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Why critics are calling the new Nina Simone biopic a racist disaster

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Nina RLJ Entertainment

The new Nina Simone biopic out this week, "Nina," took 11 years to get made, and when it finally did get underway, reports of infighting and accusations of racist casting ultimately cast long shadows over the film even before it was out.

But now critics have actually seen the movie about the life of the legendary musician told through her latter years, and things have gotten even worse.

With a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has been written off as an unmitigated failure.

Here are the reasons why critics are saying you should stay far away from "Nina."

 

SEE ALSO: 12 Netflix originals that will use the new technology Netflix is calling the "next generation of TV"

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone was a thoughtless choice.

Zoe Saldana ("Avatar") darkening her skin to play Simone did not go well with fans or the Simone estate who saw it as racially insensitive.

When Saldana tweeted Simone's inspirational words after being cast, Simone's estate shot back: "Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life."

"The fact of the matter is that, at this point in time, it's impossible to watch 'Nina" without hearing those words ringing in your ears," Indiewire wrote in its review of the film.

"It also felt more than a little contrary to what Simone stood for as a symbol of black female power whose music and personal aesthetic paid loud, proud homage to her African heritage," Uproxx said.



It doesn't help that there's an Oscar-nominated documentary on Simone currently on Netflix.

You can chalk this one up to bad timing, but many fans of Simone, or just curious cinephiles, were wowed last year with the release of the Liz Garbus documentary "What Happened, Miss Simone?" With her life fresh in their minds, critics can't help but compare the two.

"Her ups and downs were covered thoroughly in Liz Garbus’ 2015 documentary 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' 'Nina,' on the other hand, eschews its subject’s complexity in favor of a standard, sanitized biopic, and is much poorer for it,"Entertainment Weekly wrote.



Putting the scandal aside, the movie just isn't good.

"Focusing on Simone’s late-life relationship with a younger nurse-turned-manager provides a perilously shaky foundation from which to consider her legacy, and that’s just the first of many major miscalculations," Variety wrote. 

While TheWrap simply calls the movie "a new low for the musical biopic genre."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Jodie Foster says she cried the first time she put on her costume for 'Taxi Driver'

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Jodie Foster Dimitrios Kambouris Getty

The Tribeca Film Festival held a 40th anniversary screening of "Taxi Driver" Thursday night, and many of the principals behind the movie were there to talk about it, including director Martin Scorsese, screenwriter Paul Schrader, and stars Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shephard, and Harvey Keitel.

During the talk, Foster, who was 13 at the time of shooting, revealed what she thought of the costumes she had to wear to play Iris, the prostitute Travis Bickle (De Niro) saves at the end of the movie.

"I was mortified," she told the audience at the Beacon Theater in New York City. "Just the hot pants and the dumb hat and the sunglasses. The first day I met the costume designer and put on the clothes, I cried."

Jodie Foster Prostitute Taxi DriverFoster also said she had to go through a four-hour psychiatric evaluation just to star in the film.  

"The Board of Education didn't want me to work on it," Foster said. "A young actor needs to have a tutor on set and they said I couldn't have one so we hired a lawyer and they had to determine if I was psychologically sane enough to play the part and I passed."

When the film was released in 1976, some criticized the fact that Foster was subjected to such mature material, including a lot of violence, at a young age. But Foster said during the talk that she enjoyed the experience immensely, especially all of the fake blood in the movie's gory finale.

"Seeing these big gallons of kyro syrup [fake blood] and all the guys would teach me what they were doing with it, it was fascinating," she said. "People asked me how frightening that last scene was to shoot. Honestly, it was kind of fun." 

SEE ALSO: 41 movies you have to see this summer

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Proof that every Matt Damon poster is basically the same

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the martian

When the trailer for the upcoming "Jason Bourne" movie dropped, it came with a simple, stark poster.

Star Matt Damon's face is front and center with the tagline "You Know His Name" over it. Unlike previous films in the series, "The Bourne Identity" or "The Bourne Supremacy," the fifth film is simply the super spy's name: "Jason Bourne."

It seemed a reasonable, straightforward design until Tom Butler, deputy editor of Yahoo UK, made a very astute observation about the Damon's movie posters: Many of them are the same. Damon's face is featured prominently with simple text overlaid atop it.

The similarities are undeniable: 

The poster for the fifth Bourne movie banks on the character's infamy.



Last year's "The Martian" gave us Matt Damon in a space suit telling the audience he'll need saving.



Matt Damon didn't need any saving in the poster for 2013's "Elysium," which comes in even closer on his face. This time he was going to save us all.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tom Hanks realized he had to do this one thing to go from comedy star to serious actor

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Tom Hanks John Oliver Jamie McCarthy Getty

Tom Hanks wasn't always the iconic movie star we know him to be today.

Like most in Hollywood he started at the bottom. Beginning his career in the comedy realm with highlights like the TV show "Bosom Buddies" and later romantic comedies like "Splash,""Bachelor Party," and "The Money Pit" (to just name a few), he was building his stardom but not doing anything that was Oscar-worthy.

During a talk at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, moderated by John Oliver, the two-time Oscar winning actor admitted what he had to do to go from making forgettable movies like "Turner & Hooch" to classics like "Philadelphia."

"At one point in my mid 30s when I was making an awful lot of movies about the goofy headed guy who can't get laid, I realized then that I had to start saying a very very difficult word to people, which was no," said Hanks, referring to turning down roles.

forrest gumpAt that time in his career he was the star of movies like "The 'Burbs," and "Joe Versus the Volcano." In 1990 he starred in "The Bonfire of the Vanities," a movie that was considered a box office bust, though it was a turning point for Hanks because it was a serious role. Three years later would come "Philadelphia" followed by "Forrest Gump" a year later. He would win best actor Oscars for both roles.

"The odd lesson for that is I figured out that's how you end up making the favorable work you do," said Hanks. "Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play."

Hanks admits he still works too much, but the offers he gets now are a little more attractive than "Turner & Hooch"-type roles.

SEE ALSO: Here's the amazing story behind one of the most famous lines uttered in a movie

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Tom Hiddleston did some gory research to prepare for his latest movie

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highrise magnet releasing

When it comes to playing a part in a movie, Tom Hiddleston feels most comfortable when he knows everything his character does.

But for his latest movie, “High-Rise” (available on demand April 28 and in theaters May 13), the British actor did some gory research to play pathologist Dr. Robert Laing.

He witnessed a human autopsy being done, as in the movie there is a scene where his character does some work on a severed head (yes, this movie is really gory).

“There was no one I knew who had the authority of how to do this,” Hiddleston told Business Insider while attending the Tribeca Film Festival. “I didn't have the first clue. So I simply got in touch with a forensic pathologist in a hospital in England, and I went to see him for an afternoon. I went and watched him perform an autopsy on a human corpse, and it was not an easy experience.”

Though his character only briefly does surgery on the deceased, for the actor it was important for him that it looked as authentic as possible.

“If you have to preform something on camera, you want to make sure people who actually do that go, ‘Yeah, that's how you do that,’” he said. “Whether it's making an omelet or dissecting a disembodied head.”

SEE ALSO: INTERVIEW: Why Tom Hiddleston is the hardest-working actor in Hollywood right now

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Here's how the first movie about what it's like to be a woman on Wall Street got made

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Equity_press_1 Sony Pictures Classics

The financial world has been explored on the big screen from Gordon Gekko's greed in "Wall Street" to the housing market bust in "The Big Short," but a movie has never looked at this cutthroat world from a female perspective — until now.

For over two years, the movie "Equity" was the passion project of actresses Alysia Reiner (Natalie Figueroa in "Orange Is the New Black") and Sarah Megan Thomas, who — along with screenwriter Amy Fox — spent time embedded with females who work on Wall Street to capture the challenges they face through a compelling feature drama.

The project grabbed the attention of director Meera Menon and "Breaking Bad" star Anna Gunn, who signed on to play the film's lead, senior investment banker Naomi Bishop.

"I just wanted to know more about this world and this woman," Gunn told Business Insider about why she took on the role.

Menon felt the same way, as she was drawn in by the perspective of women working in a male-dominated work world.

"What really hooked me was Naomi's speech in the beginning about why she does what she does is because she likes money," Menon told Business Insider. "I wanted to understand who she was."

The film follows Naomi as, recently denied a promotion, she attempts to one-up her male colleagues by taking the IPO for the newest social-media platform that's taking the world by storm.

With only five months before cameras started rolling, Menon and Gunn worked on their prep. For Menon, it was creating, on an independent film budget, a world of high finance and luxuries that major players in the business live on.

Gunn not only talked to the people who confided in Reiner and Thomas — who also star in the movie — but she also found insight after taking a tour inside Goldman Sachs.

She admits that she was very keen to the fact that there were very few women there, but the ones she did meet helped greatly.

Equity Robin Marchant Getty

"We all had dinner that night, and in that less formal setting I got to do my detective work in terms of watching everyone and taking pieces of them all for Naomi," said Gunn.

Menon and Gunn said that they couldn't help but take some of the experiences from their own lives working in the male-dominant movie business and put it in the film.

"It's that feeling of scarcity and wanting more," said Gunn, comparing the lack of opportunities for women on Wall Street and the lack of roles for women in the movie business.

"The attitude of working 10 times harder to get half as far," Menon added. "The constant fight for relevance that I don't think men experience as acutely."

This is highlighted in a scene in "Equity," where Naomi, while frantic on the day her IPO opens on the market, finds that while having a snack with her team, the chocolate-chip cookie she's given has less chocolate chips than the cookies her male counterparts received. This makes her goes ballistic.

The scene is funny, but is also a social commentary on equal rights in the workplace that hasn't been lost on audiences. At the film's screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, many of the women in the audience cheered loudly during the scene.

"That's a story [Reiner and Thomas] was told of a real encounter that took place on the trading floor," said Menon.

"It was a scene that made us laugh in rehearsal, but we never realized the impact it would have with audiences," said Gunn.

Sony Pictures Classics bought the film at this year's Sundance Film Festival and will release it on July 29. As word of mouth begins to grow for the film, Gunn hopes that there's not just an empowerment female audiences get from the movie, but also an understanding that in a position of authority "likability" is not a necessity.

She said:

That's one thing I'm proud this movie is exploring, the whole concept of being likable. I remember a lot of the women saying that, too, when I did research, "There's a fine line to walk." Hopefully, that question of whether a woman in a leadership role is likable or not will cease to be such a thing and it will be about the person's talents and character and their goals. It's something that I feel men don't have to necessarily deal with.

"Equity"screens at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24.

SEE ALSO: Here's the amazing story behind one of the most famous lines ever uttered in a movie

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NOW WATCH: ‘Excuse me, I’m talking’: Watch Clinton and Sanders spar over Wall Street at the Democratic debate

41 movies you have to see this summer

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suicide squad margot warner bros final

Cheer up, summer is around the corner. And with that comes a whole lot of blockbusters from Hollywood, plus some comedy and surprising doses of thoughtful drama.

Wedged between the must-see titles like "Captain America: Civil War,""X-Men: Apocalypse," and "Suicide Squad" are Seth Rogen's "Neighbors 2" and the new "Ghostbusters," plus titles for the kids, like "Finding Dory" and "The Secret Life of Pets."

Here we break down 41 (!) movies that should be on your calendar this summer.

Release dates below subject to change.

SEE ALSO: Disney has 6 'Star Wars' movies planned through 2020 — here they are

"Captain America: Civil War" (Release Date: May 6)

The Avengers are up against their fiercest foes: themselves. In the third "Captain America" film, a rift in the group has led the superheroes to pick sides — Team Captain America and Team Iron Man. Heralded by many to be the best Marvel movie yet, this blockbuster has off-the-charts hype.



"High-Rise" (Release Date: May 13)

Tom Hiddleston continues to show the range of characters he can play as he stars in the latest from director Ben Wheatley. In this trippy thriller, he plays a doctor who moves into a swanky high-rise that is slowly making residents go mad.



"Money Monster" (Release Date: May 13)

Directed by Jodie Foster, this thriller starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts follows a popular financial TV host (Clooney) who is held hostage by an irate investor on his live television show.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Disney is on a tear at the box office as 'The Jungle Book' stays No. 1

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jungle book louie disney

Following a better-than-expected opening weekend last week where it raked in a massive $103.6 million, "The Jungle Book" took in a solid estimate of $60.8 million this weekend (dipping just 41% from last weekend) to hold onto the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office, according to pro.boxoffice.com.

That puts its total domestic gross to date at $191.48 million.

Disney's amazing 3D spectacle far outperformed this weekend's new release, "The Huntsman: Winter's War," a Universal Pictures film that only took in an estimated $20.1 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A prequel to 2012's "Snow White and the Huntsman,""Winter's War" had major stars like Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, and Emily Blunt. However, the film did not bring back Kristen Stewart, and that, matched with a Friday opening of just $7.3 million, may have led to the film bombing.

captain america civil warIt's likely we'll be talking about Disney titles atop the weekend box office for weeks to come.

"The Jungle Book" will likely go No. 1 next week, as its only competition are titles that won't draw massive numbers like the Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele comedy "Keanu," and "Mother's Day," which continues that start-studded (yet poorly executed) franchise that includes movies like "Valentine's Day" and "New Year's Eve."

After next weekend, "Captain America: Civil War" opens (May 6), will likely have a massive take. And who knows when that gravy train will end, as its biggest competition won't come until "X-Men: Apocalypse" on May 27.

Counting last week, it's possible Disney movies could be box office champs for six consecutive weeks!

With "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" expecting to make big business at the end of the year (not to mention "Zootopia" still making huge money worldwide in theaters), it's looking like Disney is going to have a heck of a 2016 at the box office.

SEE ALSO: Disney has 6 "Star Wars" movies planned through 2020 — here they are

Join the conversation about this story »

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A new 'X-Men: Apocalypse' trailer is here and it teases Wolverine

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magneto-debris-xmen

Fox just dropped a new trailer for its big summer movie "X-Men: Apocalypse" and it teases the return of everyone's favorite mutant — Wolverine.

In "Apocalypse," the X-Men, led by Xavier (James McAcoy) will go up against the original mutant, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), in a battle for the fate of the world.

Apocalypse wants to destroy and rebuild it in his image. Alongside him are his generals, The Four Horsemen – Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Archangel (Warren Worthington III), and Magneto (Michael Fassbender), seen for the first time since disappearing after the events of "Days of Future Past."

"X-Men: Apocalypse" is out in theaters May 27 and you can watch the X-citing new trailer below.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Here's everything leaving Netflix in May that you should watch

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Blade Runner Warner Bros

It’s that time again.

Titles are about to leave Netflix as we head into May, including standout titles “Blade Runner,” “Election,” “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” and “Clerks.”

Below is the full list.

We've highlighted some titles we think you should check out (or re-watch) before they're gone in bold.

SEE ALSO: Prince's incredible life: The 16 most memorable photos of the musician

Leaving May 1

“The Animatrix”
“Anna Karenina”
“Author! Author!”
“Beware of Mr. Baker”
“Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure”
“Broadway Idiot”
“Bus Stop”
“Election”
“The Good Life”
“Holiday Engagement”
“Kiss of Death”
“Mad Hot Ballroom”
“Mona Lisa Is Missing”
“Ralphie May: Austin-tatious”
“Terms And Conditions May Apply”
“That's What I Am”
“Thérèse”
“Truth or Die”
“Young & Handsome: An Evening with Jeff Garlin”



Leaving May 2

“Slightly Single in L.A.”



Leaving May 3

“JFK: The Smoking Gun” 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Everything we saw in the final 'X-Men: Apocalypse' trailer

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storm-vs-cyclops

The final "X-Men: Apocalypse" trailer is here, and the stakes have never been higher: "All of us against a god."

With Professor X, the longtime leader of the X-Men, missing, the once exiled Mystique returns to lead the X-Men against the fallen god Apocalypse. The trailer focuses on the rebellious shape-shifter, who went off on her own path at the end of the last movie, "X-Men: Days of Future Past."

The battle to save the world from Apocalypse, the original mutant, and his Four Horsemen, will force the X-Men to use their most powerful abilities. In the trailer, we saw each of them pushed to their limits and beyond and, in a surprise reveal, help from an old friend.

Here's everything we saw:

We begin at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. After the events of "Days of Future Past," things are peaceful.



But Mystique, reappearing after leaving the X-Men behind after the events of "Days of Future Past," warns Charles not to get comfortable.



"Just because there's not a war doesn't mean there's peace. He's coming."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why Disney will likely crush every other movie studio at the box office in 2016

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The Jungle Book disney final

Thanks in large part to its properties like Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, Disney banked its biggest box-office year ever in 2015 as it took in over $5.8 billion worldwide

But will 2016 be even bigger? It looks like it.

Disney has been dominating the box office so far this year. It's already crossed $1 billion at the international box office, thanks to the continued success of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the better-than-expected global strength of Walt Disney Animation’s hit “Zootopia.”

zootopia hopps disneyPassing the $1 billion milestone in March is the earliest Disney has marked that achievement.

Domestically, things are great, too, as Disney leads all studios with over $830 million in grosses. That’s up $149% from this time last year for the company.

A big reason for its early 2016 success is the dominance by titles "Zootopia" and "The Jungle Book."

Zootopia” opened to incredible reviews, which were then matched by the movie hitting No. 1 at the domestic box office for three straight weeks.

It's been even more impressive overseas, claiming the studio’s biggest animated debut in numerous territories and becoming the highest-grossing animated film in China

Word that “The Jungle Book” already had a sequel in the works before its release was a good sign, but then it blew away all expectations with a $103 million domestic opening. It then dipped only 41% with $60.8 million in its second weekend in theaters. 

Overseas, the movie has already surpassed its domestic total with over $340 million (the film now has a worldwide total of $533.5 million).

The bad news for other Hollywood studios? Disney is just getting started.

Its latest Marvel release, “Captain America: Civil War,” which many critics are calling the best Marvel movie yet, comes out May 6 and is projected to open domestically at a whopping $175 million. It's likely “The Jungle Book” will stay at No. 1 at the domestic box office until then.

And with competition for “Civil War” weak until the release of “X-Men: Apocalypse” on May 27, a Disney movie could possibly be No. 1 at the domestic box office for six straight weeks.

tony stark captain america civil warAnd by the time “Apocalypse” comes around, it's certainly possible that “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (yes, a Disney title), which goes up against the superhero flick, could actually win out.

“Don't count out ‘Alice,’” Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider. “The original debut was $116 million,” he noted, while the last X-Men movie, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” opened at $90.8 million, so it could be a photo finish that weekend.

After “Alice,” the Disney lineup looks impressive: “Finding Dory” (June 17), “The BFG” (July 1), “Doctor Strange” (November 4), “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (December 16).

“Every single big-budget Disney film on the release calendar in 2016 looks like a bona-fide hit,” Bock said.

And if smaller movies like “Pete’s Dragon” (August 12) and “Moana” (November 23) perform well, it’s just more fuel for the studio.

Though last year Universal edged out Disney with a $6.7 billion worldwide take, if things work out this year, the house that Mickey built and now Marvel protects will hit that coveted $6 billion mark and be the studio atop the mountain.

“What we're dealing with here is a super-studio, while all other competition are mere mortals,” Bock said of Disney. 

SEE ALSO: Here's everything leaving Netflix in May that you should watch

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Daisy Ridley shows off her Jedi skills for next 'Star Wars' movie in training footage

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In case you were wondering what Daisy Ridley has been up to since the incredible success of her breakout movie, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," she's been working on her Jedi skills. 

Here Ridley posted a video on Instagram of her doing wushu martial arts training (which is certainly related to the moves she'll have honed in the next "Star Wars" movie), using what looks like a practice lightsaber.

Fun side note: The person who shot the video is stuntman Liang Yang, who is best known in "Star Wars" lore as cult favorite TR-8R, a stormtrooper in "The Force Awakens."

"Star Wars: Episode VIII," the sequel to "Force Awakens," opens in theaters December 15, 2017.

SEE ALSO: Here's everything leaving Netflix in May that you should watch

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what 'Game of Thrones' stars look like in real life

Disney announced all its movies coming in the next 4 years — here's what you have to look forward to

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guardians of the galaxy gamora star lord

Disney provided some new info about its theatrical schedule stretching through 2019.

In addition to an ambitious movie plan announced last fall, the studio has called dibs on a few more weekends with untitled projects, including more fairy-tale adventures.

With the recent enormous success of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and the even more surprising staying power of "Zootopia" and "The Jungle Book," Disney really looks like the studio to beat. In fact, it's on track to have its biggest year ever at the box office.

Its lineup of movies includes a mix of animated films, superheroes, reboots, sequels, and multiple trips to a galaxy far, far away.

Here is everything you can expect to see from Disney from now through 2019:

SEE ALSO: 41 movies you have to see this summer

Picking up where "Age of Ultron" left off, "Captain America: Civil War" follows the new team of Avengers led by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). A major incident results in a huge rift between Rogers and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).



It will be released on May 6, 2016, and is the kickoff to summer-blockbuster season.



"Alice Through the Looking Glass" is the sequel to Tim Burton's 2010 take on the classic story. Burton won't return to direct, but he has signed on as a producer.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Filmmakers are already doing incredible things with virtual reality

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seth green holidays VR

Virtual reality isn't just for gaming. It could be the next hub for immersive visual storytelling.

The Tribeca Film Festival featured 18 virtual experiences for attendees at this year's festival inside a Virtual Arcade ranging from mini-documentaries and short stories to animated pictures.

Most shorts required participants to sit in a chair you could spin around in to explore each respective narrative while a few invited you to stand and become a fully-active participant.

Here are the six best shorts we saw at the festival.

"Old Friend" put me in the center of a music video I never wanted to leave.

The first short I tried out at Tribeca was one from VR studio Wevr in which I was dropped in the center of a vibrant world surrounded by a circle of colorful, muppet-like creatures.

When you look down at yourself, you find that you're also one of these colorful characters with waving, wiggling arms and legs. You may as well be an inflatable tubeman. A drum major appears and the next three to four minutes invite you into a psychedelic, synchronized marching band dance party.

It was difficult to restrain from wanting to join in, and I found I couldn't help but have a giant grin on my face the entire time. Creator Tyler Hurd created a nonsensical space filled with pure joy. 



"Holidays: Christmas VR" was an incredibly meta virtual experience.

Seth Green starred in one of the best VR shorts of the festival. When you first put the virtual reality headset on, you're in a theater watching Green's character in a screen as he tried to purchase a reality headset for the holiday. (Yes, it was very meta.) I won't spoil how he got his hands on one. Story aside, the best part of the short was the creative way in which Green's short made use of the technology.

Any time a character put on the fictional VR headset inside the video you became a person inside the virtual world. I was impressed how you were able to look down and see yourself as a person. Most of the VR experiences I tried either show you as a stationary object or as a non-existent, invisible spectator when you try to look down at your body. That ruins the illusion of being inside a virtual world slightly. 

You were also able to turn around to see your head. Any time you did it, you could see the fictional VR headset's logo, UVU, and it's tagline. If you discovered this before the short's end, it gave you a hint of where the story was heading.

 



"Killer Deal" shows the potential of horror in virtual reality.

This was one of the few shorts I had to wait in line for. Anytime I walked by, there was always a gaggle of people surrounding it, so I had pretty big expectations. 

I didn't realize until I tried it that the short starred Ian Ziering, of "90210" fame and the recent "Sharknado" films — something which made more sense knowing "Sharknado" director Anthony C. Ferrante was responsible for "Killer Deal."

In the short, you're a spectator in a hotel room during a machete convention. Ian Ziering returns to his room, but it appears someone else may already be there. He ends up going to toe-to-toe with a killer in a mask.

The overall experience was just all right. The dialogue and premise were a little cheesy, made moreso by squirts of what was obviously fake blood shooting out at you. To be fair, it seemed that was the point of the "over-the-top" horror experience.

There were definitely times I felt nervous and scared watching the short, especially when the light was shut off and you weren't sure what was happening in the room. There were two times where I held back jumping in my seat when the masked man came close to my face. (That's the weird thing about experiencing VR alone around a crowd of watching people. It's a little weird reacting and freaking out when no one else is having the same reaction alongside you.) 

Still, the nearly 10-minute short showed a lot of promise for what others can do with this genre in the future. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 8 best action movies on Netflix right now

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fist of legend

Nothing better showcases the divide between critics and audiences like action movies. Reliable box-office hits, but typically critical disasters, action movies can never have it both ways. Consider the last "Transformers" movie: an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a $1.1 billion dollar gross. Can action movies both kick ass and be well received critically?

Yes, they can. We came up with a list of eight films currently streaming on Netflix that are thrilling, intense, and applauded by critics. Read on to see the best-rated action films on Netflix: 

"On The Job" (2013)

Rotten Tomatoes score:100%

"On The Job" is a Filipino action thriller following two prisoners released by a shady government organization. But this isn't an act of good will. The two men are ruthless assassins wrapped into a black ops mission to kill targets on the government's hit list. And that's only the beginning. 

From the New York Times:

"Even at its most incomprehensible, the propulsive thriller “On the Job” is never less than arresting. Drawing energy from the rough-and-tumble seediness of its Metro Manila setting, this raw, twisty crime drama from the Filipino director Erik Matti begins with a blown-off face and never looks back." 

Watch the trailer.  | Stream the film. 



"Fist of Legend" (1994)

Rotten Tomatoes score:100%

Jet Li stars in this martial arts flick that doubles as an examination of the complex political history between China and Japan. Li stars as a Chinese student in Japan, avenging his master who was killed during the Japanese occupation of China. The escalating racial tensions serve as backdrops for the highly applauded combat scenes. 

From Laramie Movie Scope Review:

"As far as Chinese martial arts films go, this is one of the best I've seen. It is visually stunning with excellent color cinematography and the fight sequences staged by the best in the business."

Watch the trailer.  | Stream the film.



"City of God" (2002)

Rotten Tomatoes score:90%

Set in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, "City of God" is a Brazilian action drama that follows a young man, Rocket, as he finds himself drawn into the dark world of the Brazilian organized crime. The underbelly offers money and fame, but Rocket is always a breath away from either prison or death. The tagline, translated form Brazilian, describes his dilemma: "If you run, the beast catches you; if you stay, the beast eats you."

From Roger Ebert's review:

"Breathtaking and terrifying, urgently involved with its characters, it announces a new director of great gifts and passions: Fernando Meirelles. Remember the name. The film has been compared with Scorsese's "GoodFellas," and it deserves the comparison." 

Watch the trailer.  | Stream the film.



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RANKED: The 10 movies most likely to dominate this summer

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For Hollywood studios, the time between May and August can make or break a year.

Blockbusters have become the lifeblood of the studio system. The popularity of comic-book adaptations and sequels released in the summer led to a record-breaking 2015 at the box office (with a little help from “Star Wars” later in the year). 

As we prepare for another summer-movie onslaught, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to break down the most anticipated titles and what has the best shot at getting to the top of the heap.

Compiling box-office projections, our own poll of readers, and the hype machine, here's our ranking of the biggest summer movies of 2016.

SEE ALSO: 41 movies you have to see this summer

10. “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” (May 20)

One of the few comedies to crack the top 10 in our power ranking, this sequel is riding the wave of love for the first "Neighbors" from 2014, and the charm of Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne combined.

The movie came in third in a survey of most anticipated summer comedies by the country’s largest movie ticket seller, Fandango.

And with the original taking in over $150 million at the box office, there’s certainly a fan base who will run to its opening weekend — that’s evident with over 13 million having viewed the trailer on YouTube.



9. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (May 27)

Though it doesn’t have the instant draw of other family-friendly titles coming out this summer, the sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 “Alice in Wonderland” promises to be visually stunning and wacky.

Burton is only in the producer role this time around, but with Johnny Depp returning as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as Alice, it's the third-most-anticipated family movie, according to the Fandango survey.

Wth the original earning over $1 billion worldwide at the box office in 2010, don’t be surprised if this “Alice” sequel becomes a major earner for Disney this year.



8. “Central Intelligence” (June 17)

There are no two actors more on the rise than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart, so pairing them together in a film makes a lot of sense.

Both have an incredible reach on social media, and their previous movies have had impressive earnings.

Opening the same weekend as “Finding Dory” won’t affect the film's box office since the audience is different, and if it can bring something new to the buddy-comedy genre, this could be a sleeper hit of the summer.



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The trailer for 'Snowden' with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the whistleblower is here

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The trailer for Oliver Stone's highly anticipated film about Edward Snowden is now here.

In "Snowden," Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the man who was responsible for revealing NSA surveillance activity.

What stands out is that it looks like Stone is going to tell the story as a political thriller, detailing the secretive way Snowden took the information that would make him a hero to some and a traitor to others. And it looks at what exactly motivated Snowden's actions.

And then there's Gordon-Levitt's imitation of Snowden's voice, which will certainly lead to a lot of talk on social media.

See (and hear) it for yourself here. "Snowden" opens in theaters September 16.

 

SEE ALSO: HBO wants Beyoncé's "Lemonade" to win an Emmy, and is has a great shot

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Here's how 'Keanu' got Keanu Reeves to play a cat in the movie

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Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele had a simple dream for their action-comedy “Keanu,” in which the two comedians search for a lost cat.

They wanted Keanu Reeves to be the voice of the cat.

Key and Peele, along with the film’s director, Peter Atencio, put in the ask through Reeves’ people and quickly received a polite “no.”

But then Keanu saw the trailer for “Keanu.”

“Apparently his sister showed him the trailer and said, 'Hey, you gotta see this. You’re gonna love this!' He flipped out and got in touch with us directly,” Atencio told the LA Times

But the problem was the film was practically finished. Atencio was putting the final touches on it for its South by Southwest festival premiere back in March.

Then the director thought of a scene in which Peele’s character has a drug hallucination and the cat, named Keanu, guides him through his trip.

“We wanted to expand on that anyway, so we thought he could do the voiceover for the cat in that scene,” Atencio said.

Reeves was in Italy making “John Wick 2,” but he was able to get into a recording studio in Rome, and Atencio gave the "Speed" star direction via Skype.

“I spent an hour recording a bunch of dialogue,” Atencio said. “They hooked it up so that I could talk and he could hear it in his headphones. The studio [Warner Bros.] was wanting him to drop a bunch of references to his old movies. But we didn’t want to make it overt or too pointed. We don’t want him to do, like, his ‘Bill and Ted’ voice and beat you over the head with it. And he had great ideas for lines. He was having fun with it.”

“Keanu” opens in theaters on Friday. Check out the NSFW trailer:

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 movies most likely to dominate this summer

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