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The latest news on Movies from Business Insider

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    hero dustin hoffman 1992

    With "Black Panther" breaking records and making box office history last week, it's always good to remember that for every amazing movie there's a flop or two waiting to happen.

    From critically panned movies like "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" to beloved cult classics like "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," these movies just could not find their audience — and cost their studios exorbitant amounts of money.

    Keep scrolling to find out if you remember the biggest box office flops from the last 40 years.

    1978 — "Sextette"

    "Sextette" is the movie version of Mae West's last play, and filmmakers had a hard time finding a distributor from the get-go. Eventually, they decided to release it themselves and show it at the Cinemadome in Hollywood. According to "The Complete Films of Mae West," the movie only grossed around $50,000 against an estimated $8 million budget.

    "Sextette" has many urban legends surrounding it regarding the deteriorating health of the then 85-year-old Mae West — namely that she was senile and had to be fed her lines through an earpiece.

    1979 — "The Concorde... Airport '79"

    "Concorde" is the fourth and final film in the "Airport" franchise. The first "Airport" movie made over $100 million at the box office, but it was all downhill from there. Nine years later, the fourth sequel made just $13 million — less than half of what the third installment made.


    1980 — "Heaven's Gate"

    According to BBC, on the sixth day of filming "Heaven's Gate," a Western, production was already five days behind schedule. "Heaven's Gate" is one of the most famous flops of all time, as it lost the studio, United Artists, so much money UA had to be sold.

    However, the film was re-edited and shown at the New York Film Forum in 2013, where it received rave reviews.  Critics praised its beauty and commitment to authenticity — but that's exactly what caused the film's budget to balloon. According to TIME, inflation-adjusted it lost $114,281,677.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Disney

    • Turns out Baby Groot is the son of the grown Groot that was in the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie.
    • Director James Gunn revealed this on Twitter Tuesday.

    Hold on for this one!

    "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise director James Gunn has always been heavily involved in the social media chatter surrounding his contribution to the Marvel Studios empire. So it wasn't a surprise when he jumped into the conversation when a tweet asking you to choose between saving Groot, one of the characters from "Guardians," or a Porg, the lovable creatures in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," started making the rounds on Tuesday.

    Gunn launched into a back-and-forth on this with "Entertainment Tonight" producer and host Ash Crossan, who was on the side of saving the Porg. Gunn made the case that Groot is an "advanced lifeform" while Porgs are just animals (or, as he later put it, "penguins").

    Then later in the thread, Gunn tweeted this bombshell: Baby Groot, featured in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," is not the same Groot from the first movie, who sacrificed himself to save his friends in the ending.

    Baby Groot is his son!

    We look forward to more explanation by Gunn, because the fans of Marvel are not going to rest until he clarifies this tweet.

    Many people, including the team at Business Insider, believed that Baby Groot was a piece of Groot from the first movie, and was just growing in size all over again. At the end of "Vol. 2," Baby Groot had grown up to become Teen Groot. We'll see what size he is when he appears in "Avengers: Infinity War" in May with the rest of the Guardians.

    SEE ALSO: The director of last year's infamous Oscars telecast looks back on the "La La Land"-"Moonlight" mix up that ended up winning him an Oscar

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how

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    Oscars Academy Awards

    The 90th Academy Awards will finally be here Sunday after months of campaigning (and millions of dollars spent) by studios and independent distributors to get recognition for their best and brightest.

    On paper, it could turn out to be a dull night. A few categories (like best actor and best supporting actress) seem to be a lock. And the odds-on favorites to win best picture — "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"— haven't been that popular with general audiences. The movies' combined domestic box office ($105 million) is about what "Wonder Woman" had in its opening weekend.

    But if we learned anything from last year's Oscars, you never know what surprises could come. And the best-picture race is one of the most wide open in recent years.

    Here are our predictions on who we think will win the major categories and who we think should win.

    The Academy Awards air on ABC on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST/ 5 p.m. PST.

    SEE ALSO: The top 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe villains, ranked from worst to best

    Best original score

    What will win: "The Shape of Water"

    This category has a lot of major talents gunning for the win, but it's going to be Alexandre Desplat's hypnotic score that comes out on top. It's a beautiful companion to the unique love story the director Guillermo del Toro weaves.

    WHAT SHOULD WIN: "Dunkirk"

    It would be great to see Hans Zimmer nab the Oscar, as the stopwatch rhythm of his score for "Dunkirk" is so vital to the movie. If "Dunkirk" does pull off the win, it could be a hint to how the night goes, as "The Shape of Water" and "Dunkirk" are up against each other in numerous categories, including best picture.

    Best original song

    What will win: "Remember Me" ("Coco")

    Honestly, there really is no contest. When Miguel goes to Mama Coco at the end of the movie and sings the song to make her not forget the memory of Hector, it just brings the movie to an incredibly high emotional level.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the shape of water

    • This year's Oscar best-picture race is one of the closest in recent memory, as several films still have a chance at the prize. 
    • Even audiences seem to be split, based on a new survey from ticketing company Fandango that asked over 7,000 moviegoers what best-picture nominee they thought deserved the award. 
    • Audiences thought "The Shape of Water" deserves best-picture, but it's a close race even in that regard.
    • The acting categories aren't as close. 

    Unlike past years, best picture seems to be a toss-up at this year's Academy Awards. With the ceremony looming, it still seems like several films have a legitimate shot at Oscar's top prize on Sunday. And even audiences can't make up their minds as to who deserves the win.

    A new Fandango audience survey asked over 7,000 moviegoers what film they thought should win best picture, and it showed how close the race is.

    "The Shape of Water" ultimately came out on top with 19% of the vote. But several other films trailed close behind: "Dunkirk" with 17%; "Get Out" with 16%; and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" with 14%.

    All four of these films have a chance at best picture, and the feeling of audiences seems to reflect the unpredictable nature of this Oscars race.

    "The Shape of Water" won the Producers Guild Award for best picture this year and director Guillermo del Toro has won every notable directing award, from the Directors Guild to the Golden Globes.

    But it doesn't have best picture in the bag.

    "Dunkirk" hasn't won major awards, but older Oscar voters might still be drawn to a World War II drama. "Get Out" recently won the Writers Guild Award for original screenplay, making it not only a frontrunner for the Oscar, but best picture, as well. And "Three Billboards" has gotten some major awards in acting, screenplay, and picture categories, such as at the Golden Globes and from BAFTA. 

    Even films that got a lower percentage of the votes were close among moviegoers surveyed by Fandango: "Darkest Hour" got 10%, and "Lady Bird" and "The Post" got 9%. "Call Me By Your Name" and "Phantom Thread" didn't fare as well with audiences, with 4% and 2%, respectively.

    The survey also asked moviegoers their thoughts on the directing and acting races, which aren't as close in a lot of cases.

    Below are the results for the rest of Fandango's audience survey, including directing and acting Oscars:

    SEE ALSO: The director of last year's infamous Oscars telecast looks back on the 'La La Land'-'Moonlight' mix-up that ended up winning him an Emmy

    Best Director

    Guillermo Del Toro ("The Shape of Water") 31%

    Christopher Nolan ("Dunkirk") 29%

    Jordan Peele ("Get Out") 23%

    Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird") 14%

    Paul Thomas Anderson ("Phantom Thread") 3%


    Best Actor

    Gary Oldman ("Darkest Hour") 44%

    Daniel Kaluuya ("Get Out") 23%

    Denzel Washington ("Roman J. Israel") 15%

    Daniel Day-Lewis ("Phantom Thread") 11%

    Timothee Chalamet ("Call Me By Your Name") 7%


    Best Actress

    Frances McDormand ("Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri") 30%

    Sally Hawkins ("The Shape of Water") 20%

    Margot Robbie ("I, Tonya") 19%

    Saorsie Ronan ("Lady Bird") 16%

    Meryl Streep ("The Post") 15%


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the notebook

    Whether you are on a date night with your significant other or hanging out with your best friends, there's nothing better than watching a romance bloom on the big screen. Almost everyone has gotten those butterflies when watching that amazing ballroom lift scene from when they were a kid or stumbled upon a brand new film depicting a love story that can only be told in this day and age.

    If there's one thing that can get the crowds into any movie is the opportunity to witness people falling in love. Here are some of our favorite romantic movie couples from the last 40 years.

    Jack and Rose ("Titanic")

    Not only did Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) save Rose (Kate Winslet) from committing suicide by jumping off of the luxury steamship, but he also saved her from the uber creepy Cal (Billy Zane). Their romance was short but steamy. We'll continue to pretend that there really wasn't enough room for Jack on that door.

    Ennis and Jack ("Brokeback Mountain")

    The story of Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis (Heath Ledger) is both steamy and heartbreaking. They have to deal with a time period and community that will never accept their relationship, as well as their own notions of what their relationship really means. Is it just sex? Could it be anything more?

    Johnny and Baby ("Dirty Dancing")

    From the moment that she laid eyes on him, Baby (Jennifer Grey) knew that Johnny (Patrick Swayze) was "everything." But it was Baby's bravery that ultimately won Johnny over, and not even the formidable Dr. Houseman could keep "baby in the corner."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    forrest gump irl

    • When movies are nominated for Academy Awards, they immediately go down in pop culture history.
    • Sometimes, the movie becomes so popular that people flock to its filming locations to try and recreate the movie magic.
    • One superfan of "Call Me By Your Name"traveled around northern Italy to match stills from the movie with the real-life locations.

    The Oscars are upon us — the awards show airs on Sunday, March 4, 2018. 

    No matter what you actually thought of the films, it's hard to argue that once a movie claims the designation of "Oscar nominated," it becomes that much more famous. And it's not just the movie that gains popularity — its filming locations often become travel hotspots.

    We chose 15 iconic Oscar nominees and winners throughout the years, and matched up their filming locations with what they look like in real life.

    Keep reading to see how filmmakers turned a desert into Mars, or to see how one movie shut down the busiest train station in the world to stage a musical number.

    Iconic musical "Moulin Rouge!" takes place in early 20th century Paris.

    Baz Luhrmann's musical "Moulin Rouge!" lives on forever as one of the most romantic movies of all time. The forbidden love story of Christian, a writer, and Satine, a singer/courtesan with big dreams, was nominated for eight Oscars in 2002 and won two: Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.


    Even though the Moulin Rouge in the movie shuts down, the real Moulin Rouge is still open to the public today.

    The Moulin Rouge, located on the outskirts of Paris' Montmarte neighborhood, is still relevant today — it even made an appearance on "The Bachelor" this season.

    It might be an overrated tourist attraction, but it's still a must-see for fans of the musical. Be warned though, tickets are €87 ($106), so it's definitely an expensive evening activity.


    "Call Me By Your Name" declares its setting as "Somewhere in northern Italy" in its first scene.

    "Call Me By Your Name" tells the story of Elio and Oliver's life-changing summer romance while Oliver is helping Elio's father (a professor) with a history project. This scene of the two visiting an excavation site with Elio's father was shot in Sirmione, a town on the coast of Lake Garda.

    "Call Me Be Your Name" is nominated for four Oscars this Sunday.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    amy adams the master

    Each year, deserving actors and actresses lose out in the Oscars' best acting categories.

    But there are a handful of great actors that the Academy has repeatedly nominated and proceeded to repeatedly neglect. 

    Amy Adams has lost five times at the Oscars for five captivating roles, most recently with her first best actress nomination for 2013's "American Hustle."

    But some all-time greats like Glenn Close, Richard Burton, and Peter O'Toole have had it even worse.

    Here are the 21 actors who have been nominated for at least four Oscars without winning once:

    SEE ALSO: The 40 actors who have won multiple Oscars, and who has won the most

    Michelle Williams — 4 nominations

    Best actress nominations: "Blue Valentine" (2010), "My Week with Marilyn" (2011)

    Best supporting actress nominations:"Brokeback Mountain" (2005), "Manchester by the Sea" (2016)

    Barbara Stanwyck — 4 nominations

    Best actress nominations: "Stella Dallas" (1937), "Ball of Fire" (1941), "Double Indemnity" (1944), "Sorry, Wrong Number" (1948)

    Stanwyck received the Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievement in 1981.

    Rosalind Russell — 4 nominations

    Best actress nominations: "My Sister Eileen" (1942), "Sister Kenny" (1946), "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1947), "Auntie Mame" (1958)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Red Sparrow Fox final

    • "Red Sparrow" director Francis Lawrence reacts to the love-hate response critics have had to the movie.
    • Despite some saying that the movie glorifies rape and violence, he said, "I don't think it's gratuitous in any way."

    Jennifer Lawrence's latest movie "Red Sparrow" opens in theaters on Friday, and depending who you believe in the film criticism world, the 20th Century Fox release is either a unique spy thriller rarely made by a Hollywood studio, or a dull pretentious work that glorifies rape and violence. 

    With a current rating of 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, the love-hate reaction for the movie is one that its director, Francis Lawrence ("Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Hunger Games: Mockingjay" 1 and 2), is still trying to wrap his head around.

    "I haven't read too many reviews yet but I'm starting to get that sense," Lawrence told Business Insider on Wednesday about the polarizing reaction to the movie. "It's hard for me to tell quite yet what it is people hate about it."

    Red Sparrow Francis Lawrence Fox finalBased on the 2013 Jason Matthews novel of the same name, "Red Sparrow" follows a famed Russian ballerina named Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) who is recruited to become a "Sparrow," part of a Russian intelligence unit that trains its agents to use seduction and manipulation to get what they want.

    The movie is violent and sexually graphic — in one scene Jennifer Lawrence is nude and uses her sexuality to intimidate a man who attempted to rape her in a previous scene — which has thrown off many who were expecting Fox to release a more traditional action-packed spy thriller.

    Lawrence said this might be part of the reason for the split reception.

    "I certainly knew that taking on this kind of content would turn some people off," he said. "There's just some people who don't want to watch tough movies and movies with brutality. I don't think it's gratuitous in any way or that I went too far or too gory or anything like that, I wasn't interested in that, I was interested in intensity. Some of it may be in preconceived ideas of who Jen is, what they think a spy thriller should be, people may also have a hard time with this kind of content in the world now."

    Much of the focus of the film's publicity has been on why Jennifer Lawrence took the role, which she said "empowered" her following being the victim of a hack that led to nude photos of her being leaked online in 2014. But some critics don't see it that way. New York Post film critic Sara Stewart described the movie as "a throwback to old Hollywood in its belief that gratuitous rape and violence are the best way to create a heroine with backbone."

    "Eventually I will read reviews," Lawrence said. "But listen, I would rather people love it or hate it than think it's mediocre."


    SEE ALSO: Our predictions of who will win at the 2018 Oscars on Sunday night — and who really should win

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how

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    black panther sterling k brown

    Warning: There are some minor spoilers ahead for "Black Panther."

    You may have done a double take while watching "Black Panther.""This is Us" star Sterling K. Brown appears briefly in Marvel's latest movie as the superhero's uncle, Prince N'Jobu.

    If you were surprised to see Brown in the movie, that was the plan.

    "That was very much kept a secret. People knew that I was a part of the film from the beginning, but what my role was in the film, no one had any idea," Brown told INSIDER while promoting a partnership with Clorox and the non-profit Thrive Collective

    Though it was announced back in January 2017 Sterling would appear in the movie, little was known about the character who winds up betraying his country of Wakanda by selling vibranium to arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis).

    "As a matter of fact, I was just basically told that N'Jobu was a character from T'Challa's past. That was pretty much the only thing that I could say without losing a pinky toe," he added. 

    Brown said his role as Erik Killmonger's father was so secretive he kept it from just about everyone in his life.

    "I don't think I told anyone. And by anyone, I don't know if I even told my wife," he said while laughing about keeping his role secret. "I'll tell you why I was so guarded. At one point in time, I never received the entire script in paper. I got the script with the link online, and that link dissolved after an hour or two."

    sterling k brown wife black panther premiere LA

    At one point, Brown received a link that was good for about three hours to read the script before it disappeared.

    "Then when I showed up on set, I got my pages for the day, my side. When I finished shooting, I had to give my side back," Brown said of how secretive it was filming his role in the movie. "I've never been a part of anything that I was not able to keep the side. They're like, 'Nope. We're gonna need to those sides.'"

    Disney and Marvel are known for being especially secretive when it comes to potential spoilers leaking. 

    "Black Panther" and "Star Wars" star Lupita Nyong'o said Disney sent an assistant to her hotel while on vacation with a "Force Awakens" script "in a locked contraption." The scripts were printed on red paper to prevent it from being photocopied.

    jj abrams lawrence kasdan star wars

    Brown's role was probably extra secret because N'Jobu isn't a character from the comics. T'Challa, the current Black Panther, does have an uncle in the comics named S'yan, but he didn't turn on Wakanda. Killmonger also isn't related to T'Challa in the comics. 

    How Brown wound up in a Marvel movie

    O.J. Simpson helped a little bit. 

    Brown had just finished up work on FX's "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" and had a meeting with "Black Panther" executive producer Nate Moore.

    "I said, 'Listen, I've been working on my Wakandan. How can I be down? I know there's limited space and there's limited time, given the fact that I have a TV show that shoots the majority of the year, but if there are any possibilities, please let me know,'" Brown said.

    At the time, the script wasn't finished, but Brown knew that Joe Robert Cole was working on it. Cole was one of the writers on "The People v. O.J. Simpson." 

    "And I had just finished seeing 'Creed' with ["Black Panther" director] Ryan [Coogler], and I consider him to be one of the great storytellers of our time right now. So it was just a perfect sort of alchemy and everything coming together at the same time," he added. "I auditioned, and I remember seeing every brother up in Hollywood at that audition, as well."

    What the success of "Black Panther" means moving forward 

    black panther

    "Black Panther" exceeded expectations opening weekend when it broke multiple box-office records. Not only did it blow away the highest-opening weekend for a February movie with $202 million, but it became the movie with the fifth highest-grossing opening weekend of all time.

    That number is up there with movies like "Jurassic World,""Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and "Avengers." 

    "It's history, you know? It's something that I knew would be history as soon as they announced that they were going to introduce a character into the Marvel Universe. What I didn't know was that it would be as successful as it is," Brown said of getting to be a part of something so culturally significant. "I think it surpassed everybody's greatest dreams in terms of just how financially viable it is proving itself to be, both domestically, and especially internationally. The conversation has always been one in which a cast of color does not do well overseas, and I feel like we are collectively destroying that paradigm with this movie."

    After two weeks in theaters, the movie has grossed over $748 million worldwide. It's currently on track to be one of a few films to hit $1 billion at the box office

    t'challa shuri black panther

    Before movie studios start greenlighting movies with casts of color left and right, Brown emphasizes one takeaway from the success of "Black Panther": It's not just a stellar cast that makes a great movie.

    "It is all about the story. People respond to a story well-told, and you can put all kinds of faces in those stories, as long as they're specific and they're well-told," Brown said. "And not only does the community that's being represented get a chance to be infused with a tremendous sense of pride, but the communities outside of that get a chance to recognize themselves within those characters. In ways in which they may not have thought was even possible before the story was told."

    "Black Panther" is in theaters now. You can follow along with our coverage of the movie here

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    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Hooters Air — the airline that lost the 'breastaurant' $40 million

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    quentin tarantino dicaprio

    Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are teaming up with Quentin Tarantino for the director's upcoming ninth film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," Tarantino announced on Wednesday.

    Pitt and DiCaprio were in talks to star in the film for weeks, but the contract negotiations for it were reportedly so "strenuous" that DiCaprio was ready to walk away from the project in January, sources told The Hollywood Reporter

    Pitt previously worked with Tarantino on 2009's "Inglorious Basterds," and DiCaprio appeared in 2013's "Django Unchained."

    "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is set for release on August 9, 2019.

    Here's everything we know about Tarantino's upcoming ninth film:

    SEE ALSO: Quentin Tarantino's next film will be released by Sony following the Harvey Weinstein scandal

    The film takes place in "Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood."

    Tarantino described "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" in a statement on Wednesday, calling it, "a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don't recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor ... Sharon Tate."

    In July 2017, early reports of the film described its script as focused on the murder of actress Sharon Tate by Charles Manson's followers. 

    While Tarantino's most recent statement mentions Sharon Tate as a player in the movie, Tarantino previously said that the film would not center on Charles Manson, but on the year 1969.

    It has been five years in the making.

    Tarantino said on Wednesday that he had been working on the script for the film for half a decade.

    "I’ve been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was seven years old," he said. "I’m very excited to tell this story of an L.A. and a Hollywood that don't exist anymore. And I couldn't be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio & Pitt as Rick & Cliff.”


    It's a "Pulp Fiction-esque" movie

    Deadline reported in January that the Leonardo DiCaprio would play an "aging actor" in a "'Pulp Fiction'-esque movie."

    "Pulp Fiction," Tarantino's 1994 classic, told a collection of interconnected stories.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tiffany haddish dwayne the rock johnson julia louis dreyfus

    Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the 2018 Oscars, to be held Sunday, March 4, on ABC.

    He'll probably do a great job. But there are other options.

    For the most part, the hosts for major awards shows are the same people who host late night comedy talk shows. Seth Meyers just handled the Globes, Jimmy Kimmel emceed last year's Oscars, Stephen Colbert had the Emmys, and James Corden will host the Grammys again in January.

    It makes sense. Hosting a major awards show is a tough job. They seem perpetually at risk of becoming stale, solemn affairs. It's up to the host to keep it energetic, manage egos of big stars, and honor the TV shows, movies, or songs at the same time. This is pretty much what late-night talk show hosts do on a smaller scale every night.

    But in a Balkanized media landscape, where there are so many different kinds of shows, movies, and types of music on so many different kinds of platforms, there's also something to be said for ejecting the standard trope of having a white male late-night funnyman host the show.

    There's plenty of talent in all corners of the industry. Take Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two "Saturday Night Live" alumni who made the Golden Globes ceremonies a blast when they hosted. And while Anne Hathaway and James Franco flopped the year they hosted the Oscars, it doesn't mean the show should do away with having a pair of actors try it again.

    Here are 27 potential Oscar hosts who could inject some more fun into the show while keeping it classy. Heck, come to think of it, they could work for the Golden Globes or Emmys as well.

    Issa Rae

    The showrunner, actress, and writer is best known for HBO's "Insecure," but she's ready for a bigger spotlight. Rae is charming and hilarious in every interview she gives, and she has the chops to put on a good show and give every star their due.

    Samantha Bee

    Give a female late-night talk show host a chance! The Jimmys are fine, but Bee's TBS show "Full Frontal" is just as funny and much, much sharper — particularly when it comes to the position of women in society, which is currently plaguing Hollywood. She could do a lot with a stage like the Golden Globes or Oscars.

    Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Stewart

    Ellen did a great job at the Oscars in 2014. Give her another go! In the past few years, her star has only risen as she's figured out how to grab viral moments from the web and translate them to everyone, or cause viral moments herself.

    Jon Stewart is a little musty, but he's due for a return. His dry, cutting humor is a perfect compliment to Ellen's shrewd, bubbly approach. Pairing them together would be perfect.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jennifer lawrence

    We’ve still got a couple years to go, but Jennifer Lawrence easily deserves consideration in any debate about the decade’s best movie star. In a shockingly short time, the actress has compiled a formidable résumé that’s as impressive for its range as for its string of successes. Starting with her 2010 breakthrough, Winter’s Bone, she’s racked up a series of acclaimed art-house hits, snagging four Oscar nominations along the way. (She won in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook.) And then there are the massive blockbusters: When she wasn’t running around as Mystique in the X-Men reboot/prequels, she was the moral compass and bow-and-arrow heroine of the Hunger Games franchise.

    But box office and awards only partly explain her appeal. Raised in Louisville and discovered on the street in New York by a talent scout when she was a teenager, Lawrence gives off a lively, funny, slightly smart-aleck vibe in interviews that’s a perfect buttress against our celebrity-obsessed times. She plays the part of a glamorous starlet with ease, but there’s a fundamental distrust of fame’s machinery — a sense that she wants us to know that she knows that Hollywood is kind of silly — informing her unpretentious public persona as well as her performances.

    As a result, whether she’s taking down dystopias as Katniss Everdeen or making out with Amy Adams in American Hustle, Lawrence isn’t just wholly confident onscreen — she radiates a spirit of excitement that she invites the viewer to share with her. Lawrence’s triumphs, in a weird way, feel like ours as well, because we’re along for the ride. She’s never asked us to bow down to her greatness — for all her range and emotional intelligence, perhaps her greatest talent is still seeming like an ordinary person. So, yes, she’s America’s Sweetheart — or, maybe more accurately, America’s Fun Buddy. Some may read this intro and roll their eyes, arguing that Lawrence’s patented self-deprecation and casual dorkiness are a big act. To which we’ll say: If that’s an act, it’s a really good one — and we’re not tired of it.

    When ranking her film performances, we decided to ignore small parts early in her career (Garden Party) or movies that didn’t get a proper release (The Devil You Know). We’re less concerned with overall quality of these movies than with Lawrence’s roles in them, but because she’s been the shining center of so many of her films, that proves tricky. Her best movies seem to vibrate on the same unpredictable, immediate wavelength that she likes to operate on. With Red Sparrow on its way, now seems like a good time to catalogue all she’s accomplished. And remember: She only turned 27 last summer.

    15. "Serena" (2014)

    This somewhat infamous misfire from Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier features that true rarity: a Jennifer Lawrence performance in which she looks deeply uncomfortable. One of the actress’s most impressive qualities is her ability to hold your attention effortlessly, to look as if acting in a movie is the most natural, normal thing a person could do. But here, stranded alongside Bradley Cooper (who has the same deer-in-headlights look), she’s completely lost as a Depression-era woman who goes mad after losing a child and directs her fury at a woman who had an illegitimate son with her husband years earlier. After years of delay, this was shuffled in and out of theaters for a week in 2013, and with good reason: Both stars would rather you forget this movie ever happened.

    14. "House at the End of the Street" (2012)

    An answer to the question, “What if, in an alternative but parallel universe, Jennifer Lawrence was forced to have Jennifer Love Hewitt’s career?” This trashy horror-thriller centers on an abused boy (Max Thieriot) who grows up to wreak havoc on a suburban town and the teenager (Lawrence) who cares about him. It’s pretty terrible, and it only received a wide release because Lawrence had already become hugely famous from The Hunger Games. She’s the only good thing about the movie, providing intelligence and grounding for a character that has neither in the script. Thank heavens she never has to do one of these again.

    13. "The Burning Plain" (2008)

    The directorial debut of Amores Perros screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga has the twisty-turning, multi-story-line structure of that film (and Babel, which he also wrote), but none of the restraint, turning what could have been a moving story into something so stultifyingly self-serious that you’ll suffocate from the lack of air in the room. Lawrence does shine in a smaller role as a flashback version of the lead character played by … Charlize Theron! Is there a universe in which Jennifer Lawrence grows up and turns into Charlize Theron? There is in this movie.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    red sparrow 2 fox

    • "Red Sparrow" director Francis Lawrence gave us insight on what he did to make his movie's star, Jennifer Lawrence, feel completely comfortable on a set that included a lot a nudity and sex scenes.
    • He had a three-hour talk with Jennifer in her backyard after she agreed to do the movie.
    • Though not done on purpose, shooting a nude scene the first day of shooting helped.

    Director Francis Lawrence was wrapping up editing on “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2” when he was handed the book, “Red Sparrow.” For someone who had just spent the last five years making three movies in the globally successful YA franchise, the novel by Jason Matthews was a welcome sight. And he had a feeling the franchise’s star, Jennifer Lawrence, would be into it as well.

    “I know for a fact she was starving to do different stuff,” Lawrence told Business insider of Jennifer’s need to take on roles that were very different from Katniss Everdeen at the time they wrapped the “Hunger Games” movies.

    He instantly called Lawrence and pitched her the idea of playing the character in the book that grabbed him the most, Dominika. A young Russian ballerina who after an injury — and scared she will lose the financial support of the Kremlin to take care of her ailing mother — agrees to become a “Sparrow,” part of a Russian intelligence service in which agents use their sexuality to accomplish missions.

    Jennifer was intrigued and Francis got 20th Century Fox involved, which fast-tracked a script. But as the script for “Red Sparrow” was being written, Lawrence admits he was convinced something was going to go wrong.

    “She wasn’t going to want to do the movie once she read it because of the content,” he thought.

    In 2014, Jennifer Lawrence’s phone was hacked and nude photos of the actress leaked online. She said afterward that it was an experience that “was so unbelievably violating that you can't even put into words.” After going through something like that, would she be comfortable doing a movie where her character endures violent sexual encounters and in one scene is completely nude?

    Not being shy about addressing nudity

    Around March of 2016, the actress read the script and contacted Lawrence to tell him she wanted to do the movie. Without hesitation he drove to her house to talk. But it wasn’t because the director wanted to dive in on discussions about the character. He wanted to be very open with his star about the sexually graphic nature of the role.

    Red Sparrow Francis Lawrence Fox finalLawrence said he sat and talked to the actress for three hours in her backyard about what the role entailed and gave her a step-by-step game plan of how he would shoot these sensitive scenes.

    “I said, ‘Let’s just start being frank right away about the content of the movie,’” Lawrence said. “Because it's easy to get shy about it and next thing you know you're on the day of a tough scene and she's nervous and we haven't really talked about it. I didn't want it to happen. I didn't want to walk on egg shells or her to be walking on egg shells, and I wanted a partner that was going to think about the scenes with me. She felt ownership of it and she collaborated and made sure that those kind of scenes always were truly married to the fabric of the narrative and character and tone.”

    He also made her a promise: She would see the finished movie before the studio or producers and could take out any scenes that made her uncomfortable.

    “The studio and producers wouldn’t ever get the dailies until we saw them, there was a system in place,” Lawrence said. “We showed Jen, she did not nix anything, and then I showed the producers and studio.”

    Feeling protected on set

    After working on three movies with Jennifer Lawrence, Francis had come to realize that the Oscar winner was unlike many of the greats when it came to how she performed. Many in her caliber are most comfortable with lots of discussions with their director before (and during) shooting about the character and scenes. The director was shocked to learn she was nothing like that when he first directed her on “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

    “I assumed, like most great actors, she would want to do a lot of discussion and go through the script,” Lawrence said. “I remember she went to me, ‘Well, I'll do that if you want me to.’ And I said, ‘What?’ And she said, "Yeah, I mean, I don't really like to rehearse, I feel kind of stupid rehearsing, but I will if you really want me to.’ She was just the opposite of any other actor I have ever worked with in that sense.”

    Red Sparrow Fox finalSo for shooting “Red Sparrow,” Lawrence knew all he had to do was give his star some general direction and then let her shine when the cameras rolled. But her unique style is partly why Lawrence wanted to make sure she would be fully protected on set. He didn’t want her performance to feel constrained or timid.

    Lawrence believes because the first scene they shot for the movie had nudity in it, which he said was not planned, Jennifer was able to instantly be comfortable with the movie’s tone because she saw firsthand how it was handled.

    The scene (mild spoiler head) shows Dominika as she follows her old ballerina dance partner and his girlfriend into a steam room and attacks them (payback for the injury they caused to Dominika that ended her career) while they are nude and having sex.

    “She saw how we approached it — even though we had talked about it — how we actually physically approached shooting a scene where there's nudity,” Lawrence said. “The actors were basically entirely naked for the bulk of the day. She saw that everyone was really respectful, she saw that the crew in the room was down to the bare minimum, she saw that we put the video monitors in a tent so that people couldn't gather around, she saw people standing just off camera with robes so they could get thrown on the actors right away. She saw how comfortable the actors were doing that scene, I think that was the biggest thing, seeing the comfort of the actors.”

    As the movie progresses Jennifer has a nude scene along with doing numerous sexually graphic scenes, including one sequence when she fights off a rape attempt while taking a shower.

    You’re either comfortable in your own skin or you’re not

    Jennifer Lawrence has said while doing press for “Red Sparrow” that the movie’s sexual tone made her feel “empowered.”

    "I feel like something that was taken from me I got back,” she told “60 Minutes.” And Francis believes this was the kind of project the star needed after going through the leaked nude photos experience. But the director wasn’t going to push, she had to be willing.

    “That’s how I was when I gave her the script,” he said. “There was no convincing, she just had to make the decision all on her own. I feel as an actor, whether you’re a man or a woman, if there’s nudity in the role it’s a choice you make — I’m comfortable in my own skin, I’m in; or I’m uncomfortable and I’m out — but I think that Jen would probably say that she found this to be a more moving experience for her.”

    "Red Sparrow" opens in theaters on Friday.

    SEE ALSO: Jennifer Lawrence's "Red Sparrow" director addressses the love-hate reaction from movie critics: "It's hard for me to tell quite yet what it is people hate about it"

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    jennifer lawrence red sparrow ballerina

    • Jennifer Lawrence stars in "Red Sparrow," where she plays an elite Russian spy trying to learn about a CIA plot.
    • Critics say the movie is mostly a slog with an impenetrable plot.
    • Lawrence's character is intriguing, but the movie cares more about her body and setting up violent scenes than going anywhere interesting, according to critics.


    Jennifer Lawrence's new movie, "Red Sparrow," is a chilly, sexy spy thriller where she plays an elite Russian spy, named Dominika, assigned to target a CIA agent — but the operation threatens to unravel the security of both their nations.

    "Red Sparrow" also reunites Lawrence with her "Hunger Games" director, Francis Lawrence (no relation), and has a cast rounded out by Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, and Matthias Schoenaerts.

    How does it stack up? Critics are split. The consensus is that Lawrence delivers typically excellent work. But critics also say the movie is over its head when it comes to the spy stuff, and slows down to a slog in the scenes that aren't violent thriller setpieces or sexy spy stuff.

    Here's what the critics are saying:

    J-Law's character is uncompromisingly tough.

    "It's both appealing and crucial that 'Red Sparrow' doesn’t soft sell Dominika. There’s an attractive, recognizable toughness to her as well as a febrile intensity born from need and circumstances, including the existential reality of being a woman in a man's world. Dominika is sentimental (mostly about her mother), but she isn’t sentimentalized and never becomes the movie’s virgin or its whore, its femme fatale or good girl. She’s just the one carrying the fast-track story."

    The New York Times's Manohla Dargis

    But the plot is all muddled.

    "This dark, meandering and cliche-ridden bummer starring a trying-hard Jennifer Lawrence tries to reach for a cool and stylish look at contemporary spycraft but often falls victim to cartoon violence and a muddled story. The creators may call it erotic but it’s as erotic as a visit to the dentist."

    The Associated Press's Mark Kennedy

    The movie has ugly scenes where Lawrence gets brutalized

    "As 'Red Sparrow' unfolds, you see Dominika get brutalized in various ways — sexual assault, beatings, torture, humiliation, psychological torment, that wig — and it’s immensely off-putting; there’s a voyeuristic element to the violence in Red Sparrow that’s really creepy. You can’t actually watch some of it for having your hands over your eyes, and we don’t mean that in a good way."

    Toronto Sun's Liz Braun

    Those scenes make the movie seem misogynistic.

    "Once again, the film finds a way to superficially justify misogynistic violence and torture by characterizing the world of Russian spies – if not Russia as a whole – as a deeply sexist environment where women are consistently undermined. This most clearly evident in the spy school where Dominika is sent to become a 'Sparrow,' a special agent trained to give subjects what they want in order to extract information from them."

    — Little White Lies's Elena Lazic

    But it can satisfying if you can get past that.

    "If you can get past all that — and that’s a big 'if' — then you’re in for an engrossing movie. A roller coaster of twists and turns, crosses and double-crosses, some of which strain belief but are entertaining in an 'Oh, now I get it!' kind of way."

    Twin Cities Pioneer Press's Maren Longbella

    It's not as fun as "The Hunger Games."

    "Many of the images are romantic, but the movie isn’t. Its cool heart lies with rough sex, spasms of ugly violence, and the grim though interesting ironies of Dominika’s existential dilemma and how she resolves it. Ms. Lawrence had the same director in three of her four 'Hunger Games' features, which weren’t grim at all. They were enlivened by pulp energy and extravagant style, while everything that happens here is carefully calibrated. Events make sense, though parts of the plot are hard to follow, but they don’t make you grin with anticipation or gasp with excitement."

    The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern

    The director doesn't have the imagination to do anything interesting with the premise.

    "If [the plot] sounds completely ludicrous, that’s because it is, and 'Red Sparrow's' reluctance to own up to it is all that holds the film back. The mind spins at what a great stylist and provocateur like Brian De Palma or Paul Verhoeven might have done with a story like this – 'Mission: Impossible' crossed with 'Showgirls,' maybe – but instead the director Francis Lawrence, working from a novel by the retired CIA operative Jason Matthews and reunited with his regular leading lady (no relation) for the first time since the conclusion of 'The Hunger Games,' makes it all punishingly matter of fact."

    The Telegraph's Robbie Collins

    And some scenes are just boring.

    "'Red Sparrow' defaults to stodgy when its story isn't dishing out the book's explicit sex and violence (including attempted rape), with lines and scenes that feel flat and obligatory alternating with ones that have no trouble holding our attention."

    The Los Angeles Times's Kenneth Turan

    The movie is vaguely about Russian politics.

    "There are no clips of Putin, and he isn’t even referred to by name, yet he’s a presence in this movie; he’s the demigod of a corruption that the rest of the characters are acting out. For the first time in a long while, a thriller revives Cold War tensions in a way that doesn’t feel corny, since the Russians, in “Red Sparrow,” are standing in for the new world order: a global marketplace of people selling themselves. It’s no wonder spying is trickier than ever. After a century of espionage, even the most undercover impulses are now out in the open, if not downright naked."

    Variety's Owen Gleiberman

    While J-Law's character is compelling, the movie is more interested in her body.

    "Whatever investment in the plot the film wrings from the audience comes from the fact that Dominika is stuck between two bad options: working for the monsters who turned her into their tool or defecting to America and possibly severing ties with her ailing mother (Joely Richardson). The twisty path she chooses allows her to wrest back control of her life, including her sexual agency, but the camera is nowhere near as interested in her journey as it is in her body."

    Slate's Inkoo Kang

    And there's no chemistry whatsoever between her and Joel Edgerton.

    "By then, there’s no time to develop the pair’s relationship. What was a steamy battle of wits in the novel looks more like a chemistry-free charade onscreen. Instead of character development, the audience gets torture galore, whether it’s Dominika being doused with freezing water while naked and tied to a chair or a particularly sadistic character flaying someone alive."

    The Washington Post's Stephanie Merry

    "Red Sparrow" is out Friday.

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    lou lost and found jj

    • Pixar's "Lou" is nominated for best animated short at the 2018 Oscars.
    • INSIDER spoke with director and writer Dave Mullins about the five-year journey to bring "Lou" to theaters in front of "Cars 3."
    • The short was inspired by the feeling of being the new kid at school.
    • At one point, they considered making the main character, Lou, the short's villain.
    • A lot of the Easter eggs in the movie are nods to his family. A little girl is designed around his daughter when young.
    • Mullins is currently working on "Incredibles 2."

    The 2018 Oscars are Sunday and among nominated shorts and films is "Lou," one of the latest Pixar animated shorts that played in front of "Cars 3."

    It follows an anthropomorphic creature, Lou, who is made out of items in a lost-and-found box in a playground. Through the six-minute short, he helps a young bully, J.J., stop stealing from other kids and, instead, inspires him to start reuniting all of the kids with their missing belongings.

    Ahead of the 90th annual Academy Awards, INSIDER spoke with "Lou" director and writer Dave Mullins who has been at Pixar since 2000 as an animation supervisor and animator on movies including "The Incredibles,""Finding Nemo," and "Monsters Inc." He's currently working long hours on "Incredibles 2."

    INSIDER spoke with Mullins about bringing "Lou" to life over five years and how it serves as a homage to his father. Mullins also shared some Easter eggs you may have missed during a first watch, and his advice for artists hoping to break through into the business.

    A short film five years in the making

    jj lou lost and found

    Mullins started pitching short ideas at Pixar around 2005. In that time, he estimates pitching four or five different ideas. Of those ideas, one came close to being made, but never came to fruition. 

    When he pitched again in 2012, he went in with the idea of making a more personal film and thought of his childhood.

    "I moved around a lot and there's that feeling you get when you're the new kid at school, you either want to hide from people, or you feel like people don't see you And I thought, 'You know, that would be a really cool character, if you take that negative experience and put a positive spin on it. What if there is was a character that could hide in plain sight at school? What would that be?'"

    That led Mullins to drawing up a bunch of characters, and that led to Lou and the lost and found box.

    "The thing I really liked about the lost and found box was that it has this built-in sense of purpose, which is basically it's meant to collect things that are lost, and give them back to their original owners," he said. 

    lost and found

    Part of Mullins' excitement came from Pixar's penchange for anthropomorphic characters and bringing objects to life, such as in "Toy Story," but never an amalgamation of them. He drew pages of different versions of what Lou could look like imagining him as everything from a caterpillar to a two-legged guy and a blob. 

    "From a design standpoint, as long as it's the two baseballs with buttons for eyes, and the hoodie's in there for a mouth, it's Lou," he said. "Once I had that character, I started thinking about, 'Well, [the] story is conflict, and what's the best foil for a character like this?' And it led me to the bully character. And then we had to really start digging into what makes a bully tick, and why they do what they do, and that's where the film really started to quickly come into shape." 

    jj meets lou

    Mullins and a team, which included producer Dana Murray, worked on the six-minute short in bite-sized chunks over the next several years. Though "Lou" was approved to be made in 2012, it was while Mullins was supervising animation on "The Good Dinosaur."

    So the team worked on the short when they could in between major studio projects like "Coco" and "Inside Out."

    "I had to finish working on 'The Good Dinosaur,' so we went on pause for like nine months. And then I got to work on Lou ... for about six or eight months there," said Mullins of the timeline for "Lou.""Then I went to work on 'Inside Out,' and then we came back and we did some pre-production [on "Lou"], and then I went to work on 'Coco' and 'Cars [3],' and then finally finished the film."

    In that time, Mullins says while he received some notes from the Pixar brain trust, not a lot changed from the original story. 

    "Once I found the story that is on screen, I was locked into that. I knew that that's what I wanted to make," said Mullins. "I wanted Lou to be a good guy, I wanted this bully to terrorize these kids and Lou [to] force him through attrition to basically become a better person, and by doing that he actually gets what he really wants, which it wasn't stealing all this stuff. He just wanted attention."

    "Lou" could have been completely different

    lou character

    Lou's a good guy in the finished version of the short, but Mullins said there was a time when they played around with him as the villain. He would have stolen items from the kid on the playground. But, in the end, it never felt right.

    "I think the story could have worked the other way. But just not the way I wanted it to work. I really liked Lou as this guardian," said Mullins about testing "Lou" from an alternate perspective. "The logic of the lost and found box is they are meant to collect things and give things back. To me, that was such a bullet-proof idea that I felt like you couldn't really mess with that. I felt like that was the secret sauce of it."

    Flipped, the story may have come across a bit different. 

    "When you have Lou as the mean character, it makes this kid be the brunt of all this ill will, and it's hard to make a character like that likable," explained Mullins. "If you want Lou to finally give himself away at the end and make that sacrifice ... I think it's better having a good character that gives himself away to teach another character something. There's something more rewarding about that for me personally."

    An homage to his father

    At the end of the six-minute short, there's a small tribute you may have missed. Next to a tiny football are the words, "For Dad."

    lou tribute dave for dad

    "My dad had colon cancer, and he fought it for about eight years, and in the last year of making the film, we lost him," Mullins said. "That was kind of tough, right in the middle of production, dealing with that. And my dad and I were really close."

    The football is a nod to his father and the bond that brought father and son together.

    "I was a skate punk growing up, I liked punk rock and metal and skateboarding and D&D [Dungeons & Dragons]. And my dad was captain of the football team. He loved football and he watched the Cowboys," said Mullins. "The thing where my dad and I always met in the middle was, we loved movies. We'd watch movies together."

    "I had the football in there as kind of an homage to him," he continued. "The thing that J.J. bullies these kids with early on in the film and then ultimately at the end when he gives it back, it's a thing that brings him back into the fold and kind of humanizes him. I just thought that was a nice touch that worked from a sentimental, personal standpoint."

    Easter eggs you may have missed the first time around

    If you watch any Pixar movie or short, then you'll know there are hidden references to other films or even some more personal nods. "Lou" is no different.

    "I didn't do a ton of homages to other films. Mostly it was just back to my own family," said Mullins, who listed off a bunch for us. 

    The classroom door numbers are a nod to his children.

    classroom numbers lou

    "So the classrooms are 03, 04 and 05. My son was born in 2003, and my daughter was born in 2005," he said. 

    One of the characters is based on Mullins' daughter.

    jj lou

    "The little girl that hugs J.J. and kind of snaps him out of it? That's pretty much my daughter," said Mullins. "We designed that character around my daughter, and she has this little pig doll that she's had since she was a baby that she still has."

    The bully, J.J., is named after Mullins' mother. 

    "J.J. stands for Joyce Jean, which is my mom's first and middle name," he said. And it's stuff like that.

    The "E.T." homage

    lou ET pixar

    This is the easiest one to spot.  

    Lou is the only red thing in the entire short film

    This is going to make you want to go back and watch the short again. 

    "There's nothing in the film that's red except for Lou. And so that was a really intentional thing that we did from a design standpoint," said Mullins of the creative choice. "We designed the playground to have colors that were complementary to red, and also I knew that the trees were gonna be the background, and the blue sky, and so he was the one thing that I wanted to pop, because he's the thing that was going be the hardest to read."

    It's attention to detail like that which not only makes watching a Pixar film so rewarding, but that Mullins says makes working on those projects equally fun.

    What it means to be nominated for an Oscar

    dave mullins dana murray

    "I'm deeply humbled. I feel lucky to be at such a great studio that supports upcoming filmmakers and directors and writers, and I also feel so lucky to be surrounded with such a great crew," said Mullins. "On every film there's dark moments where you don't know how you're gonna work your way out of things, and I had people that really backed me up and I think if you treat people kindly, which is really what the film's about, and with compassion and respect, that they give that back to you."

    "I felt that very much making Lou, and, being nominated, it's just the cherry on top," he added. "It's hard to put into words, really. But it's an incredible feeling. It's just incredible."

    Speaking of incredible, here's what Mullins can tell us about "Incredibles 2"

    the incredibles 2

    After working on the 2004 film, Mullins is working with director Brad Bird on the sequel out this June as one of the supervising animators. (It just so happens he's working alongside Alan Barillaro who won the Oscar for Pixar short "Piper" last year.)

    Mullins couldn't say much, but right now he and the team are working around the clock to get the movie done for its June 22 release.

    "Brad's been thinking about this one for a very long time. There's a lot of things that we wanted to do in the first film that are showing up in this film, and he's excited that he can finally get those ideas on film," says Mullins of "Incredibles 2.""I think people are gonna love it. We've had such a good time working on it, and it's a really great story, and I learned so much from Brad on this film. It's been a great experience."

    The movie will see Helen Parr (Holly Hunter) stretch her legs as a superhero while Mr. Incredible tries life as a stay-at-home dad. You can watch a trailer for it here.

    Mullins' advice to artists: Don't give up

    It took Mullins seven years of pitching ideas to Pixar before he started working on "Lou." Sometimes, you're going to hear a lot of the word "no" before you hear a yes. 

    "I had so many shorts here that I pitched that they were just like 'Nope. Nope. Nope," Mullins recalled. "They wanted me to direct, but I wasn't coming with the ideas that were exciting them. I mean, they excited me, but I just kept trying."

    And that's his advice to any young artists or artists in general. Don't give up.

    "I'd just say to anybody that has some crazy idea and people say no, or the door's closed in your face, just keep at it. If you believe in the thing, just keep at it, eventually you'll get it made. Eventually, it'll happen," he said. "Don't take no for an answer. Just be tough as nails, and do it. Surround yourself with smart people if you can, and people that are like-minded, and just don't give up. The only thing that has a hundred percent failure rate, is if you give up. So I would say if you're feeling down, we've all been there. Just push through. You'll get there."

    You can watch a teaser for "Lou" below. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Oscars undeserving winners

    The mission statement of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is to "recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination, and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures."

    In giving out the Oscars every year, they often fail.

    This year's nominations has its own problems, but it's far from the only time the Academy messed up. Year after year, the Academy rewards mediocrity in its ranks. It's still struggling to shed the reputation that it prefers middlebrow, inspiring dramas over all else.

    Here are 21 times the Academy gave out Oscars to movies that were completely undeserving.

    "The Greatest Show on Earth" was a misguided attempt to reward Cecil B. DeMille.

    Sometimes the academy rewards filmmakers who they feel are overdue.

    In 1953, Cecil B. DeMille had been cranking out epic after epic. As a producer and director, he reshaped Hollywood into a massive commercial enterprise. But he hadn't won a competitive Academy Award.

    So, the theory goes, "The Greatest Show on Earth" was awarded the best picture prize to make up for all the times he didn't win it in the years before.

    They should have waited a few more years. "The Greatest Show on Earth" is an overlong slog about a circus. Four years later, DeMille made one of his best movies, "The Ten Commandments," which lost the Oscar to another awful best picture winner, "Around the World in 80 Days." It's a massive failure all around.

    People are still mad about "Crash" winning best picture.

    In the 21st century, the worst best picture winner is, without a doubt, 2004's "Crash." It's a weepy, unconvincing drama about how racism is bad. It has the elegance of New York City's transportation system and, somehow, also won Oscars for editing and screenplay.

    Even Paul Haggis, the movie's director, thought it didn't deserve the award.

    "Was it the best film of the year? I don’t think so,"he told Hitfix in 2015. "There were great films that year. 'Good Night, and Good Luck' — amazing film. 'Capote' — terrific film. Ang Lee’s 'Brokeback Mountain,' great film. And Spielberg’s 'Munich.' I mean please, what a year."


    The Bigfoot creature in "Harry and the Hendersons" looks awful.

    The makeup category has a weird history of awarding terrible movies with admittedly good makeup, like "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Suicide Squad."

    But in "Harry and the Hendersons," the makeup isn't even good! The Sasquatch creature in the middle of the family comedy looks like vomit.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    alex essoe midnighters

    • A "Walking Dead" director has his first movie in theaters March 2.
    • "Midnighters" follows a couple in a troubled marriage who try to get away with murder after hitting a man with their car.
    • Director Julius Ramsay tells INSIDER it's loosely inspired by a true-life story about a woman who hit someone with her car who later bled to death in her garage.
    • Ramsay and his brother worked on the movie for the past three years.

    "The Walking Dead" fans may recognize the name Julius Ramsay for his work on the show.

    He directed two episodes of the AMC hit, including "Still," featuring Beth and Daryl drinking moonshine and burning down a cabin. 

    daryl beth walking dead 412

    After a number of years editing shows and directing TV episodes including "Battlestar Galactica" and "Outcast," Ramsay's movie directorial debut, "Midnighters," is coming to theaters Friday.

    A passion project he's been working on for the past three years with his brother, Alston, the IFC Midnight film follows a couple who tries to get away with murder. That may sound like your typical thriller, but its origins are rooted in a true story.

    "We really wanted to do a thriller that was based in the real world, but didn't have anything supernatural or extraterrestrial about it," Ramsay told INSIDER. "My brother had read a news article from a number of  years ago where a woman had hit somebody and they crashed through the windshield. She wound up driving him home and he bled out over the course of two or three days in her garage. So we kind of took that as a very, very rough starting point."

    midnighters car crash

    Ramsay is referring to a 2002 story where a nurse's aide, Chante Mallard, hit a homeless man with her car and then drove home with him stuck in her windshield. She left him in her garage where he bled to death, according to police. 

    Mallard was later sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder and another 10 for tampering with evidence after burning a bloody car seat.  

    While the film itself involves a couple hitting a man in the road and then bringing him back to their garage, "Midnighters" becomes much more complicated than that as the husband and wife duo try to avoid the suspicion of police and get roped into a larger mystery.


    "How do normal people wind up doing horrible things? What is the mental process that they go through to get to that point and then how far down the rabbit hole can they actually go?" Ramsay said are some of the questions he and Alston wanted to answer with "Midnighters." 

    "Midnighters" is the first time Ramsay has collaborated with his brother and its the first script from Alston Ramsay.

    midnighters julius alston

    The journey to get the low-budget noir thriller made was a bit of a challenge the past few years until it premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival last summer and they received interest from a number of distributors including IFC Midnight.

    "It's been my goal for many years has been to work on my own project," Ramsay said. "My brother had moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting, and we developed the storyline for this film. And then he wrote a really great screenplay for it. Eventually, we were able to raise the money to go out there and make this movie. It was a real labor of love and something that we both believed in and wound up spending a lot of time putting it all together and finally getting it made."

    "Midnighters" is in theaters and available on video-on-demand and digital HD March 2. You can watch the trailer for it below.

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    sherlock gnomes gnome alone

    Remember when "Finding Nemo" and "Shark Tale" were released around the same time? Or when "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Captain America: Civil War" came out just months apart? 

    This month, there are two animated movies about garden gnomes coming to theaters. 

    "Gnome Alone," in theaters March 2, is an adaptation of a book that follows a high school student who discovers her garden gnomes are alive and helps them fight an enemy. That film was delayed from an October release. Just three weeks later, we're getting "Sherlock Gnomes," a sequel to a 2011 movie where the spin on the classic detective will go on the hunt of some missing gnomes. 

    If you're confused by why there are two gnome movies coming out in theaters in the same month, it's not the first time two movies with similar themes have come out around the same time.

    This phenomenon of "twin" movies is actually somewhat common. Forbes contributor Mark Hughes explained in a 2011 Quora post that while sometimes the release of two similar films is just coincidence, it could be to piggyback off a competitor's potentially successful — or already successful — project. 

    Read the rest of his explanation here, and keep scrolling to see more "twin" films that have come out months apart in theaters over the years.

    1993/1994: "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp" are both centered around Western lawman Wyatt Earp.

    Box Office
    "Wyatt Earp": $25 million
    "Tombstone": $56.5 million

    Neither film did overwhelmingly great at the box office. "Tombstone," starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, edged out the Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid film from Warner Bros.

    1997: "Dante's Peak" and "Volcano" both revolve around the cast outrunning erupting volcanoes.

    Box Office
    Dante's Peak": $178 million 
    "Volcano": $122.8 million

    Fox got a little excited with its over-the-top posters for "Volcano." The film did nowhere near as well as Pierce Brosnan's volcano epic in the states; however, the Los Angeles centered movie picked up overseas.

    1998: The Earth was nearly destroyed in both "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact."

    Box Office
    Armageddon": $553.7 million
    "Deep Impact": $349.5 million

    Bruce Willis saves the world from an asteroid in the first film, while Robert Duvall tries to stop a massive comet from colliding with the planet.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    lady bird movie saoirse ronan

    When you think of Oscars fashion, iconic dresses and glitzy jewelry that celebrities wear on the red carpet most likely come to mind. But sometimes the best styles are the ones on the silver screen.

    Although it's often overlooked as frivolous or unimportant, fashion in movies tells a story or symbolizes something in ways that words sometimes fail to. From the clothing colors in "Get Out" to the stunning historical accuracy in "Victoria & Abdul," we rounded up 10 of the best fashion moments in this year's Oscar-nominated movies. 

    Despite the film's fantasy element, "The Shape of Water" remains grounded in the reality of the '60s due to its historically accurate costumes.

    There's a heavy focus throughout the movie on Elisa's (Sally Hawkins) outfits, paying special attention to her block heels, pleated skirts, and pearl necklaces, all of which were popular styles in the early '60s.

    You can read more about "The Shape of Water" here.

    With a focus on bright colors, shorts, and patterns, "Call Me By Your Name" perfectly captured trends that were popular in Europe in the '80s.

    Elio and Oliver (Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer) spend a summer looking effortlessly cool in button-up shirts, graphic T-shirts, and converse sneakers, as seen above.

    You can read more about "Call Me By Your Name" here.

    The live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" had stunning costumes that were true to the classic animated version.

    With her hair partially pulled back, Belle's (Emma Watson) layered ensemble looked casual yet stylish.

    You can read more about "Beauty and the Beast" here.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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