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Johnny Depp is chillingly good as Boston crime lord 'Whitey' Bulger

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"Black Mass" plays like a really good cover of a classic.

The film isn't trying to be anything more than another entry in the gangster crime canon, a drug-lord biopic at that, and it succeeds.

whitey bulgerThe film tells the story of infamous Boston criminal James "Whitey" Bulger.

Johnny Depp, in his best role in years, is the head of the Irish-American Winter Hill Gang that rose to dominate the Boston underworld from 1975 to 1995 by leveraging a long-term "alliance" with the FBI to further control territory and take the action beyond state lines.

It's a familiar story with all its executions, double-crossing, and deep-seeded corruption, but it is livened up by a fantastic ensemble cast and a script that isn't too concerned with abiding by conventions.

"Black Mass" is a performance movie through and through. While Depp's exaggerated transformation into the character reeks of a make-up-and-wig performance on surface level, there's more to it than that. Depp is genuinely great here, and he actually gives it his all for the first time in years.

black mass johnny depp closeHis performance is understated and fairly low-key. His presence on-screen is commanding — a few scenes are so chilling that you will still be thinking about them hours later. He's a terrifying force who can turn excessively violent on a dime, and nobody in his crosshairs is safe.

The supporting cast is just as worthy of praise. Joel Edgerton in particular is terrific as an FBI agent caught between doing his job and maintaining his childhood kinship, and Corey Stoll's brief but memorable turn as a federal prosecutor is a joy to watch as well. Peter Sarsgaard and Kevin Bacon are also flawless in their roles as a coke-fueled Miami hustler and an FBI manager, respectively.

"Black Mass" does work against type and takes steps to ensure it doesn't fall too firmly into overly familiar territory. While it can't escape comparisons to "The Departed" or [insert any other gangster film here], it never falls victim to the common biopic problem of trying to cram too much of Bulger's rise and fall into the story.

black mass bostonIts composition, while seemingly haphazard, streamlines the important details so you never truly feel its two-hour running time.

Still, it's far from perfect. The flashback structure — a cheap and overused narrative device — gives the filmmakers some breathing room, but it also compromises the flow of the narrative. There's no getting around the fact that the jumps in time are jarring both tonally and thematically, but they are forgivable in context as the scenes that follow are always compelling.

"Black Mass" may not fully live up to the genre staples, but it is a solid true-crime flick elevated by its collection of unforgettable performances.

Watch the trailer below.

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A 22-year-old former addict wrote a script about life in rehab — now his famous dad Rob Reiner turned it into a movie

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For the last 30 years Rob Reiner has been known best for directing memorable movies like “Stand by Me,” “The Princess Bride,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “A Few Good Men.” The titles have brought happiness and entertainment to millions of people.

But the Reiner household has been anything but happy, as the legendary actor/filmmaker’s son, Nick, 22, has been battling drug abuse since his late teens.

Most families would want to keep that part of their lives as hidden from public view as possible. But Reiner admits that at the darkest moments of his son’s addiction to hard drugs he thought of making a movie. However, it was too painful to put pen to page and begin a script.

Rob Reiner Evan Agostini Invision APInterestingly enough, his son came to the same realization as a means to rehabilitate.

While at a rehab center in Los Angeles four years ago, Nick befriended fellow addict Matt Elisofon. The two began writing about their challenges with addiction and the people they met at rehab. Eventually they came up with a script for the movie “Being Charlie,” which they asked Rob to direct.

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival to a sold out crowd earlier this week.

It’s a mixture of drama and comedy that focuses on an 18-year-old named Charlie (played Nick Robinson of “Jurassic World” fame) as he struggles with addiction from heroin and cocaine. As Charlie jumps in and out of rehab, the aggravation of his actor-turned-politician father (Cary Elwes) grows as he doesn’t know how to help his son.

“It was a real corrective emotional experience,” Nick Reiner told Business Insider following the TIFF screening about making the movie.

It took “Being Charlie” four years to get to the screen (in that time Nick has been sober). Evolving from a half-hour comedy, then an hour dramedy that was rejected by the TV networks, to finally a feature film.

According to Rob Reiner, what the project lacked in its early development was telling both the father and son's sides.

“It needed what he has been through but also what we had been through,” Rob told Business Insider, referring to himself and his wife, Michele, who was sitting beside him.

Michele Rob Jake Romy Nick Reiner Evan Agostini Invision APNick and Elisofon were by Reiner’s side throughout filming. According to Rob, the script was tweaked daily to make the scenes more true-to-life.

“I relied on him,” Rob said of his son. “He’s the heart and soul of the film.”

One of the biggest adjustments came while shooting the film’s ending, where Charlie and his father finally have a heart-to-heart.

Rob and Nick couldn’t find the right tone. After constant rewrites, they finally felt they had something a few days before shooting the scene. It’s a gripping moment where both the father and son open up to each other like they never have before.

The Reiners compare getting the ending right to the whole experience making the film.

“We were healing as we were going along,” Nick said. “And it all doesn’t happen over night, certain things we hadn’t dealt with for a while but we were able to through this movie. It didn’t fix everything, but it really tapped into —“

Nick paused to find the words, then his father, sitting across from Nick, finished for him.

“It forced me to really have to understand what he had been going through for a long time,” Rob said.

“Being Charlie” is currently seeking distribution.

SEE ALSO: Ethan Embry never actually liked the hit movie that made him a star in the 1990s until now

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'Sicario' is a relentless, brutal look at the realities of the drug war

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"Sicario" is as ugly and hopeless as the drug war itself. 

The film wastes no time getting to the nitty-gritty as it opens with Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) leading the charge on her own FBI kidnapping task force. During the opening raid, forty-plus corpses are discovered in the walls of a home owned by a vicious Mexican cartel.

A Department of Defense "consultant" (Josh Brolin) then plucks a shell-shocked Kate from the field to join his interagency operation, along with Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), another alleged DoD "consultant." 

From the very moment Kate agrees to join her new team, she is systematically lied to. She is told they're going on a trip to El Paso, but wind up in the war-torn streets of Ciuadad Juarez, where limbless bodies hang in public view. Kate is never briefed on the operation and remains entirely in the dark and even when she thinks she's got all the facts, they're not entirely accurate. This is par for the course.

As Kate becomes embedded deeper into this lawless world, her repeated attempts to play things "by the book" are systematically rejected. By the end of the film, the ugly truth is revealed: There's no room for morals or ethics here.

Welcome to the war on drugs.

sicario brolin"Sicario" quite masterfully presents the harsh realities of life during a drug war. We are introduced to characters on all sides, and even dirty cops and cartel members are humanized, which makes the drama incredibly impactful and hard to swallow. This is a film so bleak that there are no rules — anything can happen and to anyone. 

"Sicario" is deliberately slow and meanders in its second act to a fault. Kate is a conduit for the audience, so we are just as sheltered by the lack of information as Kate herself, and this can be aggravating at times and make the film feel a bit airy and aimless.

That being said, it does all build to an intense, uniquely shot sequence, and an ending that gave me chills. By then, I had forgiven the film's (thematically intentional) disorientation. It's a hauntingly graceful film, and the methodical pacing ultimately works in its favor.  

Emily Blunt is fantastic as Kate Macer and nails the nuance associated with doing all she can to be on the right side of the law and still winding up on the dark side.

Benicio del Toro, however, is the film's greatest asset as a mysterious force whose allegiances are not made explicitly clear until all is said and done. He's equal parts thoughtful and brooding, which makes his rage and determination that much more palpable. 

sicario benicioIt's hard to not crack a smile whenever Brolin's character is on screen, as he's constantly busting balls and being so purposefully vague with his team. He's hilarious yet so cold that it's almost alarming that we find him so amusing. 

Technically speaking, the film is gorgeous. The urgency of its pulsating score, the gorgeous photography (by cinema legend Roger Deakins), and the commanding performances — every element works towards a full, truly cinematic experience. All the violence is handled in such a way that pops with intensity and dread.

The real beauty of "Sicario" is that it is entirely apolitical and amoral; it presents the horrors and lets them speak for themselves. It's not pushing any sort of agenda, but it's so relentlessly in your face that you'll leave the theater mortified at how real it all might be. 

Watch the trailer below. It will be released nationwide October 2. 

SEE ALSO: 'Everest' is a harrowing moviegoing experience, but it's missing something

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5 women who have a serious chance of winning Best Actress at the next Oscars

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You can count on every Oscar season to have an awfully competitive race for Best Actor, but this year, the real action is with the women.

Finally, we’ve got a wealth of contenders who are not just deserving, but feasible nominees, too, including actresses like Lily Tomlin ("Grandma"), Charlize Theron ("Mad Max: Fury Road"), and Blythe Danner ("I’ll See You In My Dreams"), with highly anticipated performances from Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy"), and Angelina Jolie ("By the Sea") yet to come.

Those five actresses alone would make for a pretty potent category, but here are five other performances — all of which have screened at the Toronto Film Festival to great acclaim — that could easily score nominations, too:

Brie Larson, "Room"
GettyImages brie larson tiffAt an IMDb-hosted dinner earlier this week in Toronto, Brie Larson claimed that IMDb is the only reason people would know who she is, given her “Who’s that girl?” roles in projects like "The Spectacular Now,""Short Term 12," and "21 Jump Street." Well, after "Room" comes out, far fewer people will need reminding. Larson is terrific in it, as a long-kidnapped young woman who must raise her 5-year-old son in captivity while plotting their escape. What's particularly impressive about the 25-year-old actress’s work in "Room" is that she doesn’t treat her character like a saint: Despite the fact that she’s acting opposite one of the most adorable child actors ever conceived, the stunning Jacob Tremblay, Larson gets believably frustrated and even flinty with the boy in a way that any mother will immediately find relatable. And while we only get as much backstory here as the little boy is able to learn, there’s an additional lifetime of information to be gleaned by the feelings that flicker on Larson’s face.

Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years"
GettyImages Charlotte RamplingCould the older-skewing "45 Years" come on strong with Oscar? I was knocked out by the film, which premiered back at the Berlin Film Festival and has been popping up on the fest circuit on its way to Toronto, where I keep running into people who tell me it’s their favorite. Directed by Andrew Haigh ("Weekend"), it follows long-married Brits Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as they prepare for their 45th anniversary. Rampling is warm and loving at the start, but as she learns about her husband’s feelings for an old flame, doubt seeps into her bones, and soon she’s questioning everything. The 69-year-old star has never been Oscar-nominated before, but this is a real showcase role for her, and I suspect the movie itself could find traction, too — it’s reminiscent of "Amour," which was nominated for five categories, including Best Picture. There are a lot of ingenues in the running this year, and Rampling may have to fight for her spot against other older actresses like Danner and Tomlin, but I believe her "45 Years" performance, exquisitely calibrated down to the most subtle hand-flutter, is the absolute best of that bunch.

Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"
GettyImages Alicia VikanderTwenty-six-year-old Swede Alicia Vikander has come on strong this year, thanks to roles in "Ex Machina,""Testament of Youth," and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," and in the transgender drama "The Danish Girl," she nearly steals the movie away from her Oscar-winning co-star Eddie Redmayne. They play husband-and-wife painters Einar and Gerda Wegener, whose bohemian 1920s marriage is tested as Einar begins to present as a woman and pursues one of the first gender-reassignment surgeries ever attempted. Unlike Redmayne, whose freckled nose and trout pout give him one of the most distinctive faces in the business, Vikander has a more mutable, subtle visage that she leverages like the similarly stoic Jennifer Lawrence: Whenever an emotion lights up Vikander’s placid face, it's like she allowed something to escape. Vikander is the one that you want to watch, and when you couple that physical charisma with her striking, husky voice — which she effectively uses to dominate every scene with Redmayne — a star is born.

Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn"
GettyImages Saoirse RonanI guarantee that at some point during this Oscar season, your mom will email you to say how much she loved "Brooklyn." This sweet little story casts Saoirse Ronan as an Irish immigrant who makes her way to America in the 1950s and promptly falls for a brash New Yorker (Emory Cohen), though tragedy brings her back home, where a kind Irishman (Domhnall Gleeson) woos her, too. The love triangle is played as gently as Ronan’s performance, and if the movie clicks with enough Academy members (and it ought to, after rapturous premieres at Sundance and Toronto), Ronan could pick up her second Oscar nomination, a remarkable feat after earning her first nod at age 13 for "Atonement."

Cate Blanchett, "Truth"
GettyImages cate blanchettCould Cate Blanchett be her own biggest competition this year? Over the past week, the Weinsteins announced that she would be positioned as a Best Actress candidate for her work in the coming lesbian romance "Carol" (her co-star Rooney Mara, with whom she shares equal screen time, was bumped down to supporting), but Blanchett also had a breakthrough in Toronto with "Truth," where there’s no question that she’s the leading lady.

In this fact-based drama, Blanchett plays hard-charging "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes, who found her career in tatters after shepherding a questionably sourced report on George W. Bush’s stint in the National Guard. Audiences here in Toronto raved about Blanchett’s full-throttle turn — though Mapes is a more put-together character than Blanchett’s Oscar-winning "Blue Jasmine" lead, the actress gives a performance that is no less showy — though my colleagues are still split on which of her big fall movies is best positioned for Oscar. The Guardian’s Nigel Smith thinks Blanchett will be snubbed for "Carol" in favor of "Truth," while Indiewire’s sage Anne Thompson predicts that "Truth" will languish in the shadow of the smarter, surging journalism drama "Spotlight." How will these films fare once real audiences get ahold of them? We’ll soon see … and a whole lot of award-worthy actresses will be watching.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood's biggest stars are at the Toronto Film Festival, where Oscar-winning movies are born — here are the glamorous photos

MORE: We just saw a new movie starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams that's almost certain to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt secretly talked to Edward Snowden to prepare for a movie

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In a profile piece on Joseph Gordon-Levitt from The Guardian, the actor revealed that he flew to Russia for a secret meeting with Edward Snowden in preparation for playing the NSA whistle-blower in the upcoming movie “Snowden,” directed by Oliver Stone (opening in 2016).

Gordon-Levitt said the motivation behind the meeting was to “understand this person that I was going to play, observing both his strengths and weaknesses,” he said.

The two met for four hours and though the actor wanted to tape record the meeting, it was advised that he did not.

In fact, according to piece, Snowden’s lawyers didn’t want Gordon-Levitt to admit the meeting had taken place.

edward snowdenThe actor said that what he took most from the meeting with Snowden was he completely agrees with the actions he took.

“I left knowing without a doubt that what [Snowden] did, he did because he believed it was the right thing to do. That he believed it would help the country he loves,” said Gordon-Levitt.

“Now, as he would say, it’s not for him to say whether it was right or wrong. That’s really for people to decide on their own, and I would encourage anybody to decide that on their own. I don’t want to be the actor guy who’s like, ‘You should listen to me! What he did was right!’ I don’t think that’s my place. Even though that is what I believe — that what he did was right.”

“Snowden” is based on Luke Hardin’s book “The Snowden Files” and Anatoly Kucherena’s “Time of the Octopus.”

Along with Gordon-Levitt, the film stars Shailene Woodley as Lindsay Mills, Snowden’s girlfriend, Zachary Quinto as Glenn Greenwald, and Melissa Leo as Laura Poitras. Greenwald was the journalist and Poitras the filmmaker Snowden leaked the classified documents to.

Nicolas Cage, Scott Eastwood, and Timothy Olyphant also star.

Gordon-Levitt will next been seen in the Robert Zemeckis film "The Walk," in which he'll be playing another real-life figure, Philippe Petit. The film recounts Petit's infamous tightrope walk across New York City's World Trade Towers in 1974.

SEE ALSO: Edward Snowden has some harsh words for the country that gave him asylum

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Ethan Embry says this moment with Chevy Chase made up for starring in the 'horrible' 'Vegas Vacation'

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There have been five theatrically released National Lampoon’s "Vacation" movies, and actor Ethan Embry knows he starred in the one that is regarded by many to be the worst.

In 1997 he played Rusty Griswold in “Vegas Vacation,” where family patriarch Clark (Chevy Chase) packs up the family and heads to Las Vegas.

“It’s a horrible film, let’s face it,” said Embry while talking to Business Insider at the Toronto International Film Festival last week, where he was promoting his new movie “The Devil’s Candy.

Embry was 17 at the time, so instead of trying to sneak into the casinos (as his character does in the movie) when he wasn't filming, to keep out of trouble the actor said on his off days he would work in the production office helping out with wrangling extras and doing other menial jobs.

But his fondest memory is the attention Chase gave him.

“My favorite moment was Chevy teaching me physical comedy up in his dressing room,” the actor told BI. “Sitting there listening to him talk about certain gags and how to pull them off, what the tricks are. It was pretty cool. He was kind to me. I have fond memories of that guy.”

Though Embry doesn’t think the movie is good, he can’t escape it.

“Colleges all across America haven’t forgotten that I was Rusty,” he said with a laugh.

“I can’t go on a road trip without somebody in some college town saying to me ‘Poppa G!’”

 

SEE ALSO: Ethan Embry never actually liked the movie that made him a star in the 1990s until now

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Netflix changes 'Pocahontas' description following accusations of sexism

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Netflix has rewritten its description of the "Pocahontas" movie in response to criticism that the previous description of the Disney film was sexist.

Native Appropriations writer Adrienne Keene called out Netflix a few weeks ago for its Pocahontas description.

"An American Indian woman is supposed to marry the village’s best warrior, but she yearns for something more — and soon meets Capt. John Smith," reads the description. Keene posted other descriptions about male-led films on her website and said she wished Netflix would treat female characters like male ones.

 

"It overly sexualizes the film, and only positions Pocahontas in relation to her romantic options, not as a human being, you know, doing things," wrote Keene on her blog. A week after Keene's tweets and blog post, she said she received an email from Netflix announcing they had changed their description.

"We do our best to accurately portray the plot and tone of the content we’re presenting, and in this case you were right to point out that we could do better," reads the Netflix email Keene posted on Pacific Standard. "The synopsis has been updated to better reflect Pocahontas’ active role and to remove the suggestion that John Smith was her ultimate goal."

Now the description reads, "A young American Indian girl tries to follow her heart and protect her tribe when settlers arrive and threaten the land she loves."

In the article about Netflix's response, Keene said, "My point was not to criticize the film, which I can save for another time, but to draw attention to the importance of the words we use, and the ways that insidious stereotypes and harmful representations sneak in to our everyday lives."

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Netflix for comment.

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A director who just premiered his film at the Toronto International Film Festival is dead at 42

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Marcin Wrona, who debuted his Polish horror film "Demon" at the Toronto International Film Festival, was found dead on Friday night in a hotel room while preparing for a festival in Poland. He was 42.

The news came from publicist and family friend Jim Dobson. "Marcin was a personal friend of mine and we are quite devastated at the news but his family wanted to me to announce his passing," he said in a statement on Saturday.

Polish police are currently investigating the death and no further information is available. "Demon" had a world bow in the world cinema competition in Toronto last week.

His death came ahead of the Polish premiere of "Demon" at the Gdynia Film Festival, before a theatrical release in Poland in October. Wrona, born in Poland in 1973, was highly regarded in his country's film industry.

His newlywed wife, Olga Szymanska, was a producer on "Demon." Both recently signed with ICM Partners to sell "Demon" and future movies into the U.S. market. The film is scheduled to be shown next in the States at Fantastic Fest in Austin.

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7 major movies Bill Murray turned down — or just didn’t pick up the phone for

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Bill Murray Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty

It’s always fun to think about how a famous role would have been handled if another superstar actor had landed it instead.

And it turns out there are a lot of roles Bill Murray had in his grasp.

In the new book “The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray,” author Robert Schnakenberg looks back on the legend’s career in glowing, but brief, snippets, including those projects he turned down. In some cases, he "passed" on roles because he just didn’t feel like checking his voicemail at the time. (Murray no longer has an agent or manager and gets all of his offers via a 1-800 number he’s set up.)

Here are some of the roles that have come Murray’s way over the years.

SEE ALSO: 23 actors who turned down huge movie roles

“Airplane!”

The directors of the iconic 1980s comedy, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker, reached out to Murray to play the lead role, Ted Striker. According to the book, Murray turned it down. (The filmmakers also went to David Letterman.) Murray later said that “Airplane!” was an example of a project he passed on but knew would be a hit.



“Bad Santa”

Murray was director Terry Zwigoff’s first choice to play despicable strip-mall Santa/safe cracker, Willie. Zwigoff said that he even got a verbal agreement from Murray. But when it was time to sign a contract the actor was MIA.

“I was told by one of the producers that he really wanted to do it,” Zwigoff said. “I left several messages on his answering machine, but after a few weeks of hearing nothing we eventually moved on.”

The role went to Billy Bob Thornton.



“Batman”

It's hard to believe, but according to the book, Murray was briefly considered by Tim Burton to play the Dark Knight in his 1989 movie. Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, and Pierce Brosnan were also in contention. The role eventually went to Michael Keaton.

Could you even imagine Murray as Batman?



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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'Scorch Trails' takes out 'Black Mass' to win the weekend box office

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The Scorch Trails 2 Richard Foreman, Jr 20th Century Fox

The September box office got a nice surge over the weekend with a variety of titles for audiences to choose from.

Taking the top spot over the weekend was "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails" with an estimated $30.30 million, according to pro.boxoffice.com.

Part two from the popular trilogy of young-adult post-apocalyptic novels, the film took in an estimated $12 million on Friday (including a Thursday preview screening), higher than the first film's $11.3 million opening Friday last year. "Scorch Trails" then had a solid 16% spike in its business on Saturday, according to Deadline

black mass1Johnny Depp's new movie "Black Mass," in which the actor is getting some of the best reviews in years for playing Boston crime lord James "Whitely" Bulger, came in second with an estimated $23.36 million. That exceeded the expectations of the film's studio, Warner Bros.

And what looks to be a good sign for Lionsgate, its drug-trafficking thriller "Sicario" starring Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro opened in New York and LA over the weekend on six screens with an impressive $75,000 per-screen average, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

That's the top average this year and the best since last year's "The Imitation Game.""Sicario" opens in wide release October 2.

SEE ALSO: Johnny Depp is chillingly good as Boston crime lord 'Whitey' Bulger

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Tracy Morgan is in talks to star in his first movie since the car crash that halted his career

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Tracy Morgan Emmys

Following the touching return of Tracy Morgan at the Emmys on Sunday night, there's news that the funnyman is one step closer to returning to the big screen.

According to The Wrap, Morgan is in negotiations to join Ice Cube and Charlie Day ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") in the comedy "Fist Fight."

This would be the first movie Morgan would be involved in since he was seriously injured in 2014 when a Walmart truck hit the limo Morgan and others were riding in on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The comedy follows a teacher (Day) who is challenged to a fistfight by a tougher colleague (Cube). Morgan's role has not been disclosed, according to The Wrap, but the news suggests that the comic is on the road to recovery.

At Sunday's Emmys, Morgan took the stage toward the end of the evening and thanked everyone for their well-wishes. He told the audience that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the crash, which put him in a coma for eight days.

Morgan will host "Saturday Night Live" on October 17.

SEE ALSO: Tracy Morgan gave a moving Emmys speech following the car accident that left him in a coma

MORE: A lesson from Lorne Michaels inspired Tracy Morgan to make a surprise speech at the Emmys

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NOW WATCH: An actor from 'The League' has been telling this bogus 9/11 story for the past 14 years

The director of 'Jurassic World' might have just revealed what the sequel is about

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Colin Trevorrow Frazer Harrison Getty

With “Jurassic World” now the third-highest grossing movie of all time with a $1.6 billion worldwide box office take, its director Colin Trevorrow is a hot commodity in Hollywood. Right now he’s taking the helm of “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

But Trevorrow, along with his writing partner Derek Connolly, haven’t left the dinosaurs behind for good.

The duo are writing the sequel to “Jurassic World,” and Trevorrow (who has already said he won’t be directing it) gave some hints as to what the movie will not be about and might be about when he talked to Wired UK

“[It will not be] just a bunch of dinosaurs chasing people on an island,” Trevorrow said. “That’ll get old real fast.”

Trevorrow believes the story can go behind the entertainment realm of theme parks and that the idea of creating dinosaurs can occur outside of Dr. Wu’s lab.

“What if this went open source?” he said to Wired UK. “It’s almost like InGen is Mac, but what if PG gets their hands on it? What if there are 15 different entities around the world who can make a dinosaur?”

"And Dr Wu says in the film, when he's warning Dr Mesrani, 'We’re not always going to be the only ones who can make a dinosaur.’ I think that’s an interesting idea that even if we don’t explore fully in this film, there is room for this universe to expand. I shouldn’t use the word universe, because people will think we’re making a ‘Jurassic World’ universe — we’re not."

Trevorrow also confirmed that there will be more ‘Jurassic’ movies after the sequel, which Universal will release in June 2018 with stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard returning.

“I know [executive producer] Steven [Spielberg] definitely wants to make several of these movies.”

So, though Trevorrow’s ideas above may not show up in the sequel, the story may evolve to this scope for future projects.

However, this is not the first time the director has let plot details slip. A year before "Jurassic World" opened he confirmed a few Internet rumors swirling around

Needless to say, his confirmation of those details didn't seem to ruin anyone's interest in buying a ticket for "World" when it came out. 

SEE ALSO: 14 "Jurassic Park" references made in "Jurassic World"

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J.K. Rowling just revealed a treasure trove of details about Harry Potter's family history

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new harry potter family story pottermore.com

Harry Potter fans are about to get a whole lot of new details about the chosen wizard's family.

According to a press release from Pottermore.com, the site is undergoing a makeover that includes a new look and new content. The most important of which are new details about the Potter family.

Author J.K. Rowling has written an article delving into family's history. Dating back to their name's origin in the 12th Century, Rowling delves into Harry’s ancestry, explains how his grandfather quadrupled the family’s fortune and how the Invisibility Cloak became a family heirloom.

PressKit_PM_OverShoulderiPhone_Promo_Land_110915The part about the invisibility cloak is very timely as fans have been recently dissecting its origins story, "The Three Brothers," told by Hermione Granger in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1."

Also as part of the new version of Pottermore.com, a Harry Potter journalist will write about all the latest developments in the Harry Potter world. He or she will also cover the Warner Bros. feature film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," based on an original J.K. Rowling screenplay, and the stage play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," a new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, which is set to open in London in 2016.

The site is now being optimized for mobile in order to make sharing with others easier.

SEE ALSO: Harry Potter fans are leaving secret messages in books around the world

MORE: JK Rowling just dropped a bomb on Harry Potter fans, revealing they've been saying Voldemort's name wrong for 15 years

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Eli Roth's long-delayed jungle cannibal movie is finally here, and it's exactly what you'd expect

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green inferno entrance

Eli Roth's "The Green Inferno" is finally getting a theatrical release after a tumultuous year-long delay, but unfortunately, it really wasn't worth the wait.

Considered a tribute to "Cannibal Holocaust" and exploitation films of the '70s and '80s, Roth's film actually plays more like a knock-off version of its influences than a worthy update.

Following in the footsteps of the subgenre, as well as Roth's own oeuvre, "The Green Inferno" follows a group of naive college kids as they travel to the Amazon with ambitions of saving the world.

They have a plan to stop evil Peruvian militias from destroying the rain forest and displacing/murdering the natives, and even though this proves to be a successful operation, their plane crashes on the way back, and the terror begins.

The rest of the film is a horror show in which our protagonists are imprisoned by a cannibalistic tribe, and one by one the Americans are maimed, cooked, and eaten by the villagers. While the gore is certainly there, Roth simply doesn't take things as far as he should.

green inferno cannibal"The Green Inferno" doesn't fully commit to the carnage. It's all inherently grisly and horrific, but whenever things get really hairy, you can count on a juvenile reminder that you're watching the work of a not-so-great filmmaker.

There are so many frivolous, tone-altering moments that take the viewer right out of the action.

For example, while the protagonists are all awaiting their gruesome fates, one of them gets really bad diarrhea, which makes the locals laugh. When confronted with the possibility of eating her friends, the very same girl claims she doesn't want to because "she's vegan."

Later, their genius plan to escape involves shoving a bag of marijuana down the throat of one of the deceased so that when the body is cooked, the villagers will all get stoned and become distracted.

It's scenes like these that keep "The Green Inferno" from being the mock-gonzo horror masterpiece it so desperately wants to be. Roth is not one to mask his ambition, and he actually said he wanted to distance himself from "Cannibal Holocaust" and "do something that was much more like a Werner Herzog movie."

green inferno plane crashIn this case, actions speak louder than words, as "The Green Inferno" very much looks and feels like "Cannibal Holocaust." Even the manner in which people die (aside from the cannibalism) is shockingly similar. Homage still requires a twinge of originality.

Squeamish viewers will most likely consider the film among the most repulsive they've ever seen, but more seasoned horror vets will scoff at how few and far between sequences featuring bloodshed are.

The first victim's death is appropriately visceral and hard to watch, but the rest of the carnage is played way too safe. Rather than one-up the film's predecessors, Roth pays homage in ways that actually water down the material. Nobody wants to see a death by CGI ants in this movie, nor do they want any blood and guts to spill offscreen, yet both of these things happen.

It doesn't help that the plotting is too familiar and the characters far too archetypal for their interactions to add any value.

The "final girl" here isn't atypical to the trope in any way, and everything that happens to her can be seen from a mile away. Her entire trajectory is made clear from the very opening sequence in which she's in a college course being lectured on female genital mutilation. When a film is this easy to peg down, it's hard to be that moved by it. final girl green infernoOne element that actually works fairly well is the film's indictment of "Social Justice Warriors" and "Facebook Activism," or the idea that these college-age kids are so willing to put themselves in danger for a vague cause just to rack up recognition on social media.

The film posits that these acts are more selfish than helpful, as the group is really there to take selfies and look like saints among their friends back home. This adds some relevance and satirical commentary, but it's not enough to do all the heavy lifting.

"The Green Inferno" features a premise so genuinely terrifying that it's extra disappointing when the film doesn't quite live up to it. It's a fine entry in the cannibal movie canon, but it's not the transcendent experience fans were promised.

Watch the trailer below.

"The Green Inferno" opens in limited release Friday, September 25.

SEE ALSO: This horror film that breathes new life into haunted-house movies is now available to watch

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That thrilling Juarez sequence in 'Sicario' almost didn't happen

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sicario emily blunt

Cinematographer Roger Deakins feels every movie has its own set of challenges, whether it be the budget or time to pull off shots. However, for his latest film “Sicario,” the legendary DP told Business Insider there was a part of the movie in particular that was one of the hardest he’s had to pull off.

The movie follows FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) as she’s thrust into the intense drug war on the Mexico/US border.

In one scene Macer and “consultant” Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) are part of a convoy that goes into Mexico to pick up a major player in the Mexican drug trade and transport him back across the US border for questioning.

sicario 3With beautiful aerial shots mixed with tight shots of the black SUVs driving close together as they speed through the narrow streets of Juarez to pick up its prisoner, the sequence is filled with tension as the convoy is on the lookout for anyone that might take them out.

sicario 1Things get serious after the convoy picks up their man from a Mexican prison and try to cross the border back to the US. Stuck in gridlock at the border, the team spot numerous cars planning to ambush the convoy and reclaim the prisoner.

sicario 2With Alejandro at the lead, the teams leave their vehicles and take out the targets, to the shock of Macer.

Deakins told Business Insider that it was unknown if they’d get permission to shoot in Juarez, but finally towards the end of production they got the okay, leading them to scramble to get the shots they needed.

Roger Deakins Tommaso Boddi Getty“That was such a jigsaw of how the hell we were going to shoot it,” said Deakins, noting the complexity or aerial shots of the real Mexican border and the convoy on the streets of Juarez that had to match the scenes they did on set, like the shootout at the border.

Shot over five days, the shooting locations constantly changed. Deakins recalls how difficult it was to shoot the exterior of the Mexican jail where the convoy picks up their prisoner.

“[Director] Denis [Villeneuve] and I fell in love with this location and the night before we were going to shoot we were told, ‘We think you can shoot there,’” Deakins recalled. “So we all showed up that morning and it was all negations but we got permission about five minutes before we shot it.”

He added, “It was quite an amazing experience. But it was particularly tight to do this one.”

“Sicario” is currently playing in limited release and opens everywhere October 2.

Watch the trailer:

 

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Channing Tatum shows off his first-ever bike jump as he trains for the upcoming Evil Knievel biopic

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Channing Tatnum

Channing Tatum has been attached to a biopic on iconic daredevil Evil Knievel for a long time. But things must be progressing because the actor is now training to do jumps on a motocross bike. 

Tatum took to Instagram and posted this video of his first-ever jump.

Got a lot to learn. But so much fun. And completely terrifying in a good way.

A video posted by Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) on Sep 20, 2015 at 7:32pm PDT on

 He also posted this sweet picture to commemorate the moment.

1st jump ever today! Thanks to very patient friends. I'm addicted. Thanks Arin and Steve.

A photo posted by Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) on Sep 20, 2015 at 4:33pm PDT on

The Knievel project has picked up steam lately with the reports that Darren Aronofsky is in talks to direct the movie.

Though things are still in the beginning stages (the film doesn't even have a title yet), Tatum's dirt track tricks could be an indication that we'll see him sporting Knievel's famous stars-and-stripes outfit in the near future.

SEE ALSO: Channing Tatum left his backpack in an NYC cab and Twitter found it

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Actor Andrew Garfield explains how he embedded himself in the housing market crisis to make an incredible new movie, '99 Homes'

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99 homes 5 Hooman Bahrani Brad Green Pictures

In “99 Homes” Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network,""The Amazing Spider-Man") plays Dennis Nash, a father living in Orlando who is evicted from his home in the midst of the 2010 housing market collapse and finds himself working for the real estate broker who evicted him, Rick Carver (played by Michael Shannon), when he can't find any other work.

The film, directed by Ramin Bahrani (“At Any Price,” “Goodbye Solo”), is a modern day “Wall Street” with the e-cigarette smoking Carver as its Gordon Gekko. It’s also an infuriating look at what many families, particularly in central Florida, endured during the harshest times of the financial crisis.

To find the reality of the situation for the story, Bahrani and his actors spent a lot of time in Florida shadowing brokers and meeting people who were directly affected by the housing crisis. In one instance, Garfield found himself in a somewhat frightening situation.

This clip, given to Business Insider exclusively, gives you sense of the high-stakes the movie explores.

“There were so many scams [during the crisis] it was just mind boggling,” Bahrani told Business Insider. “The combination of these scams and the violence, I realized I was making a social film in the guise of a thriller.”

The film showcases the shady document forging that went on to cause foreclosures, and schemes to make a quick buck like stealing air conditioners from vacant homes. But Bahrain also couldn’t escape the violent aspect of the setting, as every real estate broker he met or shadowed was carrying a gun.

“Every single broker I met,” Bahrani said in amazement. “It was a real shock to me and a revelation that it was because they were scared. They were scared to knock on doors.”

Garfield's research proved why brokers were scared. To get into character, he would tag along with a broker serving eviction notices. In one instance, Garfield and the broker knocked on a door and a giant rottweiler leapt out of the house towards the former Spider-Man star. Luckily the dog was on a chain and was pulled back before it could get to the actor.

But for Garfield, he needed experiences like that to fully understand people’s predicament.

99 homes 4 Hooman Bahrani Braod Green Pictures“A lot of them felt betrayed and not seen or taken care of by their country,” Garfield told Business Insider. “It was a really important process for me to immerse myself in those people’s lives.”

One experience that stood out for Garfield was the time he spent with a man who had been evicted and, like the Nash character, could only find work where he had to evict people. The man told Garfield that in one instance he had to evict his close friend.

“After a while they ultimately healed their relationship,” said Garfield, who still keeps in touch with the man. “But that’s the kind of situation where we’re all pitted against each other to survive. It’s a really sick, sick system.”

Shannon’s time in Florida with brokers made him realize that you can’t fault people in the position of his Carver character, who he doesn’t see as evil.

99 homes 6 Broad Green Pictures“I don’t see anyone out on the streets demanding that the laws be changed,” he told Business Insider. “So in lieu of some massive protest that brings the banks crashing down to their knees, the other option is to try to play the game. Does that make somebody evil? I don’t know. What’s the alternative? As Rick says in the movie, ‘As opposed to what?’”

Staying with the realistic feel of the movie — in which New Orleans doubled as Orlando so the production could benefit from the Louisiana tax break — Bahrani brought in people who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina to play some of the home owners Garfield’s character is evicting.

“I asked for that,” said Garfield. “That’s how I wanted to work. Ramin was really excited about that. I didn’t want to know if someone would answer the door, or who it would be, all I wanted to know is what my job for the day is and just do it. That was one of the reasons for doing the film, the ability to be surprised and improvise and not know the next moment.”

Many things Bahrani, Shannon, and Garfield witnessed made its way into the film. One time that stood out for Bahrani was experiencing foreclosure court.

99 homes 1 Hooman Bahrani Broad Green PicturesAt the height of the housing crisis in Florida, retired judges were called back to the chair to preside over thousands of foreclosure cases, often kicking people out of their houses in proceedings that took less than a minute (this happens to Nash in the movie).

Bahrani sat in on the proceedings one day with Lynn Szymoniak, a homeowner who gained notoriety for exposing “robo-signing,” where banks would forge documents to foreclose homes.

“People were losing cases left and right. I remember one person couldn’t speak English and brought a translator, but the judge said, ‘If you don’t speak English I don’t have time for you,’ and in 60 seconds he lost his case,” Bahrani recalled. “I was sitting next to Lynn and I had a yellow notepad. Suddenly people started winning. After the fourth or fifth in a row I turned to Lynn and asked what was going on. She said, ‘You’re sitting next to me with a pad, he thinks you’re a journalist so he has to look good.’”

The director continued, “There’s culpability everywhere with this issue. I like to say that the villain in the movie is not just one person.”

“99 Homes” opens in theaters on Friday.

Watch the trailer:

 

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A filmmaker who was charged $1,500 for using the 'Happy Birthday' song just won a landmark lawsuit — now she wants others to be repaid

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30th birthday cake

On Tuesday evening a federal judge ruled that the one of the world’s most popular songs is free of copyright.

Since 1988, Warner/Chappell Music has held the copyright to the beloved song and reportedly collected $2 million per year in royalties. It's been charging for every use, whether it's in a movie or TV show or a musician singing it to an audience member.

But all of that is about to change.

According to court documents obtained by Entertainment Weekly, US District Judge George H. King ruled Tuesday that “because Summy Co. never acquired the rights to the Happy Birthday lyrics, [Warner/Chappell], as Summy Co.’s purported successors-in-interest, do not own a valid copyright in the Happy Birthday lyrics.”

That means beginning immediately, any filmmaker who uses the “Happy Birthday” song in their work will not be charged for it. However, Warner/Chappell still holds the copyright for the piano arrangement of the song (so leave the piano player at home when you film it).

“Victory is sweet,” lead plaintiff Jennifer Nelson told Business Insider on Wednesday morning.

Nelson, who is making a documentary about the “Happy Birthday” song, filed a lawsuit in 2013 declaring the song is in the public domain after she was charged $1,500 for its use.

Since then three other plaintiffs joined her, including “Big Fan” director Robert D. Siegel and musician Rupa Marya, who was charged $450 when an audience sang her “Happy Birthday” at a gig and she added the spontaneous moment on her album.

Though the ruling by Judge King is a landmark decision, the fight is not over.

16 Candles“Our first goal was to free the song for public domain,” said Nelson. “Our second goal is to get retroactive remuneration for anyone who paid for a license.”

According to lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, Mark Rifkin, a class-action lawsuit will be filed asking the court to order Warner/Chappell to pay back all the money they’ve collected.

This will raise two issues.

“One, does Warner/Chappell have to pay it back, and we think absolutely they have to pay back money that they collected under false pretenses,” Rifkin told Business Insider. “And number two, who do they have to pay back, and we’re going to ask the court to go back at least to 1988, when Warner/Chappell acquired the original publishing of the song.”

But don’t expect anyone to get paid anytime soon.

According to entertainment lawyer Michael C. Donaldson, who focuses on fair use, figuring out how much Warner/Chappell is ordered to pay will take some time.

“The court will automatically include filmmakers in the lawsuit back three years before the filing of the lawsuit,” Donaldson explained to Business Insider. “Of course, the attorneys for the plaintiffs will try to extend that further back. The court will have to decide the issue of the cut-off date. The hiccup could come with the various appeal possibilities. It seems likely that there will be an appeal [by Warner/Chappell], which would delay the process for years.”

Business Insider reached out to Warner/Chappell for comment for this story, but did not receive a reply.

Nelson is currently negotiating a distribution deal for her documentary, tentatively titled “Happy Birthday Movie,” that she hopes will be out the end of this year or early next year.

SEE ALSO: Here's why they don't sing the "Happy Birthday" song in movies and TV shows

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Here's what Facebook's artificial intelligence expert thinks about the future

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facebook AI director yann lecun

Almost everything on Facebook — the posts in your timeline, the ads, and features like speech recognition and automatic image tagging — is driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

And Facebook is just getting started. The social media company's new personal helper, M, can help you make dinner reservations, buy things off Amazon, and even recommend anniversary gifts for your spouse.

Behind the technology that powers M and other Facebook features is a special team led by Yann LeCun, an AI researcher and former New York University professor.

Since LeCun joined Facebook in 2013, the company has opened AI laboratories in California and in Paris, France, where LeCun was born.

LeCun has researched image recognition since the 1980s. He even helped revive an AI field of study called "deep learning," which now powers the self-learning abilities of Facebook's ad targeting, Apple's Siri, Amazon's recommendation services, and more.

Tech Insider emailed LeCun, director of the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research team, to find out how AI is changing our lives, what most people get wrong about the field, and where the technology is headed.

You can read a version of that conversation below, which we've edited for length, style, and clarity.

TECH INSIDER: What do you think is the most impressive, real-world use of AI?

YANN LECUN: It changes quickly. I'd say the many new applications of image recognition used by Facebook, Google and others.

Some of these are apparent, like keyword-based image search and face recognition, some are acting behind the scenes, e.g. for content filtering.

TI: How did you become interested in AI?

YI: My dad is an engineer (retired now) and got me interested in designing and building things, particularly model airplanes and electronics.

I was fascinated by the mystery of intelligence as a kid, which got me interested in human evolution, epistemology and AI. Because I like building things, I taught myself electronics and programming in high school.

TI: Your field started as a way to study human intelligence by recreating it on computers. Does AI have to imitate how the human brain works?

YL: No, but AI is to the brain as airplanes are to birds. The details are different, but the underlying principles are the same. For airplanes and birds, the underlying principle is aerodynamics.

The question is, what is the equivalent of aerodynamics for intelligence?

TI: So to build AI that's human-like, what obstacles do we need to overcome?

YL: The short answer is: We have no idea. That's why it's very difficult to make a prediction as to when "human-level AI" will come about.

Right now, though, the main obstacle we face is how to get machines to learn in an unsupervised manner, like babies and animals do. Right now, the way we train machines is "supervised," a bit like when we show a picture book to a toddler and tell them the name of everything.

TI: What do you think are the biggest and most common misconceptions about AI?

YL: Misconceptions:

(1) "AIs won't have emotions." They most likely will. Emotions are the effect low-level/instinctive drives and the anticipations of rewards.

(2) "If AIs have emotions, they will be the same as human emotions." There is no reason for AIs to have self-preservation instincts, jealousy, etc. But we can build into them altruism and other drives that will make them pleasant for humans to interact with them and be around them.

(3) Most AIs will be specialized and have no emotions. Your car's auto-pilot will just drive your car.

TI: Emotions play a big role in AI in popular culture. Do you have a favorite sci-fi depiction of AI?

YL: Most of them are terrible. But I like HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey," not because it goes crazy and murderous, but because I watched the movie when I was nine years old, and I became fascinated by the very idea of AI.

I also like "Her." The robot child in the movie "A.I." is interesting. It's a harmless form of AI animated by the best human emotion: love.

hal 2001 a space odysseyTI: Are any of those sci-fi depictions close to being possible?

YL: Something like "Her" is not entirely implausible, but it's very far from what we can do today. We are decades away.

Almost all Hollywood depictions of AI and robots are implausible. AI either has to be emotionless, or if it does have emotions, they seem to be caricatures of the worst human drives and emotions (jealousy, greed, desire to dominate, becoming murderous when threatened, etc...).

AIs will not have these destructive "emotions" unless we build these emotions into them. I don't see why we would want to do that.

TI: What do you think this technology's greatest impact on society will be in the future?

YL: AI will transform society, but probably not more (relatively speaking) than past technological progress like cars, airplanes, telecommunications, regular computers, modern medicine, etc. Some jobs will disappear, others will be created as with every wave of technological progress.

There will be immediate benefits of AI like better medicine and reduced traffic accidents (due to self-driving cars). The overall wealth of societies will increase.

The questions are (1) how will societies adapt to share the benefits, (2) what human activities will become highly valued?

Number one is for the political process to solve. For number two: Uniquely human activities will become more valuable, for example artistic expression.

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The many weird ways TV and film have avoided expensive 'Happy Birthday' copyright fees

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happy birthday cake

A new ruling from the United States District Court in Los Angeles states the copyright protecting "Happy Birthday to You," perhaps the most heavily protected song, was never actually valid.

Judge George H. King made the ruling, the New York Times reports. If it stands, TV shows and movies will no longer have to pay the ridiculously high licensing fees — sometimes as much as $30,000 per use— just to include the song in an episode or film. 

Since most shows don't want to pony up that kind of dough, they've had to find creative ways around the popular song. 

From the Three Stooges' classic rendition to a bit of clever dialogue in Disney's "iCarly," here are some of the best:

The owner of the copyright, music publisher Warner/Chappell, reportedly earns $2 million in licensing fees from TV shows and movies that do pay for the rights to the song, the Times reports.

The debacle goes all the way back to 1893, when sisters Mildred and Patty Hill first published the song "Good Morning To All." At the time, the copyright was registered by the Clayton F. Summy Company. Over the ensuing decades, the song's lyrics changed to "Happy Birthday to You," and it was that version Summy registered in 1935.

Warner/Chappell then purchased the rights in 1988.

In the recent ruling, however, Judge King decided the adaptation, whose authorship was unknown, didn't come with the original copyright from "Good Morning to All," and thus, Warner/Chappell's purchase of the copyright was also invalid.

A spokesperson from Warner/Chappell told the Times the company was "considering our options," but if it stands, awkwardly evasive renditions of "Happy Birthday to You" could be a relic of a bygone era.

Join the conversation about this story »

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