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Disney and Steven Spielberg's 'The BFG' brings Roald Dahl classic to life with this awesome CGI giant


It's the witching hour and the Big Friendly Giant has come to town.

A young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) cites that she's supposed to "never get out of bed, never go to the window [and] never look behind the curtain," but when she does, that's where she spots the BFG (Mark Rylance).

big friendly giant


Meeting the BFG sends Sophie on a new adventure from London to Giant Country.

Director Steven Spielberg brings the character created by Roald Dahl to life in "The BFG," a film adaptation of Dahl's novel of the same name. 

The film is slated for the summer of 2016 and also stars Bill Hader and Jemaine Clement as other giants from Giant Country. 

Watch the trailer below: 

SEE ALSO: Pixar finally has its first box-office bomb

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Jennifer Lawrence saves her latest Oscar-hopeful movie 'Joy' from being a total disaster


Joy 20th Century Fox final

There are a couple things we know about director David O. Russell. He's fueled by dysfunction, and, more recently, the talents of Jennifer Lawrence.

Dysfunction has been in his storytelling (likely) all his life. Sometimes his stories have been hits ("Flirting with Disaster") and other times misses ("I Heart Huckabees"). But now with the addition of Lawrence, even if he's off the mark, the effort is still a worthwhile experience.

"Joy" is not Russell at his finest. But teaming with Lawrence for the third consecutive time (previously "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle"), he gives the story completely over to his lead's abilities — and it saves the movie.

Lawrence plays the real-life Joy Mangano, a divorcee who still lives with her ex (Édgar Ramírez) and their two kids, along with her mother (Virginia Madsen), grandmother (Diane Ladd), and father (Robert De Niro). Barely able to make ends meet, she's also faced with solving the problems of everyone under her roof.

Joy FoxAlways inventing things since she was a child, Joy grabs onto that million-dollar idea every inventor dreams of. While mopping up broken glass and cutting up her hands wringing it out, she comes up with the revolutionary "Miracle Mop." It would become one of the biggest hits on the newly created QVC channel (run by Neil, played matter-of-factly by Bradley Cooper).

Family turmoil continues, Joy gets hustled by her manufacturer, and basically Joy can't catch a break until she fights back, and that's when Lawrence shines.

From insisting on wearing a casual white blouse and slacks on QVC (instead of a dress) to a Michael Corleone-like showdown with her half-sister, Lawrence plays Joy as a headstrong woman who has vowed not to end up like her mother, watching soap operas all day in bed.

Joy YouTube Fox final"Joy" is not a true biopic, as once Russell got involved in the project he reworked the script heavily and combined many female entrepreneur rags-to-riches stories into his Joy. But that's standard operating procedure for Russell.

Though the cast is great on paper and Russell has been successful with recent ensembles, outside of some strong scenes between Lawrence and De Niro, there are few highlights for the whole group.

Then again, this was always Lawrence's show. "Joy" is as much a movie about the actress standing her ground in the Hollywood system that regards women as second-class as it is a look at a female entrepreneur taking on the world.

"Joy" opens in theaters everywhere on Christmas Day.

SEE ALSO: Meet Jennifer Lawrence's small but powerful squad that's taking over Hollywood

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THE WORLD'S BIGGEST 'STAR WARS' FANS: Meet 17 people who have devoted their lives to the series


Bob Iannaccone Advanced Light Weaponry Light Sabers Star Wars Fans

When "Star Wars" first premiered in theaters over thirty years ago, moviegoers everywhere were instantly captivated by the opening crawl inviting fans to travel to a galaxy far, far away.

With the release of "The Force Awakens" December 18, Tech Insider sought out fans across the globe who don't just love "Star Wars," they live for it. From collectors and artists, trivia buffs to fan-community leaders, these are some of the greatest lovers of "Star Wars" in the world.

Omar Al-Bahiti has the largest "Star Wars" collection outside of the Europe and the US.

Living in Dubai, Omar Al-Bahiti reigns as one of the most well-known "Star Wars" fans in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the popularity of his extensive collection. Professionally, Al-Bahiti is a 44-year-old marketing consultant, but he's been collecting "Star Wars" merchandise since he was a kid. He was about 6 when "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" premiered. Since there weren't as many movie theaters nearby, he waited until a a bootleg VHS copy came his way and was instantly hooked.

The number of items Al-Bahiti acquired reaches well into the hundreds, with rooms in his house filled with books, action figures, vehicles, games, artwork, lightsabers, props, costumes, and more. "I also have more stuff in my climate-controlled warehouse," Al-Bahiti told Tech Insider. "[That's] where I keep all the toys from the '80s, and there are some items in my parents' house in Turkey."

Al-Bahiti hasn't formally cataloged each item so there's no official confirmation he has the largest outside of Europe and the US — but from the looks of it, he smokes the competition. "There are some collectors [in the Middle East] who do collect 'Star Wars'" but none that I know of that are as big," he said.

Today, Al-Bahiti is the commanding officer of the UAE's 501st Legion Outpost — a "Star Wars" fan group known for professional costuming and community outreach. Their group is small right now with six members, but they work to raise donations and awareness for various charities whenever possible. "With the premier of 'The Force Awakens' and more films on the way, I’m hopeful our small team here grows and makes a big impact on the fan base in the region," Al-Bahiti said.

Bill McBride is the largest collector of Darth Vader memorabilia.

McBride was 6 when he saw "A New Hope" in theaters, and he was immediately drawn to Vader. At the time, he had already begun collecting items like baseball cards, so it was a natural segue into keeping toys and other merchandise. His admiration for the character has led to owning the largest collection of Darth Vader and Sith-related merchandise and artwork, according to the World Record Academy

"For all the six movies we’ve seen combined, [the saga] is basically the story of the rise and fall of Darth Vader," Bill McBride told TI. 

At 44, McBride has been formally collecting for the last 25 years. The items range from Campbell's soup cans to original visual storyboards used in production for "Empire Strikes Back." 

But McBride doesn't go for literally everything available — there's a qualitative aspect to his collection. "I tend to bond with the most historically significant pieces," he said. A particular standout item took nearly 17 years to acquire. "One of the original prototype Darth Vaders," he said. "[It's] a pre-production piece that ended up being used in almost all of the early original catalog photography."

When he's not adding to his collection, McBride spends his time writing and volunteering for German Shepherd breed rescues in the Washington, D.C. area. He's currently working on a coffee-table book based around photos of items in his collection.  

Ian Martin creates intricate "Star Wars" replicas like a working Holochess table.

Being a self-employed web application developer and a "Star Wars" fan can have its perks. For 28-year-old Ian Martin, it means hours spent in his garage building replica costumes and props from scratch.

In 2010, Martin was one of the few known fans with a functional C-3PO suit. It earned him an invitation to stand onstage in costume with Mark Hamill as the actor accepted the Jules Verne 'Legendaire' Award, celebrating movie stars who encourage the spirit of adventure. Martin also met George Lucas himself a few months later. "Needless to say, it was a very awesome reward for all the work I had put into the suit," Martin told TI. The C-3PO suit took just over a year to complete.

His latest creation is a full-sized Dejarik (or "Holochess") table. Fans will recognize the game from 1977's "A New Hope," when Chewbacca and R2-D2 memorably go head-t0-head in the holographic game. Martin programmed a life-size table to play the game with built-in LED screens and sound effects. The table includes handmade statues of all the creature playing pieces, but Martin is also developing an augmented reality program along with another developer.

The game will have small disks representing each monster, and with the help of either a phone app or a virtual reality headset, players will be able to watch animated 3D images of the creatures come to life as they battle. He hopes to have the application completed by April 2016. You can follow his YouTube channel for video updates.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

RANKED: The 12 best holiday movies ever made


A Christmas Story

Like horror movies in October, December is the only time you absolutely must watch your favorite holiday classics — no exceptions.

Some of these movies, like the holidays themselves, are very warm. Others are darker than you might expect.

We've come up with a list of what to watch while you are spending the holidays with your family, from the classics to a few choice curveballs.

These are the 12 best holiday movies to catch up on or enjoy all over again:

SEE ALSO: The best shows to binge-watch over the holidays

12. Yes, Seth Rogen's raunchy ensemble comedy "The Night Before" was just released this year, but it already feels like something that people will watch for years to come. It's a hilarious, dark, and surprisingly sweet Christmas movie for people who just can't connect to the Christmas Spirit.

11. Based on the classic children’s book, "The Polar Express" has CGI wizard Robert Zemeckis bringing to life a boy’s magical ride to the North Pole. Tom Hanks is along for the ride as the voice of the numerous characters. If you’re a fan of the book, the visuals in the movie go beyond anything you imagined.

10. In "Bad Santa," Billy Bob Thornton plays an alcoholic conman who poses as a mall Santa every year to make out with all the money, jewels, and clothes he can get his hands on. But things change this year as he befriends a troubled kid. If you want to be anti-holiday (while also still being pretty holiday) this year, there’s no better movie to watch.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This is the most revealing 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' trailer yet — here's what we saw


star wars the force awakens

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" comes out in a week, but if the anticipation is too much, a new international trailer with lots of new scenes and dialogue might satiate you.

But beware of some spoilers below.

The trailer, featuring an introduction from Chinese singer Lu Han, focuses on Kylo Ren's (Adam Driver) drive to finish what Darth Vadar began and features new Stormtrooper scenes.

"We will crush the Resistence, once and for all," Kylo Ren says over footage of new battles. 

star wars the force awakens

An extended scene of Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), and BB-8 running through Jakku features new dialogue and BB-8 also plays a major role in the trailer, popping up in a number scenes. These moments echo how the first "Star Wars" film "A New Hope" began.

A new Millennium Falcon sequence shows Han Solo (Harrison Ford) pleading with the spaceship, "Come on, baby. Don't let me down." And Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) roars faithfully beside him.

chewbacca han solo star wars the force awakens

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) appears in more scenes, including one in which he is a prisoner being led by a Stormtrooper, presumably to be tortured by Kylo Ren, as other trailers have shown. 

the force awakens star wars

Watch the trailer below: 

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NOW WATCH: Parents are complaining that Pixar's new movie scares the crap out of their kids

Michael B. Jordan got knocked out for real while shooting 'Creed,' and the video is brutal


creed wraner bros trailer

Michael B. Jordan's commitment to his eponymous "Creed" character got him knocked out for real. 

In a nine-second video Sylvester Stallone posted on Twitter, Jordan, as Adonis Creed, is preparing to shoot a boxing scene for the "Rocky" reboot film out now.

As the director calls action, a punch hits Jordan square in the face and sends him to the mat.

But getting knocked out didn't keep him down. Stallone said Jordan got back up and did the scene again. 

Jordan trained with personal trainer Corey Calliet to prepare for the role of Apollo Creed's son in the acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated film.

SEE ALSO: Here's the workout Michael B. Jordan used to get in insane shape for his boxing movie, 'Creed'

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NOW WATCH: Leonardo DiCaprio has done some crazy things to finally get an Oscar — and he's just getting started

The crazy story of how 'The Big Short' got Led Zeppelin to approve song rights


The Big Short Jaap Buitendijk Paramount

Director Adam McKay— who is best known for helming many memorable Will Ferrell comedies like the “Anchorman” movies, “Talladega Nights,” and “Step Brothers” — is proving he also has skills to make an engaging drama. His latest movie, “The Big Short,” is building impressive notice from critics in its early screenings (the film opens in limited release December 11 and wide on December 23).

Based on the best-selling nonfiction book by Michael Lewis that looks inside the housing-bubble collapse, the unconventional, documentary-like movie grabbed the attention of A-list talent including Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt, who play the few people in the finance world who saw the crash coming.

But one of the film’s biggest coups was featuring Led Zeppelin’s classic track “When the Levee Breaks” in the debut trailer and in the movie’s end credits.

zeppelin finalZeppelin has been known for decades as one of the hardest bands to get to approve its music for use in movies (“Almost Famous,” “School of Rock,” and “The Fighter” are some notable projects that pulled it off). McKay confirmed to Business Insider that it was a challenge signing the group on to "The Big Short."

In fact, the filmmakers almost had to postpone the premiere of the trailer because, up to the 11th hour, they didn’t know if they could legally include the song.

“We cut the trailer and put in the Zeppelin song, and it’s not only one of the greatest songs of all time, but it drives you through the trailer,” McKay said. “But then we were told we might not be able to get the rights.”

McKay explained that the producers and music supervisor on the film had covered the globe trying to get approvals. Reaching out to everyone from the publishing company that owns Zeppelin’s music, to surviving band members Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. Even getting the blessing of the family of the band’s deceased drummer, John Bonham. Everyone said yes, but no one could find lead guitarist Jimmy Page.

“I’m like, ‘What do you mean you can’t find Jimmy Page?’ And I was told he has a new girlfriend and I guess they were off having a good time,” McKay said.

Fast-forward to the night before the trailer premiere, and they still couldn’t find Page. McKay said by that point he and his team were trying to figure out another song to replace “When the Levee Breaks.” They even considered postponing the launch of the trailer, but were scared rumors would start around Hollywood that the film was in trouble. While in England, a team of people was on the search for Page.

“We finally heard that he was in some pub out in the English countryside,” McKay said. “So an assistant drove two hours to get to the pub, breaking every speed limit, goes into the pub and puts a computer in front of Jimmy Page so he can look at the trailer and say either yes we can use the song or no. Then at like 1:55 a.m. or something I got the email that he said yes.”

Adam McKay Michael Bowles GettyBut the story doesn’t end there. McKay also wanted to use the song in the film’s end credits, and when Page was told that, he had one condition.

“He said we can’t edit the song,” McKay said. “He told us he didn’t like how they cut up his songs in movies.”

So McKay was now stuck trying to figure out how to make the uncut song — which has a 1:24 instrumental before Plant begins to sing — work in the credits.

What McKay and his editor, Hank Corwin, came up with was to begin the song very faintly among sounds of New York City traffic during the text cards at the end of the movie, which inform the audience what has happened to the characters. Then when the credits follow, Plant begins to sing.

“That was the crazy thing,” McKay said. “That was a pure accident. It just happened to lay out perfectly when the credits begin.”

Watch “The Big Short” trailer:


SEE ALSO: The composer behind some of the most memorable movie scores gives his 4 favorite

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The 'Inside Out' director reacts to Globes nomination and its Oscar Best Picture chances


inside out gg

“Inside Out” director Pete Docter just got himself a new core memory.

Currently in Havana, Cuba, as a part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ outreach committee, Docter was busy speaking to a group about restoring a long-lost Cuban film when he got the news this morning that “Inside Out” received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Film.

“It’s a tough life,” Docter joked to Business Insider over the phone from Havana.

The Globe nod is just one more accolade for a film that has affected so many people since it came out in June.

Pete Docter Jason Merritt Getty“We have gotten amazing stories from parents who have said this film has really helped them connect with their kids,” Docter said. “Now to be recognized blows my socks off.”

“Inside Out,” which has grossed over $850 million worldwide, is already one of the most beloved movies in the Pixar canon. And numerous critics and people in the industry believe it should be considered for the best film categories at awards shows including the Oscars and Golden Globes, not just best animated film.

Docter said he doesn’t know how to control a film's placement for awards consideration, so he concentrates more on making the films. But he did note that, these days, creating animation has become a lot more like the live-action work that always gets the top accolades.

“The truth is if you sat in our layout session, you would hear us talking the same way that a DP and a director talk [on a live-action movie],” Docter said. “I think people would be stunned how similar they are.”

SEE ALSO: Richard Kind, who played Bing Bong in "Inside Out," event cried doing his final scene

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These 11 rising stars are auditioning to be the next Han Solo — what you need to know about them


han solo 1

Getting cast in a "Star Wars" movie will change your life.

While it might not pay a lot, it will bring you international fame. There will also likely be an action figure made out of you.

Earlier this year, Disney announced that it's planning a prequel focused on Han Solo. It will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("The Lego Movie") and open in theaters in 2018.

As soon as it was announced, people speculated who, if anybody, could possibly replace Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo in the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, around 2,500 actors auditioned to play young Solo. While that complete list has not been released, some of the names have been discovered. They include actors who are on their way to major stardom. This franchise made stars out of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, and will likely do the same for John Boyega and Daisy Ridley in the upcoming "The Force Awakens." 

Here are 11 actors who auditioned to play the young Han Solo — and what you need to know about them:

Rami Malek, 34, is one of the many vying to be the next young Han Solo on film.

Malek had a breakout year in 2015. He earned rave reviews as eccentric hacker Elliot in the USA drama "Mr. Robot."

Dave Franco is the younger brother of actor James Franco.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A NASA engineer explains how you would build a Death Star in real life


death star

One of the most impressive sights from the original "Star Wars" trilogy is the Death Star, the symbol of the Dark Side's incredible power suspended in space.

But could you create anything like that using real science?

It turns out you could, sort of, according to NASA engineer Brian Muirhead — and he and his team are doing something a bit like it.

To build the Death Star, Darth Vader and company couldn't have sent materials into space. Instead, "You went and got yourself an asteroid, and built it from that," Muirhead explains in a new video for Wired.

An asteroid contains everything you need for a theoretical Death Star: organic compounds, water, and metal.

Muirhead works on NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission, the first-ever mission to "visit a large near-Earth asteroid, collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface, and redirect it into a stable orbit around the moon." The mission then plans to study pieces of the boulder.

Not quite a Death Star, but cool.

He also explains that we're currently capable of flying through an asteroid field, though perhaps not as quickly as Han Solo.

Watch the whole video here:

SEE ALSO: These 11 rising stars are auditioning to be the next Han Solo — what you need to know about them

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Jennifer Lawrence battles the most terrifying mutant ever in the 'X-Men: Apocalypse' trailer



Apocalypse, the world's first and most powerful mutant, has returned, and he's ready to destroy the world. 

In this sequel to "X-Men: Days of Future Past," Charles (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and a number of core mutants from Bryan Singer's previous prequel "X-Men" films find themselves facing their most difficult opponent, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac, from "Ex Machina" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens").

With a team of his own mutants by his side, including Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Apocalypse is determined to rule the world.  

The film also stars Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, and Evan Peters. 

"X-Men: Apocalypse" is set for a Memorial Day release.

Watch the trailer below:

SEE ALSO: This is the most revealing 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' trailer yet — here's what we saw

Join the conversation about this story »

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How 'The Big Short' director turned the financial collapse into a big, celebrity-stacked comedy


the big short

Adam McKay is best known for directing some of Will Ferrell’s biggest movies — “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Step Brothers.” But with the release of “The Big Short” this weekend, McKay has stepped away from Ferrell’s large shadow.

But he needed his comedy talents to tell the story of one of the largest financial collapses in history.

Based on the Michael Lewis best-selling book of the same name, “The Big Short” looks at the housing bubble during the 2000s. It stars Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, and Brad Pitt as a handful of the few people in the financial world who saw it coming.

But to connect with moviegoing audiences while tackling such a complex subject, McKay decided to add a little sugar to his medicine. Not to mention brief flashes of pop culture, including an interlude featuring celebrities Margot Robbie, Anthony Bourdain, and Selena Gomez explaining financial terminology (which will no doubt rankle Wall Street).

“I feel if you do this movie like, say, ‘The Insider' — which I think is a great movie — you wouldn’t be doing this story justice,” McKay told Business Insider, referring to the more somber Russell Crowe film about a tobacco-industry whistleblower. “I wouldn’t want to see that movie.”

But McKay admits he didn’t write the script intending on getting laughs. It came from the material in Lewis’ book that is so outlandish you can only help but laugh, which McKay did while reading it in one sitting in 2010.

Highlights include Michael Burry (Bale) only listening to heavy metal music and Mark Baum (Carrel) who is so attached to his phone that he takes a call in the middle of asking a question at a major public conference in Las Vegas.

Shooting the film with a handheld, documentary-like atmosphere, and allowing his actors to improvise, McKay shaped a film that would turn out to be very different from how Hollywood had previously looked at the financial collapse (“The Company Men,” “Too Big to Fail”). Could audiences still get the underlying message?

Adam McKay Michael Bowles Getty“I thought the film was really starting to fit well in rough assembly, which never happens,” McKay said. “So we got 300 people and did a screening, for us, not for the studio. This was at a running time of two hours and twenty minutes. It was long, but sitting there, I could feel the energy. The audience understood what we were talking about.”

McKay’s enthusiasm and proof that “real people” appreciated the movie caused Paramount Pictures to set its release date smack in the middle of awards consideration.

The film has become a frontrunner of the season, having recently received Golden Globes nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy for both Carell and Bale and Best Screenplay for McKay and his co-writer Charles Randoph.

But McKay does admit there is one line in the movie that he purposely wrote for a laugh.

“I almost cut it out of the movie,” McKay said, “but it’s where the Vinny (Jeremy Strong) character says, ‘It looks like someone hit a pinata of white guys who suck at golf.’ I knew that line would get a laugh.”

“The Big Short” opens in limited release Friday and everywhere December 23.

SEE ALSO: The crazy story of how "The Big Short" got Led Zeppelin to approve song rights

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The unbelievable backstory of the 18-year-old classified ad that refuses to die


In 1997, John Silveira was asked to come up with fillers for unsold ad space in the magazine he was writing for. The clock was ticking, and he decided to just place two ads of his own. He needed to get the page filled up fast and get on with his day.

The first ad that Silveira placed was a personal ad he'd written in hopes of finding a girlfriend. For the second, he chose a fake "wanted" classified. In it he included the opening lines of a sci-fi novel he'd been working on.

Here's the ad:

Time Travel Ad

It reads:

WANTED: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 322, Oakview, CA 93022. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.

Posting the ad in the magazine was hilarious, an inside joke Silveira had with himself. He figured no one would really notice it.

He was wrong.

The ad led to an explosive volume of letter responses, a series of internet memes with millions of views. It was the inspiration for a critically acclaimed indie movie in 2011, "Safety Not Guaranteed," starring comedian Aubrey Plaza, 14 years after the ad ran.

And it still won't die.

Letters from prison

We heard about the story of the "Safety Not Guaranteed" meme, as it's known, on "Reply All," a podcast about the internet produced by Gimlet Media. Co-hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman give a peek inside the madness of the meme's origin.

You can listen to their episode here:

It inspired us to dig deeper into the layers of its popularity. Lynn Levy of Radiolab interviewed Silveira and found out about the unintentional consequences the ad had on his life.

So first, that magazine Silveira was working for. It was called Backwoods Home Magazine, a small Oregon publication specializing in "practical ideas for self-reliant living." It's still active today and publishes six issues a year. Its website is a tribute to '90s internet; there's an animated American flag and Comic Sans MS headers. It's surprisingly kept up to date with select material that the editorial team puts online.

It has a small but seemingly loyal readership. Topics Backwoods Home covers include weaponry and home canning. It has, Levy says, a "survivalist vibe." It's not People or US Weekly or Vogue, and it definitely does not have the audience of a renowned print publication.

It was the night before the September 1997 issue was to go to print when Silveira and his boss ran into the space issue in the advertising section. There was room for two ads and barely any time to fill them, so Silveira threw in his own — the "Safety Not Guaranteed" ad being one of them.

It was brief and intriguing, and Silveira expected a handful of funny responses to the P.O. Box he listed.

He got tons of replies, from curious to desperate to potentially crazy. Silveira read some of his favorite responses to Levy during their interview.

"How are we going? Why is it dangerous? Why do we need weapons? What kind of weapons should I bring?" one reply read.

Another asked if there would be toilet paper — or "do I have to bring my own?"— while another was penned by a bunch of felons writing from prison. "We would like to go back and not get caught."

The joke ad, the space-filler, became a weird beacon of hope for readers who had major problems or devastating histories. Silveira said the letters from prison were especially tough.

He told Levy:

Dozens, in prison, asked me to go back in time and talk them out of committing the crime that put them away. Others (and not a few) were from people who begged me to go back and save a loved one from a tragic death. Those letters were so heartbreaking I almost couldn't read them and I felt a certain amount of shame for not anticipating the false hope I placed in so many hearts.

This emotional can of worms was an unanticipated consequence of Silveira's flash decision to post the ad.

The responses went on for a few months, but eventually letters were no longer overflowing Silveira's mailbox. It seemed as if the madness was coming to an end.

But not so fast.

'You're the man now, dog!'

It’s tough to trace incidences of the "Safety Not Guaranteed" ad appearing between 1997 and the early 2000s, but we know it was read on NPR's "Car Talk" radio program on March 31, 2001, though we don't know what sparked the show's producers to choose to include a four-year-old meme in that particular installment.

Silveira claims it was featured in a "Tonight Show" monologue, but the internet has turned up no proof of that.

So now it's 2004, and a new internet sensation was gaining popularity: YTMND.com. The acronym stands for "You're The Man Now, Dog"— a quote from the movie "Finding Forrester."

In this bizarre moment from the movie, Sean Connery’s ornery character barks the line at his black protégé.

You're the man now dog

A man named Max Goldberg heard the quote in the movie’s first trailer, and "immediately recognized the power of the catchphrase." He purchased the domain and went to work.

The original page features a tiled photo of Sean Connery and WordArt-era text, with a sound loop of the ludicrous quote, and to this day the site remains home for a perfect formula for internet humor: static image + text + sound = unlimited possibility.

The rules seemed simple. Choose a photo, pair it with audio that enhances the level of weird humor, and give it a catchy URL.

So how does this involve "Safety Not Guaranteed"? OK, stay with us.

People loved"You're The Man Now, Dog." Remember that trope from a few years ago, "Shit ______ say"? It was kind of like that. With YTMND, other people began creating inspired spin-offs, hosted on their own sites, but with the same formulaic approach to get the same punch line. Goldberg began archiving all of the spin-off sites in another section of the original YTMND URL, giving all of the inspired meme-makers ultimate visibility on his already major platform.

So on October 27, 2005, user "AxlBonBach" created an inspired YTMND site titled "Safety Not Guaranteed." Using the URL www.timetraveler.ytmnd.com, he Photoshopped a serious-looking man with a mullet next to the ad, and chose "Push it to the Limit"— the popular montage song from "Scarface"— as the audio.

People loved it. "LMAO," one user wrote. "This is bound to be an instant classic."

Chunes comments on Safety Not Guaranteed

While "Safety Not Guaranteed" as it appeared on YTMND was many folks' first time seeing the ad, some users criticized the post, claiming that it was plagiarized or simply old news (they had supposedly seen the ad on Jay Leno).

AxlBonBach paid no mind to the critics. He'd never claimed he created the ad itself, and the site continued to flood with fans of "Safety Not Guaranteed."

Don LaFontaine gets involved

The popular YTMND formula paid off for the classified ad. The added mullet-man and jazzed-up soundtrack had successfully spawned an army of replicas and iterations, bringing us to January 2006, when a user who went by "Scrow" claimed he had found a Civil War-era photo in his attic that looked eerily similar to the time-traveling mullet-man.

He made his own YTMND site to publicize his findings (pictured), which breathed new life into the nearly 10-year-old "Safety Not Guaranteed" classified ad.

Civil War Safety Not Guaranteed

From there, a user named "Blackadders2" emailed Don LaFontaine, the iconic voice actor who had recorded more than 5,000 film trailers, asking him to create a movie-trailer style reading of the ad.

LaFontaine came through, and once again another YTMND site was made featuring an iteration of "Safety Not Guaranteed," this time with a sloppily Photoshopped image of LaFontaine's face over the mullet photo and the newly recorded trailer as the audio sample.

YTMND users were stunned and impressed, many of them convinced the voice they were hearing was not LaFontaine's.

Blackadders2 replied to comments calmly, maintaining he had simply emailed the guy and hoped that he'd play along.

LaFontaine Safety comments

When LaFontaine died in September 2008, that particular YTMND page resurfaced and amassed tons of traffic. A new generation of internet users visiting the site after LaFontaine's death had never seen it, nor had they heard of the "Safety Not Guaranteed" meme.

Around that time a screenwriter named Derek Connolly saw the Don LaFontaine version of the "Safety Not Guaranteed" meme and was inspired to write a script for a movie. He, like most everyone who became a fan of the meme through YTMND, didn't know the ad's backstory. He told IndieWire he "immediately wondered if it was real."

Regardless, Connolly wrote the script for "Safety Not Guaranteed" in 2010, and a man named Colin Trevorrow was signed on to direct the film.

Neither had ever heard of John Silveira.

Silveira writes again

It's important to remember that throughout the 13 years the meme had taken on a life of its own, Silveira had stayed silent on his role as the creator. And he also didn't know anyone was writing a script based on the ad. So it seemed serendipitous when Silveira chose to write the story of the "Safety Not Guaranteed" ad as he knew it for Backwoods Home Magazine in 2010.

This was the first time he publicly declared he was the author of the ad.

Backwoods Home Magazine Screenshot

Silveira, amused by the whole thing, explains the story.

He goes through the issue of the unfilled space and the responses he got. The only mention that YTMND and the "meme-ification" receive is this statement: "Some guy with a bad mullet has run the ad with his picture as if it's his."

From there, Trevorrow — who has already committed to directing the "Safety Not Guaranteed" movie and who has already lined up producers, financiers, and the actors — comes across Silveira's tell-all on Backwoods Home Magazine. It's unclear as to how. Unless Trevorrow is an avid reader of Backwoods Home Magazine, the idea that he happened to stumble upon the article is unlikely, so maybe they had alerts out for the phrase "Safety Not Guaranteed" or similar.

Regardless, Trevorrow is blown away. He needed to call Silveira, who, remember, has no idea this movie is in the works.

Trevorrow recalled that moment in a 2012 Wall Street Journal essay:

We could have simply changed the words in the original ad, moved a few sentences around to create a cheap knock-off of the real thing. But I wouldn’t do it. Not just because it would be a cynical and inauthentic move — but because the source material was flawless.

Trevorrow calls up Backwoods Home and is put through to Silveira. It wasn't long before the two of them met for a meal and got to know each other better.

Trevorrow described Silveira as very different from the "Mullet Man: [Silveira isn't] acid-washed jeans tucked into action hero boots, whittling something lethal with a hunting knife while telling me in no uncertain terms to go to hell."

Instead, he met a gray-bearded poet from Oregon with a soft voice.

Safety Not Guaranteed

The two bonded over their ideas of who the fictional man behind the ad would be.

Silveira, after all, had written it as part of a sci-fi novel. They both agreed, "He’d be a real man, one who has experienced true loss and pain. He’d be erratic, possibly brilliant, and full of contradictions—an outcast who hates being misunderstood while simultaneously not giving a damn. He’d be a survivalist and a poet. And, yes, he’d bring his own weapons."

The movie was made, and in 2012 it made its debut at Sundance Film Festival. At the premiere, Silveira was introduced and received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Loyal YTMND users remembered the life of the "Safety Not Guaranteed" meme before it became "Safety Not Guaranteed" the movie, and discussion was rampant online about this next-level meme installation, truly, the finale it deserved after so many of its iterations appeared on the internet over the past 15 years.

Before "Safety Not Guaranteed" the movie became mainstream (it lived on Netflix for a while), the trailer was posted to Reddit, where a majority of the comments made references to the meme's pre-Hollywood life: mullets, "Push it to the Limit," and YTMND.

Reddit users comment on Safety Not Guaranteed

The movie did all right. Roger Ebert gave it three and a half stars out of four. Trevorrow went on to direct "Jurassic World," the blockbuster hit of 2015. Now he's slated to spearhead one of the new "Star Wars" movies, scheduled to debut in 2019. 

And as for Silveira? He still writes for Backwoods Home Magazine, publishing articles about climate change, the Second Amendment, and the benefits of homeschooling.

Silveira summed up the life of his ad, the tiny one used to fill some space one night in September 1997: "What lies in the future? ... for all the writing I've done, they are probably the only words I've written that will outlive me."

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NOW WATCH: Here's why memes are so much more than just funny internet photos – straight from the man who coined the term

Sam Rockwell remembers his favorite roles in a prolific Hollywood career


Sam Rockwell Larry Busacca Getty 2 final

With over 80 screen credits to his name, Sam Rockwell has built a prolific career out of walking that fine line between character actor and leading man.

Some of his best work involves playing the strong supporting role in movies like "Galaxy Quest,""The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," and "Iron Man 2." But he's also fully capable of being the face of a film, in works like "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,""The Winning Season," and "Moon."

With such a diverse filmography, we were curious what motivates Rockwell to take the parts he chooses. Here, he speaks candidly about three of them.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman motivated how Rockwell played his character in "Don Verdean."

In Rockwell's latest movie, "Don Verdean" (currently in theaters), he plays a biblical archaeologist who gets in over his head while trying to track down one of history's most notable artifacts. From the director of "Napoleon Dynamite," the brand of comedy could have allowed Rockwell to play the role in his usual outgoing style, but he settled on a more subdued feel. Partly because he had just lost one of his best friends.

"Phil had just passed away," Rockwell told Business Insider. Fellow actor and good friend Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an accidental drug overdose last year. "They had to push shooting about a week because I had to go to his funeral. He was on my mind a lot because he was a transformational actor and that was what I was going after with the part of Don Verdean."

He almost didn't do "Moon."

One of Rockwell's most memorable roles to date was playing Sam Bell in Duncan Jones' sci-fi movie "Moon." But it took some stern words from Jones for Rockwell to finally come around to taking the role.

"I met Duncan for this movie where he wanted me to play a bad guy, and I didn't want to play a bad guy at the time," Rockwell said. "So we started talking about sic-fi movies and a year later, when I was making 'Frost/Nixon,' I get this call that I have to read his new script called 'Moon.' I didn't have time to read it but finally Duncan calls me and goes, 'Are you going to read my f-----g script or what? We wrote this part for you.' I told him to give me three days and he said okay but he has to move on because they were going to shoot it soon. And I said, 'If you were going to move on who would you cast? I'm just curious.' And he said, 'Paddy Considine.' And I was just thinking, man, that guy is really good. So I was like I have to read this f-----g thing. It's one of the more popular movies I've done. It's brought up more than I thought it would ever be."

The success from "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" was a "strange time."

Having already built up a healthy list of supporting and leading roles by the time he took the part of game-show host/purported hitman Chuck Barris in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," Rockwell still couldn't expect the national attention thrust on him, as the film was the directorial debut of George Clooney. What followed were bigger offers, like starring in the long-awaited screen adaptation of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," but the failure of that film and other indies stripped Rockwell of his leading-man status.

"I'd done lead roles up to that point, but they were films nobody saw," he said. "So it was good practice for me playing Chuck. I remember I watched a lot of 'Serpico' before we shot the movie. I think the paranoia angle. It was truly one of the highlights of my career. But it was strange, I was on the cover of GQ and I did 'Hitchhikers,' but I went back to doing character parts again. An acting career is interesting. There's ebbs and flows and movies that I feel are milestones in my mind — 'Snow Angles,' 'Conviction,' 'Choke' — not necessarily a lot of people have seen them. But what are you going to do? I didn't think anybody was going to see 'The Way Way Back' and that's the movie that's changed my career recently in the parts I'm offered."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Chris Hemsworth's new movie bombs at the box office as everyone waits for 'Star Wars'


mockingjay part 2

This time next week the box office will be in uncharted territory, as the opening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on Friday plans to be historic. That anticipation may have led to a dip in movie ticket sales this weekend. 

The top 20 releases at the multiplex had a 25% drop in tickets sold this weekend compared to last, according to Deadline. This is similar to the soft weekend before the release of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" over the summer. 

Continuing its box office dominance was "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," which took the top spot with an estimated $11.3 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This is the first time since the original "Hunger Games" that a film in the franchise has spent four straight weeks atop the box office.

It just edged past new release "In The Heart of the Sea." Ron Howard's Moby Dick tale starring Chris Hemsworth took in an estimated $11 million (an awful start for a movie budgeted at around $100 million).

chris hemsworth in the heart of the seaThe big winner of the weekend was the star-studded ensemble dramedy "The Big Short," which looked at the housing market crash that spurred a US recession in 2008. The perfectly crafted tone by director Adam McKay — and the talented cast that includes the likes of Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt — led this movie to earn the second-best opening theater average of the year. 

Its average of $80,000 per the eight screens it was on has only been bested by "Steve Jobs," which did $130,000 in four theaters.

the big shortGood reviews certainly helped but having its limited release the weekend after the Golden Globes nominations were announced probably wasn't a bad idea, either. Carell, Bale, and McKay (for screenwriting) all received nominations. The movie opens in wide release December 23. 

Yes, that's after"The Force Awakens" comes out.

SEE ALSO: Why 2 movies are making the bold decision to open the same day as "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

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Why these movies have made the 'baffling' decision to compete against 'Star Wars' at the box office


Sisters 2 K.C. Bailey final

It can feel like just about everyone in the country has marked down December 18 as the day "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" comes out. Yet there are two studios that are brave enough to take it on.

Universal has the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy “Sisters,” and 20th Century Fox has “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” both coming out the same weekend as "Star Wars."

You can’t get more counter-programming than that.

It’s safe to say both studios are looking more at the long game with these titles rather than any impressive box office their opening weekend. (Neither would comment for this story.)

But looking at history, there are some interesting motivations for why both of these companies are poking a stick at the giant.

Fox is the old distribution home of the “Star Wars” franchise, before George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012 for over $4 billion. Fox might be thinking that, coming out a week before Christmas, "Alvin" can be the option for the kids market in that week going into the holiday (by then many schools are closed for the holiday).

alvin and the chipmunks the road chip finalUniversal has a little more teeth in the game. The latest movie to star the extremely popular duo of Poehler and Fey, “Sisters” is the ultimate girls-night-out movie, as opposed to the fanboy-crazed “Force Awakens.” Universal might also be confident from the last time they went up against a testosterone-heavy actioner.

In mid-May, Universal's “Pitch Perfect 2” went up against Warner Brothers' “Mad Max: Fury Road” and the Bellas took the opening-weekend box office with $69.2 million.

Now, no one at Universal thinks they will prevail over "Star Wars," but there is confidence from people within the studio who talked to BI off the record that "Sisters" can do well after opening weekend.

Also going for "Sisters" is the fact that it's R-rated, which gives it a core audience that's older and historically skips over a film’s opening weekend.

“I could see ‘Sisters’ opening in the mid-teens against ‘The Force Awakens,' same for ‘Alvin,’” Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider. “But it baffles my mind why any studio would attempt to cross paths with ‘The Force Awakens.’”

SEE ALSO: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" earns more than 50 million in advance ticket sales, breaking records

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Meet 27-year-old Alicia Vikander, star of 'The Danish Girl,' on her way to superstardom


Alicia Vikander

Just in 2015, Swedish actress Alicia Vikander has played a famous painter, a secret agent, and an artificial intelligence that wants to be human.

It's been quite a year for the 27-year-old, and it might all end with her receiving an Oscar nomination.

Playing artist Gerda Wegener in "The Danish Girl" (opening in theaters this weekend), Vikander gives a scene-stealing performance as the wife of fellow artist Lili Elbe (played by Eddie Redmayne), one of the first identifiable recipients of sex-reassignment surgery.

But it's just the latest in a stellar series of performances Vikander has done, which also includes the hit indie film "Ex Machina."

Let's learn more about this star on the rise.

SEE ALSO: The fast-rising career of 26-year-old Brie Larson, 'Room' star and Hollywood's new 'it girl'

Vikander's first taste of success came in 2007 with the Swedish soap opera "Andra Avenyn" ("Second Avenue"), which looked at the lives of a group of people living in the second-largest city in Sweden.

In 2009, she starred in her first feature film, "Pure," in which she plays a troubled 20-year-old who, in leaving her family life, ends up in the arms of a married man.

Vikander then found notice in the US playing Kitty in the 2012 adaptation of the Tolstoy classic "Anna Karenina," starring Keira Knightley in the lead role.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' needs to make at least $1.5 billion to be successful, and J.J. Abrams is 'terrified'


han the force awakens

From the outside, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" might seem like a slam dunk. But inside Disney, nerves are at an all-time high.

In a new report about the film on "60 Minutes," Steven Spielberg says of director J.J. Abrams, "Oh J.J. is terrified. There's a lot of pressure on J.J. to start paying Disney back for, you know, the franchise they bought from George Lucas."

Disney bought "Star Wars" and Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012. "Force Awakens" is the company's first movie in the franchise.

As the director hand-picked to lead the effort, J.J. Abrams is shouldering a lot of responsibility to please a fan base that is known to get vocal about its complaints.

According to "60 Minutes,""Force Awakens" needs to make at least $1.5 billion at the box office in order to be considered a success on Wall Street. It's hard to know exactly how this figure was determined, but with a filmmaking budget of $200 million, plus enormous marketing costs, and the investment in Lucas' franchise, it's not surprising that the goals are high.

"You just know that there will be people, no matter what you do, that will have issues with some aspect," Abrams said on "60 Minutes."

"You just know there is some number that is being thrown out there that will not be hit. You just know."

Box-office analysts think Abrams will be just fine, though. Tracking for the film already suggests $2.5 billion in international box office.

You can watch the "60 Minutes" segment below:


SEE ALSO: 10 stunning 'Star Wars' fan theories about what'll happen in 'The Force Awakens'

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Why Will Smith won't be back in the 'Independence Day' sequel


Will Smith independence day

Fox released the trailer for the "Independence Day" sequel, "Independence Day: Resurgence" Sunday afternoon, and the first thing you may have noticed is that Will Smith isn't returning for another battle with aliens.

Back in 2014, Deadline reported Smith turned down working on the film.

Previously, director Roland Emmerich, who will be returning to direct the sequel, they simply couldn't afford to cast Smith in the film because "he's too expensive."

"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name," Emmerich told The New York Daily News in 2013. "It would be too much."

Smith received a $20 million payday for 2001's boxer movie "Ali."

So how is the movie dealing with Smith's absence? 

Easy, they're killing him off. 

Along with the trailer, Fox launched a website called The War of 1996 showing a timeline of events since the film in 1996. 

Entertainment Weekly spotted a nugget on the timeline showing that Smith's character, Colonel Steven Hiller, was conveniently killed April 27, 2007 while testing an alien hybrid ship.

will smith killed independence day 2

Here's the entire blurb:

"While test piloting the ESD's first alien hybrid fighter, an unknown malfunction causes the untimely death of Col. Hiller. Hiller's valor in the War of 96 made him a beloved global icon whose selfless assault against the alien mothership lead directly to the enemy's defeat. He is survived by his wife Jasmine and son Dylan."

It looks like Smith doesn't have the chance to even come back in any more potential sequels.

Though Smith won't be back, a majority of actors from the original 1996 movie will reprise their roles including Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, and Bill Pullman.

independence day jeff goldblum

Maybe the movie doesn't need him. They signed on "The Hunger Games" star Liam Hemsworth as one of the film's leads.

The first film became the highest-grossing movie of 1996. It made over $817 million worldwide.

"Independence Day: Resurgence" will be in theaters June 24, 2016.

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