<p>Hard to believe that it's taken forty years for footage from the infamous Jerry Lewis film 'The Day The Clown Cried' to leak.</p>

Hard to believe that it's taken forty years for footage from the infamous Jerry Lewis film 'The Day The Clown Cried' to leak.

Credit: Jerry Lewis

Is this the closest we'll ever come to seeing Jerry Lewis in 'The Day The Clown Cried'?

A fascinating glimpse of a very famous troubled movie

If I could snap my fingers and magically see any movie that already exists right now, there is no question in my mind what film I'd watch. I have been fascinated by the stories about the Jerry Lewis film "The Day The Clown Cried" since the very first time I heard about it.

And why wouldn't I be? The premise is fairly audacious, and the idea that Lewis finished it, looked at it, and immediately ordered it to be buried forever only makes it that much more enticing. I am just as interested in art that fails as I am in art that succeeds, because I think those failures can be incredibly revealing about the artists and the decisions they were making. Jerry Lewis is someone I have grown up watching, and my feelings about him have changed repeatedly over the years. There were times I liked him, times I hated him, times I have considered him both overrated or unjustly overlooked, and when you look at his career as a whole, there's almost no way to dismiss that he is a major part of Hollywood's comedy and filmmaking history.

My own kids have been introduced to his work. The first film I showed them of his was "The Bellboy," and they ended up watching it three times in a week, watching certain scenes repeatedly each time they screened the film. It's amazing to see how far ahead Lewis seemed to think at times, and how he also couldn't resist some of the cheapest gags possible. He appears to be at war with his own sense of taste at times, and that only makes it more interesting to watch his work.

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<p>That looks about right for a Vin Diesel character.</p>

That looks about right for a Vin Diesel character.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Vin Diesel drops a Facebook hint that he's voicing Groot in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

Does Marvel know about this?

"I am Groot!"

If Vin Diesel's not-so-subtle hint today on Facebook is indeed accurate, then it looks like the "Fast and Furious" star could be providing the voice for one of the strangest Marvel characters to make the jump to the big screen so far.

I think it's pretty clear that I've been enthusiastic about James Gunn's film version of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," and I particularly dig the idea that they're playing the film as comedy as much as action or science-fiction. I've seen that Comic-Con footage twice now, and I am just fascinated by the entire production. Gunn is starting to look like an inspired choice for the project, and his casting seems to me to be dead on. I'm not sure Chris Pratt would have been at the top of any list for any Marvel movie for me, but now that I've seen him as Star Lord, I think it's a natural fit. Zoe Saldana is rocking the green, as is Dave Bautista, and I think I could watch a whole movie of John C. Reilly and Peter Serafinowicz just discussing various alien prisoners.

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<p>You see that smile?&nbsp;That's because it's Greg asking the questions and not me.</p>

You see that smile? That's because it's Greg asking the questions and not me.

Credit: HitFix

'Tomorrowland' co-writer Damon Lindelof discusses keeping secrets in the media age at D23 Expo

And he's not especially happy with me

You know, I thought we had gotten past this, but evidently not.

It is a very delicate dance that we all try to engage in when we write about films in production, particularly films where there is a very high desire for information from the fan community. Today, Disney is no doubt debating whether or not they handled all things "Star Wars" correctly at the D23 Expo. I don't think they could have brought anything more than they did, but it is obvious just from looking at Twitter or websites or Facebook that people who attended the event today absolutely expected more than they got.

When I published a piece about "Tomorrowland" earlier this year, I went too far. I said that in the days right afterwards, both on the site and in private communications to the people making the film. It was a case of being surprised to have so much information fall into my lap in the way it did and being aware that because I had it, others would have it as well, and making the judgment call to publish so that I could at least try to set it in a context of sorts.

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<p>It seems only fitting that one of the big films at this year's D23 Expo actually stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.</p>

It seems only fitting that one of the big films at this year's D23 Expo actually stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Hanks as Disney, 'Muppets Most Wanted,' Jolie's 'Maleficent,' and Marvel all shine at D23

Plus Lindelof and Bird tease 'Tomorrowland' and 'Star Wars' sits it out

ANAHEIM - Being in my seat inside the D23 Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center in time for this morning's live-action presentation meant I was out of bed by 6:00 this morning. That was the hard part, though, and now that we're actually here and seated, it seems like Disney's gone out of their way to make sure everything is smooth sailing once you're actually on-site.

Dave Lewis is going to be posting breaking news stories out of the live-action panel this morning, which Disney is calling "LET THE ADVENTURES BEGIN." We know they'll be featuring "Saving Mr. Banks," the film about Walt Disney wooing P.L. Travers so she'll let him make a "Mary Poppins" film, as well as "Thor: The Dark World," Brad Bird's mysterious "Tomorrowland," and beyond that, it's all pretty much a secret. I've heard there will not be a major "Star Wars" announcement, but of course, that could just be smoke and mirrors. We'll see.

I'm not normally a live-blogger, and when I see how good some of our guys are at it during Comic-Con, I know the bar is set high. I'll do my best today to give you some ongoing sense of what it's like to be here, though, and of the highlights as the various presentations unfold.

Just waiting for things to get underway now. Hopefully it will be very close to the 10:30 start time that was stated.

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<p>Sure, he looks like Clint Eastwood starring in the Mr.&nbsp;Rogers biopic, but Sharlto Copley is a true original in the work he's doing with Neill Blomkamp these days.</p>

Sure, he looks like Clint Eastwood starring in the Mr. Rogers biopic, but Sharlto Copley is a true original in the work he's doing with Neill Blomkamp these days.

Credit: HitFix

Sharlto Copley talks about how he builds his over the top character in Blomkamp's 'Elysium'

Copley seems happy to push things to the breaking point

When Sharlto Copley was shooting "The A-Team," there were rumors I heard several people repeat about dailies really upsetting some of the execs at Fox because they had no idea what they were looking at. Sharlto Copley's performance had them allegedly terrified and they weren't sure any of it would cut together. I don't really believe the exaggerated lengths that the stories then went on to describe, but I can imagine that the first time he made a film for someone besides Neill Blomkamp, it must have been a major attitude adjustment.

After all, he and Blomkamp are friends first, guys who share this particular world view, this perspective that is shaped by where they came from, and that absolutely affects how you work with someone. When Blomkamp talks to Alice Braga or Matt Damon, I'm sure he's good at conveying what it is he has in mind, but when he's directing "Sharl," as he calls him, that's a whole different level of communication.

I ran my interview the other day with Matt Damon where he was talking enthusiastically about working with Copley and about how amazing his work in "District 9" was from a performance point-of-view. I don't think I fully grasped how much character work he was doing in that film until I rewatched it recently. Now I can see all the little details, all the choices he made in building that character, and I can appreciate them in light of seeing how he approaches the mad dog soldier of fortune he's playing in "Elysium."

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<p>You will learn to name each one of these characters, and you will spend both time and money making sure every one of them is in your house in some way. Welcome to the world of 'Planes'</p>

You will learn to name each one of these characters, and you will spend both time and money making sure every one of them is in your house in some way. Welcome to the world of 'Planes'

Credit: Disney Toons

Review: Disney's 'Planes' offers up exactly what you think it will

HitFix
C
Readers
n/a
Parents know exactly what they're getting into with this one

Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly posted a chat with John Lasseter about the way things are divided between the three different animation companies that all work now under the broader umbrella of "Disney." Walt Disney Feature Animation has always been the crown jewel for the studio, and many of the biggest landmarks in the company's history have been thanks to the efforts of WDFA. Pixar, which began as an independent studio, now operates with what seems to be some autonomy, but considering Lasseter is part of everything now, I'm not sure I see why they bother with the distinction. I'll be honest... what I think of as Pixar is really just a loose collection of very talented people who, when collaborating, represented one of the best story departments in the industry.

Then there's Disney Toons, and I would imagine the people working there must feel a bit like the red-headed stepchild, especially when the main message of the press materials so far has been "We started work on this as a direct-to-video quickie, but it looked nicer than we expected, so we decided to squeeze out a few bucks in the theater first."

Is that fair? Is that what you should carry in with you if you go to see "Planes"?

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<p>Matt Damon seems to have recovered nicely from the demanding shoot of his new film 'Elysium'</p>

Matt Damon seems to have recovered nicely from the demanding shoot of his new film 'Elysium'

Credit: HitFix

Matt Damon seems like a huge Sharlto Copley fanboy after their 'Elysium' experience

He also discusses how Blomkamp's approach helped establish the world

Matt Damon has managed to stake out a very interesting niche for himself as a filmmaker and actor, and I am constantly impressed at how he manages to pull it off.

By any standards, you have to consider him a major movie star, yet whenever I've had a conversation with him, he's one of the most normal, casual guys I can imagine. Someone like George Clooney has a sort of aura where you are constantly aware of the reactions of everyone around him, where even if he's not trying to turn it on, he creates this ripple just by walking through a room. I honestly believe Damon could get away with relative anonymity if that's what he wanted. He's certainly able to turn up the wattage for the films he's in, but in person, he strikes me more like a dad I'd meet at a Little League practice than a movie star selling a $100-million-plus production.

One thing I've heard repeatedly from people who have worked with Damon is that he's a great collaborator, willing to put the film's needs above his personal needs. There are plenty of actors who will ask for changes that are about their image or their public persona, but Damon seems like much more of a big picture guy, someone whose goal is always to make the film better overall.

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<p>For all the chemistry James Deen and Lindsay Lohan have in 'The Canyons,' they could have shot their roles separately against greenscreens.</p>

For all the chemistry James Deen and Lindsay Lohan have in 'The Canyons,' they could have shot their roles separately against greenscreens.

Credit: IFC Films

Review: The Lindsay Lohan freakshow is not enough to make the hollow, ugly 'Canyons' worthwhile

HitFix
F
Readers
n/a
Is this really the best gig Paul Schrader can get these days?

It's funny timing, me running a piece last night in which I responded to the accusations by the filmmakers behind "The Lone Ranger" that critics pre-write their reviews of films. I think those guys are doing damage control, playing a shell game of sorts by saying what they said, but the truth is that certain films do make their first appearance already bloodied, targets painted on their backs in vivid red, and there is no doubt that Paul Schrader's "The Canyons" is one of those films.

The opening credits of the film have a haunting quality that I hoped the film as a whole would possess, stationary shots of abandoned theaters, movie palaces that have been left to the elements. But from scene one, there is a dissonance between Paul Schrader's visual work with photographer John DeFazio and the quality of the performances, and I have to confess, the entire thing just made me sad.

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<p>Contrary to popular rumor, Neill Blomkamp did not play the bad guy in 'Pretty In Pink'</p>

Contrary to popular rumor, Neill Blomkamp did not play the bad guy in 'Pretty In Pink'

Credit: HitFix

Neill Blomkamp talks about how details matter when world-building for 'Elysium'

What is it that makes his worlds feel so real?

One of the things that was immediately apparent when I saw "District 9" for the first time is that Neill Blomkamp has a fantastic eye for detail. Everything about that movie is in service of selling the reality, and when I recently rewatched it, I found myself repeatedly laughing at the tactile sense of place that Blomkamp's films evoke.

In "Elysium," it's even more critical that environment serve as storyteller, and the decision to shoot in real Mexican dumps, using those to double as Los Angeles, is both bold and slightly terrifying. I can't imagine the stress of taking a movie star as well known as Matt Damon to a location shoot in a place where kidnapping is an industry, and there's no way I would have been able to stop thinking about John Wayne's health problems after shooting "The Conqueror" as I was running around that dump amidst toxic materials and wind machines. When you see how it all reads on film, though, Blomkamp made the right call. It doesn't feel like a set, like something put together by a production designer, but instead feels like what it is, a monument of human waste, built over time.

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<p>Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Douglas Smith are on a quest for the Golden Fleece in 'Percy Jackson:&nbsp;Sea of Monsters'</p>

Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Douglas Smith are on a quest for the Golden Fleece in 'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: 'Percy Jackson' sequel plays it safe and aims for a franchise

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
How great is it that this one was directed by a guy named Thor?

Chris Columbus is, at this point, the movie studio equivalent of an explorer, the first guy to get somewhere, the one who plants the flag and moves on. When he made the first two films in the "Harry Potter" series, he made decisions that resonated through the entire seven movies, no matter how strong a voice anyone who followed him brought to the table.

On the first "Percy Jackson," he was obviously hired to give 20th Century Fox the same sort of franchise that Warner Bros. spun from all things Potter, and while it was nowhere near the same sort of cultural phenomenon, it did well enough, especially when international box-office was considered, and they did indeed end up springing for the sequel, which arrives in theaters tomorrow.

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