<p>Josh Brolin was looking particularly Bruce Wayne-like at the LA&nbsp;premiere of 'Gangster Squad' this spring</p>

Josh Brolin was looking particularly Bruce Wayne-like at the LA premiere of 'Gangster Squad' this spring

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles/Invision

Josh Brolin one of many names in the mix as Warner gears up a new 'Batman' search

Why you shouldn't get too attached to anyone at the moment

It is early days as far as the hunt to find a new Batman is concerned, but what is rapidly becoming clear is that Warner Bros. has a very distinct approach in mind for who they would cast to step into the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Understand this… anyone outside the studio who claims to know the full approach of this film is blowing smoke. This is very much a project that is in development, and thinking on the film has been very fluid up till this point. When Warner Bros. made their announcement at Comic-Con, confirming that the "Man Of Steel" sequel would feature Batman, they knew full well that they were throwing red meat to the fanboy press, a question that they can spend weeks and weeks chewing on while Warner sets to work behind the scenes.

For a preview of just how this will all play out, look at this weekend, when early wish list notes became a major story, with people determined to try to spin something concrete out of something that is very much not concrete yet. All Warner is doing at this point is opening the lines of communication, considering types and names and schedules. Borys Kit is doing some very solid reporting, and I like that he's careful to emphasize how early all of this is.

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<p>Josh Gad, seen here at a special screening of 'Jobs,' which features him, will next tackle the role of Sam Kinison for 'Brother Sam'</p>

Josh Gad, seen here at a special screening of 'Jobs,' which features him, will next tackle the role of Sam Kinison for 'Brother Sam'

Credit: Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

Josh Gad is set to star in long-developing 'Brother Sam' Kinison biopic, but is he right for it?

Larry Charles seems like a best-case-scenario as director, though

I was lucky enough to see Sam Kinison work several times. It's one thing to see someone's comedy special on TV or to listen to an album by them, and I certainly absorbed his work in whatever way it was available, but seeing a comic live, especially over several different nights with a wide variety of audiences is essential if you really want to understand who they are as an artist.

I'm not surprised by talk of a Kinison biopic. It seems inevitable at some point, just like the Bill Hicks movie I'm sure we'll also get from someone at some point. What I learned watching Kinison work the same material over many different nights is that he had learned how to handle a crowd from fire-and-brimstone fundamentalist preachers, and when he was onstage in front of a crowd, he was testifying. The screaming he did around his jokes was not just noise, but was punctuation. He was so caught up in whatever his subject that he couldn't stop himself from letting loose these guttural sounds. It's his version of speaking in tongues, being overcome by the power, and Kinison was a master at reading a room. He knew when something was working, he knew when something wasn't, and he was adroit at modifying his act on the fly to ride out the energy of the audience.

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<p>Sounds like 'Mockingjay' is at the top of Liam Hemsworth's priority list right now.</p>

Sounds like 'Mockingjay' is at the top of Liam Hemsworth's priority list right now.

Credit: HitFix

Liam Hemsworth says his part really doesn't kick in until the third 'Hunger Games' film

'Catching Fire' still has him playing supporting part

Sitting across from Liam Hemsworth at the press day for "Paranoia," it struck me that the thing that he and his brother Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) have most in common physically are their eyes. Otherwise, they seem like very different types. I have a feeling those differences will serve them well in the long run because they seem to be different enough that they won't be undercutting each other in terms of the roles they want to play.

What the Hemsworths have in common beyond the eyes is a no-nonsense oversized masculinity. I've complained in the past about how most of our lead actors these days are boys, no matter how old they get, instead of men. It's a generational thing. People in my generation never really got tested in any significant way. Not like a Depression or a World War. And so there are a lot of actors who seem soft to me onscreen, even in action roles.

The Hemsworths, though, are just these two charming giants, Australian boys who obviously drank their milk. Liam's been working like a madman for the last few years, and I think it' s safe to say that at this point, the biggest thing he's ever booked was his role as Gale in "The Hunger Games." In that first film, it doesn't really seem like much of a break for an actor, and I asked him when we sat down to talk about "Paranoia" if it felt good to finally jump in for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire."

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<p>You can try to fight the smile, Harrison, but the power of Adam McKay compels you.</p>

You can try to fight the smile, Harrison, but the power of Adam McKay compels you.

Credit: HitFix

Harrison Ford is all smiles as he discusses the comic chaos of 'Anchorman 2'

Making the icon laugh may be the proudest moment of my life

I've interviewed Harrison Ford several times now, and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

The simple truth of it is that the first time you meet Harrison Ford, you can do everything possible to stay cool, but if you grew up with "Star Wars" and "Raiders" as major pop culture landmarks as I did, staying cool really isn't an option. I didn't wig out the first time we sat down, but internally, I remember basically just screaming "OHMYGOD!" the entire time we were talking. The second interview went a little bit better, and certainly Ford has always been professional in conversation. But it's hard not to get the feeling that you're annoying him, and I think that's just the way he is with press. It does not appear to be something he enjoys doing, and being aware of that, I am always hoping to make the brief moment we have to speak just a little less painful for him.

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<p>'Soylent Green is people, you damn dirty apes!' 'You need to stop watching Chuck Heston films.' 'THERE&nbsp;ARE&nbsp;NOOO&nbsp;PHOOONES&nbsp;RINGING!' 'No, seriously. Stop.'</p>

'Soylent Green is people, you damn dirty apes!' 'You need to stop watching Chuck Heston films.' 'THERE ARE NOOO PHOOONES RINGING!' 'No, seriously. Stop.'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Matt Damon adds emotional weight to Neill Blomkamp's smart and unsubtle 'Elysium'

HitFix
B+
Readers
C-
Remember when science-fiction had something to say?

Thank god for Neill Blomkamp.

I sincerely hope I never end up writing a news story about how Neill Blomkamp, struggling to recover after a series of films that didn't earn their money back, is now signing on to direct the reboot of the reboot of "Robocop" or some similar money-driven monstrosity. I hope he is able to follow his own particular vision for as long as he wants to, and that audiences turn up to support him enough that he is able to maintain his independence.

Also, before we get started, if this movie had been made in 1974, Charlton Heston would be playing the Matt Damon role. AND IT WOULD BE AWESOME.

Right now, my oldest son has declared himself "a science-fiction fan." He is in the shallow end of the baby pool right now in terms of what he's seen or read, but he spends days after each new science fiction book or movie just asking me questions, and most of them aren't about things he saw in the film, but things that were suggested by the movies and the books.

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<p>Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg breathe rowdy, enjoyable life into the buddy action comedy in '2 Guns'</p>

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg breathe rowdy, enjoyable life into the buddy action comedy in '2 Guns'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: '2 Guns' succeeds largely on the chemistry between Denzel and Wahlberg

HitFix
B
Readers
B
Sometimes low-key and charming is enough

Sometimes, when you order a hamburger, all you want is a hamburger.

No one is going to accuse "2 Guns" of being some bold reinvention of the action genre, but it's a big jump forward for director Baltasar Kormakur. His previous American action film was "Contraband," also starring Mark Wahlberg, and honestly, it did nothing for me. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't care for it. The whole thing felt inert to me, which happens sometimes with studio films. You can tell that people threw all the resources in the world at something, but it just doesn't come to life. Those films are, in some ways, more frustrating than flat-out bad films, because it's hard to pinpoint where things went wrong.

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<p>Our first glimpse of a Sentinel came at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.</p>

Our first glimpse of a Sentinel came at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.

Credit: Drew McWeeny/HitFix

Bryan Singer reveals a first look at a full-size free-standing Sentinel from 'Days Of Future Past'

Was it worth the wait to finally see the mutant-hunting giant robots?

When we're at an event like Comic-Con, there isn't always time to post a complete news story on every single thing you see or encounter. That's one reason it's good to also follow my Twitter feed during an event like that. For example, at one point, I was on my way to the main convention center and passed the spot where 20th Century Fox had a Sentinel head on display, and I snapped a quick picture of it and sent it out.

Almost immediately, I started getting asked questions about scale, which is fair. I didn't have anything else in the shot to give you an idea of how big the head was. I got a real sense of excitement from many of you about the idea of finally seeing Sentinels in the "X-Men" films. I agree. I know that when I first fell in love with the X-Men titles in print, part of what fascinated me was the image of these giant mutant-killing robots that were deployed by the government.

One of the guys who appeared on the "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" panel was Hutch Parker, one of the producers on the film. During Tom Rothman's time at the studio, Parker was one of the executives who worked closely with him, which makes me wonder how a conversation between the two of them would go today. Rothman, keep in mind, was the studio head who said "No 'X-Men' movie is ever going to feature stupid giant robots as long as I'm running Fox," and now we've reached a moment where not only are there giant robots, but Bryan Singer, who Rothman felt betrayed the studio and the franchise, is the one who is responsible for finally introducing them.

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<p>There's a reason that doesn't look like the Batman you know, and that reason is just one of the many things that 'Justice League:&nbsp;The Flashpoint Paradox' does right</p>

There's a reason that doesn't look like the Batman you know, and that reason is just one of the many things that 'Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox' does right

Credit: DC Animation

Does 'Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox' suggest a way forward for Warner live-action?

Haven't we seen enough origin stories at this point?

Over the weekend, I found myself on the road again, and one of the movies I took with me was the latest offering from DC Animation, "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox." While I don't think every single one of the DC Animated films have been great, I admire the risks they've taken, and I am impressed by the way they seem willing to experiment with what audiences expect.

Directed by Jay Oliva, who has been very busy for the studio lately, "JL: TFP" is a Flash-centric film that tells a story set largely in an alternate reality. Based on a graphic novel by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, the script was adapted by Jim Krieg, and it's a surprisingly grim affair at times. At the start of the film, we get a glimpse of the Justice League in action when they step in to help Barry Allen, who is cornered by several of his deadliest enemies at once. It's just a glimpse, but enough to establish what Superman, Batman, Cyborg, Aquaman, and the Green Lantern all look like in this timeline. When The Flash wakes up the next day, the world has changed dramatically, and at first, Barry has every reason to celebrate. After all, his mother Nora is still alive in this timeline, so even though Barry is suddenly no longer The Flash, he doesn't mind at all.

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<p>Without the Panaglide, we don't have the opening scene that ends in this iconic moment, and I would argue, we might not have John Carpenter as we know him.</p>

Without the Panaglide, we don't have the opening scene that ends in this iconic moment, and I would argue, we might not have John Carpenter as we know him.

Credit: Compass International Pictures

Amazing early test footage for Carpenter's 'Halloween' captures the thrill of innovation

It's hard to remember just how ground-breaking that film really was

Plain and simple, I love this.

Part of what I love about movies is the language of cinema. Not just the stories being told or the people telling them, but the particular use of camera and editing and music and effects and sound… the way all of that comes together to create and capture emotion and energy and action and ideas.

There's a film coming out later this year that I've seen that is such an amazing explosion of new visual language, of unfettered visual invention, that I feel like any review we do right now will only be half the story. Some films leave a huge thumbprint on film history because they do something that immediately enters the vocabulary of every other filmmaker working, something that is just added to the tools that are used to tell visual stories. It's got to be amazing to be part of something like that, and I suspect that most of the time, you don't even realize it until later.

Today, there's a four and a half minute silent video online that is nothing but camera tests of people walking around, and yet, looking at it, I am struck by just how much you can sense the excitement of the people shooting these tests because they know that they have this brand-new thing to play with. I'm talking about the Panaglide tests shot by Dean Cundey and Ray Stella for John Carpenter's "Halloween."

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<p>Eileen, there's something on your helmet. Right there. No... there. The other side. Seriously, you can't miss it.</p>

Eileen, there's something on your helmet. Right there. No... there. The other side. Seriously, you can't miss it.

Credit: Warner Bros.

A look back at the life and career of Eileen Brennan, one of Hollywood's great broads

From early Bogdanovich to '90s comedies, Brennan carved out her own place

Eileen Brennan was a great broad.

I use that word very specifically, too. There was something about her in most of the work she did that is simply unapologetic. She is caustic, she can be a world class ball-buster given the right material, and she seems like she could drink, smoke, and curse you under the table with minimal effort on her part.

Her biggest cultural moment probably came from her work in "Private Benjamin." The Goldie Hawn film was 14 years into her career, and she had certainly made a strong impression in some significant films already, but "Private Benjamin" was one of those big giant flashpoint hits when it came out. Howard Zeiff's film was a comedy, but it also had a '70s attitude that underscored that comedy with some very raw emotional material and with a sense of sadness. There's almost a European feeling to some of the material, which makes for a sort of strange tonal collision with all the "pampered princess in the Army" stuff that basically boiled down to a battle of the wills between Hawn and Brennan. When you look at the Warren Oates/Bill Murray dynamic in "Stripes" a year later, it looks like they just gender-swapped the exact relationship from "Private Benjamin," and it's impressive how tough Brennan's Captain Lewis is even when you set her side by side with Oates's Sgt. Hulka.

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