Samuel L. Jackson says he is 'Jesus of Comic-Con' as we discuss 'Kingsman'
Credit: HitFix

Samuel L. Jackson says he is 'Jesus of Comic-Con' as we discuss 'Kingsman'

He's having so much fun, it's hard to believe this is work

"I just wanted to figure out how long I had to stay alive to shoot nine pictures."

I've done a lot of interviews at a lot of events over the years, and I have to give special credit to 20th Century Fox this year for staging one of the most orderly and relaxed afternoons I can remember. They had a place on top of the Hard Rock Cafe. Nothing major. A suite with a long balcony and a hot tub area. They had some tables set up on the balcony with food. They had some chairs. And they had an area where we were able to set up to talk to a group of people representing the slate they had that afternoon.

Samuel L. Jackson is an icon at this point. He has put his stamp on this era of cinema in a way few people ever could. The number of films he's been in, the range of films he's been in… it will be impossible to tell the story of mainstream filmmaking from 1990 - (let's hope ) 2030 or so without including Jackson and seeing his face constantly. That seems to delight him.

Read Full Post
Zoe Saldana is a happy underdog with a secret in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'
Credit: HitFix

Zoe Saldana is a happy underdog with a secret in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

And, yes, she thinks Gamora is pretty

When I visited the set of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," one of the things that struck me about my conversation with Zoe Saldana was how concerned she was with Gamora's aesthetic impact. More specifically, she really wanted her to be pretty.

Seems, then, a natural place to start when discussing the finished film with the busiest woman in science-fiction. Saldana's been working for a while, but with "Avatar," "Star Trek," and now "Guardians," she's cornered the market on a certain kind of character. She can be violent and deadly and powerful, but she is also always deeply empathetic, able to open that up and really project a feeling of nurturing and understanding.

Read Full Post
Legendary sets up a possible 'Avengers' style crossover for King Kong and Godzilla
Credit: Universal/Legendary/Warner Bros

Legendary sets up a possible 'Avengers' style crossover for King Kong and Godzilla

Could they stop by 'Jurassic World' on their way to 'Skull Island'?

While I wouldn't exactly call it a shock, it is a thrill to see Legendary come out strong and stake their claim on "Godzilla 2." The real treat of them going back for a second film is going to be seeing how Toho lets them play with the other toys in the toy box.

One of the things that became clear as they showed their "secret" Monarch footage today is that they have big plans for the Godzilla series. Gareth Edwards has a very dry British wit, and that was on full display when he did his taped message for the audience from San Francisco where he's supposedly supervising the rebuilding of the city. He talked about how he needed to take a break from the pressure of working on high-profile properties that fanboys will have opinions about, a lovely nod to his impending "Star Wars" adventure, and then was interrupted by Godzilla, who was on Alcatraz island, unhappy to be caged in by the military.

Read Full Post
Peter Jackson promises the biggest of big finishes in 'Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies' teaser
Credit: Warner Bros/New Line

Peter Jackson promises the biggest of big finishes in 'Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies' teaser

Could Peter Jackson stick the biggest landing of his life?

"Will you follow me one last time?"

It was interesting how different my reaction to Saturday's panel for "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" was to the reaction Greg Ellwood had. I agree with him that Cate Blanchett was positively radiant and that Stephen Colbert couldn't have been funnier in his unbridled nerd enthusiasm for all things Tolkien. I think everyone on the panel was great. I love these people, no doubt about it. And as I've written, I think the "Hobbit" films so far are good at what they're doing and getting better, while still not as great as the work he did on "Lord Of The Rings."

Read Full Post
Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman prepare for war in 'Mockingjay' teaser
Credit: Lionsgate

Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman prepare for war in 'Mockingjay' teaser

This one's going to play rough

Now that's what I call a teaser.

Not because it's the most amazing thing I've ever seen, keep in mind, but rather because it's a tease, and that's about it.

Read Full Post
'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' footage is playful and badass all at once
Credit: Marvel Studios

'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' footage is playful and badass all at once

There are no strings on the creepiest Marvel movie bad guy yet

The Marvel panel really only focused on the two 2015 releases this time, and that's fine. It gave them time to have all of the Avengers come out and discuss the movie and play around and be super charming, because they are.

It also meant that they cut a longer than average sizzle reel to show the crowd. They're still working on the movie, but they're pretty far into the process at this point, so what they had to show us was surprisingly finished, and it was very impressive. I visited the London sets for the film, and the first scene they showed was shot on one of the most impressive sets I've ever seen, a three-story completely accurate version of The Avengers Tower, complete with labs for Tony and Bruce and a downstairs that leads to a Quinjet landing pad. Wildly impressive.

Read Full Post
Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas make an odd couple in first special 'Ant-Man' footage

Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas make an odd couple in first special 'Ant-Man' footage

Marvel brings a very intriguing tease to Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO - Marvel Studios began their Saturday panel with an opening preview reel that was basically a refresher as they ran through all ten of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wrapping up with new footage from "Guardians Of The Galaxy," including a truly awesome shot of Thanos. It was great seeing a visual reminder of just how each of the puzzle pieces was dropped into place, how they've become more adventurous with each new film, how they've started playing with style and tone. Wrapping it up with Chris Pratt snarling, "We're the guardians of the galaxy, bitch" drove Hall H wild, which was a heck of a way for Team Marvel to take the stage.

Read Full Post
Mad Max lives as George Miller debuts remarkable 'Fury Road' footage
Credit: Warner Bros.

Mad Max lives as George Miller debuts remarkable 'Fury Road' footage

Sizzle reel shows off Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron

As exciting as the "Batman v Superman" footage was, I have to confess that the massive sizzle reel that George Miller brought to show from "Max Max: Fury Road" caused a huge emotional reaction for me, and I think it comes down to the importance of "The Road Warrior" to me as a fan of movie action in general.

Read Full Post
<p>&#39;Batman V Superman&#39;</p>

'Batman V Superman'

Credit: Warner Bros.

Surprise 'Batman v Superman' footage blows minds at Comic Con

'Dawn Of Justice' sneak peek plays directly to Zack Snyder's strengths

I'm losing my mind.

That may not be the most professional way to describe it, but as someone who has been steeped in the iconography of Batman and Superman since childhood, the simple teaser that Zack Snyder brought with him today was awfully persuasive.

Read Full Post
New trailer for Chris Nolan's 'Interstellar' shows off the strong '2001' influence
Credit: Paramount

New trailer for Chris Nolan's 'Interstellar' shows off the strong '2001' influence

This looks like one surreal science-fiction trip

When Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey took the stage of Hall H on Thursday afternoon, it was a genuine surprise to most people in the room. As it turns out, it was a pleasant surprise for the studio as well, who weren't sure it was going to happen until very early Thursday morning.

If they had not been there, the new trailer for the movie would have had to speak for itself, and I suspect it would have been fine. Instead, the director and the star did a nice job of setting the table for the trailer, which should be in theaters soon, and presumably online as well.

Read Full Post