<p>It all comes down to this for Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), Kick-Ass (Aaron&nbsp;Taylor-Johnson), and The Supervillain Formerly Known As Red-Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

It all comes down to this for Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and The Supervillain Formerly Known As Red-Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: Universal PIctures

Review: 'Kick-Ass 2' offers a nasty, rowdy look at the ugly consequences of violence

HitFix
B
Readers
F
The real-world superhero sequel is an intentionally nasty ride

As much as I enjoy the "Kick-Ass" films, and I unapologetically do, what I enjoy more is watching the range of reactions that people have to the movies. The first film was embraced enthusiastically by one crowd I saw it with, and roundly rejected at another screening. I've seen people get spitting mad about these movies and what they mean, and I've heard people enthuse about some truly questionable things contained in the films.

As adaptations, both movies are fascinating exercises in pushing the envelope while also playing it safe regarding a rating. I don't think there was any danger that either one of the films would have gotten an NC-17, but if you were to just treat the original comics by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. as storyboards, the thing you'd get as a result would be an NC-17 no one would bother appealing because it would so obviously deserve it. Matthew Vaughn's movie streamlined relationships and also adjusted certain choices that made Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) a much more conventionally heroic figure. For the new film, writer/director Jeff Wadlow has taken material from the comic mini-series "Kick-Ass 2" as well as material from the spin-off series "Hit Girl" and he has built very carefully off of the end of the first "Kick-Ass" film to come up with something that I think does a good job of expressing the idea that the black and white notions of heroism and villainy that comic books sell to their readers are both ridiculous and dangerous.

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<p>Chloe Grace-Moretz seems awfully relaxed considering the non-stop work schedule she's had both making and promoting 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

Chloe Grace-Moretz seems awfully relaxed considering the non-stop work schedule she's had both making and promoting 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: HitFix

Chloe Grace-Moretz talks about the surprising similarities between Hit Girl and Carrie

How is Mindy handling life without Big Daddy?

There are people I interview every year or so who seem to be basically the same people every time we talk. They may change their haircuts or make some superficial change to their appearance, but they don't really change.

With Chloe Grace-Moretz, though, every time we check in, I am struck by how much she's grown, both in terms of height (she's got to be at least a foot and a half taller now than when we first met) and in terms of maturity. She has become a very poised and confident young woman these days, and each new film she makes seems to expand both her ability and her ambition.

Since the first time we spoke, she has worked with with Martin Scorsese, Kimberly Pierce, and Tim Burton. She has gone toe-to-toe with Alec Baldwin on "30 Rock" to hilarious effect, and she has tackled difficult emotional material in films like "Let Me In" and "Hick." Even so, she is still a teenager, and what I find most encouraging about our chats every so often is that even as she puts together this impressive resume and turns in smart, sensitive performances, she still sometimes seems like a goofy, silly teenage girl, and that's got to be a healthy thing.

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<p>I've heard the special edition of the autobiography has actual finger-paintings by Brick included with every purchase.</p>

I've heard the special edition of the autobiography has actual finger-paintings by Brick included with every purchase.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Ron Burgundy's autobiography hits shelves in November just ahead of new movie

I assume this is what Will Ferrell used for research

It's starting to look like 2013 is the year of Ron Burgundy.

It's hard to believe it has been a decade since the making of "Anchorman," and it was flat-out surreal when I was on the set of the sequel not long ago. If you saw me talk to Harrison Ford about his time on the set, he lit up at the mention of the film, and the same was true when I talked to Steve Carrell recently about "Despicable Me 2."

I know that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are the best-known public spokesmen for Burgundy, but it appears that he's going to be speaking for himself later this year when Crown Archetype publishes "Let Me Off At The Top! My Classy Life And Other Musings," a memoir, on November 19th. That's about a month before the new movie hits theaters, giving audiences a chance to learn more about the real man before we see another film about him.

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<p>Elijah Wood is under the gun, literally, as he tries to give a concert in 'Grand Piano,' one of this year's Fantastic Fest titles.</p>

Elijah Wood is under the gun, literally, as he tries to give a concert in 'Grand Piano,' one of this year's Fantastic Fest titles.

Credit: HitFix

Elijah Wood, Fantastic Fest alumni, and Robin Wright Penn announced for this year's line-up

As usual, at least one of these will make you say "They made a movie about WHAT?"

We ran the announcement of the first wave of programming for Fantastic Fest 2013, and that was already a pretty promising list of movies. Now they've released their second wave of titles, and it's another great batch of filmmakers and titles.

It's impressive how this thing snaps into focus around this point every year, and at this point, there are filmmakers and actors and companies that I consider to be part of the Fantastic Fest family. I would be shocked if they didn't end up being part of the festival. Ben Wheatley, for example, or Elijah Wood, or Alex de la Iglesia, or Sion Sono. These are guys who all have been here before, and who are all turning out interesting work right now, pushing themselves from project to project.

That seems like the real larger narrative of the various festivals I attend every year now, checking in with people who are creating work that is alive and vibrant and interesting and resolutely not part of the disturbingly stagnant mainstream that seems to suck up such a disproportionate percentage of the conversation in the media. I think it keeps me sane, and I look forward to the highs, the lows, the surprises and the disappointments. At least it all feels promising, like there's room for discovery and for things I haven't seen before, and it's bizarre how little of that there is with "big" movies these days.

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<p>Harrison Ford talked to us about how his work in '42' presented him with some very specific challenges for his new film 'Paranoia'</p>

Harrison Ford talked to us about how his work in '42' presented him with some very specific challenges for his new film 'Paranoia'

Credit: HitFix

Harrison Ford explains why he had no choice but to go bald for 'Paranoia'

Plus we talk about crazy 'Blade Runner' rumors back in the day

It may be impossible to overstate the microscope that Harrison Ford was under when he started production on Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner."

After all, he was both Indiana Jones and Han Solo (twice) by the time he started production on the Ridley Scott film that promised to be the first major shake-up of his newly minted movie star image, and an R-rated existential drama disguised as a science-fiction action film was a pretty bold next step for Ford. Much of his career seems to be defined by major successes, but I always find the moments where Ford tried to stretch and got roughed up in the process to be the most interesting moments.

I remember how brutal the reviews were for "Blade Runner" and how the box-office stories went way past reporting and felt more like bloodsport. It was a weird summer overall. The movie that no one had on their radar ahead of time, Spielberg's "E.T.", had turned into a box office juggernaut, and some of the movies with the best pedigrees were going belly up. It was the summer I learned conclusively that my taste does not always align with the mainstream, as I was head over heels for "Conan The Barbarian" and "The Thing" and "Blade Runner." And it was one of the first times I ever remember reading strange stories about production on a film, in this case reports of a bald Harrison Ford.

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<p>Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Taylor-Johnson made their best pitches for good and evil when we sat down with them to talk about their new film 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Taylor-Johnson made their best pitches for good and evil when we sat down with them to talk about their new film 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: HitFix

We ask Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chris Mintz-Plasse to win us over to their side for 'Kick-Ass 2'

Who makes the better case here? Good or evil?

Between my time on set, my panel moderating duties at Comic-Con, and a recent press day for "Kick-Ass 2" in New York, I feel like I've had a pretty good chance to ask the three main stars of the movie any and every thing I wanted to.

I decided to try something different when I sat down with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. If you somehow don't know the name of the character Mintz-Plasse is playing in the sequel to the cult hit "Kick-Ass," I should warn you that there's almost no way for this interview to be 100% safe for work. Even beeped, I think you'll get the idea.

Of the three main returning cast members, I think Mintz-Plasse is the one who really had to push into a whole new direction here. He's growing as an actor these days, and a lot of it just comes from experience. He has an idea of what he wants from his work now, and what he thinks he brings to something, and he seems happy to demolish any sort of niche that people want to put him in as an actor.

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<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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