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12 Actors Who Should Rejuvenate Their Careers With TV Shows


Eddie Murphy

With the rise of quality cable programming and things like Netflix, no longer is television a second-class citizen in Hollywood.

In fact, TV's become a place for movie types to experiment, take chances, and reinvigorate their careers without feeling like they're slumming it.

Just look at Kevin Spacey's resurgence thanks to House of Cards or the love True Detective's getting. The question is: Who else could use the boost back atop the A-List with the help of a hit show? We have some suggestions.

Movie stars who should use TV for a comeback >

1. Reese Witherspoon can act, she just needs "grittier material."

Coming off her Oscar win for Walk the Line in 2006, Reese Witherspoon was the hottest actress in the biz.

But she was unable to capitalize on the momentum, bogged down by forgettable films like Just Like Heaven, Water for Elephants, How Do You Know, Four Christmases, and This Means War.

Her turn in Mud though reminded the world that she's more than just a pretty face. She can act, especially if she's given some grittier material.

2. Edward Norton hasn't had a hit movie since 2003.

Do you realize the last movie to score above 75% on Rotten Tomatoes with Edward Norton in a lead role is 2003's 25th Hour?

It's been more than a decade since he's starred in anything worth talking about, and he's way too great an actor for that. Instead of being relegated to bit parts, we'd like to see Norton as the central character in a serialized cable show.

3. Winona Ryder could take on a new age range of roles.

Winona Ryder hasn't been given a decent part since Girl, Interrupted, and that's no way to treat someone who has Reality Bites, Heathers, Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands on her resume.

It's been so long that now she has the kind of life experience to open her up to an entirely new set of roles. She was one of the best things in Black Swan, but was criminally underutilized.

Cable needs some Winona in its life.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Wes Anderson Built ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’


grand budapest hotel

It’s funny to think one of the most honest movies about families stars stop-motion foxes.

Then again, when you know Fantastic Mr. Fox was helmed by none other than Wes Anderson, it’s no surprise that the ins and outs of family have been explored with wit and earnestness. His newest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, doesn’t have any foxes voiced by George Clooney, but that doesn’t mean Anderson doesn’t strive again for the same nuance underneath the grand theatrics.

The magnificence of the acclaimed filmmaker’s eighth feature film comes from both onscreen and off. Some critics have called this his most ambitious work to date, covering various time periods, a huge ensemble cast, and heavy themes reinforced by a sharp sense of humor. It’s also his bloodiest movie yet, which Anderson finds amusing. With all the fascists at this party — attended by a stellar cast too long-winded to namecheck — it makes sense there’s more blood drawn in this crime picture than any of his previous movies.

Set in the fictionalized Republic of Zubrowka, we meet Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), a hotshot hotel concierge thrown into a manhunt, after he has the death of Madame D (Tilda Swinton) pinned on him, by her criminal son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody). With the help of his lobby boy (Tony Revolori) and others, he’s out to prove his innocence.

Along his journey a handful of Anderson regulars make appearances, but there’s a new face in the Andersonverse at the center of it all: Ralph Fiennes.

The writer/director felt the actor who played Voldemort was the key to making this gregarious man a relatable human being. For Fiennes, the process of finding Monsieur Gustave lasted the entire production. “I didn’t know how Wes wanted it pitched because it’s a part that could be portrayed campy,” says Fiennes during a series of roundtable interviews we attended. “We did lots and lots of takes, so there’s a whole other Gustave out there.”

Fiennes consistently joked about doing all of those takes, commenting every now and then how many were required. He may have protested a bit too much, but in truth, the repetition work didn’t bother the actor since, as he went on to say, the best kind of director is one that acknowledges the limitless amount of options for how a scene or line can be played. The Monsieur Gustave H. that made the final film is brimming with eloquence, personality, and an unforgettable laugh.

Although creating Gustave was an ongoing process on the set, “finding the movie” isn’t Anderson’s style. ”It’s pretty much done as written,” says Anderson’s grizzled veteran Bill Murray. “There’s this third-dimension thing where, when you put it on its feet, something is required that wasn’t there. You go, ‘Oh, I have to get from here to there.’ Most edits in movies are audio cuts, so you have to figure out how to aurally end something.” Only a few changes are made on Anderson’s sets, and one of the few deviations is typically camerawork. The distinct camerawork often lead to goofy takes, but when it comes to notable alterations, that’s about it. 

On that front, Anderson and cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman‘s ambitiousness earn high praise. “[In one scene] The camera has to whip pan 90 degrees and not be seen to jiggle. It’s an incredibly difficult camera operation Wes was asking for, and it’s impressive to see it,” says Fiennes. There were several instances, and one scene in particular, that Fiennes was challenged by, having to keep up with the frequently busy eye of Anderson’s speedy camerawork.

Not only does story and character dictate that energetic camerawork, but Anderson learned a lesson on Moonrise Kingdom that he and Yeoman applied to The Grand Budapest Hotel: an actor’s height matters. When filming a bunch of kids running around the woods, Anderson found a way to do it with less crew and time involved. “There are these cameras that you can hand hold — which are these 16mm cameras that you don’t put on your shoulder, you hold them underhanded — and it’s just a better way to shoot someone who is small, if you’re going to do a lot of handheld shots like we did,” Anderson explains.

Murray believes, because of the toys at Anderson’s disposal, that it also makes Anderson and the actors’ jobs easier. “If you’re in the midst of it, you’re a part of it. You’re like the little flower in the picture. You just need to be a resident voice and speak the lines.”

In this particular picture, there is a world fading away, a time where lobby boys and chivalry mattered. Some of these characters were born in the wrong era, namely Monsieur Gustave, and that sentiment applies to almost all of Anderson’s former old-fashioned characters: they’re cutoff from the rest of the world, whether by personality or by fashion.

“It’s a neverthought,” Anderson laughs, when it comes to the themes that tie his work together. “I don’t really want to think about themes, I want to think about the experience of the movie. As soon as I reduce it toa theme, it won’t be that great. There’s more potential for it to mean something interesting if I’m not forcing it to mean something I’ve already decided.”

the grand budapest hotel

What Anderson is aware of is how he follows worlds of his own (or his characters’) creation, and yet it all genuinely derives from a grand sense of realism. “On one hand, usually the characters I’m writing are inspired by people in real life one way or the other and I’m doing something that relates to my own experience, my own interest,” Anderson explains. “Nevertheless, the dialogue and the writing ends up being not entirely naturalistic, and not by my choice. I feel like it needs its own world to exist in.” We’re not lucky enough to live in a world dictated by Wes Anderson’s personal and aesthetic interests, where we all dress with panache and everything is decorated with absolute perfection. Still, in Anderson’s best moments as a filmmaker, we relate to his characters, no matter how fantastical their situations might be or how radical their facial hair.

For the Texas-born filmmaker, The Grand Budapest Hotel, like all of his former projects, represents his interests at a certain time in his life. How one’s fascination becomes piqued by a famous concierge on the run in the early 20th century is a mystery, but whatever influenced Anderson’s passion for his eighth feature film is something we should all be thankful for. Without that initial spark of Anderson’s imagination, we wouldn’t have The Grand Budapest Hotel, a place no sane man, woman, or child would ever want to leave.

The Grand Budapest Hotel opens in theaters March 7th.

Read Our Review

SEE ALSO: 10 Movies That Will Likely Be Oscar Contenders Next Year

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'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Director Says Sequel Won't Suffer From Villain Overload


rhino shoots at spider man

Marc Webb stepped briefly into the web of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 promotion while serving as a keynote speaker at the 2014 South By Southwest film festival. The director spoke at length about his superhero franchise on Saturday, and directly addressed the concern that his pending sequel will have too many villains. 

Speaking to the crowd, Webb confirmed, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that one specific villain will only have a few minutes of screen time. Four, to be exact. So the idea of villain overcrowding is misguided. Said Webb: 

Paul [Giamatti] is in the movie for four minutes."

The opening four minutes, if I had to wager a guess. I think that Webb opens The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a spectacular car-crash scene, the one featured in the below clips. It will be a way to introduce Giamatti’s Russian gangster character, Aleski, and then placehold him for future installments, when he can fully transform into the Rhino. 

The only thing I’m confused at by these comments is this picture
paul giamatti the rhino spider man
If Giamatti only gets four minutes of screen time, who is in this metallic Rhino costume? Was this filmed for inclusion in later sequels? There have been on-set photos of Giamatti going "rhino-crazy" in a mechanical suit. Will that be part of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, or was Webb getting coverage with the actor while he had him? 

Webb has said in the THR interview that he will "embrace the spectacle" in this sequel, where he fought for a more grounded Spider-Man movie in his origin story. Said Webb: 

I'm not going to be beholden to smallness. I want it to be fantastic, to be big, to command and express that feeling when you're a kid and reading the comics. ... I didn't want to hide or shy away from that."

I also love this shot Webb Tweeted of his final mix, in 3D:  

 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is coming soon, opening in theaters on May 2. Our complete guide to the sequel answers any question you might have as you prepare for Spidey’s swinging sequel. Just don’t hope for too much Rhino this time out.

SEE ALSO: 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Director Hints B.J. Novak Will Play Villain In Sequel

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'300' Sequel Takes Down DreamWorks Animation's 'Peabody'


300 rise of an empire eva green

"300: Rise of an Empire" easily won the box office this weekend.

The sequel to the 2007 film performed a little better than expected earning $45 million.

The Warner Bros. and Legendary movie cost $110 million. It shouldn't have any problem making that money back. "Rise of an Empire" has taken off overseas earning another $87.8 million opening weekend for a grand total of $132.9 million.

That was enough to hold DreamWorks Animation's latest cartoon "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" at bay. 

It's not an amazing figure considering the animated picture cost about $145 million; however, it's also playing out better overseas.

The big winner for the weekend was Wes Anderson's limited release of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" featuring Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray. 

Opening in just four theaters, the film made $800,000! 

Overseas, the movie has made $10 million. The movie expands into more theaters next week.

Here's a quick look at the full box-office weekend:

10. "Ride Along": $2 million
9. "12 Years A Slave": $2.2 million
8. "Frozen": $3 million
7. "3 Days to Kill": $3.06 million
6. "The Monuments Men": $3.1 million
5. "Son of God": $10 million
4. "The LEGO Movie": $11 million
The Warner Bros. animated picture has now taken in $360.6 million worldwide.
3. "Non-Stop": $15.4 million
2. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman": $32.5 million
1. "300: Rise of An Empire": $45.1 million

SEE ALSO: What everyone's saying about last night's "True Detective" finale

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'Red Army’ Trailer Tells The Incredible Story Of The Russian Hockey Team During The Cold War


The new trailer for documentary "Red Army" tells the incredible story of the most dominant and politically influential sports team in history: the Soviet Union’s Red Army ice hockey team.

The doc acts as a sort of untold story behind the 2004 film “Miracle,” about how the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the seemingly invincible Russian squad during the 1980 Winter Olympics.

“It’s not a typical sports documentary, and it’s not a typical political documentary,” says filmmaker Gabe Polsky. “Sports have always had a patriotic bent — that’s what makes the Olympics so fun to watch. But this was a unique set of circumstances. Can you imagine representing a party about to crumble?”

After flying to Russia over a year ago to shoot interviews with former players and others involved, Polsky showed a rough cut to Hollywood big shots Werner Herzog and Jerry Weintraub, who both immediately signed on as executive producers.

As the documentary explains of the political tone at the time, "Sports were a kind of warfare."

"From childhood, they picked out the best of the best of the best with a different concept of how you play the game." Red Army Trailer Hockey

"The skill level of that team was astounding, they elevated hockey to an art form ... those players will go down in history as the greatest of all time."

Red Army Trailer Hockey

"The KGB guys were always there. The game for them wasn't just a game."

Red Army Trailer

"It was also propaganda: we're the best and we're the best because of the Soviet system."Red Army Trailer Hockey

Red Army Trailer Hockey

"We practiced four times a day in the summertime, but why play for the guy who doesn't respect us as a human being?"

Red Army Trailer Hockey

Watch the full "Red Army" preview trailer below:

SEE ALSO: 21 Movies You Need To See In 2014

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6 Spectacular Sets From Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel'


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Film director Wes Anderson’s familiar arsenal of A-list actors reunite in his latest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

Starring Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, and Owen Wilson, the film depicts the adventures of Monsieur Gustave H, the titular hotel's quirky concierge (played by Fiennes), his friendship with the young lobby boy Zero (played by Tony Revolori), a battle over a family fortune, the recovery of a priceless painting, and more—all of which take place against highly detailed backdrops that make up the fictional European republic of Zubrowka.

The task of bringing these elaborate locations to life fell to production designer Adam Stockhausen, who also collaborated with Anderson on The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom. The film shifts between the hotel’s heyday as a celebrated spa resort during the glamorous 1930s to its postwar decline in the ’60s.

1. The Hotel

Görlitz, Germany’s cavernous former Görlitzer Warenhaus department store building served as the location for the primary sets and production offices of film director Wes Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

The incredible stairways, elevators, and atrium of the 1913 Jugendstil building caught the eye of production designer Adam Stockhausen (who was nominated for an Academy Award for 12 Years a Slave) and his crew, who transformed the space into the interiors of the titular hotel. For the exterior, however, the team created a miniature model at Studio Babelsberg, near Berlin.

2. Concierge Desk

Inspiration for the hotel/spa resort came from a variety of sources. “We looked through loads of books—anything we could find on hotel history or luxury travel,” Stockhausen explains. The designers also checked out real spots, among them existing spas and hotels in Germany and the Czech Republic—including the the Hotel Adlon in Berlin and the Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary—as well as London's Savoy Hotel, for ideas.

More from Architectural Digest: Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen at Home

3. Deputy Kovacs' Room

Deputy Kovacs (played by Jeff Goldblum) stands behind an unusual antler desk discovered in a German shop. “We looked at trophy rooms in centuries-old royal hunting villas across Germany and the Czech Republic. They are astonishing,” says Stockhausen. Set decorator Anna Pinnock (Life of Pi) found the desk at Alte Dekorationen, outside of Munich. “[The owner] has a lot of crazy trophies and very unusual and unique antler and horn furniture. We used a lot of his items in the Trophy Room,” she says.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Post-Credits Sequence Of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Revealed [Spoilers]


captain america 2 poster

We are now less than a month away from the release of Joe and Anthony Russo's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but there are some fans out there who just can't take the wait anymore.

They want to know not only every detail of what happens in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel, but even what happens after it's over. While we can't help you on the former, we can now provide for the latter, as descriptions of the post-credits sequences from the film have leaked online. 

SPOILER WARNING: If you are doing your best to avoid any and all Captain America: The Winter Soldier-related spoilers, I would highly recommend clicking away now. I'm not sure how you got this far into the article anyway, but you can look at this as a Cinema Blend courtesy. 

Just like both The Avengers and Thor: The Dark WorldCaptain America: The Winter Soldier is yet another Marvel Studios film with not one, but two post-credits sequences. According to Comic Book Movie's source, the first begins with Baron Von Struker (Thomas Kretschmann) walking into an underground lair where he is keeping two recognizable characters hostage: Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Demonstrating their special gifts, Quicksilver is bouncing all around his cell at lightning speed, while Scarlet Witch is putting together building blocks with his mind. Von Struker then reveals what may be the replacement word for "Mutant" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: "Miracles." 

The second scene, which is after the credits have completed, is more closely tied to the actual plot of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The sequence has the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) walking into the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Going up to an exhibit dedicated to Captain America, he sees a photo and the name "Bucky Barnes" and comes to a realization. If you are really dead-set on ruining the next Marvel movie for yourself you can head over to Comic Book Movie for the full context of these scenes. 

When you think about it, revealing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch is a pretty awesome and smart move on Marvel's part. While we originally expected that we wouldn't get to see them for the first time until Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron, having them featured here will not only help audiences familiarize themselves with the characters, but give Marvel the jump on 20th Century Fox, who will be using the same pair of superheroes in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future PastCaptain America will be in theaters on April 4th, while the X-Men sequel won't be here until May 23rd. 

While it's hard to put all the pieces together without knowing exactly what happens in the Captain America sequel, do you think that these post-credits sequences are exciting, or would have rather seen them do something else? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

SEE ALSO: Marvel Is Already Working On 'Captain America 3'

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The Best Movies To Watch On Netflix In March


silence of the lambs

People complain all the time that there’s nothing good to watch on Netflix, but the truth is, that’s just because we usually like to complain more than we like to do a little work.

In reality, there are tons of good movies to watch on Netflix, you just have to do a little digging to find them.

For instance, here are 20 movies, ranging from good to great, that just got added to their streaming service recently. No digging required.

Click on the films’ titles to be taken to their Netflix page so you can add them to your queue. Happy vegging.

Pick of the Month: The Long Goodbye (1973)

Probably the best compliment a movie can receive is Joel and Ethan Coen citing it as an influence, so seeing as the brothers Coen have gone on record as saying that Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye is a big influence on their The Big Lebowski—which is one of the best movies ever—you know that it’s got to be something special. And it is. Not only is this modern-for-the-early-70s adaptation of the classic Philip Marlowe story full of interesting characters and great acting, it’s also absolutely gorgeous to look at, infinitely quotable, and it tells a story that somehow manages to be completely engaging in its mystery while ultimately being astonishingly simple when it comes to the details of its plot.

When you talk about the hall of fame of Altman movies, generally the movies you’re talking about are things like MASHNashvilleShort Cuts, and Gosford Park, but for my money The Long Goodbye blows all of them out of the water and makes its star Elliott Gould an absolute icon of film noir, neo or otherwise. The fact that it doesn’t seem to get mentioned much or re-watched all that often these days is an absolute crime, so how about we take its addition to Netflix’s streaming service as an excuse to do something about that? Dare you to watch it without Googling “Curry brand cat food” afterward.

As Good as It Gets (1997)

It seems to me that As Good as It Gets is one of those movies that’s received a good deal of backlash over the years, likely because of all the success it saw when it first came out. Its Oscar hype was huge, the fact that it was a return to form for Jack Nicholson was turned into a talking point and driven into the ground, and seeing as the film is actually little more than a slightly fancied up romantic comedy, it has understandably gotten the reputation of being overrated. It should be remembered that this movie is actually funny though, and Oscar winners Nicholson and Helen Hunt really are great in it. Plus, it heavily features an always likable Greg Kinnear, and it’s pretty dang hard to find a reason to complain about that. Why not give it another shot with fresh eyes now that nobody is talking about it anymore?

The Bad News Bears (1976)

The Bad News Bears isn’t the sort of movie that could get made these days. Oh, sure, it got remade back in 2005, but that Richard Linklater-directed, Billy Bob Thornton-starring pretender didn’t have half of the grit or bite of this Michael Ritchie-directed, Walter Matthau-starring original. Or half of its charm. The Bad News Bears may be best remembered because it’s a dark comedy that went all the way in regards to letting its young characters behave badly (they drink beer, for the love of Mike!), but one should keep in mind that it’s also one of the best-loved underdog sports stories of all time, and that’s because of just how lovably ill-mannered this ragtag group of kids was, and just how charmingly inept their coach proved to be. The film focused on character, and that made even the smallest bits of growth the players went through feel like true milestone moments.

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)

If all you’ve heard about Blue is the Warmest Color is that it includes a handful of really hot and really lengthy sex scenes, then you haven’t gotten the full picture of what this movie is. It’s actually a really affecting and relatable story about youth on the verge of adulthood, anchored by an impressive lead performance from Adèle Exarchopoulos, which had to have been one of the most exhausting to film I’ve ever seen. This movie is long, it goes deep into every aspect of her character’s personal life, and director Abdellatif Kechiche keeps the camera shoved close in on her face for an absurd portion of its run time, studying her reactions for every little insight they might reveal. There are few characters in cinema you get to know as well as you know Adèle, and the process of getting there is a pure joy. The super-hot sex scenes just end up being the cherry on top.

Capote (2005)

The main reason to make it a point to watch Capote is clearly to take in the performance Philip Seymour Hoffman gives as the titular lead, especially now that we’ve been given all of the Hoffman performances that we’re going to get. He’s great here, playing an out-there character that required him to put on an affectation and do a crazy voice, but still managing to make sure that his portrayal of Truman Capote is always human and 100% relatable. Hoffman isn’t the only thing this movie has going for it though. It also benefits from its sense of focus. Too many biopics try to tell the whole story of a life from birth to death, and wind up giving everything short shrift in the process. Capote picks a very particular period of its subjects life and does its best to flesh that out so that it can represent everything you need to know about the man by itself. This is a much better strategy, overall.

Das Boot (1981)

It feels kind of rare, at least for people on this side of the world, to see a World War II movie told from the German perspective that isn’t trying to be a gimmick, but that’s exactly what Das Boot is, a World War II movie told from the point of view of the average German soldier, which makes it relatable to anyone who’s been caught up in the machinery of a huge, terrible organization. It’s also pretty much the quintessential submarine movie, and is pretty amazing as far as lived-in sets, claustrophobic situations, and amazing camera work that constantly runs from one end of the submarine to the other goes. Watching Das Boot is a visceral representation of how much it would suck to be a grunt soldier in war, and more specifically a grunt soldier stuck on a submarine. Just imagine all of that close-quarters humanity sealed in together airtight. Gross.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Living somewhere inside of everyone is a squealing teenage girl who wants nothing more than to watch movies about inherently good characters who come out of their shell and achieve self-actualization through the power of putting together a pretty wicked dance routine, and everyone knows that Dirty Dancing is the absolute king of the dance movie genre. The problem with dance movies though is that, as satisfying as they can be, they seem to always show up carrying a pretty hefty load of schmaltz with them (I carried a watermelon?), so it can be kind of embarrassing to admit to people that you watch them. Because of that, there’s probably a whole generation of people who have wanted to re-watch Dirty Dancing but have been too ashamed to for years. Well, now you can discreetly check it out on Netflix, and nobody has to be any the wiser. Pull the shades closed, dance along in your living room, and rediscover why exactly it is that nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Donnie Brasco (1997)

This may come as something of a shock to anyone who has only seen the last 15 years or so of their careers, but Al Pacino and Johnny Depp used to actually act. That is, they used to actually portray real characters who felt like honest human beings, instead of just playing live action cartoon characters, and one of the last times either men did so was 1997’s Donnie Brasco. This isn’t the sort of movie that’s going to blow your hair completely back or anything, but it’s pretty fun for a crime drama that’s all about cops and mobsters and the blurred lines of morality that exist between them, and all of that usual crime/cop movie stuff. I mean, any movie that makes room for small roles for Paul Giamatti and Tim Blake Nelson is pretty much automatically likable, isn’t it?

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Stanley Kubrick is such a legendary director that it probably isn’t necessary to sell anybody on checking out his movies anymore. And Dr. Strangelove is such a highly regarded part of his canon that there certainly isn’t any need for me to urge you to check it out now that it’s on Netflix. Just watch it. Take in black humor that’s played so straight most people could probably sit through it and think that it’s a legitimate Cold War thriller. Marvel as Peter Sellers puts on a tour de force performance playing multiple characters. If there’s any better representation of what ridiculous children men remain, no matter how old they get or how high they climb in the world, I don’t think I’ve seen it.

Easy Rider (1969)

When you look at Easy Rider on paper, it seems like it’s one of those movies that shouldn’t have been successful at all. It was left-of-center for a mainstream-aimed film, it was directed by Dennis Hopper at a time when you’d have to be crazy to entrust Dennis Hopper with having any real responsibility at all, and it told a road story that was more meandering than it was taut and filled with conflict. Somehow it all came together well though, and it ended up being one of those pieces of art that tapped right into the zeitgeist, so everyone has seen it a million times by now. If you haven’t though, this is your opportunity. Not only does Easy Rider encapsulate the struggles the younger generation was going through to establish their place in history in the late 60s, but it also serves as a pretty solid template for the New Hollywood Movement of studio-funded though experimental pictures that launched the careers of so many important filmmakers going into the 70s.

Fright Night (1985)

Every once in a while one finds themselves in a mood where they’re craving a movie from the 80s, and absolutely nothing else will do. Well, the next time this familiar feeling sweeps over you, take comfort in the fact that you can simply fire up Netflix and watch the original Fright Night whenever you want. Two of the hottest genres coming out of the home video boom of that decade were creature features and teen comedies, and Fright Night is a film that manages to take equal parts of both in order to create a pretty entertaining romp. This one starts off with a Rear Window vibe, builds to vampire-hunting insanity, and features all sorts of old-school puppetry and fake blood special effects along the way. Plus Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowell are a lot of fun playing a vampire and a vampire hunter—so much so that they almost take the bad taste of the wacky best friend character out of your mouth entirely. God, is that kid annoying.

The Ice Storm (1997)

With The Ice Storm, director Ang Lee has made one of the truly great white people humiliating themselves movies. The film focuses on two different camps of people, a pair of married couples whose relationships aren’t going along as smoothly as they’d like, and their children, who are just starting to explore their sexualities and are tending to do the exploring with each other. The ties that bind both groups are that everyone is childish, nobody has any idea what they really want, and all make destructive decisions that come to a head when their Connecticut town is hit by a giant ice storm. A huge ensemble including Kevin KlineJoan AllenSigourney WeaverTobey MaguireChristina Ricci, and many others star. A sleazy key party is thrown. Elijah Wood wears macrame clothing. This one is worth a watch.

Last Action Hero (1993)

Back when Last Action Hero came out in 1993, it was reviled by pretty much everyone other than 12-year-old me. Or at least that’s how it felt. Watching it with modern eyes now, it’s become clear that chubby-cheeked me was right and everyone else was wrong, wrong, wrong. This movie is a wildly entertaining sendup of 80s-era action movies, it’s full of quotable lines, and it’s only mildly ruined by the fact that it has a shrieking young kid as its lead. Were people’s expectations for this one so high because John McTiernan directed it and they weren’t expecting the greatest action director of all time to goof on his own area of expertise? Did everyone really want a serious movie about a magic theater ticket that allows you to travel inside the movie you’re watching? Do yourself a favor and give this one another chance. There aren’t all that many opportunities to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger make fart puns in this life, and you have to cherish them.

Midnight Express (1978)

Back in the late 70s a movie called Midnight Express taught a whole generation of movie fans to be terrified of the idea of getting locked up in a Turkish prison. It turns out that the Turks are a cold, merciless people, and they don’t take kindly to outsiders taking drugs across their borders. That’s not all Midnight Express has to offer though. It’s also the movie that inspired one of Jim Carrey’s Cable Guy bits, and it features a Giorgio Moroderscore that inspired its own 80s professional wrestling tag team. That’s a pretty huge pedigree for a movie that I’m not sure very many members of the younger generation still catch up with. If you haven’t seen Midnight Express, give it a watch, because it’s a great piece of filmmaking from Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning).

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

If you’ve lived through the zombie craze of the last few years and have yet to watch George Romero’s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead, which made the first spark that was eventually fanned into an undead inferno, then shame on you. It already included everything a good zombie story needs, and everyone else has basically just been doing variations on the same setup ever since. It’s true that Night of the Living Dead has a certain layer of 60s, low budget cheese laying over it when it’s looked at with modern eyes, but it’s also moody and gory, and it builds to a big finish that manages to be legitimately intense and terrifying. If you’re going out in public wearing The Walking Dead merchandise and you haven’t taken in this one yet, then it’s beyond time you get your homework done.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Now that everybody is raving about how great Hannibal is as a TV show, why not take a moment to go back and revisit the movie that introduced Hannibal Lecter to the mainstream as a lovable though disturbing culture connoisseur and devourer of human flesh (norms don’t remember that Michael Mann movie)? Does anyone really need to be sold on The Silence of the Lambs? This is the movie that introduced “it puts the lotion in the basket” to the world. It’s the reason everyone says that they’d like to “eat his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti” whenever they’re trying to be creepy. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you’re weird. If you haven’t seen it in a while, then check it out again soon, because it holds up, and it’s currently streaming.

Spider-Man (2002)

When people look back at Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, the story that seems to have developed over time is that the second movie got it right and the first and third ones are pretty bad. Call me crazy, but I actually like the first one, and seeing as it was one of the first truly huge superhero blockbusters, a lot of people back in the day must have liked it okay too. Its success is one of the main reasons we’re living in the superhero movie golden age we are today, so it probably deserves some respect. And, at the very least, it’s interesting to go back to this one and see how far superhero movies have come. The effects aren’t quite up to snuff, the tone is a little too silly, and some of the casting choices are questionable, but the movie was still able to stay pretty true to the comic, to keep the portions of it that were origin story engaging, and to build to an exciting finale. In many ways it’s the template for all the awesome movies that Marvel Studios is making today.

The Station Agent (2003)

Everyone loves Peter Dinklage, especially since his work on Game of Thrones, so its exciting that a Dinklage starring vehicle is now on Netflix. What’s more exciting though is that The Station Agent is a Peter Dinklage movie where he isn’t relying on his cocky charm to get him through the movie. This is actually a pretty slow-building character study where Dinklage is playing a sad, somewhat abrasive character, and he’s absolutely great at it. He’s injured, and he pushes everyone around him away, but you still want to stick with him throughout—and that pretty much serves to prove the depth of his acting talents. Bobby Cannavale is pretty great here too as the most lovable douchebag character ever conceived. Watch it for Dinklage though. It’s his movie and he makes it worthwhile.

Taxi Driver (1976)

What more needs to be said about Taxi Driver at this point? It’s one of Martin Scorsese’s greatest films, it’s one of Robert De Niro’s greatest performances, and it’s considered by pretty much everybody to be one of the most important movies modern cinema has created. It’s gripping and disturbing, it’s a terrifying snapshot of where the social consciousness was in the mid-70s, and it’s got Harvey Keitel dressed up like a greasy pimp. There is literally no end to the amount of times that one can revisit Taxi Driver, so now’s your chance to cancel all of your plans for the week and just put it on repeat.

True Grit (1969)

A lot of people saw and liked the remake of True Grit that the Coen brothers made in 2010, but if you haven’t seen the 1969 original, you might be a little bit surprised by how in need of an update this classic Western wasn’t. The dialogue here crackles with personality, John Wayne is giving what’s probably the most nuanced performance of his career as Rooster Cogburn, and little Kim Darby shows off a maturity well beyond her years. Plus, you get a couple of earlier career performances from legends like Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper, and all wrapped up in one of the more interesting and affecting Western stories ever told. This one is a little more glossy and a little less quirky than the Coens’ version, but it’s got its own charms. If you haven’t discovered them yet, now is the time.

SEE ALSO: These Charts Show That Netflix Is Killing TV

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Female Protagonists Made Up A Tiny Percentage Of 2013's Top Movies


gravity sandra bullock

A new study by San Diego State University has found that only 15% of protagonists were female characters in the top 100 grossing films of 2013.

Even though the year included many standout roles for women like Sandra Bullock's Oscar nominated performance in "Gravity," the new numbers show just how lacking Hollywood is when it comes to female characters.

Martha Lauzen, the director of SDSU's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, who created the study, looked at 2,300 characters in the top grossing films of the year.

While the 15% number is unsettling, Lauzen's study titled "It's A Man's (Celluloid) World" found other numbers that were just as alarming:

  • Women only made up 29% of major characters.
  • Only 30% of all speaking roles went to women.
  • 13% of the top 100 films featured equal numbers of both male and female characters.
  • Female characters remain younger than male characters with 26% being in their 20's and 28% being in their 30's (compared to men at 27% in their 30's and 31% in their 40's).
  • Race was skewed even more with 73% of all female characters being white. The study even states that moviegoers were as likely to see an "other-worldly" female character (3%) as they were to see an Asian female character (3%).
  • 61% of male characters were actually seen working compared to the much smaller 40% of women.

SEE ALSO: Sandra Bullock Will Take Home An Insanely Large Paycheck For 'Gravity'

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How 'Frozen' Went From Small Soundtrack To Worldwide Phenomenon


Olaf Disney Frozen

With more than 1 million album sales, an Academy Award, hundreds of millions of YouTube views and battalions of middle-school girls attempting the "Let It Go" high notes, the Frozen soundtrack today seems like an obvious smash. "When a musical grosses a billion dollars at the worldwide box office and features an inspirational album, why should we be surprised?" asks Glen Brunman, former head of Sony Music's soundtrack unit. "Even in 2014, [when] soundtrack sales are starting to remind us of a bygone era?"

U2, Pharrell and Karen O Stun With Showstopping Oscar Performances

Yet Frozen took forever to develop — and that was part of Disney's marketing plan. A few weeks before the album made its debut last November 25th, the company's music division put out reliable pop star Demi Lovato's version of "Let It Go" — and it barely earned any radio play.

But somewhere around early January, the album hit a tipping point, shortly after Disney began pushing the version by Idina Menzel, who plays Elsa in the animated film. "You don't really want to go out [first] with a clip of the film," says Ken Bunt, president of the Disney Music Group. "The idea was to go out with the Demi version and follow up with the Idina version. It's a non-traditional pop song for radio. We've been working it for a while, but radio is realizing, 'This is an undeniable song.'"

The soundtrack album didn't hit Billboard's Top 10 album chart for more than a month — just before Christmas, it made its debut at Number 10. By mid-January, it was Number One; by mid-February, it had sold 1 million copies; earlier this month, Menzel's "Let It Go" won an Oscar for Best Song; and "Let It Go" has racked up more than 128 million YouTube views and nearly 19 million Spotify streams. "Did we know it was going to become a phenomenon, like it has? No. You can't really plan for that," Bunt says. "But we definitely knew we had a special film with incredible music that was emotional."

And Frozen had a secret weapon: the weather. With frigid temperatures confining Americans to their homes, the album became the soundtrack to more than a movie. According to Disney, fans have posted 30,000 versions of "Let It Go" on YouTube, for a total of 150 million views — one of which came from Menzel, Jimmy Fallon and the Roots. "People would joke about the 'Polar vortex marketing campaign.' Psychologically, did that play into it?" Bunt asks. "That's a hard thing for us to put a finger on."

Less hard to discern, however, is the extent to which the song and film has infiltrated the minds, and voices, of millions.

More from Rolling Stone: 

Rolling Stone’s List of the 25 Greatest Movie Soundtracks of All Time

Find Out Why Idina Menzel’s ‘Let it Go’ Performance Was One of the Worst Moments at the Oscars


Watch U2, Pharrell and Karen O Stun With Show-stopping Oscar Performance 

Hear All 5 Oscar Nominated Songs

Rolling Stone’s List of the 10 Best Movies of 2013

SEE ALSO: With Frozen's 'Let It Go' Taking The Oscar For Best Song, Robert Lopez Becomes Latest EGOT Winner

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'Fast & Furious 7' To Film In Abu Dhabi In April


fast and furious 7 paul walker vin diesel

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Vin Diesel and other members of the "Fast & Furious 7" cast are heading to the Mideast city of Abu Dhabi after months of uncertainty about the fate of the film.

Abu Dhabi's government-backed twofour54 media hub said in a statement Wednesday that shooting in the United Arab Emirates capital is scheduled to take place in April.

Filming of "Fast & Furious 7" was put on hold in December following the death of star Paul Walker in a car crash.

A crew filmed some helicopter shots, stunt footage and other scenes in Abu Dhabi in November. Cast members including Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges are expected to arrive when filming resumes next month.

SEE ALSO: Vin Diesel Announces 'Fast And Furious 7' Will Be Released 2015

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Why This App Just Made Hollywood's Piracy Nightmare Even Worse


Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time is an app for Windows, Mac and Linux that is essentially a "Netflix for pirated movies." It's the easiest way to watch pirated movies from the comfort of your own home, which is why Hollywood should be scared. Other threats like Napster and LimeWire rose up to challenge the music industry, but here's why Popcorn Time is on a whole different level.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime usually have to wait for new movies to arrive on their services. Movie studios have a strict timeframe for their films to arrive in theaters, be sold on DVD, and then be available for streaming

Viewers could flock to Popcorn Time since they can watch the latest movies for no cost at all. The app prevents you from having to scour shady torrent sites by placing the best possible copy of the film right at your fingertips. Netflix is perfect for binging on old TV shows or movies, but Popcorn Time will be able to satisfy instant demand for the latest titles.

Movie theaters and film studios

You can stream movies from Popcorn Time for free. This sounds like a reasonable alternative, considering ticket prices are high

Movie theater attendance is on the decline and people are opting to stream stuff from home. Film studios and movie theaters would be rightfully annoyed, since they'd be losing out on a crucial source of revenue. 

Why this is going to be difficult for the film industry

Popcorn Time is free, and 20 developers are scattered around the world working on the project. The creators are quick to acknowledge that this is a violation of copyright infringement, too. All of these factors will make it difficult for Hollywood's battalion of lawyers to make a serious case.

Torrentfreak chatted with one developer named Sebastian, but there was no indication given if he was the leader of this collective. When the music industry had to deal with the nightmare of Napster, Sean Parker made it clear he was the founder of the file-sharing service so the record labels were easily able to launch an attack on him.

Movie studios have gone after individual file sharers before, so that might be the only way to hurt Popcorn Time. However, services like virtual private networks make it easier to hide locations. This could complicate matters further, since studios would have a hard time pinpointing specific individuals to target.

TechCrunch writes that Popcorn Time was pulled from its installer program earlier today because it violated terms of service and the developers are seeking a new host. This is just a small setback, but Hollywood still has a long road ahead in combatting this ever-present threat in their industry. 

SEE ALSO: There's a new "Netflix for pirates" that makes it incredibly easy to stream the latest movies

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12 Video Game Movies That Bombed At The Box Office


need for speedWhile Hollywood has cashed in on book series after book series, it's no secret directors have failed to perfect the art of bringing popular video games to the big screen.  

Unless it's a "Lara Croft" or "Resident Evil" film led by Angelina Jolie or Milla Jovovich, most game adaptations suffer from poor scripts, weak dialogue, and acting from unrecognized talent that resulted in awful reviews and box-office reception.

When "Need for Speed" comes to theaters Friday, DreamWorks hopes it can break that cycle with the help of "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul.

Based on the popular franchise that's turning 20 this year, the film cost an estimated $66 million to make. 

Current estimates are tracking the film for a $19 million debut. That number may be tough to crack as many reviews pouring out for the adaptation aren't positive.

We’ve compiled the worst-performing video game adaptations. Movies are ranked according to monetary intake compared to its budget. 

12. "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" (2012)

Budget: $20 million
Worldwide: $52.3 million
Distributor: Open Road Films

The sequel to the 2006 adaptation received a 5% on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes for being a jumble of jump-scare tactics combined with weak performances. That's probably why it made about half as much as the original at the box office.

The first film’s director Christophe Gans turned down the sequel. Writer Roger Avary didn’t return after he was sentenced to a year in prison for vehicular manslaughter.

(Source: Box Office Mojo

11. "House of the Dead" (2003)

Budget: $12 million
Worldwide: $13.8 million
Distributor: Artisan

You probably see Sega's "House of the Dead" in nearly every arcade you step foot inside. The film adaptation was considered a cheesy horror adaptation.

Watch the trailer

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

10. "Doom" (2005)

Budget: $60 million
Worldwide: $56 million
Distributor: Universal

The first-person shooter from id Software was tossed around at movie studios for a while (the rights went from Universal and Columbia Pictures to Warner Bros. before finally returning to Universal). 

Reviews for director Andrzej Bartkowiak’s (“Romeo Must Die”) adaptation were pretty awful. Fans of the game were upset the film strayed from the game’s plot of a virus to an invasion of demonic creatures on Mars.  

Here’s how Roger Ebert described the film:

“'Doom' is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play.” 

This was also one of The Rock’s first movie roles.

Watch the trailer

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here Are The 5 Actors Up For The Lead In ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’


Many people would love to be the new lightsaber-wielding Jedi in the next "Star Wars" movie.

Variety reports director J.J. Abrams is looking closely at five actors for Episode 7.

Here's who's at the top of his list:

1. Jesse Plemons ("Breaking Bad"/"Friday Night Lights"). Plemons was rumored for the lead back in January.

jesse plemons
2. Ed Speleers ("Downton Abbey") 
ed speleers
3. John Boyega (British teen monster movie "Attack the Block")
john boyega
4. Broadway actor Matthew James Thomas ("Pippin")
matthew james thomas
5. Theater actor Ray Fisher.
ray fisher star wars

Variety reports delays on casting are weighing on a decision of whether or not they want a Caucasian actor in the leadThe role is believed to be for a Jedi apprentice.

Previously, Adam Driver (“Girls”) was reported as a lock to play the villain in the sequel. 

“Star Wars: Episode 7” is expected to hit theaters December 18, 2015.

SEE ALSO: Adam Driver is set to play the villain in the new film

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Awesome Video Shows The Frantic Directing That Went Into Capturing Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Legendary Oscar Speech


Cuba Gooding Jr. gave one of the most memorable acceptance speeches of all time when he won Best Supporting Actor at the 69th Academy Awards for his role in "Jerry McGuire."

Gooding Jr. basically reprised his voluble character from the film, screaming "I love you all!" over and over again until the audience gave him a standing ovation.  

Last week, a YouTube user uploaded a new cut from a documentary clip (itself worth watching) released a couple years after the original broadcast showing how Louis J. Horvitz, the director of the Academy Awards broadcast, coordinated the speech from the TV truck. 

It shows Horvitz frantically switching among his half-dozen cameras to capture, first, the people Gooding Jr. is thanking — and then, as he realizes the audience is getting swept up, finding which celebrity is responding most vividly.  

It's pretty great (first spotted by CNBC's Carl Quintanilla). 


SEE ALSO: 'Alright, Alright, Alright': The Incredible Story Behind Matthew McConaughey's Famous Phrase

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SPOILER: The 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Post-Credit Scene Reveals A Huge Secret


A photo has leaked from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 post-credit sequence which reveals a huge spoiler. Be warned, this is not something you may want to see right now. So, turn back before it's too late.


Amazing Spiderman 2, credits

Amazing Spider-Man 2, credits
What you are looking at is Norman Osborn's cryogenically frozen head!

As it was previously revealed, Norman (Chris Cooper) does die in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) taking on the mantle of Green Goblin. Norman has been afflicted by a mysterious illness that only Peter Parker's blood can cure. When Harry, working as Goblin, and Electro fail to obtain the mutant spider blood, Norman passes away, and Harry is sent off to Ravencroft.

In the post-credit scene, we are once again introduced to The Man in the Shadows, from The Amazing Spider-Man's post-credit sequence. We see him walking up to the cryogenically frozen head as he whispers, 'Wake up old friend."

So, Norman is surely going to make a comeback in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. What do you think of this revelation? Sorry you looked?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes to theaters May 2nd, 2014 and stars Andrew GarfieldJamie FoxxEmma StoneSally FieldPaul GiamattiDenis LearyDane DeHaanMartin Sheen. The film is directed by Marc Webb.

SEE ALSO: Post-Credits Sequence Of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Revealed [Spoilers]

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'Need For Speed' Is Basically A Giant Ad For Ford's 2014 Mustang


aaron paul need for speed"Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul is heading to theaters this weekend in "Need for Speed."

We were able to check out a screening of DreamWorks' video game adaptation Monday.

Aside from the "Resident Evil" franchise, Hollywood hasn't had a good track record bringing games to theaters so I went in with pretty low expectations. After a long 2 hrs and 10 minutes, I was left pretty unimpressed, walking away more knowledgeable about Ford's new Mustang out next year.

need for speed mustangFor a movie based on a game about racing, there are two real races in the film at the beginning and end. In between, the rest plays out like a giant ad for Ford’s 2014 Mustang as the audience watches — and listens — to the 900 horsepower (an imaginary number made for the film) vehicle race from New York to California in 48 hours to compete in a secret race.  

The film follows Paul as Tobey Marshall, a natural born driver (clearly with the need for speed). However, instead of pursuing his dreams and ending up an international racer, he’s a simple mechanic working at his own shop in a small upstate New York town with a gang of buddies. 

While Paul is the film’s lead, the main star of the film is the Shelby GT500 Mustang Marshall and his crew are asked to work on at the film’s start. 

This shouldn’t be a surprise.  

Ford and DreamWorks collaborated on an extensive partnership on the film, with the motor vehicle company making a special Mustang for production. The car is based on the 2013 Shelby GT500 for the car’s creator Carroll Shelby. He was working on a 50th anniversary edition of the car before passing away in 2012. (You get this rundown in the film.) A total of seven Mustangs were built for the film either for shots or specific stunts. 

No sooner than the car is introduced on screen, does the audience get hit with a list of specs of the imaginary Mustang. This comes courtesy of actress Imogen Poots who proves girls can be knowledgeable about muscle cars, too. Soon after, we see Marshall take the ’stang for a test drive on a closed course to show off an impressive top speed of 234 mph. (In actuality, the vehicle built for the film tops out at 190 mph.) 

For a majority of the film we watch Paul show off what the car can do — weave in and out of traffic seamlessly, soar across three lanes of traffic, make unbelievably wicked sharp turns, and go off road.

Not even the “Fast and the Furious” franchise made sure the audience was so invested in one particular car.  

Don't get us wrong, the Shelby looks great during its time on screen. (*spoiler*It's extended ad comes to a screeching halt when  the car is totaled near the film's end.*spoiler*) All the cars in the film do. Director Scott Waugh makes his action sequences look incredibly believable. 

That's because DreamWorks’ big selling point for the film is that it’s made entirely without CGIAs a result, there are a few cool scenes with cars on a bridge, flying across traffic, and getting picked up by a helicopter that make you appreciate it was all done without a green screen. 

As well, Waugh captures the essence of the series on screen by filming not only from the driver’s perspective inside the car, but also outside from different points of view. For those familiar with the “Need for Speed” franchise, it’s a nice nod to the game where players can alternate between a few different angles to view a car while racing. need for speed helicopter

However, for all the care put into races and cars on screen, the script and dialogue could have used some fine tuning. There are a lot of things that either don’t make sense or that are never fully explained to the audience. 

Underneath cars getting smashed to pieces and chased down by cops, there’s a story involving Marshall (Aaron Paul) exacting revenge on an old high school rival Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) who set him up to take the fall for murder. Marshall's out to even the score by driving across the country to beat him in a race.   

Other than some old high school drama, it’s never really explained why Dino and Tobey are rivals from the start. need for speed dominic cooper

At various points Tobey’s pal Benny (Scott Mescudi) pops up in a series of random planes and helicopters that make you question whether you're watching "Need for Speed" or "Grand Theft Auto" (another popular gaming franchise). 

Personally, one thing I couldn’t comprehend is that while Aaron Paul’s character is so worried about avenging the death of a friend in a car crash early on, there are so many other subsequent and prior crashes caused at his hand throughout the film that’s it’s odd to imagine he can’t feel something for the other lives he’s obviously affecting in addition.

The acting and dialogue don't impress, either. Paul appears to play an incarnation of his “Breaking Bad” character Jesse Pinkman. There’s a scene where his character gets really emotional and Paul’s reaction feels like a scene straight out of the AMC series. (You’ll know it when you see it.) 

need for speed michael keatonAfter “RoboCop,” Michael Keaton attempts to make another return on screen in an unconventional role as an eccentric racing aficionado. 

Possibly the best performance in the film was from Poots who instantly brings some life to what feels like an uneven script.

For the many years the "Fast and the Furious” franchise has reigned supreme in theaters, I always imagined one day someone would try to do a “Need for Speed” franchise to compete. 

Universal doesn't have to worry.

However nice the cars may be — and they are really nice— and how well done the final race looks, "Need for Speed" never really sets itself up for a sequel. Then again, it's difficult to compete with a franchise that recently commanded more than $1 billion at theaters with a single film.

"Need for Speed" is better than a lot of video game adaptations, but it's definitely not going to be the next great franchise.

SEE ALSO: Video game movies that bombed at theaters

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Why 'The Avengers' Was Originally Rated R


the avengers

For the three people who haven’t watched The Avengers yet, there are SPOILERS ahead, so go Hulk out on one of our other fabulous stories.

There are plenty of differences between the blockbusters of today and those of 20-30 years ago, and one of them is the pronounced lack of R-rated movies being released, allowing for studios to maximize the teenage market that knows no spending bounds.

Can you imagine what kind of box office success a film like Joss Whedon’s The Avengers would have had if it wasn’t PG-13, or how much different the marketing campaign might have gone? You might be surprised to find out that the MPAA actually did brand the superhero flick with an R for a short amount of time.

And no, it wasn’t because Tony Stark told his version of the Aristocrats joke during the post-credits shawarma scene, but that would have been amazing.

It was indeed just one scene in particular that ruffled a few suited feathers, as Marvel’s head honcho Kevin Feige recently told Movies.com that the death of Agent Coulson had to be trimmed down to make the more acceptable rating. And it didn’t just happen once, as the first two cuts of the film were given the harsher treatment. What adjustments had to be made exactly?

"Well," Feige explained, "whenever you impale somebody from their back and the blade comes out of their chest, there are issues." Take a look at the scene below, which features no blade penetration or bleeding wounds, but still pulls off a pretty squishy sound effect.

Now, I guess I would expect a couple of truly upstanding citizens to have complained if there was a gut-covered blade popping out of Coulson’s chest. Plus, that visibly would have looked like something that would have killed him immediately, making that death speech even goofier in retrospect. But I think we can all agree that this is a fine example of how twisted the MPAA is, allowing for a half-hour sequence where an entire city and an unknown number of civilians are destroyed by Loki’s Chitauri. I guess seeing a single person die in a close-up situation is far more damaging to teenagers’ psyches than the unseen prospect of a million people being crushed beneath giant blocks of cement. I know I slept well the night I saw it.

Feige was less inclined to talk about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg’s possible return to the big screen to reprise the role for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Probably because he’d have more ‘splaining to do, and it’s not time for that just yet. We’ll have to wait until at least next summer to hear about the MPAA slapping the sequel with an R rating because Pepper makes a bong out of an Iron Man suit.    

SEE ALSO: Scarlett Johansson's pregnancy could impact the "Avengers" sequel

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Here Are Some Clips From The Legendary Voice-Over Artist Who Died Last Week


hal douglas voice overHal Douglas, 89, a titan and go-to talent in the voice-over industry died last week from complications of pancreatic cancer, the New York Times reports.  

Douglas, who has narrated thousands of trailers for major flicks like Forest Gump, Men in Black, and Lethal Weapon — retired two years ago and never considered himself to have 'a great voice.'

"This is what you get, this is how I sound. It's a unique sound, it's my sound," Douglas said in “A Great Voice,” a short film about his career. 

His career began as an announcer on radio programs in the 1950s which led him to an advertising career in New York. He is best known for his work on film trailers which he started in the 1970s.

“You get the description of the movie, the contexts of the lines that you are doing, and the rest of it is intuitive,” Douglas said. “Movies, particularly, fall into departments. You have an action film, you have a romantic film, you have the dark films. They all suggest an attitude and a voice quality," the Daily Telegraph reports

Here is a video highlighting his work:

Douglas was known for his sense of humor and agreed to played a cliché voice-over artist named Jack in a rare on-camera role in the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld’s 2002 documentary, “Comedian.”

Here is a clip of the trailer:

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The 4 Most Hated Movie Sub-Genres



It's a universal truth that movies based on video games suck. Need for Speed, starring a post-Breaking Bad Aaron Paul and hitting theaters this weekend, will likely continue the tradition, as it sits with a 24 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

This isn't surprising news. But it makes us wonder: are video game films the most maligned movie sub-genre?

We're talking only the bleakest of genres: those with no "masterpieces" or all-stars for which you could even make an argument. These are the movies that everyone knows are going to be bad, but they see them anyway. But which genre is the worst? Let's check the reviews and find out. 

For each category, we'll take five movies representative of the genre (based on our unimpeachable movie knowledge, of course), calculate the average of their Rotten Tomato ratings, and then see which movie genre is truly the most hated by critics. 

1. Video Game Movies

Since Super Mario Bros. kicked things off in 1993, there have been 27 major films released based on video game titles. All of them were poorly reviewed. None received a score above 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and many were below 20 (Final Fantasy led the pack with 44 percent).

Our five representatives: Super Mario Bros. (16 percent), Laura Croft: Tomb Raider (19 percent), Final Fantasy: Spirits Within (44 percent), Prince of Persia (35 percent), andNeed for Speed (24 percent).

The average: 27.6 percent

2. Dance Movies

You know, the ones where the characters break out in random dance sequences. This sub-genre is perhaps most notable for giving Channing Tatum his start. Dance movies have come a long way in a few short years – they're even in 3D now! Unfortunately, they're still poorly reviewed in 3D. 

Our five: Step Up (19 percent), Step Up 2 the Streets (27 percent), Step Up Revolution(42 percent), Stomp the Yard (26 percent), Battle of the Year (6 percent).

The average: 24 percent

3. Spoof Movies

It started with Scary Movie and now it's an epidemic. Not only have there been five (!) installments in the Scary Movie franchise, but we've also had Epic MovieDate MovieDisaster MovieMeet the Spartans, and Vampires Suck. And now they seem to have come full-circle, with last year's horror flick spoof, A Haunted House.

Our five: Scary Movie (54 percent), Scary Movie 2 (15 percent), Epic Movie (2 percent),Date Movie (7 percent), Vampires Suck (5 percent). 

The average: 16.6 percent

4. Torture Porn Movies

Torture porn flicks broke it big with the Saw franchise, and have inspired copy-cats like Hostel and The Human Centipede. Even more notorious than the mere slasher-flick genre, the plot-starved, cliche-filled torture porn films exist solely to make the audience squirm. But they're bigger critical faves than our other maligned genres, by a decent margin.

Our five: Saw (48 percent), Saw 3D (9 percent), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2003 (38 percent), Hostel (61 percent), The Human Centipede (49 percent).

The average: 41 percent 

So it turns out that video game movies aren't the most hated sub-genre – that would be spoof movies, and we don't disagree. Considering the films they're parodying tend to be low-quality to begin with, spoof movies have a hard time getting out of the review cellar. 

That said, video game movies certainly aren't great, and they're not even the best at being bad. They're just bleh. But there's a reason studios keep making them. When hitched to a bona fide movie star (like Angelina Jolie, Jake Gyllenhaal, or the up-and-coming Aaron Paul), they stand to do well at the box office (Need for Speed isprojected for $47 million), and who really goes to a movie based on a PlayStation game looking for a compelling narrative anyway? 

The great thing about these sub-genres is that they're unabashed in their awfulness; poor reviews don't prevent more movies from getting made. They win more Razzies than Oscars and don't shed a tear. So really, who are we to judge?

SEE ALSO: 'Need For Speed' Is Basically A Giant Ad For Ford's 2014 Mustang

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