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‘Outlaw King’ is a waste of a perfectly good Chris Pine

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There are a few reasons to recommend Outlaw King, David Mackenzie’s medieval movie starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce.

For one, it’s pretty. Like, really pretty. Mackenzie never misses an opportunity to showcase the pristine beauty of the Scottish countryside, with its rolling hills and soft mists. There’s one particular shot of a rainbow that nearly made me gasp. 

It’s also got plenty of fighting, if you’re into that sort of thing. The film rarely goes longer than 20 minutes without a battle scene, some more doomed or more epic or more violent than others, but all convincingly choreographed to look difficult and exhausting and flat-out brutal. Do you wish Game of Thrones had way less talking and way more action? Outlaw King might be for you. Read more…

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Marvel wanted Wakandans in ‘Black Panther’ to have British accents

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When you’re hearing Wakandans speak in Black Panther, you’re actually hearing the Xhosa accent, which originates from South Africa.

But things could’ve been different if it went Marvel’s way, with the studio apparently wanting a British accent, according to the film’s star Chadwick Boseman.

The film’s dialect coach Beth McGuire told Slate that Xhosa was picked due to the ancestry of South African actor John Kani, who played T’Chaka in the precursor to Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War.

“They felt like it was maybe too much for an audience to take,” Boseman told The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast. Read more…

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Dave Bautista might not return to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

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The ousting of James Gunn from the third Guardians of the Galaxy film has left Dave Bautista incensed.

In an interview on Saturday, the Hollywood star — who plays Drax — told The Jonathan Ross Show that his future in the third film of the franchise is in doubt.

“It’s a bittersweet conversation. No, it’s a bitter-bitter conversation, because I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn,” he said. 

“They’re putting the movie off. It’s on hold indefinitely. And to be honest with you, I don’t know if I want to work for Disney.” Read more…

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Disney won’t change its mind on James Gunn and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: report

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James Gunn will not be coming back to Guardians of the Galaxy.

As first reported by Variety, Disney and Marvel will not reinstate Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, despite significant pressure from stars of the film and the public.

The decision reportedly came following a meeting between Gunn and Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. Sources told Variety the meeting was “civil and professional,” but Horn stood by his decision despite the push for Gunn to be given a second chance by him and his agency. Read more…

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MoviePass users cancelling their subscriptions find they can’t actually leave

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Tried to cancel your MoviePass subscription? Some users of the movie ticket subscription service are finding they can’t actually leave.

Former MoviePass users are venting their rage on Twitter, after finding their accounts have not been closed as requested, and have instead been reactivated under new plans.

First reported by Business Insider, some complained on Twitter that users who tried to cancel their subscriptions were automatically enrolled in a “new plan,” detailed in a confirmation email.

“Please note: if you had previously requested cancellation prior to opting-in, your opt-in to the new plan will take priority and your account will not be cancelled,” reads one email, apparently sent by the MoviePass team. Read more…

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‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ unveils three more Spider-People, including Spider-Ham

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not done adding Spider-People.

At Comic-Con’s Hall H Friday, Sony unveiled dazzling new footage that included our first glimpses at three new Spider-Folks: Spider-Man Noir, voiced by Nicolas Cage; Peni Parker, voiced by Kimiko Glenn; and, last but not least, Spider-Ham, voiced by John Mulaney.

In the footage, which was screened exclusively for Comic-Con, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) arrive at a mysterious building, where a smiling woman hands them “Hello my name is” stickers. Read more…

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John Travolta still has the moves from ‘Grease’ 40 years on

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That belt loop hip shake from 1978’s Grease has surely been replicated countless times in schools, dances, and in front of mirrors.

Wednesday marked 40 years since the film premiered in New York City, and John Travolta just so happened to be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, although to promote his upcoming film Gotti.

The shake, which Travolta calls the “four corners,” was introduced when Grease’s choreographer needed a step at the end of “You’re The One That I Want.”

Turns out Travolta still has some of those moves, by the way. Read more…

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‘Black Panther’ trailer wins top honor at the Golden Trailer Awards

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“Wakanda forever” is right.

Marvel smash Black Panther took home $1.3 billion at the global box office, and the top prize at the Golden Trailer Awards.

The trailer titled “Crown,” won Best of Show on Thursday night at the 19th Annual Golden Trailer Awards at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Since 1999, the GTAs have honored the top of the film trailer crop, from blockbusters to independent films, documentaries and everything in between.

“Crown,” created by Walt Disney Studios’ Create Advertising Group, gave us one of our most detailed looks into Wakanda and the Golden City, and offered up plenty of glimpses of T’Challa’s tech-fuelled Black Panther transformation. Read more…

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The first full trailer for ‘Venom’ is here

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Sony has released the first trailer for Venom, starring Tom Hardy as an antihero who gets tangled up with a mysterious and powerful symbiote. 

If the character sounds kind of familiar, you may recall that he’s frequently associated with Spider-Man – Topher Grace played a version of him in 2007’s Spider-Man 3

But this Venom exists separately from Spider-Man. The current Spidey exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with all the Avengers, while Venom is off doing his own thing in a different continuity.

And it’s probably just as well. Between all the corporate intrigue and action and whatever else is going on in this trailer, Venom looks like he’s got plenty on his plate already. Read more…

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Mark Wahlberg donated his $1.5 million ‘All The Money’ fee to Time’s Up

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In the wake of an uproar over the $1.5 million Mark Wahlberg was paid for his All The Money In The World reshoots, the actor announced Saturday that he will donate the money in his costar Michelle Williams’ name to the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

Wahlberg’s hefty reshoot fee made headlines earlier this week after it was reported that Williams earned just $1,000 for her time. 

The cast of All The Money In The World reshot multiple scenes after director Ridley Scott cut actor Kevin Spacey from the film following multiple sexual assault allegations. Christopher Plummer replaced himUSA Today first reported the massive pay discrepancy on Tuesday. Read more…

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‘The Last Jedi’ gave us the perfect answer to the question of Rey’s parents

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Spoiler alert: This post contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

As promised, Star Wars: The Last Jedi gives us a definitive answer to the question of who Rey’s parents are.

And with apologies to every fan who’s spun an elaborate theory about why she’s definitely a Kenobi, or a Skywalker, or a Solo, or a Palpatine, or what have you, she’s none of the above.

After a movie and a half’s worth of wondering about and pining after her missing family, Rey finally comes to terms with the truth in The Last Jedi: her parents were just a couple of random deadbeats who, as Kylo sneers, probably sold her off for drinking money, and are now in a pauper’s grave. Read more…

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‘Jumanji’ is a great video game movie that’s not actually based on a video game

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It’s a truism that Hollywood has a terrible track record when it comes to video game movies. But it’s not entirely accurate. There are lots of great video game movies out there – they’re just not based on actual video games.

This month, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, joins films like Edge of Tomorrow and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on the list of excellent films inspired by video games but not directly adapted from one. This one is a loose sequel to 1995’s Jumanji, which reimagines the dangerous board game as a ’90s-era video game. Read more…

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Yeah, so here's Lil Wayne's weird cover of the 'Friends' theme

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Feel free to file this in the “unlikeliest covers ever” folder.

Lil Wayne covered the Friends theme song, poking fun at the San Francisco 49ers’ poor start to the NFL season in a promotion for the league’s second week on Fox.

Well, as fans would know the 49ers did indeed go 0-2 with their loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but the upshot is that we’ve got this utterly bizarre Lil Wayne cover to store in our minds forever.  Read more…

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Watch Bill Skarsgård pull his demonic 'It' smile on Conan

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Bill Skarsgård is an undeniably delightful-looking human — until he smiles like a homicidal clown.

The 27-year-old Swedish actor stars as neighbourhood killer clown Pennywise in the new adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It. He showed off his killer smile on Conan on Tuesday, without the makeup.

“You have easily the most evil, demonic smile I think I’ve seen in all of horror — and I’ve worked with Andy Richter for a long time.” says O’Brien.

Skarsgård apparently learned the technique from his brother Gustaf when he was just ten years old. Yeah, not cute. Read more…

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The Navy SEAL movie of summer has disappeared. Poof. Gone.

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Can I get a visual on Renegades?

The Navy SEAL drama that was set to hit North American theaters in three weeks has vanished from the schedule, reports Richard Rushfield in Friday’s edition of The Ankler. We’ve confirmed that EuropaCorp, the French film production company behind Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, has indeed aborted the mission to open it Sept. 1. No alternate date has been set.

The tale of a Navy SEAL team that discovers treasure in a Bosnian lake stars J.K. Simmons — he of now beastly ripped old-man physique — and no one else you’ve likely heard of. Does Sullivan Stapleton ring a bell? I guess Ewen Bremner (Spud from Trainspotting) was just in Wonder Woman, so there’s that. Read more…

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A nuanced and thought-provoking review of the new Transformers movie

Bilge Ebiri
writes
in The Village Voice: “No matter, because this after all is a Transformers movie, so soon we’re faced with fiiigjhkwetwnwwwjsahafajhwfohofoehaoowofoeoicioeciaqidjFaerlaeaffjgjlje XGRSXSsfdsmfjjjsomuchrandomstuffsomuchegjwogpjwd bldklhjitslikeyouthoughttheearliermovieswereeconfusinghahahah mfjff7ga98fhfhfplwxczchowarekidssupposedtounderstandanyofthisVSSH gmnskglactuallyhowareadultssupposedtounderstandanyofthisjskjjlvr lmnkrjsljrjsaywhatyouwillbutonceuponatimejsogrjdvpvarivpaeimp grfggjsfsfpoemichaelbayc” (via Kottke)

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Watch Rakka, Neill Blomkamp's short science fiction film

The first short film from Neill Blomkamp, starring Sigourney Weaver, is online free of charge. Amazing to see such a big director work so forcefully outside the system. I hope it does well!

Want to get involved or support this project? We’ve made film assets for Rakka available on Steam and will be adding more later. Join the discussion and support this experiment on Steam or our official web page: www.oatsstudios.com

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Crunch Report | Rumors: Amazon’s New Echo Device

The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Uber’s use of Greyballing, we get the first look at the rumored Amazon Echo device and Facebook shuts down its VR filmmaking division. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Review: High-Rise (2016)

High-Rise, directed by Ben Wheatley, brings J.G. Ballard’s classic novel to the screen after a long wait.

It’s set almost entirely in a residential tower, a massive brutalist edifice inhabited by thousands of early-1970s Britons eager for a new life. The ultimate product of mid-century urban planning, the concrete building is designed to take care of all its occupants’ needs: there’s a supermarket, a swimming pool, even a primary school, all tucked away deep within its forty stories.

Robert Laing, an introverted young doctor, moves in hoping to become an anonymous nobody amid this monument to the bland excellence of modern life. But he commits the critical error of making friends, and is slowly consumed by the building’s odd psychic character, its microcosmic reflection of the divisions in society at large.

He notices that the lower levels are first to suffer when the power fails; then that the higher echelons enjoy special amenities of their own. And then, when the lights go out, everything goes to hell.

A little awareness of British life in the 1970s helps contextualise details that might otherwise baffle—in particular, skyscraper-happy Americans should know that residential towers there were always a controversial novelty, that garbage collecters were perpetually on strike, and that in British engineering, corners are always cut. But Ballard’s sinister geometry of modernity, hiding an emotional suppression ready to explode into violence, is a language universal to all employed westerners.

It’s an intriguing, sophisticated and handsome movie made excellent by Wheatley’s skill and its cast: Tom Hiddleston as the skeptical middle-class everyman driven to madness by his environment’s awful sanity, Jeremy Irons as the tower’s vicious yet uncannily humanist architect, Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale) as society’s hope, and Luke Evans (Bard from The Hobbit) as the agent of chaos.

But there are some conceptual misteps, I think, that garble Ballard’s anxieties—and the power of his storytelling.

In particular, the movie counterposes superficial social realism against dreamy surrealism in an attempt to triangulate the novel’s hyperreal quality with its period setting and the presumed ironic sensibilities of a contemporary audience. Clever as this is, the result has a weird 1980s artsy zaniness to it, as if directed by Peter Greenaway or Ken Russell or (sorry) whoever did the Pet Shop Boys movie. Ballard is about games that turn deadly serious, but this is just a deadly game. Among other things, it makes its cruelties (which often involve animals) seem self-satisfied and spiteful.

Wheatley also tries to achieve too much though implication; even as a fan of the novel, I felt a little lost and could have done with an establishing vignette to establish the scenario. Motivations are often unclear, too. Though this is rather the point, the depraved psychic hygiene of the tower’s world is only lightly sketched before it erupts. It’s as if the movie is only interested in people who already understand its message.

Ballard’s writing is cold and sharp, yet lurid in how it draws out the entrails of our discomfort. This movie’s script is just drawn out. I like the film, and it’s full of arresting images. It is a tribute, a floating world of its own, but a metaphor too distant and too arch to draw much blood.

Thumbs up, ish.

High-Rise (2016) [Amazon]

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Jake Johnson wants you to watch 'Win It All,' but only if it makes you happy

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“I love this movie,” Jake Johnson tells Mashable in a phone interview about his upcoming Netflix feature Win It All. “I’m not positive everyone’s gonna love it because we all have different tastes…but if I sat down to watch a Netflix movie and I watched this movie, I would be happy I clicked on it.”

It may seem like a no-brainer for the co-writer of a movie to give it his endorsement, but it’s rarer than you’d think in Hollywood and important to Johnson and director Joe Swanberg.

“I don’t want to have a thing where I go ‘I’m selling this movie trying to get people to watch it and I think it’s dog shit, and I just want people to watch it so a studio can make a lot of money,’” Johnson adds. “Fuck, pass.” Read more…

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India blocks 'The Danish Girl' from airing on TV

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India’s film censorship board has barred Sony Pictures’ channel from telecasting Oscar-recognized film, The Danish Girl. 

The movie was slated to air on Sunday. However, the film authority objected to its supposedly “sensitive storyline” and dubbed it “unsuitable” for audiences below 18.

In The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne plays the main character grappling with his gender identity, and is based on historical events of the world’s first sex reassignment surgery.

The broadcaster tweeted: “We regret to inform you that Sony Le Plex HD is unable to telecast the television premiere of the award-winning film The Danish Girl on March 26 as the necessary certification to enable the telecast of the movie has not been received.” Read more…

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The Rock looked ready to whoop some ass at the Oscars because he WAS

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The face says, “Do I need to kick some ass and save the day — right now, in real life?”

And that’s because, well … he was seriously thinking about it.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was just one of hundreds of glorious faces caught reacting in the moment as La La Land, mistakenly identified as Best Picture winner at the Oscars, gave way to Moonlight — the reasons for which have now been well-documented.

But the best images from that moment weren’t of La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz correcting the mistake, or Moonlight director Barry Jenkins accepting in disbelief. Read more…

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Perfect 6-for-6 sweep: 'Moonlight' walks through the Indie Spirits

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In the beginning, there was Moonlight. At the end, there was also Moonlight.

Writer/director Barry Jenkins’ deeply resonant cinematic tryptich of a young Miami man’s life won all six Independent Spirit Awards for which it was nominated Saturday — including the first award given away, and the last — a triumphant result for the film many hope can upset La La Land at the Academy Awards.

Moonlight was the odds-on favorite at the Indie Spirits, but a sweep was hardly guaranteed. It became a reality, though, over the course of an afternoon beneath a giant white tent on the beach near the Santa Monica Pier. Read more…

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The best, most savage punchlines from Nick Kroll & John Mulaney Indie Spirit Awards hosting gig

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, hosts of the Independent Spirit Awards, went full-savage on Hollywood, President Donald Trump, and everything else under the California sun on Saturday. In doing so, they achieving new levels of “they did not just say that” at the one awards show that seems to re-define the limits of awards-show-season jokes every year.

The sun is shining 🌞 and the people are drinking 🍾🥂. A perfect #SpiritAwardspic.twitter.com/2pV9pAwJ9t

— Film Independent (@filmindependent) February 25, 2017 Read more…

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Donald Glover will be the new Simba, but Mufasa will be a familiar face

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Can you feel the love tonight? Well, it’s all up in Jon Favreau’s Twitter feed. 

The director announced Friday night that Donald Glover will be playing Simba in the live-action remake of the beloved Disney classic The Lion King alongside the actor who voiced the original Mufasa.

The Twitter announcement had Glover (Atlanta) fans swooning and tossing as many Lion King GIFs at Favreau as possible. James Earl Jones, who voiced Simba’s ill-fated father Mufasa in the original cartoon, will be back in the same role. Read more…

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All 12 times the stars at the SAG Awards threw shade at Donald Trump

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LOS ANGELES — Thirteen categories, 12 messages of unity with Muslim Americans and/or Donald Trump zingers.

The 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were nothing if not consistent in message.

Whether scathing or subtle, just about everyone who took the stage Sunday night to collect an award had something to say about the #MuslimBan — starting with the red carpet and lasting all the way to the final speech.

Here are all 12 times the issue was addressed on the telecast:

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher was first to speak at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Ashton Kutcher was first to speak at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Image: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Read more…

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Watch fans go nuts in theaters when Sunny Leone appears as 'Laila' in 'Raees'

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It is no secret that Sunny Leone is wildly popular in India. The adult entertainment star, by virtue of her second innings in Bollywood, is not only the most searched personality on Google India, but also a rage-driver offline. 

Sample this. Leone’s dance moves as Laila in the recently released film Raees, starring Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan, sent crowds into a tizzy at theaters across India. 

Twitter users have shared videos of live crowds breaking into jigs en masse as soon as Leone appears on the big screen. And an evidently amazed Leone has been retweeting them calling it “the greatest thing” she’s seen. Read more…

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10 original songs cut from 'La La Land' for who knows why

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Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s romantic musical La La Land is already off and running this award season.

After sweeping the Golden Globes (winning the most awards for one movie in the show’s history), the film shows no signs of slowing down come time for the Oscars. But it wasn’t always such a sure thing. The movie’s soundtrack is undoubtedly an all-time great, but the tracks that were cut tell a slightly different story.

After doing some research, we found 10 original songs that, for one reason or another, didn’t make the final cut of La La Land. Read more…

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Al Gore is a climate change James Bond in urgent, exhilarating 'Inconvenient Sequel'

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PARK CITY, Utah — Al Gore is angryReally angry. He’s also swathed in burning hope.

With uncharacteristic fire and brimstone — but also steely resolve and a concrete plan — the former vice president opened the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday night with An Inconvenient Sequel, a daring, urgent and exhilarating follow-up to his 2007 film An Inconvenient Truth.

And what a decade it’s been since that groundbreaking, Oscar-winning documentary. “Climate-related events have gotten so much worse in the 10 years since,” Gore argues at the top of Sequel — and the evidence is splattered all over the screen. Read more…

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Amazon Prime Video might soon be playing on trains in India

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Amazon Prime is going all out to capture the online video streaming market in India. 

After its high-octane launch in the country late last year that saw it tie-up with big-ticket local content creators, Amazon is now in talks with Indian Railways for distribution of its Prime Video services in luxury trains, the Economic Times reported.

Popular express trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto could be the first ones to enjoy the service, the report added. Distribution boxes would be installed in coaches and passengers can access movies, serials, comedy shows, etc. on their handheld devices via a local Wi-Fi network.   Read more…

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William Peter Blatty, creator of The Exorcist, RIP

Writer and director William Peter Blatty, creator of The Exorcist, has died at age 88. Batty is best known for writing the story of poor, possessed Regan and her demonic resident Captain Howdy. He won an academy award for writing the screenplay for The Exorcist film in 1973.

Here is Blatty on The Tonight Show, January 17, 1974, talking about the surprisingly polarizing response to his classic novel of occult horror:

Tweet from William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist:

William Peter Blatty, dear friend and brother who created The Exorcist passed away yesterday

— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) January 13, 2017

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Dax Shepard and Michael Peña go old school in raunchy 'CHiPs' trailer

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An ’80s cop show revived for the 21st century — sound familiar? 

Dax Shepard and Michael Peña channel strong 21 Jump Street vibes in the trailer for CHiPs, in which they play an odd couple of highway patrollers on a mission to take down dirty cops.

Shepard plays Jon Baker and Peña plays Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, an agent undercover with the California Highway Patrol. As with the CHiPs television series, which ran from 1977 to 1983, the film and trailer devote a lot of time to the tense partnership of Baker and Ponch.

The film adaptation is written and directed by Shepard, who promoted it on Ellen as early as 2015, when he showed up in full highway patrol uniform and spoke about his love of the original series.  Read more…

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Why 'Hidden Figures' —and its unsung heroes — is the ultimate NASA story

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NASA, and its stunning achievements, is much more than just the famous astronauts whose names you know — it was built on the behind-the-scenes work of its unsung heroes. 

From the early days of the United States’ space agency up through today, NASA has been run by  engineers, mathematicians and technicians at the tops of their fields.

But you rarely hear their stories or know their names. 

Behind every John Glenn or Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin there are tens or even hundreds of people working behind the scenes to keep them alive and healthy in space. That’s NASA’s true nature — a nexus of unseen teamwork and ingenuity that allows the exploration of new frontiers. Read more…

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