twenty more films starring these two together?

I saved this one for last.

After all, you don't often witness chemisty as immediate and as just plain weird as whatever's going on between Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. In "Pacific Rim," Charlie Day stars as a scientist who has devoted his life to the study of the kaiju, the giant monsters that have been pouring out of a hole at the bottom of the ocean. I love Day's work in the film, and I think they made some sensational choices in terms of his look. I love that he's got tattoo sleeves that are all kaiju that have fallen in battle. His character is trying to contribute something to the war efforts that is totally different from what the Jaeger pilots do, but just as valuable.

It's because of his efforts that he comes into contact with Hannibal Chau, played by Ron Perlman, who is such a brother to the film's director at this point that Perlman could probably get away with changing his last name to Del Toro. Chau runs the black market for kaiju organs and anything else they can salvage when these giant monsters fall. Even thought Day is playing a kaiju expert working for the military, he still have no choice but to reach out to Chau. There is something he needs that only Chau can provide, and from the moment they meet, there is this great tense mood of near-violence between them.

Read Full Post
<p>There's so much cool in this room that air conditioning was redundant.</p>

There's so much cool in this room that air conditioning was redundant.

Credit: HitFix

Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba discuss the human side of 'Pacific Rim'

It's not all just monsters and mayhem

One of the things that surprised me after I took my sons to see "Pacific Rim" is how certain details landed for them.

For example, there's a moment in the film where Charlie Hunnam's character, Raleigh, is trying to make a point to Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), and he grabs his arm. Elba turns around, surprised that anyone would consider grabbing his arm a good idea, and says something to Hunnam. The line he says has become a permanent part of Allen's vocabulary, and it was an immediate thing. He cackled in the theater, and I've heard him quote the line about twenty times now in different situations.

When I asked him why the line entertained him so much, he told me, "Because, daddy, he's awesome."

Read Full Post