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There's Almost No Difference Between PG-13 And R-Rated Movies


Pulp Fiction movie poster

Researchers have criticized the rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America after finding that violent film characters tend to glorify "risky behaviors" like sex and drug use, regardless of the rating a film has been granted.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, in a study released on Monday, looked at the top-selling movies in Variety’s annual box office list from 1985 to 2010 to determine the behaviors exhibited by violent characters. 

“Smoking, drinking, sex – these are all things that when young people watch this in the movies, they are more likely to initiate those behaviors,” said Dan Romer, one of the study’s authors and associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

The study shows that there was little difference in the amount of violence between PG-13 and R-rated movies. Children under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to an R-rated movie. A PG-13 rating does not prohibit people under 13 from watching the film.

“The similarity in levels of co-occurrence between PG-13 and R-rated movies is troubling, and yet it is consistent with research on the questionable effectiveness of the ratings system as a tool to shield youth from inappropriate content,” the study said. “The reliability and validity of the movie ratings system are problematic, and its usefulness for parents limited.”

Over the 25-year period, the frequency of violent and sexual content occurring together remained stable. The most dramatic change over time was for tobacco use, which sharply declined, appearing in 68% of the films in 1985 and just 21.4% of films in 2010. Alcohol use also dropped from 89.6% in 1985 to 67.3% in 2010. The researchers defined violence as "intentional acts (eg to cause harm, to coerce, or for fun) where the aggressor makes or attempts to make some physical contact that has potential to inflict injury or harm.”

The co-occurrence of risky behaviors with violent actions has not been examined in scientific literature before, and Romer hopes more studies will examine the effects on young filmgoers.

“Since we know that adolescents are likely to imitate other behaviors, it might make violence look a little more acceptable if there’s really no difference between the good guys and the bad guys,” said Romer.

The study points out that a causal connection has not been reached about the impact of movie violence on adolescents, but Romer believes it could have a negative effect on young people.

The MPAA said a PG-13 rating is “a strong warning to parents” and that the words located under the rating, known as the descriptors, provide details about the specific elements in the film that caused the agency to give it that ranking.

“The purpose of the rating system is to reflect the standards of American parents, not set them – the rating board tries to rate a film the way they believe a majority of American parents would rate it,” a spokesperson for the MPAA said. “Societal standards change over time and the rating system is built to change with them.”

The study was posted online in the journal Pediatrics, which also published a study this month documenting the dramatic increase in gun violence in PG-13 movies. 

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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The First Trailer For 'Jupiter Ascending' — The Next Movie From 'The Matrix' Creators


jupiter ascending

We've been waiting to hear more about "Jupiter Ascending" for a while.  

The space film comes from "The Matrix" directors Andy and Lana Wachowski. 

Warner Bros. released the first trailer for the film starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum last night.  

Here's the plot synopsis for the film: 

Jupiter Jones (Kunis) was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people's houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine (Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along—her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos. 

"Jupiter Ascending" comes to theaters July 25, 2014.

SEE ALSO: What movies you should see Christmas day

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Big Music Acts Cancel SeaWorld Performance After 'Blackfish' Doc Shows Mistreatment Of Whales


Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson, Barenaked Ladies, and Heart have all canceled shows at SeaWorld after seeing "Blackfish" — a chilling new documentary about the mistreatment of whales that has turned them into 'serial' killer whales. 

"I don't agree with the way they treat their animals," Nelson told CNN's Brooke Baldwin. "It wasn't that hard a deal for me."

"I understand that there are some natural-habitat zoos out there, which is probably OK," Nelson added. "But what they do at SeaWorld is not OK."

The country legend's comments came one day after a SeaWorld Orlando spokesman said the Nelson would not be part of next year Bands, Brew & BBQ events "due to scheduling conflicts."

After "Blackfish" aired on CNN, many now share Nelson's sentiments.

Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies also pulled out of a Florida gig at SeaWorld, explaining on their Facebook Page"This is a complicated issue, and we don't claim to understand all of it, but we don't feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time."

Most recently, the band Heart also canceled an Orlando performance.

Heart Blackfish tweets

Heart Blackfish tweets

In response, SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck told CNN: "While we're disappointed a small group of misinformed individuals was able to deny fans what would have been great concerts at SeaWorld ... we respect the bands' decisions."

REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Justin Moore, Scotty McCreery, Martina McBride and 38 Special are still scheduled to perform — despite Change.org petitions asking the musicians to re-think the shows.

SEE ALSO: How Aquariums Allegedly Turned A Whale Into A Killing Machine

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Jason Bateman Competes Against Kids In Spelling Bee In 'Bad Words' Trailer


Jason Bateman's directorial debut is a dark comedy titled "Bad Words" about a bitter, foul-mouthed adult who finds a loophole to compete against children in a national spelling bee.

Bateman's character finds a nemesis-turned-friend in an awkward 10-year-old speller played by the adorable Rohan Chand.

The film opens in March. Watch the explicit NSFW red-band trailer below:

SEE ALSO: The First Trailer For 'Jupiter Ascending' — The Next Movie From 'The Matrix' Creators

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'The Hobbit' Sequel Reviews: 'Smaug' Is Better Than The First Film


hobbit bilbo

Reviews for the "Hobbit" sequel, "The Desolation of Smaug"are trickling out and if you were among those upset by the first prequel installment than you'll be happy to learn that most critics thoroughly enjoy director Peter Jackson's return Middle Earth.

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) returns on his journey with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a pack of 13 dwarves to reclaim their treasure from the dragon Smaug.

Despite the groans of turning a singular book that doesn't cross 300 pages into a three-part film, "The Hobbit" is a cash cow for MGM and Warner Bros. Last year's "An Unexpected Journey" made more than $1 billion at theaters.

(Of course, fans will know Jackson is also using material from unfinished J.R.R. Tolkien tales to supplement the movies.)

And if you're wondering, yes, it will still be shown in the high-frame rate, meaning you'll see double the images on screen as you normally would at once (48 frames per second vs. 24).

We're seeing the film tonight and will offer up our initial thoughts afterward. 

For now, here's what you should know before seeing the film:

Everyone agrees — it's better than the first. 

The Hollywood Reporter (THR):

"Nearly everything about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug represents an improvement over the first installment of Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved creation." 

The Wrap: 

"Clearer and more engaging than its predecessor, this second installation in the “Hobbit” trilogy deftly brings out the human side of dwarves and elves while upping the action quotient." 

Associated Press (AP):

‘‘'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'’ is not much shorter — 8 minutes, to be exact — but it feels brisker, lighter, funnier." 

The film is again being shown in 48 frames per second, but this time around, it's not such a dizzying experience. 


"The distractingly vivid images provided by the 48 frames-per-second in the first film appear to have been massaged properly this time, and there is a notably lower-than-average reduction in image brightness when using the 3D glasses." 

Benedict Cumberbatch is great as not one, but two villains.smaug the hobbit


"It’s fun to hear Benedict Cumberbatch, as Smaug, hurl seething epithets at Bilbo, and Freeman is at his most pluckily adorable." 

Total Film:

"He’s easily the year’s most magnificent beast. He has a way with a fearsome one-liner too, and Benedict Cumberbatch hisses out his words with cold-blooded vitriol." 

But his performance doesn't please everyone ... 


"Too unnaturally deepened and electronically modified to afford pure enjoyment of the actor's menacing readings." 

Apparently, the big bad dragon's arrival isn't even the best part of the film. Critics are raving about a scene involving the dwarves in barrels which sets Jackson apart as a visionary.

the hobbit the desolation of smaug dwarves barrels


"In pure action terms, the picture’s indisputable high point arrives when Bilbo leads the dwarfs on a daring escape from Mirkwood, floating downriver in barrels while fending off some particularly vicious orcs."   


"One involved set-piece with dwarves in wine barrels spilling down a river while Orcs and elves chase them is positively thrilling, matching and surpassing the visually dazzling sequences in Steven Spielberg’s panoramic “The Adventures of Tintin.” 

However, if you don't know them all by now, you'll still be confused by the many dwarves in the film. 


"More screentime might have been usefully given to the dwarves, who remain largely anonymous. Besides Thorin (Richard Armitage), whose facade of nobility is beginning to crumble, revealing baser motives beneath, the only one who gets much attention is Kili (Aidan Turner)." 

Total Film:

"The Dwarves fall victim to their numerousness again, with the majority of the 13 falling by the wayside, and even Bilbo and Thorin lack arcs." 

The addition of a new female elf, Tauriel, played by "Lost" alum Evangeline Lilly adds a needed bit of estrogen to this film. evangeline lilly the hobbitThe Wrap:

"As it turns out, Tauriel gives the film an emotional core that reminds the audience that, even among dragons and elves and Orcs and dwarves, all of their feelings are completely human." 


"The one character of any substance in the picture ... Tauriel actually cares about people in need of help (including dwarves, the sworn rivals of elves), so it’s her internal conflict that gives the movie its only shallow of humanistic depth." 

It's not all good ... the dangers that come with making this a three-part film: It feels like more of a setup than a singular movie in itself.the hobbit desolation of smaug landscapeIndiewire:

"‘Smaug’ is about almost absolutely nothing. 'The Further Adventures Of Chasing Gemstones That Mean Something Or Other To The Dwarves' might be a better suited subtitle as it is simply designed to keep this behemoth franchise moving forward and nothing more …  it’s all narrative teases that amounts to TUNE INTO THE NEXT EPISODE TO FIND OUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENS." 


"Even the staunchest Tolkien loyalists may feel they’re on an overly protracted journey to an inevitably less exciting destination."

Overall consensus: See it!

If you were disappointed by "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"— we'll admit, it dragged a bit — think back. "The Fellowship of the Rings"— the first "Lord of the Rings" installment — was pretty slow, too. The whole entire point of "The Hobbit" book is to arrive at the dragon in the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo's big confrontation with the dragon Smaug will happen in this film. For "Sherlock" fans, it's a nice little onscreen reunion for stars Martin Lawrence and Benedict Cumberbatch before the series return in January.

It may not be "The Two Towers"— the second film in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise — but the return of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and the addition of eye candy in Evangeline Lilly ("Lost") make it worth giving the franchise another go.

Check out a trailer for the film:

SEE ALSO: Which movies you should see Christmas Day

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Bryan Cranston Is Terrified In The First 'Godzilla' Reboot Trailer


bryan cranston godzilla

Yes, "Godzilla" is getting a mega-sized reboot next summer with one of television's biggest stars.

The studio released the first trailer for the film starring Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") after launching a viral site for the movie.

We don't get a good look at the monster, but we do see a few shots of Cranston along with a harrowing look at the path of the monster's destruction.

Gareth Edwards ("Monsters") is directing the film which will also star Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. (Coincidentally, the two will also be starring side by side in 2015's "Avengers" sequel as well.)

"Godzilla" will be in theaters May 16, 2014.

Here are our takeaways from the trailer:
Everyone is trying to prevent the monster from escaping.godzilla remakegodzilla soldiers remake

It doesn't look like that went over so well.explosion godzillaIs that Cranston running around?bryan cranston godzilla runningEveryone seen in the trailer basically wears this same expression seen on Olsen's face:elizabeth olsen godzillaAnd with good reason. godzilla destructiongodzilla train derailFinally, the brief look at the monster that leaked online earlier this year.godzilla monster reboot

Here's the first poster for the film that has since been released.godzilla poster

SEE ALSO: Creepy teaser trailers for the "Godzilla" remake

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Adam Sandler Tops Forbes' List Of Most Overpaid Actors


Adam Sandler

Funny man Adam Sandler knabbed the number one spot on Forbes' list of the 10 Most Overpaid Actors of 2013.

To compile the rankings, Forbes compared actors' salaries from their last three films with movie earnings and studio budgets.

Sandler had two big movie flops this year — "Jack and Jill" and "That's My Boy"— the former of which cost $80 million to make and grossed $150 million, while the latter cost $70 million to make but only grossed $57 million.

Forbes estimates that for every $1 Sandler made for his last three movies, the films themselves earned an average of $3.40.

Sandler swiped the top spot from last year's front-runner, Eddie Murphy, while Katherine Heigel remains in second place for the second year in a row — thanks to the lackluster "One For the Money" and "Killers."

Forbes' list is compiled from numbers between June 2012 and 2013.

Here's the complete list of Overpaid Actors: 

1. Adam Sandler: Returns $3.40 for every $1 paid.

2. Katherine Heigl: Returns $3.50 for every $1 paid.

3. Reese Witherspoon: Returns $3.90 for every $1 paid

4. Nicolas Cage: Returns $6 for every $1 paid.

5. Kevin James: Returns $6.10 for every $1 paid.

6. Denzel Washington: Returns $8.30 for every $1 paid.

7. Steve Carell: Returns $10 for every $1 paid.

8. Jennifer Aniston: Returns $10.60 for every $1 paid.

9. Matt Damon: Returns $10.60 for every $1 paid.

10. Ryan Reynolds: Returns $10.70 for every $1 paid.

SEE ALSO: Michael Jackson Earned More This Year Than The Highest-Earning Living Celebrity

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'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug' Is A Vast Improvement Over The Original


gandalf the desolation of smaugWarning: There are some spoilers ahead.

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is out in theaters Friday.

We saw the second installment to Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy Tuesday night in 3D and enjoyed it a lot. 

The film by no means is perfect, but it is a vast improvement upon the first. (The second time around there aren't any musical numbers by the dwarves, so that's a plus.)

It's faster paced with a new threat around every bend whether from spiders, elves, Orcs, or a deadly dragon and should be a solid box-office win for Warner Bros. come this weekend.

"The Desolation of Smaug" wastes no time picking up right where the first film ended with hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) continuing his perilous journey with 13 dwarves and the wizard Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) to the Lonely Mountain to recover the lost dwarf treasure from a dragon.

hobbits desolation of smaugAnd it's clear to say that of all the characters, Freeman masterfully delivers in his return as Bilbo.  

For a small hobbit, he’s a ball of fire on screen. Having seen all of the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) films, Bilbo manages to be more courageous and do more in one scene at the beginning of the film than Frodo (Elijah Wood) did in three. (If you think about it, someone else was always saving his life — Sam — and in the third film, he was getting dragged and carried through most of it.) 

However, other than the dwarves and Gandalf — who by now feels like a dear old friend welcomed into your home as the old wizard — the film has a lot of new faces (along with one old). 

Here's a quick rundown of who you need to know:

Orlando Bloom returns as LOTR favorite Legolas
Lee Pace plays Legolas' father, King of the wood-elves, Thranduil
Evangeline Lilly ("Lost") joins as a female elf, Tauriel, who Legolas has his eyes set on.
Stephen Fry (“V for Vendetta”) joins as a conniving and corrupt politician, the Master of Lake-town
Luke Evans (“Fast & Furious 6”) plays a widowed father of three children who helps the dwarves on their quest.
Benedict Cumberbatch is not one, but two villains — the menacing dragon Smaug — and the less-physical, but even more threatening, Necromancer. 

Because there are so many characters, you often feel like you’re watching not one movie, but three, or at the least three to four different mini-sodes as the story shifts back and forth between Bilbo and the dwarves, Bilbo and the ring, elves Legolas and Tauriel, and Gandalf’s side adventure having to do with a big tie-in to the “Lord of the Rings.”  

However, some of the characters are welcome. 

legolas the hobbit desolation of smaugSure, Legolas wasn’t in “The Hobbit,” but it gives fans a reason to see the film while also creating another bridge between the prequel and sequel. True to form, Legolas is a master with a bow and arrow and he delivers some of the best action sequences to see on screen. Prime example: At one point he’s hobbling around on dwarf heads shooting arrows at Orcs.   

He’s still a bit rough around the edges at this point, but we’re watching the makings of a great warrior and he does NOT disappoint every time he's on screen. 

We soon learn Katniss Everdeen of “The Hunger Games” isn’t the only arrow slinger on screen worth rooting for with the entry of Tauriel (Lilly). The “she-elf,” as she’s called in the film, is a new character director Peter Jackson invented for the film who gives girls an added reason to see the film. evangeline lilly the hobbitOne of my biggest issues watching this film is despite all these characters, there aren’t a lot of redeeming ones who I want to rally behind. The viewer isn’t really sure who they’re supposed to side with as a protagonist, mainly because they’re kind of a bunch of selfish jerks.  

the hobbit desolation of smaugYou have Bilbo, who despite selflessly pledging his allegiance to the dwarves, is a liar and a thief (having stole the “One” ring from Gollum and mischievously hiding it from Gandalf). While it’s a pleasure watching him take a sword to spiders in the film’s first leg, unlike the dwarves, he’s fighting them not to save his crew, nor to really save his own skin, but to save the ring — his ever-growing precious — from the wretched snare of the spider.

Though Bilbo’s character grows as the movie progresses — he saves the dwarves a few times — you’re never really sure if he is doing these acts selflessly or if he’s just helping the elves for a share of the treasure Smaug the dragon is guarding. 

thorin the hobbit desolation of smaugThen there’s Thorin Oakenshield the leader of the dwarves who multiple times is warned numerous times of dwarf greed and what it can do to a person. There’s a part of the film where his true allegiance comes into question when he just sits back and let’s Bilbo risk his life for his clan without lifting a finger to help him (you can see it in the trailers when one of the other dwarfs defiantly defends the hobbit briefly saying, “His name is Bilbo”). 

Though Thorin sort of comes to his senses (it’s clear he still doesn’t completely trust Bilbo) and the dwarves and Bilbo all work together in the end against the big bad dragon, it really all seems like a means to an end for everyone involved — especially Thorin.  

After *mini-spoiler* seeing him side with the weasel Master of Lake-town *mini-spoiler*, I’m not sure that’s a dwarf I’d want to align myself with. 

At this point, you’re not really sure what to make of Gandalf. Forget what you know about him from “LOTR.” Like the first film, he’s with the crew for a few moments before he disappears on his own adventure in Dol Guldur after being whisked away from a vision.  

gandalf the hobbit the desolation of smaugHis role is exactly like that in LOTR. Show up in the beginning of the series, disappear for a long time, come back magically as a brand new wizard to save the day. At least, that’s how we predict it will turn out for movie three: Gandalf saves the day. 

Perhaps the only real likable character — other than Legolas, Tauriel, and (sure, why not?) Gandalf — is mysterious secondary character Bard. Maybe it’s the added family element, but compared to all of the other characters, he’s the only one who seems completely trustworthy, selfless, and righteous. There’s plenty more to his story we don’t know that I’m sure will be shared in the final installment.bard the hobbit desolation of smaugEnough about the characters because there is a lot of non-stop action in the sequel that lends itself to great cinematography.

The spider scene early on in the film was a fantastic use of Freeman that I won't give away but that shows once-again Bilbo is quite the asset to the dwarves despite his small size.

One that many reviews touched upon, is the epic waterfall barrel scene that pits the elves vs. the dwarves, the Orcs vs. the dwarves, and the elves vs. the Orcs. It’s one of the most imaginatively shot and orchestrated fight sequences I’ve seen in a long time.  

the hobbit the desolation of smaug dwarves barrelsThe creative use of barrels brings to mind playing Donkey Kong on the Nintendo 64. And — as mentioned earlier — it's fun to watch Legolas prancing around on the heads of dwarves to take effortless shots at Orcs. 

The most aggravating and absolutely frustrating scene to watch comes near the end of the film *mini-spoilers* when the dwarves finally do arrive at the Lonely Mountain and they can’t figure out how to get inside. Rather than take a minute to think it through they try a few mindless ways to break down a wall that ultimately prove futile. Just like that, they give up on their mission and decide to head home.  

What? You’re telling me that after months of traveling and risking your lives countless times that once you’re so close to getting what you want, you’re going to let a little wall stop you? Sorry. I’m just not buying it. 

Of course, they eventually get inside, but at this point, you feel like these people may not even deserve the riches inside for being so stubborn.*mini-spoiler* 

That aside, the best may be the final half hour or so while Bilbo encounters the dragon Smaug and Gandalf goes toe-to-toe with the shadowy Necromancer. 

The funny part is that both Bilbo and Gandalf are fighting different villains played by the same man at the same time. Yes, you probably wouldn’t realize unless you were told but Benedict Cumberbatch not only delivers the sly, velvety allure of the monstrous dragon Smaug, but also the chilling monologues of the Necromancer the wizard faces. 

If you’re a fan of the book, there’s a big twist with what happens in the Smaug encounter that I won’t spoil here since the film isn’t out yet. It’s a lot longer and more drawn out than in the novel. Bilbo’s altercation with the dragon in the Lonely Mountain becomes MUCH much more complicated.  

What Jackson does is unexpected going in to the film but makes sense as you’re watching. Otherwise, a third film really would have felt unnecessary for this prequel series. 

smaug the hobbit Both instances of Cumberbatch’s vocals are quite grand and for “Sherlock” fans its a pleasure to see him reunited with Freeman on screen in different form before the show’s January return. 

The reveal of the dragon is ultimately satisfying as well. Bringing Smaug to life has never been an easy feat for anyone. (Look at the cartoon version.) This interpretation is definitely worthy of Tolkien’s character. 

In many ways, “The Desolation of Smaug” is like the second “Lord of the Rings” installment, “The Two Towers.”  

Both have multiple story arcs that are setting up for big showdowns in their respective third films. We see growing Orc armies, *spoiler* the eye of Sauron *spoiler*, the Necromancer, and a giant nuisance that just won’t go away in the forms of Gollum and Smaug (except one is frightfully more scary, breaths fire, and is actually a threat to humanity).  

Overall, the film was much more captivating then the first to watch and didn’t feel nearly as long as it was (2 hours 41 mins). 

We saw it in 3D at what I believe was normal frame rate. That felt kind of unfair, since most of the showings are supposed to be in the higher-frame rate. So I can’t comment on whether it was too much on the eyes. Though there were times the screen did get too bright — any time Smaug breathed fire toward the screen — and I had to look away. 

A few other quick notes: 

Funniest part of the film that’s not meant to be funny: 

Maybe it’s just me, but look out for the scene when the Bilbo and co. are entering the wood-elves home. The introduction of the elf King Thranduil plays out like a perfume / shampoo ad. 

Best line of the film: 
Delivered by one of Bard’s little girls: “Why are there dwarves coming out of our toilet? Will they bring us luck?”

Oh yes, and for those looking, keep a watchful eye out for director Peter Jackson at the very start of the film. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.

SEE ALSO: What everyone else is saying about the film

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Tom Cruise Is Stuck In A Time Loop Fighting Aliens In First 'Edge Of Tomorrow' Trailer


Tom Cruise stars in the new trailer for "Edge of Tomorrow" — director Doug Liman's sci-fi flick about an officer in an alien war who becomes stuck in a time loop, forced to re-live the same brutal mission over and over á la "Groundhog Day."

Emily Blunt plays a soldier who helps Cruise train to become a warrior and weapon to kill the aliens.

The film, formerly known as "All You Need Is Kill," hits theaters June 6. Watch the trailer below:

SEE ALSO: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug' Is A Vast Improvement Over The Original

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Next 'Hunger Games' Movie Casts Fan Favorite 'Prison Break' Villain


t bag prison break

Big "Hunger Games" casting news for any "Prison Break" fans.

Robert  Knepper, best known for his role as smooth talking, villainous jailbird Theodore Bagwell (T-Bag) on the Fox show, has been cast in both of the final "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" parts 1 and 2.

The news was confirmed on the official "Hunger Games" Twitter account.

The announcement has him playing the role of Anotonius; however, fans of the Suzanne Collins' series will know that's not a character from the books.

Deadline reports Knepper will be playing President Snow's minister.

Though Knepper has appeared in movies including "Transporter 3" and "Hitman," the actor is best known for playing roles that make your skin crawl on the small screen.

Previous roles include a stint on NBC's once popular show "Heroes,""SGU Stargate Universe," and "Cult."

You may have also seen him in a recent episode of "The Blacklist."

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" is in theaters November 21, 2014.

Here's how Knepper will look in the film from the announcement:t bag hunger games

If you're not familiar with the actor, here's a video of him from "Prison Break":

SEE ALSO: Here's the 'Hunger Games' actress who randomly strips naked in an elevator

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James Bond Drank About Six Cocktails A Day


bond mojitoAn analysis of the 14 James Bond novels reveals that the international spy consumed six or seven cocktails a day, on average, Michaeleen Doucleff of NPR reports.

A team led by liver specialist Dr. Indra Neil Guha at Nottingham University Hospital in England spent a year studying all of Ian Flemming's Bond novels.

The results are published in the Christmas edition of BMJ.

From NPR: 

It wasn't just chronic drinking that roughed up Bond's liver. He also went on some mean benders. In Casino Royale, Bond knocked back nearly 20 drinks before going on a high-speed car chase, getting in a wreck and then spending two weeks in the hospital. 

The authors conclude that "the level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol," noting wryly that they suspect "the famous catchphrase 'shaken, not stirred' could be because of alcohol induced tremor affecting his hands." 

jamesbond_enl 8ee7dd54b2c84136eda221c9dbcb8a612dedaa9f

SEE ALSO: The Secret Memo That Led To The James Bond Movies

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27 Actors Who Dramatically Changed Their Looks For Movies


amy adams christian bale american hustle

Bruce Wayne who? Christian Bale trades Batman's cape and tights to play Irving Rosenfield, an overweight, balding con artist in the new film "American Hustle."

For the role, Bale told People Magazine he gained 43 pounds on a diet of donuts, cheeseburgers, and anything else he could get his hands on.

He estimated going from about 185 to 228 pounds. The actor also shaved his head, and slouched enough to accidentally herniate a disc in his back.

Bale was so unrecognizable that co-star Robert De Niro had to ask who Bale was upon meeting him on set. 

It's not the first role Bale has gained or lost weight for — "The Machinist," the "Dark Knight" trilogy, and recent film "Out of the Furnace" all required dramatic changes in his appearance.

While Bale may be a master of transformation, he's certainly not the only Hollywood actor who has gone above and beyond — losing weight, undergoing hours of makeup application, and wearing prosthetics — for a role.

Ryan Reynolds gained 25 pounds of muscle for his role in "Blade: Trinity."

"Blade: Trinity" is probably not the most dignified movie to prove acting credibility but Ryan Reynolds disagrees. 

"The Proposal" actor obsessively trained to look like the graphic novel's character working out six days a week and consuming 3,200 daily calories for three months to gain a six-pack.

Natalie Portman lost 20 pounds to play a ballerina dancer in "Black Swan."

Portman was on a carrots and almond diet to play ballet dancer Nina Sayers and worked out five to eight hours a day via cross-training, swimming, and ballet.

The actress later told Entertainment Weekly the extent of her preparation for the role:

"There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die," Portman told EW. "It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could sort of take you down."

Christian Bale lost more than 63 lbs. for his role in "The Machinist."

Bale got down to a body weight of 120 pounds by running, and on a daily diet of an apple and can of tuna.

The actor gained it all back, plus an extra 30 pounds, for his role as Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins." 

He talked about his weight gain with IGN, saying: 

"... I think putting weight on, unfortunately I had to put it on pretty fast and it's not very healthy doing that. That was when I felt bad. I did actually start to feel I was putting my body under too much pressure because I put on 100 pounds in five months."

Bale later gained 43 pounds for this weekend's "American Hustle."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

There Are A Bunch Of Movies Coming Out Around Christmas — Here's Which Ones You Should See


December is a BIG movie month.

For those heading out to theaters on Christmas, there are eight movies coming out. Of those, four are big wide releases. 

Not sure what to see? We've broken down which films are worth watching for everyone.

1. Skip: "47 Ronin"

keanu reeves 47 roninWhat it's about: Reeves swings around a sword as a samurai as he leads an army of 47 warriors to avenge the death of their master.

The only reason to see it: Keanu Reeves.

It's the actor's return front and center in a big-budget film for the first time in 10 years.

Why you should pass: 

We love Reeves, but after some thought, we're not convinced from the trailers this looks like a great film. Maybe it's the monstrous woman turning into a cheesy-looking CGI dragon, maybe it's the fact the film has a tumultuous production story — it's been pushed back since Nov. 2012 with a budget estimated at $225 million— either way, both leave us hesitant.

At the least, you should check out the graphic novel.

Worth noting: Since his time away on screen — his lastbig films were in 2003 — Reeves has become Internet famous gaining traction for viral meme Sad Keanu.

The once-Matrix actor really resonates with fans and no matter how bad this movie may be it may very well end up surprising at the box office despite all the competition.

2. Run out and see: "The Wolf of Wall Street"

the wolf of wall street leonardo dicaprio

What it's about: Leonardo DiCaprio is back as another wealthy socialite, this time as crooked stockbroker Jordan Belfort.

Why this is a must-see: 

Other than the sex, drugs, and over-the-top wild parties on screen?

1. This "Anything for the Oscar" GIF of Leonardo DiCaprio

leonardo dicaprio wolf of wall street

This is DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese's fifth time working together on a film. Despite DiCaprio's two Oscar nominations for Best Actor, he has yet to win an Academy Award.

2. Early reviews, including one from our Executive Producer Justin Maiman, are raving about the performances.

3. If that isn't enough, our own Linette Lopez got her hands on the script for the film last year and picked out the 15 scenes she can't wait to see.

3. Overrated: "Grudge Match"

grudge match robert de niro sylvester stalloneWhat it's about: Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone are returning to the boxing ring to go a few rounds for the title of top boxer.

Why to watch: The addition of Kevin Hart for comic relief may be the only saving grace to an otherwise campy film that seems outdated and unnecessary. 

Why to pass: Do you really want to watch "Rocky" vs. "Raging Bull"? We're not sure how many crowds of audiences have been saying they want to see such this "epic" fight onscreen.

How many other films with two older actors trying to recapture the spotlight have you seen do well this year? ("The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" with Jim Carrey and "Escape Plan" with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are a two examples that come to mind.)

This isn't something like "The Avengers" vs. "The Justice League" that may get fans all riled up.

4. Steer clear: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

secret life of walter mitty

What it's about: Based on the James Thurber book, Ben Stiller stars as a shy guy constantly lost in a daydream who finally goes on a big life adventure.

Who should see it: Fans of the book. Kristen Wiig / Stiller fans.

Why you should pass:

Collective early reviews for the film agree Mitty's dead on arrival with the adaptation lost in its own fantasy.

If we're being serious, between "American Hustle,""The Wolf of Wall Street," and this pick, we'd go with either of the former choices.

The four other movies out Christmas Day:

5. "August: Osage County": How can you go wrong with Meryl Streep AND Julia Roberts?A group of women come together for a family crisis. Ewan McGregor also stars in the film produced in part by George Clooney. Worth a watch.

6."Labor Day": Kate Winslet plays a mom who unknowingly gives a ride to an escaped convict (Josh Brolin). See it.

7. "Justin Bieber's Believe": A follow-up documentary to the singer's 2011 "Never Say Never" movie that teenage girls and "Beliebers" may want to check out, but that will probably get lost among all the other big releases. Skip.

8. "Walking With Dinosaurs 3D": Stick with Disney's animated flick, "Frozen." of is supposed to deliver a look at what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The title sounds like the film is geared toward one demographic, but upon viewing the trailer it feels like a kid's film (a la "The Land Before Time"). Having 3D in the title doesn't do the film any favors as audiences often assume that means you must see the movie in that format. Skip.

Other films you'll want to check out:

Maybe you don't want to see any of those movies. 

There are a few other movies coming out RIGHT before the holidays you should consider:

Must-See: "American Hustle"

american hustleRelease date: December 13

After last year's Oscar winner, "Silver Linings Playbook," director David O. Russell is back with actors Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. This time Amy Adams and Christian Bale join as two con artists trying to take down corrupt politicians.

Early reviews for the film are saying this could very well be O. Russell's next big Oscar win.

For the diehard film fan: "Her"

her joaquin phoenixInitial release date: December 18

Need something a little more quirky? Look no farther than Spike Jones' romantic dramedy about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with an operating system (voiced by Scarlet Johansson).

For the Peter Jackson fan: "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

the hobbit martin freemanRelease date: December 13

Weren't a fan of the first film? The second of the trilogy should be the movie where the majority of the high-action takes place. 

Don't take our word for it, the majority of early reviews say the second installment is better than the first. 

Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock") will appreciate him voicing the menacing dragon Smaug. "Lord of the Rings" fans will welcome back the return of Orlando Bloom as Legolas.

And yes, it looks like it will be in that high 48 frames per second frame rate.

For the Disney fan: "Saving Mr. Banks"

tom hanks saving mr banksRelease date: December 13

Love "Mary Poppins" or Walt Disney? This film will tell you how the legend himself brought the film to the big screen. If you thought you were signing up for a film about Disney himself, look elsewhere. You may not get the full (true) story of the adaptation but you will get strong performances from Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

Must-watch comedy: "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"

will ferrell christina applegate anchorman 2Release date: December 18

The news team reassembles!

Even if the movie's bad — and with all of the marketing oversaturation lately it very well could be — it won't matter. Fans have been waiting for nearly a decade to see Ron Burgundy reunite with the Channel 4 News team. And great Odin's raven are there a number of cameos — Tina Fey, Jim Carrey, Harrison Ford, and more. If it's the last thing we do, we'll be seeing this sequel — for better or worse.

SEE ALSO: The best TV moments of the year

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The First Trailer For 'Interstellar' — 'The Dark Knight' Director's Next Big Movie


After launching a website earlier this week, the first teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan's largely anticipated space epic "Interstellar" is here, and we're not sure what to make of it.

Following "Gravity,"Nolan (the mind behind "Inception" and "The Dark Knight" trilogy) obviously has some huge shoes to fill. 

Unlike the Alfonso Cuaron odyssey, Nolan's film will find its space team traveling through a wormhole. The teaser gives very little away about actual space travel and instead plays out as an inspirational tribute / love letter to venturing among the stars in the great unknown.

Matthew McConaughey (who has been making a name for himself as a serious actor in "Mud" and recent "Dallas Buyer's Club") and Anne Hathaway star along with Nolan favorite Michael Caine.

"Interstellar" is in theaters next November.

SEE ALSO: 27 actors who dramatically changed their looks for movies

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Here's The Best Scene From Peter O'Toole's Greatest Movie


Peter O'Toole died Sunday at age 81.

His most famous role was playing "Lawrence of Arabia" in the eponymous movie.

That movie also happens to be really long, and we're willing to a bet that many of you have never seen it.

So we're going to show you the best scene in the movie, which will hopefully convince you that it's worth setting aside a few hours to watch.

Here's the set up: Lawrence and his sidekick Farraj have fought their way back to British-occupied Cairo after a months-long campaign in the desert. And what's the first thing they want? LEMONADE.

It captures everything about the Lawrence character, and everything that's happened over the last couple of hours.

SEE ALSO: Michael Bublé's Complete Dominance Of Spotify Right Now Is Terrifying

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'The Hobbit' Sequel 'Desolates' The Competition — Here's Your Box-Office Roundup


the hobbit desolation of smaug

It's no surprise "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" dominated the box office this weekend. 

After all, it was the only BIG new release in theaters this weekend.  

However, "Smaug" didn't do anywhere near as well as the first "Hobbit" film that debuted last year.  

One reason for that may very be attributed to moviegoers catching up on Thanksgiving holiday releases — "The Hunger Games" sequel with Jennifer Lawrence or Disney's latest animated film, "Frozen." 

The box office numbers certainly suggest that as four movies brought in more than $10 million this weekend. 

Meanwhile, in its limited New York / Los Angeles release, "American Hustle" brought in a big $690,000 from 6 theaters.  

Matthew McConaughey's "Dallas Buyer's Club" gets knocked out of the top 10 this week along with "The Best Man Holiday." The latter has made nearly $70 million worldwide. 

Here are this week's winners and losers in Hollywood: 

10. Jason Statham's latest action flick, "Homefront," rounds out the top ten with $1.6 million. The film, which cost an estimated $22 million, should break even. It's made $18 million at theaters since its Nov. 27 release. 

9. Fox's adaptation of "The Book Thief" moves down two spots making $1.7 million in its third week. The limited release starring Geoffrey Rush has made $22 million.  

8. Weinstein's "Philomena" starring Judi Dench is a crowd pleaser, climbing one spot this week with $1.8 million. While raking in $11 million at home, the film is resonating even more overseas ($17 million). 

7. Thought this film would have been out of the top ten by now, but "Delivery Man"— the movie featuring Vince Vaughn as a sperm donor to more than 500 children — took in another $1.9 million in its fourth week. With $29.2 million in box-office ticket sales, the film has now made more than its $26 million budget.  

6. Instead, it looks like one of Christian Bale's latest flicks, "Out of the Furnace," will tank. The  thriller starring Woody Harrelson and Willem Dafoe took in $2.3 million this weekend — $9.5 million overall — while costing an estimated $22 million.  

5. "Thor: The Dark World" continues to saturate the box office with another $2.7 million in week six. The film is well over the $600 million mark worldwide.  

4. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" continues to kill it at the box office with $13.2 million. All together, the games have brought in $729.9 million worldwide. 

3. Tyler Perry's latest film, "A Madea Christmas," had the lowest opening of any film in the franchise with $16 million. One reason for this is that it may not have been on people's radars. The marketing seemed very light for this film compared to the plethora of films coming out this month — "The Hobbit" sequel, "American Hustle,""Anchorman," etc. 

2. Disney's animated film "Frozen" continues to be a winner for the Mouse House with $22.2 million added to its $266 million haul worldwide. 

1. With little competition, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" easily commanded the weekend with $73.7 million. That's significantly lower than last year's "Unexpected Journey" ($84.6 million). Instead, it's more in line with what "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" made opening weekend ($72.6 million) —a decade ago — proving audiences may not be taking kindly to Warner Bros. / MGM's decision to stretch J.R.R. Tolkien's small novel into three features.

SEE ALSO: Our review on "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

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Here's The Lifetime Documentary That Inspired 'Anchorman'


anchorman 2 news team

"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" is in theaters Wednesday. 

Ahead of the film's release, we went back to watch our DVD of the original and started reading through the production notes.  

Something you may not know is that the idea for the cult favorite comedy came to Will Ferrell while watching a documentary. 

From the "Anchorman" production notes on the DVD: 

"Will Ferrell was watching the documentary, which featured interviews with several anchorman of the 1970s, and found some of the interviews with the newsmen to be unintentionally funny." 

"'I called Adam [McKay, the director] with an idea to do a script about the petulant male-dominated world of the newsroom and how these men dealt with a woman for the first time, and he said 'great, let's do it.'" 

mort crim ron burgundy anchormanIt was one of the men inside the documentary, anchor Mort Crim, who inspired the Ron Burgundy character. 

We found the 45 minute documentary, called "Intimate Portrait: Jessica Savitch" that aired on Lifetime.  

The documentary tells the story of Savitch, one of the first woman network news anchors who was voted more trusted than journalists Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings by a TV Guide poll in 1982. 

She was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of 35.  

Essentially, she's the real-life anchor Christina Applegate portrays in the film as Veronica Corningstone, a young woman rising through the ranks as one of the first female anchors.

Here's Savitch:jessica savitch And here's Applegate in the "Anchorman" sequel: christina applegate anchorman 2

You can start it with the interview of Mort Crim that originally caught Ferrell's eye here. 

Otherwise, you can watch the documentary in full below:

SEE ALSO: What movies you should check out during the holidays

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Channing Tatum And Jonah Hill Team Up Again In First '22 Jump Street' Trailer


22 jump street

Jenko and Schmidt are back!

Sony just released the first trailer for "22 Jump Street." 

This time, instead of dealing with high school drama, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill's characters are heading to college.

The "21 Jump Street" reboot made $201 million at the box office worldwide last year.

The sequel looks even more ridiculous than the first. 

"22 Jump Street" is in theaters next summer. 

Watch the red band trailer below:

SEE ALSO: 27 actors who dramatically changed their looks for movies

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12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Anchorman'


anchorman 2 ron burgundy will ferrell

Will Ferrell's big "Anchorman" sequel is out Wednesday.

It's been nearly a decade since the channel 4 news team assembled on screen.

How much do you know about the original film?

From actresses Christina Applegate beat out for the coveted role of Veronica Corningstone to the real-life journalists who served as inspiration for the two leads, see what you don't know about "Anchorman."

The idea for the film came after Will Ferrell watched a Lifetime documentary on an anchorwoman from the 1970s.

Titled "Intimate Portrait: Jessica Savitch," the biography followed the journalist's road to becoming one of the first women network news anchors.

"There were all these interviews with anchormen of the day who were talking about how upset they had been that a woman had come in to work with them," said Ferrell."We were laughing so hard at these guys with perfect ties admitting that they were completely freaked out by a woman coming into the news office."

(Source: "Anchorman" production notes)

Veronica Corningstone's character is based on journalist Jessica Savitch.

She was the focus of the Lifetime documentary Ferrell watched. 

You can read more on her inspiration on the movie here

Ron Burgundy is based off of a real-life local newscaster, Mort Crim.

Ferrell told the New York Times upon seeing Jessica Savitch's one-time co-anchor in the Lifetime documentary, "he was struck by ... his reminiscences in a silky baritone."

“He [Crim] literally said the line: ‘You have to remember, back then I was a real male chauvinist pig. I was not nice to her.’” said Ferrell.

(Source: The New York Times)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Will Ferrell And Steve Carell Surprised Fans At Screening Of 'Anchorman 2' Last Night In NYC


Fans who bought a premium super ticket to see "Anchorman 2" two days early in New York City were surprised when stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and David Koechner showed up to introduce the movie.

In addition to seeing the sequel first, fans received a digital download of "Anchorman – Wake Up Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie," a pre-ordered digital download of "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," and $5 to spend at the AMC concession stand for the purchase of a $50 ticket.

Looks like it was money well spent.

Watch Ferrell, Carell, and Koechner surprise fans below:

They're not the only actors heading to screenings.

Last Thursday, Ian McKellen popped up at a midnight premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

SEE ALSO: 12 things you probably don't know about "Anchorman"

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