<p>Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy earn every penny they were paid in the new buddy cop movie 'The Heat'</p>

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy earn every penny they were paid in the new buddy cop movie 'The Heat'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: Bullock and McCarthy fans should find plenty to love in 'The Heat'

HitFix
B-
Readers
C-
All others need not apply

It's an interesting weekend. I can't honestly claim to have enjoyed either "White House Down" or "The Heat," but I would say that in both cases, if you look at the trailer and it looks like something you're interested in, go. You'll absolutely enjoy yourself.

If you want to see Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx make jokes and play "Die Hard," you'll get your money's worth. And if you think two hours of Melissa McCarthy wringing variations out of the word "fuck" while Sandra Bullock plays a tight-ass sounds hilarious, "The Heat" is going to be your favorite movie this summer.

I would give "The Heat" a truth in advertising award because they are selling you exactly the movie they made. Paul Feig is a very funny man, and working from the script by Katie Dippold, he's made exactly what he set out to make… a buddy cop film with two women in the leads. Nothing more, nothing less. In its own way, it's sort of quietly revolutionary just because they don't dress it up or pretend it's more significant. I know that when I went to go see "Beverly Hills Cop" or "Running Scared" or "Midnight Run" or whatever… what I was buying a ticket for was the combination of the specific comic personas and some gun play and car chases. It's a pretty simple formula, and "The Heat" plays by the rules, start to finish.

Read Full Post
<p>Sure, you can build it, but does anyone really need another 'Terminator' movie?</p>

Sure, you can build it, but does anyone really need another 'Terminator' movie?

Credit: Warner Bros

No one needs another 'Terminator' movie but there's one coming in 2015

Be honest... what more do you need to know?

I'm staring at the same press release that a hundred other websites have either posted or that they're getting ready to post, and I am almost unable to summon up the irritation or the outrage or the interest to write, for what feels like the thousandth time, about another unnecessary "Terminator" sequel.

Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, who are attached to write the film, are two of my favorite people in town. And Laeta in particular comes with what I'm sure would be the hearty endorsement of James Cameron himself, which is as close to being anointed the Keeper of the Flame as you can get. I have no doubt that Laeta and Patrick can write a compelling action film set in the the somewhat strangled continuity that has already been established in earlier "Terminator" projects.

And I don't care.

Read Full Post
<p>Come on... tell me it's not perfect... I dare you.</p>

Come on... tell me it's not perfect... I dare you.

Credit: Marvel Studios/Universal Pictures

Vin Diesel refers to upcoming Marvel meeting and fuels online speculation

What do you think he's right to play?

Please let him be the voice of the raccoon. Please, please, please.

Normally, taking a meeting is not enough to generate a news story, but in this case, Vin Diesel took to Facebook to announce that he had been summoned by Marvel. I think this is good news no matter what, because if there is anyone working in Hollywood right now who looks like they were genetically modified to be a comic book character, it's Vin.

It pleases me enormously that his return to the "Fast and Furious" franchise has brought Vin's career roaring back to life. While I'm not sure I'd advocate casting him in every single film ever, when Vin is used properly, and when he's playing to his strengths, I think he's ridiculous amounts of fun. And from the very first time I dealt with him, at the first Butt-Numb-A-Thon in Austin all those years ago, he has revealed himself to be a genuine, no-apologies fanboy trapped in the body of a superhero. There aren't many action heroes who would give an interview about how much they love to play D&D, but Vin has.

Read Full Post
<p>Jeff Wadlow works with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson on the set of 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

Jeff Wadlow works with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson on the set of 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Aaron Johnson talks about pumping up and digging deep for 'Kick-Ass 2'

He opens up about working with Jim Carrey in the film as well

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - My kids love that the movie "Kick-Ass" exists.

They're not allowed to see the film, and that won't change for many, many years, but they know it exists, and they positively adore saying the title of the film because it's one of the few times they won't get in trouble for using the word "ass." They find ways to work it into every conversation they can, and they can barely restrain themselves from smiling every single time.

They were thrilled when I got the word I'd be going to visit the set. They got to ask me endless questions about it before I left and even more once I got back, and one of the main ones they loved to ask was, 'When you went to watch them make 'Kick-Ass,' did you get to talk to 'Kick-Ass'?" Twice in one sentence? Heaven.

Read Full Post
<p>Ron Perlman and Charlie Day share a very strange moment in Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'</p>

Ron Perlman and Charlie Day share a very strange moment in Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

Credit: Warner Bros.

Charlie Day talks about his struggle to save the world in Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

Plus find out who Ron Perlman's biggest fan really is

TORONTO - There is something very, very wrong with Charlie Day's eye.

His left eye appears to be filled with blood after every capillary in it burst, and it makes it hard to sit across from him on the set of "Pacific Rim," amidst the smashed and ruined remains of a street in downtown Hong Kong. From where we sit, we can see a hole in the street that was created by a rampaging kaiju that was searching for Dr. Newt Geiszler. Why? Well, it might have something to do with that eye.

"Every time we do something, I go back and look it in the monitors. It's very cinematic in nature and you add that to his imagination… I mean, technically he's a really, really good director.  So then you take his love for his creations and the amazing art departments and all that, and it usually makes for something that's visually just stunning."

Read Full Post
<p>Benjamin Bratt stepped in for Al Pacino at the last minute, and we discussed the incident at the press day for 'Despicable Me 2'</p>

Benjamin Bratt stepped in for Al Pacino at the last minute, and we discussed the incident at the press day for 'Despicable Me 2'

Credit: HitFix

Benjamin Bratt speaks frankly about his last-minute addition to 'Despicable Me 2'

We discuss the technical challenges of playing someone else's part

You know who really surprised me recently at a press day? Benjamin Bratt.

He's always been one of those guys who seemed really solid. A dependable, good, meat-and-potatoes guy on camera. I never had that moment watching something that he did where I went "Holy cow, this guy's AMAZING," but how many actors do you ever really say that about? I think the vast majority of actors play parts that don't really provide those "Holy cow" moments, and that's fine.

One of the reasons a lot of actors don't like the term "character actor" is not just because it seems like a nicer way of saying "can't be a movie star," but also because that's what acting is supposed to be… bringing characters to life. It's calling it "wet water." Every actor should be a character actor, including big giant movie stars and day players alike.

Read Full Post
<p>Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, and Hayley McFarland took part in a great Q&amp;A&nbsp;after Monday's special HitFix screening of 'The Conjuring' in LA</p>

Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, and Hayley McFarland took part in a great Q&A after Monday's special HitFix screening of 'The Conjuring' in LA

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Ron Livingston and his movie daughters in a spirited post-'Conjuring' Q&A

A terrified audience discusses the new film with the cast at a special HitFix screening in LA

I love the Vista Theater in Los Angeles.

There aren't many stand-alone single-screen theaters left in this city, and I can't think of any other theater that features the kind of luxurious legroom that is one of the Vista's most winning features. When Greg Ellwood proposed the Vista as the site for our special screening of James Wan's new film "The Conjuring," I was thrilled.

Monday night, we had a full house turn out, and the film played beautifully. There are few things I love more as a film fan than being in the theater when a horror film is really working on every level. I reviewed the film last week, and seeing it again only underlined for me just how controlled and carefully built it is. I think Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are really wonderful in it, and it would have been so easy for filmmakers to make the Warrens look silly or to overplay things and really ladle on the special effects.

Read Full Post
<p>Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx hide in an elevator shaft in the thoroughly ridiculous 'White House Down'</p>

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx hide in an elevator shaft in the thoroughly ridiculous 'White House Down'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Emmerich's 'White House Down' coasts on the charisma of Foxx and Tatum

HitFix
C
Readers
B
A very familiar film offers mild pleasures thanks to casting

 It's a Roland Emmerich film.

That's pretty much all I'll need to say to most hardcore film nerds for them to know where they'll fall if they see "White House Down," but I'll go a little more in-depth here just to clarify what I mean by that.

As much as any filmmaker working right now, Roland Emmerich is a guy who can be defined by his interests. With the notable exception of "Anonymous," which I thought was overwrought and accidentally hilarious at times, his films all follow a pretty basic model of spectacle, destruction, and big broad character archetypes. He makes junk food, and he does it without apology. What I find fascinating is how much the cinema landscape has changed around him over the years, so while he hasn't changed much at all, everyone else has, and he's gone from looking like a Spielberg fan with ADD to being almost sedate compared to the way most action is shot now. Emmerich's style can be defined largely by the word "more." Whatever's going on in a scene, Emmerich will always ladle on a little more, and then a little more on top of that and then, what the hell, a little more.

Read Full Post
<p>I&nbsp;can't say his character's name, and I&nbsp;certainly can't say the name of his group of evil villains, so, uh... check out That Guy and Those Other Guys!</p>

I can't say his character's name, and I certainly can't say the name of his group of evil villains, so, uh... check out That Guy and Those Other Guys!

Credit: Universal Pictures

Christopher Mintz-Plasse discusses the pains and pleasures of returning for 'Kick-Ass 2'

We discuss the year's most disturbing costume and his new approach to his career

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - The last time I saw Christopher Mintz-Plasse before arriving on the Pinewood Studios set for "Kick-Ass 2," it was roughly 3:00 in the morning, and we had just finished recording a podcast where we discussed Rob Zombie's "Lords Of Salem," which we saw at the film's midnight screening at the Toronto Film Festival.

Chris was in Toronto to shoot exteriors for the sequel to Matthew Vaughn's 2008 adaptation of the cult hit comic series by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., and he'd never been to the festival. Talking to him about the film as they were getting started, he seemed optimistic. I met Chris for the first time on the set of "Superbad," and at that point, he was brand-new to filmmaking, figuring out what he was doing as he did it. There was an intuitive approach to his work that served him well on that film. One of the reasons that McLovin became iconic was because Chris seemed to be that guy. It didn't look like acting. It was just a case of casting doing 2/3 of the job.

Read Full Post
<p>'I Am Legend' may have been his most frequently-filmed story, but his legacy is so much richer and deeper than that.</p>

'I Am Legend' may have been his most frequently-filmed story, but his legacy is so much richer and deeper than that.

Credit: Warner Bros

Remembering the legacy of Richard Matheson, creator of 'I Am Legend'

It is sad to see him go, but he leaves behind an amazing body of work

Richard Matheson was a giant.

We don't have writers like him today because we don't have any idea what to do with them. Matheson was born in 1926, and as much as any author in any genre, his work defined and reflected the tumult of the 20th Century. He had a remarkable voice as a storyteller, and it should come as no shock to anyone to see the laundry list of authors who claim that he was their primary influence.

First published in 1950, Matheson was on fire from the moment he was introduced to a readership. I can't imagine how amazing it must have been to be part of the The Southern California Writing Group in those days, with members like Matheson, Charles Beaumont, William Nolan, Ray Bradbury, and George Clayton Johnson, all masters in their own right.

As much as Rod Serling, Matheson was responsible for what we think of today as the "Twilight Zone" style of storytelling. Short, effective pieces that immediately create a sense of time and place and voice, and which end with a punch of some kind. Matheson had a real gift for creating a fantastic scenario and then somehow finding the very identifiable reality within that.

Read Full Post