<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.

Read Full Post
<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.

Read Full Post
<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.

Read Full Post
<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.

Read Full Post
<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.

Read Full Post
<p>The first trailer for 'X-Men:&nbsp;Days Of Future Past' wisely places the emphasis on character and emotion rather than special effects and spectacle.</p>

The first trailer for 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' wisely places the emphasis on character and emotion rather than special effects and spectacle.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' trailer emphasizes character over spectacle

This could be the biggest and best film in the series so far

So far, Bryan Singer's done a pretty good job of keeping fans actively engaged during the production of "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," and it's impressive to see how much mileage you can get out of smartly timed Twitter photos of even the most innocuous things.

At Comic-Con this summer, the reaction to seeing everyone from pretty much all of the "X-Men" movies so far onstage together at once was amazing, and while I can be very cynical about the way studios stage the various events at those events, the interplay between that huge ensemble was very special. I think the series has some serious issues and they've hit some big speed bumps along the way, but I also think that Singer deserves credit for being one of the guys who helped define how modern superhero movies could work at a time when there was no proof they would at all, and him returning to the series is genuinely exciting.

Read Full Post
<p>Amy Poehler plays the wall-eyed and relentlessly cheerful Jenny in the new animated film 'Free Birds'</p>

Amy Poehler plays the wall-eyed and relentlessly cheerful Jenny in the new animated film 'Free Birds'

Credit: HitFix

Amy Poehler on Pixar, 'Parks,' and playing a turkey for 'Free Birds'

Playing optimism seems to agree with the charming comic star

It is probably safe to say that Amy Poehler is beloved these days, and I can't think of many people who deserve it more.

Looking back at her early appearances on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," I'm not sure I could have predicted this sort of career arc for her. She always seemed so feral and loony and it felt like she was either going to deliver a killer punchline or stab somebody. That was what made it so amazing to watch her work.

These days, though, she seems to have completely transformed herself, growing into someone both more eccentric and way more accessible. Her "Parks and Recreation" character Leslie Knope has become a fantastic character for her, and no doubt because of her, and it is nice to see someone whose comic persona is almost entirely driven by a sort of misguided optimism, an over-the-top dedication to helping others.

Read Full Post
<p>Dougherty's film has a genuine adoration for the culture and iconography of Halloween in every scene.</p>

Dougherty's film has a genuine adoration for the culture and iconography of Halloween in every scene.

Credit: Legendary Pictures

Legendary hosts special 'Trick'r'Treat' screening in Hollywood and online

Director Mike Dougherty discusses his film's unlikely rebirth

It seems particularly appropriate that a film as steeped in Halloween lore as Mike Dougherty's "Trick'r'Treat" is impossible to kill, once more rising from the dead to close out what sounds like it's been an amazing event here in Los Angeles, Beyond Fest, which evidently blew minds all last week with a trio of live performances by prog-rock horror icons Goblin among other things.

This evening, Beyond Fest will present a special screening of Dougherty's horror anthology, and it sounds to me like this is Legendary's way of launching whatever the next chapter in the life of "Trick'r'Treat" is going to be. One of the first real conversations I had with Thomas Tull was about this movie, an early production by the studio, and something they have been passionate about since day one. The film never quite managed an actual theatrical release, but it has still managed to build a fairly devoted audience, and deservedly so. It is a clever, nasty little bit of business, and it seems like they could easily build off of this first film to pull off what John Carpenter and Debra Hill once envisioned as the way to manage the "Halloween" franchise, unrelated films all connected only by the date on which they take place. Dougherty didn't really tackle the film like a typical horror filmmaker. It's got a very particular, very odd sensibility, and it stands out because it doesn't have the same voice as everything else in the genre.

Read Full Post
<p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(62, 62, 62); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; ">If this season doesn't end with Kenny Powers and his dancing robot embarking on a road trip together, I am going to be bitterly disappointed.</span></p>

If this season doesn't end with Kenny Powers and his dancing robot embarking on a road trip together, I am going to be bitterly disappointed.

Credit: HBO/Fred Norris

Kenny Powers makes terrible choices and monkeys around on 'Eastbound & Down'

Is Kenny heading for a major fall?

"Water. Mother Nature's piss. It's what brings us here today."

Kenny Powers has learned absolutely nothing, and it terrifies me.

On the one hand, Kenny and April speak to each other in a way that they never could in previous seasons, and the scene where they're in bed at the beginning of the episode and Kenny's making it rain is both vintage Kenny but also tender in the only way he seems capable of being tender. He's kidding, of course, and he makes a few crazy ladyboy jokes, but underneath that, there's a different level of communication. When you look back at that first season, April is right to treat Kenny like he's garbage, because he pretty much is garbage. Maybe that's why I'm so invested in seeing Kenny pull things together this season. He's come so far, and if he ruins things this time, I don't see where he gets another chance at things down the road.

He's already defied the odds repeatedly, and it feels like he's unaware of just how lucky he's been.
Ken Marino's Guy Young is the wall that Kenny's racing towards at 150 MPH, and I'm not sure Kenny even knows where the brakes are. It's like Kenny has no radar whatsoever for when he's starting to seriously antagonize people, and he expects that when things in his life start going well, then everyone else has to feel the same way he feels. He wants to see April enjoying their new success the same way he's enjoying it, and he wants his brother (John Hawkes, who always grounds the show in a different sort of reality when he shows up) to forgive him for past offenses simply because he's flush, and he behaves like he's rich when the truth is that he's employed, and nothing more. Kenny strikes me as one of the most quintessential modern American characters on film or TV because of how firmly he seems to be able to simply shrug off reality when he doesn't like it.

Read Full Post
<p>To prepare for every scene in the film, Burt Reynolds would actually make love to the mirrors in his trailer during the production of Hal Needham's 'Smokey &amp;&nbsp;The Bandit'</p>

To prepare for every scene in the film, Burt Reynolds would actually make love to the mirrors in his trailer during the production of Hal Needham's 'Smokey & The Bandit'

Credit: Universal Pictures

We look back at Hal Needham's great 'Smokey & The Bandit' to mark his passing

Plus we throw a little love at 'The Villain'

When "Smokey and the Bandit" is your debut film as a director, you get a place in the pantheon, no matter what else you end up doing.

Hal Needham was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1931. He had an amazing run as a stuntman before he ever got behind the camera, and when you look at the full list of how many films and TV shows he worked on during his career over on IMDb, it is a stunning amount of work he did. It's hard to calculate where he had his greatest impact on the industry. I would argue safety is the thing that he should be known for first, because he was absolutely one of the guys who helped modernize the stunt craft in film. He was a big believer in mechanical devices, like a crazed Rube Goldberg with a taste for obvious jokes and giant car crashes, and he helped create and mainstream a number of inventions over the years.

Last year, Kristopher Tapley wrote a pretty great look at the evening where Needham was rewarded by the Academy at the Governors Awards. Quentin Tarantino was one of several people who helped present the award. It's a pretty big deal in terms of Academy politics because of how few times they've even acknowledged that stunts exist, one of the strangest blind spots that the Academy has. I'd never heard the story about Needham firing a missile by accident and burning down the soundstage where "Pennies From Heaven" was filming, but that's awesome.

Read Full Post