<p>Hugh Jackman didn't stab me even one time during our conversation about 'The Wolverine,' so I'll count that as a victory.</p>

Hugh Jackman didn't stab me even one time during our conversation about 'The Wolverine,' so I'll count that as a victory.

Credit: HitFix

Hugh Jackman talks about playing the character for the sixth time in 'The Wolverine'

Plus find out what he happily stole from Darren Aronofsky

It's not often that my eight-year-old son and my seventy-something-year-old mother are both jealous of me over the same interview, but that pretty much sums up the preposterously broad appeal of Hugh Jackman.

"The Wolverine" marks the sixth time that he has played the character, and he'll do it again next summer for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," and at this point, I'd say he owns the character in terms of public perception. What makes "The Wolverine" work is the way it builds off of even the less successful films in the series to explore the sadness and pain that drive the character at this point.

I stopped in New York for approximately 24 hours on my way back from London, and within an hour of me getting to my hotel, I was sitting across from Jackman, jet-lagged and punchy and not entirely sure what was going on. Even so, as soon as you start talking to the guy, he's so engaged and enthusiastic that you want to respond in kind.

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<p>Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield are front-and-center in the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's SF&nbsp;masterpiece 'Ender's Game'</p>

Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield are front-and-center in the big-screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card's SF masterpiece 'Ender's Game'

Credit: Lionsgate

Lionsgate issues official response to growing 'Ender's Game' author controversy

Does the author's personal opinion affect your interest in the movie?

Last night, a Twitter account called "Phoenix Movie Bears" asked me if I had an opinion about Orson Scott Card and his rabid anti-gay rhetoric. As a group of LBGT movie fans, it is an important question to them, and it looks like they asked the question of a large number of people. Some webmasters wrote back that they will be covering "Ender's Game" because they are interested in it as a movie, and they seemed to accept that without argument. Personally, I have not spent a lot of time on the subject in print because I felt like the most effective way to deal with it was to simply go silent. At this point, publicity is publicity, and "good" or "bad" doesn't really enter into the equation.

But today, Lionsgate sent out an official statement on what is obviously starting to become a problem for them, and it seems like this is as good a moment as any to weigh in. I'm only going to do this once, because I made the decision at the start of the year that I would not be reviewing "Ender's Game" or covering it during production. That hasn't changed. I love the book, and in fact just put it onto my oldest son's Kindle as one of the many science-fiction novels he was given for his birthday. I hope he enjoys it.

When it comes to supporting Card today, though, I'm unable to see my way clear to ignore his nauseating homophobia. And while Lionsgate seems to believe his current attitudes have nothing to do with their film, I'd say that's not true. The book may not reflect his views, but as the author, he's going to benefit from the financial success and high profile of the movie. He is tied to "Ender's Game" on a profound level, and I have a hard time seeing how anyone could claim otherwise.

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<p>Hiccup is back and he's figured out a new way to travel in 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'</p>

Hiccup is back and he's figured out a new way to travel in 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks Animation

Gorgeous teaser trailer for 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' takes flight

I love the simplicity of this one

As teaser trailers go, this one's kind of terrific.

So often these days, marketing feels like a blunt instrument designed to beat you into submission. "YOU. WILL. SEE. THIS. MOVIE. OR. YOU. ARE. A. LOSER." It's so aggressive that it can become numbing by the time a film finally rolls into theaters.

Here, though, there seems to be a trust that this moment is enough to remind us of the tactile pleasures of "How To Train Your Dragon" while promising that things have changed enough to warrant a new trip to the theater. The flying sequences in the first film, especially if you saw the film in a great 3D theater, were incredibly immersive and beautiful, and the way they both remind you of that while introducing this one new element is enormously effective.

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<p>Believe me... there's not much smiling or laughing in 'The Conjuring,' which is the summer's scariest movie.</p>

Believe me... there's not much smiling or laughing in 'The Conjuring,' which is the summer's scariest movie.

Credit: HitFix

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga talk about faith and fear in James Wan's 'The Conjuring'

The stars of the year's scariest movie talk about the way it came together

I sincerely hope that "The Conjuring" is just the first of many films in which Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga play Ed and Lorraine Warren.

After all, the Warrens spent decades investigating paranormal phenomena in real life, and the film introduces a structure that practically screams for sequels. We see that the Warrens have in their home a room where they keep all of the various items they have removed from the haunted houses and the other supernatural events they've witnessed, and that room serves as a sort of museum and safehouse in one. Everything in that room has a story of its own, and "The Conjuring" begins with the story of the Annabelle doll, a sort of introductory haunting to show us who the Warrens are.

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<p>Seriously... someone book these guys on a comedy tour, because they are awesome together.</p>

Seriously... someone book these guys on a comedy tour, because they are awesome together.

Credit: HitFix

Charlie Day and Ron Perlman dig deep into the details of 'Pacific Rim'

Can we get twenty more films starring these two together?

I saved this one for last.

After all, you don't often witness chemisty as immediate and as just plain weird as whatever's going on between Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. In "Pacific Rim," Charlie Day stars as a scientist who has devoted his life to the study of the kaiju, the giant monsters that have been pouring out of a hole at the bottom of the ocean. I love Day's work in the film, and I think they made some sensational choices in terms of his look. I love that he's got tattoo sleeves that are all kaiju that have fallen in battle. His character is trying to contribute something to the war efforts that is totally different from what the Jaeger pilots do, but just as valuable.

It's because of his efforts that he comes into contact with Hannibal Chau, played by Ron Perlman, who is such a brother to the film's director at this point that Perlman could probably get away with changing his last name to Del Toro. Chau runs the black market for kaiju organs and anything else they can salvage when these giant monsters fall. Even thought Day is playing a kaiju expert working for the military, he still have no choice but to reach out to Chau. There is something he needs that only Chau can provide, and from the moment they meet, there is this great tense mood of near-violence between them.

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<p>There's so much cool in this room that air conditioning was redundant.</p>

There's so much cool in this room that air conditioning was redundant.

Credit: HitFix

Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba discuss the human side of 'Pacific Rim'

It's not all just monsters and mayhem

One of the things that surprised me after I took my sons to see "Pacific Rim" is how certain details landed for them.

For example, there's a moment in the film where Charlie Hunnam's character, Raleigh, is trying to make a point to Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), and he grabs his arm. Elba turns around, surprised that anyone would consider grabbing his arm a good idea, and says something to Hunnam. The line he says has become a permanent part of Allen's vocabulary, and it was an immediate thing. He cackled in the theater, and I've heard him quote the line about twenty times now in different situations.

When I asked him why the line entertained him so much, he told me, "Because, daddy, he's awesome."

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<p>Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba are just two of the people who must conquer their own fears so they can battle giant monsters threatening mankind in 'Pacific Rim'</p>

Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba are just two of the people who must conquer their own fears so they can battle giant monsters threatening mankind in 'Pacific Rim'

Credit: Warner Bros

Review: Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim' is an eccentric and emotional thrill

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Character is front and center even as robots kick the hell out of giant monsters

There are many kinds of movies that I love.

I'm always baffled by people who really only seem to have one genre of film or one style of film that they like, because to me, film is all about variety. If you browse through my shelves full of movies or the books full of DVDs and you try to figure out some system by which they're ordered, you'll go crazy. I intentionally do not alphabetize my films or my discs, and I don't group them by genre. I just add titles as they show up, putting them on the stacks or filing them in the books, and what looks like random chaos to anyone else is, to me, the purest expression of the way I ingest movies. I see no real tangible difference between the pleasures I get from "Pacific Rim" and the pleasures I get from something like "Before Midnight" or "Stories We Tell." To me, film is all about voice. You find the right voice to tell me your story, and I'll pretty much follow you anywhere.

And if there is anything that Guillermo Del Toro has, it is voice.

We have reached an age where the truly fantastic has become commonplace. We look at images in movies today that would baffle people from 100 years ago, images that would be considered sorcery 500 years ago, and we are blase about them. We accept the incredible as an ordinary part of filmgoing these days, and to some degree, it has ruined us. When the amazing becomes routine, what is left to give us that sense of wonder?

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<p>I&nbsp;have never worked harder to keep eye contact with an interview subject than I did with the uber-charming Rinko Kikuchi</p>

I have never worked harder to keep eye contact with an interview subject than I did with the uber-charming Rinko Kikuchi

Credit: HitFix

Rinko Kikuchi on how trauma forms character in 'Pacific Rim'

Plus she talks about her collaboration with Guillermo Del Toro

Rinko Kikuchi has now been directed by two of the Three Amigos, and both times, she's done wonderful work.

Innaritu's "Babel" is one of those films where, even if you don't love every part of it, there are so many things going on in it that it's worth your attention. In particular, the work of Rinko Kikuchi in the film is so raw, so real, so exposed and vulnerable, that it transcends language. You can watch her work in the movie without subtitles and even if you don't speak a single word of Japanese, her entire performance comes through, loud and clear.

In Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim," Rinko is once again a key piece of the puzzle, and once again, her ability to open up a character and lay their most private thoughts bare is essential for making something work. Del Toro makes full and canny use of her as a visual element and also as an emotional heavyweight. When she has to land the movie's biggest punches, she does, and she makes you believe that Mako could indeed by the thing that would bring Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) back to life enough to step back into the fray.

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<p>Guillermo Del Toro is hoping his robots vs monsters epic 'Pacific Rim' creates plenty of new monster fans.</p>

Guillermo Del Toro is hoping his robots vs monsters epic 'Pacific Rim' creates plenty of new monster fans.

Credit: HitFix

Guillermo Del Toro talks about the optimism of 'Pacific Rim' and making monsters for young fans

One of our favorite filmmakers is finally back at work

It's no secret that Guillermo Del Toro is one of my favorite people in the film industry today.

There are very few filmmakers who adore genre with the same enthusiasm as Del Toro who can also wrestle the images from their heads directly onto the screen. No matter how outrageous or surreal an idea he has, he is great at turning those ideas into actual physical things. Part of that is because he's a gifted artist in his own right, but it's also because he knows how to mobilize the amazing art departments that he puts together for each of his films.

There are talented filmmakers who I don't feel strongly about on a personal level, but Guillermo is as decent as he is gifted, and when you see how many people work with him over and over, that's because he really does create an atmosphere of family on the films he makes.

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<p>Armie Hammer certainly has the jaw to play a hero, and he definitely rocks the mask in 'The Lone Ranger'</p>

Armie Hammer certainly has the jaw to play a hero, and he definitely rocks the mask in 'The Lone Ranger'

Credit: HitFix

Armie Hammer talks about playing the hero in 'The Lone Ranger'

Can you believe this dude is only 26 years old?

When I was twenty-six years old, I was a WGAw member already with a few produced plays, but I feel like I was still very young in many, many ways. Frankly, I'm amazed anyone took me seriously at that age, because I know for a fact I didn't carry myself with the same poise that Armie Hammer does.

I think he was exactly the right choice for Disney to cast as The Lone Ranger, and I think if they'd done something more traditional with the character, he could have absolutely crushed it. If there's anyone who seems stranded by the script, it's him. Obvious attention was paid to making sure that Tonto is given every bit of quirk and character that Johnny Depp requested, but Hammer is often left high and dry by the strange tonal shifts of the film and the completely inconsistent internal logic of his actions.

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