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The latest news on Movies from Business Insider

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    Phil Lord Chris Miller Getty final

    • Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord said they will be taking executive producer credits on "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
    • The duo were originally the directors on the project but were fired during production over creative differences with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.
    • Ron Howard, who took over from Miller and Lord, will have the sole director credit.


    The fired directors of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," Phil Lord and Chris Miller, have finally revealed the credit they will be taking on the movie.

    While speaking at the third annual GLAS Animation Festival on Friday, Lord and Miller indicated they will take executive producer credits and not be sharing a director credit with their replacement Ron Howard, according to Variety.

    howard final Real Ron Howard “We were really proud of the many contributions we made to that film,” Miller told the audience, according to the trade. “In light of the creative differences, we elected to take an executive producer credit.”

    Howard took over the Han Solo origin story from Lord and Miller in June of last year after Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, fired the duo over creative differences. Since then it's been a mystery how Lord and Miller would be credited, though it became more and more unlikely the two would be listed as directors as it was reported Howard reshot 80% of the movie once he took over.

    However, Howard told Entertainment Weekly"Phil and Chris' fingerprints are all over the movie."

    "Solo: A Star Wars Story," opens in theaters May 25.

     

    SEE ALSO: Jeff Goldblum tells us about acting over the phone with Wes Anderson for "Isle of Dogs"— and why thinks his best performance is yet to come

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    black panther poster

    • By Saturday night, "Black Panther" will become the highest-grossing superhero movie of all-time at the domestic box office.
    • It will have surpassed previous record-holder, 2012's "The Avengers" ($623.2 million).
    • However, counting inflation, "The Avengers" still is the top superhero movie with a domestic gross of over $700 million.

    By Saturday night, "Black Panther" will be the highest-grossing superhero movie of all-time at the domestic box office, with an estimated total of over $630.5 million by the time the weekend's over. It surpasses the previous title holder, 2012's "The Avenger" ($623.2 million).

    The incredible feat by the movie is even more astounding by the fact that it was done in only 36 days.

    And with a $1.2 billion worldwide gross, the movie is inching closer to the top 10 all-time (currently sitting in 14th place just behind "Iron Man 3" with $1.214 billion).

    Now, none of this is counting inflation. When going down that road, "Black Panther" still has a little more work to do.

    The Disney/Marvel box-office sensation will likely finally lose its number one spot at the domestic box office to newcomer "Pacific Rim: Uprising." 

    And "Black Panther" is in fourth place for all-time superhero domestic grosses — behind 2002's "Spider-Man" ($637.8 million), 2008's "The Dark Knight" ($683.5 million), and "The Avengers" ($705.7 million).

    Nice company to be in, and with the movie still having a month (maybe two) in theaters, who knows where it will end up on this list of titans. 

    More "Black Panther":

    SEE ALSO: Jim Carrey has taken his criticism of Trump to a new level with a sexually explicit drawing of the president

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    jumanji welcome to the jungle 2 sony final

    • The internet had a field day in 2015 when Sony officially announced it was making a sequel to the hit 1995 movie "Jumanji."
    • But the joke's on the internet critics: The movie, powered by Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, earned close to $1 billion globally at the box office.
    • The film's director, Jake Kasdan, explained to Business Insider how he pulled off one of the biggest surprise hits in recent memory.

    Things did not start off well for the sequel to "Jumanji."

    Twenty years after the 1995 hit movie — which starred Robin Williams as a man who, after decades of being trapped inside a magical board game, is finally released to complete it with two kids — Sony announced in 2015 that it was going to dust off the property and reboot it.

    The internet was not happy.

    "It was like, 'You're ruining my childhood!'"Jake Kasdan, the director of "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," recalled when Business Insider asked whether he was aware of the backlash.

    Following the Sony announcement, social media was flooded with negative reactions, the consensus being that a "Jumanji" reboot would tarnish the original's legacy and that the sequel was just the latest example of Hollywood running out of new ideas:

    And things didn't get any better for the movie when, after the screenwriter Chris McKenna ("Spider-Man: Homecoming") was tasked with coming up with a new take on the movie, three more screenwriters came on board to give it a crack. The release date was also changed three times, eventually settling on December 20, the Wednesday after "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" would hit theaters.

    These are not good signs for a movie.

    But in one of the most miraculous turnarounds for a movie in recent memory, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" didn't just hold its own against "The Last Jedi" in December (finishing in second place for the last week and a half of the year), it knocked the latest "Star Wars" movie off the top spot and went on an incredible three-week streak of topping the weekend domestic box office in January.

    The movie went on to earn over $939 million worldwide, and over $400 million in North America — the second-best domestic performance ever for a Sony movie (just below the $403.7 million made by 2002's "Spider-Man"). All this came from just a $90 million budget.

    And no one is more surprised by the movie’s global success than Kasdan.

    'I loved what this could be'

    Known for R-rated comedies like "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" and "Bad Teacher," Kasdan came out of nowhere to prove he could helm a PG-13 action-comedy with major stars like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas.

    Kasdan signed on to direct a few months after Sony made the official announcement, despite being fully aware of the hatred for the idea by those on the internet.

    "On some level I think there's a deserved skepticism about bringing back titles," Kasdan told Business Insider while promoting the Blu-ray/DVD release of the movie (available Tuesday). "Whether it's a sequel, reboot, relaunch, I think we've done so much of it that understandably the audience is kind of, 'Why does everything have to be like this?' But I loved what this could be."

    jumanji sonyWhat the haters online didn't know was that Kasdan and the screenwriters McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, and Jeff Pinkner all contributed to what can only be described as a unicorn in the movie business — a reboot that feels new while also paying homage to the original.

    The major adjustment done for the "Jumanji" sequel was shifting the board-game element to better reflect the present gaming world.

    At the end of the original "Jumanji," the two main characters toss the game into a river. The sequel starts years later in 1996, with the game being found on a beach. The boy who is given it ignores what he sees as a lame board game, so the game magically morphs into a more attractive video game, sucking him into it. Years later, more kids are sucked in and become avatars played by Johnson, Hart, Black, and Gillan.

    That element opened incredible possibilities for the sequel's story, as it not only could bring the Jumanji game to life but also could deliver all types of gaming aspects to the movie — from the characters' three game "lives" apiece to the jokes about their avatar's strengths and weaknesses.

    Kasdan said this was all pulled off not by one single screenwriter who finally figured out how to crack the story but by collectively using all of them, like a TV writers' room.

    'It wasn't like someone was dismissed and never heard from again'

    Traditionally, on a movie, when a screenwriter has handed in his or her draft and been told that another scribe has been hired, that usually means the director, producers, or studio executives (or all the above) didn't like the previous screenwriter's work. But that wasn't the case on "Welcome to the Jungle."

    "What made this project unusual was I continued to work with a lot of the writers," Kasdan said. "It wasn't like someone was dismissed and never heard from again. Chris McKenna came up with the idea and wrote it with Erik Sommers, and then Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner came on, and I did some work on it as well. I just liked their work, so by the end it was this unique experience where they worked with me or each other. Everyone kept a foot in."

    Though Kasdan thought they had made a worthy movie, he still had no idea how it would play in test screenings. So first, he decided to play the movie for his kids.

    "My kids are like 7 and 5, which is sort of younger than we ever thought about our audience, but they loved it," he said. "That made me think that the movie had a larger possible audience than I had fully realized while we made the movie. They connected so strongly to the fantasy of it, it got me excited."

    And the rest is history. The movie made just under $1 billion globally at the box office and solidified the star status of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. And Kasdan is still trying to take it all in.

    "I've been doing this long enough to realize how extraordinary this is," he said. "It's kind of a dream."

    But now it's back to the drawing board for a sequel. Kasdan, Rosenberg, and Pinkner are all set to return, along with the lead cast. But can a sequel that was praised for having its own identity pull off a successful encore? Can the video game storyline be used again? Is it right to bring back the same cast?

    "We're just starting to figure that out," Kasdan said. "The honest answer is you could do all different kinds of things and we're trying to figure out what feels like the most organic and fun way to continue this."

    More on 'Jumanji':

    SEE ALSO: 17 TV shows that will probably get canceled soon

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    pacific rim uprising 1 Universal Legendary

    • "Pacific Rim Uprising" wins the domestic box office with a less-than-stellar estimated $28 million.
    • But the movie is flexing its robotic muscles overseas, especially in China.
    • "Black Panther" is now the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time domestically.

    "Black Panther" has finally been taken down from the top of the box office after five weeks straight atop it. But sadly for the industry, it doesn't seems like a powerhouse is taking its place.

    Universal/Legendary Picture's "Pacific Rim Uprising," the sequel to the 2013 original — which follows the battle between human-built giant robots against huge sea monsters — scored an estimated $28 million on over 3,700 screens to win the domestic box office, according to Variety.

    That's less than the original movie's opening ($37.2 million) and drastically under the $155 million budget of "Uprising." But like most blockbusters these days, Hollywood is less interested in the domestic and more interested in the international performance.

    In that regard, "Uprising" has a better outlook. Playing in 62 markets outside of North America, the title is looking to have a $146 million worldwide opening weekend, with a hefty $65 million coming from China. That's on par with what the opening of "Black Panther" had there.

    Speaking of the Marvel sensation, "Black Panther" steps down from one throne to sit on another.

    With a $16.6 million weekend, its domestic total is now over $630 million, which adds to its all-time total as the top superhero movie of all time. On Saturday, "Black Panther" passed "The Avengers" to be the top movie all-time in the genre (not counting inflation).

    And the movie pulled it off in just 36 days in theaters.

    SEE ALSO: The fired directors of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" reveal the credit they will be taking on the movie

    DON'T MISS: 'Black Panther' is now the highest domestic grossing superhero movie of all-time — and it did it in just 36 days

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Wes Anderson Michael Loccisano Getty

    For over 20 years, the director Wes Anderson has given us some of the most interesting movies the medium has seen — often doing it with beautifully detailed set designs, playful scores, and scripts that dance between drama and comedy.

    Recently Anderson has used stop-motion animation to pull this off. Almost a decade after wowing us with "Fantastic Mr. Fox," he returns to stop-motion with his latest movie, "Isle of Dogs" (opening Friday). This movie follows a Japanese boy's journey to find his dog, with the help of other dogs.

    Here we look at Anderson's nine feature-length movies and rank them worst to best:

    SEE ALSO: 9 characters who could die in "Avengers: Infinity War," ranked by how likely they are to meet their end

    9: "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007)

    Family has always been a major theme in Anderson's movies, and this one is no different. But things like story creativity, unique production design, and character development that make his other work shine don't land right in this one. Mainly the characters. There's a certain point in this movie when you just don't care anymore about the three brothers' (played by Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman) bonding journey through India.



    8: "Bottle Rocket" (1996)

    Anderson's debut feature is understandably his least ambitious work, but the drive to be one of the most creative storytellers working today is there. You can see it in the entertaining dynamic between the friends Anthony and Dignan (played by the brothers Luke and Owen Wilson) and in the execution of the movie's great robbery scene.



    7: "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001)

    Anderson kicked up his ambitious vision with regard to costumes and production design in this movie and has pretty much not looked back since. Looking at three gifted kids of a New York City family, and how they all grow up to have lives that never match their potential, the movie is a work that if you don't fully love, at the very least you respect. It also possesses Gene Hackman's last great performance before his retirement.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    han solo movie chewie

    • An actor who worked on "Solo: A Star Wars Story" revealed to Vulture some of the drama behind-the-scenes that led to the movie's original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, being fired.
    • The source said the directors seemed unsure of what they were doing on set and would demand 30 takes or more per-scene.
    • The source also claimed the first assistant director stepped in and helped direct "a lot of the scenes."
    • Ron Howard took over the film once Lord and Miller were fired and the source said he was much faster and basically reshot everything Lord and Miller did.


    We are starting to get more details on what it was like on the set of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" before original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired by Lucasfilm over creative differences, and Ron Howard took over.

    An actor on the movie spoke to Vulture anonymously about the experience of working with Lord and Miller and then Howard, and painted a picture of a set that didn't find its footing until Howard came on board. 

    The Vulture source said that Lord and Miller ("The Lego Movie,""21 Jump Street") were out of their element. The duo would typically demanded 30 takes or more per-scene and seemed unsure what they wanted at times.

    "Phil and Chris are good directors, but they weren’t prepared for 'Star Wars,'” the source said. “After the 25th take, the actors are looking at each other like, ‘This is getting weird.’ [Lord and Miller] seemed a bit out of control. They definitely felt the pressure; with one of these movies, there are so many people on top of you all the time."

    han solo cast photoThe source also said that the more experienced first assistant director stepped in and helped Lord and Miller direct "a lot of the scenes." (A spokesperson for Lord and Miller told Vulture, “This information is completely inaccurate.”)

    Once the veteran Howard took over the film, the production became much smoother and the director worked fast only needing two to three takes, according to the source. 

    And though the source confirmed reports that Howard reshot the majority of the movie, it seems the director didn't add a lot of new material. According to the source, Howard redid most of the scenes that Lord and Miller shot.

    “It’s exactly the same script," the source said. "They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new. [Lord and Miller] used whole sets. But Ron is just using parts from those sets. I guess they’re not shooting wide angle. Maybe to save money."

    On Friday, Lord and Miller announced at the GLAS Animation Festival that they were taking an executive producer credit on the movie.

    "We were really proud of the many contributions we made to that film," Miller told the audience, according to Variety. "In light of the creative differences, we elected to take an executive producer credit."

    "Solo: A Star Wars Story" opens in theaters on May 25.

    SEE ALSO: 'Billions" creators discuss their charmingly devious characters who have everyone on Wall Street saying, "You know that was based on me right?"

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    moviepass business insider

    Since MoviePass dropped its monthly subscription price to $9.95 in August, there’s been talk around the industry about how the company can sustain itself over a long period of time.

    While that's still yet to be determined, MoviePass is already giving some of the biggest movie chains in the country a lot of business, according to Second Measure, a firm that analyses US consumer spending on anonymized debit and credit card transactions.

    Here are three charts provided by Second Measure that show the influence of MoviePass:

    SEE ALSO: "Solo: A Star Wars Story" actor says they were doing 30 takes per scene before the original directors were fired and Ron Howard took over

    MoviePass membership climbs with each subscription price cut — but that's a 'dangerous game'

    MoviePass’ numerous price cuts on membership have helped drive up its subscription numbers to over 2 million and CEO Mitch Lowe hopes to pass 5 million by the end of the year.

    The initial $9.95 cut led to a subscription growth of more than 16-fold in one month. November’s $6.95 per month cut led to 14% opting for the full-year deal and a quarter of those annual subscribers purchasing more than one membership. That month, sales were five times greater than October.

    However, Second Measure believes MoviePass is playing a “dangerous game.” The lower the subscription price drops, the more money the company stands to lose every time it buys a full-price ticket for its millions of users.



    Theater sales have skyrocketed since the growth of MoviePass members spiked

    Theater owners will like this one. Theaters are making substantially more money from MoviePass subscribers compared to how those people spent before having a membership.

    MoviePass subscriptions brought in 81% more sales at AMC than one year prior, and 101% more sales to Cinemark. And that’s not counting the concessions these folks paid for with cash.



    Competition is coming

    It was only a matter of time before MoviePass imitators came on the scene and Cinemark’s Movie Club is the first major one. For $8.99 a month, you receive one ticket per month (it can be rolled over to the next month if not used). Though it’s not as sexy as MoviePass’ one-movie-a-day deal, people are doing it.

    Since its launch in December, Movie Club has enrolled 1/5 as many new users as MoviePass did in that time period.

    Nothing MoviePass has to worry about just yet. But there’s now someone in its rear-view mirror.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    ready player one

    It's hard to argue with filmmaker Steven Spielberg's impact on cinema.

    His films span decades and genres, from sci-fi classics to historical dramas. It's fitting that his upcoming film, "Ready Player One," deals with so much nostalgia. Spielberg is responsible for many of our greatest films, from "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" to "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

    But which ones performed the best at the box office? 

    We looked back on the prolific director's filmography, and ranked all of his films based on their domestic box office gross, adjusted for inflation (via Box Office Mojo).

    Below is every Steven Spielberg film ranked based on adjusted domestic box office:

    SEE ALSO: New MoviePass data reveals the 27 movies that sold the most tickets to its subscribers since August

    30. "The Sugarland Express" (1974)

    Domestic gross: $7.5 million

    Adjusted for inflation: $37.7 million



    29. "Empire of the Sun" (1987)

    Domestic gross: $22.2 million

    Adjusted for inflation: $48.4 million



    28. "The BFG" (2016)

    Domestic gross: $55.5 million

    Adjusted for inflation: $57.3 million

    Original worldwide gross: $183.3 million



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ready Player One 2 Warner Bros

    • Steven Spielberg proves he can still do the blockbuster movie better than anyone else with "Ready Player One."
    • It's the best Spielberg "ride" movie since "Catch Me If You Can."

    With Steven Spielberg at the helm adapting a book that celebrates the geeky decade when he was at his peak, it's OK to go into "Ready Player One" (opening in theaters Friday) with a whole lot of skepticism.

    Is Spielberg too close to the material to be able to pull off a story that is true to Ernest Cline's book?

    No. It's as simple as that.

    Spielberg — along with the screenwriter Zak Penn ("X-Men: The Last Stand,""Last Action Hero") and Cline (who is also a credited screenwriter) — creates an event film that has to be seen on a big screen to be fully appreciated.

    Along with the countless pop-culture references (I don't think I could catch them all even if I saw it five more times), Spielberg dusts off his action-adventure storytelling toolbox to prove to everyone he still can make a blockbuster movie at a high level.

    Lately the Oscar-winning director has focused on more serious fare like "The Post,""Bridge of Spies,""Lincoln," and "War Horse." That means many moviegoers haven't gotten that incredible Spielberg pulse-pounding, entertaining movie in over a decade. Even when he tried to sprinkle in a few catered to the under-30 crowd in that time — "The BFG" and "The Adventures of Tintin"— they were box-office duds that were mostly ignored by the Spielberg die-hards. (And I'm not even going to mention "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Just pretend that never happened.)

    For a Spielberg blockbuster that was universally praised, you have to go all the way back to Tom Cruise running from aliens in 2005's "War of the Worlds." But I'll go even further back than that.

    Personally, I think "Ready Player One" is Spielberg's most enjoyable movie since 2002's "Catch Me If You Can" starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

    I know what you're going say: "How can a movie about a check forger running from the FBI for years compare to a movie about a crippled future where everyone is addicted to virtual reality?"

    The ride.

    What Spielberg still does better than any other filmmaker is take you on a thrilling ride while sitting in a dark theater. I had that feeling watching DiCaprio con his way through "Catch Me If You Can," and I finally had that feeling once more in a Spielberg movie when I saw "Ready Player One."

    ready player oneIf you're not familiar with the book, Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan) lives in the year 2044 in Oklahoma City's poverty-stricken trailer-home community known as "The Stacks" (trailers are literally stacked one on top of one another). In this future the world has been decimated by a slew of disasters — both technological and environmental — that have led society to basically give up and head to a new world.

    That new world is not Mars or another planet but rather the virtual-reality world of the Oasis.

    There people can be and do whatever they want through their avatars. The longer you are in the Oasis and building a coin count, the more cool things you can accumulate. And thanks to the creator of the Oasis, James Halliday (Mark Rylance), there's also a whole slew of 1980s pop-culture references he loved as a kid ("You can even climb a mountain with Batman," Wade says at the beginning of the movie).

    But there's one more big reason to enter the Oasis. When Halliday died (before the events of the movie), he announced that he had left an Easter egg buried somewhere in the Oasis and that the first person to find it would receive a fortune and ownership of the Oasis. He also left three keys that lead to the Easter egg. But at the start of the movie, it's been five years and no one has found any of the keys.

    During "Ready Player One," we follow Wade and his friends as they try to find the keys. But they aren't the only ones looking. The corporation IOI has a team of people working day and night to find the egg led by a former Halliday intern, Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn).

    Spielberg still gives us his baseline theme that is in almost all of his movies: the main character's troubled family life. But for the most part we are in the Oasis following Wade's journey. Things pick up when Wade discovers a cheat to the race he's been trying to win with no success (driving the DeLorean from "Back to the Future," Wade can never seem to get past King Kong to the finish line). With the victory, he becomes the first person to get the first key.

    A lot of that race is spoiled in the movie's trailers, but it's merely an appetizer for what's to come. It's when Wade goes after the second key that the movie kicks into another level.

    I'm not going to give it away. All I can say is that's where the "ride" feel of a Spielberg movie kicked in for me. You could just feel the energy change in the theater I was in when we all realized what was about to happen.

    And the movie just becomes more fun as it goes on. Along with the action, it sprinkles in a love story between Wade and Samantha (Olivia Cooke), and a race to beat Sorrento that juggles between reality and the Oasis. There's also a great message about the need, as human beings, to have real-world interaction and not be plugged in all the time.

    Listen, I'm not trying to say we should put "Ready Player One" on the Mount Rushmore of Spielberg classic movies. What I hope I'm getting across is if you missed that Spielberg ride (or haven't experienced it yet in your life), this movie is going to give it to you.

    SEE ALSO: All 30 Steven Spielberg movies, ranked by how much money they made at the US box office

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    star wars last jedi porg

    • There's a new "Honest Trailer" parodying "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
    • It's all about how divisive the movie has been for fans, with two voiceover artists.
    • One person doing the voiceover for the trailer likes the movie, the other one hates it.
    • From one perspective, Rian Johnson's film honors the spirit of the original movies while breaking free from old traditions. From another, it's a betrayal of everything "Star Wars" fans know and love.
    • Still, everyone agrees that the Porgs are great.
    • Watch the trailer below.

     

    Sign up here to get INSIDER's favorite stories straight to your inbox.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: In 50 years we'll have 'robot angels' and will be able to merge our brains with AI, according to technology experts


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    Damien Chazelle La La Land Lionsgate

    Hollywood is always starving for young and fresh ideas, and currently there’s a crop of talent that can give the movie industry just that.

    It’s already happened with the likes of Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”), but there are a handful more that are ripe for some major breakthroughs. These are the directors who will continue to shape Hollywood for years to come.

    Here are 15 of the best filmmakers working today under 35:

    SEE ALSO: "Ready Player One" is the most enjoyable Steven Spielberg movie in over 15 years — and will take you on a wild ride

    Antonio Campos

    Only 34, Campos has four features and episodes of “The Punisher” and “The Sinner” under his belt — not to mention the numerous other titles he’s produced. He’s best known for his slow burn style of dark material like “Simon Killer” and “Christine.” 



    Damien Chazelle

    He’s a best director Oscar winner and one of the most sought-after filmmakers in Hollywood — and he’s only 33. The “La La Land” director has dazzled audiences with his original storytelling that also includes the acclaimed “Whiplash” and the upcoming Neil Armstrong biopic, “First Man,” starring Ryan Gosling.



    Ryan Coogler

    Believe it or not, there’s a director younger than Chazelle that everyone in Hollywood is drooling over. Coogler, 31, has just come off directing the historic box office hit “Black Panther.” This is after two other acclaimed movies, Sundance winner “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed.” Coogler pretty much has his pick of anything he wants in the industry for the foreseeable future.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Corey feldman

    • "Goonies" actor Corey Feldman said on Twitter that he was stabbed and hospitalized on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
    • The actor shared pictures of himself in the hospital, adding that we was "OK" and describing the attack as an "attempted homicide."
    • Feldman wrote that he believed the attack was "connected" to "mounting threats" he said he has received on social media, ostensibly in connection to his efforts in exposing Hollywood pedophilia. 

    "Goonies" actor Corey Feldman was stabbed and hospitalized Tuesday night in Los Angeles, the actor wrote on Twitter.

    Feldman, 46, shared two pictures of himself in a hospital gown on Twitter, adding that we was "OK" and describing the attack as an "attempted homicide."

    "IM IN THE HOSPITAL! I WAS ATTACKED 2NITE! A MAN OPENED MY CAR DOOR & STABBED ME W SOMETHING! PLEASE SAY PRAYERS 4 US!," Feldman wrote in the tweet. "THANK GOD IT WAS ONLY MYSELF & MY SECURITY IN THE CAR, WHEN 3 MEN APPROACHED! WHILE SECURITY WAS DISTRACTED, W A GUY A CAR PULLED UP & ATTACKED! I’M OK!"

    Feldman went on to write that he believed the attack was "connected" to "mounting threats" he said he has received on social media.

    "@LAPD R CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING THE CASE AS AN ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE! I HAVE HAD MOUNTING THREATS ON ALL SM PLATFORMS BY THIS VILE 'WOLFPACK,'" Feldman wrote. "& THIS IM SURE IS A RESULT OF THOSE NEGATIVE ACTIONS! I HAVE REASON 2 BELIEVE ITS ALL CONNECTED! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! HOW SICK R THESE PPL?!?"

    Feldman has been talking to the media about his intention to expose Hollywood pedophiles since last year, when he announced he was raising money to make a documentary on the producers he alleged abused him as a child. He said in a video announcing the crowdfunding effort for the documentary in October that he felt had put his life in danger by doing so.

    "I had a near-death experience last night where I felt like I was almost going to be killed,"Feldman said. "Two trucks came speeding at me at the same time on a crosswalk. And then several of my band members decided to quit because they decided they were afraid for their lives."

    In November, the LAPD launched and later dropped an investigation into Feldman's allegations of sexual abuse from his childhood, saying that the alleged incident was "out of statute," according to California law.

    SEE ALSO: R Kelly accused of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl he was keeping as a 'pet'

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    bring it on netflix secret categories graphic

    • Netflix pays a group of 30 people to binge-watch TV and film on its platform and label the content with category tags and metadata.
    • Fast Company recently profiled a professional "Netflix tagger," who described how her team develops descriptive "tags" for the service's recommendation algorithm and content sorting.
    • Netflix currently has several job openings for the position. 

    If you've ever found yourself wishing you could get paid to binge-watch TV and films, Netflix might actually be able to hook you up with a job.

    Fast Company published a profile of a professional "Netflix tagger" on Wednesday, describing how the streaming service currently employs a group of 30 people whose sole job is to watch Netflix content and "tag" TV shows and films with category information and metadata. 

    Sherrie Gulmahamad, the "tagger" profiled, discussed how her team develops Netflix's subjective and often bizarrely specific "category tags," which the service uses in its recommendation algorithm to label and sort content for viewers' discovery

    "We work with a sprawling palette of tones and storylines to capture the spirit of our content, and when it comes to those sorts of tags, we can be more editorial," Gulmahamad said.

    For example, Gulmahamad listed a long series of the available tags for "supernatural content" on the platform, which she said included "zombies, witches, dragons, cannibals, Bigfoot, mad scientists, mutants, magical creatures, angels, demons and even 'evil kids.'" 

    Gulmahamad described the job as "like being a librarian" with a "broad knowledge base of how TV shows or movies are related," where you spend up to 20 hours a week watching Netflix content. 

    There are currently several available listings for the "tagging" job, officially labeled "editorial analyst" on the company's website.

    Qualifications for the job include: "Ability to distinguish nuances within different movie and TV genres,""Ability to distill the essence of a movie/show and share findings in a concise manner," and "5+ years experience ... in the film and/or television industry."

    Read Fast Company's profile here.

    SEE ALSO: 39 of the best secret categories on Netflix and how to find them

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    ready player one

    Warning: There are mild spoilers ahead for "Ready Player One."

    If you’ve been worried about the film adaptation of "Ready Player One," don’t be.

    It delivers on every level fans have been hoping. It may even be better than its sometimes problematic source material.

    The film, in theaters Thursday, takes place in the year 2045 where we'll have pizza delivered to us by drones and the poor live in vertically stacked trailer parks. As the world is suffering from an energy crisis, everyone spends the majority of their time wearing visors and haptic gloves to transport into a free virtual reality world called the OASIS.

    When the pop culture-obsessed creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, dies it triggers the start of a contest. The first person to collect three keys and find a hidden Easter egg wins Halliday’s $500 billion fortune and the rights to the VR wonderland.

    ready player one parzival contest

    There’s a lot at stake when mega corporation Innovative Online Industries (IOI) wants to win the prize so it can start charging users a fee to access the OASIS and inundate it with loads of spammy advertising.

    In come Wade Watts/Parzival (Tye Sheridan), Aech, and a group of friends he meets online in the virtual reality world as they attempt to win the contest before the IOI can stake a claim to the prize.

    The result is a mix of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" meets the childlike wonder of "E.T." as teens are pitted to save the world they love from the avarice of a conglomerate. The screening INSIDER attended — a mixture of press and fans — cheered multiple times as they rooted for Parzival and his clan on their quest to find Halliday’s Easter egg.

    Why you should care: Steven Spielberg brings the popular book to life.

    wade watts ready player one

    It’s based on the 2011 New York Times' bestseller by Ernest Cline. You may not recognize many of the actors in the film, but if you like "Star Wars" spin-off "Rogue One," you’ll know the film’s villain, Ben Mendelsohn. "Master of None" fans will appreciate Lena Waithe's role.

    And did we mention Steven Spielberg?

    Do I need to read the book to appreciate this movie? Nope!

    ready player one race

    "Ready Player One" is not confined by Cline’s book and that's a good thing.

    I know a lot of people who don’t care for the book. Many people believe it's terrible. I’m not among that group. While I’m glad I reread it before seeing the film, it's not a necessity. In fact, if you've never read "RPO," I recommend avoiding it until after seeing the movie.

    When Warner Bros. says "Ready Player One" is based on Cline’s book, the studio really means it. While it follows the main outline of the book, that’s about it. So many of the finer details of the book — from the challenges themselves to a giant heist near the end — are changed on screen, but the heart of the source material is still very much intact. It’s one of the rare instances where the adaptation may be stronger than the book for going off script.

    What's hot: The visuals, a giant departure from the book, and Lena Waithe.

    The virtual world Spielberg brings to life makes you want to strap on a visor and enter the OASIS to experience it for yourself. From recreations of worlds in "Doom" to "Minecraft," the world is a stunning visual feast on the eyes. 

    You'll want to see it on the largest screen possible because your eyes will be busy darting across the screen trying to find every pop culture reference, hidden character, and Easter egg inserted in the film. One of the highlights is a giant dance party in soft purples, pinks, and blues.

    ready player one dance scene

    Surely, some startup — if Warner Bros. interactive hasn't already found a way — is working on a real version of the OASIS to experience. Spielberg said in an interview both he and the cast were able to put on VR headsets that allowed them to see inside the virtual space so it can't be that far off.

     

    The film's greatest achievement is straying from its source material.

    Too many film adaptations get hung up on trying to deliver a true adaptation of a best-selling book to crowd please. As "A Wrinkle in Time" showed, that doesn't always work. "Ready Player One" tosses that logic out the window and it's all the better for it.

    During a recent reread of the book, I wondered how some parts of the book were possibly going to make it to screen. There's an entire section of the book where Wade gets depressed, detaches himself from his online friends, gains a bunch of weight, orders a sex doll (really!), and then executes a grand scheme to break into IOI on his own. The story becomes all about him. The movie fixes this by retooling and centering the movie around Wade's friend group — Aech, Art3mis, Daito, and Sho — working together, rather than alone, to take down IOI and win the contest.

    ready player one wade watts

    It's one of the smartest things the movie does to be more inclusive of its female characters and tell the story from other perspectives. It makes the movie feel like more of an "E.T."/"Goonies" adventure than one person's quest to save the world.

    artemis ready player one

    If you've read the book and think you know how the contest is going to roll out, you don't. Nearly every challenge is altered from Cline's novel. Fans may groan, but it allows fans to experience the contest fresh all over again for the first time. 

    In the books, the entire contest is centered around Halliday's obsession with the '80s. As a result, Wade and other gamers become utterly engrossed in the era. One of the main complaints of the book is that it often feels like Wade/Parzival is just bragging about his wealth of '80s pop culture knowledge and nobody likes a know-it-all show-off.

    Maybe Warner Bros. didn't think the '80s were as accessible for millennials, but the film doesn't limit itself by staying focused on that era — or at least that's not outright evident. Instead, the movie's contest is based around Halliday's life, his regrets, and his failures in order to, hopefully, provide a learning tool for the eventual winner. 

    wade watts halliday ready player one

    As for the cast, Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke, who plays love interest Art3mis, are fine in the lead roles, but they could have been swapped out for other young stars and it wouldn't have detracted from the overall experience since the majority of the film is spent looking at the character's avatars than their actual human figures. 

    samantha wade ready player one

    One of the real standouts is Lena Waithe who plays Wade's best friend. The "Master of None" star pulls double duty disguising herself as a hulking male avatar, Aech, inside the OASIS while playing a chill young woman, Helen, in the real world. 

    aech ready player one

    Ben Mendelsohn's villain and head of IOI operations, Nolan Sorrento, a former intern of Halliday's, is a formidable adversary, but I couldn't stop thinking about his devious "Rogue One" character every time he was on screen. He may have even shared some of the same dialogue as his "Star Wars" character, Orson Krennic.

    ben mendelsohn ready player one rogue one

    What's not: Lack of character development of some secondary characters to keep the film's brisk pace and a heavy reliance on WB using its own IP to fill a virtual world.

    "RPO" has two wonderful Asian actors in Win Morisaki, who plays Daito, and newcomer Philip Zhao as Sho. So it’s a shame the film underutilizes both of them.

    sho daito ready player one

    Eleven-year-old Sho comes off as little more than a sassy gamer brat who knows he’s a really good competitor. In the books, he has one of the most tragic character arcs and comes to look up to Parzival as a big brother he respects. Daito has a larger arc in the book as well that has no place whatsoever in the movie. Instead, Daito's role seems to blend into that of Sho's from the latter of the novel.

    While the changes from the book make for a stronger story, some scenes lose a bit of their magic when translated to film. One of the books most satisfying reveals is that Parzival’s best friend who he has known for years in the OASIS, Aech, is not a guy as his avatar suggests, but a gay African American woman. The movie tries to make a moment out of this, but it hastily gets rushed through and loses some of its importance. This happens several times at the expense of character development to keep the contest moving along at a quick pace.

    aech parzival ready player one

    The movie treats women on a more level playing field than the book. Reading about women from the perspective of an 18-year-old is exactly how you would expect it to sound coming from a hormone-filled teen. Still, some may take issue with the way Parzival falls hard and fast for Art3mis, an avatar he is obsessed with in the book. After knowing her for, what seems like, a day he claims to love her to Art3mis' abject horror. How is that possible? The two just met. Pump the brakes, Wade!

    ready player one artemis parzival

    My brother, an ardent gamer who asked out his girlfriend over a game of Minecraft, confessed after the screening that he too has found himself in situations where other gamers would fall for him and vice versa within a short time of knowing one another based on their gaming raids before deciding it was a silly infatuation. At the least, the adaptation seemed like a somewhat accurate reflection of a user’s online experience.  

    One thing gamers and fans alike may take issue with is a plot convenience the adaptation adopts. All of the main characters appear to live in each other's backyard. In the books, the High Five — as Artemis, Parzival, Sho, Daito, and Aech are referred — are spread throughout the country and Japan. In the movie, they all appear not too far from one another in Columbus, Ohio. If you've ever made friends in online games, you're probably not playing next door to them. 

    ready player one arty parzival sho daito

    The movie’s biggest flaw is in its inability to gain the rights to some of the various IP from the novel. "Ready Player One" is filled with references to '80s music, video games, and TV shows. There are "Star Wars" ships and a giant Japanese robot called Ultraman.

    iron giant ready player one

    While producer Kristie Macosko Krieger spent three years with a legal team getting rights to a lot of characters and vehicles, there was no way Disney was letting a competing studio use X-wings, though there is one brief mention of the Millennium Falcon. It's kind of a bummer because if Disney didn't have the rights to "Star Wars," Spielberg's pal George Lucas probably would've been more lenient. 

    If you're familiar with Warner Bros. properties, it seemed painfully obvious the studio was forced to fill its virtual world with some of its own IP, including the loveable Iron Giant. Even then there were problems. How do you have a complete simulation of "The Shining" with all the mainstays of the film including Johnny's axe without showing Jack Nicholson himself? Details like that take you out of the film a bit.

    Jack Nicholson The Shining Here's Johnny

    Also, I love Batman, but there may be one too many nods to the Dark Knight, his friends, and his foes in the movie. It’s like someone said, "Hey, see how many times you can stick Batman in this movie for fun."

    The bottom line: See it on the biggest screen possible and try not to nitpick.

    ready player one wade watts parzival

    If you’re a fan of the book, try not to nitpick over the film's differences. 

    I get it. I was ready to nitpick away. The moment a giant change from the book came within the movie's first 10 minutes, the little brother and I shared a concerned look. It dissipated within seconds, because we were just having too much fun enjoying the adventure unfold on screen before us. And that's all you want from a movie — a fun escape you can get lost in for two-and-a-half hours.

    So find the largest screen possible, sit back, and let the OASIS do its job.

    Grade: B

    Watch the trailer below.

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    sorrento ben mendelsohn ready player one

    This post includes minor spoilers for "Ready Player One."

    Complex villains are in vogue.

    In "Black Panther," Erik Killmonger offers a vision for a less isolationist Wakanda. In "The Dark Knight," the Joker wants to maximize the chaos in the world and further crack the already shaky order in Bruce Wayne's personal life. The most compelling movie villains aren't just bad guys, they're philosophers.

    The villain of "Ready Player One" is Nolan Sorrento, the CEO of Innovative Online Industries, played with a sneer by Ben Mendelsohn.

    He's completely two-dimensional, without the coherent moral visions of characters like the Joker and Killmonger. The villain Sorrento most resembles is President Business from "The Lego Movie."

    Sorrento is obviously the bad guy. His company forces the poor into indentured servitude. He doesn't hesitate to use violence as a means to achieve his ends. He ultimately wants to take control of the OASIS — a virtual reality gaming wonderland most of the planet seems to be addicted to — and increase his company's profit by maximizing ad space and introducing a tiered subscription model at the expense of user experience.

    ready player one olivia cooke

    Sorrento is a throwback to the villains of director Steven Spielberg's older movies, like a Nazi collaborator in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and a shark that wants to bite everyone in "Jaws." No one doubts the hero needs to defeat them in the end.

    The movie's audience understands automatically that Sorrento is going to lose by the end of the movie. Unlike Killmonger, whose ideas are partially adopted by Wakanda's leadership at the end of "Black Panther," Sorrento doesn't have anything positive to contribute to the world.

    Even Wade Watts — the main character of the movie, who races against Sorrento to solve a series of puzzles in order to gain control of the OASIS after its creator, James Halliday, died five years earlier — has no doubt he'll win and Sorrento will lose.

    When Sorrento tries to persuade him to team up, Watts is unwavering. It's as obvious to him as it is to the audience that Sorrento is the villain and couldn't possibly gain control of the OASIS.

    ready player one parzival wade watts

    (Though, to be fair, it's not clear how the OASIS pays its server bills with the game's current design, or who runs it since Halliday died. Using in-game coins to buy real-life products doesn't seem to be economically sustainable and would obviously tilt the power within the game towards those who are wealthy in real life. But I digress.)

    The absence of hand-wringing over the best governing philosophy for the OASIS gives "Ready Player One" energy and room for what it does best: Having a really fun sci-fi action movie plot and letting the good guys be friends.

    ready player one oasis high five

    "Ready Player One" is essentially a hang-out movie, where a group of really good gamers all team up to beat the bad guy, bonding with each other along the way.

    It's this relationship that feels the most compelling in the movie. Watts's relationship with his aunt, who he lives with, feels like an afterthought. And his romance feels uncomfortably forced as well.

    The movie is at its best when it's all about Watts's gaming avatar, Parzival, hanging out with the other gamers, like Art3mis and Aech, as just friends playing games together.

    Because we don't need to think of Watts and Sorrento as engaging in some kind of grand struggle over the best future for the world, "Ready Player One" gets to breathe in other ways. It's always satisfying to have a well-written complex villain in a movie. But with "Ready Player One," Steven Spielberg knows how to have fun without one.

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    ready player one tye sheridan

    • The reviews for "Ready Player One" are in.
    • Critics say Steven Spielberg's new movie is a blast and adapts the book extraordinarily well.
    • It suffers when it comes to character development and its idea about gaming culture.
    • Overall, critics say "Ready Player One" is a fun movie worth watching.

     

    When "Ready Player One" premiered at the South by Southwest festival earlier this year, it received a standing ovation. The anxiousness over whether the movie would be good, it turned out, was all for nothing.

    Now that the movie is coming out this weekend, they're a little more mixed, but still positive overall. Critics generally agree that Steven Spielberg has constructed an enormously fun movie. It's filled with action, well-executed conceits, and Easter eggs for fans to pore over.

    As INSIDER's Kirsten Acuna wrote in her review, Spielberg's adaptation is happily liberated from the book and is all the better for it.

    "So many of the finer details of the book — from the challenges themselves to a giant heist near the end — are changed on screen, but the heart of the source material is still very much intact," Acuna wrote. "It's one of the rare instances where the adaptation may be stronger than the book for going off script."

    In Spielberg's hands, the high-concept plot from Ernest Cline's book — in which a person races against a corporation to gain control of a virtual reality universe — ultimately works as a fun movie, even if it isn't very deep.

    "Ready Player One" is in theaters March 29. Here's what the critics are saying.

    It's Steven Spielberg's most fun movie in more than a decade.

    What Spielberg still does better than any other filmmaker is take you on a thrilling ride while sitting in a dark theater. I had that feeling watching DiCaprio con his way through "Catch Me If You Can," and I finally had that feeling once more in a Spielberg movie when I saw "Ready Player One."

    Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio

    It's essentially dumb fun for movie fans.

    "'Ready Player One' wants to make people who love its references celebrate them all over again. While it lacks edge, subtlety, or the genuine dread to explore life in a complete technocracy, it does find the Iron Giant battling Mechagodzilla while a rock-heavy soundtrack featuring everything from Blondie to the Bee Gees underscores the mayhem.

    Indiewire's Eric Kohn

    ready player one

    But it doesn't hit you over the head with pop culture references.

    "Spielberg trusts his audience a bit more than Cline did when it comes to describing them because he allows the visuals to do the job. In a mindblowing racing sequence, Wade drives the DeLorean from 'Back to the Future,' and Spielberg treats that as matter-of-factly as if it was any car instead of languishing over the nostalgia. He knows those who get it will enjoy it and those who don’t will just think it’s a cool car. And there’s no time to stop the story to explain the reference."

    RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico

    At the same time, the movie embraces a toxic view of fanboy culture.

    "The film never stops making distinctions between the 'true fans' — who have encyclopedic knowledge of every pop-culture item Halliday was obsessed with — and the pretenders. It’s embracing a kind of fandom gatekeeping that has, in recent years, soured and turned toxic, especially online."

    Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson

    iron giant ready player one

    And the conceit against giant corporations doesn't make sense.

    "It’s a movie steeped in and sold off intellectual property imagery – which has been remixed and regurgitated in order to create this whole new attraction to get paying butts in seats. At the same time, it spins a narrative of the underclass rising up to reclaim these images as their own, before a massive corporate conglomerate can obtain, pirate, and bastardize it. In essence, we’ve bought a ticket to a rather spiffy laser light show that asks us to consider revolting against those who just sold us this seat. It’s either a brazen gag at the audience’s expense, or an utter lack of self-awareness on the creators’ parts."

    Birth.Movies.Death.'s Jacob Knight

    It feels more like a ride than a substantial movie.

    "In 'Ready Player One,' everything you could call virtual is clever and spellbinding. Everything you might call reality is rather banal. ... 'Ready Player One' is set in a dilapidated future where fantasy rules because reality looks hellish by comparison. Yet the movie puts you in a different mindset. By the end, you’re more than ready to escape from all the escapism."

    Variety's Owen Gleiberman

    olivia cooke ready player one artemis

    But it doesn't let you forget there are humans behind the digital avatars.

    "The film is overtly funny in ways that constantly remind the audience that there are people behind the game avatars, and specifically people who are sometimes young, self-absorbed, immature, and caught up in their own created self-images of badassery. The human frailties behind the game avatars is a reliable well of humor for 'Ready Player One,' and the script takes full, hilarious advantage."

    The Verge's Tasha Robinson

    A big change from the book makes the story much better as a movie.

    "It starts bringing them together in the real world, getting them in trouble that gives the action both flesh-and-blood stakes and offers viewers a break from the well-executed but fake-by-design character avatars."

    The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore

    Watch the trailer for "Ready Player One" below:

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    Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Ready Player One."

    "Ready Player One" changes up a lot from the book, and for the most part, it makes for a better story.

    But there's one omission in the film adaptation that can't be ignored. The movie bungled, what should have been, one of its biggest reveals. 

    We're talking about Lena Waithe's character. 

    lena waithe ready player one

    In the virtual-reality OASIS, she's known by her male avatar, Aech, a burly figure with a hulking presence. But in the real world, Aech is Helen Harris, an African American woman who is gay in the books. 

    But you probably didn't gather that from watching the movie.

    In fact, the movie basically skirts around and ignores Helen's sexual orientation altogether. The movie rushes through Aech's big reveal to carry on with the contest on hand, casting aside one of the most meaningful moments in the book. 

    How the book handles Aech's reveal

    aech parzival ready player one

    We don't learn Aech is a woman or that she's gay until pretty late in the novel when she is asked to pick Wade/Parzival up in Columbus, Ohio. 

    Wade goes into Aech's RV and instead of receiving a giant welcome, he's surprised to find that his best friend isn't who he expected at all. 

    Here's how the moment is described in the book:

    "A heavyset African American girl sat in the RV's driver seat, clutching the wheel tightly and staring straight ahead. She was about my age, with short, kinky hair and chocolate-colored skin that appeared iridescent in the soft glow of the dashboard indicators ... She appeared to be shivering, even though it was nice and warm in the cab.

    I stood there for a moment, staring at her in silence, waiting for her to acknowledge my presence. Eventually, she turned and smiled at me, and it was a smile I recognized immediately ...When I didn't say anything, her eyes dropped to her boots and stayed on them. I sat down heavily in the passenger seat, still staring over at her, still unsure of what to say. She kept stealing glances at me; then her eyes would dart away nervously. She was still trembling."

    At first, Wade is angry with Aech for deceiving him because he shared personal, intimate thoughts with her. But he realizes he can't stay upset with his best friend for long. 

    When they finally speak, Aech says her name is Helen Harris and explains why she uses a male avatar. It's an interesting reason. 

    According to Helen, her mother Marie believed the OASIS, a place where you could appear to be anyone, was the best thing to happen to women and people of color. Marie used a white male avatar because of "the marked difference it made in how she was treated and the opportunities she was given."

    Aech's story doesn't stop there. She says she's been on her own since she was 18. Her mother kicked her out when she found out she was gay and was dating a girl she met online. After living in shelters, she earned enough coin in the OASIS to buy the RV she has been traveling in.

    How the movie handles Aech's reveal

    ready player one aech parzival

    Waithe's Helen doesn't drive an RV. She's traveling around Ohio in a mail truck. (It's not clear if it's been stolen or if it's her own.) When she picks up Wade in an alley, their first meeting is very different.

    They have no time for a big reveal. Their lives are in danger. 

    Helen grabs Wade and after the two spit a few lines back and forth that only they would know, he realizes he's speaking to his best friend and he jumps in the van no questions asked. 

    That's it. 

    There's no confusion or yearning for acceptance, on either side. Nothing is said about Helen's sexuality. It's not even clear if the movie wants you to be aware of her sexuality.

    There's no downtime afterwards for Helen to describe her intriguing backstory and why she goes incognito in the OASIS with a male avatar. It's a very watered down moment. If you didn't read the book, this doesn't seem like a big reveal at all and it's extremely frustrating when you know how it's dealt with in the source material. 

    Why the movie reveal is so disappointing: Aech's story is relatable and resonates with a lot of female gamers.

    aech ready player one

    Book readers heading into the movie will know that there's a deeper side to Aech/Helen, but the movie blanched at expanding her backstory and sexual identity. Instead, Aech revealing who she is behind the OASIS avatar is a rushed moment that's over in about two quick minutes before the audience moves on. Most will be none the wiser they were supposed to glean more from that scene.

    And that's a shame because the first time I read "Ready Player One" and got to the big Aech reveal, it filled me with so much joy. 

    I used to try live streaming video game play, but found any time you try to make serious commentary when you're a woman, you open the door for trolls who will say horrid, disgusting, and vulgar things. When you can hide behind an anonymous gamertag, that's easy. So I stopped doing a camera feed. Sometimes I'll voice over a live stream, but that's pretty rare.

    If you're a female gamer online, the world is a very different place. Look no further than the controversy surrounding #GamerGate game developer Zoe Quinn in 2014 when misogyny was front and center in the news and in the gaming community. You can understand and sympathize with why a woman would want to make her avatar into a different gender or conceal her voice. It's to blend in and feel safe in a space that may not be as welcoming to women who — shockingly — just want to play a video game. 

    This is something more male gamers need to be made aware of and "Ready Player One" could have provided a starting point for that conversation. 

    The way Aech and Parzival meet in the movie is unrealistic.

    parzival aech ready player one

    There's a trepidation about meeting someone online in the real world after only knowing them virtually and the movie never captures that. Aech wasn't afraid for Wade to see who she really was. While that speaks to her personality and self-confidence, it's just not realistic.

    About a decade ago, my brother Sam started playing games with some friends he met online. Similar to "Ready Player One," they only really knew each other by their gamertags and avatars. They played most days after he got home from school for hours on end. I watched over the years as they evolved from capture the flag games in "Halo" to fighting zombies in "Minecraft." 

    When he was 20, Sam decided to get on a plane to meet some of them. It seemed like a wild idea, but he had also been playing games routinely with them week in and week out for at least five years. If this was a con, it was a long one. Sam came back in one piece, had a great time, and they're all still great friends to this day. 

    It wasn't until years later Sam told me he was frightened to meet his friends in person. As Wade jokes in "Ready Player One," Sam's friends could have been a group of older men waiting to kidnap him. If he got off the plane and had any inkling that was the case, he said he was going to hightail it out of there. 

    My point is that movie Helen should have showed some of the same nervous reaction her character exhibited in the book. No one should judge you by your skin color, ethnicity, or sexual preference — but that doesn't mean they won't. Meeting strangers from the internet is scary, even if you feel like you know them. The book "Ready Player One" encapsulated that vulnerability and fear people face of potentially letting someone else down just because of who you are.

    That conflict is non-existent in the film. Perhaps Helen had no time to fear for Wade's acceptance because she was running for her life, but glossing over the fact that she kept her true identity secret for years was a weak choice, and the movie suffers for it.

    The movie gets something right about its female leads: They're more than just romantic love interests.

    ready player one race

    Despite the film failing to dive into Helen's background, "Ready Player One" gives more agency to its two female characters than in the book and that's something we can applaud.

    Instead of being told solely from Wade's perspective, a good portion of the movie sees Olivia Cooke's Art3mis take the reigns as she takes on the villain. As for Aech, we may not learn where she came from, but the movie sets her up as a well-known mechanic in the OASIS. In the book, she's just some cool gamer with an exclusive basement hangout. Whatever that means.

    You can read our review of "Ready Player One" here and follow along with our coverage of the movie here.

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    the wolf of wall street

    • Stories about real-life events tend to get the Academy's attention, especially those that are based on true crime.
    • Sometimes filmmakers take artistic liberties with some of the facts, but the real stories are just as interesting.
    • Here are some of the real stories behind 11 Oscar-nominated movies.


    Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, which is probably why so many filmmakers find inspiration in the stories of true crime. And many times, these stories as so compelling, the Academy Awards take notice.

    Unfortunately for those filmmakers, the real events don't always unfold in a clean and linear way, forcing them to choose between accuracy and storytelling.

    Here are some of the real stories behind 11 Oscar-nominated true crime movies.

    "I, Tonya"

    In "I, Tonya" Margot Robbie stars as the aggressive and unconventional, yet hilarious Tonya Harding.

    But the former figure skater's story isn't as comedic as Robbie and Allison Janney's performances would have you believe. Harding's ex-husband and his "bodyguard" were accused of hiring men to attack her rival competitor, Nancy Kerrigan, which resulted in Kerrigan's withdrawal from an upcoming competition.

    J.E. Vader, a journalist who covered Harding’s career in the early 90s, points out that the film unjustly uses Kerrigan as "comic relief." In addition, there are some discrepancies between reality and portrayal of Harding's upbringing and "unfair" treatment by the judges. In fact, "habitually truth-challenged" is a phrase used to describe her.

    Though Harding has always maintained she knew nothing of the pending attack, and the film pushes that narrative as well, she did plead guilty in 1994 to hindering the prosecution, and was ultimately banned from figure skating.



    "All the Money in the World"

    After recasting Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer, "All the Money in the World" may be known more now for its offscreen story than the one it's telling onscreen.

    The plot is simple, yet unbelievable. J. Paul Getty, once the "richest man in the world," received a ransom note in 1973 demanding $17 million in exchange for his grandson, Paul Getty III.

    Claiming that paying the ransom would only bring about copy-cat kidnappers targeting his other grandchildren, Getty agreed to pay only $2.2 million after Paul's ear had been cut off and mailed to a newspaper. He was eventually found safe and returned home, but the film leaves out the horrors he faced afterwards.

    Paul's issues with drugs got worse when dealing with the trauma of the kidnapping, and an overdose in 1981 left him paralyzed until his death in 2011.  



    "Catch Me If You Can"

    Steven Spielberg's 2001 film "Catch Me If You Can" about a charming and seemingly invincible conman feels like a work of fantasy, despite being totally true.

    Leonardo Dicaprio starred as Frank Abagnale who, during the course of the movie, successfully impersonates an airline pilot, doctor, lawyer, teacher, all while living on a steady stream of forged checks. Abagnale was eventually caught by the FBI and is offered a deal to work with the FBI on finding and catching similar criminals.

    Although it was almost completely accurate, according to Spielberg and Abagnale, some creative license was taken with the relationship between Abagnale and his father, as well as some small details about the scams. Abagnale now lives in Charleston, South Carolina and continues to warn others about fraud and embezzlement scams.



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    Ready Player One

    "Ready Player One," the latest film from director Steven Spielberg, is the story of Wade Watts, a kid from Columbus, Ohio. He lives in a futuristic world where everyone — the young, old, poor, and rich — spends the vast majority of their time in virtual reality (VR), to avoid the dystopian real world where poverty and despair run rampant as a result of global warming and overpopulation.

    Based on the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, "Ready Player One" paints a rather pessimistic view of society's growing dependence on technology, but also depicts the fantastical possibilities presented by VR and other futuristic technologies. 

    Given the many realistic-looking and fantastical gadgets and technologies featured in "Ready Player One," we took a closer look at some of the most exciting technologies featured in the film to see how they compare with innovation happening in the real world. 

    Take a look:

    SEE ALSO: All the futuristic technologies in 'Black Panther,' and how close they are to becoming reality

    "Ready Player One": Fully immersive virtual reality

    "Ready Player One" depicts a VR experience that is so seamlessly immersive, there are no physical barriers between the user and the virtual objects and environment.

    In the movie, players are able to touch, pick up, and hold onto things — and even people — in VR that are not really there in real life. They can sit in virtual chairs and lean on virtual surfaces without falling down in the real world. 

    While this is the ideal future of VR technology and it looks great on screen, complete immersion is really difficult to achieve in real life, mostly because it's just really impractical.

    For example, many players are seen running through real 3D space, out in public, which is obviously a massive safety hazard.

     

     



    Real Life: The Void

    Current VR systems can be incredibly immersive if a physical play area is custom-made to match the virtual one.

    All over the world, virtual reality theme parks like The Void are starting to open to the public. 

    The Void lets small groups of people to enter the same physical space for a virtual adventure. People are let loose in a physical maze created to perfectly align with the world they see in their headsets. So, when a player sees a wall in VR, they can reach out and touch it because there is also a real wall there in real life. 

    These VR-enhanced obstacle courses are heavily padded and specially equipped to be safe for the players, who can be ducking for cover or shooting invisible monsters at any given point. These experiences are very immersive, intense and — at least, so far — are really difficult to replicate with commercially available VR equipment in one's home, as "Ready Player One" depicts.

     



    "Ready Player One": The Oasis

    Much of the film takes place in The Oasis, a massive multiplayer online game and virtual society in which everyone has chosen to escape their real-world problems.

    Wade Watts describes The Oasis as a place where anything is possible, and is only limited by the user's imagination.

    Since each player's avatar (a.k.a virtual body) is customizable, The Oasis is riddled with pop culture references, including lots of video game heroes like Tracer from "Overwatch" and Chun-Li from "Street Fighter," as well as beloved cartoon characters like The Iron Giant, and nostalgic movie references like the DeLorean from "Back to the Future."



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    artemis ready player one

    Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Ready Player One."

    "Ready Player One" is currently in theaters and it's a lot different from the book you may remember.

    Steven Spielberg's adaptation takes many liberties from the 2011 best-selling novel. While all of those changes aren't great, most of them improve vastly upon the novel. 

    There are way too many differences from the movie to count up. But for the film's release, INSIDER gathered together some of the biggest changes the movie makes from Ernest Cline's 2011 book.

    1. The movie starts and ends in Columbus, Ohio.

    The events of the entire movie conveniently take place in one location, but that's not the case in the book. The gamers are from all over the word.

    Wade Watts is from Oklahoma City before he moves to Columbus to hide from Innovative Online Industries. Samantha Cook/Art3mis is from Canada, Aech is originally an Atlanta, Georgia native, while Sho and Daito are from Japan. 

    The group don't meet up until near the film's end in Oregon.



    2. The winner of the contest in the movie inherits $500 billion along with a controlling stake in the OASIS.

    In the book, James Halliday announces the winner will also have control of the company, but he's not as wealthy. His fortune is valued "in excess of two hundred and forty billion dollars."

    OK — we're nit-picking. We know.



    3. The entire contest is different in the book.

    In the book, Halliday's contest consists of discovering three keys which unlock three different gates. Each gate holds a challenge or a series of challenges that must be completed to gain a clue to the location of the next key.

    Among the tasks Watts has to complete are winning '80s game "Joust," acting his way through "Monty Python," getting a high score in Tempest, and solving a clue involving the band Rush for the egg's final location.

    The contest is far less complicated in the movie. Players only need to discover three keys and it makes you wonder how no one was able to solve this puzzle a lot faster.

    Eagle-eyed fans will be able to spot nods to "Joust" and Rush near the film's end. There are posters for both in Halliday's bedroom.



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