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How the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ sequel will address Hollywood sexism, according to the director

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guardians of the galaxy

For International Day of the Girl on Tuesday, "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn promised that the sequel he's working on will "not only pass the Bechdel test, but run over it and back up over it again and again in an eighteen-wheeler truck."

The Bechdel test measures whether a movie treats its female characters as fully developed ones, or just as props for men. For a movie to pass, it has to accomplish three things: (1) have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. It's a pretty low bar to clear, but somehow fewer than half of 2015's movies cleared it.

Gunn intends to address pervasive Hollywood sexism in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" by making his female characters — Gamora, Nebula, and Mantis — not only "strong," but well-developed.

"Women all over the world have been pushed to the sidelines in the interests of men, and their personhood is often forgotten or delegitimized,"Gunn wrote in a Facebook post.

"I DO have an agenda, and that is telling FULL and TRUTHFUL stories, where ALL the characters are deeply realized. As a person I am a man; as a writer, I need to be everyone. Only in this way will our art and our entertainment adequately express life and inspire all of us. I am sick of stories where there are a bunch of fully realized male characters and one female character, whose primary characteristic is simply being "the girl” or the personality-less object of some man’s affections. I’m not sick of this because I’m politically correct – those of you who know me know I am far from that – but because it’s boring, and it’s b.s. Likewise, I don’t think only making female characters “strong” is a fix either - you see her all the time these days, the perfect female warrior, who is a reaction to the stories of the past, but who is equally as boring and one-dimensional."

Gunn wants to write movies where women's stories and men's stories don't come at the expense of each other, but are instead "interwoven in a way to strengthen and optimize all of them." The first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie also distinguished itself by being the first Marvel movie with a female writer, Nicole Perlman. 

Marvel has a patchy record when it comes to passing the Bechdel Test, but the studio is improving. "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Guardians of the Galaxy," the two "Thor" movies, and the "Captain America" and "Iron Man" sequels all pass it. The first "Iron Man" movie, "Captain America,""Ant-Man,""The Avengers," and "The Incredible Hulk" do not.

You can read Gunn's full Facebook post below:

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" will be in theaters May 5, 2017.

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15 actresses who would be perfect to play 'Mulan' in Disney's live-action movie

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mulan disney

The INSIDER Summary:

• Disney has announced a target release for November 2018. 
• They have launched a global casting campaign for a Chinese actress to play the lead. 
• The classic film is getting a live-action spin. 


 

Disney is moving full speed ahead with their efforts to remake their classic animated musical canon in full-scale live action epics. In case you missed the announcement from last week, their much anticipated Mulan remake now has a target release date for November 2018. They also said they were launching a global casting campaign to find a Chinese actress to play the title role.

Many fans were nervous that the live action Mulan might fall prey to Hollywood “white-washing” or “interchangeable Asian” trends. It’s arguable that Disney shouldn’t have to make a point of casting a Chinese actress to play a part inspired by a quintessentially Chinese figure of legend. On the other hand, while these problematic trends exist, Disney making a deliberate public effort to avoid them is commendable and encouraging.

So, with profound respect to Rinko Kikuchi and Jamie Chung and their fans, Screen Rant has put together a list of Chinese actresses each of whom we could see as a young woman who takes her father’s place in ancient China’s imperial army. Here are 15 Actresses Who Could Play Disney’s Live Action Mulan.

15. Fan Bingbing

American moviegoers probably recognize Fan Bingbing as the actress who played Blink in X-men Days of Future Past. Blink was one of several mutants with really cool powers who ended up being relegated to supporting character cannon fodder in the bleak sentinel future world. Fan Bingbing’s fame actually extends much wider and much farther back. In 1998, Fan starred in the Chinese television series May Fair Princess, which made her a household name in Hong Kong and other South East Asian regions.

In the 2000s, Fan received many Chinese Cinema awards nominations for films like Feng Xiaogang’s Cell Phone, A Battle of Wits and Lost in Beijing. She even started her own studio in 2007. She’s also taken on Chinese martial arts films like Shaolinand The Founding of a Party and much heavier dramatic fair in Double Xposure. If Disney wanted to really capture international moviegoers’ attention with their live action Mulan, casting Fan Bingbing in the title role would be a great choice.



14. Katie Leung

Katie Leung made quite a high profile acting debut as Cho Chang in the Harry Potter Films. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire she caught Harry’s eye repeatedly and Harry even asked her to be his date for the Yule Ball. Alas, she had already said she would go with the other Hogwarts Tri-Wizard Champion, Hufflepuff pretty boy Cedric Digory. Cho Chang did give Harry his first kiss in the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Nothing like first loves when you’re part of a banned school club.

Katie Leung has stuck to stage and smaller screen roles since the Potter Movies wrapped, while also continuing her education in art and design. If she were inclined to take another high profile role, a live action Disney Mulan would certainly qualify. Leung was spotted filming scenes for an upcoming action thriller The Foreigner, which also stars Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. We’ll have to see what her action chops look like whenever the film is released.



13. Malese Jow

Malese Jow has made herself known in the realm of Geek fandom in the recurring role of Linda Park on CW’s The Flash. In season 2 she also played the Earth-2 evil Metahuman counter park of Linda Park, Doctor Light. As an episodic villain, she was dispatched to Earth-1 by Zoom to kill the Flash.

Jow has already had a considerable career in TV even before being cast inThe Flash. She stared in the Nickelodeon sitcom Unfabulous as Geena Fabiano, the middle school best friend of the protagonist Emma Robert’s Addie Singer. She’s had several guest star appearances in Nickelodeon and other non-kids network shows like Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Leverage and Castle. She also appeared in the first season of CW’sThe vampire Diaries as a teenage vampire. She’s got experience in TV level action at least and might be more recognizable to millennial Disney fans who also grew up watching Nickelodeon.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The surprising lengths Fox went through to prevent the new 'Planet of the Apes' sequel trailer from leaking

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dawn of the planet of the apes

The INSIDER Summary:

• The "War for the Planet of the Apes" trailer debuted at Comic Con.
• Fox was so paranoid about the trailer leaking, they had intense security measures in place.
• As of today, there have been no leaks.



Fox showed off the first trailer for the next "Planet of the Apes" movie at New York Comic Con, but don't expect to find it anywhere online. 

The studio debuted the trailer for next summer's "War for the Planet of the Apes" not once, but twice at a special event for the film Thursday October 6 and then again the following day at a panel for actor Andy Serkis.

I imagined the studio would immediately release the trailer online after one of the panels. After all, that's what the majority of the other television networks and movie studios do after showing off new footage at Comic Con panels these days. 

Liongate actually dropped the "Power Rangers" trailer online ahead of its Saturday panel and then released the "John Wick" sequel trailer immediately following its reveal. Netflix and Marvel released the "Iron Fist" trailer after it played Saturday evening at the Javits Center and AMC followed suit by releasing a season 7 clip of "The Walking Dead" after its Madison Square Garden debut, despite warning crowds not to record footage and having security on hand.

serkis planet of the apes

But nearly a week has gone by since the "War for the Planet of the Apes" trailer was shown and Fox has yet to make a version available to fans. Even crazier is that a leaked version of the trailer hasn't managed to find its way online.  All you can find is a 47-second teaser for the film that was released ahead of the Comic Con panels, but that doesn't show off any new footage.

It should really be commended. 

In recent years, trailer leaks have detracted certain studios from coming to the Cons to show off new footage for upcoming films. In fact, Fox claimed that was the very reason it didn't head to San Diego Comic Con this year. It was thought the studio may show up with footage for video game movie "Assassin's Creed."

So it was a bit of a surprise when several days before New York Comic Con I received an invite from Fox to events where they would debut footage for "War for the Planet of the Apes." In addition to premiering the trailer, Fox showed off seven minutes of unfinished footage from the upcoming movie

Today, it's silly to think that any "exclusive" footage may not leak online when fans have the ability to instantly capture and share footage from a phone. It's almost crazier to not release trailers right after they screen at a panel in the event they do leak online. There were two years in a row where a few big Warner Bros. trailers ("Batman v Superman" and "Suicide Squad") leaked online right after their debuts at San Diego. 

Fox was able to do something that most other studios have been trying to nail down for the past few years — debut exclusive footage to fans but also keep it under wraps from the general public without a few bad eggs leaking it to the public. It's something other studios may want to take note of in the future. 

How did Fox pull it off?

It probably helped that the event I went to October 6 for "War for the Planet of the Apes" was not conducted at the Javits Center but at a movie theater in Times Square. Fox had tons and tons of security on hand with night vision goggles. While the screen showed a hashtag to share for the evening before we even entered the theater we were told to turn our phones off. 

war for the planet of the apes

Before the panel even started fans in the crowd were not allowed to have their phones out. Any time someone tried to take a device out they were immediately bum-rushed. Yeah, it was that serious. Even though the majority of people invited to the event were press, Fox wasn't taking any chances.

We were warned once more before the panel began from security to not have our phones out. When director Matt Reeves took the stage he joked to the crowd, "Don't make the ape security guards come out here and rip your arms out."

war for planet of the apes

During Friday's panel for Andy Serkis at Madison Square Garden, security guards nearly tackled a guy in the VIP press section a few seats down from me and proceeded to force him to delete the footage he took right there. There was at least one person I saw get kicked out of the panel near the start and several others who were forced to get out of the audience and have their devices scrutinized by security.

It was a bit insane and unnerving, but in the end, it appears as if Fox's efforts have worked since the trailer has yet to appear online. 

You can read our breakdown of the "War for the Planet of the Apes" Comic Con panel here.

The movie will be in theaters next July. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 'Star Wars: Rogue One' trailers keep teasing the teensiest glimpses of Darth Vader and boy is it frustrating

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A new trailer for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" debuted on "Good Morning America" and if you pay close attention you'll see Darth Vader — or a glimpse of him anyway.

There are three quick shots teasing Vader but neither are in focus. 

Check them out.

It's upside-down Darth!

darth vader

Here's Darth talking to Director Krennic (he's overseeing the advanced weapons research aka the creation of the Death Star).

darth vader rogue one

In the last shot we get an ever-so-small sighting of Vader covered in fog.

foggy vader

The last trailer for "Rogue One,"released during the Olympics, also gave us our first glimpse of Vader. But the shot shown was of the character's back side. Still it feels like we saw — and heard — more of Vader in the film's last trailer than in the new one released Thursday. 

darth vader rogue one

It's pretty frustrating that the trailers are teasing Vader so much. His appearance isn't exactly a secret. We know how he looks. We know what he sounds like. Frankly, his addition, if large enough, may be the only thing which really saves "Rogue One," a movie which Disney CEO Bob Iger recently referred to as "really interesting in terms of ... storytelling." That doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement.

If you're hankering for some Darth, here's an image of him below.

star wars darth vader

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is in theaters December 16.

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Ewan McGregor wants to make a new Obi-Wan 'Star Wars' movie and has a story in mind

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ewan mcgregorWhile there are plenty of "Star Wars" films already scheduled to keep us busy for the next several years, we know that more or planned after that.

Ewan McGregor is interested in seeing more of Obi-Wan Kenobi's story become part of that plan. The actor has previously spoken about a willingness to return to the role that he and Sir Alec Guinness shared, and McGregor thinks now would be just about the perfect time to do it.

"I've always thought there was a story to tell between my last one and Alec Guinness' first one. It would be fun to film that story now I'm older. I'd be the right age. I'm forty-five, Alec Guinness was what, sixty? I could do two of them."

For the record, Alec Guinness was 63 when he filmed the original "Star Wars: A New Hope." Those extra few years might be necessary as any planned Obi-Wan movie would be hitting the screen before 2020 at the absolute earliest. This would put Ewan McGregor closer to 50 than 45 while making it. Still, he's not wrong. With it now being about a decade and a half since McGregor played the role in the prequels, he's the perfect age to play Obi-Wan at a point about midway through the gap between "Episode III" and "IV."

In Ewan McGregor's comments to Premiere, translated by Den of Geek, it sounds like he'd be up to doing two movies, although, let's face it, if Disney and Lucasfilm were planning to do more than one movie, they'd almost certainly be planning for a trilogy. We've heard rumors now and again that a trilogy is exactly what Lucasfilm has been considering for the character, although McGregor says he's never actually had any conversations about reprising the role, so if there is any truth to the rumors, the conversations have never left the office.

Of course, the question becomes, what would you make an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie about? The end of "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" leaves the character on Tatooine, ostensibly watching over the infant Luke Skywalker and basically just in hiding from the growing Empire. Within the context of the films, there isn't a lot of reason for Obi-Wan to get involved in any major events. Few people even know that Kenobi is alive, much less where to find him. A new film would have to create some crisis that would draw him out, without changing any of the existing mythology. It could certainly be done, but it could be a bit tricky.

Would you like to see one, or more, new Star Wars films that fill in the missing years of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let us know in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: Disney just released a new trailer for its next 'Star Wars' movie

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The 'Star Wars' production company has to pay $2 million for crushing Harrison Ford's leg

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Han Solo Star Wars Force Awakens Harrison FordThe production company behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens has received a near $2 million fine after actorHarrison Ford broke his leg and suffered other injuries in 2014 when a heavy hydraulic metal door fell on top of him on the set of the Millennium Falcon

In connection to the incident, which occurred on 12 June 2014 at Pinewood Studios in London, Foodles Production (UK) Ltd., which is owned by Disney, has been ordered to pay a $1.95 million fine, reports The Associated Press. Foodles Production previously admitted fault on two criminal charges which were drawn against it, while two more were withdrawn. 

The accident caused Ford to undergo surgery and forced production into a two-week hiatus to await his recovery from an ankle injury; prosecutors stating that Ford could have been killed by the door, which fell on him with a force comparable to the weight of a small car.

Judge Francis Sheridan at Aylesbury Crown Court stated that Foodles should have informed Ford of the risks; "If only they had included Mr. Ford in all the discussions, he might have at least been alert to the dangers that he had to avoid."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the highest grossing film in UK box office history last year, raking in more than $2 billion worldwide.

Episode VIII is expected to reach cinemas in December 2017, with production already underway. The franchise's first spin-off anthology film, Rogue One, will hit UK cinemas 16 December.

SEE ALSO: 13 stunning new 'Rogue One' images show off the plot secrets of the 'Star Wars' spin-off

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The actor behind the next great 'Star Wars' robot acted on stilts for the entire movie

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Rogue One Alan Tudyk

The INSIDER Summary:

• K-2SO is a new robot you'll see in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."
• Alan Tudyk acted on stilts to bring the character to life.


From R2-D2 to C-3PO to BB-8, "Star Wars" has created some of the galaxy's most beloved robots.

For the upcoming "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," there's a new robot for fans to fall in love with.

Actor Alan Tudyk, best known for his role as Wash in the cult favorite TV series "Firefly," will play K-2SO, the franchise's latest lovable droid. K-2SO is an imperial droid reprogrammed by Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) so he can fight alongside the Empire.

This isn't Tudyk's first time playing a bot. He previously one in 2004's "I, Robot." However, K-2SO presented Tudyk with a unique challenge: he's a tall, lanky machine. During a panel at New York Comic Con, Tudyk discussed how instead of wearing a robotic suit, Tudyk wore a motion-capture suit while performing on stilts to bring the character to life. The details of the character were later filled in on a computer.

"They [the stilts] were a foot high because the character's very tall and lanky," Tudyk told the crowd. "There were times I had to run and...I stood on a cliff. You could see it in one of the teasers."

It added yet another challenge to what looks like a fairly physical performance.

It's why he towers over his co-stars Felicity Jones and Diego Luna:

k 2so rogue one

In case you were wondering, this how Tudyk, the man behind the machine, actually looks like:

Alan Tudyk

No behind-the-scenes photos have been released of Tudyk yet. We very much look forward to that day.

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" will be out in theaters on December 16, 2016.

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J.K. Rowling just announced two more 'Harry Potter' spinoff movies

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fantastic beasts trailer

The INSIDER Summary:

• J.K. Rowling announced we're getting a total of five "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" movies.
• The series is a movie spin-off of the "Harry Potter."


J.K. Rowling just announced there will be two more movies in her "Harry Potter" spinoff movie series, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Previously, Rowling said that she was writing the scripts for three movies. On a panel about the movie in Los Angeles Thursday, the author said that number is now up to five.

"We always knew it was going to be more than one movie," Rowling said. "We knew that from the start, and a trilogy is a kind of placeholder... I've now done the plotting properly, so we're pretty sure it's going to be five movies," Rowling said.

The first film in the series, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," will be released November 18 this year. It takes place in 1920s New York, and focuses on the American magical community and the adventures of a wizard named Newt Scamander.

On the panel, Rowling also said that Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore, two character from the "Harry Potter" series, will also figure into the "Fantastic Beasts" series in some way. Speculation about their involvement increased after a Deathly Hallows symbol appeared in a poster for the first movie. In the "Harry Potter" series, Dumbledore dueled Grindelwald and won the Elder Wand, one of the three powerful Hallows, from him.

On Wednesday, Warner Bros., the studio producing and distributing the "Fantastic Beasts" films, announced it was releasing two major untitled movies for on September 27, 2019 and February 7, 2020. Though there's been speculation these could be release dates for some of Warner Bros.' DC's properties, one or both dates could be for the "Fantastic Beasts" movies.

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18 Hollywood movies that pandered to China's giant box office

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joseph gordon levitt in looper 2012 movie

Hollywood is paying more attention than ever before to China, which could have the world’s biggest box office by 2017. And that means courting Chinese censors, who allow distribution of as few as 34 foreign films each year.

"No Hollywood producer that wants to take advantage of the Chinese market would at this point include a film that includes anything about Taiwan, about Tibet, about Tiananmen," Aynne Kokas, author of the forthcoming book "Hollywood in China" and a professor at the University of Virginia, recently told Business Insider.

And that’s just the start.

"You won’t see the Chinese government acting as an enemy to the US state, but you will see the counterexample of things like 'The Martian' and 'Gravity' where Chinese astronauts save an American astronaut," Kokas said. "If the US and China had that level of cooperation in their military and space programs, we wouldn’t be having all these conflicts in the South China Sea."

Beijing also looks down on "violent content, sexual content, political content, particularly anything that shows Chinese leaders who are corrupt — American leaders who are corrupt is less of a problem. Also supernatural content," Kokas added. (It’s worth noting  that China doesn’t have ratings, so all movies must be approved for a general audience.)

Kokas expects even more seamless coordination between Hollywood and China in the future, as US and Chinese companies announce collaborativefilmslates, Chinese companies buy US entertainmentcompanies, US studios announce more Chinese coproductions, and US studios open China-focusedsubsidiaries.

"There are really structural changes in the US media industry that are less visible to consumers but will have a substantial change in how Hollywood actually operates," Kokas said.

We've rounded up some movies that made obvious changes in hopes of Chinese distribution:

SEE ALSO: China's ban on puns is right out of "1984"

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Marvel’s "Doctor Strange" changed The Ancient One from Tibetan in the comics to Celtic. "If you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullshit and risk the Chinese government going, '…we’re not going to show your movie,'""Doctor Strange" screenwriter C. Robert Cargill said.

Cargill also claimed this was a no-win scenario, saying the original character was "a racist stereotype."

Source: Double Toasted via Cinema Blend



"Iron Man 3" changed The Mandarin from an evil Chinese mastermind in the comics to a Western actor hired by the real villains. It also crammed the movie with product placement and more.

"Iron Man 3" shows a doctor drinking China’s Gu Li Duo milk — positive propaganda after batches of domestic milk in real life China were contaminated with mercury. It also features Chinese medicine, product placement for China’s TCL and Zoomlion, two Chinese supporting actors, and a winning shot of cheering Chinese schoolchildren, as noted by The New York Times.

Some of these elements exist only in the special Chinese cut.



"Cloud Atlas" removed nearly 30 minutes from its Chinese cut, largely plotlines and scenes with controversial sexual relations.

Notably, the same-sex romance between two men and sex between a future "human-replicant" and her foreman.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The first 7 minutes of 'Fantastic Beasts' prove the movie is going to be a massive hit

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Screen Shot 2016 10 14 at 2.43.49 PM

The INSIDER Summary:

• The highly anticipated blockbuster held a global fan event.
• Filmmakers and stars gathered to answer questions and also announced that there will be five movies.
• Fans were treated to the first seven minutes of the film.


 

This has been a day filled with all kinds of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them news. Earlier today, the blockbuster held a special global fan event that saw the filmmakers and stars gather to answer fan questions, and while the big news was that there are now going to be a total of fiveFantastic Beasts movies, that wasn't the end of the show. After the live-stream cameras shut off, fans in theaters around the world were treated to a screening of the first seven minutes of the upcoming feature.

Starting in silent, dramatic fashion, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them opens with a team of wizards about to face down an unseen enemy... and get defeated rather quickly. While we don't see what it is that destroys them, the fight is over in an instant, as a bright blue light flashes that seemingly kills everyone in the room. That is, except for one man with slicked-back white hair who never turns to face the camera.

A series of newspaper headlines -- featuring the famous Harry Potter moving photographs -- splash across the screen, setting the tone for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them's 1926 setting. It seems that things are not quite peaceful in the era, not only because of the actions of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, but because there are beast attacks happening and a growing anti-wizard sentiment in the United States. Clearly it's not a great time to be magically inclined stateside, but evidently that doesn't stop Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) from hoping on a boat and setting sail for New York.

We meet Newt as he sits on a bench on said boat, which is making its way past the Statue of Liberty and into Ellis Island. At his feet is one single suitcase that pops open a lock by itself -- clearly a result of an action taken by one of the beasts inside it - but Newt closes the latch and calms the creature by noting that they are almost at the end of their journey. Finally the ship docks, and Newt steps foot on American soil.

Screen Shot 2016 10 14 at 2.44.05 PM

The first test for the young British wizard is an encounter with a customs agent, who wears a stoic look on his face and doesn't seem quite happy that Newt doesn't really make eye contact with him. The border guard asks if the recently arriving immigrant has anything edible or any kind of livestock in his luggage, and while Newt tells him "No," the beast in his bag chooses the same moment to once again pop one of the locks on the case. Suspicious, the agent asks Newt to open his suitcase, which our hero is happy to do... after hitting a switch that switches the contents to "Muggle Worthy" mode. When the case is opened, it looks as though it contains nothing more than clothes, a watch, and some other assorted items, so Newt is given permission to enter the country.

From that scene the footage jumped to another location in New York, where it looks as though something extremely dangerous and destructive went down. A brick building lies in rubble as a man walks investigators through and explains what he saw. While his comments are met with skepticism, the man swears that he saw some kind of "dark wind" or "dark mass" with eyes, and that it crumbled the building before diving underground. It's at this time that Colin Farrell's Percival Graves shows up, wearing a concerned and stern look far different from the one sported by the investigators. Suddenly, the wall of the building next door begins to crack, and a pile of bricks begin to swirl. There is a deep rumble underground, and something then tears its way from decimated building down the block, tearing up the street in the process. As it gets further away, the perspective changes to this mysterious creature's point of view as it takes flight, smashes through a glass bus stop, and goes away. Back at the original site, Percival's expression remains unchanged.

Screen Shot 2016 10 14 at 2.43.33 PMSwitching the action back to following Newt and his first experience in New York, the young hero comes across a rally that has gathered in front of a set of steps. In this group are a few familiar faces, including Katherine Waterston's Porpentina Goldstein (noshing on a hotdog), Ezra Miller's Credence (handing out flyers) and Dan Fogler's Jacob Kowalski (who is just rushing through on his way to work). Sadly this is not a group with a positive message for our hero, as its organized by the New Salem Philanthropic Society -- an anti-wizard and witches group. Newt catches the attention of the woman leading the group, Mary Lou (Samantha Morton), and she asks why he is with them today.

fantastic beasts

While Newt works through his answer, noting that he is more of a "chaser" than a "seeker," other events begin to unfold that could prove quite dangerous. At the top of the aforementioned steps, a man flips a coin (in slow-motion), and it begins to fall down towards the group. We then see a shot of Newt's suitcase, which is being pried open by a pair of small, animal-like hands. As the flipped coin continues to fall, we see a hat of a street musician filled with money pulled behind the base of a statue. It turns out that this theft was done by a Niffler -- a small, black, furry creature with a red and yellow beak -- that has managed to somehow managed to escape Newt's magical luggage. (and is pictured above!)

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Altogether the footage felt extremely brief (I was seriously surprised how fast it went), but it definitely served as a nice little teaser for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and did a good job setting up some interesting mysteries. What was going on in that first scene? Who is the man with white hair? Why were all those familiar faces at that specific N.S.P.S. rally? Will Newt be able to get the Niffler back in the case safely before it causes havoc? Naturally we're excited to get answers to all those questions and more when the movie hits theaters.

Until Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them hits theaters on November 18th, be sure to stay tuned her on Cinema Blend, as you can be sure that we'll have a whole ton of coverage coming your way.

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The 17 best movies of 2016 you haven't seen yet

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the nice guys warner brosNo matter what, the major Hollywood blockbusters are always going to dominate the conversation.

After all, films like Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War and Zootopia attracted such broad audiences this year that all three Disney-owned properties managed to crack the $1 billion mark worldwide. Although those films were largely lauded by critics and fans, there is a growing disparity between releases that sit atop the box office charts and those that frequent critics’ lists.

Sometimes, this is the result of a film’s subject material just being too bizarre or offbeat to earn the attention of the masses or perhaps it’s simply because the distributor lacks the marketing budget to effectively build up anticipation.

Whatever the case may be, we’re turning our attention to the 2016 films that many of you may have missed so far this year. First, a few ground rules: We’re including both major studio releases that underperformed at the box office and indie darlings that failed to break into the mainstream. More specifically, qualifying films must have received at least a limited theatrical run in 2016 and grossed less than $50 million domestically. Now, let’s the spotlight on these under-seen gems.

Here are the 17 best movies of 2016 you haven’t seen:

SEE ALSO: The 10 best movies since 2000, according to critics

17. "Swiss Army Man"

Starting things off, we have a film that may very well be among the most divisive films of the year. Soon after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Swiss Army Manbecame known as Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe’s “farting corpse movie” and elicited such a mixed reaction from the crowd there that some viewers walked out of the screening. However, for those that do appreciate the film’s twisted sense of humor and darkly powerful third-act twist, Swiss Army Man offers a distinct viewing experience that invites viewers to unravel the subtext in search of even deeper layers of meaning.

Filmmakers Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — credited as simply “Daniels” — make an incredibly ambitious debut here, and the film features what many are calling Radcliffe’s best performance to date. If there’s one role we never thought we’d see the former Harry Potter take on, it’s that of a flatulent corpse. That certainly should count for something.



16. "Don't Think Twice"

Comedian Mike Birbiglia wrote, directed and stars in this comedy-drama centering on a New York-based improv troupe that begins to crumble when one of the comics (Keegan-Michael Key) is selected to join the cast of a Saturday Night Live-esque sketch show. Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard round out the main cast of Don’t Think Twice and riff off of each other beautifully as this all-too-common scenario plays out.

Praised for its hilarious script and poignant subject matter, the film has received universal praise from critics for balancing its delicate tone and capturing the fragile dynamic between performers and friends all striving to “make it big.” Prior to Don’t Think Twice, Birbiglia’s only directorial credit was the 2012 indie comedy Sleepwalk with Me, but given the unanimous love for his latest film, we’re betting it won’t take long for him to step behind the camera again.



15. "Hail, Caesar!"

Joel and Ethan Coen are routinely cited as two of the best filmmakers working today. Much like their early hit Barton Fink (which is also connected to the fictional Capitol Pictures), Hail, Caesar! examines the life of those in the movie business, albeit from the perspective of a studio fixer (Josh Brolin) tasked with locating the leading man (George Clooney) of an upcoming Roman-set epic.

Part screwball comedy and part genuine satire of the Hollywood system, Hail, Caesar! unites a large group of gifted actors — including Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand — to play one outlandish character after another. Moreover, it introduced the world to Alden Ehrenreich, the young actor who nabbed the role of Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spinoff film. It might not be one of the Coens’ finest hours at the box office, earning just $30 million domestically, but it was enough for Hail, Caesar! to become a modest hit during its theatrical run.



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Here are the must-see movies most likely to win Oscars in 2017

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With film festivals like Telluride, Venice, and Toronto behind us, and the New York Film Festival underway in October, award season is becoming clearer. Which means it's (already) time for Oscar predictions.

The 2017 Academy Awards will be filled with familiar faces like Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep and newcomers to the season like Mahershala Ali (Remy from "House of Cards") and Ruth Negga (Tulip from "Preacher").

At least, that's how things seem to stand at the moment. 

Award-season bets are constantly changing, with "sure things" suddenly falling off the board once the movie starts making the rounds to voters. And underdogs can find their way in as we get to the Oscar voting deadline at the end of December.

Here's our first pass at the movies and talent that have a chance to take home Oscar gold:

SEE ALSO: 19 famous movies that have been banned around the world

Best Picture

In the running:

“Arrival”
“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”
“Jackie”
“La La Land”
“Manchester By The Sea”
“Moonlight”
“Silence”
“Sully”

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: "La La Land." The movie is a love letter to the forgotten musical (remember, most of the Academy voters are on the older side), the creativity of the story by writer-director Damien Chazelle is incredible, and the performances by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are some of the best of the year. 



Best Director

In the running:

Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Garth Davis, “Lion”
Clint Eastwood, “Sully”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester By The Sea”
Nate Parker, “The Birth of a Nation”
Martin Scorsese, “Silence”
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: Damien Chazelle for "La La Land." Like I mentioned in best picture, Chazelle weaves a powerful story about love and loss. His creative eye and strong storytelling will make him hard to beat. Plus the Academy loved his previous movie "Whiplash."



Best Actor

In the running:

Casey Affleck, “Manchester By The Sea”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Tom Hanks, “Sully”
Michael Keaton, “The Founder”
Matthew McConaughey, “Gold”
Nate Parker, “The Birth of a Nation”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

If the Oscars were handed out today the winner would be: Casey Affleck. His performance in "Manchester By the Sea" is emotionally charged while being very subdued. Affleck has shown he's capable of carrying a film in the past, but in this one he is the film.



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Here's everything we know so far about 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'

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If you were a die-hard "Star Wars" fan and loved "Force Awakens," chances are you're hungry for updates on the next episode in the saga, 'Star Wars: Episode VIII."

Star Wars Celebration Europe, which took place in London in July, revealed some interesting information about the film. Since then, others from the cast (and a few rumors) have given us a further idea of the movie, which is currently in post production.

Below is everything we know so far about the movie (which comes out December 15, 2017), from the mouths of stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, and writer/director Rian Johnson.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

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

Not familiar with Rian Johnson? He directed the hit sci-fi movie "Looper."

Get ready to hear the name Rian Johnson a lot throughout the next year. Though he's only made three feature films going into "Episode VIII," those movies include stunning works like the modern-day film noir "Brick" and sci-fi mobster movie "Looper," which have shown he's ready for the largest stage in filmmaking.

Johnson also directed some of the most memorable "Breaking Bad" episodes, including "Fly" and "Ozymandias" (arguably the greatest episode of the series).

Looking to take a deeper dive? Here's more about Johnson you need to know.



Johnson spent six weeks at the Lucasfilm headquarters, Skywalker Ranch, figuring out the "Episode VIII" story.

At Star Wars Celebration, Johnson revealed that while writing the script for "Episode VIII," he spent six weeks at Skywalker Ranch. But he wasn't just taking inspiration from the grounds that "Star Wars" creator George Lucas walks. He also had an eye on "The Force Awakens."

"We would watch dailies come in from 'VII,'" Johnson told the Celebration crowd. "It was probably really healthy creating the story based on our reactions to the footage rather than the cultural reactions. It was a unique experience."



The movie will start right where "The Force Awakens" ended.

Before principal photography began in London on "Episode VIII," Johnson and his crew took actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Daisy Ridley (Rey) to Skellig Michael, the island where the final scene of "The Force Awakens" took place, to shoot an extension of the scene. 

That will be the opening of "Episode VIII," according to Johnson.

"I don't want to skip ahead [after] that last moment of 'Episode VII.' I want to see what happens next,"Johnson said.

This has sparked an interesting conversation among fans. Will there be an opening crawl in "Episode VIII"? There are typically months to years between "Star Wars" episodes, so the crawl brings the audience up to speed. Johnson did not say if there will or will not be a crawl in the new movie. 

 



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Werner Herzog takes us inside volcanoes in the insanely beautiful 'Into the Inferno' trailer

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Werner Herzog has tackled some fascinating subjects over his five decades as a filmmaker, but his latest documentary is one of his most breathtaking.

"Into the Inferno" follows Herzog as he travels the globe to examine the power of volcanoes. In some regions, their majesty has become a symbol for political leadership, as in North Korea, while in others volcanoes are worshiped as higher powers. 

The legendary filmmaker recently told Business Insider of choosing where he would film, "It had to be about the stories and the people who live under the volcano, what kind of new gods do they create? What sort of demons?"

Here's the first trailer for "Into the Inferno," which is brimming with insane visuals. The movie will premiere on Netflix October 28.

SEE ALSO: Werner Herzog talks infiltrating North Korea for his new Netflix movie and the Bond role he wants

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NOW WATCH: The final trailer for the Harry Potter spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is here

100 movies on Netflix that everyone needs to watch in their lifetime

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Netflix has no shortage of titles to choose from. By combining its original content, movies, and TV shows, you could go on an endless binge and never crack the surface.

But narrowing it down to just movies, you can put a good dent in some classics, if you have the right guide.

Well, that’s why we’re here.

We have searched through all of the titles on the streaming giant so you don’t have to, and we put together the 100 movies streaming on Netflix you have to watch in your lifetime.

Note: Numerous Netflix titles drop off the streaming service monthly so the availability of titles below may change.

SEE ALSO: 20 modern classic TV shows everyone needs to watch in their lifetime

1. "13 Going on 30" (2004)

Jennifer Garner plays a 13-year-old who dreams of being 30. Yeah, we don't get it either, but it's one heck of a romantic comedy.



2. "13th" (2016)

This Netflix original documentary from director Ava DuVernay ("Selma") explores the history of racial inequality in the US, particularly the key moments that have led to a disproportionate prison population in the country (one out of four people in prison around the world, and many of them African-American).



3. "Adventures in Babysitting" (1987)

Elizabeth Shue plays a babysitter who must pack up the kids in the station wagon when she picks up her friend stranded in the big city. What transpires is a fun journey that includes Vincent D'Onofrio as a wanna-be Thor.



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This 4-minute 'Star Wars: Rogue One' supercut puts all of the footage released in chronological order

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A few years ago, someone put together a trailer supercut that assembled all of the footage from Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man into one trailer, proving that the studio had essentially already given away at least 75% of the film in its marketing. It was a fascinating experiment, and one that hopefully led studios to be more careful about what and how much they show in the trailers for their films, and now it’s being put to the test once more with Lucasfilm and Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Indeed, someone has grabbed the footage from all of the Rogue One trailers thus far and put it together in chronological order—or at least the chronological order wethink the film will progress in. The result is another interesting supercut video, and one that could indeed prove spoilery for those wary of learning to much about the film. Consider this your official potential spoiler warning for the video below.

It’ll be interesting to see just how much of this supercut is accurate, and if some of the footage we’ve seen in the released trailers ends up on the cutting room floor. The post-production difficulties of Rogue One have been well covered, with director Gareth Edwards’ film going back for extensive reshoots with Michael Clayton filmmaker Tony Gilroy coming in to help as second unit director and an involved consultant on the film’s editing process. As a result, while this supercut does indeed put together all the footage we’ve seen thus far, it’s entirely possible that there’s a good chunk of the movie we haven’t seen yet because it wasn’t shot until this summer.

Regardless, I’ll certainly be interested to hear the many thoughts and theories that spring up as a result of this video. Take at the GameSpot video below (via io9) and sound off with your thoughts in the comments section. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16th.

 

Here’s the official Rogue One synopsis:

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. 

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, with Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016.

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Why dark side lightsabers are red, according to a 'Star Wars' novel

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star warsThe Star Wars universe is a crazy place, but there are consistencies that you can count on now and again. One of those is that whenever you run into a Force-wielder who turns to the dark side, you can usually count on them wielding a red-bladed lightsaber. The movies have never explained why this is, and fans have just grown accustomed to seeing the bad guys use crimson energy. Now we finally have an in-canon answer to why this is the case thanks to the Star Wars novel Ahsoka: because they're naturally incapable of using any other color.

The latest Star Wars novel follows Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker's apprentice from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, during the time period between her last appearance on that series and her return in Star Wars Rebels. In the midst of her adventures, it is explained (via ScreenRant) what the deal is with the red lightsabers. For the causal Star Wars fans out there, lightsabers channel their energy though a kyber crystal, which a Jedi find on the planet Ilum or several other locations. However, it's a more complicated process than just snatching a random one and putting it in the lightsaber. A Jedi must use the Force to guide them through the selection process, and once a connection is formed, that's when the crystal turns blue, green or another color (like purple).

Conversely, a dark side user, whether they're Sith or a Knight of Ren, doesn't have that same connection. They can only obtain one of these crystals by either stealing them or taking them from a slain enemy, and then they have to bend the crystal to their will. This leads the crystal to "bleed," hence why the villains always have red lightsabers. The corruption means those other colors are inaccessible. Some of you will wisely point out that Anakin Skywalker slaughtered younglings and Separatist leaders with a blue lightsaber in Revenge of the Sith, but that was his old blade. He hadn't gained his Sith weaponry yet.

Although the Star Wars franchise had built an Expanded Universe across novels, comics, games and more since shortly after A New Hope, Lucasfilm declared all material outside of the movies and Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series non-canon in 2014 so that they could have a fresh start under the Disney regime. Starting with A New Dawn, all Star Wars novels are canon, which means this red lightsaber explanation counts towards to movies as well, even though there's no guarantee it will ever be outright stated on the big screen. There may never be a reason to do so, as in the end, the red lightsabers are simply another way to distinguish who the Force-wielding villains are in case the black clothing and sister dialogue don't make it clear. This fact from Ahsoka is mainly for the hardcore Star Wars fans who relish absorbing encyclopedic knowledge from a galaxy far, far away.

Depending on how much Darth Vader action we get in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fans may see a red lightsaber again as soon as December 16. If not then, we'll definitely see one when Star Wars: Episode VIII is released on December 15, 2017.

SEE ALSO: Here's everything we know so far about 'Star Wars: Episode VIII'

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Benedict Cumberbatch dressed up as Doctor Strange in public to see what would happen

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doctor strangeThese days there is no bigger deal in Hollywood than being cast as a comic book superhero. So what's a famous actor to do when they're decked to the nines in an awesome costume? Have lunch of course. That's exactly when Benedict Cumberbatch did while filming scenes from Doctor Strange in New York City. While one might think this was met with either adoring fans or at least a bunch of weird looks, this is New York, and nothing shocks them for too long. Cumberbatch even busted out a movie reference to help visualize the scene.

"I had some friends who were around on Saturday and they were like, 'Wow, oh my god, you're actually playing a superhero!' I said, 'Let's go to a cafe,' and we went to this cafe around the corner. And you know that scene in Ghostbusters where Rick Moranis runs up to the cafe in Central Park, being chased by the Dog of Doom from the building? And he goes, 'Help me, help!' and bangs against the glass? And everyone in the restaurant sort of drops their cutlery and turns their head and looks? And he squeaks down the glass going, 'Please, help me?' And there's a silence? And you cut back to the dining room and everyone goes, 'Anyway, I was saying, Marjorie just had her face done...' That's pretty much what happened in the cafe. By the time I left, it was like, 'Hey, thanks so much, here's a tip!' It was just a normal thing."

You can really see that happening in your mind can't you? The entire cafe stops what it's doing when the guy with the flowing red cape comes into the place. Maybe some of them recognized Benedict Cumberbatch, maybe not. Either way, even in New York, the cape would be an unusual thing to see. However, once they've taken it in, everybody has much more important things to worry about then why this guy is wearing a cape and they all go about their business. Based on his comments toEntertainment Weekly, it would see the actor had a nice lunch. Of course, if Benedict Cumberbatch was being mauled by a demon dog, it would seem the reaction would have been about the same.

As popular as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become, Doctor Strange is not one of the instantly recognizable characters from the canon. If Captain America had walked into the cafe, even before the first film came out, most people would probably know who the guy was. It's entirely possible that here, especially in a cafe where not everybody is necessarily a fan, that nobody really knew wheat they were looking at, which actually makes the whole thing even funnier.

Based on the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch doesn't mention being mobbed for autographs we're going to assume that all the patrons just thought the actor was a guy who liked to wear capes.

SEE ALSO: 100 movies on Netflix that everyone needs to watch in their lifetime

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14 actors who regret their iconic movie roles

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A number of actors have expressed regret for their roles in movies, even ones considered classic, over the years.

Though their reasons vary, many simply resent being remembered for performances that they'd rather forget.

Daniel Craig recently said he'd rather "slash" his wrists than return as James Bond for another film, and he joins Sean Connery in the list of 007 actors who've reacted with vitriol toward the famous series. Yet Craig later clarified by saying, "If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly."

From Harrison Ford in "Star Wars" to Robert Pattinson in "Twilight," we're taking a look at the actors who have voiced their distaste for characters they took on.

Check out 14 actors who have expressed regret over their movie roles:

SEE ALSO: 100 movies on Netflix that everyone needs to watch in their lifetime

Carrie Fisher — "Star Wars"

Fisher told "The Today Show" in 2008 that if she had known how famous she would become for playing Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films, she "would have never done it." 

When Time asked why she returned for 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Fisher bluntly replied that she took it on because "it's difficult to get work after [turning] 30" for women in Hollywood.



Sean Connery — James Bond movies

Connery, who played the 007 agent in seven "Bond" films starting with the first, 1962's "Dr. No," initially felt that he was underpaid for his role in the series. But by his sixth appearance (in "Diamonds are Forever"), he was so sick of the role that he started giving his Bond salaries to charity, according to an interview with The Guardian.

"I have always hated that damned James Bond," Connery said. "I'd like to kill him."



Kate Winslet — "Titanic"

Winslet has said she regrets the style and quality of her performance in James Cameron's blockbuster, Oscar-winning 1997 film.

"Every single scene, I'm like, 'Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God,'" Winslet once told CNN of "Titanic.""My American accent, I can't listen to it. It's awful."



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The 17 best dance movies of all time, ranked

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The INSIDER Summary:

• Compelling dance movies, like "Dirty Dancing," are hard to get right.
• These are the best dance movies of all time, from "Happy Feet" to "Step Up."



Dance movies are hard to get right. They need eye-popping (and frequent) dance breaks, but they also need a cast who can act, not just pirouette or break.

The worst dance movies require fast forwarding through all the parts that aren't dance. But the best ones aren't just watchable — they're classics.  

Here's our official ranking of the 17 most famous dance movies ever made.

INSIDER Note: This isn't a list of all dance movies — just the most popular. We also excluded movie-musicals. Even though they have lots of dancing, that's an entirely separate genre that deserves its own ranking.

17. Step Up 3D (2010)

In the third installment of the "Step Up" series, the franchise expands its universe to New York City, introducing a cast of mostly new characters.

Sadly, it also features some of the most forgettable dance battles (and a really annoying choice to add swishing sound effects to every dance step). Plus, the leads have next to no chemistry — and their silly slushie-drinking scene is a CGI catastrophe.



16. Stomp the Yard (2007)

"Stomp the Yard" starts strong with a breathtaking krump-heavy battle, but it's mostly downhill after that. The storyline (featuring a teen who joins a highly competitive step team at his university) moves too slowly with too few dance breaks.



15. Step Up All In (2014)

The fifth installment of the "Step Up" franchise revives old characters who compete in a TV dance competition. But the choreography in the final dance scene is buried beneath layers of unnecessary spectacle (what's with the sand and fire?!) and the pop star villain is cartoonish even by dance movie standards.

The one saving grace? A small role for Parris Goebel, the New Zealand-born hip hop phenom who went on to choreograph the video for Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” You'll spend most of this movie waiting for Goebel to start dancing again.



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