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The man behind a bold new movie exposing Scientology was physically threatened by the church


My_Scientology_Movie_press_3 BBC:BBC Worldwide

Since the release of Alex Gibney's Emmy-winning documentary "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief" and the A&E series "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath," fascination over the Church of Scientology has been at an all-time high.

Now the church is being examined through the unique style of BBC filmmaker Louis Theroux. Known as the Michael Moore of Britain, Theroux often stars in his docuseries projects featuring off-beat cultural subjects like "America's Most Medicated Kids" and "Twilight of the Porn Stars.""My Scientology Movie," Theroux's first feature film (directed by John Dower), is less of a broad historic look at Scientology, like Gibney's film, and more a spotlight on the alleged incidents church members have experienced under the thumb of current Scientology leader David Miscavige.

"I had tried to do something on Scientology in 2002, but I reengaged with the subject after our producer Simon Chinn read the Lawrence Wright New Yorker piece [in 2011]," Theroux told Business Insider of the documentary, which opens in theaters and is available on streaming/VOD Friday.

The film follows Theroux as he travels to Los Angeles to investigate what goes on at the church's headquarters. With the church unwilling to cooperate, Theroux enlists ex-Scientology executive Marty Rathbun (who also stars in "Going Clear") to give insight into what goes on there.

This then leads to Theroux asking Rathburn to help him in casting reenactments of incidents that allegedly happened to church members, many of which involve the church's leader, David Miscavige, bullying and physically abusing Scientologists.

As with "Going Clear," making "My Scientology Movie" involved lawyers dissecting every piece of footage in the final cut to make sure BBC Films and others with stakes in the film weren't making themselves legally vulnerable.

Due to differences in laws in the UK versus the US, Theroux believes "My Scientology Movie" was scrutinized more by its lawyers than "Going Clear."

"When you don't have access to a subject and all you have is ex-members and critics, there is this gravitational pull toward telling a certain version of events," Theroux said. "Scientology would say this, and they have a point, that it's like doing a portrait of a marriage in which you're only hearing from the ex-wife and not the ex-husband. So as a journalist it's this nagging feeling that I'm not getting the full picture."

In the movie, many title cards giving information about alleged incidents also include counter-statements from the church. But Theroux believes Scientology's side comes through most clearly in its actions during filming.

In a few instances, Theroux finds camera crews, apparently Scientologists, filming him making the movie. (Scientology informed Theroux that it's making a film on him.) Rathburn also films alleged Scientology members harassing him.

"When they show up saying they are making their own film on me, or filming Marty, as a viewer you no longer have that thought, 'I wonder how Scientology would characterize this?' It strengthens the film," Theroux said.

But Theroux admits he may have gone too far in a key moment in the film. Following an encounter Rathburn has with alleged church members, Theroux and Rathburn discuss the incident, with Theroux reminding Rathburn that when he was in Scientology these were the kind of tactics he instructed people to use on ex-members. This sets Rathburn off, and he curses out Theroux.

scientology xlarge"I think I was probably over the line," Theroux said. "Every screening I've been in when that moment plays, it's tense and people think, 'I don't know what I feel about this.'"

But director John Dower believes it needed to be addressed.

"Louis needs to ask that question because Marty had consistently batted it away so many times before," he said. "It so happens that's the only time he could get an answer out of him."

"My Scientology Movie" offers the impression that even if you decide to leave the church, members will never leave you alone — especially if you go public with what goes on inside it.

Since filming wrapped, those involved with the movie have thought the church was behind bizarre moments in their lives.

Dower knows his Instagram account was hacked by the church because, according to Dower, Scientology officials admitted to doing it in one of their cease-and-desist letters to the BBC regarding the film.

Then there are the threats toward Theroux.

The morning of his interview with Business Insider, Theroux was locked out of his email account due to, as he called it, "suspicious activity." Police told him some of the activity came from Clearwater, Florida, headquarters of Scientology.

And a few months ago, the police came to his house telling him they'd been tipped that someone wanted to do bodily harm to him due to his Scientology movie. The church, in fact, was involved.

"I asked the police where the threat came from and they said Scientology called them saying they had heard it," Theroux said. (According to the filmmaker, police told him Scientology said in its tip that it was "concerned" for his "well-being.")

"I was like hold on, that doesn't sound right," Theroux said. "They were the ones who made the call? Now I'm on a special list where if I call the police they are on the fast track to where I am. But my take is it sounded like Scientologists were just trying to wind me up by getting the police to come to my house."

Numerous attempts to contact Scientology to comment for this story were not successful.

Here's a clip from the movie:


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The most terrifying villain in the movie everyone's talking about is white womanhood — here's why


get out allison williams

Spoilers ahead.

On a recent episode of Jeff Goldsmith's podcast The Q&A, the host asked his guest, "Get Out" director Jordan Peele, about how he had conceived of the movie's white girlfriend Rose, played by Allison Williams.

In the sharp horror satire, Rose brings her boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) to meet her WASPy family in their rural, stately East Coast mansion but doesn't let them know ahead of time that he's black.

A series of terrifying events ensues, and Chris eventually learns that her family is in the business of stealing black peoples' bodies for their fetishized physical attributes.

Goldsmith wondered: "It seemed like at a certain point, there was still a chance that she might be a good person and didn't realize that her family was doing this … I'm curious if there ever was an iteration where she was an ally rather than a foe."

"Nope, there wasn't that," Peele responded matter-of-factly to laughs in the live audience. "There was an iteration of it where … we as an audience were meant to know that she was in on it the whole time."

But no, Rose was never going to be an innocent bystander, a millennial guilty only of being nestled so deep inside that precious bubble of wokeness that she couldn't recognize her own complicity in systemic racism.

"White liberal racism" has been accurately pinpointed as the movie's symbolic Big Bad, the villain that, when left unchecked, will destroy us all. But another undeniable facet of that beast—in fact, perhaps, the most crucial part of it all—can be whittled down even further to, simply: white women.

The most damning case for this theory is in the final scene—Rose is the last white person left, the final racist obstacle Chris has to confront in order to make it out of that suburban nightmare alive. But there are many seeds planted along the way that build to this moment.

get out copAfter Rose and Chris call for help following the deer crash, for instance, Rose assumes that the white cop's gruff insistence that Chris show him his ID (even though he wasn't the one who was driving) is because Chris is black. While Chris, obviously used to this kind of interaction with cops, is deferential and hands over his ID, Rose talks back to the cop, quipping, "This is bulls--t."

The cop pauses a moment while glaring at her and then gives back the ID and lets them go. Rose's sass toward the cop can be seen as her being a socially conscious white woman who stands up for her black boyfriend—after the incident, Chris admits that he found the moment "hot"—but the truth is that she easily could have made things worse for Chris, had the cop been less willing to take her backtalk.

History tells us that had she been black, the cop probably wouldn't have taken her comments in stride. But that's the power she holds (and she's aware that she holds) as a white woman.

"Get Out" makes her self-awareness on this front even clearer during the climactic third act, when she tries to distract Chris' friend Rod from figuring out the family's sinister intentions by exploiting what she imagines is his attraction to her: "I know you think about fucking me."

Even Chris plays into the white-woman–as–consummate-object-of-desire narrative, when he attributes his uncomfortable interactions with the Armitages' black housekeepers, Walter and Georgina, to his theory that Walter has a crush on Rose and Georgina might be upset to see a black guy with a white woman.

get out georginaThrow in the fact that it's Rose's mother Missy who is able to control his mind through hypnosis, and white women, who in "Get Out" initially seem to be less outwardly racist than the men, are the movie's greatest threat.

Part of the genius of "Get Out" is the way Peele plays with and subverts over a century's worth of racist on-screen imagery related to white femininity. The idea of the "black brute"—specifically, the black male reduced to his physical prowess and base sexual "instincts"—was seared into the cultural imagination in D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation and perpetuated throughout the next few decades of cinematic history, perhaps most prominently in King Kong.

In "Birth of a Nation," black men (white actors in blackface) are portrayed as lazy, greedy, and worst of all, a direct threat to pure, exalted white womanhood. In one of the film's most famous sequences, Flora jumps to her death off of a cliff after Gus, a freedman, chases her there, proclaiming he wants to get married.

In "King Kong," the stereotype is rendered in allegory, with the animatronic monster reflecting stereotypes of black people as apes and beasts. Our introduction to him is as part of a tribal ceremony (the kind that has come to represent Western ideas of Africa) in which a young native woman is going to be sacrificed as his bride—but when he spots the blond, virtuous Ann (Fay Wray), he only has eyes and claws for her.*

jordan peeleIn both of those films, the black male is felled by his lust for a white woman—Gus is tried and then lynched by the KKK, while Kong is shot down by planes from the top of the Empire State Building. To white viewers in those times, the movies reinforced real-life fears of miscegenation before giving them happy, triumphant outcomes.

"Get Out" grounds similar circumstances in a modern-day context, but reveals the true horror to be inflicted on black people.

It exposes those ingrained prejudices for the pervasive micro-aggressions they exist as today, like when Chris is subjected to one racist interaction—couched as a compliment—after another at Rose's parents' off-kilter garden party. (Is sex really better with a black guy?, one older woman asks Rose after squeezing his arms and chest.) Or when Rose's brother Jeremy says that with Chris' "genetic makeup," he could be a "beast" at mixed martial arts. (Chris calls the sport "too brutal" for his tastes.)

In the film's last act, Rose's deception is revealed, and it turns out that she's been luring black men (and at least one woman, as evidenced by Georgina) to her parents' home so that her family members can inhabit their bodies and reap the "benefits" of their "natural" physical attributes.

While her parents and brother are just as complicit, it's Rose who we spend the most time with in these last moments—the scene in her bedroom, in which she listens to the theme song from "Dirty Dancing" while daintily eating dry Froot Loops out of a bowl and drinking milk out of a glass with a straw so that the colors don't mix, underscores not just her supreme level of whiteness, but her basic Becky-ness. (Now that she thinks Chris is being taken care of by her parents, she's onto the next one—searching the web for "top NCAA prospects.")

Later, as she lies bleeding out from her gunshot wound and Chris hovers over her with his hands around her neck (conjuring up images of Othello strangling Desdemona), a devilish smile cracks upon her face, as if she is getting pleasure from Chris proving that he is indeed a brute.

allison williams get outAs what appear to be police lights appear, Rose feigns pleas for help. She's not just a psychopathic racist; she's also a canny manipulator of the subterranean, systemic racism in the world at large. And this makes her easily the most insidious, terrifying character in the whole film.

The famous last line of "King Kong" is telling: "It was beauty killed the beast."

Chris joins a long historical line of black people, both real and fictional, who have had their lives threatened or complicated by white women's lies and/or the cultural perception of white womanhood as unfailingly virtuous and true: the legendary boxer Jack Johnson, the Scottsboro boys, Emmett Till, Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird," LeBron James (recall that infamous Vogue cover with model Gisele Bundchen that reminded many people of King Kong), Odell Beckham Jr., every black person alive during the 2016 election.

Even Kanye West, who has his own fair share of issues to be sure, has routinely been subjected to criticisms predicated less on his actions than on his own proximities to white womanhood ("King Kong" imagery is also a theme he himself has occasionally employed), particularly when it comes to his years' long feud with Taylor Swift. 

As Very Smart Brothas' Damon Young wrote last year when it was revealed that Swift lied about not being aware ahead of time that West planned to include a line about her in his song "Famous":

…What Taylor did is a form of what Darth Susans have been doing since America's inception. Using the inherent empathy and benefit of the doubt her White womanhood allows her to possess—plus the reflexive need to protect and preserve the sanctity of said White womanhood at all costs—to throw a Black person under the bus if necessary and convenient. In 2016, Darth Susans get people fired. In 1916, Darth Susans got people lynched.

In that Jeff Goldsmith interview (and other interviews elsewhere), Peele doesn't explicitly state that white womanhood is the monster in "Get Out", but he does hint that in crafting the character of Rose he was indeed relying on our assumptions about how racial dynamics play out in Hollywood and real life: "I knew in my heart that anybody who's seeing a movie in a wide-release in America, would have to think, There's no way Universal Studios would allow the one good white person in this film to also be evil!"

The final subversive trick of "Get Out", of course, is that "beauty" doesn't kill the "beast"—Chris makes it out alive, if now mentally scarred forever. We're used to seeing black people die first in such movies, but Chris takes his place within the horror canon as an inverse of the Final Girl.

The Final Girl is almost always a white woman (and usually a brunette) who manages to defeat the monster and save herself. She is often young and virginal and definitely not a mean girl. We're supposed to identify with her and wish for her victory. She is who Allison Williams would play if this were a typical slasher film made by a typically white filmmaker—but this is not, and it was not. She is the villain, an exact incarnation of the horror of being a black person in America.

SEE ALSO: The disturbing truth that makes 'Get Out' plausible

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The most and least expensive Oscar best-picture winners


leonardo dicaprio titanic

The Oscars' best-picture award can go to a low-budget indie darling or a monstrous hit with a blockbuster budget to match. And looking back at the winners, comparing budgets gets tricky because of inflation.

A movie that had what seems like a low budget could actually be quite expensive when adjusted for inflation in 2017. Thankfully, Reddit user Joe Falchetto put all the work of adjusting the budgets of best pictures for inflation into one chart, so we can see what movies really cost the most. 

“Titanic,” the epic 1998 Oscar winner, tops the chart of priciest best pictures by millions of dollars. Behind it comes “Gladiator,” the 2001 best-picture winner, and “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which won best picture in 2004. 

According to Box Office Mojo, the 1997 budget for “Titanic” was about $200 million. And according to an inflation calculator, that equals $302,603,115.26 in today's US dollars. 

The best-picture winners with the lowest budgets adjusted for inflation include “Moonlight” (2016), “Crash” (2005), and “Rocky” (1976).

“Crash” had a budget of $6.4 million. Adjusted for 2017, that would be $8,227,472.74. The budget for “Rocky” was $1.1 million in 1976, or in today's dollars, $4,694,602.81. 

And although “Moonlight” only came out last year, it’s still subject to inflation: the budget was $1.5 million, which spikes up to $1,517,699.48 today. 

This chart documents the budgets of the last 50 Oscar best-picture winners, adjusted for inflation: 

Best Picture Inflation Chart

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33 documentaries on Netflix right now that will make you smarter


Metallica Some Kind of Monster IFC Film final

One of the great things about Netflix is that it has brought thoughtful, compelling documentaries to a much wider audience — something filmmakers could only dream of a decade ago.

And with binge-worthy titles like "Amanda Knox" or "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" a click away, you can get a lot of great nonfiction viewing any night of the week. You'll learn a lot more about the world, but don't worry — you'll also be entertained.

Here are 33 documentaries we think you should stream right away on Netflix.

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

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1. "13th"

Director Ava DuVernay looks at the history of the US prison system and how it relates to the nation's history of racial inequality.

2. "Amanda Knox"

The murder trial in Italy of the American exchange student Amanda Knox, who is now free, captivated the world in the early 2000s. This Netflix original looks back at the case and gets the perspective of Knox and others closely involved.

3. "The Battered Bastards of Baseball"

In a fascinating look at one of the more colorful stories in baseball lore, directors Chapman and Maclain Way follow the Portland Mavericks, an independent baseball team owned by the movie star Bing Russell (Kurt Russell's father) who threw out all the conventions of the national pastime to build a regional sensation in the late 1970s.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'Kong: Skull Island' earns $61 million to win the weekend box office, but is far from breaking even


Kong Skull Island box office Warner Bros

The Warner Bros. latest release from its MonsterVerse franchise, "Kong: Skull Island," won the weekend box office with the entertaining blockbuster taking in an estimated $61 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But the figure still doesn't come close to what WB put in to make the movie.

This latest look at the legendary Kong went outside the box, placing the monster ape in the Vietnam-era with huge production value, incredible CGI creature fights, a soundtrack full of almost every iconic song from the 1970s, and big name stars like Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, and John Goodman.

All that totals to around a $185 million-budgeted movie (and another $136 million to market it), according to Deadline.

So even though "Skull Island" exceeded industry weekend projections by taking in $20.2 million on Friday and then had an impressive spike on Saturday with $23.9 million, WB is still looking at a big hill to climb to get in the black.

And the international box office isn't helping, as it didn't even crack $85 million.

"Skull Island" also didn't perform as well as WB's 2014 monster movie "Godzilla," which opened domestically at $93.1 million. Budgeted at $160 million, it went on to earn over $529 million worldwide.

"Logan," Hugh Jackman's final time playing X-Men Wolverine, came in second place with $37.9 million.

And in third is the sensational "Get Out" with $21 million, putting the movie past $100 million total gross, the fastest a Blumhouse Productions release ever hit the mark. The movie was made for $4.5 million.

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How Scientology keeps its secrets, and puts journalists 'on a par with sexual perverts'


my Scientology movie magnolia final

The Church of Scientology is legendary for keeping a tight lid on its inner workings. In fact, its current leader, David Miscavige, hasn't done a TV interview in 25 years.

Still, for British journalist/documentarian Louis Theroux, who makes his living profiling the people living in the margins of society, Scientology was the, as he put it, "Holy Grail" of stories. That led to him making the documentary "My Scientology Movie" (currently in theaters, On Demand, and iTunes), which follows him as he travels to Los Angeles to investigate what goes on at the Church of Scientology's headquarters.

But it was quite a challenge at first to make a movie on the church with no access to anyone inside it.

"In 2002, we went through the proper channels and my producer at the time and I took a tour of the Celebrity Centre and then it all fizzled out," Theroux said, talking to Business Insider in a Facebook Live interview. "Eight years went by."

Theroux couldn't figure out how to do his kind of storytelling on the topic.

"I'm not just a reporter, I'm an experiencer of what's going on and we weren't going to do a backward story on how Scientology came into existence. It was to be an immersive piece about what it means to eat, breath, sleep Scientology," he said.

It also wasn't any help that Scientology has been hostile to journalists trying to glean insight about the organization, especially in recent years as questions about the church have ramped up. It has retaliated against projects like the HBO documentary "Going Clear" with smear campaigns.

"They don't let people in, they don't let reporters inside. And they view reporters as being what they call 1.1 on the Tone Scale, meaning on a par with sexual perverts," Theroux said, referring to the scale in Scientology that assesses a human's state.

"We just needed something to get the engine of the film going," the movie's director John Dower said of the block.

my Scientology movie andrew perez magnoliaThen Theroux, Dower, and the film's producer Simon Chinn came up with an idea: retell the parts that Scientology was keeping from them.

"We came up with the idea of using actors to do reenactments of life inside Scientology," Theroux said.

"The first day of doing the auditions we had no idea if it was going to work and it kind of did," Dower said. They immediately found actor Andrew Perez to play the role of Miscavige.

They then brought on ex-Scientology executive Marty Rathbun to give insight on camera to Theroux and the actors doing the reenactments.

The movie ends up being the type of first-person storytelling Theroux is known for, even if it took extra work to get there. In fact, he even faced physical threats for his inquires into Scientology.

"It's a film within a film," Theroux said. "In life the line between performance and our real selves isn't always clear."

Watch Business Insider's entire Facebook Live chat with Theroux and Dower below:


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How the new 'Beauty and the Beast' cast compares to the original animated characters


Lumiere and Cogsworth comparison Beauty and the Beast

Disney's live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" hits theaters on March 17. The new cast has been wowing everyone on red carpet premieres, but how do their on-screen looks stack up to the original animated characters? 

Make sure to read our full review of the movie and the changes made (for better or worse), but for now let's look at how the characters physically compare to the original animated feature. 

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Emma Watson stars as Belle. While her outfits differ slightly from the original designs, we think Disney nailed Belle's overall look and especially her hairstyles.

Dan Stevens plays the cursed prince. His blue eyes match, but Disney put more of an 18th century France twist on his aesthetic.

Dan Stevens also voices the Beast, who was rendered for the new movie using CGI and other visual effects.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'Buffy' creator Joss Whedon explains why he doesn't like the Netflix model (NFLX)


joss whedon

Joss Whedon has made shows people love to binge-watch on Netflix — from "Buffy" to "Firefly"— but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.

Whedon, who of late has directed blockbuster films like "The Avengers," decried the “all-at-once” release model for TV in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“I would not want to do it,” Whedon said of a Netflix-style full-season release on one day. “I would want people to come back every week and have the experience of watching something at the same time. We released ‘Doctor Horrible’ in three acts. We did that, in part, because I grew up watching miniseries like ‘Lonesome Dove.’ I loved event television. And as it was falling by the wayside, I thought, ‘Let's do it on the internet!’ Over the course of that week, the conversation about the show changed and changed. That was exciting to watch.”

Whedon gave the caveat that Netflix is making a ton of “extraordinary stuff,” and that if Netflix threw a bunch of money at him to make his dream project, he wouldn’t reject it out of hand. But still, his preference is for a weekly release. And he worries that in the era of binge-watching, people don't take time to really breathe and understand what happened in a given episode.

If shows are made for binge-watching, there is a sense of narrative that is lost. “It loses its power, and we lose something with it,” he said of binge-watching. "We lose our understanding of narrative. Which is what we come to television for."

But Whedon will live, even in a totally binge-centric world.

“If that's how people want it, I'd still work just as hard,” he said. “I'll adapt.”

Read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter.

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'Get Out' star responds to Samuel L. Jackson's criticism: 'I resent that I have to prove that I'm black'


Get Out Universal

Jordan Peele's box-office sensation "Get Out" continues to draw audiences, as the movie crossed the $100 million mark over the weekend.

But with success comes criticism, and actor Samuel L. Jackson made headlines last week when he criticized the casting of Daniel Kaluuya, a black British actor, in the lead instead of a black American actor. (Jackson later said that he wasn't just pointing out Kaluuya, but the casting of British black actors in general.)

In a recent interview with GQ, Kaluuya responded to Jackson's comments.

"Here's the thing about that critique, though," Kaluuya said. "I'm dark-skinned, bro. When I'm around black people I'm made to feel 'other' because I'm dark-skinned. I've had to wrestle with that, with people going, 'You're too black.' Then I come to America and they say, 'You're not black enough.' I go to Uganda, I can't speak the language. In India, I'm black. In the black community, I'm dark-skinned. In America, I'm British. Bro!"

The actor added of his frustrations: "I resent that I have to prove that I'm black."

Kaluuya (who also starred as an American in "Sicario") addressed the racial hostility that he has experienced in the UK in his life, including the riots in Brixton and Tottenham.

"Let me say, I'm not trying to culture-vulture the thing. I empathize," he said. "That script spoke to me. I've been to Ugandan weddings, and funerals, and seen that cousin bring a white girl. That's a thing in all communities. I really respect African-American people. I just want to tell black stories."

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You can now watch the entire 'Breaking Bad' series as a 2-hour movie


walt jesse breaking bad

UPDATE: The embed no longer works, but try to watch the movie here.

"Breaking Bad" will go down as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, but it takes quite a commitment to go back and binge five seasons worth of the show. 

But now you don't have to.

French editors Lucas Stoll and Gaylor Morestin have posted on Vimeo "Breaking Bad: The Movie," a two-hour version of the series that they state on their Vimeo page took two years to complete.

"It’s not a fan-film, hitting the highlights of [the] show in a home-made homage, but rather a re-imagining of the underlying concept itself, lending itself to full feature-length treatment," the Vimeo page reads. "An alternative 'Breaking Bad,' to be viewed with fresh eyes."

So sit back and watch this retelling of the "Breaking Bad" saga.

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Here are all 33 times someone says 'family' in the 'Fast & Furious' movies


The INSIDER Summary:

  • "The Fast and the Furious"was released in 2001. Since then it has spawned seven sequels, including "The Fate of the Furious," which is coming to theaters on April 14th, 2017.
  • Family has become the dominant theme of the franchise, especially in the later films.
  • The films revolve around Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, and his tight-knit group of friends and colleagues. They consider each other to be family, rather than just friends and coworkers.
  • The main conflict of "The Fate of the Furious" appears to be Dom's betrayal of his family.
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is also in the series as the character Hobbs (no relation to the 17th century philosopher or the stuffed tiger).

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Netflix has a new movie boss, and will pump out 30 original films this year


scott stuber

Netflix is going to release a whopping 30 original films this year, and it just hired superstar producer and former Universal executive Scott Stuber to run its movie business.

Stuber has produced movies like "Ted,""The Breakup," and "Identity Thief," and his eye for commercial appeal is no doubt a plus for Netflix, which wants movies to resonate with its worldwide audience of nearly 100 million subscribers. 

“Scott is well known and respected in the film industry. His innovative work and strong talent relationships should help accelerate the Netflix original film initiative as we enter into a new phase of big global productions with some of the greatest directors, actors and writers in the film business,” Netflix head Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

The 'Flix' in Netflix

Netflix's experience with movies has been a mixed bag of late.

In December, Sarandos was asked about the perceived sparseness of Netflix's movie offerings. "No matter what, we end up with about 1/3 of our watching being movies," he said.

If you take a film that does well at the box office, and get it 7-10 months later on your streaming service, that's not going to create a ton of value, he explained. "If you were passionate [about the movie], you've already seen it," he said. Netflix is "happy to have" some of those movies, but the audience isn't particularly passionate (hence the "1/3 no matter" what pattern).

He said he wanted Netflix to put out original movies people would go to see in theaters, and pointed to the new Will Smith vehicle "Bright," which Netflix paid a reported $90 million for, as a big test. The movie is a cop thriller set in a world that's similar to ours in time period but contains fantasy creatures like orcs and elves.

screen shot 2017 02 27 at 84325 am

"Bright" is Netflix's biggest push yet into blockbuster films. This purchase would significantly outstrip the $60 million Netflix paid for Brad Pitt's "War Machine," which has not yet been released.

With Stuber at the helm, expect Netflix's movie ambitions to spread way beyond scooping up a roster of indies at Sundance.

But what remains to be seen is whether Netflix will resolve its ongoing standoff with the movie theater industry, or whether that will matter to its longterm success.

Netflix's commitment to "day-and-date releases," meaning movies are available to stream on Netflix the same day they arrive in theaters, will likely limit how many big screens show "Bright." Theater giants like Regal have publicly denounced this release policy, and Netflix's previous films have seen very limited theatrical releases.

In October, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that movie theaters were "strangling the movie business." 

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Disney just released the first teaser for the new Pixar movie 'Coco' and it looks stunning


Coco Disney pixar movie trailer

The INSIDER Summary:

  • "Coco" is Disney Pixar's next feature film, arriving in theaters on November 22, 2017.
  • The movie is about Miguel, an aspiring musician who finds himself on an adventure in the Land of the Dead.
  • Disney released a new teaser trailer for the movie — watch it below.

Pixar is back at it again with "Coco," a new animated feature that follows the story of an aspiring musician named Miguel. Disney released a first teaser for the movie, which shows new footage of Miguel as he plays guitar and embarks on a mysterious journey to the Land of the Dead. 

As expected, the animation and world-building from Pixar looks stunning. From the goofy sidekick dog to the glowing realm of the dead, "Coco" is already promising a magical movie experience. Plus, the movie is directed by Lee Unkrich and produced by Darla K. Anderson — the same team responsible for Pixar's "Toy Story 3." 

"Coco" is the only original movie Pixar will release until 2020 — all the others are sequels or installments in a trilogy.

Coco trailer guitar Disney Pixar

Here's the official synopsis of "Coco" provided by Disney: 

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

Watch the trailer below:

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The original 'Beauty and the Beast' actress explains why Emma Watson is the 'perfect' Belle


Paige O'Hara Belle actress Beauty and the Beast premiere in Los Angeles

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Paige O'Hara voiced Belle in the original "Beauty and the Beast."
  • Now Emma Watson is taking on the role, and O'Hara is thrilled.
  • She called it "perfect casting" and said "[Watson] is very very smart, and she's got a real warmth about her too and a quirky odd sense of humor."

As Disney aficionados know, a live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast" hits theaters on March 17 — nearly 26 years after the original animated film was released. INSIDER spoke with the original voice actress behind Belle, Paige O'Hara, about the upcoming movie and how it feels to have Emma Watson step into her shoes. 

"Perfect casting," O'Hara tells INSIDER. "If I was producing [the movie] I would have cast her as my number one choice, absolutely. I think she’s going to be amazing."

Belle and Emma Watson side by side Beauty and the Beast

Belle is not your average Disney princess. According to O'Hara, she is one of the only princesses meant to be in her 20s, as opposed to late teens. Plus her brown hair and bookish quality made Belle a departure from her regal blonde predecessors. This ties into Watson's personality well, according to O'Hara. 

"[Watson] is very very smart, and she's got a real warmth about her too and a quirky odd sense of humor," O'Hara explains. "I think she's gonna be great."

Watson and the team behind the remake have made some changes to Belle's original character and storyline. In this version, it's Belle who is the inventor — not her father, Maurice. And Watson believes that a common critique of Belle's (that her relationship with the Beast is glorified Stockholm Syndrome) doesn't hold up when you look at her motivations and personality.

To learn more about changes made to the original, read our full review. "Beauty and the Beast" arrives in theaters nationwide on March 17.

BONUS: Here's how Emma Watson's Belle compares to the original.

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A reboot of 'The Matrix' is in the works


Keanu Reeves in the Wachowskis'

Like it or not, Warner Bros. is pursuing a reboot of "The Matrix."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is in the very early stages of relaunching its landmark franchise that earned over $1 billion worldwide at the box office in the late 1990s and early 2000s — and helped make Keanu Reeves the legend of action movies that he is.

According to the publication, the studio has its eye on "Creed" star Michael B. Jordan to lead the franchise in a reboot.

But a major element from the reboot is missing, as the creators of the original films, Lilly and Lana Wachowski, are reportedly not involved.

"The Matrix," released in 1999, followed a computer programmer named Neo (Reeves) who realizes humanity is living in a simulated reality and becomes the hope for its salvation. The movie redefined how action movies would be made for the next decade with its incredible CGI and martial arts. Two sequels, "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions," didn't live up to the hype of the first movie but still made major bank at the box office.

The studio hopes to expand the "Matrix" universe in the vein of what Disney is doing with "Star Wars" and begin making movies focused on elements that were on the fringes of the original franchise, according to THR.

Warner Bros. said it had no comment for this story.

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Why Ewan McGregor and 'Trainspotting' director Danny Boyle didn't speak for almost a decade


Danny Boyle Ewan McGregor Eric Chabonneau Getty final

With the release of "T2 Trainspotting" in the US on Friday, we're brought back into the lives of the drug-crazed, down-and-out friends from Edinburgh, Scotland, played by Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle. It's 20 years after they embodied the characters in the original Danny Boyle-directed movie that became a cultural phenomenon.

But along with the obvious challenges of creating a worthy sequel to a classic like "Trainspotting," Boyle also had to patch things up with one of his stars.

Boyle, an English filmmaker, cast McGregor, who's Scottish, in his first three movies, "Shallow Grave" (1994), "Trainspotting" (1996), and "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997). But when Boyle released his fourth film, the thriller "The Beach," in 2000, his muse was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Leonardo DiCaprio took the lead of the movie, marking his first major role after becoming an international sensation in "Titanic."

the beach foxBoyle's snubbing of McGregor led to the two not speaking to each other until 2009.

“I handled it very, very badly, and I’ve apologized to you,” Boyle told McGregor on "The Graham Norton Show" back in January. The director admits that he gave McGregor the impression that he was going to cast him in "The Beach."

"I felt a great shame about it. I was not proud of the way I handled it," Boyle said.

McGregor added: “It’s a big regret of mine that it went on for so very long. It's a shame we didn’t work together all those years. It wasn't about 'The Beach,' it was about our friendship and I felt I was in Danny's first three movies... and then I wasn’t in his fourth and it made me a bit rudderless. I didn't quite get it and, yeah, we didn't speak for a long time, which was a waste.”

The mending of the friendship began when McGregor presented an award, along with a moving speech, to Boyle at 2009's BAFTA Britannia Awards. Now it seems things are very good with the two as they travel the globe promoting "T2 Trainspotting."

They even hinted at possibly working together again soon in a recent interview with Business Insider.

"I would love to do a play with Ewan because he does them now and again. So put in a good word for me," Boyle told Business Insider, while sitting next to McGregor, who laughed.

But Boyle does recall a project he tried to get off the ground while the two weren't talking to each other and thought it would have been perfect for McGregor.

trainspotting 2 sony"It's called 'Ingenious Pain,' an amazing novel, and it's about a doctor in the early days of surgery," Boyle said. "I tried to adapt it and I was thinking of Ewan for it, but I could never get it — the third act was always terrible."

"And I would have said it was terrible," McGregor added, which made the two laugh.

"Yeah, he would have said, 'It's interesting, but that third act,'" Boyle said.

It certainly seems the two are making up for lost time. But their careers have greatly evolved since they made the first "Trainspotting." McGregor is starring in Disney's live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" the same weekend "T2" comes out and will be in the next season of FX's "Fargo" (starting April 19). Meanwhile, Boyle, an Oscar winner, has his own upcoming FX series "Trust." Hopefully the two can find time in their schedules to make magic happen again.

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Why you'll probably never see those 'Rogue One' deleted scenes, according to the director


rogue one tie fighter disney

For those who are waiting for a Blu-ray release of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" that includes deleted scenes that were featured in many of the trailers, get ready for a big disappointment.

"Rogue One" director Gareth Edwards talked to Fandango at the SXSW festival recently and revealed that it's a little more complex than just putting the footage together as special features.

"The stuff people talk about, like what they saw in the trailer, they're not scenes you can just put on a DVD," Edwards said. "They're moments within scenes and threads, and you pull a thread and it all changes. It was changing the whole time. It's not like there was one version and then there was this other version — it was like this thing that incrementally evolved constantly through all of postproduction and didn't stop until there was a gun at our heads and we were forced to release the movie."

Gareth Edwards Stuart C Wilson GettyAnd one of the most memorable shots from the trailers that's sadly missing in the movie, of a TIE fighter flying in front of Jyn as she's on a walkway, sounds like something that will become the stuff of "Star Wars" legend.

"It's going to have to remain a myth because it's sort of the thing where you're trying ideas out to find the right version of the movie, and at the same time marketing is getting excited about certain shots and moments," Edwards said. "Eventually, you'll see something presented to you and you'll be like, wait a minute, this shot is no longer in the film."

There has been a lot of reporting about the reshoots for "Rogue One," so even though Edwards and Disney/Lucasfilm don't want to reveal what other ideas they had for the movie, we don't see the thirst for the unused footage going away soon.

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Here's what critics are saying about the 'stunning' live-action 'Beauty and the Beast' movie


Beauty and the Beast

People of all ages have been waiting years to see Disney's live-action remake of its beloved 1991 animated film "Beauty and the Beast," and they can finally witness the magic this weekend. 

Along with astounding design and nostalgic (and catchy) songs, the film also has a star-studded cast including Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Kevin Kline.

With mixed reviews, the film is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 67%. Although the cast is spot-on and there's some impressive attention to detail in the costumes and set design, most critics agree that it's not much compared to the original, which is the first animated film to ever get nominated for a best picture Oscar — and that was back in the day when only five films got nominated in that category. 

Here's what critics are saying about the live-action "Beauty and the Beast":

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The cast is amazing.

“Bill Condon's take on 'Beauty and the Beast' is almost overwhelmingly lavish, beautifully staged, and performed with exquisite timing and grace by the outstanding cast.” —Chicago Sun-Times

"If you're looking for any great departure from or updating of the animated version, don't bother. This 'Beauty and the Beast' doesn't have that. But it does have Emma Watson, and that's enough."—San Jose Mercury News


It's a pretty direct adaptation of the 1991 animated film, but with a modern twist.

“Three cheers for director Bill Condon and star Emma Watson for having the courage to make a live-action adaptation with 2017 gender politics.” —Time Out

“What they've created is a loving homage to a classic, but also a new chapter that really embodies the spirit of the story's heroine and what we love so much about that story.” —Vox


There’s meticulous attention to detail in effects and design.

 “The attention to detail in this film is exquisite, from the gold flakes on Belle's ballroom gown to the 'Fantasia'-like theatrics of the 'Be Our Guest' feast. All of the acting heavy hitters truly bring those inanimate objects to life.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram 

“'Beauty and the Beast's' highlight is its stunning special effects and set pieces, especially that of the anthropomorphic household objects, which glimmer with realistic glee — but this isn't enough to warrant a remake.” —Daily Express UK


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

THEN AND NOW: Here's what all your favorite '90s actors are doing today


saved by the bell fallon

The '90s were a glorious time. The decade was full of denim, pop music, and hundreds of teen heartthrobs. The young actors of the generation became all the rage thanks to magazines like Tiger Beat and TV shows like "TRL," but a lot has changed since their glory days.

Some stuck it out in the industry and made it big, but others opted for simpler lives, leaving their young fame behind.

It's been 20 to 30 years since many of these budding celebrities got their start and half of them haven't been heard of in years. Here's what your favorite '90s stars are up to now. 

People have seen Kenan every Saturday night for years now, but Kel Mitchell has been a steady figure in the industry as well.

Despite rumors that he had died, Mitchell is alive and well — and still acting.

Since his stint at Good Burger and his voice role in "Pink Panther," he has landed recurring roles on several small TV series including "Game Shakers" and "Wild Grinders."

Most recently, he brought back the infamous Ed character to interview players and report for Nickelodeon Sports at the 2017 Super Bowl media day. 

Bug Hall stepped onto the scene as the unforgettable Alfalfa in "The Little Rascals."

Since that pivotal role he's kept up with acting. Over the years, he had small roles in shows like "Masters of Sex,""CSI," and "Nikita." 

Aside from acting, the 32-year-old recently got married to his long time girlfriend.

Mayim Bialik got her start on the adorable TV show "Blossom," which aired from 1991 to 1995.

Since her days in that leading role, she's graduated with a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, written three books (one that hits shelves May 2017), and is currently starring in the hit CBS show "The Big Bang Theory" as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler. She has even snagged a Critic's Choice Award and four Emmy nominations for that role. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's everything we know so far about 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'


The Guardians of the Galaxy are back with some fresh faces and a cute little Baby Groot. While the film doesn't hit theaters in the US until May, we know a few details about the plot and characters that you can expect to see in the highly anticipated sequel.

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