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Julia Roberts was paid $3 million for 4 days of work on her latest movie

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mothers day 1

Julia Roberts may not have a lot of screen time in the new comedy “Mother’s Day,” which opened in theaters over the weekend, but she certainly got paid like she was the star.

The actress, who only worked on the film for four days, was paid $3 million for her supporting role, according to Variety

When Roberts was one of the biggest stars on the planet, in romantic comedies like “Notting Hill” and “Runaway Bride,” she became the first woman to get paid $20 million for a movie when she played the lead in “Erin Brockovich,” for which she won an Oscar.

Though she can’t command that kind of price anymore, what she got for “Mother’s Day” proves she can still take in a big paycheck for a relatively minor amount of work.

It doesn't look like her star wattage helped the movie any, though. "Mother's Day," which also featured Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson, debuted to a soft $8.30 million. That's the lowest opening of any of the Garry Marshall-directed holiday comedies ("Valentine's Day,""New Year's Eve") before it.

Adding further insult, Julia Roberts' terrible wig became a recurring punchline for critics of the movie, who made it already one of the worst-reviewed of the year.

This has been a recurring theme for Roberts of late. Last year’s “The Secret in their Eyes” only earned $32.1 million worldwide, and though she received a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for 2013’s “August Osage County,” the film only had a worldwide gross of $74.1 million

Roberts hopes to rebound on May 13 when she stars opposite George Clooney in the thriller “Money Monster,” directed by Jodie Foster.

SEE ALSO: The 5 most talked-about moments from this week's "Game of Thrones"

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J.K. Rowling apologizes for another death in 'Harry Potter' and explains why she did it

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Remus Lupin harry potter warner bros

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling kept her tradition of apologizing and explaining one death on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts on Monday.

The bloody battle saw Voldemort's forces descend on Harry Potter, his teachers, his classmates, and the secret society of wizards against Voldemort, The Order of the Phoenix.

This year, Rowling chose to explain why Remus Lupin "had to die."

Professor Lupin was a friend of Harry Potter's parents while they attended Hogwarts, and became one of Harry's substitute parents. He was also a werewolf, having been bitten by the werewolf Greyback at a young age. He died during the Battle of Hogwarts. His death hit fans especially hard, because his wife Tonks also died, leaving their young son an orphan.

Rowling said Lupin's fate was attached to another character, Arthur Weasley. Arthur was Harry Potter's best friend Ron's father. 

 

Last year, on this day, Rowling apologized for killing Fred Weasley during the Battle, which she said was the "worst [death] for me, so I started with him.”

SEE ALSO: An eye-opening new 'Harry Potter' fan theory will change how you think about the books

SEE ALSO: J.K. Rowling just set the record straight on the most controversial character in the 'Harry Potter' series

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'Space Jam 2' starring LeBron James is officially happening

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lebron james

After years of rumors, it looks like we're one step closer to having a sequel to the Michael Jordan-starring 1996 live-action/animated movie "Space Jam."

This time LeBron James will be the lead and "Fast and Furious 6" director Justin Lin will be directing, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Sources say the project is in the early stages with Lin and screenwriter Andrew Dodge working on a script. 

Chatter about the sequel became a hot topic again when James, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers and is arguably the best basketball player on the planet, signed a partnership with Warner Bros. to create TV, film, and digital content. 

The idea of James taking on the film then became even more realistic after the universally positive reaction he got playing a version of himself in the comedy "Trainwreck."

The original film, in which Jordan plays basketball with many memorable Looney Tunes characters, was a breakthrough in melding live action and animation, and it earned over $230 million at the box office.

 

SEE ALSO: 6 things you probably missed on this week's "Game of Thrones"

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The best action movie out right now cost just $5 million to make, and is more intense than anything by Marvel or Disney

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Green Room Movie

The big summer blockbusters are starting to roll out, but the best action movie you can see in theaters today has gotten a lot less hype than "The Jungle Book" and "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

"Green Room," directed by Jeremy Saulnier, was shot on a budget of just $5 million, according to Vox. This pales in comparison to the $175 million spent on "The Jungle Book" and the $250 million needed for "Batman v Superman."

But "Green Room" provides nonstop thrills, from its bloody start to its even bloodier ending. The film has received positive reviews in film festivals and generous critical praise, yet continues to see a smaller audience than it deserves.

Here's why you need to watch "Green Room" when it hits your local multiplex:

The premise is gripping

A punk band, living from cheap gig to cheap gig, reluctantly takes a job at a neo-Nazi-run bar in Oregon. The crowd is raucous, but the show goes well. After witnessing a murder backstage, however, the band is held hostage and finds itself at war with an army of skinheads.

This is a movie of counterculture vs. counterculture.

Green Room Movie

It doesn't feel like any movie made today

"Green Room" takes place in the present. Characters use cellphones, which actually end up being part of the film's most inciting incident. But the movie feels like it's from a completely different era.

Movies about punk bands are rare these days, let alone ones that uses violence this graphically. "Green Room" evokes survival-based horror classics like "Deliverance" and "Straw Dogs." But while those movies are about civilization creeping in on the uncivilized, this one is about two fringe groups, one worse than the other, butting heads.

It's a great movie to experience with a crowd

There are two types of movies that are vastly improved by a live audience's reaction: comedy and horror. "Green Room" contains a little of both. It is great on its own, but really feeds off the energy of a crowd.

Patrick Stewart Green Room

One such scene in particular is the moment when the band members and their new friend-by-circumstance Amber (Imogen Poots) have a standoff on opposite sides of a door, as the bar's owner (Patrick Stewart) stands on one side, promising to let them leave unharmed if they surrender. Like much of the movie, the scene is unbearably tense, so expect to hear a lot of screaming and shouting in your theater.

The characters are great

If Saulnier were a bad director, it would feel like this movie was created simply for shock value. Luckily, with just two other films under his belt ("Murder Party" and "Blue Ruin"), he is one of the best filmmakers working today. Besides his eye for action, Saulnier creates characters you really come to care about.

Saulnier was actually in a punk band at one point in his life, and you feel that a lot of the movie draws from this.

Except for the flesh-eating dogs, of course.

Sure, this is a small movie and you might just want to wait until it comes out On Demand. But this is the sort of rare film you should rush out to see on the big screen.

Just prepare yourself for some gore.

"Green Room" is now playing nationwide.

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Hollywood has gotten even worse at portraying LGBT characters, study says

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Get Hard Warner Bros

Hollywood has always been bad at representing LGBT characters, but it looks like 2015 was a new low.

A study by GLAAD of 126 studio movies released in 2015 found that only 22 titles (17.5 percent) had characters identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. And of those, 73 percent gave less than 10 minutes of screen time to the LGBT character.

That measly 17.5 percent is the same as in 2014. But what turned out to be worse in 2015 is those 22 titles that included LGBT characters had a historic low rating in the “Vito Russo test,” which is what GLAAD created to rate how an LGBT character is portrayed in a movie (character not solely defined by their sexual orientation, character tied to the plot, etc.).

Among the worst offenders in 2015 were two Kevin Hart movies, “Get Hard” and “The Wedding Ringer.” The study stated that the films “contain more blatant and incessant gay panic humor than we have seen in a Hollywood film in years.”

20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony Columbia Pictures, and Universal Pictures all received ratings of "Adequate," while Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. all received a "Failing" grade for their portrayals of LGBT people.

No studio received a rating of “Good.”

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Our 24 favorite military movies everyone should see

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Few things have the power to transport people as the cinema.

Who can forget Robert Williams' "Good morning, Vietnam" to Marine Corps DI Hartman's memorable quotes.

The following list is of our favorite military movies.

The Longest Day (1962)

The Longest Day tells the story of heroism and loss that marked the Allies' successful completion of the Normandy Landings on D-Day during World War II.

The film stands out due to its attention to detail, as it employed many Axis and Allied D-Day participants as advisors for how to depict the D-Day landings in the movie.



Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)

Based on the exploits of British Army Lieutenant T. E. Lawrence during World War I, Lawrence of Arabia tells the story of Lawrence's incredible activities in the Middle East. The film captures both Lawrence's daring, his struggles with the horrific violence of World War I, and the incredible British role in the foundation of the modern Middle East and Saudi Arabia.



The Great Escape (1963)

The Great Escape is based on a novel of the same name, which was a non-fiction account of a mass escape from a German prison camp in Poland during World War II. The film follows several British German prisoners of war as they try to escape from the Nazis and make their way back to Allied-controlled territory. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This movie about the universe has been 30 years in the making, and it's finally coming out

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voyage of time

Reclusive filmmaker Terrence Malick has dazzled us with incredible imagery for over 40 years, and now he's finally giving us his most ambitious project yet.

For 30 years, Malick has been working on “Voyage of Time,” which is a documentary that examines the birth of the universe, and according to an IMAX press release, the film will finally come out on its massive screens October 7.

The project was first in production in the late 1970s at Paramount, then titled “Q.” But Malick ended up walking away from the project and since then has shot pieces of footage all over the world between making his other films.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the October 7 release on IMAX screens will be a 40-minute version narrated by Brad Pitt. There are also plans for a feature-length version of the documentary, the first ever by Malick, that will be narrated by Cate Blanchett. But no release date has been set yet for the longer version.

International sales company Wild Bunch describes the film as: "A celebration of the earth, displaying the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse. This film examines all that went to prepare the miracle that stands before us now. Science and spirit, birth and death, the grand cosmos and the minute life systems of our planet — all come together in Malick's most ambitious film to date."

SEE ALSO: This is the most bizarre movie-set story ever — from an actor in mysterious director Terrence Malick's new "Knight of Cups"

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There are 4 hidden reasons Pixar movies are so visually compelling

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wall-e pixar

Danielle Feinberg's work is so good, you'd probably never even notice it.

But that's kind of the point if you're a director of photography at Pixar, where one of Feinberg's most important jobs is adding the appropriate lighting to a film. Without Feinberg's touch, films such as "Wall-E,""Brave," and "Monsters, Inc.," wouldn't be nearly as rich or complex.

Feinberg recently gave a TED talk in which she described this delicate art, and she shared with Tech Insider four key considerations that make a film magical.

 

1. Color

Pixar movies are not dull. They burst with color, and masterfully use each hue to tell stories.

Feinberg points to "Wall-E," a movie about a lonely robot that finds love. The movie doesn't use dialogue in the first 40 minutes of the film, so Feinberg had to find a way to communicate where Wall-E lived without words.

"We realized very quickly that if we let things go too red — the clouds, the dust, the atmosphere — it began to look like Mars," she says. "We all seem to have this ingrained notion that red equals Mars. So I had to be very careful to keep the colors of that monochromatic version of Earth in the whites, yellows, and oranges but never let it get too red."

Here are a few shots, known as progression images in lighting designer lingo, that show how the various color schemes for "Wall-E" changed over time. What begins as gray and overcast, but otherwise ordinary, ends up as a smog-filled wasteland.

wall ewall e1wall e2

The final result is clearly dystopian, but still suggests that Wall-E is living on Earth.

"Every department is helping to tell the story," Feinberg says, "but here just small changes in the color of the lighting could have ruined everything" by confusing the audience about something as basic as which planet the story is set on.



2. Nature

Unlike movies that take place on land, where creating the look of air only involves some haze or wisps of wind, creating believable underwater scenes presented a unique challenge for Feinberg while working on the 2003 film "Finding Nemo."

Feinberg had to find a way to situate audience inside Australia's Great Barrier Reef without dialing up the colors too much, in order to preserve the actual look of the ocean. One tool the team has, she says, is a light they call "murk."

"We use it to set the visibility of the water [by] decontrasting the objects as we go away from the camera, until they are the same contrast as surrounding things," Feinberg says, "so you can't make out any detail thus losing visibility and the color."

A good example of that is the scene in which Nemo and company are riding the East Australian Current (EAC) as if it were a giant underwater roller coaster.

turtle Crush finding nemo"With the turtles riding the East Australian Current, we set the visibility of the water to be much deeper than you would ever see in real life, to help tell the story, by showing the EAC and what it is the turtles are in for their roller coaster ride," Feinberg says.

"With 'Nemo,' the lighting is not only setting up the world that is critical to the story," she adds, "but also able to set the mood without impacting the believability of the world for the audience."



3. Theme

Sometimes lighting cues can add to the tone of the overall story. Happy stories aren't set in darkness. They're bright and cheery.

In the 2012 film "Brave," Feinberg had to find a way to convey Merida's uncertainty and trepidation through the film's lighting, all while making considerations for where the story takes place.

"The lighting design I came up with for the scenes in the forest had all the light cutting off outside a little area we set up around the characters and action," she says. "The Scottish mist then hung around these dark silhouettes of trees and vegetation in the distance."

Brave Pixar

Visually, this helped calm "the busyness of the forest," but also made it easier for the audience to understand the story thematically.

"It helps with the idea that there are a lot of unknowns in that forest — magic, bears, witches," says Feinberg. "It is also the place where our main character, Merida, is figuring out who she is going to be in the world, venturing out into the great unknown of the forest and adulthood."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why 'Captain America: Civil War' is the best Marvel superhero movie yet

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captain america civil war team

Be sure to have your ticket for "Captain America: Civil War" when it opens this Friday, because you won't want to be left out of the conversation come Monday.

The hype is real, folks.

The latest Marvel movie matching Team Cap versus Team Iron Man proves that, though there are many trying to do it, Marvel Studios is the best storyteller when it comes to superhero movies.

Under the direction of Anthony and Joe Russo ("Captain America: The Winter Soldier"), "Captain America: Civil War," as the title suggests, puts the focus on Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). But what sets this standalone Marvel movie apart is the inclusion of so many of the Avengers.

As with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," collateral damage sets the stage for the action. In "Civil War," it's the death of innocent people when Scarlet Witch saves Captain America from an explosion, but sadly it goes into a building instead.

This leads to 117 countries signing the Sokovia Accords, named after the country that was the site of the huge battle in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." The hope is that the Avengers agree to stand down until they are called upon by a UN panel.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Vision (Paul Bettany), and others are for signing it, while Captain America and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) don't see the reason to be policed.

This starts the friction that only grows when The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is accused of setting off a bomb at the meeting of the declaration of the accord.

spiderman captain america civil warI won't say much about what transpires next, only to add that the appearances of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) are highlights that make you excited for their standalone films. And the appearances of other Avengers during a key battle is thrilling.

This is all a testament to Marvel and Disney's creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been built up for years now. "Civil War" is the payoff when all those pieces are used to perfection.

It's extremely difficult to create a movie like "Civil War," in which so many characters (established and new, by movie standards) must have a chunk of screen time for the audience to get sucked in. But the Russo brothers do it flawlessly (thanks to a 146-minute running time), giving us layered performances while also telling a story about principle and loyalty that never feels rushed.

Warner Bros. and DC Comics can certainly take notes from MCU. As "Batman v Superman" tried but stumbled in laying the groundwork for its dark universe filled with conflict and adult themes, "Civil War" proves you can have all of that — and some lighthearted fun along the way.

 

SEE ALSO: "Space Jam 2" starring LeBron James is officially happening

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The $35,000 device that celebrities and the super-rich use at home to stream movies still in theaters

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Prima, Entertainment, Movie

What happens when you are rich and famous and want to see the latest movies, but don’t want the hassle of going to the multiplex? You call Prima Cinema.

As the debate over Sean Parker’s plan that would allow you to stream first-run theatrical movies for $50 a pop rages on, studio moguls in the Hollywood Hills, top CEOs, and sports legends already enjoy watching many of the current blockbusters in the comfort of their living rooms and private screening rooms.

That's all thanks to Prima.

The six-year-old company has avoided the controversy attached to Parker's ambitious startup, Screening Room, because it has already sold Hollywood studios on its one-of-a-kind antipiracy security. And then there’s the prohibitively expensive price.

To be a Prima Cinema customer, you must be willing to pay $35,000 to install its system and cough up $500 every time you want to watch a movie.

How Cruise, Affleck, and Tarantino channel the old-school Hollywood mogul

tom cruiseThe concept for Prima Cinema dates back to the old guard in Hollywood during the 1930s.

The “Bel Air Circuit” is an exclusive exhibition service used by movie executives and A-list stars in Hollywood who are provided first-run movies at their homes at their convenience.

It was created by studio heads like Louis B. Mayer and Daryl Zanuck in the 1930s, when a projectionist with a screen and a projector would travel around the swanky Bel Air area in Los Angeles with 35mm or 70mm prints of movies still in theaters and set up private screenings at the houses of the rich and famous by appointment.

The circuit still goes on today for the likes of Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, and Harvey Weinstein, except now the movies are digitally streamed.

In the early 2000s, Prima cofounder and CEO Shawn Yeager, along with his partners, realized that thanks to technology the Bel Air Circuit could be expanded to a much wider net of rich people who would love the luxury of watching first-run movies at home.

The San Diego-based company took two years not just to create a set-top box that would prevent piracy, but also sell the studios on handing over their most prized movie titles. Tough as it might seem, Yeager and his partners had an unlikely ally: the 2008 financial collapse.

“In some ways it was perfect timing,” Yeager told Business Insider. “It was probably the only time in the last 100 years that due to the pain that bubbled from that you could convince a studio that theatrical distribution in the home was viable. Before then they would have just shut you down.”

By 2010, Prima had raised its first capital. Universal even invested and provided the first titles for the service (other studios have equity stakes). Now the company offers movies from Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, Focus Features, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Magnolia Pictures, STX Entertainment, and Gravitas Ventures (it's still in talks to show titles from companies like Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony).

Ultratight fingerprint ID security for '$1 billion worth of assets'

The reason Prima got the backing of so many major studios is simple: It created a secure path for studios to stream movies directly to the Prima devices with, the company claims, zero worry of piracy.

As Yeager puts it, Prima security has to be even more intense than what movie theaters have.

"We have literally created the most secure distribution platform for filmed entertainment in the world," he said.

Let's break that down: Prima doesn't just inspect its own technology to prevent piracy; it also looks into the people using it. A background check is done on all potential customers before they can get their hands on a device, to make sure they have good intentions. A "lengthy" contract, according to Yeager, spells out the responsibilities of streaming the content from the studios.

If a customer owns a screening room, it can have no more than 25 seats. You must have a screen that's at least 100 inches on the diagonal. You also need a static IP address and a fast internet connection, because when you're paying this kind of money, the last thing you want is a movie freezing in the middle of playing.

Because of that, all of the movies available on Prima for the upcoming weekend are downloaded into the device three days in advance.

"That means at any given point there can be between $300 million and $1 billion worth of assets sitting in your home," Yeager said.

Prima, Entertainment, MovieThen there's one last step to enjoy the service: Prima uses biometric authentication to activate its device, meaning that the company enrolls your fingerprint on the device so you will have to swipe your finger every time you want to see a movie.

"We basically create a forensic trail from the time the film leaves a studio all the way through the time a client purchases a movie," Yeager said. "So your cousin that's in town can't just sit down and watch a movie."

And if you ever wanted to bring the Prima to your cousin's, forget it. The hard drive has been built to stay in one place forever. At 65 pounds and made of mild steel, the device has sensors, so if it's ever moved it would know.

It's all about the experience

Though Yeager would not reveal how many customers Prima has, he did say that CEOs of major corporations, celebrities, and sports stars are all among Prima owners. And often they're using it multiple times a weekend.

"This one client tells us he'll watch the same movie four times over a weekend," Yeager said. "He'll watch it on a Friday, his kids will come by and watch it Saturday, then they'll have friends over Saturday night, and then Sunday people from out of town will watch."

Just a reminder: You have to pay $500 every time you watch a movie on Prima, so that's a cool $2,000 spent over a weekend.

And the Prima experience is only going to improve this summer when its 4k version comes out. To give you a sense of how that will look, Blu-ray is an 8-bit format, and 4k Prima will be 12-bit (it's currently 10-bit).

"The new Blu-ray standard is just now getting to where Prima has been for five years," Yeager said. "With the 4k, if you have the equipment and build the room correctly, you will have the best theatrical experience."

And it will come with a cost. You're probably looking at $50,000 to purchase the 4k version (at the moment, Yeager isn't planning to change the $500 per-viewing price).

So why isn't Prima getting any flak in Hollywood? Simply put, it's too high-end to hurt the theater business in any significant way. Plus, the money to purchase titles goes straight to the studios, which count it toward the films' box office.

"We have literally created an entirely new market segment that didn't exist for this industry," Yeager said.

In other words, if you're, say, Brad Pitt, and you want to watch "Jason Bourne" when it comes out this summer, you're almost definitely not going to deal with the headache of showing up to a public venue to do it. Especially if, like Brad Pitt, you can fairly easily afford to download it with Prima.

From Yeager's point of view, Sean Parker's Screening Room is a direct disruption to the current exhibition model. He doesn't think the movie business will go for it simply because they don't stand to make money off of it.

"The movie business is smart enough to realize that you never want to trade analog dollars for digital pennies, which is what would happen under that scenario," he said.

Asked if Prima would ever consider a scaled-down version of its service that would be more affordable for the average moviegoer, Yeager replied that "he'd never say never," but for now the company is focused on bringing the full theatrical experience to the home — with all the security and high-resolution quality that entails.

"It's the experience that matters," he said. "That's what keeps people coming back for films. And we think we have the best experience in the world."

SEE ALSO: 41 movies you have to see this summer

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Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell break all the parenting rules in the 'Bad Moms' trailer

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BadMomsSTXEntertainment

The writers of "The Hangover" are directing this summer comedy that follows Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Kathryn Hahn as three moms who are over the conventional standards they're held to and decide to have some long-sought-after fun. 

"Bad Moms" also stars Christina Applegate and Jada Pinkett Smith as strict PTA moms who Bell, Kunis, and Hahn rebel against. 

If it's anything like "The Hangover" movies, expect some outlandish stunts and big laughs, and a lot of tickets sold. 

Watch the trailer below. The movie opens July 29.

SEE ALSO: "Space Jam 2" starring LeBron James is officially happening

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 4 important things you probably missed on this week's 'Game of Thrones'

'Captain America: Civil War’ is the movie ‘Batman v Superman’ wanted to be

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captain america civil war

"Captain America: Civil War" is a much better version of "Batman v Superman."

Not only does the film juggle a dozen major superheroes pretty seamlessly, but it somehow manages to tell a cohesive story while not making the film feel too stuffed or overcomplicated.

After a NYC screening of "Civil War" ended Monday evening, the man on my right declared that this was the movie "BvS" director Zack Snyder thought he made.

I had that very same thought while watching the film.

Now, that's not easy for me to say. I love Batman. And while I did not detest Warner Bros.’ big budget "Batman v Superman" movie as much as most critics, I couldn’t shake the feeling that "Civil War" was the movie Warner Bros. wanted to make. 

That’s mostly because, on paper, these two movies are essentially identical. If I was to tell you a quick, rough summary of either movie, it would read the same:

The superheroes deal with the fallout of their previous big action flick ("Man of Steel"/"Avengers: Age of Ultron"). After one more mishap, the government gets involved to enforce superhero regulation. As a result, the superheroes are pit against each other for the entire movie only to learn in the third act that a madman mastermind orchestrated everything with the intention of the heroes tearing each other apart.

captain america civil war batman v superman

"Batman v Superman" was about playing catch up to Marvel’s big Cinematic Universe. In doing so, a lot was thrown into the film. Some things worked, like Ben Affleck’s Batman. Many others — Doomsday, the insertion of extraneous superheroes for future films, and that random bathtub scene with a nude Lois Lane — didn't.

"Civil War" did everything "BvS" tried to do in a big superhero film pretty effortlessly, and while catering to a larger rotating cast of characters. When you put a group of beloved superheroes on a large stage together, you shouldn’t just have them fighting each other for the sake of fighting. As a viewer, you want to see characters who don’t know each other meet for the first time. What would it be like if Spider-Man met Iron Man? How would Ant-Man get along with Hawkeye? "Civil War" answers those questions and more.

paul rudd civil war

Where "BvS" failed to deliver fun, witty dialogue between its trinity of heroes in costume, "Civil War" succeeds ten-fold. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man fanboys over meeting Captain America (Chris Evans), Ant-Man messes with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) comments on the logic of Captain’s shield.

Falcon and Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) also have a fun love-hate relationship. At one point, the two are seated in a hilariously tiny Beatle. They look hilarious in it. When Bucky asks Falcon if he can move his seat up, without looking at him, Falcon adamantly says no. That received the biggest laugh at my screening.

That’s something Marvel is so good at doing — injecting a sense of humanity into its films through a mixture of humor and empathy.

"Civil War" is about more than just superheroes going to battle and it’s not all fun and games. It becomes a question of whether superheroes should be granted unlimited freedom to act without government supervision. When Captain America’s former best friend Bucky is wanted for a crime he didn’t commit, he sides with him against a majority of the Avengers. The question for him becomes how far do you go for a friend? What are you willing to risk for something that you believe in — your freedom? Your reputation?

captain america tony stark civil war

The Avengers really don’t want to go to battle because the people on each of the two sides see each other as an extended family of sorts. They care about each other, whether they’ll admit it or not. That’s evident when Steve Rogers asks Tony Stark about his uncertain relationship with Pepper Potts and when Black Widow and Hawkeye are facing off. The two friends don't try to kill one another. They don’t even give it their all, and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) calls Hawkeye out on that.

Where the film really pays off is with its big action sequences. Though we’ve seen a majority of them teased in trailers and television spots, they are some of the best of any Marvel movie. Pretty much every review talks about the big airport scene teased in the film’s trailers. That was hands-down the most satisfying scene of any Marvel movie I’ve ever watched. Others have said this, but I would watch that scene on loop several times over and it would still not be enough. I’m not even going to say anything more about it because it should just be experienced in theaters.

And that’s not the only large fight sequence to get excited about. There are multiple superhero team ups and takedowns throughout the film for fans to enjoy, including a showdown between Iron Man, Captain America, and The Winter Soldier.

CivilWar Disney

Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther is a commanding presence any time he's on screen as the prince of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He’ll be getting his own standalone movie in 2018. And once again, Vision (Paul Bettany) is a wonderful comedic relief. For whatever reason, his AI wears a few sweaters in the film. Whoever thought to put clothes on the AI, bravo. It’s so distractingly delightful.

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The overall scene stealer is Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. The film wastes no time trying to tell the webslinger’s backstory, he’s just inserted into the fray, and it works. After five Spider-Man films since 2002, if you don’t know his origin story by now (bitten by a radioactive spider, gets spider-like abilities) then you’ve probably been living under a rock. But unlike the previous men in the role (Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield), Peter Parker — who’s a teen when he gets his powers in the comics — is finally being played by, you guessed it, a teen.

And he refreshingly acts like a young kid with superpowers would. Unlike the other heroes, he’s overly chatty in fight sequences. His rapport with Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark on screen is the kicker: Stark refers to him as Spider-ling and Spider-Boy while inquiring about his hot Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). I would watch an entire movie with those two together. (Good news. We’ll get to see them together again in a new Spider-Man.)

A close second is Robert Downey Jr. If this wasn't a Captain America movie, it could easily be an Iron Man movie with Stark's snarky quips and one liners. However, beneath the billionaire's haughty ego, "Civil War" reveals a vulnerable layer of emotional depth to Stark's character you probably weren't expecting to receive in a big ensemble picture.

tony stark civil war

"Civil War" isn’t the best superhero movie ever or Marvel’s best movie yet, as many critics have said. It’s up there, but I think Joss Whedon’s "The Avengers" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" are better. The film starts off a bit slow, wading us through the UN’s plan to get all of the "enhanced" humans to sign some paperwork approved by 117 countries to relinquish their rights as free Avengers. Up until the hour mark you’re watching Tony Stark chase down Steve Rogers, trying to convince him to sign said papers. Thrilling stuff. If you’ve watched the trailers, you’re just waiting around to see the heroes join sides with Captain America or Iron Man. Once you get past the one hour mark, it’s all action-packed smooth sailing.

One of the other complaints I have about the film is the main villain. While the character himself is a longstanding Avengers comic villain, in the film, he doesn’t appear to be much more than a mere mortal. If you’re a casual viewer, you may leave the film going, "That guy was able to pull one over on the Avengers?"

If a superpowerless man is able to turn the Avengers against themselves, I fear what an alien like Thanos (who has been hinted since 2012’s "The Avengers") can do to the team. It’s not looking so good. 

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The film itself has too much location jumping as well. There are over half a dozen location changes across the film which seems a bit unnecessary. It’s not a subtle transition either thanks to the giant lettering that crowds the screen any time the film swaps venues. It was rather distracting and took you out of the film for a few seconds every time.

"Civil War" may not be a perfect film, but it’s a grand illustration of what makes Marvel’s superhero movies so successful — they’re fun, relatable, and easily accessible for general audiences who have never picked up a comic book. As the other studios try to play catch-up with Marvel’s cinematic universe on the big screen, they should take note.

As always, don’t forget to stick around after the credits, but you’re probably used to that by now.

"Captain America: Civil War" is in theaters Friday.

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These 5 movies on Netflix will open your eyes about how food is really made

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Where does your food come from? What's in it? 

It'll take more than a glance at the label to see what's actually in your food. And that's the problem. As we've made certain foods cheaper and more readily available, we've distanced ourselves from its production, letting the fast food and sugar industries make decisions for us. It's a serious problem, perhaps best illustrated by our pernicious obesity and heart disease epidemic. 

What can help? Knowledge. These documentaries will not only reveal where your food comes from, they may even change your idea about what "food" is. 

"Fed Up" makes two points very clear: sugar is poison and Americans don't have a clue.

The 1 hour, 32 minute documentary makes the first point clear through perky, bright infographics and interviews with nutritionists and scientists about sugar's effect on the body. Soft drinks are highlighted as especially problematic, as Americans are now drinking their calories at a faster rate than ever. 

But "Fed Up" doubly emphasizes how dangerous sugar is by pointing out how ignorant we are of its effects. There are heartbreaking interviews with overweight children and their parents, clueless why diet and exercise aren't helping the kids lose weight. One such child is a 14-year-old considering gastric bypass, a highly invasive surgery. One parent, when asked how she's helping change her son's diet replies that she's feeding him healthier meals: serving him lean Hot Pockets instead of regular. It's a sad illustration of how little we know about what we eat.  

 Watch the trailer.  | Stream the film. 



"Place at the Table" focuses primarily on the federal school lunch program.

What role does the federal government have in the current obesity problem? "Place at the Table" investigates the Obama administration and its role both in child hunger and child obesity, focusing primarily on the federal school lunch program. Although $2.68 is allotted to school cafeterias per child for food, "Place at the Table" asserts that, accounting for labor and administrative costs, schools report between 90 cents and a dollar per child.

Even more disheartening is that for many students, the meal provided from the school is all they'll eat that day. As cafeterias feel pressured to cut costs by using additives and skirting nutritional requirements, students face the paradox of being both underserved and overfed with cheap, dangerous foods.   

 Watch the trailer.  | Stream the film. 



"Forks Over Knives" follows two doctors advocating an entirely plant based diet, arguing that diabetes and heart disease are a result of the Western diet of meat and dairy.

Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn speak with people who have completely reversed their health after adapting their diets, recovering from breast cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Perhaps the strongest evidence, and best part of the documentary, comes from an extended look into East Asia: China, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan. Heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancers were absent for most of their long histories, appearing only after the introduction of Western fast food in the modern age. 

 Watch the trailer.  | Stream the film. 



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Blake Lively goes up against a great white shark in the squirm-inducing 'The Shallows' trailer

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Summer movies have long played with our fear of the water, going back to "Jaws" in 1975.

And the latest in the genre pits Blake Lively against a really hungry great white shark. 

In "The Shallows," Lively plays a surfer on a secluded beach who suddenly encounters a great white shark. Though she is only 200 yards from shore, the shark won't let her get there. Leading to a battle of wills for her to survive. 

Watch the graphic trailer below. The movie opens June 29.

SEE ALSO: Why "Captain America: Civil War" is the best Marvel superhero movie yet

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I tried home-streaming new movies with the $150,000 setup the super-rich swear by

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The debate over Sean Parker's Screening Room startup, which would let people stream movies still playing in theaters from home, rages on. But the rich and famous have been doing exactly that for years now.

Prima Cinema provides its customers — including top CEOs and celebrities — with first-run movies to stream in their living rooms and private screening rooms, and it has the full support of the movie studios. Though it comes at a much higher cost for customers than what Parker is proposing.

So how much would you have to spend to watch first-run movies from home like the super-rich? And what does it involve?

I got a glimpse of the luxury Prima experience (and learned how much it costs once you set up everything) while visiting the showroom of electronic manufacturer Crestron

SEE ALSO: The $35,000 device that celebrities and the super rich use to stream movies still in theaters from home

Let's imagine this is your living room. (It's actually the showroom of Crestron, where I tried the Prima setup.)



And you have a top-of-the-line flatscreen TV. Prima requires that you have a screen that's at least 100 inches on the diagonal.



If you're famous and money is not a problem — if you're, say, Leonardo DiCaprio — Prima is the best way to watch movies currently in theaters while avoiding the headache of being spotted in public.



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Everything we know about the next 'Star Wars' movie 'Rogue One'

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We're just months away from the premiere of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," and Disney has released the first official teaser trailer for the standalone film.

Taking place before the events of the 1977 original film, "Rogue One" follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a group of Rebel fighters on a mission to steal plans for the Death Star.

While the title for the first film in the "Star Wars" anthology series was announced in March 2015, little information has been released since then, but the trailer provides a glimpse into the rebellion. And some developments have leaked out in the media.

We've compiled what we know — along with a few popular rumors — to hold us over until more clips are released.

Here is everything we know about "Rogue One":

(Warning: mild spoilers for "Rogue One" below.)

SEE ALSO: The first trailer for the next 'Star Wars' movie 'Rogue One' is here

The film is the first in the "Star Wars Anthology," a series of standalone films, which will include movies dedicated to Han Solo and bounty hunter Boba Fett.



Gareth Edwards, known for the 2014 "Godzilla" reboot, will direct the film.



The script was written by Chris Weitz ("About a Boy"), based on an idea from visual-effects supervisor John Knoll. Gary Whitta ("After Earth") was originally hired to write the screenplay, but he left the project after writing the first draft.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter



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2 millennials watched the original ‘Star Wars’ for the first time

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Today is May 4, which means it is "Star Wars Day." May the fourth be with you. Get it?!

Ahead of the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," we talked to two Millennials who have never seen the original 1977 film that started all of the "Star Wars" mania. We lent them a copy of the movie on DVD and they shared their reactions to the classic space adventure. 

Produced by Graham Flanagan

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Disney has 5 more 'Star Wars' movies planned through 2020 — here they all are

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The first new "Star Wars" in 10 years, "Star The Force Awakens," launched a franchise reboot in 2015, which will consist of six films through 2020.

Featuring a group of characters from the original trilogy alongside a new team of young Rebels, "The Force Awakens" is the first in a trilogy, taking place 30 years after the events of 1983's "Return of the Jedi."

The First Order has risen from the fallen Empire and the Resistance is fighting back.

In addition to that series, three standalone spin-off films make up a "Star Wars" anthology series. "Rogue One," the first, will hit theaters December 16, 2016. Two more films will round out the series, for now.

In honor of "Star Wars" day, here's what you can expect in the next four years: 

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," will be the first film in a "Star Wars" anthology series.



The standalone film takes place before the events of the 1977 original film and follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a group of Rebel fighters on a mission to steal plans for the Death Star.



The idea for the film stems from a line in the opening crawl of "A New Hope," which reads: "During the battle, rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star."



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Disney has 6 'Star Wars' movies planned through 2020 — here they all are

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The first new "Star Wars" in 10 years, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," launched a franchise reboot in 2015, which will consist of six films total through 2020.

"The Force Awakens" takes place 30 years after the events of 1983's "Return of the Jedi." The First Order has risen from the fallen Empire and the Resistance is fighting back. Featuring a group of characters from the original trilogy alongside a new team of young Rebels, "The Force Awakens" is the first in a trilogy. 

In addition to that series, three stand-alone spin-off films make up the Anthology series. "Rogue One," the first, will hit theaters December 16, 2016, and has a new trailer. A Han Solo origin film and Boba Fett film will round out the series for now.

In honor of Wednesday's Star Wars Day, here's what you can expect in the next four years: 

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about the next 'Star Wars' movie, 'Rogue One'

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" smashed box-office records, taking only 12 days to gross $1 billion and only 20 to become the highest-grossing domestic film. The film has successfully rebooted the "Star Wars" franchise and set high expectations for the Disney-produced films to follow.

Source: Business Insider



The next film, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," jump-starts the anthology series.



The stand-alone film takes place before the events of the 1977 original film and follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a group of Rebel fighters on a mission to steal plans for the Death Star.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Boba Fett was originally supposed to be the main villain in 'Return of the Jedi'

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If you want to thank someone for the fandom that is “May the Fourth Be with You,” the annual celebration of all things “Star Wars” that happens on May 4, then thank Craig Miller.

An unofficial adviser and Lucasfilm’s first official fan relations officer, Miller was in charge of getting sci-fi fans in the late 1970s to fall in love with the “Star Wars” saga, which has now bubbled into a global obsession with the franchise.

In fact, Miller was responsible for many of the rumors that floated around leading up to the release of “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980. He provided many stories to Star Log Magazine, as he recently explained to Inverse.

“What we did in the final article, it ran that piece with the rumors, and then it had a sidebar, which was a response from me as a rep of Lucasfilm,” Miller said. “In it, I said some of the above was true, some wasn’t — we wouldn’t tell them which was which — and here are some more rumors that we’ve heard, that may or may not be true. At that point the only photo we released was Luke on the Tauntaun, but you only saw the Tauntaun's neck and top part of its head.”

You can read the Star Log piece here.

But Miller also knew a lot of truths. A big one about Boba Fett he revealed to Inverse:

“Originally Boba Fett was set up in ‘Empire’ as a character,” he said, referring to the bounty hunter who shows up briefly in the movie. “Boba was gonna be the main villain… That was set up, why he was taking Han Solo away...”

Boba Fett was primed to be a centerpiece in "Return of the Jedi," while Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader's head-to-head would extend to a future trilogy. But a major decision by George Lucas changed everything. 

“When George decided not to make the third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that storyline, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster,” Miller said. “So he took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of ‘Jedi.’”

According to Miller, the reason why we never saw Lucas-directed episodes seven, eight, and nine is simple: The filmmaker was burnt out.

“And I remember sitting in a mixing room with George, working on ‘Empire,’ and he told me he was just going to make the third movie, which didn’t have a title at that point, and then stop,” Miller said. “He was going to retire from making big movies and make experimental movies. And that’s why the whole plot of the third movie, what became ‘Return of the Jedi,’ completely changed.”

Boba Fett made out okay, since he's one of the most popular characters from the saga. But it would have been really cool to see a whole movie focused on him and Han Solo playing cat and mouse.

SEE ALSO: We talked to Megan Fox about her new game, the stresses of motherhood, and why she wishes she were a female Indiana Jones

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