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Simon Kinberg clarifies on 'Fantastic Four' and Reed Richards: 'He stretches'

37 minutes ago

Earlier today, Donna Dickens posted a piece about something she read on the official "Fantastic Four" website that Fox created for the new movie. In particular, there was a phrase that she posted about that confused her and that led to a fairly heated and instant conversation online. A few minutes ago, I hung up the phone with Simon Kinberg, who is a co-writer/producer on the film, because he wanted to make something very clear: Reed Richards will stretch. So now that our long national nightmare is over, I thought we'd chat with Kinberg to figure out what happened and to check in on the film, which has played its cards fairly close to its chest so far. I told Kinberg that I found the initial website copy confusing more than anything else. "I think it was confusing," he agreed. "I was a little confused by it myself. The »


- Drew McWeeny

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Chris Columbus: The 'Gremlins' reboot will take a page from Jj Abrams' 'Star Wars'

1 hour ago

Las Vegas - When you're in a room with writer, director and producer Chris Columbus, it's almost impossible not to ask about the developing reboots of two of his most beloved projects: 1984's "Gremlins" and 1985's "The Goonies." So I did! First, the good news (or bad, depending on how you look at it): "Gremlins" is most likely going to happen. "'Gremlins' is actually in good shape, we're doing 'Gremlins,'" Columbus told me while promoting "Pixels" at last week's CinemaCon. Moreover, they'll be ripping a page from J.J. Abrams' winning playbook to get fans of the original on board. "When I saw 'Star Trek,' you know, I was like 'this is the way you do it. You have to connect the audience emotionally to the past.' By seeing Leonard Nimoy in that movie," he told me. "And then so obviously a »


- Chris Eggertsen

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10 awesome feminist comedy sketches

1 hour ago

Every time Amy Schumer comes out with a new sketch, it's impossible not to think about how necessary it is that a female standup comic has the platform on Comedy Central to be as irreverent, truthful, and damning as she wants. It wasn't so long ago that females in sketch comedy were reduced to one-note roles. (Check out "Laugh-In" sometime and note how many times the point of a bit is "Oh, Goldie. Such a space cadet.") We picked ten examples of feminism in sketch comedy dating all the way back to the heyday of Carol Burnett. Comb the hair on your Asian-American doll and enjoy. 1. Carol Burnett is "movie star crazy" One of the enduring treats of "The Carol Burnett Show" is the feminist undertones in many of her sketches. The fact that she's so outlandish and having so much fun is a triumph in itself, but in this sketch, »


- Louis Virtel

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So some astronauts watched 'Gravity' on the International Space Station

2 hours ago

It's kinda freaky if I'm flying at 30,000 feet and something like "Air Force One" or "Flight" comes on as the in-flight movie. (Particularly in the case of the latter, as talking to screenwriter John Gatins about his research on that one has forever unhinged something in me.) I guess if movies were shown on buses, "Speed" would make a dicey proposition, too. So hats off to the astronauts who took in "Gravity" for movie night aboard the International Space Station recently. #Movie night in micro #Gravity aboard #Iss on our new HD projector which we use for conferences, tech software, etc.. pic.twitter.com/Mhb03U3alz — Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) April 25, 2015 Captain Scott J. Kelly Tweeted out the above image over the weekend. But now I'm just sort of curious as to what else they watch up there. We're entering outdoor movie season, when things like "Ghostbusters" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off »


- Kristopher Tapley

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235 days until Star Wars: Does Battlefront's 'Battle of Jakku' promo art have a spoiler?

2 hours ago

When Disney said they were going to bring all the entire Star Wars saga under one continuity umbrella, they weren't kidding. Even the latest game by EA, Star Wars Battlefront, will take cues from the Holocron Keeper. As part of this interconnected dance, Battlefront will drop free Dlc (down-loadable content) on December 1st, 2015 for everyone who purchased the game. Entitled “The Battle of Jakku,” the all new skirmish will set the stage for the desert planet featured in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” To help build hype, EA Games released this photo showing two scuffed up and aged lightsaber hilts. If you’ve got an eagle-eye, you’ll notice those are some very familiar hilts. On top sits Darth Vader’s and beneath is Luke Skywalker’s green-bladed lightsaber. The copper shine may have worn off over the years, but the unique chrome grip is unmistakable. From the trailer for “The Force Awakens, »


- Donna Dickens

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Miles Teller on 'Fantastic Four': Your guess is as good as mine

2 hours ago

Las Vegas - If you've seen the trailers for Josh Trank's upcoming "Fantastic Four" reboot, you're probably under the impression, like most of us, that the film will be taking a darker approach to the material than previous big-screen incarnations did. And according to Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/"The Thing"), that impression would be pretty right on. "I would say the film tonally is kind of like a dark Amblin kind of film," said Bell -- referencing Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall's iconic production shingle -- while promoting the film at last week's CinemaCon. "It has those kinds of qualities as well. There's some '2001' I think, with like going to different dimensions and different universes and stuff like that." Then again, his guess is as good as ours. After I mentioned that the film seemed to be taking a "Dark Knight"-style approach to the material, »


- Chris Eggertsen

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'Game of Thrones' Season 5 premiere draws 18+ million viewers so far

2 hours ago

Because Live+Same Day ratings don't matter an iota to the network's business plan, HBO has abandoned formal announcements Live+Sd ratings, so Monday (April 27) morning represented HBO's first enthusiastic reveal of numbers for the April 12 premiere of "Game of Thrones." Including linear plays, Live+7 DVR data, HBO OnDemand, HBOGo and HBO Now, the fifth season premiere of "Game of Thrones" has attracted 18.1 million viewers to date, up by 1.2 million from last year's premiere within the same period of time. Of course, HBO Now didn't exist a year ago, but last year the first four episodes weren't leaked illegally ahead of time. Last season, "Game of Thrones" episodes averaged a gross audience of 19.1 million viewers, which encompassed a longer window of potential viewership. The bottom line is that you probably shouldn't make too much of this, but if you want some sort of in-progress sense of how "Game of Thrones" is doing, »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Joss Whedon was left speechless by Paul Bettany's Vision in 'Age Of Ultron'

3 hours ago

Joss Whedon's tired. There is a certain kind of fatigue that is particular to the directors of these giant mega-budget high stakes sequels, and if you end up talking to one of those directors, you can see it in their eyes. They're zombies. I remember talking to Gore Verbinski near the end of the third "Pirates" film, and it was like he was having an out of body experience. Because Whedon's tired, he's been candid about some of the speed bumps they experienced making the new "Avengers" film. He's spoken in the past few days about the decision to bring Coulson back to life after "The Avengers," the things he regrets about "Agents Of Shield," and more. When I sat down to speak with him a few days after seeing the film, I told him that I wanted to ask about an amazing sequence that was in the original »


- Drew McWeeny

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Why reality TV needs Bruce Jenner

3 hours ago

Bruce Jenner's two-hour ABC special on Friday night was remarkable for many different reasons. The obvious is that it was the most high-profile illustration of gender identity and a life-long struggle, exploring something that's difficult for many to understand. Bruce Jenner's pain was clear, but so was his desire to tell his story and embrace the future. The special also made the case why the reality series chronicling the next steps in his journey on a reality series is a terrific idea. E! finally announced the series Friday night, after trying to keep its existence a secret. It'll debut July 26. That E! withheld the announcement and Jenner went on a prime-time show to disclose his transition both served as fuel for those who claimed this was just all about attention and ratings. Early in the two hours, Bruce Jenner mocked the idea he was transitioning just for publicity. »


- Andy Dehnart

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Exclusive: Listen to this killer take on Bonnie Stillwatter's 'Devil Is People'

4 hours ago

Give all of the awards to the full title of the alternate take of Bonnie Stillwatter's "The Devil Is People": "The Devil Is People (The Cheech Wizard's Hemiolic Chantey at the Edge of the Anthropocene Epoch).” Bonnie Stillwatter, of course is "a conceptual collaboration of artistry and friendship" between Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) and noise/rock group Watter. Now give the bulk of the rest of the awards to Bundy K. Brown (of Tortoise and Gastr del Sol) who had this to say about his mix of this heavy, righteous tune: "For me, this is not so much a remix, as an alternate take of The Devil Is People, which I think even casual listeners will easily discern. I've never been fully comfortable with the avenues that remixes have typically been trafficked in, or the reductive approaches and expectations that seem to leap to most folks' minds when they think of remixes, »


- Katie Hasty

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Outrage Watch: Here's video of Native American 'Ridiculous Six' actors arguing with producers

4 hours ago

Last week, Adam Sandler's original Netflix movie "The Ridiculous Six" made news when around a dozen Native American actors and the film's Native cultural advisor walked off the set in protest over jokes they deemed offensive, in addition to what they called gross misrepresentations of Apache culture. Now, video taken by Goldie Tom, one of the actors who took umbrage with the project, has been released that shows the group arguing with producers over the script. "You're trying to tell us what's disrespectful to us?" one of the actors rails. In another choice soundbite, an off-camera crew member tells the group: "I understand completely. But we're not going to change Beaver Breath." "Beaver Breath" (or "Beaver's Breath"), for the record, is the name of a woman Native American character in the film, one of several offenses highlighted by the group. Other complaints lobbed by the actors included inconsistencies regarding »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Why 1998 Was the Best Year In Film History

4 hours ago

All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century.  Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one.   Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine?   Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth?  A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe?   It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »


- Michael Oates Palmer

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Why 1980 Was the Best Year in Movie History

5 hours ago

All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century.  Check here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others?  History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies?  So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »


- Richard Rushfield

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'Fantastic Four' chickens out, makes Reed less fantastic

5 hours ago

Update 4/27/15 8:00Pm Edt: "Fantastic Four" writer Simon Kinberg clarified Reed Richards powers exclusively to HitFix. Original Story Below: When it comes to superhero movies, everything is malleable. Spider-Man can go from needing web cartridges to producing silk organically from his wrists. Batgirl can become the niece of Alfred Pennyworth. Some changes work, some changes don’t.  And some just leave fans scratching their heads in bafflement. The new description of Reed Richards — aka Mr. Fantastic — from the Fantastic Four website, falls with a resounding thud into that last category. Hidden at the bottom of character biography, a bomb is quietly dropped. Reed doesn’t have the power of elasticity, despite the new trailer showing Mr. Fantastic in all his Stretch Armstrong glory. Wait, what? This is a perplexing choice. Especially considering the rest of the team remains intact. How is it that invisibility, spontaneous combustion, and physical transformation into a rock monster are acceptable, »


- Donna Dickens

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Cookie Monster saves the day in Sesame Street's 'A-Veggies: Age of Bon Bon'

5 hours ago

It's good to know we can count on a true hero like Cookie Monster in this confusing age of both Ultron and Adaline. Watch as "Sesame Street" slays us with healthy living in "A-Veggies: Age of Bon Bon." It's a shame that Prairie Dawn didn't get to wear her Black Widow outfit, but otherwise this is a good example of why "Sesame Street" is and always will be the best of children's programming. »


- Louis Virtel

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John Cameron Mitchell will receive a special Tony Award this year

6 hours ago

The Tony Awards Administration Committee announced Monday that write/director/actor/Genius John Cameron Mitchell will receive a special Tony Award at the upcoming 69th annual presentation of stage honors. Mitchell had racked up Drama Desk and Obie Award nominations before he put the off-Broadway smash "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" into the world, but it was that bold musical about a transgender East German rock musician that came to define him. The production was revived in 2014 with none other than Neil Patrick Harris in the lead (he won a Tony, as did the revival), and Mitchell himself recently returned to the role for an eight-week stint. "John's return to 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' is one for the history books," American Theatre Wing President Heather Hitchens and Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin said in a joint statement. "This is a remarkable undertaking, and we are »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Morgan Freeman collects his latest paycheck in this new trailer for 'Ted 2'

6 hours ago

Check out the spots from Morgan Freeman, Amanda Seyfried and Patriot Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady in this very Nsfw red band trailer for "Ted 2." Seth MacFarlane is back as teddy bear Ted, who apparently has to prove his personhood in a state of law. Mark Wahlberg's character is on deck for jerkin' jokes and an uncleansed history of pornography on his laptop. This sequel trailer only proves that you are not alone in making up words to the "Law & Order" opening credits theme song. »


- Katie Hasty

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9 things we learned from the cast of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

6 hours ago

Burbank - How powerful are the cast and filmmakers behind "Avengers: Age of Ultron"?  Well, just a few weeks ago they assembled on the Walt Disney Studios lot for a press conference attended by journalists from around the world and took questions for a grand total of 20 minutes.  That may seem like a long time, but not when you've got a dais packed with 13 of the world's biggest stars. By the time it was over Paul Bettany (the Vision) had barely spoken, Chris Evans (Captain America) was never asked a direct question, Aaron Taylor Johnson (Quicksilver) and Elizabeth Olsen (The Scarlet Witch) revealed less than non-Avenger Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) and Robert Downey, Jr. basically couldn't believe he wasn't asked the first or second question.  Still, director and screenwriter Joss Whedon, Marvel Studios President and producer Kevin Feige, Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Amy Schumer's CinemaCon press conference was the greatest

7 hours ago

Las Vegas - The moment I heard one unfortunate announcer at CinemaCon pronounce Amy Schumer's name "Shh-um-er" instead of "Shh-oom-er," I knew there was going to be trouble. "Hi, that's not my name. It's Amy Sch-oom-er," the comedian sing-songed to the unfortunate hostess before taking the stage. "What's your name?" "N-ooorrr-ia," the hostess responded. "N-ooorrr-iA," Schumer mimicked. "I'm so wet right now." Not surprisingly, the comedian gave the best press conference at CinemaCon by far. Watch above as Schumer (recipient of the annual convention's Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award) talks about writing and starring in her upcoming Judd Apatow-directed feature "Trainwreck" ("I really did not expect to be cast in the lead role...I thought I would be giving notes to Kate Upton"), confronting rude photographers and what compelled her to stage a fall on a red carpet in front of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. "Trainwreck »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Review: 'The Good Wife' - 'The Deconstruction': Bye, Kalinda?

7 hours ago

A few thoughts on last night's "The Good Wife" — and the season as a whole so far — coming up just as soon as I improperly eject this thumb drive... For reasons that have somehow been kept secret in our age of over-reporting all things entertainment, Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi haven't physically appeared together in a scene since midway through season 4. This has been a problem, given that the Alicia/Kalinda friendship had been the heart of the show for so long, and it took a character in Kalinda who almost never had good storylines on her own and forced her to exist entirely on the fringes of the series, occasionally interacting with Cary or Diane in person, but mainly on the phone with the other regulars. That's a big problem, and it turned Kalinda's exit — which involved missed phone calls, a note, and a brief video snippet — into an emotional muddle, »


- Alan Sepinwall

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