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'Dunkirk' rules the weekend box office while 'Valerian' bombs


Dunkirk 3 Warner Bros final

Warner Bros. is having one heck of a summer.

Its latest movie from the DC Comics Extended Universe franchise, "Wonder Woman," has surpassed Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" for the top-grossing title of the summer, and now Christopher Nolan's latest ambitious film for the studio, "Dunkirk," has won this weekend's box office — and exceeded all expectations in the process.

Taking on an estimated $50.5 million domestically, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the intimate war epic proves that dramatic titles catered for the 30-year-old and older crowd (and Harry Styles fans) can earn coin within the blockbuster-filled summer slate.

Playing on over 3,700 screens, and fueled by the constant recommendation through social media to see the movie on IMAX (which assisted in $11.7 million of the movie's opening weekend), "Dunkirk" ($150 million budget) opened with a strong $19.7 million on opening day. And the movie continued to find audiences as the weekend continued.

This opening weekend surpassed Nolan's previous movie, the ambitious $165 million-budgeted sci-fi drama "Interstellar," which opened at $47.5 million.

Now we'll watch if Warner Bros. will make a push for the movie to find award season glory later this year, especially a best director campaign for Nolan, who has never received a nomination.

cara delevingne dane dehaan valerianComing in second place was the Universal comedy "Girls Trip," starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall. Proving the female comedy is still alive and well, the raunchy, R-rated romp took in $30.4 million.

Luc Besson's passion project, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," completely bombed with only a $17 million opening. STX Entertainment (which distributed the movie but was financed through Besson's Europa company) thought it had a title that summer movie audiences would flock to as it had "The Fifth Element" director making a movie based on the comic he grew up on back in France, but that didn't happen.

Though "Valerian" is visually stunning, its over-two-hour running time and lack of chemistry between its leads, Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, led to a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a very poor turnout at the over 3,500 screens for the $200 million sci-fi spectacle.

SEE ALSO: Charlize Theron pulled off an amazing fight scene in "Atomic Blonde" the director had wanted to make for years

Join the conversation about this story »

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How The Rock, one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, makes and spends his millions


dwayne the rock johnson rich

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. According to Forbes, the former WWE star made $65 million per year, beating out the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and his "Fast and Furious" co-star Vin Diesel.

One of the hardest working people in show business, Johnson stars in movies like "Moana" and "San Andreas" and TV shows like HBO's "Ballers," returning for season three on Sunday. He also runs his own production company and does product endorsements.

With custom cars and extensive charity work, the actor knows how to enjoy himself and spend his hard-earned cash. Here's how The Rock spends his millions.

Forbes named Johnson one of the world's highest-paid actor for 2017 with a whopping $65 million last year.

Source: Forbes

The movie star made a name for himself on TV with HBO's "Ballers," which is starting its third season.

Johnson is a box-office juggernaut who commands huge pay days for films.

A few recent hits include:

"The Fate of the Furious" (2017):$1.2 billion
"Moana" (2016): $643 million
"San Andreas" (2015): $474 million

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Christopher Nolan explains the biggest challenges in making his latest movie 'Dunkirk' into an 'intimate epic'


BI Graphics_Christopher Nolan_2x1

From instant classics like “Memento” and “Inception,” to his flawless “The Dark Knight” trilogy, director Christopher Nolan has spent his career telling unique stories while pushing the medium. And for his latest movie, “Dunkirk” (opening July 21), he’s pushed it further than most ever have.

Recounting the evacuation of close to 400,000 British soldiers from Dunkirk, France during World War II, Nolan tells the story in three parts: soldiers on the Dunkirk beach trying to survive as German planes drop bombs on them, British Spitfire aircraft trying to shoot down the German bombers, and civilian boats taking a day trip to assist in the evacuation.

In typical Nolan fashion, he goes beyond the norms to depict the events. Filmed with little dialogue and a non-linear story, powered by the ticking clock score of composer Hans Zimmer, it’s the incredible images filmed on an IMAX camera that move the story.

Business Insider spoke to Nolan about the challenges of making “Dunkirk,” using as little CGI as possible to pull off the action, casting Harry Styles in one of the main roles, and why he can’t get enough of the comedy “MacGruber.” 

Jason Guerrasio: One of the big things I took away from the movie was how intimate the setting and characters were compared to the subject matter and the IMAX format. I hope that reaction doesn't disappoint you.

Christopher Nolan: No. I refer to it as an intimate epic. That was very much my ambition for this film. To immerse the audience in aggressively human scale storytelling, visually. And by contrasting multiple points of view but each told in a disciplined way. Try and build up a larger picture of the extraordinary events at Dunkirk. 

Dunkirk 3 Warner Bros final

Guerrasio: So was that one of the biggest challenges of pulling off this project? Condensing the events at Dunkirk into intimate storytelling.

Nolan: Well, the tension between subjective storytelling and sort of the bigger picture is always a challenge in any film, particularly when you're taking on, which I never have done before, historical reality. So I really wanted to be on that beach with those guys. I wanted the audience to feel like they are there. But I also need them and want them to understand what an incredible story this is. I never wanted to cut out generals in rooms pushing things around on maps, so I settled on a land, sea, and air approach. I settled on subjective storytelling shifting between very different points of view. You're there on the beach with the soldiers, you're on a civilian boat coming across to help, or you're in the cockpit of the Spitfire dogfighting with the enemy up above. 

Guerrasio: That's what's crazy, though the story is told on a huge IMAX screen, the shots from inside the cockpit of the Spitfire feel claustrophobic. 

Nolan: What I love about IMAX is with its extraordinary resolution and color reproduction it's a very rich image with incredible detail. It lends itself wonderfully to huge shots with much in the frame. Thousands of extras and all the rest. But it also lends itself to the intimate, the small, the detail, incredibly well. The high aspect ratio on those screens, you're getting the roof of the set, the water creeping in from the bottom, you can get a very tactile sense of the situation we're trying to present. 

Guerrasio: You've done more with an IMAX camera on this movie than anyone has yet, is there something you will never try to attempt again with this equipment in a future movie?

Nolan: I think, to be perfectly honest, everything we managed to do with the IMAX camera has encouraged us to try more and more. 

Dunkirk 4 Warner Bros finalGuerrasio: So there wasn't one thing you were like, "Nope, never again."

Nolan: No. I think in truth the only real limitation for me of those cameras is we haven't found a way to make them sufficiently soundproof to record dialogue. For other filmmakers this wouldn't be a problem, but I personally really like to use the dialogue that's recorded live on set. I don't like to ADR [additional dialogue replacement] things. I think you lose something in the performance. So that means that any time there's a really intimate dialogue scene, I need to use another format. In this case, for "Dunkirk," we used 5 perf-65mm. So our kind of smaller format was the format “Lawrence of Arabia” was shot on. 

Guerrasio: What is your approach to editing? It's important for every filmmaker but your stories are often told in a unique way where editing really must be a high priority. Do you edit while shooting?

Nolan: My approach to the edit is I have a great editor in Lee Smith who I have worked with for years, he edits as we go along. He assembles the film. I tend not to look at any of that. I don't cut while I'm shooting. I'm too busy shooting. I watch dailies every day the old fashioned way, which I'm surprised so few filmmakers do anymore. It used to be a requirement of the job. But we project our dailies on film everyday and we sit there and talk about what we've done and sort of steer the ship. Lee goes ahead and edits but I tend not to look at those cuts unless there's a problem. If he sees a problem and thinks we've missed something at that point I'll go in and look at stuff. But generally what I do is I wait until filming has finished and then we get into the edit suite and start again from scratch. We view all the data and we start building it up from the beginning. 

Guerrasio: Was there any specific sequence in this movie that was a challenge in the edit?

Nolan: The aerial sequences were particularly challenging because the reality of aerial sequences is they are tremendous eye candy. You watch the dailies you just want to use everything. But you have to be constantly aware in the edit that story drives everything for an audience. And if there isn't a new story point being made you have to be disciplined, so in the aerial sequences we were throwing away some of the most incredible aerial footage that I've ever seen and not putting it in the film because that's what you have to do. You have to trust that with what you are putting in there you are going to convey that sense of visceral excitement and wonderment that you felt in the dailies. That's always a challenge and it takes a long time to hone the whole thing down from a longer cut to a shorter cut. 

Guerrasio: I couldn't tell what was visual effects and what was practical in this movie, particularly the sinking destroyers and dogfights. How much visual effects were used?

Nolan: I’m very proud with the visual effects being as seamless as they are. I worked very closely with my visual effects supervisor, who was there shooting with me on set. He basically was doing himself out of a job because he was able to help me achieve things in-camera that would have actually been visual effects and then didn't need to be. So, there's really nothing in the film that isn't in some way based in some kind of practical reality that we put in front of the camera. We didn't want anything to go fully CG and I'm very proud to be able to say that of my films this is the first time when we've been able to make a film that I actually can't remember which of the shots are visual effects and which aren't in some of the sequences. We've never been able to get to that point before.   

Dunkirk 2 Warner Bros finalGuerrasio: So the Spitfire doing the water landing, that was a replica plane?

Nolan: Yeah, we built a full size replica Spitfire and landed it on the water for real. And we actually strapped an IMAX camera to it for the crash and the thing sank much more quickly than we anticipated, because you never know, no one has done this before. And in the hours it took to retrieve the IMAX camera its housing, which was a big plastic barrel, actually had a hole in it and the entire thing filled with water. So the camera was completely submerged. But we called the lab and they clued us into an old fashioned technique that used to be used on film shoots. You keep the film wet, you unload the camera, and you keep it damp the whole time. We shipped it back to Los Angeles from the set in France, and they processed it before drying it out and the shot came out absolutely perfect and it's in the film. 

Guerrasio: Wow.

Nolan: Try doing that with a digital camera! [Laughs]

Guerrasio: The scores in your movies are always so memorable, how did the second hand on a clock ticking theme come to you, and how did that evolve with your composer Hans Zimmer? 

Nolan: The screenplay had been written according to musical principals. There's an audio illusion, if you will, in music called a "Shepard tone" and with my composer David Julyan on "The Prestige" we explored that and based a lot of the score around that. And it's an illusion where there's a continuing ascension of tone. It's a corkscrew effect. It’s always going up and up and up but it never goes outside of its range. And I wrote the script according to that principle. I interwove the three timelines in such a way that there's a continual feeling of intensity. Increasing intensity. So I wanted to build the music on similar mathematical principals. Very early on I sent Hans a recording that I made of a watch that I own with a particularly insistent ticking and we started to build the track out of that sound and then working from that sound we built the music as we built the picture cut. So there's a fusion of music and sound effects and picture that we've never been able to achieve before. 

Guerrasio: You certainly gained your auteur status some time ago, but you also manned a huge Hollywood franchise, I want your perspective on today's blockbuster making. Has the director's voice been lost in today's blockbuster? It seems producers like Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm and Kevin Feige at Marvel Studios are making all the creative moves.

Nolan: I think the Hollywood machine as an industrial process, there's always been a tension between art and commerce in Hollywood filmmaking, so the machine itself is often looking for ways to depersonalize the process so that it is more predictable as an economic model. But in truth, thankfully for directors it never works. [Laughs] Not long term. The director is, I think, the closest thing to the all-around filmmaker on set. You need a point of focus, a creative point of focus, through which the rest of the team's input can be focused on and I think the director is the best person suited to do that. At the end of the day, I think directors have always been absolutely driving the creative process.

Guerrasio: But the argument can be made that currently the producers on particular tentpole projects are the creative point of focus and they then hire a crew, including a director, who will follow that vision. I'm sure you had to listen to your share of notes from Warner Bros. while making your Batman movies, could you make a franchise movie in today's conditions?

Nolan: I think those conditions are being overstated. Like, everyone talking about "Star Wars" as an example are willfully ignoring what J.J. Abrams did in the process. Which isn't appropriate, J.J. is a very powerful creator. Not to mention, George Lucas, by the way. [Laughs] I mean, there is a bigger reality here in terms of where these things actually come from. 

Guerrasio: Obviously, there's always the originator. Which, thankfully, is an individual and not something done by committee. 

Nolan: Well, and I don't think anybody thought that Jon Favreau was doing a sensible thing by casting Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, but what an incredible decision he made. There's an entire industry based on that now.

dunkirk styles Warner Bros finalGuerrasio: Very true. And we can pivot that a little to you casting Harry Styles. Many were scratching their heads about that casting and I think many will see you’ve really discovered a talent. Do you pat yourself on the back with this one or was it casting director magic?

Nolan: Oh, I'm very much patting myself on the back. [Laughs] Well, I'm the guy who is always taking it on the chin if I make the wrong decision. The truth is ever since I cast Heath Ledger as The Joker and raised all kinds of eyebrows, I've recognized that this is my responsibility and I really have to spot the potential in somebody who hasn't done a particular thing before. Because whether you're taking about Harry Styles or Mark Rylance you don't really want to cast them in a position where they are doing something they've already done. You want to give the audience something different. So you're looking at their talent and how that can be used. The truth is, Harry auditioned for our casting director, he sent the tape along. The casting director rightly pointed out how good it was. We threw him into the mix with many, many other young men and he earned his seat at the table over a series of very hard-fought auditions. 

Guerrasio: He's very good in the movie. 

Nolan: I’m very excited for people to see what he has done in the film. I think it's truthful and it's a very tough role he's playing, too. 

Guerrasio: Do you get to watch a lot of new releases? Do you try to keep up on everything?

Nolan: I do when I'm not working. It depends on what phase I'm working. Obviously, this year I've been very buried in my own process. But in between films I absolutely try to catch up on everything. 

Guerrasio: When's the last time you've laughed uncontrollably while watching a movie. 

Nolan: Oooo. [Pause

Guerrasio: There has to be one. 

Nolan: Oh, there are many, but I'm trying to think if there's a recent. You know, I've been outed in the past as a "MacGruber" fan and I have to say there are a couple of moments in that film that had been howling uncontrollably. 

Guerrasio: Give me one in particular, I have to know.

Nolan: [Laughs] I'm not going to go any further!

SEE ALSO: The inside story of how "Spider-Man" star Tom Holland went undercover in a NYC high school to prepare to be Peter Parker

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11 musicians who successfully made the jump to acting


harry styles dunkirk

Making the move from music to acting isn't always easy, but some musicians have managed to make the jump.

One of the most recent transitions is Harry Styles of the band One Direction. The singer, who has since gone solo, is currently starring in Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk and he has been receiving rave reviews for his performance as a soldier. 

Many other musicians have made similarly successful moves to the big screen. Take a look at 11 musicians who transitioned into actors.

Harry Styles shot to fame as a member of the hugely popular boy band One Direction.

He's making his acting debut in"Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan's war film, and has received rave reviews for his performance.

Read our review here.

Rihanna rose to fame after Jay-Z signed her to his label and released her first single "Pon De Replay." She now has eight Grammy Awards.

Source: Billboard

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The Rock made a 4-minute 'movie' with Apple about Siri — here's our review (AAPL)


Over the weekend, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson teased a new movie he made with Apple and Siri, called "Dominate The Day."

The full movie, with a run time of three minutes and 45 seconds, was posted on YouTube on Monday.

Here is our review of "Dominate the Day":

The film starts off with The Rock doing what he's known for: a million different things at once. He's pruning a bonsai tree, reading a script, lifting weights ...

... and getting ready for his 25 appointments for the rest of the day.

Suddenly, The Rock glimpses a well-timed news spot about The Rock's life that says he can't possibly do any more.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

97-year-old Dunkirk veteran praises Christopher Nolan's World War II epic: 'It was just like I was there again'


dunkirk helmets soldier battalion

The INSIDER Summary:

  • "Dunkirk" is about the real-life World War II battle in which hundreds of thousands of Allied troops were evacuated from France.
  • A 97-year-old veteran of the battle watched the movie.
  • "I lost so many of my buddies," he said while tearing up.

"Dunkirk" hit theaters this past weekend. The movie is about the Battle of Dunkirk, in which civilians took their boats across the English Channel to help evacuate Allied troops who were trapped in France. One of the navy men who was at the battle 77 years ago, Ken Sturdy, teared up when he described his experience watching the film.

"I thought I could see my old friends again,"he told the Canadian TV station Global News. "A lot of them died in the war. I went in a convoy in the North Atlantic and I lost so many of my buddies."

At the 1940 battle, Sturdy was a 20-year-old signalman with the United Kingdom Royal Navy, he said in the interview, which was spotted by Reddit user Bryden H on the subreddit /r/videos. Sturdy helped coordinate the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.

"I had the privilege to see that film tonight," he said. "I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again."

At the end of his interview, Sturdy talked about how awful the war was and how it took many of his friends.

"I cried because it's never the end," he said. "The human species, we are so intelligent. We do astonishing things. We can fly to the moon. But we still do stupid things."

Watch the full interview below:

SEE ALSO: Every Christopher Nolan movie, ranked from worst to best

SEE ALSO: Christopher Nolan explains the biggest challenges in making his latest movie 'Dunkirk' into an 'intimate epic'

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Christopher Nolan explains the 'audio illusion' that created the unique music in 'Dunkirk'


Dunkirk Warner Bros final

Christopher Nolan has never been shy about challenging audiences with unique musical scores in his movies.

For 2010’s “Inception,” composer Hans Zimmer took Nolan’s reference in the script to Edith Piaf’s song “Non, je ne regrette rien,” and slowed it down to create one of the major musical themes of the movie. Then Zimmer and Nolan’s collaboration for 2014’s “Interstellar” led to the movie’s powerfully haunting organ music

Nolan is constantly thinking about the music for his films at the script stage, and his latest, “Dunkirk,” is no different.

“Very early on I sent Hans a recording that I made of a watch that I own, with a particularly insistent ticking, and we started to build the track out of that sound. And then working from that sound, we built the music as we built the picture cut,” Nolan told Business Insider.

christopher nolan hans zimmerBut the score went beyond having just a ticking theme for the story, which tells three different timelines surrounding the evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk, France. To build the drama of those three stories coming together for the movie’s dramatic conclusion, Nolan went back to a musical technique he played with in one of his early movies.

“There's an audio illusion, if you will, in music called a ‘Shepard tone’ and with my composer David Julyan on ‘The Prestige’ we explored that, and based a lot of the score around that,” Nolan said. “It's an illusion where there's a continuing ascension of tone. It's a corkscrew effect. It’s always going up and up and up but it never goes outside of its range. And I wrote the [“Dunkirk”] script according to that principle. I interwove the three timelines in such a way that there's a continual feeling of intensity. Increasing intensity. So I wanted to build the music on similar mathematical principals. So there's a fusion of music and sound effects and picture that we've never been able to achieve before.”

Perhaps what makes this score by Zimmer the most powerful out of his Nolan projects (a collaboration that goes back to “The Dark Knight” franchise) is the limited amount of dialogue in “Dunkirk.” Zimmer’s ticking score doesn’t just heighten the thrills, but explains what’s going on in the scene as much as the photography does.

Listen to a portion of the "Dunkirk" score below:

SEE ALSO: Christopher Nolan explains the biggest challenge in making his latest movie "Dunkirk" into an "intimate epic"

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The opening weekend for 'Valerian' was so bad that the studio's stock dropped 8%


Valerian STX Entertainment

The disastrous opening weekend in the U.S. of Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” has left EuropaCorp with a hangover, as the Paris-based company saw its stock value drop by 8.31% by the close of trading on Monday.

EuropaCorp’s stock price fell to 3.53 euros ($4.11) in the wake of “Valerian’s” performance at the U.S. box office over the weekend.

Believed to be the most expensive independent movie of all time with a budget of $180 million, “Valerian” grossed just $17 million from 3,553 theaters and landed in fifth place, behind “War for the Planet of the Apes,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Girls Trip” and Christopher Nolan’s World War II movie “Dunkirk,” which surpassed expectations and received glowing reviews.

“Valerian,” based on a French comic book series, stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as a pair of futuristic, time-traveling crime fighters. Rihanna also stars.

Tim Westcott, senior analyst at London-based IHS, pointed out the risky strategy of first launching in the U.S. a film like “Valerian,” which is not a DC Comics or Marvel franchise and is based on an unknown property outside of Europe.

Aside from the U.S., the film has now opened in Canada, Israel and Germany, among other markets, but has yet to roll out in more than 100 territories, notably in France (July 26) and the U.K. (Aug. 2). The release in China, where it’s expected to be released on 9,000 screens, has been delayed.

But the fact that “Valerian” failed to click with U.S. audiences from the get-go is casting a shadow on the movie’s prospects.

“Previous EuropaCorp film such as ‘Taken’ and ‘Lucy’ have done well in the U.S. as well as worldwide. If ‘Valerian’ turns out to be a flop in the U.S., it will be very difficult to compensate in international markets considering the size of the budget,” said Westcott.

By comparison, “Lucy,” which cost $40 million to make, grossed $43.8 million during its opening weekend in the U.S. and went on to take $463 million worldwide.

Although EuropaCorp has a limited risk on “Valerian” – about 90% of the film’s budget was financed with pre-sales and equity investment, Besson says – it desperately needs the film to be hit as the company just posted record losses of 119.9 million euros ($135 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31.

A EuropaCorp spokesperson told Variety last month that the company has limited its exposure to less than $20 million on “Valerian” but is nevertheless “looking towards a significant performance from ‘Valerian’ in the hopes of creating the company’s newest franchise.”

“Valerian” has to make $400 million worldwide to help EuropaCorp climb into the black and justify a sequel, according to several financial analysts, including Pavel Govciyan, an analyst at Natixis.

“Valerian” was released in the U.S. by STX Films, which was hired by EuropaCorp in January to handle distribution and marketing for the movie after the collapse of Relativity Media, with which EuropaCorp had formed a joint distribution venture.

The timing of the release had reportedly been debated within the company, which considered pushing it back to August when there would be less competition. EuropaCorp’s decision to stick with the date was seen as a sign of confidence in the material.

SEE ALSO: 'Dunkirk' rules the weekend box office while 'Valerian' bombs

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Steven Soderbergh makes a much better 'Ocean's Eleven' with Channing Tatum and Adam Driver in 'Logan Lucky'


Logan Lucky Fingerprint Releasing Bleecker Street final_1

If you ever think, "I wonder how this movie would have looked without the watered-down movie-studio treatment," then get ready for Steven Soderbergh's return to making feature films.

After a four-year retirement — his last feature film was 2013's "Side Effects"— the Oscar winner gives us "Logan Lucky," basically an indie version of one of his biggest box-office successes ever, the Las Vegas heist movie "Ocean's Eleven."

This is not a knock on Soderbergh. I'm not trying to imply he's just going back to familiar territory. He's the last person in Hollywood you could ever make that claim about.

What I see in "Logan Lucky" is Soderbergh showing us that despite how much we loved George Clooney and Brad Pitt running around outwitting the major Vegas casinos, it's better when Channing Tatum and Adam Driver try to rip off one of Nascar's biggest races — with zero studio interference.

Always looking for a way to be in control of every aspect of his creations, Soderbergh started the domestic distribution company Fingerprint Releasing, and through a first-look deal with Amazon Studios, he's looking to push out wide-release titles. "Logan Lucky" is the first, and he's teaming up with the distribution company Bleecker Street to release it on August 18.

And it certainly looks like he has a hit coming.

Tatum and Driver play the Logan brothers, Jimmy and Clyde. Born and bred in West Virginia, the two have suffered a lifetime of things going wrong. Jimmy was a high school football star who was bound for the NFL until his knee blew out. Clyde has always had his brother's back, and it has led to him going to prison and losing his hand during a tour in Iraq.

Convinced the family is cursed, Jimmy tries to change their luck. After being laid off from his latest job, he hatches a plan to rob all the cash that flows through the Charlotte Motor Speedway on race day. He and Clyde assemble their team, which includes their sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), and the best explosives man they know, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig).

Logan Lucky 2 Fingerprint Releasing Bleecker Street finalLike every great heist movie, nothing goes according to plan, leading to some great thrills. But the movie, written by Rebecca Blunt, is also extremely funny. Tatum and Driver have some laugh-out-loud exchanges, and Craig, sporting a fantastic Southern drawl, steals every scene he's in.

You might be asking, "So how is this better than 'Ocean's Eleven' … or 'Twelve' … or 'Thirteen'?"

There's a pace to the movie for which most studio heads (and test audiences) just would not have the patience. One of the movie's subplots is Jimmy's relationship with his ex-wife (Katie Holmes) and his daughter — an important component of the story that would have most likely been cut up into a forgettable glance if this had been made at the studio level.

And the third act brings in the robbery's investigator (Hilary Swank), which also would have most likely been slimmed down for fear of losing the audience.

But all these things give the story and characters a richness that betters the movie. Soderbergh — who hasn't been sitting around doing nothing for the past four years, as he directed two seasons of the acclaimed series "The Knick"— shows here that the melding of mainstream storytelling and artful execution is possible.

I'm thankful he's back directing features, and I can't wait for the next ride he takes us on.

"Logan Lucky" opens in theaters August 18.

SEE ALSO: Daniel Craig didn't break character or his weird voice while shooting 'Logan Lucky'

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 7 hottest celebrity girl squads right now



Hollywood is totally infatuated by girl squads right now. New movies, such as the hilarious "Girls Trip" and "Rough Night," are proof that. And although bestie posses are nothing new in Hollywood – see the notorious '80s Brat Pack and the cool '60s Rat Pack– women are really ruling today's packs.

These celebrity best friends do what we all do with our own friends, such as fun weekend getaways, booze-filled wild nights, and over-sharing all the details on social media. The difference is they have a lot more people watching.

Here's a look at Hollywood's seven hottest girl squads right now:

 1. Taylor Swift's squad

Taylor Swift girl squad

 Taylor Swift prefers to roll deep, bringing along several of her best friends for any adventure whether it's a weekend getaway or the red carpet. Although her squad is constantly changing, she has some staple members like Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Cara Delavigne, Karlie Kloss, Serayah, Hailee Steinfeld, Lily Aldridge, and even "Law & Order: SVU's" Mariska Hargitay

 2. Drew Barrymore's A-list gals

Drew Barrymore squad

Drew Barrymore shared a selfie on Instagram with ger go-to girlfriends Nicole Richie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cameron Diaz. 

“Hold onto those you love and climb a mountain together,” she captioned the photo.

This isn't the first time these famous friends have kept each other company. The girls celebrated Cameron Diaz's 44th birthday in 2016 by taking a cooking class

3. Tiny Fey's funny ladies

Tina Fey Amy Poehler Maya Rudolph girl squad

Regardless of their busy schedules, "30 Rock" star Tiny Fey keeps in touch with her best friends Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Kristin Wiig through group text. 

“All the ‘SNL’ women who were together at the time, we are in touch literally every single day, sharing pictures of our family and relating dumb things that happened to us. So that’s a great support network that we have,” Fey told the New York Daily News in 2015. 

 4. The Kardashians mafia

The kardashians girl squad

Most people can choose the members of their squad, but Kris Jenner gave birth to Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian – not to mention Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Thanks to Kris, we have been keeping up with the Kardashians through their various TV shows, apps, clothing lines, and even video games. 

5. Kendall Jenner's model mob

kendall jenner model squad

Outside of her family squad, Kendall Jenner never misses an opportunity to pose with her model BFFs. You can usually catch Jenner out and about with sisters, Gigi and Bella Hadidriding in her ferrari with pal Hailey Baldwin, or hanging out in a bath tub with Joan Smalls. 

6.  Jennifer Lawrence's power girls

Adele Jennifer and Emma Girl squad

Jennifer Lawrence lives for wild nights out with her good friends Adele, Emma Stone, and Amy Schumer when she's not busy. Lawrence told Vanity Fair that Stone consoled her during a hard night of drinking after seeing Adele in concert. 

"It was the night we saw Adele in L.A.," she said. "She just started rubbing my back. She was really sweet. I was like, ‘Get out of here. It’s so gross.‘”

7. Willow Smith's good girls group 

willow smith squad

Willow Smith prefers to hangout with a low-key crew like Lorde, Amandla Stenberg, Tavi Gevinson, and Kernin Shipka. According to Elle, you can usually catch this friend group hanging out at the local flea market and wearing matching friendship bracelets. 

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'Justice League' is going through $25 million of extensive reshoots — here's what we know


Justice League 2 Warner Bros final

From the outside, Warner Bros. looks like it's riding high, with the latest movie from its DC Comics Extended Universe, "Wonder Woman," now the highest-grossing movie of the summer.

But Variety is reporting a different vibe inside the studio, specifically for its next big DC release, "Justice League."

The movie that will combine some of the biggest superheros from the DC Comics — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg — is going through some extensive reshoots. Approximately $25 million of them, in fact. 

Though it's common for huge studio movies to have reshoots, recently the practice has become major news due to the end-result of some big titles. Reshoots were praised after the huge success of "Rogue One," though they led to mixed results for "Suicide Squad" (which was critically slaughtered, but earned over $750 million worldwide). 

Now, it's time for "Justice League" to go through the ringer. 

It seems the reshoots are extensive. Reshoots typically go for a few weeks, but for "Justice League" they have gone on for two months, sources tell Variety.

Justice League Warner Bros 2 finalPart of this has been dealing with the cast's schedules. Ezra Miller, who plays The Flash, is also shooting the sequel to "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." While Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, has been bouncing back and forth from shooting the next "Mission: Impossible" movie, which has an added challenge since Cavill is sporting a mustache for the "M:I" movie.

According to Variety, the mustache will have to be digitally erased from the "Justice League" scenes as Paramount, the studio behind "Mission: Impossible," will not allow Cavill to shave it while the movie is in production.

The reshoots might also be lengthy because a new director is on the project. Joss Whedon, known for his "The Avengers" movies for Marvel, took over the project after the original director for "Justice League," Zack Snyder, left following his daughter's suicide in March. Whedon is reportedly working on scenes where the dialogue needs to be punched up, and sequences that will link to Snyder's existing set pieces.

It's still not clear if Whedon will get a director credit on the movie (a source close to the movie told Business Insider he won't get one, which coincides with Variety's reporting on the matter).  

All this will be an afterthought if "Justice League" performs at the box office (and critically) as well as Warner Bros. expects it to, when it opens November 17.  

Watch the "Justice League" footage shown at Comic-Con below:

SEE ALSO: Charlize Theron pulled off an amazing fight scene in "Atomic Blonde" the director had wanted to make for years

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A little girl dressed as Wonder Woman shares a tearful moment with Gal Gadot


gal gadot comic con wonder woman

The INSIDER Summary:

  • A young girl cosplaying as Wonder Woman met Gal Gadot at Comic-Con, teary-eyed.
  • "Now we are friends, so there's no reason to cry anymore, right? We are together!" Gadot told her.
  • The moment shows why representation in pop culture is so important.

Just over a month after the theatrical release of "Wonder Woman," Gal Gadot is still proving why female representation in films is so important. The 32-year-old Gadot cheered up a young girl at Comic-Con on Saturday after the fan approached her and appeared to be crying. In a short clip of the exchange captured by Variety, the actor is sitting alongside Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, and Jason Momoa as a guest on a panel for the new "Justice League" film when a young girl dressed as Wonder Woman approaches her teary-eyed.

Then, Gadot speaks to the young fan and offers her some words of encouragement. She appears to say, "Now we are friends so there’s no reason to cry anymore, right? We are together!" according to Entertainment Tonight. Her "Justice League" co-star, Miller, listened in on the exchange before adding, "You’re a warrior. I think the ability to let yourself cry is what makes you such a warrior. Come join the Justice League whenever you get ready!"

Her adorable moment with this young girl is just another reminder of why representation in television and film matters so much. Strong women are so underrepresented on both the big screen and the small screen, and it's amazing to know that "Wonder Woman," starring Gadot, shattered box-office records on its opening weekend and can easily inspire young girls to begin to see how powerful women can be.

Luckily for this young fan and all the others out there, Wonder Woman will be back. Not only is the female warrior set to appear in "Justice League," which hits theaters in November, but Warner Bros. just confirmed that a sequel to "Wonder Woman" is already being planned. Which means that, in terms of fans crying tears of joy, there will certainly be more where that came from.

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The next James Bond has a release date — but no official announcement about Daniel Craig's return



The 25th installment of the James Bond franchise will be released in theaters on November 8, 2019, according to a release sent out Monday by EON Productions and MGM.

There was little doubt that another Bond movie was on the horizon, but the release — which touts longtime franchise writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade ("Casino Royale,""Quantum of Solace,""Skyfall" and "Spectre") taking on the script, and Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli as producers — did not give us the one piece of information we all are seeking: the confirmation that Daniel Craig will be returning as 007.

Though earlier this month, it was reported that Craig will return to the franchise that made him famous, all Monday's announcement would give us is that the "film’s cast and director, will be announced at a later date."

SEE ALSO: Steven Soderbergh makes a much better "Ocean's Eleven" with Channing Tatum and Adam Driver in "Logan Lucky"

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Thor will have more of Chris Hemsworth's personality in 'Thor: Ragnarok'


Thor RagnarokThe INSIDER Summary: 

  • The second trailer for "Thor: Ragnarok" shows a more playful side to Thor.
  • The director explained that Thor is definitely closer to Chris Hemsworth's personality in this film.
  • He also considers "Ragnarok" to be somewhat of a standalone film for the franchise. 

Director Taika Waititi says Thor in "Thor: Ragnarok" feels closer to Chris Hemsworth in his personality than fans have seen before. "Thor: Ragnarok" generated much excitement over the weekend when Waititi, Hemsworth and his fellow cast mates appeared at San Diego Comic-Con and debuted the second trailer for "Ragnarok." Matching the colorful if not offbeat tone of the first trailer for "Thor: Ragnarok" in April, the new trailer even yielded some surprises, including a big reveal where Hulk speaks, albeit like a 2-year-old, to the eponymous character.

The trailer, like the first teaser, also included more wit from Hemsworth (following his already classic line,I know him … he’s a friend from work!”), where he playfully claims to Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) that he defeated Hulk in their head-to-head match in The Grandmaster’s (Jeff Goldblum) battle arena on Sakaar. And while Hemsworth has certainly had funny lines in both the first two "Thor" films and "Avengers" films, apparently the charm he’s going to display in "Thor: Ragnarok" is even closer to the actor’s personality in real life.

In an interview with Variety at SDCC, Waititi explained the Thor and Hemsworth parallels:

“We’re actually making Thor closer to Chris and his personality and who he is … he’s funny — a lot funnier and a lot more colloquial because he’s spent time on Earth … Personally, I think he’s the best version of Thor, just quietly. Not to take away from the any of the other films, but in order for me to feel comfortable making this film, I wanted to move away from the other films and make something that was kind of a standalone Thor film. That your really didn’t need to see the first two to understand the (third) film.”

thor loki thor ragnarokWhile Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor has hardly become stale in his solo and "Avengers" films, it’s fun to see how Waititi is willing to raise the stakes and present fans with what is promising to be a lighter take on the God of Thunder.

After all, it’s pretty apparent in his film portrayals, if not his bubbly demeanor in public, that Hemsworth is quite an affable individual, so Waititi simply seems to be taking advantage of the actor’s strengths to see his unique vision through. Clearly Waititi sees something in Hemsworth that matches his quirky filmmaking sensibilities (he previously directed the offbeat indie films "What We Do in the Shadows" and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople"), which helps to explain why the helmsman pushed his creative boundaries and had the actor and his cast mates improvise 80 percent of "Thor: Ragnarok."

As it turns out, Waititi’s colorful and comedic approach may give fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe their last chance to laugh for a while, since "Avengers: Infinity War" co-directors Joe and Anthony are teasing some “intense surprises” for the next Avengers chapter in the May 2018 — including some possible deaths of major characters.

SEE ALSO: 'Wonder Woman' is officially the highest grossing movie of the summer

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Al Gore explains our chances against climate change, and his fateful meeting with Donald Trump


For most of his adult life, former US Vice President Al Gore has warned of the dangers of global warming.

The 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” revealed the eye-opening presentation Gore had been delivering around the globe for decades. The movie earned $50 million worldwide and won an Oscar for best documentary. In 2007, Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work.

Al Gore Sequel reasons

Gore returns to the big screen with “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, opening in limited release July 28 and in wide release August 4. This time, Gore serves as our guide to show us the effects of global warming firsthand, whether walking through floods in Miami or seeing the melting of huge glaciers.

The movie’s most gripping scenes capture Gore’s tireless — and successful — efforts in 2015 to get global leaders to sign onto the Paris Agreement. The historic climate accord gives individual countries the freedom to set their own goals to lower their carbon footprint. It was a major achievement for Gore and the environmental movement. But earlier this year, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the pact, despite Gore's personal appeal to the president.

Business Insider spoke with Gore in New York City about the documentary, his belief that the US will continue to be a leader on climate change, and why he has no interest in talking to Trump again. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Jason Guerrasio: I’ve read that you weren't fully sold on doing a sequel to "An Inconvenient Truth." Why?

Gore: It took me a bit to realize how big the changes have been in the last decade. Number one, the climate-related extreme-weather events are way more frequent now and way more destructive. We have had 11 once-in-a-thousand-year events in the US just in the last seven years.

Secondly, we've got the solutions now. They were in the first movie a decade ago, but they were on the horizon, and you had to take the technology business point of view to say, "Oh, yeah, that will eventually get here." Now they are here. And in so many places — electricity from solar and wind is cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels, and now the batteries are coming down in costs very quickly. So it's very exciting news that needed to be told.

antarctica nansen fracture waterfalls esa

Guerrasio: But still, as you say, very scary events still happen. There's the icebergs, and in Antarctica that piece that collapsed that was the size of Delaware.

Gore: Yes.

Guerrasio: When you hear news like that, what do you think? Is that a major issue when it comes to climate change?

Gore: Well, it's a major signal that the warming of Antarctica is moving even faster than was predicted.

Guerrasio: And it's real; it's hard to dispute that.

Gore: It's hard to dispute it. Absolutely. It's one of the largest icebergs ever recorded. Now, it was already floating in the sea, so by itself it will not raise the sea level, but it's part of a larger pattern in Antarctica that's very tightly connected to how much the seas will rise in the decades ahead.

Guerrasio: We're talking about sea level. One of the things you show in the sequel is that one of the scenarios in the first movie — the flooding of lower Manhattan and the damage to the 9/11 Memorial — could happen and did happen with Hurricane Sandy.

Gore: It happened many years before the scientists predicted that it would.

Al Gore Quote 1

Guerrasio: And to give a modern-day look, you go to Miami and you show parts of Miami that are flooded, with people driving and walking through knee-high water.

Gore: On a sunny day.

Guerrasio: Yeah, it's not like it's pouring rain.

Gore: The sea levels have risen so much that when a high tide comes in, it floods the streets. I saw fish from the ocean swimming in the streets. Since then, somebody sent me a picture of an octopus in a parking garage there. That's not something you see every day. But there are a lot of low-lying coastal cities that are now seriously threatened by sea level rise, which comes from the melting ice.

Guerrasio: Scientists are saying the same thing. In a story we ran not too long ago by David Wallace-Wells for New York Magazine, he said: "Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving: most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century, even if we stop burning fossil fuel in the next decade.” So when you hear a quote like that, and you see that President Trump has a Cabinet with many people who feel climate change is not a major issue, how does that make you feel?

Gore: The truth about the climate crisis is still inconvenient for the large carbon polluters and the politicians who are in their pockets.

Guerrasio: But are you disappointed that in some ways America is not a leader in climate change on the world stage?

Gore: Of course, but I would distinguish between Donald Trump and the United States of America. Although he is president, he does not speak for the country on this issue, and that was vividly illustrated in the aftermath of his speech pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement.

Almost immediately, not only did the rest of the world double down on its commitments, but also here in this country, governors, mayors, business leaders, they said, we're still in the Paris Agreement, and they're doubling down. A lot of cities have now made a decision to go 100% renewable energy, and the latest studies indicate that the US is certainly going to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement, regardless of what Donald Trump says.

An Inconvenient Sequel Sundance Institute

Guerrasio: Recently, Trump has said he might reconsider going back into the agreement. Do you feel that's a good thing? Does it even matter?

Gore: I’m not going to hold my breath. I had conversations with him after the election and during the first part of his presidency, trying to convince him to stay in the Paris Agreement, and I thought there was an excellent chance that he would come to his senses and stay in, but I was wrong about that. I would take his statements to the French president, that he might come back into the Paris Agreement, with a grain of salt, but I hope I'm wrong again. I hope that actually he does reconsider. But I don't put much stock into it.

Guerrasio: You rattle off many stats about climate change — you know many of them. Is there one stat that scares you the most when it comes to climate change?

Gore: There are a couple that go together, and this is a bit geeky. So you asked for it.

Guerrasio: No, let's geek out.

Gore: The cumulative amount of man-made global pollution that's in the atmosphere now traps as much extra heat energy every day as would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every day. It's a big planet, but that's an awful lot of energy.

Now the second statistic is, we're still putting 110 million tons of that stuff into the air every single day as if the sky is an open sewer. And all of the increase temperatures that people talk about, that's air temperature. More than 90% of the extra heat energy is going into the oceans, and that's why superstorm Sandy was so much more destructive, that's why the ice is melting more rapidly, that's why the water cycle is being disrupted and we get a lot more water vapor coming from the oceans into the sky, and that's why we get these enormous downpours and big floods. They happen all the time. Every night on the TV news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.

Guerrasio: One thing that stood out for me with “An Inconvenient Sequel” is you touch on, for one moment, the personal failures in the evolution of bringing climate change to all our attention. Though off the Paris Agreement, it seems everyone has rebounded to get back on. What was it like initially for you when you heard Trump pulled out of the agreement? For you, was that up to that level of a personal failure?

An Inconvenient Sequel Jensen Walker Paramount final

Gore: Well, I worried a lot that other countries would follow his lead, but I was so gratified when the rest of the world said, "No, we're not going to pay any attention to that. We're still in, and we're going to double down." And I was even more gratified when all of the domestic political and business leaders stepped up to the plate and said we're going to fill the gap.

Guerrasio: In a strange way, with all the news about the Paris Agreement, did it give a heightened sense of the climate-change issue? I mean, there's more press talking about it now, the Weather Channel changed their whole homepage to show the effects of climate change. This movie was coming out regardless, so we were going to have this conversation. But it seems like a lot more people are talking about it now because of the actions he took.

Al Gore Quote 3

Gore: Yeah, I think it's partly a reaction to Donald Trump. You know, in physics there's the old law for every action there's a equal amount of reaction. Sometimes that's true in politics. If somebody's out there making nonsensical statements, but wielding power behind them a lot of people say, "Well, I need to react to that." I think that's happening. I also think another reason for the increased prominence of the issue is the Paris Agreement itself. It's not a small thing when just about every nation in the entire world comes together and makes an historic agreement like this. It's a big deal. And the old cliché "The train is leaving the station" kind of applies. People who might not regularly pay that much attention to it, they say, "Oh, the whole world is moving in this direction. I guess there's a lot to this, we better go along."

Guerrasio: And you must be very proud of it. As the movie shows, you were backstage, wheeling and dealing, making calls, trying to get India on board.

Gore: I was doing my best and so were lots of other people. It was a group effort and a lot of people succeeded in getting an agreement that many thought was impossible.

Guerrasio: A very powerful moment in the movie is you taking that elevator ride up Trump Tower to meet the president-elect, which I believe was organized by his daughter Ivanka Trump. Have you spoken to Ivanka since that meeting?

Gore: Oh, yes. Many times. But not since the speech in which President Trump pulled out of Paris.

Guerrasio: Have you talked to President Trump at all since that meeting?

Gore: Not since his decision on Paris, no.

Al Gore Kevin Hagen Getty final

Guerrasio: One thing you said when you left Trump Tower was that it was a conversation that would be continued. Do you feel you need to continue that conversation with him?

Gore: I did continue it. And that was not the only conversation I had with him. But after he made his decision on Paris, I have not reached out to him again; he has not reached out to me.

Guerrasio: Do you feel it's important? Do you need to talk to him anymore?

Gore: I would never close the door to responding, but I don't expect that and have no real desire to talk to him anymore. I think he made such an obviously reckless and indefensible decision, I think now, my time, the time of others, is better spent helping to move the country forward in spite of him.

Guerrasio: You say it in the movie, and I think you've said it a few times in other places, that you're a recovering politician.

Gore: Yeah. [Laughs]

Guerrasio: But I do want you to do a little armchair quarterbacking for me. What is your feeling of Trump as a president? Give me a grade: How is he doing?

Gore: Well, I never like the question about letter grades, but I think he's failing. I think that every day there's another set of tweets and another set of controversies, and nothing seems to be getting done that's any good. And there seems to be kind of a policy paralysis in Washington. Even the appointments he's supposed to make as a new president — he's way behind all his modern-day predecessors, as I understand the statistics — so I focus most of all on climate, and so my opinion of his time as president is certainly influenced by my opinion of the job he's done on climate. He's tried to move the country in the wrong direction.

Guerrasio: Believe it or not, we're going to ask some question other than Trump.

Al Gore Bomb fact

Gore: OK.

Guerrasio: Do you think about your own legacy? Are you at a point in your life where you think about that at all?

Gore: No, not really. Maybe I should. [Laughs]

Guerrasio: I don't know. You've done many things, many very important things. Does that every pop in your head, of what you want to be remembered for?

Gore: I don't really think about that. It's not about me. I have a sense of mission on this climate crisis, and I'm trying to pour all the energy I have into it. And I hope that I, along with others, can catalyze the emergence of real solutions to the climate crisis. I think we're making a lot of progress. I think we're going to win this, but it matters how quickly we win it. So I'm focused on that.

Guerrasio: Give me the next decade for you, goal-wise, with climate change. What needs to be accomplished?

Gore: Every five years, under the Paris Agreement, all the countries that signed to it have an obligation to renew their plans and ratchet up their commitments, which is going to be easy to do because, again, the cost reductions for renewable energy continue downward in a very dramatic way. We're in the early stages of a sustainability revolution in the globe that has the scale of the industrial revolution but the speed of the digital revolution. And you see it with renewable energy and you see it with LED lighting, which takes a fraction of the energy for the existing bulbs. And within a few years, all new lights are going to be LED. Electric vehicles. I can go down the list for sustainable agriculture and forestry. There are a lot of changes underway right now. I'm excited by the prospect, and I look forward to working in the months and years to come to accelerate this transition.

SEE ALSO: How Texas Republicans are fighting to save the planet

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'Atomic Blonde' proves Charlize Theron can pretty much do it all


Atomic Blonde 3 Jonathan Prime Focus Features final

Oscar winner Charlize Theron has spent her career staying out of the proverbial “box” Hollywood can throw its stars in.

From beautiful starlet to serious actor, it’s her current phase as an action heroine that might be her most impressive yet.

Playing the closest thing we have currently to a female Bond in “Atomic Blonde” (opening in theaters Friday), Theron delivers an electric performance that’s brutal and sexy at the same time.

From director David Leitch, of “John Wick” and the upcoming “Deadpool 2” fame, the movie is based on the graphic novel “The Coldest City,” and is a slick look back at 1980s Cold War Berlin — just as the wall is about to fall. Theron plays MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, who travels to Berlin to investigate the murder of an agent, and to retrieve a document that reveals the identity of undercover agents before it gets into the wrong hands.

Atomic Blonde Jonathan Prime Focus Features finalLorraine pretty much kicks ass from the moment she lands in Berlin. Whether it’s a high heel, a rubber hose, guns, or just her fists, she has a deadly execution for every occasion, and there are many in this movie. 

But that doesn’t mean Lorraine doesn’t have time to slip on a dress and knock down some vodkas with her new friend, Delphine (Sofia Boutella). This leads to some passionate scenes between the two, played over memorable 1980s tracks.

Like the “John Wick” movies — really, most action movies — there’s little about the story to pay attention to. Even though it tries to pull the rug from us (a few times) at the end, and is filled with some great performances by James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, and Eddie Marsan.

The real things to marvel at are the insane action sequences that seem scarily real. Theron did most of the action herself, and it gives the movie an authentic feel that will satisfy the most snobbish action movie fan. Especially impressive is a single-take 8-minute sequence toward the end of the movie. But unlike most action movies, Leitch shows the aftermath of swollen faces and aching bodies that comes after days of being beaten and dishing out beatings.

And through it all, Theron has a wicked style that is a joy to watch.

SEE ALSO: Charlize Theron pulled off an amazing fight scene in "Atomic Blonde" the director had wanted to make for years

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The long, tortured history of Daniel Craig not wanting to play James Bond — and then doing it anyway


daniel craig sticking out tongue james bond spectre berlin

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Daniel Craig is reportedly returning for another James Bond movie, to be released in November 2019.
  • He previously said he'd rather "slash my wrists" than play the role again.
  • Here's a timeline of his on-again-off-again relationship with the character.

Daniel Craig is reportedly finally signed on to be James Bond for another movie, to be released in November of 2019. It took him a long time to get there.

For the past five years, the actor has had a tortured relationship with the iconic character.

"I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists,"he memorably told Time Out when asked if he could imagine playing the role again after 2015's "Spectre."

Craig appeared to be tired of 007, even though his "Bond" movies are the highest-grossing entries of all time, unadjusted for inflation.

Speculation about his successor is a frequent parlor game in Hollywood. At different times, Damian Lewis, Henry Cavill, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston, and Emily Blunt have been possibilities.

And fans frequently get restless. If the next Bond movie is Craig's last, that'll be five movies — "Casino Royale,""Quantum of Solace,""Skyfall,""Spectre," and a still-untitled one — in a 13-year span. Other huge franchises, such as "Captain America" and "Harry Potter," are much more prolific.

Nevertheless, Daniel Craig is holding on to his martini glass — for now. Here's a timeline of the actor's tumultuous, on-again-off-again relationship with his most iconic character.

November 12: "I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it."

Shortly after the release of "Skyfall," Craig's third movie as James Bond, Rolling Stone published an interview where Craig said he was contractually obligated to do more Bond movies, but would get out if it if he could.

"I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it, but they won't let me go," Craig said. "I've agreed to do a couple more."

Daniel Craig Skyfall

In crude terms, Craig also said he was confident he could find a way out of his contract if "Skyfall" flopped.

"Let's see how this one does, because business is business and if the s--- goes down, I've got a contract that somebody will happily wipe their a-- with," he said.

"Skyfall" went on to become the highest-grossing "Bond" movie by far, making more than $1.1 billion and winning two Oscars.

December 2014: The Sony hack reveals that Idris Elba could have been the next Bond.

Late in 2015, Sony Pictures released "The Interview," a comedy from Seth Rogen and James Franco that mocked Kim Jung-Un and the North Korean regime. In retaliation, the country hacked the company's servers, according to the FBI.

Among the victims of the hack was Amy Pascal, who was then the co-chairman of the company's Entertainment division.

In one of Pascal's leaked emails, written in January of that year, Pascal brought up Elba as a potential "Bond" successor to Elizabeth Cantillon, a former of executive of Columbia Pictures, the division of Sony Pictures that distributes the films in the United States.

"Idris should be the next bond," the email read.

amy pascal

Elba had been a potential candidate for Bond for years, and it was the first public piece of evidence that producers were considering a replacement for Craig. The decision to pick a new 007, though, is largely up to the Broccoli family, which runs Eon Productions, the company that owns the rights to adapting Ian Fleming's "James Bond" novels. (Eon Productions did not immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.)

September 2015: "I’ll keep going as long as I’m physically able."

In the lead up to the next "Bond" movie, 2015's "Spectre," Craig gave conflicting accounts about his feelings toward 007.

To the Mail Online, he said that making the movies were taking a toll, but he wanted to keep going.

"It’s getting harder. But such is life. I’ll keep going as long as I’m physically able," Craig said.

daniel craig shirtless james bond casino royale

Craig said it's a challenge to stay fit for the role, but it's been getting easier because he's had to do less stunt work. At that point, he had one remaining Bond movie required in his contract, but he wasn't sure if he could do it.

"I’m contracted for one more — but I’m not going to make predictions," he said.

October 2015: "I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists."

A month later, Craig was singing a different tune.

In an explosive interview published in Time Out, Craig was thrown into agitation when asked to "imagine doing another 'Bond' movie."

"Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists," he said. "No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on."

As far as his long-term prospects as James Bond, Craig wasn't enthusiastic. He was eager to work on other projects instead. He said that if he did another "Bond" movie, "it would only be for the money."

"I haven’t given it any thought," Craig said. "For at least a year or two, I just don’t want to think about it. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the f--- knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything."

daniel craig spectre james bond

Craig also didn't seem to care about the future of the franchise. When the interviewer suggested some kind of "backseat driving" role in the series, where he'd be creatively involved with it without playing the main role, Craig rejected the idea.

"Oh Christ, no. How f---ing sad would that be? 'Oh look, it’s Daniel Craig, he’s on set again!' No!" he said.

He also didn't care about who replaced him in the role.

"Look, I don’t give a f---. Good luck to them!" Craig said. "All I care about is that if I stop doing these things we’ve left it in a good place and people pick it up and make it better. Make it better, that’s all."

One of the perks to being 007, to some, might seem to be wearing expensive custom Tom Ford suits and driving Aston Martins all the time. But Craig told Time Out that he was even getting fed up with maintaining that look.

"It’s a drag," he said. "The best acting is when you’re not concerned about the surface. And Bond is the opposite of that."

james bond spectre car daniel craig

As an actor, he was frustrated with Bond's superficiality as a character. He told Time Out that the most interesting parts of the stories are how the women in his life change him — not the cool clothes and gadgets.

"I know that how Bond wears a suit and walks into a room is important," Craig said. "But as an actor I don’t want to give a f--- about what I look like! So I have to play with both things. In a way that works, as that’s Bond: He looks good and he doesn’t give a f--- what you think he looks like!"

Also in the interview, Craig admitted that he eventually grew to like his character, but it took some time. It's not every movie that you can play a character who can "do anything." His biggest complaint is that it takes so much time to make the movies.

"Bond allows me to do anything I want to in some respects," Craig said. "But it’s changed my working life in an incredible way. There are more opportunities. I could do many, many things. But it takes an awful amount of time. If anything, the restriction is that it is incredibly time-consuming."

Also in October 2015: An MGM executive "hit the ceiling" reading Craig's interview.

Craig's tell-all about his frustrations with James Bond didn't exactly go well with the producers who make the "James Bond" movies happen.

Gary Barber, the chief executive and chairman of MGM, which has been involved in distributing "Bond" films for half a century, personally contacted Craig after reading the interview, according to Vanity Fair.

"Gary hit the ceiling when he read the story," a source told Vanity Fair. "He called up Daniel to yell at him. He was furious."

daniel craig james bond spectre

But it isn't easy to simply fire Craig and find a replacement. His "Bond" movies are the highest-grossing ones of all time (unadjusted for inflation), and "Skyfall" is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, period.

February 2016: MGM adjusts "Bond" shooting schedule for Craig, signaling they want him to stay.

After Craig's "Time Out" interview, speculation for his replacement — even though he had one movie left in his contract — was rampant. 

But an MGM source told The Sun that they were scrambling to keep him on board, even if it meant pushing back the 25th "Bond" movie. Craig had signed on to shoot 20 episodes for the TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's novel "Purity," and the source said they wanted to accommodate him.

"They know he wants to do 'Purity' and had hoped to get the new film in cinemas next year, but they have vowed to push it back a year to help make his schedule easier," the source said. "Daniel leaving the franchise at this moment is something MGM cannot stomach. He is a major draw and a key player in terms of raising money for the films."

September 2016: "We would love Daniel to return as Bond."

After months of negotiations to try to keep Craig on, "Bond" producer Callum McDougall told the BBC that he was still the first choice to play the MI6 spy.

daniel craig james bond berlin

"We would love Daniel to return as Bond, without any question," McDougall said. "I know they're hoping for him to come back."

October 2016: "If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly."

At the 2016 New Yorker festival, Craig dismissed his comments he made a year earlier. He said he did the interview a day after finishing "Spectre," and the combined physical strains of the role and being away from home for a year took a toll.

"Boo-hoo. It’s a good gig. I enjoy it," Craig joked. "As far as I’m concerned, I’ve got the best job in the world. I’ll keep doing it as long as I still get a kick out of it. ... If I were to stop doing it, I would miss it terribly."

July 2017: Daniel Craig is still James Bond.

Sources told The New York Times that Craig will play 007 for at least one more movie, with a release date of November 8, 2019. A director or cast hasn't been announced yet. It isn't clear if Craig negotiated a new contract with the companies producing the series, or if this will be his last film in the role.

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Charlize Theron pulled off an amazing fight scene in 'Atomic Blonde' the director had wanted to make for years


Atomic Blonde Focus Features

Director David Leitch knows a little something about pulling off action on the big screen.

For over two decades, he and Chad Stahelski have done stunts for the biggest stars on some of the biggest films, through their company 87Eleven. Recently, the two have moved on to directing, and have used their stuntman talents to create impressive action movies.

The two codirected the cult hit “John Wick” in 2014, instantly making them attractive names for numerous projects floating around Hollywood that needed a realistic action feel.

One of those was an adaptation of a recently published graphic novel, titled "The Coldest City." A pulpy Cold War spy thriller, it follows British MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, who is tasked with traveling to Berlin days before the wall comes down, to retrieve a list identifying undercover agents before it's put in the wrong hands.

Charlize Theron was looking for unique female protagonist roles, so she bought the rights. The Oscar winner then looked for a director, and brought in Leitch and Stahelski for a meeting.

Learning that most of the directors were pitching Theron serious noir-tone story ideas (think 2011's "Tinker Tailor Solider Spy"), the duo came in with some "John Wick" flair.

Atomic Blonde 2 Jonathan Prime Focus Features finalThey got the job, but suddenly Leitch and Stahelski were stuck with a major decision. The start date for "The Coldest City" project, now titled “Atomic Blonde,” conflicted with the start for “John Wick: Chapter 2.” The two decided to split up directing duties to complete both projects. Stahelski did “John Wick 2,” while Leitch took on “Atomic Blonde.” It was an easy decision for Leitch, who had become obsessed with the Theron project.

"How do you make this sexy and cool and commercial and infuse my action sensibilities to turn the spy genre on its head?" Leitch told Business Insider. It was the challenge he couldn't pass on.

Leitch's pitch for Theron showed a slick action movie, but he also gave a musical presentation that highlighted '80s classics from the likes of David Bowie and Queen. When fused together these showed his vision for the project.

"After pitching it to Charlize, we were off to the races," Leitch said.

And Leitch quickly learned that Theron wanted to give the movie an ultra-violent realness by doing most of her own stunts. Especially the fight sequences. He loved the idea, but in Leitch’s experience with actors, he’s learned talk is cheap.

“Not to name names, but some will see [doing their own stunts] as part of their job, and they'll come in and have the work ethic, but not the ability. And some will have the ability but not the work ethic," Leitch said. "You have to have a passion to step in the gym for three hours, four times a week, and get your butt kicked."

So, to see what Theron was made of, Leitch put her through his stunt team's introduction course.

"We call it 'The Evaluation.' We put her through basic choreography drills, and you see her aptitude for memorization, and ability to mimic motion, and she was scoring off the charts," Leitch said.

Watch Theron's fight training for the movie:

A trained dancer in her youth, Theron took to the exercises, regardless the difficulty level. Soon, Leitch and one of the movie's producers, Kelly McCormick (who is also his wife), began talking about trying to pull off an elaborate fight sequence in "Atomic Blonde" that they had been discussing for years.

"I'm getting the remote videos from L.A. on how she's doing every day, and I made a call back to my stunt team and I'm like, 'Guys, I think we can do this 'oner' we've always talked about,'" Leitch said.

With only a $30 million budget (around the same he had for "John Wick"), Leitch was looking for ways to have the movie's fight sequences stand out with the limited resources. Due to Theron's abilities, he decided that the movie's major eight-minute fight scene — which takes place in the stairwell of a crummy Berlin apartment building at the end of the movie  — would all be done in one continuous shot.

Atomic Blonde Jonathan Prime Focus Features final"When I pitched it to her we were already a couple of weeks into shooting and I walked into the makeup trailer and I was like, 'I didn't want to tell you this before because I didn't want to freak you out, but that stairwell fight, I'm planning to make it all one shot.' And she's like, 'Ah, what?'" Leitch recalled. "I said, 'There will be some tricks and some movie magic, but it's going to be hard work and a lot of long takes.' And she was like, 'Has it been done before?' And I said, 'Not like this.' And she said, 'Let's do it.'"

As Leitch notes, there are some hidden cuts in the sequence (as happens with most "ones"), but the fight (which took two weeks to shoot) is what the movie will be remembered for. It showcases the talents of Leitch and his stunt team, as well as the abilities of Theron, who has wowed audiences recently with her out-of-the-box movie choices.

For someone who has worked with dedicated action stars like Keanu Reeves and Hugh Jackman, Leitch puts Theron in that rare class of actors who can realistically do almost anything a stunt person can.

"Her attitude was amazing and her excitement to come in every day and train and mix it up with the stunt team, and push herself, there's few that I've worked with that have that drive," Leitch said.

"Atomic Blonde" opens in theaters July 28.

Watch some of the single-shot fight scene in the trailer below:

SEE ALSO: Christopher Nolan explains the biggest challenge in making his latest movie "Dunkirk" into an "intimate epic"

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George Clooney and the Coen brothers combine forces for the dark comedy 'Suburbicon' — watch the trailer


Suburbicon Paramount Pictures final

Often it's George Clooney in front of the camera when working with the Coen brothers, but for their latest collaboration, "Suburbicon," Clooney is taking the directing reins. 

The dark comedy stars Matt Damon as a suburban dad who finds himself having to face off with the underbelly of what's considered a tranquil town. The film is a twisted mix of drama and comedy, which the Coens are known for, and was written by the brothers, along with Clooney and his longtime writing partner Grant Heslov.  

The movie also stars Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac.

Trailers for Coen brother movies are often misleading, but at the least it looks like Damon is going to give one outlandish performance.  

Check out the trailer below. The movie opens November 3.

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There's a funny debate about whether the screenwriter for Steven Soderbergh's new movie is a real person


Logan Lucky Bleecker Street2

UPDATE: John Henson replied to Business Insider with the following in regards to him rumored to have written "Logan Lucky:""Unfortunately, I did not write 'Logan Lucky.' Steven, however... did write every single episode of 'Talk Soup.'"

Steven Soderbergh has always enjoyed messing with Hollywood conventions, and this latest mischief might be his best yet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the auteur — who enjoys using his father's name for some of his cinematography credits (Peter Andrews), and his mother's for editing (Mary Ann Bernard) — may have came up with a new one for the screenwriting credit for his upcoming movie, "Logan Lucky."

The movie, which opens August 18 and marks Soderbergh's first time directing a feature after a four-year retirement, has the name Rebecca Blunt as the screenwriting credit. This is her first credit of any kind, according to IMDb.

But THR has suspicions, and says Blunt might not exist, suggesting either Soderbergh, his wife Jules Asner, or former E! "Talk Soup" host John Henson really wrote the script.  

Honestly, each theory is as ridiculously fantastic as the next, and it becomes more plausible that a "Rebecca Blunt" doesn't exist when you do a little digging. For a screenwriter who has written a script that caught Soderbergh's attention, and has critics raving (the movie has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), she has no representation at all (according to IMDb Pro). Typically, buzz about the script and her talents would have already swirled around Hollywood, and she would have nabbed an agent or manager by now. 

According to the THR story, Blunt never visited the set, though cast members Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig are said to have had email exchanges with her from the UK, where they believed she lives.

One source believes Asner, a former E! News host and author of a 2008 novel titled "Whacked," penned the script. Another told the trade it's Soderbergh himself, though it's unclear why he would he use a pseudonym for the screenwriting credit, when he used his name for the cinematography and editor credits on "Logan Lucky." Yet another believes it's Henson, as he's a friend of Asner's and, according to THR, worked on a screenplay with Soderbergh years ago that's similar to "Logan Lucky."

Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Soderbergh and brought up the THR story.

Steven Soderbergh Jules Asner Ben Gabbe Getty“Well, that’s going to be news to Rebecca Blunt,” he said. “When people make a statement like that they should be very careful, especially when it’s a woman screenwriter who is having her first screenplay produced.” 

He went on to add: “Why are you going after her? She’s interviewed in the press kit. I happen to know that she’s working on something and that she’s on a deadline. She doesn’t want to do any press until after the movie opens. Isn’t she allowed to do that?”

So that brings us to the press kit. Yes, Blunt is mentioned and quoted in the press notes. According to the notes, Blunt is a friend of Asner, who passed the script to Soderbergh. Though the THR story references she might live in the UK, the notes say she grew up in West Virginia and now lives in New York City. 

"Logan Lucky" is set around two brothers, played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, who live in West Virginia and plot to pull a heist across the line in North Carolina at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The notes also say Blunt is friends with Tatum.

“Chan’s from a small southern town, I believe he won a football scholarship to play in Florida but ended up blowing out his knee before the season started, so he became a stripper," Blunt is quoted in the notes. "I thought of 'Logan Lucky' as, ‘What if Chan hadn’t become a male stripper and had gone back home?’ I ran into Chan and his partner Reid [Carolin] at a bowling alley and mentioned the the idea to them — at the time I called it 'Hillbilly Heist' — and Chan said, ‘That sounds great!’ I don’t know if he even remembers saying that and I never imagined all of this would really happen.”

In the press notes biography for Blunt, along with stating she was raised in Logan, West Virginia, and now lives in New York City, it also includes this gem: that in researching on the internet the explosive device the characters used in the movie to rob the speedway, she was informed her TSA PRE status was permanently revoked.

Soderbergh has admitted on numerous occassions that he has embellished certain things about his movies in the past while promoting them, so it's possible this is all a hoax. And that's what many will think until the real Rebecca Blunt stands up. 

Business Insider contacted the movie's distributor, Bleecker Street, and the representation for John Henson but did not get an immediate response (representation for Jules Asner could not be found).   

SEE ALSO: Steven Soderbergh makes a much better "Ocean's Eleven" with Channing Tatum and Adam Driver in "Logan Lucky"

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