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Here's Sony's List Of Future Movies Through 2017



Since the massive Sony hack— which has compromised numerous executive emails to leak online  we've learned about a few rumored movie projects at Sony from a "Men in Black"/"Jump Street" crossover to another collaboration between "Zorro" and "Django Unchained."

Among the leaked inbox of Sony Pictures cochair Amy Pascal are several drafts of future movie plans and release schedules for the studio through 2017 from the past few weeks. 

As of Nov. 12, here's an apparent list of Sony's movies for 2016 and 2017 in addition to those already planned. The notations in brackets are our own.

Uncharted [The popular Naughty Dog video game adaptation.]
Sinister [most likely referring to "Spider-Man" spin-off "Sinister Six"]
Ghostbusters (or 2017)
Angry Birds [set for July 1 release]
Mib/jump street (2017) [crossover movie between "Men in Black" and "Jump Street"]
Greyman [based on Mark Greaney's novel "The Gray Man"]
Winters knight
Fifth wave [adaptation of Rick Yancey book "The 5th Wave"]
Inferno [adaptation of Dan Brown's most recent book in "The Da Vinci Code" series]
Billy Lynn [adaption of Ben Fountain's novel "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"]
Baby driver [movie Edgar Wright is working on]
Little woman [remake]

Cleopatra [potential Angelina Jolie movie]
SPIDERMAN [not clear whether this is a spin-off or new movie all together]
DJANGO zorro 
Jump street 
Monkeys [unclear what this is]
Girl team up [unclear what this is]

Another email titled "planing the future" lists a few additional movies including a "Barbie" film, "The Craft,""Lisa Joy," a Bloodshot movie, something labeled "girl #2"— which may or may not refer to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series — "Sausage Party," an animated comedy from Seth Rogen, "Pride and Prejudice Zombies," and something called "ghost house horror movie."

"Grown Ups 3," a sequel to Adam Sandler's 2013 comedy also appears on the list.

Another email dated Nov. 16 outlines production notes on 29 of Sony's potential future movies. Included on there are mentions of a possible sequel to Angelina Jolie's 2010 hit "Salt," a "Jumanji" reboot, a sequel to "Hotel Transylvania," and another "Smurfs" movie.

There was also a note about receiving the script for the "Sinister Six" Spider-Man movie possibly the week of Dec. 8.

Also mentioned is a sequel to Denzel Washington's fall hit "The Equalizer." According to the email, Sony was promised a script by early Dec. and is expecting director Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington to return to hopefully film next summer so the film can have a fall 2016 release.

Regarding "Jump Street," it sounds like Sony is considering 3D for "23 Jump Street" and rating the film PG-13.

SEE ALSO: A "Django Unchained" / "Zorro" movie is in the works

AND: The new James Bond movie script leaks online

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We May Get Another 'Indiana Jones' Movie


indiana jones temple of doom harrison fordWhen Disney purchased Lucasfilm a couple of years ago, two legendary properties went into the Mouse House's possession. These projects were George Lucas' two biggest money printers of all time - 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones.' Were Disney to ever use both of these valuable money makers to their full potential, they would become even more powerful than they already are, what with their Marvel Studios acquisition still paying off like gangbusters. While 'Star Wars' found its way into the light easily, it looks like 'Indiana Jones' might not be terribly far off itself. 

Marc Graser, senior editor at Variety tweeted some inside knowledge that he'd scooped about reviving the in limbo franchise that brought us such high points as 'Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade' and such low points as 'Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.' The tweet quoted Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, and it has him saying that basically Indy is still a going concern for the studio. However, the focus of the studio is mainly on getting the 'Star Wars' franchise into fully armed and operational status before anything else happens. 

It makes perfect sense to start with 'Star Wars' first, as it's been the bigger money maker and has the bigger cultural impact through its films and other properties. 'Indiana Jones' has tried to branch off into television, novels, and video games in the past itself, but while they've been successful to a limited degree, the Jones franchise doesn't have the same instant clout that 'Star Wars' has always had. 

While this news that 'Indiana Jones 5' will "eventually" happen is nothing new, it's definitely far from a greenlight for a new film. After all, we've seen this project shift from dead to alive, and forthcoming, with it finally winding up in the "your guess is as good as mine" column—all over the course of two years. 

It's been a rocky road towards any sort of official status for Indiana Jones 5, and if you saw 'Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull,' you wouldn't blame Disney for taking some time to regroup and refocus on 'Star Wars,' the more financially fruitful franchise. With 'Star Wars' back in the theaters, and hopefully raking in some massive bank, the studio can then turn their attention to the other huge renovation project. Let's just hope that Disney knows what it's doing, and brings the magic back to both properties. 

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' will try to raise some money for an 'Indiana Jones 5' production on December 18, 2015.

SEE ALSO: Here's Why George Lucas Didn't Want Harrison Ford To Play Indiana Jones

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The New 'Hobbit' Movie Is Basically A Toned-Down Version Of The Final 'Lord Of The Rings'


the hobbit battle of five armiesWarning: There are some minor spoilers ahead for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

Two years after the release of the first "Hobbit" movie, this is the one we've been waiting for. 

Dwarves and elves battling orcs, an angry dragon decimating an entire town, and a seemingly ageless Orlando Bloom slinging back arrows and taking names as the sleek archer Legolas.

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (BOTFA) is definitely the best of the trilogy. Of course, that may not be saying much overall. The first movie, "An Unexpected Journey," felt like a lot of filler time on screen just to stretch out the franchise into three films. It took nearly the entire second film, "The Desolation of Smuag," for the fearsome dragon to make his grand appearance.

As the (new) title suggests, BOTFA is the one where the majority of the non-stop action takes place. 

If you haven't seen the second film, catch up before heading to theaters or you'll be a bit confused since the movie immediately picks up where the last one left off. They're not wasting any time with this one. 

For those who don't have about three hours to kill, here's the too-long-didn't-watch synopsis:

After stumbling along for much of two movies, the company of 13 (dwarves + hobbit Bilbo Baggins) has finally arrived at the Lonely Mountain to reclaim the treasure of Erebor from a treacherous dragon Smaug. They've chased the dragon from the mountain, setting it loose upon the poor, unexpecting inhabitants of Lake Town.

Thematically, the entire film feels very familiar. Like the third "The Lord of the Rings" movie, "The Return of the King," BOFTA is a lead up to a giant battle. The former is against the dark Lord Sauron. The latter, as the title suggests, is between five armies.

hobbit five armiesAnd here's where it gets a little confusing. If you don't follow the books, you'll sit there trying to figure out who these five armies are throughout the film. If you've read the books, you'll instantly know. But the film makes it slightly less clear.

Obviously, the elves are one army and the dwarves another. Then there are the Orcs. The people of Lake Town are another, but do you categorize them with the elves and dwarves since they eventually team up? Then the Orcs have two armies. So does that count as one or two? Later on, the Eagles join in. Are they an army? If so, I'm counting about six. (For the record, the OFFICIAL FIVE armies are the elves, the men, the dwarves, the Goblins, and Wargs in case you're wondering.) 

Army counting aside, the 45-minute battle itself in BOFTA is awesome.

legolas the hobbit battle of the five armiesThere are fantastic action sequences involving Legolas (Orlando Bloom), his father, the Elvenking Thranduil (Lee Pace), on a gorgeous elk, and, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly). Once Thorin and his dwarf companions join the fight things really pick up. For fans of the series, director Peter Jackson's immense attention to detail is a plus. Viewers will notice a small reference to Sting, Bilbo's sword that turns blue when Orcs are near. The fight even manages to address one thing that probably bothered many while watching the original LOTR trilogy — how does Legolas never run out of arrows while fighting?

The visuals of Middle Earth continue to astound. It's no wonder why director Peter Jackson has filmed in New Zealand for the better part of a decade.

hobbit the five armiesThe main problem is that the stakes never feel large enough. In "The Return of the King," Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Gandalf, Legolas, and more all team up to take down the dark force of Sauron. That's a pretty noble cause worth dying for. There were plenty of times where you're on the verge of tears while watching the Oscar winner. It's a classic you can watch over and over again. BOTFA leaves something to be desired. 

Here, everyone's fighting to gain possession of the Lonely Mountain and its many riches after the dragon Smaug abandons it. The story is more about greed and control than necessarily fighting against the forces of evil. 

hobbit battle of the five armiesSince it's a prequel, you more or less go in with a fair idea of where you'll end up by the end of the movie (i.e. you know who will live vs. who may die).

The other main issue with the "Hobbit" trilogy is that many of the characters aren't that likeable. I've said this before in my review of the last film, but they're pretty much all selfish jerks — even Gandalf at times (magnificently played by Sir Ian McKellen) — which makes it difficult to root for many of them. 

- The (majority of the) dwarves: At the start of the first film, they show little concern for Bilbo's life. They bust into his home and raid his food before hiring him to work as a burglar to retrieve the Arkenstone, a family heirloom, guarded by the dragon Smaug. They don't care if he dies as long as they get their stone. He's simply a means to an end. Even in the second film, they toss him into the dragon's lair alone. 

- Gandalf: The old wizard is in on tricking Bilbo into joining the dwarves on their journey to the Lonely Mountain. Nobody actually thinks he'll make it home alive. 

- Thranduil: The Elvenking makes it clear in the second film he's only interested in what's best for his own welfare. He's not going to stick his neck out for anyone else. (I get this. He's a king. I can get behind that.) But then, in this film, *mini-spoiler* he wants to go to war with the dwarves over a few priceless glistening heirloom gems. Those are worth risking lives over? Sigh. *mini-spoiler* By the end of the film, he's much more likeable. thranduil the hobbit- Bilbo: The main protagonist of the film steals the "one ring to rule them all" and then constantly lies about it to Gandalf, who, it turns out *mini-spoiler* knows he's lying to his face about it *mini-spoiler*.

Bard (Luke Evans) Legolas, Tauriel, and Kili are probably the only redeemable characters with Evans playing the one real hero of the series. In many ways, he's the Aragorn of this trilogy and you wish there was more screen time with the widowed father of three.

bard the hobbitAll of the performances are great. 

The unseen Benedict Cumberbatch returns to voice both films villains, Smaug and the Necromancer.

thorin the hobbitRichard Armitage's Thorin grapples with an overemphasized illness called dragon sickness that probably could have been downplayed a bit more. This happens in the book, but here it feels a bit weird, forced, and conveniently resolved to move the plot along.

Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Christopher Lee return all-too briefly in one of the film's best scenes *mini-spoiler* to face off with the film's villain and future villain of The Lord of the Rings series, the Necromancer *mini-spoiler*. Blanchett is equal parts enchanting and commanding while exemplifying a horrifyingly haunting side to Elf Queen Galadriel. You wish there was more screen time with them. 

cate blanchett hobbit five armiesThis is one thing that's a bit surprising about the third and final film. It's the shortest of the series at just under two and a half hours and some of the best sequences feel rushed through.

After his menacing presence in the last film, we barely get to see Smaug. As Cumberbatch describes it in the film's production notes, his role is reduced to the likes of "a child having a tantrum" in 15 minutes of BOTFA.

15!? Yes. 15. 

Remember, the first film spent around 45 mins in Bilbo's home introducing us to all of the dwarves for a sing-along dinner. 

It feels like one of those cliffhanger storyline at the end of your favorite show that gets resolved in the next five minutes of the following episode. 

smaug the hobbitThat was highly a bummer because our screening of the film was in the controversial high-frame rate which shows the movie at 48 frames per second (fps). Normally, audiences view films at 24fps. It's definitely an assault on the eyeballs, at least for the first half hour as your eyes adjust to the screen. Unfortunately, this took away from the scenes with Smaug. Everyone from the people of Lake-town to the dragon looked so sped up at points  that some movements started to appear comical. I wouldn't let this deter you, I'd just recommend seeing in another format. 

Overall, are you going to have a good time? Yes. 

This is one of the few big screenings I've attended this year where the audience, filled with critics, gave a round of applause at the film's end. Illustrated caricatures of the actors at the film's end are a nice touch to the end of the series.

"The Battle of the Five Armies," unlike "The Return of the King" just isn't something you're going to sit around and rewatch over and over again. It's "The Return of the King" lite.

The film is in theaters Wed. Dec. 17.

Watch the trailer.

SEE ALSO: Benedict Cumberbatch rolled around on a carpet to bring the dragon in "The Hobbit" movies to life

AND: Here's the scene the MPAA wanted to give "The Hobbit" sequel an R-rating over

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Sony Wouldn't Mind If Theaters Didn't Show 'The Interview' (SNE)


the interview movie premiere

Sony Pictures execs are reportedly telling theaters the company "wouldn't object" if they didn't show "The Interview," the movie that the hackers who attacked Sony are apparently angry about. 

Sony hasn't decided on whether or not to pull or postpone the movie yet.

The studio is reeling from threats of terrorism that were posted online on Tuesday by the same people who claimed to have hacked Sony.

“We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to,” read a note reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001.”


SEE ALSO: Seth Rogen And James Franco Cancel All 'Interview' Press After Attack Threat

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Here's What's New On Netflix In January


cast away tom hanks

The new year is usually a down time for television and new movies, so fire up the streaming services. 

Netflix has announced its list of January releases.

Among the lineup for Jan. is Tom Hank's "Cast Away," Oscar-nominated "Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy," and "Mean Girls."

The best addition is all 10 seasons of "Friends."

Note: Usually, we run these lists at the end of the month. Netflix will now be releasing this info mid-month moving forward. We'll continue to update if there are additions and will share it again Jan. 1.

Here's what you should check out on Netflix in December:


friends"Dallas" (available 1/1)
Season three of the newer TNT series.

"Friends" (available 1/1)
Calling all Ross and Rachel fans. All 10 seasons of the hit NBC comedy will be available to stream. 

"White Collar" (available 1/3)
Season five of USA's hit about con man Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) helping the FBI.

"Psych" (available 1/8)
Season eight of of USA's comedy about a crime consultant (James Roday) who fools a police department into believing he has psychic abilities which help him solve crimes.

For the kids: "The Adventures of Puss in Boots" (available 1/16)
Part of DreamWorks Animation's deal with Netflix, the original spin-off series stars Puss in Boots of the popular "Shrek" franchise.


Mean Girls"Cast Away" (available 1/1)
Wilson! Tom Hanks's Oscar-nominated picture about survival after being stranded on an island is a must-watch.

"Mean Girls" (available 1/1)
 Tina Fey's hit starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams recently had its 10-year anniversary.

"To Be Takei" (available 1/1)
You probably missed out on this year's documentary on "Star Wars" actor George Takei who is also known for his work as a gay-rights activist and for sharing fantastic memes and images online

"Frank" (available 1/8)
Michael Fassbender stars as Frank, a singer who wears a giant fake head. It sounds bizarre, but we've been told to watch this one for awhile so we're glad it will finally be streaming. Fassbender will be starring in Universal's upcoming Steve Jobs movie and was excellent in "12 Years a Slave."

"Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy" (available 1/16)
The three-time Oscar-nominated picture about espionage during the Cold War has a great cast including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

"Chef" (available 1/28)
You may not have heard about director Jon Favreau's ("Iron Man") indie starring Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Downey, Jr. The film received exceptionally positive reviews after screenings at South by Southwest and the Tribeca Film Festival.

Here's the full list of January releases:

Available 1/1

"101 Dalmatians" (1996)
"Bad Boys II" (2003)
"Batman & Robin" (1997)
"Bruce Almighty" (2003)
"Cast Away" (2000)
"Dallas" Season 3 (2012)
"Get Low" (2009)
"Election" (1999)
"Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998)
"Fort Bliss" (2014)
"Friends" Complete series (1994-2004)
"Jeepers Creepers 2" (2003)
"Mean Girls" (2004)
"Shall We Dance?" (2004)
"To Be Takei" (2014)
"The French Connection" (1971)
"The Quiet Man" (1952)
"The War of the Worlds" (1953)
"Wayne's World 2" (1993)

Available 1/3

"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" (2014)
"White Collar" season 5

Available 1/7

"Brick Mansions" (2014)

Available 1/8

"Frank" (2014)
"Psych" season 8 

Available 1/9

"Z Nation" season 1

Available 1/13

"Being Human" season 4

Available 1/15

"Wolfblood" season 3 

Available 1/16

"The Adventures of Puss and Boots" season 1
"The Fall" season 2
"Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy" (2011)

Available 1/23

"Iliza Shelesinger: Freezing Hot" (2014)

Available 1/28

"Chef" (2014)
"Beauty & the Beast" season 2

SEE ALSO: 14 movies to see this winter

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How The Millennium Falcon's Hyperdrive Noise Was Recorded


star wars han solo chewbaccaAs we saw in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer that was released late last month, there are many sounds out there that we directly associate with the sci-fi franchise – be it the gun fire of a TIE Fighter or the activation of a lightsaber. Certainly ranking with all of these noises are those associated with Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, which has certainly made some unique rackets over the years. Certainly one of the most iconic is the legendary ship’s hyperdrive failing – but how did it get made? 

Eyes on Cinema has dug up an interview from 1980 featuring Ben Burtt – the sound designer for Star Wars, and in the video there is a breakdown of all the various noises that came together to create the clatter that occurs when the Millennium Falcon fails to go into hyperspace in The Empire Strikes Back. Apparently there were eight sounds that wound up being combined to create the effect, but the video only identifies five of them, namely:

  • The inertia starter of an old 1928 biplane
  • An air jet recorded in a dentist’s office
  • The sound of an arclight motor starting and stopping
  • The sound of a motor located in the turret of an armored tank
  • Pipes underneath a broken sink in the bathroom at the recording studio

You can listen to the various noises in the video below: 

Because the quality of the video is so bad at the end of that clip, which features the actual scene where the hyperdrive breaks down, you can watch a better quality edition below. It’s also interesting to really focus in on the sound and identify all of the different parts: 

Ben Burtt’s work - not only on Star Wars but on features like E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones movies, and more – is nothing short of iconic, and the best news of all is both that he is still working and is currently part of the team making Star Wars: The Force Awakens (he previous he previously worked with director J.J. Abrams on both Star Trek films as well as Super 8). I’m excited to hear what new stuff he has in store.

SEE ALSO: Here's An Explanation For Everything You See In The New 'Star Wars' Trailer

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Steve Carell's North Korea-Based Thriller Scrapped After Sony Scandal


Steve Carell

On the heels of news that major theater chains caved to scary threats by hackers and won't be showing Sony's "The Interview," New Regency announced that its new movie based in North Korea is also cancelled.

The thriller film, which was set to star Steve Carell and be directed by Gore Verbinski, would have been titled "Pyongyang." The plot involved a Westerner recounting his experiences of working in North Korea for a year.

The film, written by Steve Conrad, would have been based on Guy Delisle's graphic novel of the same name.

The initial attack on Sony's servers occurred a month before the studio was set to release the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy "The Interview," about two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The Pyongyang government denounced the film as "undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war" in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in June.

Since then, there have been a series of cyberattacks against Sony, urging the studio not to release "The Interview."

NOW WATCH: MythBusters' Adam Savage Explains Why TARS From 'Interstellar' Is The Perfect Robot


SEE ALSO: Top Movie Theater Chains Just Caved To Threats By Sony Hackers

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Sony Just Canceled The Dec. 25 Release Of 'The Interview'


seth rogen james franco

Sony Pictures has decided to cancel the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview" after major theaters said they wouldn't screen the movie.

"We have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release of 'The Interview,'" the company said in a statement.

Top movie theater chains in the US decided not to show "The Interview" after threats by hackers who have attacked Sony Pictures over the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Hollywood Reporter said Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, and Cineplex Entertainment (Canada's largest theater) have all decided against showing the film.

The cancellations would account for nearly 23,000 screens across the US and Canada.

The decisions come a day after hackers — who melted Sony's servers and claimed to steal 100 terabytes of information in November — threatened to attack theaters that showed the film.

Here’s the company’s full statement:

"In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.

Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome." 

Here's the threat that was sent to several news organizations:


We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the National Association of Theater Owners, which represents movie-theater owners nationwide, said that "individual cinema operators may decide to delay exhibition of the movie so that our guests may enjoy a safe holiday movie season experiencing the many other exciting films we have to offer," adding that "safety and comfort [of our guests] is and will continue to be a priority for theater owners."

Over the past month, all hell has broken loose in the entertainment world as hackers dumped information online and news organizations scrambled to cover every possible angle.

Here's a roundup of some of the leaked information:

Watch a trailer for the controversial film below:

SEE ALSO: Sony Hackers Threaten To Attack Theaters Showing 'The Interview'

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More Than 50 Sony Movie Scripts Leaked Online


the interview james franco

The latest round of Sony leaks has resulted in more than 50 movie scripts for new and finished projects getting released online.

The scripts were part of a leak on Tuesday in which the emails of Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton were released by hackers, whom U.S. authorities believe to be from North Korea.

The leaks came before Sony's Wednesday announcement that it would not release Kim Jong-un assassination movie "The Interview." 

Among the movie scripts found by Business Insider are "The Social Network," the script for the next Dan Brown adaptation, "Inferno," and an early version of "The Interview."

Many appear to be early drafts.

Previously, the new James Bond movie script for "Spectre," was reported to leak online.

Here's the full list of scripts. 

Unreleased movies:

"Hotel Transylvania 2" [Third draft]
"Smurfs 3"
"5th Wave"
"The Black Phantom"
"Little House on the Prairie"
"Paul Blart Mall Cop 2"
"Ricki and the Flash"
"Royal Wedding"
"Sausage Party"
"The Interview"
"The Walk"
"The Raid"
"Wedding Ringer"
"When the Game Stands Tall"

Released movies:

"2 Guns"
"21 Jump Street" 
"22 Jump Street"
"30 Minutes or Less"
"After Earth"
"About Last Night"
"Arthur Christmas"
"Captain Phillips"
"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2"
"Django Unchained"
"Friends with Benefits"
"Ghost Rider 2"
"Great Hope Springs"
"Heaven is for Real"
"Here Comes the Boom"
"Just Go With It"
"Monster House"
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
"Planet B-Boy"
"Resident Evil: Retribution"
"Sex Tape"
"Smurfs 2"
"Stranger than Fiction"
"Talladega Nights"
"The Social Network"
"The Tourist"
"Total Recall"
"Vantage Point"
"White House Down"

SEE ALSO: Sony's list of movies through 2017

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We Saw 'The Interview' Weeks Ago, And It's Clear Why North Korea Hates It


the interview kim jon unThe climactic moment that portrays Kim Jong Un's head exploding is clearly the main reason why North Korea is upset with Sony's "The Interview," but the movie is filled with other things the hermit dictatorship would not like.

Hackers linked to North Korea savaged Sony, forcing the company to cancel the movie's release by leaking thousands of private documents, threatening to leak more, and threatening the safety of moviegoers at theaters.

We saw the film a few weeks ago at a screening with Seth Rogen himself as he drank beer and high-fived the audience. Here are some parts that we enjoyed but North Korea might not [WARNING: SPOILERS]:

  • The opening scene portrays a young Korean girl singing a beautiful and poignant song that we realize — through subtitles — is so virulent and anti-American it's laughable, with lines like, "May they drown in their blood and feces."
  • The film quickly establishes a plot to assassinate Kim. It happens after Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), the broadcast news producer of the fluffy news show "Skylark Tonight," and host Dave Skylark (James Franco) discover that Kim is a huge fan of their show. As soon as they set up an interview with the dictator, they are contacted by the CIA with a request that they take him out.
  • Randall Park's portrayal of Kim is one of the film's greatest assets. While on the surface he's cold and intimidating, Kim frequently acts ridiculous, like when he meets Skylark and turns into a shrieking fanboy. Tons of laughs stem from this relationship, as Kim takes Skylark on his own personal tour of his country, complete with fruity drinks, Katy Perry sing-a-longs, adorable puppies, and general juvenile tomfoolery.
  • While Skylark starts to think Kim and North Korea aren't half-bad, there's a turning moment late in the film when Rapoport rushes into a North Korean supermarket only to find that it's filled with fake food. The functional society is a sham, and North Koreans are actually starving. 
  • The most offensive and buzzed-about aspect of the film is the assassination itself. The original plan put in place by the CIA was to poison the dictator with a ricin-strip that Skylark was to apply during a handshake with Kim during the interview. But when the moment comes, Skylark no longer has the ricin, and instead he tries to use the television airtime to turn North Korea against Kim by making the dictator appear weak on camera. When Kim realizes what's happening, he pulls out a gun and shoots Skylark on air — but Skylark is wearing a vest and survives.
  • As Aaron and Skylark make their escape, they steal a North Korean tank as Kim flies above in a helicopter and prepares to kill them both as well as launch nuclear weapons all over the world. The particularly controversial head explosion occurs here, when Aaron and Skylark fire from their tank and effectively blow up the helicopter and Kim. The camera lingers on Kim's exploding face as Katy Perry's "Firework" plays in the background, making the moment even more surreal. 

Leaked emails revealed that there was some tinkering behind the scenes to tone down the sheer violence on display during the supreme leader's death, and the version shown to audiences isn't nearly as graphic as it was previously. The exact specifications of these changes have also been made public.

Following Sony's cancellation of the release, the US announced its intention to officially blame North Korea for the hack, having gathered enough evidence. The White House officially responded also, stating that the US planned to continue investigating and that the FBI had the lead.

NOW WATCH: Here's The Trailer For 'The Interview' — The Movie The Hackers Don't Want You To See

SEE ALSO: Here's How America Could Respond To The Sony Hack

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The New 'Star Wars' Movie Comes Out One Year From Today (DIS)


cute droid star wars episode vii trailer

The first movie in the next Star Wars Trilogy, "The Force Awakens," premieres December 18, 2015.

That's one year from today.

So far, we know very little about what will happen in the movie beyond who's in the cast and some of the new characters' names. Disney released a teaser trailer last month, but it only gave us some minor clues about the plot. (And even then, we're mostly speculating.)

Here's a quick, high-level view of what to expect. Don't worry. No spoilers.

It Takes Place About 30 Years After "Return Of The Jedi"

The new trilogy is a sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy from the '70s and '80s. That was the story about how Luke Skywalker became a Jedi and defeated the evil Empire. Now we'll find out what happens after the death of Darth Vader and the Emperor.

Most Of The Classic Characters Are Returning

Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, and several other characters from the original trilogy will return for the new trilogy.

But There Are Some New Faces Too

It seems like the new trilogy will focus around a cast of new main characters. Disney already shared their names.

This is Finn.

john boyega star wars episode 7

This is Rey.

daisy ridley star wars episode vii trailer

And this is the villain, Kylo Ren.

star wars the force awakens sith lightsaber

We don't know anything else about these characters beyond what you see in the teaser trailer.

Now Watch The Teaser Trailer

SEE ALSO: There's something fishy about the name of the new Star Wars villain

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It's Amazing How Much The New Martin Luther King Jr. Movie Resonates Today


selma mlk

It's impossible to watch "Selma" in America today and not feel confronted by the striking parallels to recent turmoil.

The Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand jury decisions have brought the issue of race back into the spotlight, and the calculated response and protest by unhappy American people harkens back to Martin Luther King Jr.'s crusade for civil rights. 

"Selma" is not your typical biopic: We don't see Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth, we don't see his death, and we don't get very much in between. What we do get is a focused look at one key event that changed the course of the country for the better — the monumental Civil Rights March in Selma, Alabama that led to national attention and widespread outrage for the South's 'desegregated in name only' approach and systematic opression of people of color.

selma marchThere are scenes throughout "Selma"— people walking in the streets, demanding justice — that parallel news coverage from the past month. Many of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speeches are depicted in the film, and each sentiment is more strikingly relevant than the last.

The basic notion that all of the cops in the movie are white and any threat of violence to white people seem to be valued more than excessive force against blacks evokes the deaths of Gordon and Brown after aggressive police responses. It brings certain numbers to mind, such as how Ferguson is 60% black, the police force is 94% white, and that 93% of Ferguson arrests in 2013 were people of color.

One of the most memorable scenes is when protesters (without MLK Jr.) descend upon the bridge towards Selma and are accosted by ruthless, angry white southern police officers as well as a slew of spectators eagerly cheering them on. This scene depicts a watershed moment and major turning point in the movement, as news cameras and photographers were able to bring the issue into the homes of Americans nationwide. Martin Luther King's comments following the first march on the bridge was a national call-to-arms for people of all races.

Countless African-Americans are beaten and a few killed by the police during the marches, and the film does not shy away from the sheer brutality that was on display during this era. When King notes that none of the white police officers were convicted or tried for their awful crimes, more connections to the present are revealed and it's hard to swallow.

selma mlk 2The march on Selma itself is emblematic of the larger problem we still face today. While blatant beatings orchestrated by law enforcement in broad daylight may be a thing of the past, the protests in Ferguson (and to a lesser extent those breaking out across the nation) and the overzealous militarized response are not far off. Sure, you can spin it and put the blame on the small subsection of protesters who were looting and causing a ruckus, but there were thousands protesting peacefully who were tear-gassed all the same. The parallels to the "hands up, don't shoot" movement are striking and shocking. 

David Oyelowo plays MLK Jr. with such a dignified grace and commanding presence that at times it's hard to believe you're not watching footage of the man himself. It's a subtle performance in which he says just as much with his eyes and demeanor than he does with words, and it's one of the year's best — even in a year of many wonderful performances.

"Selma" is a timely, important and magnificent film that proves no matter how far we've come towards equality in America, we still have a long way to go.

SEE ALSO: It's Clear That Race Is America's Deepest Problem

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These Will Be The 12 Biggest Movies Of 2015


avengers age of ultron captain america thor2015 is going to be one of the biggest years at the box office in a long time.

Not only are we getting a new "Star Wars" movie, but we'll finally see the next "Avengers" grouping, which has been nearly three years in the making. 

Those two movies alone have the potential of being billion-dollar films.

In comparison, 2014 only had one movie gross $1 billion— "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

Through plenty of sequels and reboots, we're counting down the movies that will be the biggest at theaters next year. It's going to feel like the early '90s with Arnold Schwarzenegger back as the Terminator and dinosaurs roaming around in "Jurassic World."

Mark these dates down in your calendar.

12. 'Fifty Shades of Grey' (Universal/Focus Features)

Release date:
Feb. 13, 2015

Why it will be huge: This will be the movie every guy will be dragged to see.

The best-selling book series dubbed "mommy porn" is making its big screen debut Valentine's Day weekend. There couldn't be a better release date for the erotica film about a naive college girl (Dakota Johnson) who becomes involved in a BDSM relationship with a billionaire named Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).

While the film's trailer was the most-viewed all year, there are two reasons "Fifty Shades" is lower on our list. 1. Big blockbusters rarely come out in this month. "Passion of the Christ" currently holds the record for largest Feb. gross ($611.9 million). 2. Erotica movies are usually a niche group. 1992's "Basic Instinct" is the highest-grossing film in the genre making $352.9 million worldwide.

11. 'Ted 2' (Universal)

Release date:
June 26, 2015

Why it will be huge: "Ted," featuring Seth MacFarlane's foul-mouthed teddy bear and Mark Wahlberg, became the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy ever in 2012. It surpassed the record previously held by the first "Hangover.""Ted" made $549 million worldwide.

10. 'Inside Out' (Pixar/Disney)

Release date: 
June 19, 2015

Why it will be huge: Pixar's reputation speaks for itself. The studio hasn't made a bad film yet (except perhaps the poorly-reviewed "Cars 2"). Regardless, none of them have been bombs and the majority of Pixar's animated movies make at least $500 million worldwide at theaters. 

Buzz about its next animated picture, "Inside Out," is already growing. While the movie's concept about the inner workings of the brain and our emotions may sound a bit confusing, an early sneak peek of the film was very well received at the Animation Film Festival in France back in June.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here’s How ‘The Hobbit’ Dragon Looks Without Visual Effects


smaug the hobbit

Benedict Cumberbatch seriously got into his role for "The Hobbit" films. 

In both “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," now in theaters, Cumberbatch plays the role of the perilous dragon, Smaug. However, the “Sherlock” actor didn’t simply voice the dragon. He also acted out the role in a motion-capture suit. 

Ahead of the release of “The Desolation of Smaug” on Blu-Ray and DVD last month, Warner Bros. released video showing the 38-year-old actor immersing himself into the role. 

The best footage comes from the L.A. Times which has an exclusive video showing Cumberbatch act out the dragon in the motion capture suit.

It's amazing to see how much Cumberbatch really gets into it.

To get into the role, little motion capture tracking dots were placed onto Cumberbatch's face.

benedict cumberbatch motion capture smaugHe was fitted with a helmet that has a little camera attached to capture his every facial movement.benedict cumberbatch motion capture helmetbenedict cumberbatch motion capture the hobbit To prepare for the role, Cumberbatch told the Los Angeles Times last year that he went to the London Zoo to study animals including lizards.

smaug benedict cumberbatch motion capture"They really like doing very little," added Cumberbatch. "Then, when they act, it can suddenly be very violent or very slow and they really take their time. I tied all that in to the playing I did rolling around on that carpet."

benedict cumberbatch smaug the hobbit

Motion capture king Andy Serkis, who has played Gollum in both “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” films, gave Cumberbatch advice on playing Smaug. 

“I said, ‘Treat it like you’re playing the role. Don’t think you’re just providing the voice. Go in there physically. Get what you can out of it,” said Serkis in a Warner Bros. featurette. “There will be head turns. There will be moments from that performance that you give that can be pulled out and extrapolated and will become part of Smaug’s being.”

benedict cumberbatch face smaug hobbit

A quarter of the shots in the film were CG, according to the special effects crew at WETA. Cumberbatch says about 80% of the dragon was created by them.

Here's how it looks side by side.

the hobbit the desolation of smaug benedict cumberbatchThe actor didn't just roll around on the carpet. He also acted out the character from his own platform.

They built a wooden platform on stilts and they had this hard board that they’d padded with some foam and mats and stuff and on top of that they put this sheepskin," Cumberbatch told the LA Times. "It was literally like 'Baum chicka baum baum,' me up on my Smaug-y platform. I was like, 'This is cool, I can slink around like a porn star dragon.'”

benedict cumberbatch smaugCumberbatch said he can see pieces of his motion capture performance in the final rendering of the dragon in his eyebrow movements and with the mouth during closeups with Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Thorin (Richard Armitage).

benedict cumberbatch motion capture hobbit benedict cumberbatch motion capture the hobbit desolation of smaug"I absolutely loved it after a minute of stepping on and feeling completely like a nob," said Cumberbatch. "Once you get over that bit of self-consciousness, it’s so freeing. I just played like a kid in a bedroom, just imagining this thing, which is great."

benedict cumberbatch smaug crawl the hobbitHere's the finished product on screen.

smaug the hobbit dragonYou can watch a portion of Cumberbatch’s motion capture performance below.

SEE ALSO: Our review of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"

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'The Interview' Is Hilarious And It's A Shame America Won't Get To See It


james franco seth rogen the interview

Kim Jong-un assassination comedy "The Interview" was controversial even before it provoked North Korean hackers to launch a vicious cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

"The Interview" was originally scheduled to be released in October but was delayed until Christmas Day after North Korea declared the film an "act of war" and threatened a "resolute and merciless" response if the US government failed to stop its release.

I found it hard to take North Korea's assertions seriously after viewing the relentlessly crass and silly finished product at a screening a few weeks ago. It's clearly a comedy far more than a statement on foreign policy. While co-director and star Seth Rogen weaves in plenty of details that reflect poorly on North Korea, "The Interview" never feels like an attack on the hermit kingdom.

But as we now know, this didn't stop North Korea from acting out even though Sony Pictures took some steps to appease the dictatorship during the film's production.

While it may seem ridiculous to change an American film based on a dictator's demands, Sony made minor digital alterations, including covering up "thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film" since they "depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military to honor the country's leader."

Sony also toned down the explosion of Kim Jong-un's head during the film's climactic assassination.

the interview screen 2

Despite these concessions, hackers linked to North Korea savaged Sony. Those hackers effectively forced the company to cancel the movie's release by leaking thousands of private documents, threatening to leak more, and threatening the safety of moviegoers at theaters.

Here's a bit more about the wonderfully goofy movie most people won't get to see. 

In the opening scene, a young Korean girl serenades a gathering of fellow Koreans with sing-songy insults to America. This scene sets the bar right away, and the film never takes itself too seriously.

the interview screen 1James Franco plays Dave Skylark, the host of "Skylark Tonight," a tabloid news program that falls more in line with TMZ than CNN. Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) is the show's producer, and after 1,000 episodes of asinine celebrity coverage, he wishes to be taken seriously. When Skylark finds out Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, is a fan of his program, he sets up an exclusive interview with the dictator in North Korea. When the CIA gets wind of this, they bring Skylark and Rapaport in and ask them to assassinate him.

As all good comedies should, 'The Interview" has heart, and the on-screen chemistry between Franco and Rogen keeps everything afloat. The script features plenty of Rogen's trademark witty, crass humor and, just like in "Pineapple Express," the off-the-cuff banter between the two leads never gets old. Lizzy Caplan is also great (but underused) as the CIA agent who "honeypots" the duo into the assassination. 

the interview screen 3"The Interview" is full of pop culture references, Hollywood in-jokes, and hysterically funny cameos. Besides the barrage of unexpected celebrities, one of the film's biggest laughs comes from Franco's rendition of a pop song that rivals his Britney Spears piano number from "Spring Breakers." While it's not as inherently self-referential as "This Is The End" since Rogen and Franco aren't playing themselves, there is similar humor at times, as Rogen shows that he isn't afraid to make fun of anyone.

The film was poised to be another surefire hit for Rogen, whose last two starring vehicles ("Neighbors,""This Is The End") were modestly budgeted at $18 million and $32 million respectively and each managed to gross over $100 million domestically. The reported budget for "The Interview" is around $30 million, so factoring in Rogen's track record, the film shouldn't have had any trouble raking in some serious cash when it opened on Christmas Day.

Unfortunately, the movie's unprecedented suppression makes any profit impossible, and Sony will lose around $100 million from the film's non-release alone. The long-term damage is impossible to assess at this point, but Sony certainly has an uphill battle going forward.

SEE ALSO: We Saw 'The Interview' Weeks Ago, And It's Clear Why North Korea Hates It

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'The Interview' Movie Posters Are Going For Over $500 Online


the interview movie posterSince Sony has pulled its controversial movie "The Interview" starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, posters for the film have made their way onto bidding sites like eBay for hundreds of dollars.

Huffington Post editor Alexander C. Kaufman noticed posters being auctioned for as much as $550.

Normally, you can get a movie poster for around $10. 

We've found a few posters being auctioned at the $300 and $500 range.

ebay the interviewinterview poster

the interview james franco poster

There's also this one, which is going for over $1,200.

the interview poster ebay



NOW WATCH: MythBusters' Adam Savage Explains Why TARS From 'Interstellar' Is The Perfect Robot


SEE ALSO: Why North Korea hates "The Interview"

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George R.R. Martin Slams Sony's 'Corporate Cowardice' For Canceling 'The Interview'


george rr martin"Games of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin is the latest to weigh in on "The Interview" being pulled from theaters.

In a LiveJournal post titled "Corporate Cowardice," Martin says: " The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me."

He adds that his own independent theater in Santa Fe, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, would have been more than happy to screen "The Interview."

Read Martin's post below:

This one is surreal...

I mean, really?  REALLY??  These gigantic corporations, most of which could buy North Korea with pocket change, are declining to show a film because Kim Jong-Un objects to being mocked?

The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me.  It's a good thing these guys weren't around when Charlie Chaplin made THE GREAT DICTATOR.  If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes.

Even Sony, which made the movie, is going along.  There are thousands of small independent theatres across the country, like my own, that would gladly screen THE INTERVIEW, regardless of the threats from North Korea, but instead of shifting the film to those venues, Sony has cancelled its scheduled Christmas rollout entirely.

I haven't seen THE INTERVIEW.  I have no idea how good or bad a film it is.   It might be hilarious.  It might be stupid and offensive and outrageous. (Actually, I am pretty sure about the 'outrageous' part).  It might be all of the above.

That's not the point, though.  Whether it's the next CITIZEN KANE or the next PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers.

For what it's worth, the Jean Cocteau Cinema [Martin's theater in Santa Fe] will be glad to screen THE INTERVIEW (assuming that Sony does eventually release the film for theatrical exhibition, rather than streaming it or dumping it as a direct-to-DVD release), should it be made available to us.  Come to Santa Fe, Seth, we'll show your film for you.

Martin owns the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, where, in a follow up blog post, the author says he tried to show "Team America" instead of the yanked "Interview."

But that all fell apart on Thursday when that movie was pulled, too. He writes:

The cowardice is contagious, it would appear.

In the comments to my last post, several of my readers suggested that we follow the lead of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin and show TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE at the Cocteau, since Sony has wimped out and pulled THE INTERVIEW.

It sounded like a great idea, so we took immediate steps to do so.

Only to learn that Paramount has now decided to withdraw TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE from exhibition.   We won't be allowed to show the film, and neither will Alamo, nor any of the other independent venues that wanted to use TA:WP to replace THE INTERVIEW.

 Regal.  AMC.  Cinemark.  Sony.  And now Paramount.  Where does it end?

 I guess I should contact our new North Korean masters to ask them what movies we will be allowed to show at the Cocteau.

Check out more of George R.R. Martin's opinionated LiveJournal here. Current mood: "pissed off."

SEE ALSO: We Saw 'The Interview' Weeks Ago, And It's Clear Why North Korea Hates It

MORE: Hollywood Is Outraged That Sony Pulled 'The Interview'

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Google Has Accused Hollywood Of Secretly Reigniting Plans To Censor The Internet (GOOG)


Locked Fence

In a blog post published yesterday, Google accuses Hollywood of trying to "censor the internet." Again.

The web giant claims the Motion Picture Association of America (MPPA) has led a renewed campaign to reignite 2011's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation, which would have allowed the US government and private corporations to create a "blacklist bill" of censored sites.

The legislation was well-intentioned — it was designed to prevent piracy and copyright infringement — but Business Insider's Alyson Shontell noted that it did so in "a n overly-aggressive, innovation-endangering way."

The battle of internet censorship has been going on for some time. Many feel it would corrupt the very nature of the world's digital resource. Three years ago, millions of Americans helped stop SOPA from being passed. Around 115,000 websites opposed the bill and it failed to go through. More than 10,000,000 people signed a petition against it.

Now, the proposal of censorship is back in the spotlight. Google's Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker writes: "We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the MPAA led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means and helped to manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood."

According to the Verge, documents leaked in the ongoing Sony hack by suspected terrorists in North Korea reveals media companies have been once again plotting to pass "harsh anti-piracy measures."

On Dec. 12, the Verge also reported that leaked emails show major movie companies are working together with the MPAA on a project named to stop a company known as "Goliath." It's thought that "Goliath" refers to Google, which from Hollywood's viewpoint is enabling piracy online.

Google previously tweaked its search engine algorithm to make finding illegal copies more difficult, but it appears that's not enough to satisfy Hollywood. It all boils down to the argument that Google should entirely stop people being able to "search" for pirated material in the first place.

But it appears the MPAA is back with a new plan. The Verge reports the MPAA and six other studios have recently joined together to conspire to "secretly revive SOPA."In dozens of leaked emails, lawyers from the MPAA and its counterparts call it their "most powerful and politically relevant adversary in the fight against online piracy."

Walker says the MPPA has "pointed its guns at Google." It notes movie studios even factored in £500,000 a year to provide legal support. There are also claims the MPAA did the "legal legwork" for Hood, a self-confessed SOPA backer. The New York Times previously highlighted a letter signed by the Attorney General that was drafted at the MPAA's law firm, Jenner & Block.

Google finishes with a bold, detailed statement on the matter:

Even though Google takes industry-leading measures in dealing with problematic content on our services, Attorney General Hood proceeded to send Google a sweeping 79-page subpoena, covering a variety of topics over which he lacks jurisdiction.The Verge reported that the MPAA and its members discussed such subpoenas and certainly knew about this subpoena’s existence before it was even sent to Google.

Attorney General Hood told the Huffington Post earlier this week that the MPAA "has no major influence on my decision-making,” and that he “has never asked [the] MPAA a legal question” and “isn't sure which lawyers they employ.” And yet today the Huffington Post and the Verge revealed that Attorney General Hood had numerous conversations with both MPAA staff and Jenner & Block attorneys about this matter.

While we of course have serious legal concerns about all of this, one disappointing part of this story is what this all means for the MPAA itself, an organisation founded in part “to promote and defend the First Amendment and artists' right to free expression.” Why, then, is it trying to secretly censor the Internet?

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There Are 5 Ways To See The New 'Hobbit' Movie — Here's How To See It


bard hobbit battle of five armies

The final "Hobbit" movie, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," is finally in theaters this week.

According to the movie's official site, there are five different ways you can view the movie.

2D (standard viewing)
HFR (more on this in a moment)

A lot of your movie-viewing decision is going to revolve around HFR.

What is HFR?

HFR stands for high frame rate. Typically, we view movies in 24 frames per second (fps). Director Peter Jackson pushed the boundaries of cinema by releasing all of "The Hobbit" movies in 48 fps. This means your brain is processing double the images it's accustomed to seeing in one second.

Okay, So How Does This Look On Screen?

hobbit battle of the five armiesIt's a bit jarring, to be honest. Since you're not used to processing that many images at once, items look sped up almost to the point where they look cartoon-ish for the first 15-30 minutes as your eyes adjust to the format. 

Don't get me wrong. There are positives to HFR as well. I've never seen images look more clear or crisp on the big screen. This is something revolutionary that will look incredible once it's perfected on screen.

Should I See 'The Hobbit' In High Frame Rate?

gandalf thranduil the hobbitI don't know about you, but when I head out to see a film, I want to get lost in the movie without my attention being diverted by the nature of the filmmaking. While your eyes adjust during the first scenes of the movie you're focusing so much on all the small movements taking place on screen (it can be a bit overwhelming) that you may miss out on some of the fun of the huge opening scene.

If you have vision issues, you may have a tougher time watching the film. I don't, but there's one glaring scene showing a singular image reverberating quickly on screen — you'll know it when you see it — that it may be a bit too much to handle.

I've never been to a screening that's just HFR without 3D and without IMAX. Seeing it with all three can be a bit overwhelming. HFR by itself may be better; however, you're more likely to head to a theater playing the film in some combination of 3D and IMAX as well.

Since the whole thing feels like a giant cinematic experiment at the moment, I would personally hold off.

Then How Should I See It?

"The Battle of the Five Armies" hasn't been post-converted. It was filmed in 3D. So if you're heading out to see it in that format, you're getting your money's worth.

If you're not a fan of wearing silly 3D glasses or a controversial newer cinematic style, ditch both and just see this one in plain old 2D.  

*Note: Though the official Hobbit site lists five ways in which to see the film, it appears there's at least one other way to see the film. When we checked the movie out earlier this month, it was shown in 3D IMAX with the high frame rate. This was at the AMC Lincoln Square inside the only real IMAX theater in NYC. Fandango will tell you the same thing during a simple search for the film.  

SEE ALSO: Read our review of the final "Hobbit" movie here

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Why 'Night At The Museum 3' Is The Sendoff Robin Williams Deserves


robin williams night at the museumVery few of us get the opportunity to script our own farewell. David Chase and Vince Gilligan did it with their own brilliant television programs. Stephen Colbert did it last night. And the late, great Robin Williams pulls it off beautifully with Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which you can start seeing today. 

This column will talk openly about Night at the Museum, so bail now if you want to avoid all spoilers.

Mike Reyes mentioned in his review of the third and final Night At The Museum chapter, commenting that director Shawn Levy and co-stars Robin Williams and Ben Stiller "end the film with an emotional finale that closes out the series in a bittersweet manner." Williams returns to his role of the wax-figure Teddy Roosevelt, who comes to life each evening to help museum security guard Larry (Stiller) on a series of increasingly wacky adventures. 

This time out, though, fate truly intervened. From the time it was announced, this third installment in the popular (and financially successful) Night at the Museum series always was going to be its last. And while the door sort of is left open for a spinoff franchise structured around a new sidekick character – no spoilers – you get the impression while watching the goofy but sweet Secret of the Tomb that everyone involved was working toward closure. Ben Stiller’s character, Larry, gets tender sendoffs from each major character, from Owen Wilson’s finger-sized cowboy to the monkey who slapped his face throughout the trilogy. 

Then he gets to Robin Williams’ Teddy Roosevelt, and their goodbye takes on new meaning. 

It’s not overdone. You get the impression that the scripted farewell shared between Stiller and Williams is exactly what director Shawn Levy planned. Maybe he ended up using more of the footage in his arsenal, in order to check off all of the emotional beats on the scene. But the unexpected passing of Robin Williams earlier this year gives this sequence – and this entire sequel – a warm, comforting and melodramatic tinge that will create more than a few lumps in the throats of fans. 

Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb isn’t Robin Williams’ last role. Not technically. He’ll lend his voice to Absolutely Anything, which is due in theaters in 2015. But this is the last time that we will see the brilliant, gifted and hysterical comedian on screen. And the way that the fates converged, he is given an incredibly touching send off, a cinematic farewell that fans of all ages will appreciate this holiday season, and beyond.

SEE ALSO: Robin Williams Still Has 4 New Movies Coming Out

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