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10 Ways To Never Pay Full Price At Movie Theaters

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movie theater kids watching movie

How did we ever survive without $15 movie tickets, outrageous markups at concession stands and headache-inducing 3D screenings? Movie tickets, especially in big cities, are at an all time high. Even matinees are sometimes as high as $14 a ticket (Yes, we’re looking at you ArcLight).  It’s hard enough to go to the movies if you are on a date, or, dare I say, are taking a family of three or more.

In order to save money, many moviegoers are looking for alternatives to major theater chains. Lucky for us, summer is upon us and theater alternatives are plentiful.

Whether you support your local historical movie theater or catch a flick in the great outdoors, here are 10 ways to avoid paying top dollar at the movie theater.

1. Sign up for advance screenings.

Why pay to go to the movies when there are so many opportunities to attend advance screenings?

Advance screenings are offered by movie studios to moviegoers and members of the press. Movies are screened weeks, sometimes months in advance for marketing and review purposes.

All you have to do do in order to attend is know when and where to sign up. Good places to start are Gofobo (you must register your email), Campus Circle (you can enter to win tickets or RSVP) and Wild About Movies (you must “Like” their Facebook page to receive an email notification which tells you if the movie you want to see is playing in your area.) Tickets are available in limited quantities with screening in various cities. So, RSVP as early as possible.

2. For locals only

Los Angeles has “LA Weekly.” New York has “The Village Voice.” Whatever your free local publication may be, check it regularly. It’s a gold mine for screening contests and special screenings. Local magazines, like Los Angeles Magazine, and radio stations also giveaway and allow locals to sign up for free screenings. You might even land premiere tickets.

3. Apply to be a seat filler.

Aspiring actors, actresses, screenwriters and crew — this one is for you.

For movie premieres, festival screenings and award shows, studios don’t like to see empty seats. And that’s where the public comes in.

If you are located in a movie premiere city like Los Angeles or New York City, applying to be a seat filler may not only benefit the budget, but is also a great networking opportunity. Get those business cards ready, as you will have the opportunity to fill seats at premieres and award shows.

4. New filmmakers love Eventbrite.

Don’t underestimate the power of Eventbrite. It’s not just for networking and job conventions.

Eventbrite is a great online source to check for free or low cost indie or low-budget movie screenings. Many up and coming filmmakers and documentarians promote their opening night screenings on Eventbrite and Brown Paper Tickets.

5. Get familiar with your local city government’s website.

During the summer months, your local government or conservancy group may present a screening series in a local park, community center or historical theater.

For example, Santa Monica holds free screening its famous Third St Promenade every summer. So, you get to watch a movie for free and take in the ocean air.

6. Outdoor Summer Screenings.

Ditch the summer blockbusters, prequels and sequels, and head outdoors. Summer movie screenings are now being held in cities across the U.S. in parks, high school fields, and even cemeteries. Pay $10 upon arrival, set up your lawn chairs and bring your own picnic.

Be sure to arrive early, as these popular summer screenings fill up fast.

7. Drive-ins are still here.

There may just 350 drive-in movie theaters left in the United States, but people are still showing up. Drive-in screenings, especially in the summer, are increasingly in popularity with nostalgic screenings, celebrity appearances, and high end food trucks for concessions.

And there’s no need to drive out of city limits. Los Angeles has a year round drive-in theDowntown area.

8. Host an outdoor screening party.

Do you have decent backyard and a projector? If you do, then you have everything you need to host a screening party.

Everyone wins with this easy DIY outdoor theater set up. Invite good company, make it a potluck and put on a nostalgic favorite or the latest DVD release. You can even host an all-night movie marathon. Anyone in the mood to watch the extended versions of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy?

9. When was the last time you went to the museum?

Your local museum may have more than just collections of great paintings, art installations and sculpture. A number of museums, like LACMA, MOCA and the Guggenheim, host film retrospectives and art film screenings year round.

In addition, many of these films screened at museums will rarely make its way to the big screen. These films include classic films, newly restored films, art house films and recordings of performance art.

10. Check Yelp for classic movie screenings.

Are you in the mood for some film noir? Or maybe you prefer Bogey over Brad Pitt? You’re in luck.

Even big movie theater chains will periodically screen classic movies during non-peak hours at reduced prices. If you search Yelp for “theater that play classic movies,” we promise you won’t be disappointed.

How do you save at the movies? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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'Godzilla' Has The Second Largest Opening Weekend Of The Year

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Godzilla roaring

“Godzilla” had a huge opening weekend

The monster movie made an enormous $93.2 million.

That’s less than $2 million shy of the year’s largest debut so far. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier made $95 million opening weekend in April.

“Godzilla” was expected to bring in north of $70 million opening weekend.

The Warner Bros. and Legendary film cost an estimated $160 million. The movie has already made more than $196 million worldwide.

The weekend’s other new release, Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” featuring “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm made $10.5 million. The baseball movie cost an estimated $25 million to make. 

Zac Efron and Seth Rogen’s “Neighbors” came in a distant second place making $26 million.

SEE ALSO: What Godzilla could have looked like in the film

AND: Bryan Cranston fans will be disappointed with "Godzilla"

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'Edge Of Tomorrow' Is One Of Tom Cruise’s Best Movies In Years

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edge of tomorrow tom cruise

Tom Cruise has a new movie out this June, "Edge of Tomorrow," and as reviews start pouring out it sounds like this could be one of the best films this summer has to offer.

That may come as a surprise. 

If you've seen any trailers for the film, you may have done an eyeroll as the film has the feel of 1993's "Groundhog Day." The premise sees Tom Cruise's character, Major William Cage, relive the same day over and over again until he can find a way to defeat a threatening alien menace. 

The film is based on Japanese sci-fi novel "All You Need Is Kill" and cost Warner Bros. approximately $175 million, so the studio needs this to be a big hit.

Here's why the movie sounds like a must-see.

Don’t be worried about it feeling like "Groundhog’s Day" or any other déjà vu flick. edge of tomorrow tom cruise
The Wrap
:

“For a film about repetition, “Edge of Tomorrow” never feels tired or familiar.” 

Variety:

"The scribes have solved the problem of how not to make the film play like a repetitive slog; aided enormously by James Herbert and Laura Jennings’ snappy, intuitive editing, they tell their story in a breezy narrative shorthand (and at times, sleight-of-hand), transforming what must surely be an unbelievably tedious gauntlet for our hero into a deft, playful and continually involving viewing experience." 

Total Film:

"The time-loop works. Far from being the multiplex equivalent of a trek to the laundry, the spin-cycle lends a fresh tilt to the time-worn Us vs. Them genre, with Liman and Cruise serving humour and invention to ensure each rewind veers into territory as unexpected as it is familiar."

It’s funny with laughs from both Cruise and Bill Paxton.

bill paxton edge of tomorrowCinemablend:

“The script crackles with humor and variations, making Cage's (Cruise) deaths and resurrections as funny as they are shocking.” 

Film School Rejects: 

“Liman’s movie moves fast, and not only because it has a ton of set pieces, but also a sharp sense of humor … Bill Paxton gets some huge laughs.” 

The design of the aliens look awesome. 

Variety 

“The excellent production package is distinguished by the expertly designed Mimics, which resemble overgrown, radioactive crustaceans that got caught in an oil spill.”

This is one of Cruise’s most fun and enjoyable performances in a long time. tom cruise edge of tomorrowEmpire

This is his strongest performance in some time and he revels in the character’s development. He starts out as a smug, smirking, weaselly coward, not above trying to blackmail an implacable general (Brendan Gleeson).” 

Film School Rejects

“Most A-listers would demand a more conventionally heroic character from the start, but not Cruise. He plays up Cage’s cowardice whenever he gets the chance, to both great comedic and dramatic effect.”

Emily Blunt is great, too. emily blunt edge of tomorrow

The Playlist:

“She is a rich, beautifully realized female character, strong and smart and sensitive, which is already a welcome change from the summer movies we've seen thus far, where women are mostly seen falling from tall buildings and hiding from giant monsters.”

The one disappointment from multiple reviews? The ending isn’t anything too special.

The Wrap:

"If there's anything disappointing about the film, it involves the ending; it's a defensible one, but everything leading up to it fooled me into expecting something smarter or more daring." 

The Hollywood Reporter: 

"Unfortunately, the final stretch becomes dramatically unconvincing and visually murky, … where a seriously underwhelming and downright odd final reckoning takes place.”

Overall, the film sounds like a solid action flick from Cruise that should do well overseas and at home. 

Empire

“A playful and frantic science-fiction twister which mimics the best (Aliens, The Matrix, Groundhog Day) while offering something fresh and — most importantly — thrilling.” 

Film School Rejects:

"Director Doug Liman hasn’t forgotten how to craft real escapist entertainment, despite his last popcorn film Jumper suggesting otherwise. His latest, Edge ofTomorrow, is maybe his most accomplished work to date, a massive blockbuster with scale, heart, plenty of humor, and no shortage of coolness. This, ladies and gentleman, is what we call a summer blockbuster.” 

The Playlist:

"It's snappy and funny and violent and weird and sets the bar impossibly high for the rest of this year's summer movie crop."

Watch a trailer for the movie below:

SEE ALSO: "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is the movie of the summer

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Angelina Jolie Is The Best Part Of ‘Maleficent’

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angelina jolie maleficent

After four years away from the big screen, Angelina Jolie returns to theaters this weekend as an iconic Disney villain in "Maleficent."

The estimated $175 million+, live-action version of its 1959 animated movie "Sleeping Beauty" tells the story of why the Mouse House's most wicked villainess turned dark.

It's Jolie's first big role since her two successful 2010 movies, action-thriller "Salt" and Johnny Depp flick "The Tourist."

The first reviews for the film, out Friday, are finally coming out, and while they're not stellar — the most inconsistent feedback on the film is on its visuals that have been described as everything from "exquisitely designed” to atrocious” — every reviewer agrees that Jolie is both a scene-stealer and the glue that holds first-time director Robert Stromberg's picture together.

Variety: 

“Jolie is perfectly cast in the lead, and does excellent work despite substantial physical constraints. She spends the entire film wearing a prosthetic nose, cheeks, teeth and ears, with moon-sized contact lenses and a bulky set of horns atop her head … When Jolie is let loose to really bare her fangs, such as her nearly word-for-word re-creation of Maleficent’s first scene from the Disney original, she strips the paint from the walls.” 

angelina jolie maleficent set

Digital Spy 

“Maleficent's only consistent element is Angelina Jolie's mesmerising portrayal of the titular character … With her piercing eyes, angular cheekbones and a voice that effortlessly flits between soothing and scything, Angelina Jolie is majestic as Maleficent and keeps the movie afloat during its worst segments.” 

The Wrap: 

“If you're expecting Jolie to deliver purring sarcasm in the pursed-lipped, raised-eyebrow mold of Agnes Moorehead on “Bewitched,” fear not — she absolutely does. Rest assured, however, that she offers up this character in many moods and modes, turning what was a striking but fairly single-minded villain into a fully fleshed-out woman. She has known pain and she has felt anger, yes, but she is also capable of love and compassion.” 

maleficent angelina jolie

Associated Press: 

“… She's [Jolie] the best thing about the movie, and always worth watching. But it blunts the effectiveness of the narrative if we can never quite believe Maleficent is bad. That's because we know she's essentially good, and she seems to know that we know it … 

“‘Maleficent’ is fun for its appealing visuals — especially in the forest — and for watching Jolie. But that's not enough to make the whole film interesting. As the minutes tick by, you might even start feeling a bit like Sleeping Beauty herself comes to feel: Drowsy.”

The Hollywood Reporter: 

“Angelina Jolie doesn’t chew the estimable scenery in Maleficent — she infuses it, wielding a magnetic and effortless power as the magnificently malevolent fairy who places a curse on a newborn princess.”

SEE ALSO: How Angelina Jolie Transformed into Disney's Maleficent

AND: Critics are calling Tom Cruise's "Edge of Tomorrow" one of his best movies in years

Join the conversation about this story »

Here's What A Full-Page Ad For Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' Looked Like In 1959

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Disney's live-action adaptation of "Sleeping Beauty," featuring Angelina Jolie as a scorned fairy titled "Maleficent," hits theaters this weekend.

While the reviews mostly praise Jolie's performance as the villainness, many note that Disney's 1959 film, which cost $6 million at the time to make, was heavily panned by critics.

So far we've only found one really brutal review from Time. However, in our search, we came across a full-page ad taken out for the animated picture in Billboard Magazine, then known as The Billboard.

The ad highlights soundtracks for the film and notes the film took more than six years to make.

Check it out below from the February 9, 1959 edition:sleeping beauty ad 1959

Here's a closer look at the right page of the ad.

sleeping beauty ad sleeping beauty ad

Here's another smaller ad for the film which we came across in the Pasadena Independent (California).

The ad, which ran on February 12, 1959 complete with drawings, touted the film's then revolutionary use of Super Technirama 70.

"Sleeping Beauty" was the first animated picture to be released using the wide-screen 70mm format. (Most films are released in 35mm. Though recent movies like "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Gravity" have filmed scenes in larger formats.)

Also notice that the ad says the film is "worth going miles to see."

sleeping beauty ad

SEE ALSO: Early reviews say Angelina Jolie is the best part of "Maleficent"

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'The Shawshank Redemption' Accounted For A Huge Amount Of Cable Air Time In 2013

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shawshank redemption

Have you ever been flipping through the channels and noticed that some movies are always on?

Chances are that one of those movies was "The Shawshank Redemption."

According to the Wall Street Journal, the research firm IHS projected that the 1994 prison drama accounted for 151 hours of basic cable air time in 2013. 

At 151 hours, the film based on the Stephen King novel is tied with "Scarface" and was only behind "Mrs. Doubtfire."

If that wasn't enough, character Andy Dufresne's rain soaked escape scene has been broadcasted on 15 different basic cable networks since 1997.

And it's all because the movie is really, really watchable.

"'Shawshank' was becoming that priceless entertainment property—a repeater," writes WSJ's Russell Adams. "Viewers watched it again and again."

Warner Bros. wouldn't say how much it makes from licensing "Shawshank" to TV, but according to former and current studio executives speaking with the WSJ, it's one of the highest valued feature films in Warner Bros' $1.5 billion library.

SEE ALSO: Here's How Much Your Favorite Musicians Charge To Hear Them Live

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Crowdfunding Site Crowdtilt Wants To Bring The Magic Of The Movies To A Hot Tub Near You

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Crowdtilt

What better way to watch "Hot Tub Time Machine" than while in an actual hot tub?

On May 8, crowdfunding site Crowdtilt made just that a reality when they brought Hot Tub Cinema to New York City.

This event started in the UK, and Crowdtilt decided to bring it to New York through crowdfunding.

The event was promoted on Crowdtilt's site, where you could sign up for a hot tub and invite friends to their tub. The event included a screening of "Hot Tub Time Machine," an open bar, popcorn, and, of course, hot tubbing.

If you want to bring Hot Tub Cinema to your city, you can sign up here.

The event took place on the Brooklyn rooftop of Windmill Studios NYC.



Monica Penin and Stacy Sendler were 2 of the 100 guests who paid $55 for the night.



The event consisted of 14 hot tubs, each with its own 'Tub Captain.'



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

15 Secret References You Never Noticed In Your Favorite Movies

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The Departed X death

The best part about rewatching movies is catching hidden references you didn't see the first time around.

These hidden references are sometimes known as Easter eggs. They can be anything from an inside joke on set to a shout-out to another film.

From "Star Wars" to "The Godfather," let's go on a scavenger hunt for some of the best hidden references in your favorite films.

Most movie Easter eggs subtly reference another piece of pop culture. For example, 1982's "Tron" hid the arcade favorite "Pac-Man" on a map within the film's video-game-like grid.



They can also be used by directors to acknowledge one another. This was the case when Steven Spielberg's 1981 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" included a hieroglyphic of R2-D2 and C-3PO from George Lucas' 1977 "Star Wars."



Spielberg did it again when he named a club in 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" after the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' May Have Created Huge Continuity Problems

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past Poster

If you haven't seen X-Men: Days of Future Past yet, there will be plenty of spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.

In one of his only interviews leading up to the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer addressed the several continuity errors that fans have noticed, including Wolverine's adamantium claws somehow returning after they were sliced off by the Silver Samurai in The Wolverine, and the fact that Trask Industries founder Bolivar Trask is played by Peter Dinklage in this movie and African-American actorBill Duke in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand.

Here's what the director had to say about the continuity in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

"Some things you let go. In X-Men: The Last Stand Bolivar Trask was an African-American guy, in X-Men 1 I personally wrote the line that of course I now regret: 'When I was 17, I met a young man named Erik Lensherr' and then in X-Men: First Class I changed that! Some of these I hope the audience will forget about but for the bulk of it I pay attention to the universe."

While some fans may have forgotten about the continuity problems, many others have not, with several different viewpoints surfacing regarding how X-Men: Days of Future Past affects the 14-year franchise, leaving several lingering questions about certain characters and story aspects.

One of the big questions that has lingered since the end credits scene in The Wolverine is how the older Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is still alive, since he was killed in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand at the hands of the Dark Phoenix/Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). There is a theory that Xavier shifted his consciousness into his twin brother, although that family connection isn't exactly explained.

In X-Men: Days of Future Past's 1973 scenes, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) still has his bone claws, since he hasn't gone through the Weapon X program that infused adamantium into his skeletal system. However, in scenes set in the year 2023, the metal claws are back, even though the Silver Samurai sliced them off in last year's The Wolverine. Many believe that future Magneto (Ian McKellen) was responsible for the repair of his claws, but it is never fully stated in the movie.

The subject of Wolverine's claws gets even trickier when you take into consideration that the ending of X-Men: Days of Future Past hints that Wolverine/Logan won't even go into the Weapon X program at all. Of course, since Logan can't remember much about his past, it isn't exactly known when he enters this Weapon X program initiated by William Stryker, played by Josh Helman in X-Men: Days of Future Past. It's possible that he goes through the program in the 1980s, when X-Men: Apocalypse is reportedly set, but Wolverine never retracts his claws during the final scene in the year 2023, after the future was saved, so it isn't known if he has the adamantium claws or bone claws.

x-men days of future past mystique jennifer lawrenceThe last scene takes place in the year 2023, with Wolverine waking up at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters in a peaceful future, after the Sentinels have been erased from the timeline. The scene includes Rogue (Anna Paquin), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) and the big surprise inclusion of the resurrected Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Cyclops (James Marsden). After the Sentinels were destroyed, it created a whole new timeline that is only tied to X-Men: First Class, meaning Jean's death never happened. Badass Digest's piece indicates that the original trilogy, X-MenX2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand ceased to exist, after the mutants were revealed to the world decades earlier than in the previous timeline, when Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is prevented from killing Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).

With X-Men: First Class taking place in the 1960s, X-Men: Days of Future Past set in the 1970s and X-Men: Apocalypse set in the 1980s, it appeared that this prequel franchise would eventually merge with the original X-Men trilogy, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore, since X-Men: Days of Future Past created a whole new timeline after the Sentinels were destroyed. The new timeline renders a lot of these continuity errors moot, such as the two different versions of Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: The Last Stand and Wolverine's claws, since it isn't known if the Weapon X program even exists in this timeline.

Several other plot points have been addressed over the past few days, such as how Magneto even got his abilities back to begin with after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, where a serum removed his powers, the ages when Charles and Erik first meet, and many more. Do you even care about these continuity errors? Are you willing to "forget" about them and move on like Bryan Singer suggested earlier this month? Chime in with your thoughts below.

X-Men: Days of Future Past was released May 23rd, 2014 and stars Hugh Jackman,James McAvoyMichael FassbenderJennifer LawrenceHalle BerryNicholas HoultAnna PaquinEllen Page. The film is directed by Bryan Singer.

SEE ALSO: 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Will Feature Some Original Cast Members

AND: What happens in Anna Paquin's deleted "X-Men" scene

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'Jurassic World' Director Reveals New Story Details

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T Rex, Jurassic Park

Quite a few Jurassic World plot details have leaked out across the Internet in recent weeks, along with a map that offered a look at the new dinosaurs and attractions housed within the Isla Nublar underwater theme park.

Director Colin Trevorrow wants to set the record straight, and in an exclusive interview with /film, helped clear up any confusion there may have been. Specifically that there is a war brewing between good and evil dinosaurs, which isn't true by definition.

First, he does confirm what we've heard in terms of the overall plot, and the film's main backdrop.

"Jurassic World takes place in a fully functional park on Isla Nublar. It sees more than 20,000 visitors every day. You arrive by ferry from Costa Rica. It has elements of a biological preserve, a safari, a zoo, and a theme park. There is a luxury resort with hotels, restaurants, nightlife and a golf course. And there are dinosaurs. Real ones. You can get closer to them than you ever imagined possible. It's the realization of John Hammond's dream, and I think you'll want to go there."

He compares the thematic push in the film to our current relationship with technology and movies themselves.

"[O]ur relationship with technology has become so woven into our daily lives. We've become numb to the scientific miracles around us. We take so much for granted... What if, despite previous disasters, they built a new biological preserve where you could see dinosaurs walk the earth...and what if people were already kind of over it? We imagined a teenager texting his girlfriend with his back to a T-Rex behind protective glass. For us, that image captured the way much of the audience feels about the movies themselves. 'We've seen CG dinosaurs. What else you got?' Next year, you'll see our answer."

More than anything, Colin Trevorrow wants you to know that there are no such thing as 'good and bad' dinosaurs. They're all just animals in a wild kingdom that has been roped off by man.

"There's no such thing as good or bad dinosaurs. There are predators and prey. The T-Rex in Jurassic Park took human lives, and saved them. No one interpreted her as good or bad. This film is about our relationship with animals, how we react to the threat they pose to our dominance on earth as a species. We hunt them, we cage them in zoos, we admire them from afar and we try to assert control over them. Chris Pratt's character is doing behavioral research on the raptors. They aren't trained, they can't do tricks. He's just trying to figure out the limits of the relationship between these highly intelligent creatures and human beings."

He did confirm that there will be a new dinosaur in the film, which was earlier rumored to be created from the DNA of a T-Rex, a raptor, a snake and a cuttlefish.

"[T]here will be one new dinosaur created by the park's geneticists. The gaps in her sequence were filled with DNA from other species, much like the genome in the first film was completed with frog DNA. This creation exists to fulfill a corporate mandate-they want something bigger, louder, with more teeth. And that's what they get.

I know the idea of a modified dinosaur put a lot of fans on red alert, and I understand it. But we aren't doing anything here that Crichton didn't suggest in his novels. This animal is not a mutant freak. It doesn't have a snake's head or octopus tentacles. It's a dinosaur, created in the same way the others were, but now the genetics have gone to the next level. For me, it's a natural evolution of the technology introduced in the first film. Maybe it sounds crazy, but most of my favorite movies sound crazy when you describe them in a single sentence."

Jurassic World comes to theaters June 12th, 2015 and stars Ty SimpkinsBryce Dallas HowardNick RobinsonChris PrattVincent D'OnofrioIrrfan KhanB.D. WongOmar Sy. The film is directed by Colin Trevorrow.

SEE ALSO: Awesome Parody Video Replaces The 'Jurassic Park' Velociraptors With Cats

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Here's What Happens In Anna Paquin's Deleted 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Scene

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x men days of future past

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" reunites most of the old "X-Men" cast with the newer, younger cast of "X-Men: First Class." 

The film has everyone from Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellen to Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy. Even Halle Berry reprises her role as Storm in the sequel. 

However, you may have noticed one major character from the original series missing from most of the action.

Except for a minor cameo near the film's end, Anna Paquin's Rogue, who was a focus of the original "X-Men" in 2000, was removed in the film's editing process.

Director Bryan Singer previously explained to Entertainment Weekly how Paquin's appearance would have involved a big rescue sequence involving Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), and Iceman (Shawn Ashmore).

Unfortunately, Singer said it ended up being "extraneous" to the overall film.

There's been a lot of speculation on what exactly Rogue's cut scene was and how it fit into the overall arc of 'Days of Future Past."

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg recently expanded on Rogue's cut sequence in an interview with Empire magazine, detailing what went on in an elaborate 10-minute scene that would have pushed the film closer to a two-and-a-half hour movie.

What Happens In The Deleted Scene

x men days of future past wolverine

For those who haven’t seen the film there are some spoilers ahead.

In the film, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) sends Wolverine (Jackman) back to the past to save the X-Men and all of mankind from giant mutant-hunting robots (just go with it).

During one part late in the film, Pryde accidentally gets stabbed by Wolverine while he's being sent back in time leaving her wounded badly. There's one X-Men who has the ability to borrow other mutants' powers for a while.

Enter Rogue.

Iceman, Magneto, and Xavier would have went to save the mutant from some "dark, scary place" and bring her to where the X-Men were hiding out to step in for Kitty.*

If you go back and watch the first official trailer for the movie, you can actually catch glimpses of the cut scenes with Paquin.

Here's Paquin being saved from that dark place by Iceman and Magneto (no Xavier in sight).

anna paquin x men days of future past

Here's another image of McKellen and Ashmore. Things are looking pretty bleak.iceman magneto days of future past

And here's Rogue appearing to get ready to use her powers on Kitty Pryde.rogue days of future past

For fans watching the movie knowing Rogue was cut, it's pretty evident this is where she most likely would have made her entrance. In this case, it would have made perfect sense for her character to aid Pryde.

Why It Was Cut

Kinberg went into depth with Empire magazine on why the scene didn't make it into the film.

Via Empire

“The Rogue subplot was originally there because I wanted a mission for the older Charles and Eric to do, something like Unforgiven – two last gunslingers, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman – that kind of a mission for them. I just loved the idea of that. Nothing in the story necessitated that, but just for a lark, I thought it would be a cool thing to see, because we may never see it again.

“But it does not service the main story. I thought it would increase the urgency and the stakes of the plot in the future, but it actually does the opposite, because it makes you feel like there is an answer out there. You think once Rogue gets here, we’ll have an unlimited amount of time. The ticking clock that we’d established with Kitty getting wounded and losing her powers… well, Rogue would show up and press stop on the clock. So for all of those narrative reasons, there was this ten-minute subplot that had to go.”

As Kinberg and Singer have said, the big rescue scene doesn't sound necessary (though cool nonetheless). 

However, if they really wanted to keep Paquin in the film, it would have made sense if Rogue was just with the group of X-Men from the movie's start so she could have helped out with Wolverine later on.

If you're bummed about the scene being cut, both Singer and Kinberg have said it will most likely appear as an extra once the film's released. 

*Earlier, I noted Rogue would most likely step in to borrow Wolverine’s healing powers to save a wounded Kitty Pryde, but as a reader pointed out Rogue would only be able to heal herself as opposed to other characters (sorry Kitty). The story has been edited to reflect this change.

SEE ALSO: Here's the "X-Men: Days of Future Past" actor who steals the movie

AND: 5 things you should know before seeing "Days of Future Past"

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James Cameron And Cirque du Soleil Team Up For Live 'Avatar' Tour

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Avatar movie

Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil and Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron announced a new partnership to develop an arena-touring show inspired by the world of Cameron's history-making motion picture, Avatar. This "live experience" is expected to debut late 2015 for what will become a global touring schedule.

The announcement was made in Montreal during the international business C2MTL- Commerce + Creativity Conference.

The live production will feature the creative signature drive of Cirque du Soleil in association with Cameron's and Jon Landau's Lightstorm Entertainment. The show is expected to debut before the first of three upcoming Avatar sequels, for which Cameron is currently in pre-production. Twentieth Century Fox, which financed and distributed Avatar, will bring the new films to theaters around the world and is also a partner on the live show.

Here's what Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre had to say about the project in a statement.

"Our relationship with Jim Cameron began with my visit at his Avatar cutting room. I am thrilled that almost 5 years later, Cirque du Soleil will be able to explore the very inspirational Avatar realm for the live stage. This will mark our second creative project with Jim and I believe it will be as stimulating for both our creative forces."

James Cameron had this to say about working with Cirque du Soleil in his statement.

"Over the years, I have discovered the extraordinary talents and imaginations of both the artists and the creative forces behind Cirque du Soleil. I know we share the common goal of bringing audiences to another level of entertainment experiences. I look forward to doing just that on this project."

Kathy Franklin, President of Franchise Development at Lightstorm Entertainment, offered her own statement.

"Audiences around the globe have embraced Avatar and we believe they will want to experience this amazing world in an entirely new way."

Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO, 20th Century Fox, issued his own statement.

"Avatar remains a phenomenon that continues to inspire people around the globe, and combining it with the live event ingenuity of Cirque du Soleil is a perfect synthesis of imagination and talent. As Jim Cameron prepares to take us to even greater heights with three new AVATAR films, we're thrilled with the innovative experience he's developing in this groundbreaking agreement with Cirque du Soleil."

Creative forces from Cirque du Soleil and Lightstorm Entertainment will meet and put in place a dedicated creative team, which will be announced at a later date.

Avatar was released December 18th, 2009 and stars Sam WorthingtonZoe Saldana,Sigourney WeaverStephen LangJoel MooreGiovanni RibisiMichelle Rodriguez,Laz Alonso. The film is directed by James Cameron.

SEE ALSO: Zoe Saldana And Sam Worthington Will Return For 3 'Avatar' Sequels

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Here's The Banned 'Sin City' Sequel Poster The MPAA Doesn't Want You To See

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A new poster for the upcoming "Sin City" sequel featuring actress Eva Green ("300: Rise of an Empire") is too sexy for American audiences.

Page Six reports the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rejected the following "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" poster"for nudity — curve of under breast and dark nipple/areola circle visible through sheer gown."

The poster has been making the rounds since on Reddit and features the "300: Rise of an Empire" actress alongside the words, "I've been especially bad."

sin city eva green banned poster

Less revealing posters featuring female leads Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson have already been released for The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films' picture.

According to Page Six, Dimension Films is currently "working on a compromise" with the MPAA.

The sequel is in theaters Aug. 22.

jessica alba sin city dame to kill forrosario dawson sin city dame to kill for

SEE ALSO: Here's what happens in Anna Paquin's deleted "X-Men: Days of Future Past" scene

AND: 15 movies you should see this summer

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‘Captain America’ Actor Says He Was Tackled By A ‘Very Famous Rapper’ During His Worst Audition

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anthony mackie the falcon

When “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” came to theaters this April, Anthony Mackie broke out as new superhero favorite, The Falcon. 

Before joining the Marvel team, things weren’t always so smooth for the actor. 

In a web exclusive video for “The Tonight Show,” Mackie detailed his worst audition ever involving a a fight he got into with a rapper. 

“I auditioned for a very famous rapper who was directing a movie and he came in during the middle of my audition and preceded to tell me that because I went to Juilliard, I wasn’t a real actor and I was an awful actor,” said Mackie. 

That didn’t sit well with him. 

“So I told him that his parents should have given him a proper burial as opposed to giving birth to him,” said Mackie. “He flipped the table and tackled me and all of his friends.” 

Mackie said it was so bad the cast and crew had to call security to pull them off of each other.  

It goes without saying Mackie didn’t get the role. 

While the actor didn’t reveal the identity of the rapper/director, a few rappers who went on to direct include RZA and 50 Cent 

Watch the actor recall the audition below: 

SEE ALSO: Here's the banned "Sin City" sequel poster the MPAA doesn't want you to see

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7 Reasons Why You Shouldn't See 'Maleficent' In 3-D

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Maleficent horns

You might think Sleeping Beauty told you all there is to know about the grand dame of villainy that is Maleficent. But Disney's latest live-action fantasy, Maleficent, will dare you to think again. Angelina Jolie stars as the titular bad fairy, headlining a fairy tale that challenges our perceptions of this iconic villainess. 

Our theatrical review will weigh in on whether or not this new release is worth your time, while this column will focus solely on the film's use of 3D. Considering seven separate categories, To 3D Or Not To 3D evaluates the full scope of the 3D viewing experience. Think of it as a consumer's guide for your movie-going.

Note: This reviewer screened a Real D 3D version of the film. 

1. FIT SCORE

On paper, Maleficent seems well-suited to 3D. As a fantasy adventure, it has action sequences, sprawling landscapes, and towering castles that could all be made more awe-inspiring with some well-executed 3D. Plus, the promise of flying fairies and fire-breathing dragons suggests Maleficent could have some great Before The Frame moments. 

2. PLANNING & EFFORT SCORE

Disney has made a lot of money with 3D, between offering 3D versions of new releases like Frozen and re-releasing their classic hits with 3D makeovers. So we can safely assume 3D was in the mix well before production began. However,Maleficent was shot in 2D with the help of a 3D consultant, then post-converted

Maleficent cinematographer Dean Semler has shot movies like Heaven Is For Realand Grudge Match, but has no eye-catching 3D titles to his credit. While first-time director Robert Stromberg has worked on 3D films like Avatar, Alice In Wonderland,and Oz The Great and Powerful, he did so as a production designer. So we have no reason to assume he has experience with the intricacies of shooting for this device. 

3. BEFORE THE WINDOW SCORE

Before The Window refers to the element of 3D that appear to reach out through the screen and into your theater. You'd think with fairies, dragons, pointy thorns and Jolie's sharp cheekbones, there'd be plenty of places to make things pop. But I saw none actually protrude. 

Maleficent full costume4. BEYOND THE WINDOW SCORE

Alternately, Beyond The Window refers to 3D's ability to enhance the depth of field, making it seem like you could step right through the screen and into a fully fledged world. This is clearly where Maleficent is meant to shine, with its flowing landscapes of forests and thorns, its grand castles with deep halls, and battlefields studded by soldiers. In scenes like these, Maleficent does dazzle, adding depth of field and a bit of wonder to the works. 

5. BRIGHTNESS SCORE

A tool of 3D that can trip up a movie is those darned 3D glasses that by their very design make things look dimmer. To counteract this, conversions need to be sure to accommodate so audiences who see a film in 3D aren't losing the details for the depth. Maleficent is thoroughly draped in grey tones, so the addition of the 3D glasses is a major problem. Night-set scenes will definitely have you squinting, and as Maleficent brings literal darkness with her wherever she goes, there are a lot of them.

6. GLASSES OFF SCORE

For a simple test to essentially see how much 3D you're getting in a given scene, remove your 3D glasses. Observe the blurs. Put them back on and see the images pop anew. While Maleficent has a lot of 3D flaws, it passes this test with flying colors. Every time I ran this test, the screen was a mess of blurs for all the layers built in post-conversion. 

Maleficent, Jolie, quiet7. AUDIENCE HEALTH SCORE

Bad 3D can actually be bad for you, causing nausea, headaches or eyestrain. For all the squinting through night scenes, I didn't experience major discomfort in Maleficent. However, Stromberg made several shot choices that are jarring to the eye. 

For one thing, scenes of Maleficent flying has her soaring fast and furious, but she's going so fast, it's actually difficult to focus your eye on her. Similar issues arose for me during battle scenes. Quick pans defy your eyes to focus as they zip across sword-swinging soldiers and branch-wielding tree monsters. Plus, one particular scene of dialogue cut so quickly between its two characters that my eyes fluttered trying to find focus. Irritating yes, but none of this was actually painful. So that's something, I guess. 

Final Verdict: Don't see this in 3D. There are moments where the device offers some added dazzle, but by and large, the 3D post convert makes Maleficent dimmer and darker, distracting instead of enhancing. Save the money on the padded ticket price, and treat yourself to some candy instead. 

SEE ALSO: Angelina Jolie Is The Best Part Of ‘Maleficent’

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'E.T.' Was Initially A Horror Film And Here Are The Original Designs To Prove It

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Steven Spielberg’s classic “E.T.” is heralded as one of the director’s best works today. It’s also one of the highest-grossing. 

However, you may not realize the film about a friendly extraterrestrial was originally envisioned as a horror movie that was supposed to be a sequel to Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." 

The movie, then referred to as “Night Skies,” was supposed to feature aliens “who could kill each other” using the tips of their fingers, according to Time. There was also a good alien in the group, too, named Buddy who more or less reflected E.T.  

Spielberg ultimately deemed the idea too dark and we ended up with the film we know today.  

Since the idea for “Night Skies” was tossed around, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there were some early ideas of how the aliens should look. 

Special effects artist Rick Baker recently shared some of his original concept art and designs for the aliens from "E.T." and "Night Skies" on Twitter, and boy are they a lot different from the alien we grew up with. 

First, here’s the cuddly E.T. we know:E.T.

Below are some of the images Baker shared of a much different, angrier alien.

This alien may look kind of unrecognizable now ... 

... but take off the top of the head and there's a familiar face underneath.

Here's the design of the full alien which had a preying mantis-like arm.

An entire clan of extraterrestrials!e.t. concept art

This one's a bit cuter.

SEE ALSO: Here's the banned "Sin City" sequel poster the MPAA doesn't want you to see

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The Real-Life Science Behind Summer's Biggest Sci-Fi Movies

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Mechanized suits, alien apes, dinosaur robots -- this summer's blockbusters are brimming with scientific-sounding conceits. But is there any real science to back them up? While you watch, here's something to chew on (besides the popcorn). 

edge of tomorrow tom cruise

DIGITAL EFFECT: AN ALIEN-BLASTING EXOSKELETON

In Edge of Tomorrow, exoskeletons play a critical role in humanity’s desperate last stand against alien invaders. It would be easy to assume the futuristic systems are digital illusions, mapped to the actors’ movements, but they’re actually elaborate props. The modeler, Pierre Bohanna, made each suit from 350 to 400 discrete components that together form a fully articulating device. The materials include standard nylon, high-grade aluminum, and a lightweight polymer created specifically for the film. “It’s not a costume,” Bohanna says, “it’s a machine.” 

Unfortunately for the actors, the humans power the suits, not vice versa. They had to sprint through battle scenes lugging 72 to 132 extra pounds. “These things were incredibly hard work, and all of the actors and stunt guys had to do boot camp in them,” says Bohanna. That sweat on Tom Cruise’s brow? It’s real too.  

Drax illustration

WOULD ADVANCED, INTELLIGENT EXTRATERRESTRIALS LOOK ANYTHING LIKE US?

The Answer: There’s nothing mysterious about Hollywood’s love affair with humanoid aliens. It’s easier to throw prosthetics and face paint on actors than it is to fabricate (or animate) menageries of wildly inhuman characters. But if we apply lessons from our own evolution to other worlds, then filmmakers might not be so far off. 

According to Stuart Sumida, a biologist at California State University at San Bernardino who served as a consultant on Guardians of the Galaxy, an alien advanced enough to master space travel would need to have a large brain. “If you have a big brain, you need a way to protect it,” Sumida says. That means a skull, which rules out whole taxonomies of worms, slugs, and other potential invertebrates. And because exoskeletons would become untenable as they scale up in size, collapsing under their weight in all but the lowest gravities, insects can be reasonably ruled out. Throw in the ability to manipulate tools, and our otherworldly companions start to look pretty familiar. 

But even with prominent brains, bones, and dexterous appendages, there’s no reason to assume that distant species would look like slight variations of us. “The fact that we have four appendages is an accident of evolution,” says Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. “Most of the critters on our planet have six.” Natural selection could produce aliens with a more efficient physiological layout: Instead of walking on two legs, for example, which enables humans to hold babies and tools while on the move, an extraterrestrial might have more speed and stability on four or more lower limbs. They could have more arms for manipulating tools, ground-hugging postures to better hide from predators, or any number of features that don’t mesh with the Wookiees, Klingons, and other near-humans that make up science fiction’s interspecies melting pot.

Inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy

The Plot: After stealing a mysterious orb from the wrong guy—an alien hell-bent on galactic domination—a group of criminals become unlikely heroes. Although the swashbuckling sci-fi flick is part of Marvel’s combined cinematic universe (along with The Avengers), most of its larger-than-life characters aren’t superhumans but humanoid aliens.

Sci-Fi Debut: H.G. Wells’ 1901 novel, The First Men in the Moon, features the dwarfish, insectoid Selenites, who wear clothes, use tools, and don’t take kindly to visits from Earthlings.

Serkis, Planet of the Apes, motion

DIGITAL EFFECT: ULTRA-REAL APES

New Orleans in mid-July is no place for a chimp. The sweltering, mosquito-assaulted set of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a minor marvel of engineering, a three-story habitat with interlacing tree trunks, recessed rooms and passages, and a flowing aqueduct that’s turned the ground level into a swamp of pooling water and sucking mud. The filmmakers call it Ape Village, and it really does look like something hyperintelligent, domineering apes might construct. Until, that is, you notice the dozens of motion-capture cameras dotting the structure, and the guys in gray full-body suits, broiling in the merciless sun and steamy humidity. They’re the sweatiest, most miserable make-believe chimps imaginable.

And then they start to move. Two of the gray suits scramble up the sides of the habitat, grabbing camouflaged handholds, without the benefit of safety harnesses or mats. They leap between set elements like trained acrobats, which, in fact, they are. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes (released in 2011) relied on stunt people, the sequel to the sci-fi reboot has cast Cirque du Soleil performers. “Instead of a VFX [visual effects] guy trying to make up what it would be like for a chimpanzee to fly from limb to limb, now we have guys that can actually jump the 20 feet,” says producer Dylan Clark. 

From a VFX standpoint, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes isn’t a single leap of faith but a series of them. The first movie redefined what was possible with performance capture, turning Caesar, a chimp played by Andy Serkis, into a believable full-computer-generated (CG) character. Dawn features a much larger cast of apes, and their expanded screen time makes for a much bigger challenge. Standard procedure for performance capture is to confine actors to indoor green-screen environments and rely solely on head-mounted cameras to film their actions. For Dawn, VFX supervisor Joe Letteri decided to gather data on an outdoor set by surrounding the actors with constellations of small motion-capture cameras.

Planet of the Apes, horse, serkis,

The cameras track LED-lit balls Velcroed to the actors’ suits and reflective markers applied to their faces. “Then we use a learning algorithm to give us the best guess of what all the points of the face are doing in three dimensions,” Letteri says. The result is performance capture that’s extremely detailed and flexible, as multiple cameras pick up nuances of expression and chemistry between actors that might otherwise be lost. With more data at their disposal, animators can imbue the entire supporting cast of 3-D–modeled primates with the same uncanny flicker of intelligence that made Caesar an instant CG star.

It’s this mixture of practical and digital, human and inhuman, that will make or break Dawn. Because unlike the monsters, mutants, and other VFX-enhanced flights of fancy populating sci-fi flicks, apes (even smart ones) aren’t imaginary. “We want the chimpanzees to act and look and be photorealistic,” Clark says. “We want this movie to feel real. If we pull this off, it’ll be supercool.”

 hybrids Jupiter Ascending

WOULD COMBINING HUMAN AND ANIMAL DNA CREATE SUPERPOWERED BEINGS?

The Answer: The filmmakers of Jupiter Ascending augmented human characters with animal genes to make them more physically imposing. In reality, human-animal hybrids have never been people with animal traits but, rather, animals tweaked to host or benefit from human biology. The first documented example occurred in 2004, when the Mayo Clinic injected human stem cells into fetal pigs, creating swine with human blood in order to study how viruses jump between species. Last year, neuroscientists at Stanford University boosted the intelligence of mice with human brain cells. In both cases, researchers sidestepped any actual genetic engineering by simply introducing foreign tissue and letting it take root.

In theory, similar experiments on humans could yield incredible results, such as modifying photoreceptors to enable catlike night vision, or borrowing a newt’s ability to regrow amputated limbs. But even if blithely injecting human fetuses with feline or amphibian cells weren’t an ethical black hole (and it absolutely is), the brute-force approach could easily backfire: The body’s immune system typically attacks alien tissue. The Stanford team avoided rejection by permanently suppressing their subjects’ immune systems, 
a solution that would leave humans vulnerable to catastrophic disease and infection.

According to Randy Lewis, a biologist at Utah State University, the problem with chimeric enhancements is their complexity. It’s one thing to flip a single protein, as he did to create transgenic goats that produce spider-silk protein in their milk. But adding complex traits like strength or regeneration? “To do that requires a tremendous amount of genetic engineering,” says Lewis. Until scientists achieve a profound understanding of human and animal genomes, superhuman hybrids will remain little more than a cinematic confection.

Inspired by Jupiter Ascending

The Plot: The universe is filled with human-animal hybrids and ruled by an intergalactic monarchy (news to Earthlings). When an unassuming janitor is targeted for assassination, a part-human, part-canine mercenary comes to her rescue.

Sci-Fi Debut: The Beast Folk lurching through H.G. Wells’s 1896 novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau, are created through grisly surgical experiments.

Moving camera, Jupiter Ascending

DIGITAL EFFECT: GRAVITY-DEFYING ACTION

The most technically challenging scene in Jupiter Ascending shows the movie’s hero (Channing Tatum) zipping through the city in antigravity boots, fleeing a spaceship in pursuit of his cargo (Mila Kunis). “Most people will probably think it’s digital, but it’s not,” says VFX supervisor Dan Glass. Rather, the sequence features stunt doubles suspended from a helicopter as it banks through Chicago’s urban canyons. 

Glass’s team had only 15 minutes a day to film the scene­—a tiny window of predawn light­—so they created a camera capable of squeezing more photography into each shoot. Mounted to the nose of a helicopter, the six-camera rig (called the Panocam) could capture nearly 180 degrees of footage. 
By stitching together multiple overlapping angles, the filmmakers could effectively pivot and swing through the action in postproduction, regardless of the helicopter’s actual flight path. Not surprisingly, the innovation quickly attracted the attention of other directors. “That rig is now used on most of the movies that followed us,” says Glass.

Robots, Transformers, Dinos

WOULD ROBOTS BENEFIT FROM BIO-INSPIRED REPRODUCTION, AS OPPOSED TO SIMPLE REPLICATION?

The Answer: The giant alien robots in Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise aren’t built in factories. They’re grown in egglike pods and referred to as hatchlings, and they exhibit the kind of physical and behavioral diversity that implies something closer to biological reproduction than mass assembly. Just as no two humans are identical (with the exception of twins), each Autobot and Decepticon is unique in character and form, whether it’s a humorless tractor-trailer or a hot-tempered Tyrannosaur. 

The Transformers, in other words, seem to be products of evolutionary robotics, a burgeoning field of research that applies biological principles to the creation and behavior of robots. Rather than simply engineering a bot to perform a given task, such as moving toward a light, researchers can plug that goal into a computer program and let genetic algorithms automatically breed a variety of designs. And since those algorithms mimic nature, modeling the effects of mutation, selection, and other biological processes, the designs they produce are often surprising. “The computer will evolve machines for us that have shapes we would never have thought of,” says Josh Bongard, an evolutionary roboticist at the University of Vermont. Even with very few parts and motors at their disposal, bots born from algorithms have eked out efficient locomotion from such varied forms as an undulating fish and a shuffling pyramid.

In other words, robots that evolve, whether by gestating in eggs or via genetic algorithms, could benefit from the same diversity and convenient mutations that make some living species so resilient. But just as unchecked Transformer reproduction could be bad news for any humans caught in the inevitable crossfire, machines could be dangerous too, Bongard cautions, if they were to evolve without strict guidance. “Self-reproducing robots would, by definition, be a runaway process,” he says. “They could surprise us in unpleasant ways.”

Inspired by Transformers: Age of Extinction

The Plot: The fourth installment in the Transformers series continues the story of a race of robots at war with itself. Joining the battle this go-round is the species’ most exotic specimens yet, the Dinobots.

Sci-Fi Debut: Karel Capek’s 1920  play, R.U.R., ends with a pair of factory-built lovers seemingly destined to become the new, world-populating Adam and Eve.

Beast illustration, X-men

CAN MUTATION REALLY SPAWN MONSTERS, SUPERPOWERS, OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD CONQUER EARTH?

The Answer: Science fiction has long relied on mutation as an evolutionary shortcut. Sometimes it’s the work of external forces, as with the atomic testing that gave rise to Godzilla in the original 1954 film, and the glowing “ooze” that turned garden-variety turtles into man-size martial artists. At other points it’s a naturally occurring hiccup, like the “X-Gene” that allowed superhumans to manipulate brain waves or magnetic fields. The common thread is speed: Within a single generation, the protagonists are transformed.

It’s an interpretation that’s correct in spirit: Genes can mutate spontaneously or be manipulated in the lab to create new traits. Take, for example, the ability of most adult humans to process lactose in dairy products. Researchers believe this mutation, a kind of gastrointestinal superpower, began in Europe some 7,500 years ago. The sudden change led to a significant long-term benefit for our species, enabling us to add a range of nutritional options. While humanity owes a debt to that mystery mutant, cheese-eating is a minor ability compared to the laser beams and claws erupting from X-Men.

Bruce Demple, a biochemist at Stony Brook University, cites more dramatic examples of single mutations—“the kind of things that screenwriters might think about,” he says. “But mostly you see these things in experimental settings.” With targeted chemical mutagens, geneticists have pulled off feats both impressive, such as increasing the circumference of macaque monkeys’ thigh muscles by 15 percent, and flat-out disturbing, like making legs sprout from the heads of fruit flies. Researchers have also used radiation to increase random mutations. 

But the difference between these lab-grown mutants and their Hollywood counterparts comes down to luck. Movie characters didn’t just win the mutation lottery once, gaining a single incredible ability without chemicals or radiation mortally fraying their DNA. They won again and again, packing on good traits, dodging bad ones, and transforming into creatures that would normally require multiple generations and countless failed attempts. In reality, the road to monstrous success would be paved with the corpses of almost-Godzillas and near–Ninja Turtles.

Inspired by Godzilla, TMNT, X-Men: Days of Future Past

The Plots: Godzilla clashes with even more malevolent titans, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fight crime in (and under) New York City, and the X-Men send Wolverine back in time to prevent a robot uprising. In all three films, mutation unleashes the organism’s inner badass.

Sci-Fi Debut: Radiation exposure transforms The Metal Man of Jack Williamson’s eponymous 1928 short story into the progenitor of today’s fictional mutants.

transformers 4 optimus prime dinobot

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: HUMANS VS. ALIENS, LIVE ACTION

Let’s assume the worst: that aliens exist, and they’re invading our humble home world. What sort of high-tech weapons would a desperate human race rush out of the lab and into battle? We asked Suveen Mathaudhu,
a program manager and materials scientist at the U.S. Army Research Office, what we could plausibly throw at such a doomsday scenario.

EXOSKELETONS

Combat exoskeletons, like the ones in Edge of Tomorrow, could enable infantry to carry increased firepower, Mathau­dhu says. Guns that would normally generate too much recoil for the human body could instead be mounted on the suit, distributing that force throughout the frame. Today’s exosuits are too power-hungry to be effectively fielded, but the use of titanium, magnesium, and other ultrastrong, ultralight alloys could reduce their energy consumption. “You’re going to have lower fuel usage because you’re not carrying around a steel exoskeleton,” Mathaudhu says.

BIOWEAPONS

If the common cold can repel Martian occupiers in The War of the Worlds, why not hurl even more virulent, weapon­ized bugs at the enemy? Although bioweapon stockpiles are in short supply (with very good reason), Mathaudhu is confident that geneticists could synthesize whatever new plagues seem useful. “If we assume that life evolved similarly in other parts of the universe, wherever these creatures came from, our tools may work similarly on them,” he says. The technology that has revolutionized genetic analysis, allowing for whole-genome sequencing of human DNA, could also enable a precision pathogen of last resort. 

GROUND DRONES

When push comes to shove, we’d shove robots onto the front lines. “If we were forced into some sort of Apollo moment by a massive war, the majority of the efforts would go toward unmanned ground vehicles and robotics,” Mathaudhu says. A robot army might be less versatile than a living one, but the bots would excel as cannon fodder during the early stages of conflict, providing intel on alien weapons and tactics before being blown to bits. “The hesitation to put a soldier in the field against an unknown threat would be countered by robotic technology,” Mathaudhu says. Who needs nerves of steel when your soldiers are made of it? 

This article originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of Popular Science.

This article originally appeared on Popular Science

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SEE ALSO: The Poison That Killed A Major Game Of Thrones Character Is Real

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The Most And Least Liked Summer Movie Actresses, Ranked

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jennifer lawrence oscars 2014

Jennifer Lawrence appears to be the most-liked summer film actress — were you expecting someone else?

A study of adults 18-49 conducted for TheWrap found that the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” star has a 27 Positive Q Score, well-above average for a celebrity. Q Scores are a research tool used by TV networks as well as studios in determining how favorably or unfavorably celebrities are viewed by consumers.

Lawrence topped her closest fellow actress, Melissa McCarthy (“Tammy”), by two points. “Maleficent” actress Angelina Jolie and Rachel McAdams of “A Most Wanted Man” tied for third among actresses, each with a 23.

Here's how Q Scores work. The Q Scores company provides a celebrity's name and a brief description to more than 1,800 study participants. The viewers are asked if they recognize the person, and how they feel about him or her.

The average among actresses in our study was a Positive Q Score of 18.

Amy Poehler (“They Came Together”) and Shailene Woodley (“The Fault in Our Stars”) both earned a 22.

However, Woodley's comes with an asterisk. The young actress had a low recognition level last year, the last time she was measured. Her 15 score in awareness renders her Q Score unstable.

With a 21, Meryl Streep (“The Giver”)  leads four actresses tied at 20: Drew Barrymore, Emma Stone, Mila Kunis and Charlize Theron.

Also read: The Most and Least Liked Summer Movie Actors – Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

On the wrong end of the rankings is Rosario Dawson (“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”), who pulled in just a 10 Positive Q Score, good for last place in the summer study. But her last available measurement was in 2010.

Elizabeth Olsen (“Godzilla”), with a 12, is up one spot. Rose Byrne (“Neighbors”) and Keira Knightley were a point higher, with Emily Blunt getting a 14 in a 2010 study — the most recent number for her. Elisabeth Banks and Kate Hudson tied with Blunt.

Scarlett Johansson scored a 17, one more point than Megan Fox, and two above Zoe Saldana.

Here are the full rankings:

Q Scores Summer Actresses

Read more of TheWrap's Q Score Series:

The Most and Least Liked Summer Movie Actors – Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

The Most and Least Liked Potential Letterman Replacements – From Ellen DeGeneres to Conan O'Brien

The Most and Least Liked TV Newscasters – From Scott Pelley to Chris Matthews

The Most and Least Liked Late Night Talk Show Hosts: From Stephen Colbert to Arsenio Hall

SEE ALSO: It Takes A Crazy Amount Of Time For Jennifer Lawrence To Get Into Her Blue 'X-Men' Makeup

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15 Secret References You Never Noticed In Your Favorite Movies

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The Departed X death

The best part about rewatching movies is catching hidden references you didn't see the first time around.

These hidden references are sometimes known as Easter eggs. They can be anything from an inside joke on set to a shout-out to another film.

From "Star Wars" to "The Godfather," let's go on a scavenger hunt for some of the best hidden references in your favorite films.

Most movie Easter eggs subtly reference another piece of pop culture. For example, 1982's "Tron" hid the arcade favorite "Pac-Man" on a map within the film's video-game-like grid.



They can also be used by directors to acknowledge one another. This was the case when Steven Spielberg's 1981 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" included a hieroglyphic of R2-D2 and C-3PO from George Lucas' 1977 "Star Wars."



Spielberg did it again when he named a club in 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" after the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A Few Of Marvel's Future Projects May Be In Trouble

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Over the weekend, Disney lost not one, but two directors on future Marvel projects.  

Late Friday, Marvel announced director Edgar Wright ("Hot Fuzz") departed next summer’s “Ant-Man” movie. Shortly afterward, word spread that showrunner Drew Goddard was leaving Disney’s “Daredevil” project that’s heading exclusively to Netflix. 

The consensus from the film community was a collective display of shock: What is going on? 

Up until now, Disney's Marvel machine has cranked out success after success. Its recent "Captain America" sequel has taken in more than $700 million worldwide.

These two announcements suggest all may not be well behind the scenes as Disney attempts to continue its domineering comic book franchise.

The first piece of news was a giant blow since Wright invested a lot of time and effort on “Ant-Man,” attached to the film since 2006.

edgar wright ant-man“Ant-Man” is set to be the first film released after next year’s “Avengers” sequel. It will be the start of “phase three” of Marvel’s giant cinematic universe, so for Wright to leave something must have went very, very wrong. 

The film's release was recently moved up from Nov. 6, 2015 to mid-July after Warner Bros.' "Batman V Superman" movie was pushed back 10 months

The explanation for Wright's departure is being labeled as creative differences and script rewrites from Marvel brass who wanted to insert established characters into the film.

According to Latino Review, that didn’t sit well with Wright after his script was heavily altered. 

Via Latino Review 

"The meat of the notes were about the core morality of the piece, must include franchise characters. etc., These notes came from the big four at Marvel. Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright did two drafts to try and answer the notes without compromising their vision. 6 weeks ago Marvel took the script off them and gave the writing assignment to two very low credit writers. One of the writers was from Marvel’s in house writing team. Edgar stayed cool, agreed to stay on the project, and read the draft. The script came in this week and was completely undone. Poorer, homogenized, and not Edgar’s vision. Edgar met with Marvel on Friday to formally exit and the announcement went out directly after." 

In interviews, Wright has said his idea for the film was to be a standalone film, something that may not have gone over well since Disney and Marvel have been very particular about connecting its films — and TV show— into a larger franchise engine.

By 2011, Wright said a third draft of the film’s script had been completed.

After that, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said "Ant-Man" needed to be reworked to fit into the larger Marvel Universe citing that the movie was in development prior to the release of the first "Iron Man."

Regarding the "Daredevil" news, the TV project will try and reintroduce the character since a 2003 film adaptation featuring Ben Affleck was heavily panned by critics and fans alike.

According to Marvel, Goddard left the Disney and Marvel project to work on another comic book movie— Sony's upcoming "Amazing Spider-Man" spinoff film "The Sinister Six."

Soon after Goddard's departure, Marvel announced Steven S. DeKnight ("Spartacus") will take over as showrunner. Goddard will remain on board as an executive producer. The 13-episode series is set to debut in 2015.

Here's where the success of Disney's Marvel multi-faceted universe will prove its strength.

daredevil

While Marvel has already established a core group of very successful superheroes in Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, it now must do that all over again with "Guardians of the Galaxy" in August and then Ant-Man and Daredevil.

None of the superheroes are really well known to a general audience, and what is known about the latter isn't exactly great. (Even Affleck has spoken out against that film.)

The direction of the "Ant-Man" film should cause some concern since Wright — who was so passionately involved in the project for nearly a decade, teasing it at Comic Con conventions for years — left when the film is due out in almost a year's time.

Though Disney has said otherwise, that exit may push the movie back if a replacement for Wright isn't found soon as production had been set to begin mid-2014.

Disney and Marvel obviously know what they're doing with superhero movies — they've brought some of the biggest franchises to screen — however, at the same time, making every single film need to fit inside the already established franchise starts to limit the amount of creative license any one director can have on future characters as Marvel's Cinematic Universe only grows larger.

SEE ALSO: Edgar Wright exits "Ant-Man"

AND: The first real competition to Disney's Avengers has arrived

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