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Paul Rudd Was 'Devastated' When Director Edgar Wright Left 'Ant-Man'

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ant man paul ruddWhen Paul Rudd first signed on to star in Marvel StudiosAnt-Man in December 2013, he was also signing on for the opportunity to work with the brilliant director Edgar Wright. Of course, this opportunity all went away when a few months later Wright and Marvel decided to part ways over creative differences. Naturally, this had a pretty big impact on the film's star - and he has recently revealed that he was actually devastated by the British filmmaker's departure from the project.

Rudd spoke his mind about the situation with Edgar Wright and Ant-Man while doing an interview with Entertainment Weekly, explaining that the whole thing really took him by surprise - though he did get word about the director leaving prior to the story making its way to the press. Asked if there was any temptation on his part to follow Wright and leave the superhero film, Rudd said:

"There are lots of things that go through your mind. There are certain things I can and can’t do, and then there also certain things I will and won’t say. But I was devastated, you know?"

ant man costumeInstead of cutting and running, however, Paul Rudd instead decided to take the exact opposite approach: he took more creative control. When Adam McKay was brought aboard to work on the script, Rudd found himself "organically" falling into the role of co-writer, and together they started generating new ideas for the project and expanding on the story elements that were already present in the previous drafts that had been written by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. The movie will be only his second screenwriting credit - the other coming on the 2008 comedy Role Models - and Rudd was thankful to have his Anchorman director by his side simply due to the fact that the material was unlike anything he had ever worked with before. He explained:

"It’s a little strange writing something that’s really, truly out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t know how to begin to write [something like this], but sometimes you just hit the ground running, I guess. Thankfully Adam was there."

It will definitely be fascinating to see what the end result of Ant-Man will be - especially after watching the trailer that was released earlier this week. With Paul Rudd and Adam McKay taking care of the script, many of us anticipated that the preview would be filled with jokes and various gags - but instead what was delivered was a much more somber, serious piece about second chances and living up to true potential. 

Watch the trailer for "Ant-Man" below.

SEE ALSO: The First "Ant-Man" Trailer Is Here

Join the conversation about this story »

The 'Taken 3' Reviews Are Pretty Brutal

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taken liam neeson

Well, it looks like we have our first bad movie of 2015.

The reviews for "Taken 3" currently sit at 9% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and that number is quickly dropping. (They were at 12% this morning, and hovered around 30% yesterday.)

taken 3 rotten tomatoes

Liam Neeson returns once again as ex-government agent Bryan Mills, but it appears his "particular set of skills" may be lacking the same spark that made the first two fan favorites.

Here's what reviews are saying:

The Hollywood Reporter:

Besson's team has signed off the trilogy with a whimper rather than the kind of unfettered bang delivered by the first two films. That may compromise the movie's performance at the box office as it unspools internationally

Strangely, Besson and his long-running series co-writer Robert Mark Kamen seem to have overlooked the one thing that made Taken and Taken 2 tick: the appeal of leading man Neeson, the anguished and aging action-hero who tries, with solitary and superhuman effort, to save his family.

Variety:

The third and presumably final installment of the Liam Neeson action franchise is a mind-numbing, crash-bang misfire.

The Fox release will draw crowds simply because it’s supposedly the last installment of the lucrative franchise, but they’ll just be hostages to tedium.

Vulture:

The concept is lame, and the execution is lame, too. The more the film advances, the less we care about the plot — or anything that happens to anybody, really. It doesn’t help that the best character in these movies ... is already gone.

IGN:

Taken 3's massive fault is in the action. Megaton fails his leading man by pummeling us with angles. A talky scene could have 30 cuts in a one minute stretch, reducing Neeson's work to a rushed, babbling mess. Money shot moments are particularly infuriating. A pile-up car chase scraps geography and timing for visual carnage. There's no time to revel in stunts or enjoy Bryan's Jack-Bauer-on-HFS instincts. Megaton would rather burn our eyes with flashbang cuts — setpieces as phosphene.

Scott Mendelson's Forbes' review doesn't hold back. The title alone is "'Taken 3' Turns Liam Neeson Into Nicolas Cage" If you're going to read one review, I recommend this one for its sheer honesty and humor.

Liam Neeson as an action hero is no longer a novelty, and Taken 3 is a stunningly wrongheaded and borderline incompetent action sequel that sullies what came before. 

The Telegraph:

This is all a far cry from the original Taken film, the sheepish fun of which lay in seeing Neeson’s primal, fatherly rage being shaken out of retirement. Back then he was still Aslan, Kinsey, Rob Roy, Oskar Schindler, and the violence – visceral and transgressive, rather than the bloodless, 12A-rated shoot-‘em-up stuff here – felt like the eruption of a long-dormant volcano. Now it’s just Liam Neeson hitting people again. What a tragedy that’s become boring.

The reviews may not matter.

The film is set to have a $30 million opening weekend for Fox, and it has already made $1.6 million in Thursday night showings. It cost an estimated $48 million to produce.

2012's "Taken 2" debuted to $45 million opening weekend. It went on to make $376 million worldwide, with a lot of that money ($236 million) coming from overseas.

The problem with "Taken 3," is that once viewers realize they're getting a film unlike the first two, word of mouth may result in a big second week dip for the film at theaters.

SEE ALSO: Liam Neeson was paid $20 million for 'Taken 3'

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Here Are The Odds On Sunday's Golden Globe Movie Nominations

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Boyhood Sundance

The 72nd Golden Globes will air this Sunday.

Top contenders include "Boyhood" and "Birdman," which lead the way with the most nominations. 

You might want to place your bets on those films, but if you aren't completely sold, Gold Derby has compiled the odds on which films will win — and which won't — during Sunday's ceremony. 

The numbers below should help you out.

Best Film(Drama)
"Boyhood" 1/10
"Selma" 14/1
"The Imitation Game" 50/1
"The Theory Of Everything" 100/1
"Foxcatcher" 100/1

Best Actor In A Film(Drama)
Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory Of Everything" 1/4
Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game" 15/2
David Oyelowo, "Selma," 14/1
Steve Carrell, "Foxcatcher," 100/1
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler," 100/1

Best Actress In A Film (Drama)
Julianne Moore, "Still Alice" 1/4
Reese Witherspoon, "Wild" 8/1
Jennifer Aniston, "Cake," 14/1
Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl" 50/1
Felicity Jones "The Theory Of Everything," 100/1

Best Film (Musical/Comedy)
"Birdman" 1/5
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" 14/1
"Into The Woods" 14/1
"Pride" 100/1
"St. Vincent" 100/1

Best Actor In A Film (Musical/Comedy)
Michael Keaton, "Birdman" 1/10
Ralph Fiennes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" 50/1
Bill Murray, "St. Vincent" 50/1
Christoph Waltz, "Big Eyes" 100/1
Joaquin Phoenix, "Inherent Vice" 100/1

Best Actress In A Film (Musical/Comedy)
Emily Blunt, "Into The Woods" 4/9
Amy Adams, "Big Eyes" 5/1
Julianne Moore, "Maps To The Stars" 8/1
Helen Mirren, "The Hundred-Foot Journey" 100/1
Quvenzhane Wallis, "Annie" 100/1

Best Supporting Actor In A Film
J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash" 1/5
Edward Norton, "Birdman" 13/2
Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood" 50/1
Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher" 100/1
Robert Duvall, "The Judge" 100/1

Best Supporting Actress In A Film
Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood" 1/5
Emma Stone, "Birdman" 15/2
Meryl Streep, "Into The Woods" 50/1
Jessica Chastain, "A Most Violent Year" 100/1
Keira Knightley, "The Imitation Game," 100/1

See Gold Derby's full list here.

SEE ALSO: The 15 Best Movies of 2014

AND: The worst movies of the year

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Liam Neeson Reportedly Earned 20 Times More For 'Taken 3' Than The Original Movie

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Liam Neeson

In 2008, Liam Neeson earned a reported $1 million for his action-packed role as retired-but-still kicking CIA agent Bryan Mills in the surprise hit "Taken."

In 2012, Neeson was reluctant to return to the role for "Taken 2," but finally agreed after pocketing a reported $10 million paycheck. A small fee for a film that has since gone on to gross $376,141,306 worldwide on a $45 million production budget.

And now, the 62-year-old actor will once again reprise his role for "Taken 3," hitting theaters today.

In 2013, Deadline reported that Neeson was "closing a deal in the vicinity of $20 million to reprise his role as Bryan Mills." While the figure hasn't been confirmed, it is likely based on the franchise's success.

"Given the muscular box office of 'Taken 2,' agency sources think Neeson could command $20 million-plus if he wanted to reprise the role  a mark once considered standard for big franchise roles but now reserved for the likes of Johnny Depp and Will Smith in the right projects," noted The Hollywood Reporter.

In 2014, Neeson landed the No.7 spot on Forbes' list of Highest Paid Actors — which is still small compared to Robert Downey Jr.'s $50 million "Avengers" paycheck. Downey Jr.'s "Avengers" co-stars didn't make quite as much, with Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo all reportedly earning between $2-3 million with bonuses, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

In addition to Neeson, "Taken 2" director Olivier Megaton also returns for the latest installment.

Megaton is the man partially responsible for the huge box office grosses of "Taken 2," earning $50 million more than the orginal.

"When the sequel does better than the original at the box office, and doesn’t cost that much more, of course they will try for the trifecta," noted Deadline.

Now Neeson just needs to "take" down the negative reviews of the latest movie.

SEE ALSO: The 'Taken 3' Reviews Are Pretty Brutal

MORE: Charlize Theron Reportedly Negotiated A $10 Million Paycheck After Sony Hack Revealed Unequal Pay

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How Liam Neeson Became An Accidental Action Star In His Sixties

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sam urdank taken 3Liam Neeson is back in theaters this weekend in "Taken 3."

The sequel will close out the franchise that helped transform the 62-year-old Oscar-nominated actor into one of Hollywood's most sought-after action stars in his sixties.

Though Neeson starred as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in 1999's "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" and as assassin Ra's al Ghul in Christopher Nolan's recent "The Dark Knight Trilogy," it wasn't until after the cult status of 2008's "Taken" that Neeson started starring more frequently in similar roles which allowed him to deliver his "particular set of skills" over and over again.

"Unknown,""The Grey," and last year's "Non-Stop" were all big hits at the box office. 

It's an envious role to actors like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, '80s action stars who have tried to revitalize their careers for younger generations after the success of "The Expendables," only to turn up with box-officebomb after box-officebomb.

However, most actors don't suddenly decide to make the switch to action star later in life.

The change in Neeson's career came after the sudden death of his wife of 15 years in March 2009.liam neeson wife

Natasha Richardson, daughter of British actress Vanessa Redgrave, died of a traumatic brain injury after she fell and hit her head while taking a beginner ski lesson in Quebec, Canada.

liam neeson natasha richardson

In an interview with Anderson Cooper for "60 Minutes" in 2014, Neeson said he returned to work days after his wife's death.

"I'm not good without work,"Neeson told Cooper"I just didn't want to, especially for my boys, to seem to be wallowing in sadness or depression." 

"Taken" debuted two months before Richardson's death. Neeson thought the film would be straight to video, but the $25 million movie became a hit, making $226.8 million worldwideA sequel debuted to $50 million opening weekend in 2012 and made more than $375 million worldwide. 

Since 2009, Neeson has starred in more than a dozen action films including the big-budget "Clash of the Titans."

He's currently filming several movies including one that already sounds straight from the "Taken" playbook where he'll play an aging hitman ("Run All Night").

According to a 2011 Esquire interviewNeeson said it has been this work which has helped him get through Richardson's passing.

natasha richardson liam neeson"I think I survived by running away some," said Neeson. "Running away to work. Listen, I know how old I am and that I'm just a shoulder injury from losing roles like the one in Taken. So I stay with the training, I stay with the work. It's easy enough to plan jobs, to plan a lot of work. That's effective. But that's the weird thing about grief. You can't prepare for it. You think you're gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work."

While the actor told Cooper he's a "wee bit embarrassed" by his success as an action star, he believes it's something his wife would be pleased to learn.

"She'd be very chuffed at that," said Neeson.

"Taken 3" is out in theaters Friday. Reviews for the finale are terrible compared to the previous two; however, the film is expected to make over $30 million this weekend, and, like the first two films in the series, be a big hit overseas.

Neeson is reportedly making near $20 million to reprise his role.

SEE ALSO: Why Liam Neeson films are a guaranteed success at the box office

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21 Things 'Back To The Future 2' Got Wrong About 2015

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hover board back to the future 2If there's one movie you should rewatch this year, it's "Back to the Future 2."

Director Robert Zemeckis' 1989 film sends Marty McFly and Doc Brown to the year 2015.

Did the film get it right? Not exactly.

While it predicted Skype calls and virtual-reality headsets, the film got plenty wrong — including hoverboards.

However, Zemeckis mentions in a featurette for the film he didn't plan to get the future right, explaining he was not a fan of seeing it depicted in movies. 

We may have electric cars, but we're still a little while away from ones that fly.

We're getting there, though.



2015 may be fond of superheroes on the big screen, but we're not dressing like them just yet.



We've come close, but we're still waiting around for an actual working model of a hoverboard. It didn't help that Zemeckis tricked fans into thinking the toy was real in a behind-the-scenes featurette for the film.

(Sources: "Back to the Future 2" featurette / Nerdist)



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

25 Movies You Should See In 2015

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cute droid star wars episode vii trailer

2015 could easily be the biggest year at the box office in years. It will definitely be one of the most exciting. 

Not only are we getting new films in the "Star Wars" and "Avengers" franchises — two films that could easily top $1 billion at theaters — but there are plenty of sequels to films made popular in the '90s and earlier.

It will feel as if we're stepping into a giant time machine.

From comedies to sequels and spy thrillers, these are the movies we can't wait to see.

"Taken 3"

Release date: Friday

Why to see it: Just when you thought they couldn't take anyone else, Liam Neeson returns one last time as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills to show off his particular set of skills. Instead of taking down baddies this time, Mills will be on the run trying to clear his name for a murder he didn't commit.

Watch the trailer.



"American Sniper"

Wide release date: Jan. 16

Why to see it:Clint Eastwood's latest film stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in US military history. Originally debuting last year, the movie received good reviews for Cooper's portrayal of the Navy Seal.

Watch the trailer.



"Red Army"

Release date: Jan. 23

Why to see it: Even if you're not into hockey or sports, it's hard to not be drawn into the documentary about the Soviet Union's Red Army hockey team. The film tells the story behind the politically driven team. So far, the film has received extremely positive reviews.

Watch the trailer.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'Taken 3' Has A Huge Weekend At The Box Office

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taken liam neeson

Sometimes bad reviews don't mean a thing for movies, which was certainly the case with "Taken 3" this weekend.

The third installment of the series starring Liam Neeson outperformed analyst estimates grossing $40.4 million opening weekend.

That number isn't higher than the $49 million opening weekend of 2012's "Taken 2," which shouldn't be a big surprise for anyone who's seen the film. "Taken 3" does not live up to its predecessors at all.

"Taken 3" had a lot of potential, but decided to ditch the main villains of the first two films (Albanian mobsters) for a random Russian mob instead. 

While the plot of the film pales in comparison to the first two, it was far from the main problem with the sequel. The editing of several big action sequences is so awfully cut together that it causes confusion as to what you're actually watching on screen. The worst offender is a giant car crash scene on a highway. 

The real test will be whether the film can hold over in its second weekend at theaters. 

Here's how the two previous "Taken" films have performed in theaters for comparison:

MovieOpening WeekendWorldwide GrossEstimated Budget
"Taken" (2008)$24.7 million$226.8 million$25 million
"Taken 2" (2012)$49.5 million$376.1 million$45 million
"Taken 3" (2015)$40.4 million$49.9 million so far$48 million

SEE ALSO: "Taken 3" reviews are absolutely brutal

AND: Liam Neeson reportedly made $20 million for "Taken 3"

Join the conversation about this story »

Eddie Redmayne Wins Best Actor For 'The Theory Of Everything'

Marvel Just Released A New 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Trailer And It's Incredible

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Marvel just released a new full-length trailer for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" during Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship game on ESPN.

"The Avengers" sequel is in theaters May 1, 2015.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the rest of the crew will assemble to fight off a villainous A.I. Ultron created at the hands of Tony Stark.

The second trailer has a bigger look at the villain played by James Spader along with our first good look at Andy Serkis's mysterious role.

It looks amazing.

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An Explanation Of Everything In The New 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Trailer

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black widow avengers age of ultron

"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

Marvel just released a second full-length trailer for the film, and it's complete with more Ultron, voiced by James Spader, more Andy Serkis, more Hulkbuster, and more creepy slowed-down Disney music from "Pinocchio."

It looks incredible. 

If you haven't checked it out yet, watch the trailer.

Good?

Great. Now, let's discuss the trailer in ridiculous detail because the May 1 release date is too far away and this movie's going to make an insane amount of money. (The first one made over $1.5 billion.)

We open with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) leading a group of people to safety from a lot of devastation. hawkeye avengers age of ultron

Citizens are being ushered into what appears to be some kind of giant vehicle.avengers age of ultron

Close-up on Captain America's helmet. It's comforting and familiar. Something that makes us feel safe.captain america helmet avengers age of ultroncaptain america age of ultronThere's Hawkeye again. How does he never run out of arrows? It looks as if he's holding about two dozen here. hawkeye arrows

All the while, there's an even creepier, slower version of "I've Got No Strings" from Disney's "Pinocchio" playing in the background. Chills.

Spader's Ultron voice: "Everyone creates the thing they dread."ultron bot avengers age of ultron 
For those who haven't been following along, Ultron is part of a peacekeeping program Stark designs to replace earth's mightiest heroes (the Avengers). All of those Iron Man-looking bots you see in the trailer like the one above are part of this program.

However, this plan goes incredibly awry when Ultron, a self-aware A.I., gets a mind of his own and decides to use the bots to create his own robot army to wipe out the Avengers and every human known to man. Hence, all of the destruction and people running in the trailer.ultron avengers age of ultron

Ultron isn't the only threat to the Avengers in the sequel.

We'll meet the Maximoff twins known better as Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). We're not really sure whose team they're playing on, but we bet they start out against the Avengers before potentially taking their side to down Ultron.age of ultron scarlet witch quicksilver

Here's a better shot of Scarlet Witch from later in the trailer. Remember those red eyes. Those are important.scarlet witch red eyes avengers-age-of-ultron

It's best to not make Mark Ruffalo's Hulk angry either.hulk eyes age of ultron

And who's this mystery woman? Marvel loves throwing these at us.

Most people online believe the character is a Wakandan woman, related to Marvel's coming Black Panther character, or that it's a lead up, teasing Marvel's next big villain, Thanos (Josh Brolin).

avengers age of ultron woman

Oh look, it's Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), in and/or out of hiding after the destruction of Marvel's secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base and team. He was "killed" in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."nick fury avengers age of ultron

The trailer is edited to make it look as if Scarlet Witch attacks Tony Stark as Iron Man; however, fans should know better to think that it's most likely Ultron he's taking on.

Love that this sign says, "Accidents to be reported at once to duty officer."avengers ultron sign

Something tells me no one told the active officer.scarlet witch iron man avengers age of ultron

I can't watch all of these Iron Man scenes without thinking of how Tony Stark destroyed all the suits in "Iron Man 3."iron man ultroniron man age of ultron avengers

There's also a cut to what looks like a flashback sequence of a younger Black Widow. age of ultron black widowYou can tell because her hairstyles don't match up.black widow avengers age of ultronMaybe we'll get a bit on her origin story finally.scarlett johansson black widow

Quick flash of Andy Serkis' mystery character! Serkis usually does motion-capture characters like Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" trilogies and Caesar in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," so it's a treat to see him as himself on screen.andy serkis avengers age of ultron

That's the Avengers' new ship. We'll be getting a better look at it in toy form next month.avengers ship age of ultron

In case you're not convinced, there's an Avengers logo on the ship's belly.avengers ship logo

Captain America's going to go toe to toe with an Ultron bot.captain america ultron bot

And the Hulk is going to have an incredibly tender moment with Black Widow. (We thought she was with Hawkeye.)hulk avengers age of ultron scarlet johannson black widow avengers

Here are our best looks at Ultron yet. ultron avengers age of ultronultron laser age of ultron

Whoa! What's going on with Thor? thor electrocuted

And while you're focusing on the God of Thunder getting electrocuted, who is that woman in the background?thor mysterious woman

The trailer ends with a huge tease for the fight that every Marvel fan can't wait to see on screen: Hulk versus Iron Man. hulk vs iron man

Stark's wearing the Hulkbuster suit, which gives him a chance at going up against the Hulk (aka Bruce Banner). hulkbuster avengers

Why would Stark fight with his best buddy Bruce Banner?

Simple. Look at the eyes.hulk avengers age of ultron

They're red.

Where did we see red eyes before? The Scarlet Witch.scarlet witch red eyes avengers-age-of-ultron

It's most logical that the Hulk at some point will be under some sort of hex/mind-control power of the film's new character.

And, the trailer's over with one last glimpse of Ultron.avengers age of ultron robot

What Didn’t We See?

We have now watched two full-length "Avengers: Age of Ultron" trailers, but there's still one big thing missing. We haven't seen the character whom Paul Bettany will be playing in the film. I won't say anything more here for those who aren't familiar with his role. At this rate, Disney and Marvel may be planning to keep his appearance a secret, though it has been leaking in promotional images online.

We're fine with that. Too many movies ruin the entire film in the trailer.

While this trailer was really good, we're still fans of the original. Regardless, this is one film we're especially eager to check out when it is in theaters May 1.

Check out the full trailer again.

SEE ALSO: 25 Movies To See This Year

Join the conversation about this story »

Apple Closes Loophole Allowing People To Sample Movies, TV shows, And Apps For Free (AAPL)

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Two weeks ago, Apple changed its refund policy for iTunes and App Store purchases in the EU, allowing customers up to 14 days to make a return "without giving any reason."

Apple altered its return policy to adhere to a new EU mandate for digital downloads.

We were quick to point out that Apple's new policy would essentially allow customers to sample and download content for free, as there was always the option to return a purchase for a full refund two weeks later. This could turn into an issue for app developers in particular, as customers could gain full access to an app, try it for two weeks, and rinse and repeat every two weeks.

Apple has thought up a solution to this potential problem, however, and we've learned that customers who abuse the new return policy will be met with a notification that asks the customer to confirm that the purchase is final if they download it within 14 days of clicking "Buy,"according to iDownloadBlog.

While we don't know how many refunds trigger this notification, it looks like Apple is taking steps to limit potential abuse to the policy.

SEE ALSO: One Image That Proves How Popular The Oculus Rift Has Become

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This Is How Bletchley Park From 'The Imitation Game' Looks Today

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Bletchley Park Tout

Bletchley Park is the secret British facility where Alan Turing and his assistants deciphered a secret German codes in War World II.

The Victorian house in Buckinghamshire is featured in the new film "The Imitation Game," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing and Keira Knightley.

But does it look the same now as it did more than half a century ago?

Members of the British secret service first went to Bletchley Park in 1938, just one year before the start of the war. This is how the site looks in the movie.



And here's a real photograph.



Here's a view from the outside today. It doesn't look like much has changed.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

George Lucas Originally Wanted To Direct 'Star Wars: Episode VII' And Release It May 2015

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george lucas r2 d2

When "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" hits theaters this December, it will be directed by J.J. Abrams; however, that almost wasn't the case.

While promoting his upcoming animated movie "Strange Magic," franchise creator George Lucas told USA Today he originally planned to direct and write the film.

The seventh installment would have kept "Star Wars" tradition with a May 2015 release. All previous films in the saga have also been released in May.

According to USA Today, Lucas's plan was to sell his company, Lucasfilm, after the release of the film.

Instead, in 2012 Lucas sold Lucasfilm, along with his script treatments for the next three "Star Wars" films, to Disney for $4 billion.disney star wars theme park

One reason Lucas decided against directing the film was that the next trilogy of "Star Wars" films would be "a 10-year commitment at least," and he wants to make sure he has time to spend with his 17-month-old daughter Everest.

Instead, Lucas is currently serving as creative consultant on the films.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be in theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

 

NOW WATCH: Adam Savage Of 'MythBusters' Says This Scientific Fact Blows His Mind

 

SEE ALSO: George Lucas told Mark Hamill about "Star Wars: Episode VII" in the '80s

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There Are 3 Mystery Women In The New 'Avengers' Sequel Trailer

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Marvel released a new trailer for “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” Monday evening, and, fans are obsessively re-watching the trailer to unearth any clues about the highly-anticipated sequel.

Fans went crazy trying to solve the identity of a mystery character after the first trailer dropped, so we weren't surprised to find even more mystery women in this new spot.

You've probably spotted the most obvious one at the 33 second mark, but there are a few others in blink-and-you'll miss it moments.

Mystery Woman #1

33 seconds into the trailer we see this woman, taking off a cloak in a dark, cavernous setting, before slightly turning her face ever so slightly.avengers ultron mystery womanultron mystery woman

Here's a zoomed in look at her face.mystery woman 1 avengers age ultron  
Fans believe she's one of two characters who are related to Black Panther.  

Marvel announced the character will be getting his own film in 2017 and will appear in next summer’s "Captain America: Civil War."  

So who could the mystery woman be? Rumors have her pegged as Shuri, the sister of the Black Panther, or a warrior bodyguard to him. Comicbook.com has more on the characters.

Mystery Woman #2

mystery woman 2 age of ultron

The above woman appears at 51 seconds. This could easily be Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, she appears in a cut-scene right after this, but the guns and red bands on the outfit are making us think otherwise.

We've lightened up the image.mystery woman 2 avengers age of ultron

Mystery Woman #3

You may have missed this one, but a scantily-clad woman appears behind Thor at 1:03.thor mystery woman avengers age of ultron

At first, we thought she was an innocent D.I.D. — damsel in distress — but it looks like she may be the one harming Thor.

What is she doing with her hands here? Is she the one producing the electric shocks?thor mystery woman avengers We've slowed down the clip so you can see what we're talking about. 

thor mystery woman avengers age of ultron

What's going on here? Who could she be? 

Some believe this may be Thor seeing a vision of his future from the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who's being introduced in this film. People think she’s a number of characters from Thor’s world ranging from telepath Moondragon to god Hela. 

/Film has more on those characters. 

This seems believable for a tie-in to the next “Thor” movie in theaters in 2017.

What do you think? Watch the trailer again and weigh in.

"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is in theaters May 1, 2015.

SEE ALSO: A break-down of everything in the new "Avengers" trailer

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'Transformers' Leads Razzie Nominations For Worst Movie Of The Year

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Transformers age of extinction poster

This year's Razzies nominations were announced Wednesday. 

The Razzies "honor" the worst films of the past year in Hollywood, and have been doing so since 1980. 

Leading the way with the most nominations is  "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" with 7 nods including Worst Picture and Worst Director. "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas" follows with 6 nominations, including "Kirk Cameron & His Ego" for worst screen combo.

Others nominees include respected actors like Melissa McCarthy and Nicolas Cage for the maligned "Tammy" and "Left Behind," respectively, as well as Oscar winner Charlize Theron. Frequent nominee Adam Sandler is nominated once again for his performance in "Blended." Cameron Diaz has several nominations, for "Annie,""Sex Tape," and "The Other Woman."

This is also the first year where the Razzies will feature the Razzie Redeemer award, which honors previous Razzie winners who have gone on to achieve critical adulation.

The "winners" will be announcd on Sat. Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. in a "ceremony" at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood.

Below is the complete list of nominees.

Worst Picture
"Transformers: Age Of Extinction"
"Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas"
"Left Behind"
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
"The Legend Of Hercules"

Worst Actor
Kirk Cameron,"Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas"
Nicolas Cage, "Left Behind"
Kellan Lutz, "The Legend Of Hercules"
Seth MacFarlane, "A Million Ways To Die In The West"
Adam Sandler, "Blended"

A Million Ways To Die In The West seth macfarlane charlize theronWorst Actress
Drew Barrymore, "Blended"
Cameron Diaz, "The Other Woman" and "Sex Tape"
Melissa McCarthy, "Tammy"
Charlize Theron, "A Million Ways To Die In The West"
Gaia Weiss, "The Legend Of Hercules"

Worst Supporting Actor
Mel Gibson "The Expendables 3"
Kelsey Grammer, "The Expendables 3,""Legends Of Oz: Dorothy's Return,""Think Like A Man,""Transformers: Age Of Extinction"
Shaquille O'Neill, "Blended"
Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Expendables 3"
Kiefer Sutherland, "Pompeii"

Worst Supporting Actress
Cameron Diaz, "Annie"
Megan Fox, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
Nicola Peltz, "Transformers: Age Of Extinction"
Susan Sarandon, "Tammy"
Bridget Ridenour (nee Cameron), "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas"

annie remake cameron diaz

Worst Director
Michael Bay, "Transformers: Age Of Extinction"
Darren Doane, "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas"
Renny Harlin, "The Legend Of Hercules"
Jonathan Liebesman, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
Seth MacFarlane, "A Million Ways To Die In The West"ninja turtles

Worst Remake, Sequel, Or Rip-Off
"Annie"
"The Legend Of Hercules"
"Atlas Shugged 3: Who Is John Galt?"
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
"Transformers: Age Of Extinction"

Worst Screen Combo
Any Two Robots, Actors, Or Robotic Actors, "Transformers: Age Of Extinction"
Kirk Cameron & His Ego, "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas"
Cameron Diaz & Jason Segel, "Sex Tape"
Kellen Lutz & His Abs, His Pecs, Or His Glutes, "The Legend Of Hercules."
Seth MacFarlane & Charlize Theron, "A Million Ways To Die In The West"

Worst Screenplay
Darren Doane & Cheston Hervey, "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas"
Paul LaLonde & John Patus, "Left Behind"
Kate Angelo, Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller, "Sex Tape"
Ehren Kruger, "Transformers: Age Of Extinction"
Evan Daugherty, Andre Nemec & Josh Applebaum, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

Redeemer Award
Ben Affleck, from winning a Razzie for "Gigli" to being respected for "Argo" and "Gone Girl"
Jennifer Aniston, from having 4 Razzie nominations to her SAG nomination for "Cake"
Mike Meyers, from winning a Razzie for "Love Guru" to achieving critical praise for "Supermensch"
Keanu Reeves, from 6 Razzie nominations to critical acclaim for "John Wick"
Kristen Stewart, from winning 6 Razzies for "Twilight" to the acclaimed art-house movie "Camp X-Ray"

SEE ALSO: The 10 Worst-Reviewed Movies Of 2014

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Here's The Painting That Inspired The Entire Look Of 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

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james gunn rocket raccoon oreo

If you’re not following “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn on Facebook or Instagram, you should.

The director puts out behind-the-scenes photos from the film, shares lists of his favorite films, fan art, and videointerviews, while taking the time to respond to a lot of fan comments.  

Earlier this week, Gunn posted an image of a painting from artist Chris Foss which the director said inspired his “Guardians of the Galaxy” team the most.

Gunn said he presented this piece of art and other Foss works during a pitch meeting with Marvel to direct “Guardians of the Galaxy.” chris foss

Here’s how he explains the painting’s inspiration and what happened during that meeting:

Yellow is an underused color in films, especially science-fiction and fantasy films. In Guardians, I used it as a signifier of change, rebirth, and redemption - the yellow prison uniforms, Drax drowning in the yellow spinal fluid, the yellow Groot spores, and the yellow interlocking Nova Corps net... I believe color is a part of what made Guardians successful. When so many huge, spectacle films have the beige color palette of Saw, the brain becomes thirsty for color. We were that technicolor pitcher of water at the edge of the summer desert.

guardians of the galaxy groot

This doesn't mean all movies should be colorful, just that color in general is important, and too much of one thing is boring. If, over the next few years, films become oversaturated with bright colors, brains will be relieved by a film entirely hazel and gray. 

Anyway, this painting, along with other Chris Foss works, was a part of my original presentation to Marvel when I pitched myself as director and I explained the visual direction I was going to take with the film. They were immediately on board, and we ended up hiring Chris Foss to help design some of the spaceships in the film. He was, of everyone, my biggest visual inspiration on Guardians.

SEE ALSO: The real-life raccoon who inspired Rocket in "Guardians of the Galaxy"

MORE: Director Steven Soderbergh's Epic List Of Everything He Read And Watched In 2014

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PATRICIA ARQUETTE: 'My 'Boyhood' Salary Was Less Than I Pay My Dog Walker'

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boyhood patricia arquette

Director Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" which is the first movie to ever be shot over 12 yearsfilming the same actors as they aged  is receiving tons of Oscar buzz and just cleaned up at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards.

The film won three Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture  Drama, Best Director, and Patricia Arquette took home the statue for Best Supporting Actress.

Boyhood Golden GlobesSince the film's July 11 release, it has earned nearly $43.5 million worldwide on just a $4 million production budget.

But despite the film's box office and critical success, the stars of the movie aren't necessarily raking it in.

Following her Golden Globes win, Patricia Arquette revealed that "Boyhood" was more of a passion project than a lucrative gig.

"It’s important to me as an actor to be able to make a living, but I’m going to tell you something  I paid more money to my babysitter and my dog walker than I made on 'Boyhood,' and to be in 'Boyhood!'" the actress told WENN. 

Patricia Arquette BoyhoodArquette, who recently appeared on "Boardwalk Empire" and can currrently be seen on "CSI," says that TV  not film  is often more lucrative.

"Television actually allows you to make a living, feed your children, send them to college. And to have the luxury to make the choices of doing what it is you think that matters," the actress told WENN.

"It blows my mind (we won) because we didn’t even know if people would even accept this movie and then to find that people were moved by the movie," Arquette continued. "Winning totally blew our minds. I’m so happy for Rick (Linklater) and so happy for the producers, because they gave $4 million dollars. They gambled on a movie with no safety net, no contracts past seven years… You could’ve ended up with nothing."

For "Boyhood," 54-year-old director Richard Linklater insisted that financier IFC Films give him part ownership of the movie's copyright.

The Hollywood Reporter explains of the rare deal:

Richard Linklater golden globe award

Unlike a typical deal that offers a percentage of profits  or "points" so a director shares in the success but has no control over the movie's future, Linklater's pact gave him a say in where and how the film is released. 

... As an owner, he can join in marketing decisions, touch each part of the revenue stream and eventually sell his stake to a library (by contrast, many directors still are paid for home video on a "royalties" basis that is much lower than theatrical gross).

While exact financial details have not been released, Linklater's ownership is apparently "substantial," his lawyer told THR in June.

But most directors don't take this kind of deal because it forces them to give up a big part of an upfront fee, which is usually estimated to be in the low-seven figures.

"And that's precisely why most directors haven't taken this route," notes THR. "They stick to Hollywood's oldest adage: Take the money and run."

SEE ALSO: This Must-See Summer Movie Took 12 Years To Make And Has 100% On Rotten Tomatoes

MORE: Charlize Theron Reportedly Negotiated A $10 Million Paycheck After Sony Hack Revealed Unequal Pay

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Netflix Just Got Its Second-Ever Oscar Nomination For Best Documentary

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virunga

The 87th annual Oscars nominations were announced Thursday morning, and Netflix landed a Best Documentary Oscar nod for "Virunga."

"Virunga" comes from Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Ways and follows the park rangers of Virunga National Park who protect endangered mountain gorillas in Africa. The film also dives into political conflict in the region.

Here's the official synopsis via Netflix:

A gripping firsthand look at the Congo in the crossfire from first-time feature director Orlando von Einseidel, "VIRUNGA" examines the intersecting interests of big oil, poachers and an armed militia in the fragile habitat of the planet's sole remaining mountain gorillas.

This is the streaming site's second Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary.

Last year, Netflix received its first nod for "The Square," about a group of Egyptian revolutionaries.

SEE ALSO: The complete list of Oscar nominations

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'The Lego Movie' Got Robbed

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chris miller drawings lego movieOscar nominations were announced Thursday morningand one of the biggest shocks came during the Best Animated Picture category, in which the breakout hit "The Lego Movie" was snubbed.

The crowd at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills sounded surprised themselves after the five noms were announced.

Instead, here's what was nominated:

"Big Hero 6" Don Hall, Chris Williams, and Roy Conli
"The Boxtrolls" Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable, and Travis Knight
"How to Train Your Dragon 2" Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
"Song of the Sea" Tomm Moore and Paul Young
"The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

People are not reacting kindly to the snub.

Even Simon Otto, head of character animation on the "How to Train Your Dragon" series seemed shocked.

"How I Met Your Mother "cocreator Carter Bays echoed that sentiment.

"The Lego Movie" director team duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord seem to be taking the snub better than their fans.

The Warner Bros. animated picture became the first breakout film of 2014, with a $69.1 million opening weekend. It went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of the year with over $460 million at the box office worldwide.

As a result, the film kicked off a franchise. More "Lego" movies are in the works, including a standalone Lego Batman spin-off.

This was the year in which "The Lego Movie" really had a chance to take home Oscar gold because Disney didn't release ANY Pixar movie. 

Since 2007, Pixar is 5-for-5 when it comes to best animated picture award nominations and wins. Last year, "Frozen" won the Oscar, while no Pixar movie was nominated.

Instead, this gives Disney's "Big Hero 6," featuring the loveable caretaker Baymax, a good chance of bringing home the Oscar for Disney Animation.

However, it may not be a shoo-in for the win. DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon 2" stunned at the Golden Globes when it beat out both "The Lego Movie" and "Big Hero 6" for the award.

"The Lego Movie" did get a well-deserved Oscar nod for its infectious title song "Everything is Awesome."

SEE ALSO: The Complete List Of Oscar Nominees

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