<p>Hopefully, they're happy because they know just how great these films really are.</p>

Hopefully, they're happy because they know just how great these films really are.

Credit: HitFix

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy describe their process for their 'Before Midnight' reunion

Most real-life married couples aren't as in-synch as these two

Ethan Hawke was born the same year as me, just a few months later, so one of the ways I've used the "Before" series as milestones in my own life is watching the way he and Julie Delpy have changed over the years.

I still feel like the same person I was in 1995 when the first one came out. I was 25 years old and I was going through the first flush of success with some of my work being produced for live theater here in LA. My writing partner and I were working with some great people, and I was in a long-term relationship with someone, and Ethan Hawke was very much a surrogate for the experience I was having. When I saw that film, I was young enough to still believe in the grand sweep of romance, and old enough to have some life experience under my belt already. I felt like I had the answers. I had things all figured out. I was on my way. And that's the attitude of that first film, almost exactly.

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<p>Based on how smart and strong Amy Adams is herself, it seems like pretty easy casting asking her to make Lois Lane an equally well-realized person.</p>

Based on how smart and strong Amy Adams is herself, it seems like pretty easy casting asking her to make Lois Lane an equally well-realized person.

Credit: HitFix

Amy Adams talks about playing a stronger, smarter Lois Lane in 'Man Of Steel'

How important was the re-imagining to getting her to say yes to the film?

Amy Adams had just as hard a job on "Man Of Steel" as Henry Cavill did. Both of them were stepping into iconic roles, although I would argue that Superman has been written better as a character in the films so far than Lois Lane has.

The biggest problem I've always had with Lois goes to the very heart of the character. She is supposed to be a great reporter, smart and capable and constantly breaking stories. If that's the case, how does she manage to work next to someone every day  and not recognize him when he takes his glasses off? That bothered me as a little kid, and over time, I've come to just accept it as part of the price of buying into Superman stories.

One thing that I didn't expect when I sat down to see "Man Of Steel" was that they would finally give me a Lois Lane who addresses all of my issues, making her into a character I can finally respect. Her Lois is smart and capable and unafraid to get herself mixed up in trouble in pursuit of a story.

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<p>Ethan Hawke talks about a rare dip into the world of horror in his new film 'The Purge'</p>

Ethan Hawke talks about a rare dip into the world of horror in his new film 'The Purge'

Credit: HitFix

Ethan Hawke and producer Jason Blum make the case for the horror film 'The Purge'

These two have a longer history than we realized

It's a big ol' Ethan Hawke day here at HitFix, and when you consider the distance between "The Purge" and "Before Midnight," it's hard to believe the two films have anything in common.

One thing that has always intrigued me about Hawke is the way he dodged some of the most apparent traps inherent to being an actor. If we haven't seen him in a superhero movie yet, chances are we never will. He doesn't seem to spend his time hunting down franchise roles, and even the big films he's done feel like choices he made because he was genuinely drawn to something. There are very few films on his filmography that don't make sense as choices, even if the films didn't quite live up to their promise every single time.

When I sat down to talk to Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum during the press day for "The Purge," I thought their professional relationship might have started with last year's creepy "Sinister." Instead, though, we ended up talking about how they've actually had a professional and personal relationship stretching back 20 years. I was genuinely surprised to learn they had opened a theater company together.

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<p>Patrick, you may not want to see what's in the room with you.</p>

Patrick, you may not want to see what's in the room with you.

Credit: Film District

Something's wrong with Patrick Wilson in the creepy new 'Insidious Chapter 2' trailer

James Wan's sequel looks like an expansion of the original's mythology

James Wan is having a big year.

Right now, he's gearing up for "Fast & Furious 7," whatever they end up calling it, which is the biggest film he's ever made if we're just talking about budget and scale. Before we see that film, though, two films that he's already finished will be released.

The first is this summer's "The Conjuring," which is a tremendous piece of entertainment, smart and sleek and scary as hell. That one's based on the true story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who made their reputation as paranormal investigators. Patrick Wilson stars in that one as Ed Warren, and it's starting to look like Wilson and Wan are building a great relationship as actor and director, since "The Conjuring" will be followed up this year by the September release of "Insidious Chapter 2," hitting theaters on the appropriate date of Friday the 13th.

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<p>Ethan Hawke watches for his agent, who he invited to his house with every intent to 'Purge' his agent just for pushing him to be in 'The Purge.' Seems fair to me.</p>

Ethan Hawke watches for his agent, who he invited to his house with every intent to 'Purge' his agent just for pushing him to be in 'The Purge.' Seems fair to me.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'The Purge' squanders its few good ideas as well as Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey

HitFix
D
Readers
D+
Witless horror film fumbles completely

One of the reasons I fell in love with horror films early in my development as a film fan was because I realized that you could tell any story and grapple with any topic, and you could do it by dealing in metaphor. The horror films that I think cut the deepest are the ones that have something real to say about who we are and what marks us, and just because they feature corpses or werewolves or creatures from space, it doesn't mean they are any less emotionally or intellectually valid than any other form of film. They just smuggle their meaning a little more.

The flip side of that is when you see a horror film that thinks it's doing something profound while completely and utterly missing the mark, and "The Purge" is a fantastic example of that. Written and directed by James DeMonaco, the film starts with a pretty hefty premise for audiences to swallow. Set in the near future, the US government has decided to pick a single day of the year where they suspend all emergency services for 12 hours, and everything is legal. That includes murder, although there are a few rules. Nothing above a certain category of weapon types (so I'm assuming no nukes) and there are several Federal employees including The President who are off-limits. Otherwise? Feel free.

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Aubrey Plaza's new 'To-Do List' looks both filthy and funny
Credit: CBS Films

Aubrey Plaza's new 'To-Do List' looks both filthy and funny

Is '90s nostalgia really a thing now?

I hope audiences take to Aubrey Plaza as a lead in films, because I think she is fascinating.

Her particular brand of emotional reserve is a very specific comic voice, and not one that we see all the time. She's strikingly pretty, but that's not what makes her so compulsively watchable. I think it's the fact that you can see this constant barrage of thoughts just behind her eyes, this constant sizing up of the people around her, that makes her such a quiet gem on "Parks and Recreation." One of the reasons "Safety Not Guaranteed" worked was because of the value of her oh-so-rarely-seen smile and the effective deployment of it at key moments.

Now she's working with writer/director Maggie Carey, who also has her own specific comic voice, and when I visited the set of the movie, they were still trying to pin down a new title instead of what it was when it was set up originally, "The Hand Job." Looking at the new red-band trailer that showed up online today, "The To-Do List" makes perfect sense as a replacement, and it's not like people are in any danger of missing the point.

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<p>These are not your standard-issue Disney princesses.</p>

These are not your standard-issue Disney princesses.

Credit: DC/Vertigo

DC's fairy-tale epic 'Fables' set for the big screen with new writer and director

Is there room for another 'fairy-tales-in-the-real-world' project?

If you're an "Arrested Development" fan, you probably pride yourself on being able to pick up all the levels of the various jokes that are piled on with an almost breathtaking density, but even the nerdiest of fans probably missed one of the weirdest inside beats this season. There are a number of jokes in the new series built around that weird early-'90s tax shelter production of "Fantastic Four" that was supposed to lock down the rights for Roger Corman, and on their own, those jokes are a bunch of fun.

But if you pay close attention, you'll spot Josh Trank and Jeremy Slater in the episodes, and that's a joke that won't fully pay off until Fox releases their in-development reboot of "Fantastic Four," which Josh Trank is set to direct, and which Jeremy Slater worked on as a writer. The notion of layering in a gag that won't even fully make sense for a few years is one of the many reasons I love "Arrested Development."

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<p>Henry Cavill seems to know they've made something special with Warner's latest Superman film, 'Man Of Steel'</p>

Henry Cavill seems to know they've made something special with Warner's latest Superman film, 'Man Of Steel'

Credit: HitFix

Henry Cavill describes the pressure of becoming Superman for 'Man Of Steel'

It sounds like it was a very tough 'shed-ule' for the British actor

I'm pretty sure the Screen Actor's Guild passed a bylaw recently that says every working actor must take a role in a superhero movie. Even so, there are certain roles that have to be among the most daunting to approach, and I would imagine there is no more that is more simultaneously terrifying and thrilling to learn you're going to play than Superman.

Even James Bond isn't the same level of pressure. Superman is enough of an icon to scare an actor, but when you consider how iconic and beloved the work of Christopher Reeve was, there's a reason no one's been able to claim the role as their own since then. When I met Cavill for the first time, it was only a few days after he was announced as the star of "Man Of Steel," and I was at WonderCon to moderate a panel with him for the film "Immortals." It was a kick to introduce the new Superman to an audience, and he handled himself with grace at the event, as well as in the interview we did that same day, where we talked about the first time he wore the suit for his audition.

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<p>Brie Larson gives a stellar, shattering performance in 'Short Term 12,' which opens later this year after several festival appearances.</p>

Brie Larson gives a stellar, shattering performance in 'Short Term 12,' which opens later this year after several festival appearances.

Credit: Cinedigm

Brie Larson shines in the trailer for the sensational 'Short Term 12'

Who is John Gallagher Jr. and why isn't he in everything?

There is a very special film coming out this year that I'll be telling you more about soon, but today, the first trailer for "Short Term 12" is available.

Some recent conversation (some constructive, some not) about the ratings system of reviews here on the site that I've had reveal that people have very different ideas about what ratings actually mean. If I give a film an "A+," that automatically means it makes my top ten list at the end of the year, right? Because that rating means I think it's perfect, right?

I'm giving "Short Term 12" the same rating I'm giving other films this year that couldn't be more different, but in doing so, I'm not comparing those films. The rating is me saying how well I think they execute the film they're trying to make. I could give a film a B+ and not like it at all. Like is one small part of my overall rating of a movie. Instead, I'm more curious to see how well someone pulls off the things they try to do, both stylistically and in terms of narrative, and me giving something an A+ is me saying that I feel like they made the best version of that movie, like they hit the target dead center.

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<p>Nathan Fillion took some time at the 'Monsters University' press day to talk to us about the possibility of a return to the 'Firefly' universe with 'Avengers' director Joss Whedon</p>

Nathan Fillion took some time at the 'Monsters University' press day to talk to us about the possibility of a return to the 'Firefly' universe with 'Avengers' director Joss Whedon

Credit: HitFix

Nathan Fillion dismisses the idea of more 'Serenity' as 'an impossibility'

But he's also mighty diplomatic in the way he says it

When they were shooting "Serenity" at Universal Studios, I got a chance to visit the set and take a walk through the main ship, which had been built to give them a chance to do a full continuous shot from the front of the ship to the back without cutting away or cheating, and I must admit… it's one of the most impressive sets I've seen built. Functional, but completely immersive. It was the ship. I'm so used to seeing things in pieces and in sections that to just step inside something real like that was sort of dizzying.

I'm not rabid about the continuation of the adventures of Mal Reynolds and his crew, but if they made another one, I'd sure see it. I enjoyed the comic series that followed the show, and I think it's a cool world that they had just started to explore.

When I sat down with Nathan Fillion, it was as part of the press day for "Monsters University," and I'll have my interview with him about that film coming a little closer to release. For now, I wanted to run the final question I asked him about whether anything's changed now that Joss Whedon finally has a billion-dollar-monster under his belt, with another one already in the works.

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