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Ewan McGregor recalls green-screen effects on 'Star Wars' prequels: 'It was a shame'

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phantom menace submarine

While promoting his directorial debut "American Pastoral" (opening on Friday), an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 novel, Ewan McGregor couldn't escape looking back on his work on the "Star Wars" prequels.

Talking to The Hollywood Reporter for its Masters interview series, McGregor took us back to one of his most embarrassing moments: his first meeting with franchise creator George Lucas.

"I remember going there, meeting George, and being allowed to read the script," McGregor said, referring to his first visit to the north London studio where they'd shoot "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace.""I had to read it in the producer’s office — like, literally, being almost locked in with the script, so that it doesn’t get leaked — and then being shown around the sets with George. There was a great big submarine thing that I end up in with Liam [Neeson] and Jar Jar Binks.  And I remember looking at this huge polystyrene thing [that had been made to look like a] submarine, and there was a cockpit. And I looked at it and I went, ‘Will we go under?’ He looked at me and went, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Will we go underwater with it?’ And he looked at me like I was insane. He said, ‘None of that is real, you know.’ And I went, ‘Oh. Yeah.’”   

Though the submarine scene would be shot in a studio with green screen, McGregor said "Phantom Menace" did have some practical sets.

"There was like an environment to work in and as we got into episode two and three, they moved the shoot to Australia, and by that point it became more and more blue screen and green screen," he said. "I thought it was a shame."

McGregor recalls working alongside a puppet of Yoda in "Phantom Menace."

"I worked with Yoda, like it was on set," he said. "Frank Oz I think was operating him with his team of people... It was amazing. You’d be really in the moment with Yoda and then they would go cut and all the puppeteers would stop... And then by episode two and three, he was, and R2D2 was the same way. It was computer-generated. It was a shame not to be sort of working with the real thing."

Watch the complete interview with McGregor below:

SEE ALSO: Why Michael Moore's surprise movie about Donald Trump is a convincing ad for Hillary Clinton

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NOW WATCH: The extraordinary life of former fugitive and eccentric cybersecurity legend John McAfee

Here's everything coming to Netflix in November that you need to watch

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the crown netflix

While it's sad to see some memorable titles leaving Netflix in November, there's also some great stuff coming to the streaming giant.

Richard Linklater’s Oscar-winning “Boyhood” is coming, as well as Oliver Stone’s classic “The Doors,” the lovable “Paddington,” and a notable Coen brothers black comedy, "Burn After Reading."

And Netflix has no shortage of originals on the way. New ones coming next month include “The Crown” and “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” the continuation of the show.

Here's the full list of everything coming to Netflix in November, and we've highlighted some of the titles you should check out in bold:

SEE ALSO: Here's everything leaving Netflix in November that you need to watch before it disappears

Available November 1

“The African Queen”

“Alfie” (2004)

“Bob the Builder: White Christmas”
“Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh”

“The Confessions of Thomas Quick”

“Cujo” (1983)

“The Doors”

“The Heartbreak Kid”

“Jetsons: The Movie”

“King's Faith”

“Love, Now”

“Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You”
“Pervert Park”

“Ravenous”

“Stephen King's Thinner”
“Tales from the Darkside: The Movie”
“Thomas & Friends: A Very Thomas Christmas”
“Thomas & Friends: Holiday Express”
“Thomas & Friends: Merry Winter Wish”
“Thomas & Friends: The Christmas Engines”
“Thomas & Friends: Ultimate Christmas”



Available November 2

“Dough”
“Food Choices”
“Meet the Blacks”



Available November 4

“The Crown” (Season 1 - NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
“Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60” (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
“The Ivory Game” (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
“Just Friends”
“World of Winx” (Season 1 - NETFLIX ORIGINAL)



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why Tom Cruise is Hollywood's last movie star

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jack reacher never go back paramount

The hardest act to pull off in Hollywood is sustainability.

Whether you’re considered an A-list talent or one of the “it” young stars, at any second your stock can drop. And with tenacious paparazzi and social media now the norm, that mystique of movie stars is no more. Except for one — the actor who continues to have that movie-star aura and, frankly, is the last of them: Tom Cruise.

With the release of his latest action movie this Friday, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” Cruise is poised to rule the weekend box office once again, despite the film's poor reviews (it currently has a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes).

But lackluster reviews is nothing to Cruise. He's dealt with a lot more going into a release.

In early 2015, the latest Cruise pile-on came when the documentary “Going Clear” revealed the misdeeds that allegedly occur at the Church of Scientology, of which Cruise is a devout supporter (according to the film, the actor may have known about some of the evil goings-on there). But that summer, we were gushing over his performance in "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation" (which would go on to make over $680 million worldwide).

But that’s the magic of Cruise: With any negative press he receives, his movies always seem to cause us all to hit the reset button on him. Why is that? Because we can forgive our movie stars. If they can continue to entertain, all is forgiven.

Cruise was close to being thrown off his pedestal when the infamous couch jump on “Oprah” led to a domino effect of controversy for him. But he’s weathered that storm and is a bigger draw than ever, which is extremely rare.

Let’s look at his contemporaries, who are summed up in this photo from 1983's “The Outsiders.

the outsidersThis was the future of Hollywood in the 1980s — Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, and let’s also throw in Charlie Sheen and Mickey Rourke. They all had their time and today are nowhere near Cruise’s stardom. (Swayze died from pancreatic cancer in 2009.)

Cruise has topped them all thanks to being ahead of the curve — first in choosing dramatic projects (“Rain Man,” "Born on the Fourth of July,"“A Few Good Men”) and then being America’s heartthrob (“Jerry Maguire”), and most recently turning into one of the few action stars who don't need a comic-book franchise to back them (he's made it clear he's not so into the idea of wearing a cape).

Where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone failed at staying action stars, Cruise excelled by keeping his action as practical as possible and proudly saying that he does his own stunts. (He also quite clearly still hits the gym.)

tom cruise mission impossible rogue oneBut being a movie star also means knowing when to stay off the radar. Cruise has done this masterfully since the couch jump. And leading up to the release of “Going Clear,” he was mum, though some rumors have come out that Cruise has seen the movie and now wants to leave Scientology. True or not, it only helps his image going into this weekend.

You could argue that actors like Brad Pitt and George Clooney are at the same level of movie stardom as Cruise, but it’s not the same. The two don’t rake in the kind of box-office cash Cruise does (Cruise's films usually make at least $200 million; Pitt's and Clooney's films usually top $100-$150 million worldwide).

While Cruise has become one of the best at selling a movie all over the world, Pitt and Clooney take that under-the-radar stance a little too seriously. They pop out to sell their movies, but not with the globe-trotting gusto of Cruise. In fact, Cruise has pulled back on the throttle in his press for "Jack Reacher," sticking to a couple late-night appearances, but it doesn't matter — it still will likely be No. 1 this weekend at the box office.

Tom CruiseThere are a lot of popular actors in Hollywood, from the new breed like Chris Pratt to the ones who have blown us away for years yet are still somewhat harder to relate to, like Robert Downey Jr. But with Cruise, it’s different.

We've marveled at Cruise's diversity as an actor throughout his career, the many iconic moments he’s given us (from sliding across the hall in his undies to “You Complete Me” to his “M:I” thrill seeker), and the energy he gives every role and press appearance. Perhaps that's why we always find ourselves rooting for him.

SEE ALSO: THEN & NOW: The cast of "Mission: Impossible" 19 years later

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NOW WATCH: This 'Mission Impossible' behind-the-scenes footage of a 53-year-old Tom Cruise hanging off a plane is terrifying

'Avengers' director Joss Whedon wants to make a 'Star Wars' movie

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Joss Whedon is reactivated. It’s been three years since the harsh realities of running what was ostensibly his dream job as a lifelong comic nerd—shepherding Marvel’s Hollywood takeover—forced him into self-imposed exile. Despite a successful box office haul, Whedon’s "Avengers: Age of Ultron" left him exhausted and dejected. Combined with a largely negative critical reception, he deleted his Twitter and receded into the darkness.

But now Whedon’s narrative mirrors that of his own storied protagonists. Like Angel, "Firefly"’s Malcolm Reynolds or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," he’s facing his call to action after hiding out, at a time when the fate of the country is up in the air, naturally. No, he hasn’t returned to reassert himself on the throne during this era of Peak TV, nor is he back with an original film (more on that later, though). Instead, he’s leveraging his Hollywood clout to unite a few A-lister superheroes once again. The common enemy: Donald Trump.

Whedon made a splash when he reappeared with SaveTheDay, a Super PAC boasting everyone from upper echelon celebs like Robert Downey Jr., Leslie Odom Jr. to vets like Rosie Perez and even Whedon-troupe member Tom Lenk. Since then he’s launched a slew of follow-up videos with the likes of Jesse Williams and Keegan Michael Key, all with the same goal: putting premium Tinseltown might against Trump’s unprecedented momentum, in funny, meta ways that subvert the typical celebrity vote appeals. So typical Whedon.

We sat down with Whedon to talk about SaveTheDay, his political efforts, and the question every nerd is dying to know: will a return to fiction follow on the heels of this return to the spotlight? Much like SaveTheDay, his answer implies hope isn’t lost just yet.

Complex: You’ve kept like a pretty low profile for a couple of years. What made you get back out there, and do it with SaveTheDay?

Joss Whedon: I was inspired by terror, and by a certain amount of outrage, and also a certain amount of inspiration because I’ve been a Hillary supporter for a long time and I know that is not actually a popular position, but I generally think that she is a good egg and a good politician. I just thought, I don’t have a job, so I can make this my job.

Complex: One of your most famous quotes is, “The world is largely awful, and we’ll probably destroy it ourselves."

Whedon: That's for my children. [Laughs.]

Complex: When you put that quote into the context of today, are you feeling optimistic, or do you feel like this is our last shot before we're headed to a "Dollhouse"-type dystopian future?

Whedon: I don’t think it will be nearly as clean as "Dollhouse." We are at an absolute tipping point, just in terms of climate change, and if Trump gets the White House—that’s it. We won’t be able to bounce back from that—there won't be problems because there won't even be a planet. But the idea that if we can actually deal with that problem is kind of a beautiful thing. The fun thing about working on something like SaveTheDay is that it's inspiring. I've become less cynical, which is appalling but kind of cool.

Complex: This liberated feeling you seem to have right now, has it led to you writing any more fiction?

Whedon: I’m in the middle of a screenplay that I am extremely passionate about, and I am going to be extremely passionate about it again on November 9. It’s definitely a departure from the things that I’m known for. It's as dark as anything I've ever written.

Complex: Really?

Whedon: Yeah, because I just said, "OK, id, your turn." I would write scenes and be like, "Oh this is great! I shouldn’t be allowed near people." It’s a historical fiction slash horror movie about a time when the world was going insane, World War II. I got to tell you: I was in Germany and Poland doing research for this movie and I was seeing so many parallels [to the U.S.]. And I know it's a shopworn thing to compare the orange guy to the little guy with the mustache, but you see things, indelible things in terms of propaganda, the state of the country, and the parallels are eerie as fuck.

Complex: Would you ever consider returning to TV?

Whedon: Oh yeah, oh yeah!

Complex: What do you think about the current state of TV?

Whedon: I feel like they’ve perfected it. I’m like, "Wait guys wait, wait for me!" I really want to make this film, but I miss television. It’s like writing a novel—you get to keep digging into these characters, it’s a real drug.

Complex: What are you watching right now?

Whedon: My mind goes blank, but my biggest addictions have been "Peaky Blinders,""The Great British Bake-Off," and "Unreal."

avengers age of ultron joss whedonComplex: "Unreal" got some pretty serious backlash for its second season. When you see that sort of thing are you like, "Oh, maybe I don't miss writing for TV after all."

Whedon: Well yeah, but there is always backlash. Everything gets backlash. I thought the second season was tight. There were a few things that I was like, “Hmm,” but there are for every season. They did a beautiful job, and it was an ambitious second season. But there is always a backlash. Ultron was a difficult experience for me because it wasn’t so much of a backlash—it did really well—but it didn’t strike the same nerve in this country. More importantly, it fell out of the conversation very quickly. People just thought, "Oh look did you see the prequel to "Civil War"? Yes, it’s pretty good." That broke me.

Complex: Obviously superhero culture has only grown since then. What are your opinions on the movies that have come out this year? Marvel seems to be killing DC.

Whedon: I did not see "Suicide Squad." I saw "Batman vs. Superman." Everybody’s got their own method. I think Marvel has been more successful systematically. DC has been more cinematic—their stuff looks amazing—but I feel like Kevin [Feige, President of Marvel Studios] is a really good storyteller. He really cares about coherence, and I feel like style never defeats substance at Marvel, but a little style creeps in. "Ant-Man" had some, "Doctor Strange" might be funky, and they are doing very fun things on TV. The Marvel-Netflix thing is working really well. DC’s decision to have their shows on TV with different actors playing the same characters at the same time as their movies, is a little interesting.

Complex: It's confusing.

Whedon: My daughter is pissed: "That's not the Flash! The Flash is this guy! But we watch the "Flash" and "Supergirl" every week.

Complex: How does it feel to see a Wonder Woman movie finally being made?

Whedon: I want it to be good. The trailer was just wonderful. I’ll probably be disappointed, me more than anybody else, because I’ll be like, "Wow, my version..." or whatever, but I can still get myself up for it. The trailer had her shield and her fire hammer and yep, I’m good, this will be fine, everything is good. Such an image.

Complex: So what's in your future, after Nov. 9 and the World War II script? Would you get into another franchise?

Whedon: I mean, it’s a fun thing to do, to put yourself in the service of something if you think you can add an interpretation. It’s no different than any other storytelling. There are some times when you get micro-managed to death but with Marvel, they let me make two movies that were very much mine. So do I want to make James Bond movie? Yeah. Anne Hathaway does Catwoman again? Sure, I’m in. Do I want to make a "Star Wars" movie? Yeah. I was like, "I don't want to make a 'Star Wars' movie. Like, god dammit, why?" But I saw the trailer for "Rogue" awhile ago and I was like, "I want to do that." To make a "Star Wars" movie and not be wed to the bigger picture.

Complex: Lastly, because I've seen a lot of people arguing about this online: Buffy/Spike or Buffy/Angel?

Whedon: I’m a Buffy/Spike shipper. I always felt like he was a more evolved person, but that’s like saying Juliet’s going to be so happy with Benvolio and everyone will love it. Buffy/Angel is for the ages; Buffy/Spike is maybe for me. Actually, I’m a Spike/Angel shipper. Completely re-write the equation.

SEE ALSO: Ewan McGregor recalls green-screen effects on 'Star Wars' sequels: 'It was a shame'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: There is a secret US government airline that flies out of commercial airports

Tom Cruise's new 'Jack Reacher’ sequel is as much an action movie for women as it is for men

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tom cruise jack reacher 2

The INSIDER Summary:

• Tom Cruise is back to doing what he does best in the "Jack Reacher" sequel.
• But this is just as much Cobie Smulders' movie as it is his.



Tom Cruise is back with a new movie out this weekend, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back."

While the title may be a little corny — my brother and I whispered "never go back" throughout the film whenever something alluded to the sequel title — the film itself is very enjoyable.

It’s a lot of Cruise doing what he does best in action films: taking out bad guys and performing a lot of his own stunt work.

jack reacher tom cruisejack reacher never go back

While watching, I thought I had the plot figured out pretty quickly. Reacher (Cruise), a former Military Police Corps officer, is continuously having flirty phone conversations with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), who has been helping him on various cases. He eventually makes his way to Washington, DC, to take her on a date only to find out that she’s been arrested and accused of espionage.

jack reacher phonecobie smulders jack reacher

I thought the rest of the movie would follow Reacher punching and kicking his way to a date with Turner. It seemed obvious, even as Reacher was subsequently accused of murder, arrested, and proceeded to bust both himself and Turner out of a military prison to go on the run together as fugitives.

tom cruise cobie smulders

So I was pleasantly surprised when the movie took a twist.

Without spoiling the plot, I'll just say Reacher doesn’t get the girl in the end — or at least, not exactly. There are no kissing or love scenes in this film, though both leads are seen with their shirts off (there's even an entire scene where they just hang out, shirtless, talking business). There’s some flirting between the two throughout, but the movie is focused on finding out not only who set them up, but also discovering the mind behind a larger conspiracy that resulted in the deaths of two military officers under Turner’s command.

While you may go and see the film for the Cruise action — because, let’s be real for a second, this guy is 54 years old and is still doing some of his own stunts — you’re here for Smulders as well.

Half the time, she takes down a villain before Cruise’s Reacher can even blink. Reacher, who describes himself multiple times throughout the film as someone who prefers to work alone, is very impressed with her skills.

cobie smulders never go back jack reacher

Smulders told Access Hollywood that there was a love scene filmed between the two of them, but it didn’t make the final cut of the film.

"I think in the end, it was more unexpected to have them not get together," Smulders told Access Hollywood’s Alex Hudgens on the film’s red carpet.

Smulders suggested that maybe when the film was completed, producers found it played better without the scene.

Personally, I’m glad it wasn’t included. It would have been such a cliché moment and would have made Smulders, who plays a Major in the film, feel second to Reacher’s free-roaming ex-military officer.

jack reacher tom cruise cobie smulders

Can we not just have two kick-ass, attractive, and capable leads in a film where the endgame isn’t to match them together? I’m hoping that’s what someone at Paramount — or in the film production — asked before dumping the love scene.

Fans are already familiar with Smulders as Agent Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We don’t need to see her downgraded to a simple "love interest" for Cruise. She can more than hold her own on screen.

cobie smulders agent maria hill marvel's agents of s.h.i.e.l.d.

While Cruise and Smulders shine, you won't walk out of this movie thinking it’s the best film ever. Robert Knepper ("Prison Break") is wasted as a mysterious villain who doesn’t really pull any punches in the film other than looking menacing and that's unfortunate.

I should mention there’s also a side plot about a possible daughter Reacher may have which gets him and Turner wrangled up with a 15-year-old girl. She becomes a bit of an annoyance as she uses electronics and later a credit card to get the trio traced, but eventually she becomes a helpful ally. She even gets her own scene where she takes a guy down. 

Overall, if you head out and see "Never Go Back," I think you’ll leave thinking you saw a pretty good action film. If you’re a Cruise or Smulders fan, you should leave happy.

"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" is in theaters Friday, October 21.

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NOW WATCH: At age 54, Tom Cruise is still doing his own stunts

Photos from the star-studded 'Doctor Strange' world premiere

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rachel mcadams doc strange

Fans and stars alike headed to the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Thursday evening for the world premiere of Marvel's next superhero movie, "Doctor Strange." 

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen, "Doctor Strange" will introduce viewers to Stephen Strange, a brilliant and self-absorbed surgeon who injures his hands after an accident. It will be Marvel's first movie to dive into the more mystical realm of the comic world as Strange goes on a journey to heal his hands. 

Early reactions so far have praised the film's action sequences and visual effects with many calling it Marvel's most stunning picture yet.

From Robert Downey Jr. to Ken Bone himself, check out who attended the star-studded premiere.

The doctor himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, arrived with his wife Sophie Hunter.



Rachel McAdams, who plays a colleague of Strange's, was a showstopper in a gorgeous gown.



She owned the red carpet. Look at this power pose.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Hilary Swank says that after winning 2 Oscars she was still offered 5% of her male costar's pay

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hilary swank salary wage gap hollywood chelsea netflix

Hilary Swank proves that even if you've won an Oscar (or two), the struggle is very real for actresses in Hollywood.

Swank attended a dinner party taped for Chelsea Handler's Netflix talk show, "Chelsea," this week and explained that winning Oscars didn't automatically place her on easy street.

For example, she said her salary for "Boys Don't Cry," the breakout film that earned Swank her first Oscar, in 2000, wasn't enough to get health insurance.

"When I did 'Boys Don't Cry,' I was 24 years old. I made $3,000," Swank told the other women at the dinner. "In order to have health insurance, you have to make $5,000. So I didn't even know that I didn't have health insurance until I went in and tried to get a prescription filled. ... I had an Academy Award, no health insurance."

Swank clearly learned how to keep an eye on her salaries as she moved along. After winning a second Oscar, for "Million Dollar Baby" in 2005, she discovered the harsh reality of Hollywood's wage gap.

"Then I win my second Academy Award," Swank said, "and the next couple movies later, I get offered a movie. But the male hadn't had any kind of critical success, but had been in a movie where he was 'hot.' And he got offered $10 million, and I got offered $500,000."

That comes out to just 5% of what the man was offered. Swank said she turned down the job and was replaced by a newcomer, who made just $50,000.

"So they made a savings of $450 [thousand] probably to give the guy his bonuses," Swank said.

Watch a portion of the interview from "Chelsea" below:

Even powerhouse women like @hilaryswank have to deal with the wage gap. Women's Dinner Party now streaming ✨🍽

A video posted by Chelsea (@chelseashow) on Oct 18, 2016 at 7:26pm PDT on

SEE ALSO: Chelsea Handler explains why she left E! and how her Netflix show is 'a different level'

DON'T MISS: Neve Campbell says she's never been paid equally to her male costars

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The directors of 'Catfish' and 'Nerve' reveal how to make it in Hollywood without going to film school

Before he was the Hulk, Mark Ruffalo auditioned to play the villain in the worst 'Fantastic Four' movie ever made

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fantastic four doctor doom

Mark Ruffalo is now known to movie fans far and wide as The Incredible Hulk. However, it was very nearly the second comic book role he played, though he lost out in his bid to play the first. Previously, he auditioned to play Doctor Doom in The Fantastic Four. No, not in the 2005 version starring his Avengers co-star Chris Evans, but rather the infamous 1994 version which was directed by B-movie legend Roger Corman.

When Fox scored the right to The Fantastic Four, the deal with Marvel required the studio to make a movie within a particular time period, or else the rights would revert back to Marvel. By the mid-1990s the studio wasn't really ready to make a Fantastic Four movie yet, but they didn't want to lose the rights, so they hired Roger Corman to direct a Fantastic Four movie on a shoestring budget. The point wasn't to make money, or even release it, it was all a business decision in order to hold onto the film rights.

A documentary has been released which tells the story of the infamous film and Yahoo reports that it details that a young Mark Ruffalo actually auditioned to play the part of Doctor Doom. Ruffalo would have been in his mid-20s around the time The Fantastic Four was filming. Needless to say, he was not the name then that he is now. He only had a handful of credits to his name, and none of them were anything you're likely to have heard of.

The role of Doctor Doom eventually went to Joseph Culp, an actor probably best known for playing Don Draper's father on Mad Men. Nobody involved in Roger Corman's film really went on to stardom, it's probably a blessing that Mark Ruffalo wasn't cast.

To date, few people have actually seen Roger Corman's version of The Fantastic Four and it is generally agreed by those who have that it's pretty terrible. The only reason to actually watch it would be to see just how bad it is. Although, considering the quality of the actual theatrical releases that the property has seen, there's an argument to be made that Corman actually made the best Fantastic Four movie so far. It had to have been better that the most recent endeavor.

If you've actually seen Roger Corman's Fantastic Four we'd love to hear your thoughts below in the comments. Could Mark Ruffalo have added anything special to the production?

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch millennials try a McDonald's Big Mac for the first time

Why a 'horror documentary' about rats by Morgan Spurlock is the scariest thing you'll watch this Halloween

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Morgan Spurlock was nine years old when he knew he wanted to be a filmmaker. But it was an unlikely movie that got him hooked.

"My parents took me to see 'Scanners,' and when Michael Ironside made that guy's head explode, that was the moment I wanted to make movies — changed my life forever," an excited Spurlock recently told Business Insider, sitting in a conference room in New York City.

While perhaps not the first choice for most parents as a family outing to the movie theater, the experience nourished Spurlock's love of horror movies, which has been dormant most of his career as he skyrocketed to fame as a documentary filmmaker with his debut movie, 2004's "Super Size Me."

But now as a more established name (with numerous nonfiction features and TV shows under his belt), Spurlock can call his own shots with his production company, Warrior Poets. So when he was handed the Robert Sullivan book "Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants" late last year, he saw a way to return to his love of horror.

"I read it and I said, 'What if we made a horror documentary?'" he said.

That led to him teaming with the Discovery Channel to make the "horrormentary" (as he calls it) "Rats," airing on the network on Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern. It's a disgustingly entertaining look at rats around the world.

Using Sullivan's book as a starting point, Spurlock expands the deep dive into the rats that inhabit New York City and shows how the rodents are dealt with — and in some cases worshiped — around the world.

Rats 2 Discovery Channel"It's all true and all real," Spurlock said of his movie, "but it is shot like a horror film. We scored it like a horror film. We shoot in angles like a horror film."

The result is one of Spurlock's best films in years. He delivers an experience that is grotesque and at times funny, but it's all the more horrific because you know that everything you're watching is the actual thing.

That doesn't just include the rats digging into the walls and trash bags of New York City (which Spurlock captures in all its creepiness) — we then go to Mumbai, where people are hired to go out at night and kill rats with their bare hands; Cambodia, where rats are caught in the country to be made into delicious meals in town; England, where ferocious terriers hunt down rats with glee; and back to the US in New Orleans, where since Hurricane Katrina the rat population has increased, with some carrying debilitating diseases.

"Post-Katrina, how the rats proliferated in that area after the flooding and the exodus of people — the fact that when the water subsided and the rat population grew — is remarkable," Spurlock said. "Because it just goes to show you they don't really need us, and when we are gone they will still be around."

Morgan Spurlock Rats Alberto E Rodriguez GettySpurlock also travels to India, where 35,000 rats live in a temple and are considered "holy" by people who believe the rats are reincarnations of deceased family members.

Spurlock and his team learned about the rat temple while doing research for the movie, and couldn't believe what they saw.

"There's pictures of small children that have their arms in the bowls of milk drinking the milk next to the rats," Spurlock said. "So the minute I saw that, I was like, we have to go to this place."

"I thought those pictures were fake," said Jeremy Chilnick, a producer on "Rats" and Warrior Poets' COO. "I thought it was totally made up."

The rat temple is just one of many can't-believe-it's-true moments "Rats" gives you. Spurlock knows when he's got a good thing, and he sees a franchise in his future.

"We always knew it would be good, but I think the movie has exceeded Discovery's expectations," Spurlock said. "I think the hope is next year there will be another one just in time for Halloween."

So what's next? Bats? Snakes? Pigeons? Spurlock doesn't know yet.

"As long as we can have that roller-coaster feel, we'll have something fantastic."

"Rats" premieres Saturday on the Discovery Channel.

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Donald Trump has revealing things to say about the movie everyone compares him to

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donald trump citizen kane

As the campaign of Donald Trump for US president has evolved from something pundits chuckled about to soberingly serious, many can't help but compare the Trump phenomenon to movies that seem to mirror it.

Trump's brash and bullying tone has been compared to Biff Tannen in the "Back to the Future" franchise (Hillary Clinton's campaign even included the character in an ad on Trump). Then there are his explosive rally speeches that echo how the Andy Griffith character Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes is seen in Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd."

But the one character that Trump gets compared to the most is Charles Foster Kane in Orson Welles' legendary movie "Citizen Kane," frequently hailed as the greatest American movie ever. Loosely based on the life and career of William Randolph Hearst, it follows a wealthy ego-driven businessman (played by Welles) who attempts to enter politics.

Citizen KaneIf you ever wondered what Trump thought of Kane, filmmaker Errol Morris ("The Thin Blue Line,""The Fog of War") back in the early 2000s interviewed him about it for an aborted project titled "The Movie Movie."

In it, Trump, rather calmly and insightfully, discusses what he thinks the themes of the movie are:

"You learn in 'Kane' maybe wealth isn't everything, because he had the wealth but he didn't have the happiness," Trump said. "In real life I believe that wealth does in fact isolate you from other people. It's a protective mechanism — you have your guard up much more so [than] if you didn't have wealth." 

Specifically, Trump discusses a scene in "Kane" when the camera pulls back to reveal a long table with Kane on one end and his wife at the other. Trump sees that as Welles showing Kane growing further apart from her as he gained his wealth.

"Perhaps I can understand that," Trump said.

And when Morris, from behind the camera, asks Trump the one piece of advice he would have given Kane, the businessman responds, "Get yourself a different woman."

But Morris didn't want to just interview Trump about "Citizen Kane"— he wanted the real-estate mogul to play Kane. 

According to Morris' website, in "The Movie Movie" the director was going to film Trump (and other notable people at the time, like Mikhail Gorbachev) in movies they admire. Here's a sample of the aborted script:

INT. VAULT

A vast, labrynthine warehouse filled with floor to ceiling shelving as far as the eye can see. An aging ARCHIVIST (in his early nineties) is standing on a tall library ladder, reaching up to a high shelf, twenty, maybe even thirty feet up.

The shelves are filled with rusting film cans. (Could they be filled with silver-nitrate prints ready to burst into flames?) The archivist shifts one can on top of another, making his way into the middle of a pile.

CLOSE ON

His rheumy eyes searching. He blows dust off a label. And then the Eureka moment. He's found something.

He's found it.

With the can in hand he makes his way slowly through the vault. He puts the reel on an aging Movieola and on the screen a scene from Citizen Kane flickers into view. It is one of the lost scenes from Citizen Kane, one of the scenes that has Donald Trump in it...

INT. SAN SIMEON - DAY

THE DONALD, a man in his early fifties with a spectacular hair-do, is reading a newspaper at breakfast...

(continued)

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Michael Moore calls anyone voting for Donald Trump a 'legal terrorist'

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Michael Moore

While doing press for his surprise Donald Trump movie that he released on Tuesday after making it in secret, "Michael Moore in TrumpLand," Michael Moore made it very clear what he thinks about those voting for Donald Trump.

While talking to Rolling Stone, the Oscar-winning director said that he made his movie in an attempt to convince undecideds that voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton isn't a bad idea. And that Trump supporters will be hurting the country.

"I want them to think about the damage they could do by being a legal terrorist on November 8," Moore said.

When Rolling Stone asked him to explain what a "legal terrorist" means and if it's a catch-all for Trump voters, Moore responded:

"Any. Legally, you have a right to vote on November 8. You can go in there and even though you're not necessarily in favor of Trump and you don't like him that much and you know he's a little crazy, you also know he's going to blow up the system. The system that took your job and house away from you. You get to get back at the system now and blow it up and this is the only day you can do it legally. He's told everybody that's what he's going to do. He's the outsider who is going to ride into town and blow up the old way. So you, as a voter, get to participate in the detonation. He's going to get a lot of votes from people who actually just want to sit back and watch the thing blow up."

"Michael Moore in TrumpLand" is playing in theaters in New York and LA and is available to buy on iTunes.

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The 49 best movies under 90 minutes long — and where to watch them

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Borat 20th Century FoxSure, it's great to turn off your mind and immerse yourself in a three-hour-long orgy of cinematic excess. But sometimes, you just want a good story, capably told, that gets in and out and in less than 90 minutes.

After all, you're a busy person, with many responsibilities! Maybe you've only got a short window, or maybe you're just trying to sneak in one more movie in a late-night marathon.

Whatever your motivation, here are a few dozen (relatively) brief films worth your limited time.

SEE ALSO: 14 actors who regret their iconic movie roles

1. "Dumbo" (1941)

Disney's fourth animated movie was conceived as a model of simplicity and efficiency, made to recoup the losses of Fantasia. Even so, in just 64 minutes we get flying elephants, a valuable lesson in an interspecies mouse-elephant friendship, and what was, for at least one 5-year-old watching it on video, the astounding experience of seeing an adult have to explain why Dumbo was drunk. (For other time-efficient nostalgia trips, nearly every pre-1990s Disney movie clocks in under 80 minutes, including Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, and The Jungle Book.) 64 minutes.

Available on: Amazon.



2. "Frankenstein" (1931)

“It’s alive!” It sure is — James Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein buzzes throughout with the frenetic, fearful energy of its metaphorical origins in Mary Shelley’s novel. Boris Karloff’s monster is about as iconic as anything the movies have ever produced, and it only took 70 minutes for him to put a mark on horror that lasts to this day. 70 minutes.

Available on: Amazon.



3. "Pickpocket" (1959)

French filmmaker Robert Bresson’s movies can feel like alien experiences: expressionless, spare, and slowed to a crawl, they withhold from the audience most of what they expect from a filmic experience. But Pickpocket, with its noir-inflected plot and tense theft sequences, is a good entry point — and that last shot is a doozy. 75 minutes.

Available on: Amazon.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tyler Perry's new 'Madea' edges out Tom Cruise at the box office

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Boo Madea Halloween Lionsgate

Tyler Perry has shown once again that he is a box office draw.

Perry's famous Madea character went up against Tom Cruise over the weekend at the multiplex and edged out the superstar actor to win the weekend.

"Boo! A Madea Halloween" took in an estimated $27.6 million over the weekend; Cruise's "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" took in around $23 million, according to The Wrap.

Both titles performed better than expectations and were stronger than previous releases in their franchises.

"Never Go Back," a sequel to the 2012 movie "Jack Reacher" based on the Lee Child novels, was a better earner than the original, "Jack Reacher" had a $15.2 million opening.  "Boo!," the first Madea movie since 2013's "A Madea Christmas," proved audiences still love the character Perry created in the early 2000s as it also had a bigger opening than the $16 million"Madea Christmas" had.

jack reacher never go back paramountThough "Never Go Back" was looking to run away with the weekend as it took in $1.3 million in its Thursday preview screenings versus the $855,000 "Boo!" had, things drastically changed by Saturday night as "Boo!" ticket sales rose 20% from Friday while "Never Go Back" dropped 4%.

What's even more impressive by "Boo!" is that the movie, released by Lionsgate, was on 1,520 screens less than "Never Go Back."

But Paramount, which releases "Never Go Back," shouldn't be too disappointed. In a year where the studio has dealt with many flat releases, the Cruise release is its third best opening weekend this year (behind "Star Trek Beyond, $59.2 million, and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,"$35.3 million).

The Madea franchise, which has earned close to $400 million total over the six films released before "Boo!" (budgets for recent titles hover around $20 million), have been profitable for Lionsgate and proves that Perry is still the king of the box office when it comes to attracting the urban market to the movies. 

On the specialty side, A24's Oscar-contender "Moonlight" came on the scene in a big way with a huge $100,000-plus per-screen average in four theaters its opening weekend. The movie is primed for some big figures as it goes wider.

SEE ALSO: The 20 best TV shows ranked, according to critics

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Horror movies tap into a primal fear instinct in your brain

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the ring nightmare scary horror

It's October, the perfect time for scaring yourself with a spooky film.

Some people adore the rush they get from watching a horror flick; others can't stand how filmmakers somehow worm their way into your consciousness, building up tension and then striking that moment of terror with a jump scare or with some creepy moment that seems to burn itself into your brain.

Using images and sound, the best horror directors are able to tap into a part of your brain that operates purely on instinct.

When you sit down to watch "The Witch" or "The Ring," you know that the movie obviously isn't real. And yet somehow, the best scary films put you on the edge of your seat, ready to jump — sometime actually eliciting a yelp or a gasp.

That's a powerful effect.

"Usually when we're watching something we've shut down the motor regions of the brain, and yet those stimuli [from a shocking scene] are so strong that they overcome the inhibition to the motor system," says Michael Grabowski, an associate professor of communication at Manhattan College and the editor of the textbook "Neuroscience and Media: New Understandings and Representations."

We jump or yell because a film bypasses our tranquilized state and taps into a primal instinct, which is to react immediately to protect ourselves and warn others — before taking time to process what scared us.

"The scream is a way to alert others in your social group and scare off attackers," says Grabowski.

These scary moments supersede our rational thought process that knows they aren't real.

Neurocinematics

Grabowski's background is in filmmaking, but his research now is focused on an emerging field called "neurocinematics," which focuses on the connection between the mind and the experience of cinema.

While filmmakers have been able to evoke emotional responses in viewers for more than a century, it's only now that modern neuroscience can show us what's happening in someone's brain.

This goes beyond horror, too. Think of the last time that you felt emotion while watching any film, whether you laughed or suddenly felt tears welling up in your eyes during "Inside Out." Despite knowing that what you're watching isn't real, you feel real emotion.

But as Uri Hasson, a researcher and professor who focuses on neuroscience and psychology at Princeton, discovered when conducting the study that first coined the term"neurocinematics," people watching something scary or suspenseful tend to have particularly similar responses in their brain.

For now, that insight is mostly helping us understand what that fear looks like in the brain. But some researchers think that modern filmmaking, with an updated understanding of neuroscience and psychology, is actually better able to tap into emotion than it used to be.

Vertigo, HitchcockAs Dutch media studies professor Patricia Pisters wrote in a recent essay for Aeon, "in contemporary thrillers, the spectator knows just as little as the characters, and is immediately drawn into the subjective emotional word of the protagonists. As spectators, we indeed experience the world increasingly 'inside out' and have direct access to the drama of the neural mechanisms of emotion. We are taken on a neuronal rollercoaster that will eventually give us the story."

In the future, says Grabowski, it's possible that filmmakers will be able to use even more precise insights to directly stimulate certain emotions, to control when their audiences jump and what they feel.

When you combine that with powerful technologies like virtual reality, something that makes it even harder for us to tell reality from fiction, the possibilities are fascinating and even a little scary. (If you have a Carboard headset, check out the terrifying short film "Catatonic"— the future of interactive media is somewhat terrifying.)

It's like the dream of Alfred Hitchcock that Pisters cites in her essay, quoted from Donald Spoto's biography of the filmmaker.

"The audience is like a giant organ that you and I are playing," Hitchcock reportedly told scriptwriter Ernest Lehman. "At one moment we play this note, and get this reaction, and then we play that chord and they react. And someday we won't even have to make a movie — there'll be electrodes implanted in their brains, as we'll just press different buttons and they'll go 'oooh' and 'aaah' and we'll frighten them, and make them laugh. Won't that be wonderful?"

SEE ALSO: Technology is eroding our ability to understand what's real and what's just an illusion

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Martin Scorsese's long-awaited movie with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino has a shooting start date

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Matin Scorsese Robert De Niro Theo Wargo Getty final

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro built their legend by collaborating together in some of the greatest movies ever made, including "Taxi Driver,""Raging Bull," and "Goodfellas."

And though they are always talking about working together again, De Niro has not starred in a Scorsese movie since 1995's "Casino." 

Finally, it looks like that will change. 

In an interview with Variety, Oscar-winning production designer Dante Ferretti — who has worked on numerous Scorsese projects including the most recent, "Silence"— said that the long-awaited crime movie "The Irishman," which would not just re-team Scorsese and De Niro but will also star Al Pacino, could begin shooting early next year.

"I never say, ‘I’m going to do this or that’ until it’s signed," Ferretti said. "Theoretically we’ve talked about shooting this film next year in February or March."

"The Irishman" is an adaptation of the Charles Brandy book "I Heard You Paint Houses," which looks at hitman Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, who allegedly told Brandy for the book that he killed Jimmy Hoffa.

The film is also set to star Scorsese regulars Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci.

According to its IMDb page, De Niro will play Sheeran and Pacino will play Hoffa, but currently there's no confirmation of that particular casting.

Scorsese and De Niro have been wanting to make the project for years. When I interviewed De Niro in 2011, I brought it up, and he said it all came down to finding a time when his and Scorsese's schedules were open.

STX Entertainment bought international rights to the film during this year's Cannes Film Festival for a reported $50 million, and since then news on the project has been quiet, outside of a hint that Pesci may not be in the film.

Business Insider asked Adam Fogelson, head of STX Entertainment's movie division, in August if Pesci had signed on and he answered, "I cannot report that that has happened as of yet. But [the movie] is coming together in a way that people will be very excited to join it."

STX Entertainment did not immediately reply to Business Insider about confirmation on the start date of "The Irishman."

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Why the 'Deadpool' sequel is suddenly in big trouble

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On Saturday, "Deadpool" fans were hit with a major body blow when news broke through Deadline that director Tim Miller has left the sequel due to creative differences.

The person who led one of the most unlikely hit movies in recent memory with the first "Deadpool," Miller is obviously leaving big shoes to fill as the film's studio 20th Century Fox seeks to replace him.

According to Deadline, Miller hadn't formerly signed on to do the sequel, which is still in script development, but was planning to return. The movie is slated for release in 2018. It's reported that Miller and Fox left on good terms. 

But the drama doesn't sound like it was between Miller and the studio, but rather Miller and his star. 

TheWrap reports that Ryan Reynolds, who plays the "Merc with a Mouth," has been given some perks since renegotiating his deal for the sequel, including allegedly having casting approval. Miller and Reynolds, who have not been on speaking terms since the release of "Deadpool," the story indicates, hit a wall in their relationship when Miller wanted to cast "Bloodline" star Kyle Chandler to play character Cable, but Reynolds didn't. The studio went with Reynolds, according to TheWrap.

Tim Miller Ryan Reynolds Kevin Winter GettyFox is now in the difficult position of trying to find a director for one of its biggest films, which is compounded by the fact that Miller had his fingerprints all over the predecessor.

Miller, who is also known for his visual effects work, did much of the original "Deadpool" film's VFX touchups in postproduction for free, according to TheWrap. That gave "Deadpool," which was made for under $60 million (peanuts compared to other superhero movies), a polished look that most projects wouldn't have at that figure. 

It's not time to hit the panic button just yet, since "Deadpool" screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are working on the sequel, but now attention shifts even more to Reynolds to make sure "Deadpool 2" succeeds.

Getting the power to have say on creative aspects like casting and tone will lead either to him being hailed if the movie does incredible business, or to the blame being heaped on his shoulders.

"Deadpool" opened in February this year and beat all expectations as it broke numerous box-office records, including the biggest opening for an R-rated movie of all time ($132.4 million). The movie went on to make over $780 million worldwide.

20th Century Fox did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.  

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Here's the first clip of Dwayne Johnson singing in Disney's upcoming 'Moana'

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dwayne johnson sings moana Disney

The Rock can carry a tune!

Disney has released the first clip of Dwayne Johnson singing in its upcoming animated movie, "Moana," and it's pretty impressive. 

Johnson plays Maui in the movie, a demi-God who travels with a young girl named Moana who has set sail for a fabled island. 

In the movie, Johnson sings the song "You're Welcome," written by "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Here's a clip of the song from the movie:

Disney also released this clip of Moana's first encounter with Maui.

"Moana" opens in theaters November 23.

SEE ALSO: Martin Scorsese's long-awaited movie with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino has a shooting start date

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The 50 best movies of all time, according to critics on Metacritic

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pulp fiction

Many of the notable lists that rank the greatest movies of all time — like the American Film Institute's "100 Years ... 100 Movies" from 1998 — have enlisted thousands of movie-industry names to come up with a consensus of the best films.

When film critics are the only factor taken into account for such a list, however, it's a given that the results may not reflect what's most popular.

We turned to the review aggregator Metacritic for its list of the all-time greatest movies, which ranks films by their composite critical reception. The list excludes rereleases and films with less than seven total reviews on the site, so numerous classics like "The Godfather" and "Citizen Kane" are absent for lack of data, and the data skews toward contemporary movies. But it's an odd, fascinating assortment all the same.

Check out the 50 best movies of all time, according to the critics on Metacritic:

SEE ALSO: 14 actors who regret their iconic movie roles

50. "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from IMDB):Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.



49. "35 Shots of Rum" (2009)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 6.1/10

Plot summary: The relationship between a father and daughter is complicated by the arrival of a handsome young man.



48. "Raging Bull" (1980)

Critic score: 92/100

User score: 6.4/10

Plot summary:An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

People are hijacking the IMDb score of a new movie about a genocide for political reasons

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the promiseEither there are some absolutely enormous cinemas out there that I’ve somehow never heard about, or IMDb users are voting politically on The Promise without having seen it.

The Terry George-directed film stars Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac and is set during the final days of the Ottoman Empire, leading up to the Armenian Genocide that killed 1.5 million.

At the time of writing, it has 86,704 ratings on IMDb, 55,126 of which are one-star and 30,639 of which are 10-star, with very few ratings falling anywhere in between. The majority of votes were cast by males outside of the US.

The Promise is believed to have only been screened to the public three times (we have contacted production company Survival Pictures for confirmation on this).

the promise imdb

the promise imdb

Armenian Diaspora communities have long been campaigning for recognition of the genocide by governments around the world. In 2010, a US congressional panel narrowly voted that the incident was indeed a genocide, a decision the Turkish government criticised, saying it had been accused of a crime it “had not committed”.

It is IMDb’s policy not to interfere with user ratings, but many have called for the database to step in following the tide of negative ratings.

We have reached out to IMDb for comment.

Official synopsis for The Promise:

'It is 1914. As the Great War looms, the vast Ottoman Empire is crumbling. Constantinople (Istanbul), ITS once vibrant, multicultural capital is about to be consumed by chaos.

Michael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac), arrives in the cosmopolitan hub as a medical student determined to bring modern medicine back to Siroun, his ancestral village in Southern Turkey where Turkish Muslims and Armenian Christians have lived side by side for centuries.

Photo-journalist Chris Myers (Christian Bale), has come here only partly to cover geo-politics. He is mesmerized by his love for Ana (Charlotte le Bon), an Armenian artist he has accompanied from Paris after the sudden death of her father.

When Michael meets Ana, their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between the two men even as Michael hangs on to a promise from his past. After the Turks join the war on the German side, the Empire turns violently against its own ethnic minorities. Despite their conflicts, everyone must find a way to survive — even as monumental events envelope their lives.'

Watch the trailer below:

SEE ALSO: The 50 best movies of all time, according to critics on Metacritic

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