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Apple Dedicates A Section Of Its iTunes Store To Honor Robin Williams' Films And Comedy (AAPL)


Robin Williams Apple iTunes Store page

Apple has set up a "Remembering Robin Williams" section in its iTunes Store to honor the late comedian and movie star.

The tribute includes a paragraph that reflects on Williams' career in standup and award-winning films and also makes mention of his charitable work with Comic Relief USA, a charity that has raised over $50 million to give assistance and health services to the homeless.

Robin Williams Apple iTunes store tributeThe page includes over 40 of Williams' movies and comedy albums, and is divided into subsections such as "Essentials,""Comedy,""Drama," and "More to Explore."

According As MacRumors point out, Apple's "Your Verse" iPad advertisements were actually inspired by Williams' speech in "Dead Poets Society" where he said the famous line "What will your verse be?" That's been an ongoing theme in iPad commercials lately.

You can watch the stirring iPad ad featuring narration from Robin Williams below.

SEE ALSO: In Memory Of Robin Williams, Here Are 10 Of His Best Moments On Film

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Robin Williams' Friends Are Arguing Over Whether Money Troubles Led To His Suicide


robin williams crazy ones

Depending on your point of view, Robin Williams was either a wealthy man who made sure his children were properly provided for and could afford to pay his ex-wives generous alimony, or he was stressed by the way his vast fortune had been drained and was forced to take a TV role — which was then cancelled — to pay the bills.

We'll never know Williams' true feelings about his financial situation, following his death by suicide Aug. 11. Business Insider noted a few hours later that while the actor once had a net worth of $130 million, he had also complained about being on the brink of bankruptcy following two divorces that cost him $30 million. He was also trying unsuccessfully to sell a house once valued at $35 million.

"There are bills to pay. My life has downsized, in a good way,"Williams told Parade magazine in 2013. "I'm selling the ranch up in Napa. I just can't afford it anymore."

Radar reported that Williams felt forced to take a role on the TV show "The Crazy Ones" because he needed the cashflow. That show was cancelled recently — an event that is a humiliation in any actor's career.

But the idea that he was pushed over the edge by impending poverty is false, according to a source who talked to Gossip Cop:

Gossip Cop spoke to a friend of Williams, who made it clear that any talk of financial woes are “inaccurate” and “not fair.”

Sure, Williams was generous with loved ones and lost a lot of cash in his divorces to Valerie Velardi and Marsha Garces, but he was still a very wealthy man, by all measures.

Williams’ longtime friend understood why the media would glom onto RadarOnline’s untrue report, stating, “Human nature is to say, ‘This is why,’” but that’s not the case.

It is probably not the case that Williams was close to bankruptcy — his vast back catalog of movies is still earning royalties that would have adequately provided for him for life. But while downscaling a bit might not have upset an ordinary person it may have loomed larger in Williams' troubled mind.

SEE ALSO: Robin Williams Set Up A 3-Part Trust Fund For His Kids Amid Money Troubles Before Death

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Warner Bros. Has An Unusual Plan To Bring You The Best 'Aquaman' Movie Possible



It's not usually a great sign for a character's standing in pop culture when a filmmaker has to publicly explain why they are interesting and worth an audience's time, but that doesn't appear to be stopping DC Comics and Warner Bros. from moving forward with big screen plans for Aquaman. It was first rumored back in mid-June that Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa would be making an appearance as the superhero in Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that's not all the studios have planned. Apparently there is a solo movie in the works as well, and today two writers have been hired to work on scripts. 

This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter, which says that both Will Beall and Kurt Johnstad have been hired to start working on Aquaman - but they won't be working together. Instead, each of them will be working on their own screenplay, and which ever one is deemed best will be adapted as a part of DC's growing Cinematic Universe. The assumption is that the aquatic superhero movie will be one of the nine untitled projects that have been announced to be released between now and 2020, but obviously we don't know where it will fit in at this point. The three earliest dates following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's release in March 2016 are August 5, 2016, June 23, 2017, and November 17, 2017. 

Both Beall and Johnstad have interesting connections both with the DC Cinematic Universe and the filmmakers already involved. Back in June 2012, Beall was hired to pen a brand new Justice League movie - though in February 2013 it was reported that the screenplay had been scrapped due to lack of quality. Beall has also worked with Warner Bros. before, having scripted the period crime drama Gangster Squad. Johnstad, meanwhile, has close ties to Batman vs. Superman director Zack Snyder, having co-written the screenplays for both 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire with him. His only other feature writing credit was the "Real Navy SEALs" movie Act of Valor, which came out in 2012. 

Given how many projects Warner Bros. and DC Comics have in development, it's hard to say if this hiring is part of long-term or short-term planning. Aquaman is certainly considered one of the classic members of the Justice League, and it makes a good amount of sense that the studios would want to give audiences a chance to really get to know him in his own solo movie before having him jump into a team-up right at the start. On the other hand, the marine superhero may still be considered a risky project - which means that the studio may want to see how audiences react to him before committing to a lone underwater adventure. 

Because it definitely seems like it's in the works, when would you like to see an Aquaman movie: sooner or later? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

SEE ALSO: Here's a breakdown of the competing Marvel and DC movie release schedule

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Michael Bay May Not Direct The Next 'Transformers' Movie


michael bay transformers

The overall box office has been down this summer despite there being an atypical number of genuinely good movies in theaters, but one film that didn’t disappoint at the box office was "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

Though the pic will likely be eclipsed stateside by "Guardians of the Galaxy" as the top domestic earner of the summer, "Age of Extinction" has already crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide. Consequently, of course there will be a "Transformers 5," but the question now turns to who will direct it. Michael Bay has helmed each and every "Transformers "movie thus far, even though he briefly gave up directing duties on "Transformers 4" before ultimately deciding to helm the movie anyway. Now Bay is apparently planning on handing over the "Transformers 5" director chair to another filmmaker, but will it hold? 

Buried in a USA Today article on the Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (via /Film), comes the news that Bay is currently planning on not directing Transformers 5:

Bay, 49, believes he will pass the baton for future Transformer movies to a new director while he turns his focus elsewhere.

Bay himself elaborated on this “new direction” for the filmmaker:

“There’s kind of a new chapter, a new direction in movies I want to make,” says Bay, who is eyeing a passion project, a documentary on elephant poaching. “I have a lot of stories to tell. And it’s about flexing new muscles.”

michael bay transformers 4 setWhen Steve spoke to Bay at the Age of Extinction junket, the filmmaker admitted that he honestly didn’t know if he’d be returning to direct Transformers 5, but he did question how much more he could bring to the franchise:

“They are so f---ing hard to make.  They’re hard.  4,000 people worked on [Age of Extinction], and it’s every day for two years, seven days a week… How long can you do Transformers, you know what I’m saying?  And after you see this movie, you think, ‘Well what the hell am I going to do next?’”

But of course, Bay said similar comments after directing "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," expressing his desire for a new filmmaker to come and inject his or her own sensibilities into the franchise, only to decide to semi-reboot the Transformers world himself.  After looking at the grosses of each film in the franchise, you can bet that Paramount and the Transformers producers will do everything in their power to woo Bay back for T5, but will the filmmaker be swayed or will he finally step back and hand over the reins?  Time will tell.

What do you think, readers?  Do you want to see Bay stick with the franchise, or would you rather him make another Pain & Gain-type movie?  If Bay does depart Transformers, who would you like to see step in and take over the world?  Sound off in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: "Age of Extinction" was the most difficult "Transformers" movie to make

AND: Here are all the vehicles you'll see turn into Transformers in "Age of Extinction"

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‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Becomes First Soundtrack in History Without New Songs To Land No. 1 Spot


guardians of the galaxy awesome mix 1Star-Lord's “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” is No. 1.

The soundtrack to Marvel blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” has reached the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart. It's the second movie soundtrack to do so this year, following the success of “Frozen.”

Billboard reports the album sold 109,000 copies last weak, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The sales are up 83 percent from the 60,000 units sold in its first week of release earlier this month.

“Awesome Mix,” a title derived directly from the film in which Chris Pratt‘s character risks his life to save an old cassette player andtape to preserve his last connection to Earth, consists of 12 songs from the '60s and '70s. 11 were featured in the film.

The success marks the first time a soundtrack consisting entirely of previously released songs has topped the chart.

“Awesome Mix” consists of a number of singles that climbed the Billboard Hot 100 upon their initial release, including the Jackson 5's “I Want You Back” and Blue Swede's “Hooked on a Feeling.”

Also read: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Director James Gunn Writes Heartfelt Letter to Thank Fans for Record-Breaking Debut

Director James Gunn‘s “Guardians” has been a hit with critics and audiences, raking in over $319.1 million worldwide since opening on Aug. 1.

Upon hearing the news, Gunn took to Facebook to comment, “All those days as a child I spent locked in a room listening to AM radio were not wasted! ”

“Somewhere in a boardroom right now a movie executive is trying to give a film that's not testing well the ‘Guardians soundtrack treatment but with a new twist’ – say, nineties grunge hits over a buddy action comedy,” Gunn added. “This is something you will not thank me for.”

SEE ALSO: Photos Of Lee Pace's Transformation Into The 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Villain

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5 Underrated Roles Where Robin Williams Stole The Spotlight


robin williams bobcat goldthwaitSince Robin Williams' death Monday, many are recalling his most memorable roles in Oscar-nominated films "Good Will Hunting" and "Dead Poets Society," along with Disney's "Aladdin." 

While plenty of Robin's most well-known comedy bits, movie scenes, and inspirational speeches have been making the rounds, there are many wonderful performances of his that seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Williams was an incredibly versatile actor whose on-screen presence always elevated the material no matter how small or large the role.

Here are five examples of Robin's lesser-known films in which his performance stood out.

5. "Deconstructing Harry" (1997)

Robin may have only been on-screen for a couple of minutes, but his cameo in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry" as a man who is permanently "out-of-focus" is so delightfully silly that it may be the most memorable scene in the entire film.

4. "One Hour Photo" (2002)

Mark Romanek's unsettling debut feature stars Robin Williams in what has to be the darkest, creepiest, and least comedic role of his career. Robin plays a pharmacy photo lab clerk who becomes obsessed with a family whose photos he's been developing for years, and his performance totally anchors what is essentially a one-man-show. "One Hour Photo" is a bleak character study of a very disturbed individual, and while that fact may now hit too close to home, it doesn't take away from his extraordinary performance.

3. "Ferngully: The Last Rainforest" (1992)

Everyone seems to remember William as the genie in Disney's "Aladdin," but Robin also voiced a role in the cult favorite animated film "Ferngully: The Last Rainforest." Much like "Aladdin," Williams acts as the film's comic relief, this time playing a witty, rapping fruitbat named Batty. The environmentally concious, kid-friendly film has since become a cult classic and many claim it inspired James Cameron's "Avatar," though Cameron himself would disagree.

2. "Death to Smoochy" (2002)

This 2002 box-office bomb gets a bad wrap — it's actually a gleefully twisted satire that just may have been a little too over-the-top for its own good. The film (directed by Danny DeVito) cost a reported $50 million to produce and barely managed to gross $8 million during its entire theatrical run. Williams plays a publicly disgraced children's TV show host named Rainbow Randolph who gets replaced by a Barney-esque character named Smoochy (played by Edward Norton). As the title indicates, Rainbow Randolph doesn't take this career change lightly. The film may be crass and mean-spirited, but there's so many talented and funny people involved that it manages to remain engaging and fun. 

1. "World's Greatest Dad" (2009)

Robin Williams' performance in Bobcat Goldthwait's "World's Greatest Dad" is easily one of the best performances of his career. The underseen film suffered from a very limited release (during its widest theatrical release it was playing on just 30 screens) but has since found a second-life thanks to home video and streaming services.  

This film in particular will be quite difficult to revisit now, as suicide is a major theme, but the overall message will only be more relevant and profound. Williams plays the father of a child who can only be described as "the absolute worst." After the boy accidentally kills himself, his father stages the scene as if it were a suicide and pens a fake suicide note that winds up making him universally loved posthumously. I won't spoil anything, but the rest of the film depicts how Williams handles his son's newfound status and deals with the fallout.

Goldthwait strikes the perfect balance between "dark" and "heartfelt" here, and Williams performance is absolutely outstanding. While a dark comedy may not seem like the best recommendation, the film has its heart in the right place and will only be more affecting and powerful given the recent news of Williams' passing. 

SEE ALSO: Norm Macdonald Tweets Amazing Robin Williams Story

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Sony Is Editing Seth Rogen's 'The Interview' To Avoid North Korea Political Conflicts


james franco seth rogen the interviewIt really feels like a hornet's nest is being kicked with the upcoming The Interview. The Christmas Day comedy has already sparked talk of being an "act of war" on the part of America against Korea, and now we're getting pretty nervous re-writes. It looks like directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's vision is not making it onto the screen intact. 

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Sony is considering several digital alterations to the material that will soften the blow. One is the alteration of various buttons worn by the North Korean characters in the film, which apparently are accurate representations of buttons worn by certain military officials in North Korea, a detail that the trade says would be "considered blasphemous to the nuclear-armed nation." But another planned change stems from the third act, which is why we'll be moving into spoiler territory here

Apparently, The Interview includes the heartwarming sight of Kim Jong Un's face melting off. Unless that's a fantasy sequence (or even if), that's a pretty harsh way to go. The guy's already pissed at the general idea of the movie. Is he really going to be won over by a scene where he watches an impersonator pretend to be a faceless version of him? The moment is apparently in slow motion, which likely means its graphic nature is played for laughs. Which is pretty morbid, when you think about it. Rogen and Goldberg are reportedly batting around the idea of cutting it because they're not sure that it's funny. Here's the thing: it's super morbid. And that's probably what makes it funny. What's funnier? People taking their relatives on Christmas Day to see a movie where someone's face melts off in horrifyingly unfunny slow motion. If you thought the harsh responses to Wolf Of Wall Street were bad, oh, man, your grandma is never going to talk to you again. 

Kim Jong Un is actually something of a film buff, so hopefully he sees value in this depiction. His father also was a movie fan, and while most are uncertain about his feelings regarding dying horribly in Team America: World Police, his lack of outrage suggests he was at least mildly amused. Rogen, who previously directed This Is The End with Goldberg, doesn't seem to feel the heat, responding frequently on Twitter that he hopes Kim Jong Un enjoys the movie. Hopefully, that's the case. Antagonizing a rogue nation in this manner could be dangerous, and spokesmen have allegedly commented on the possibility of President Barack Obama blocking the film from release. The hope is that it's no big deal, but it really does feel like a whole lot of trouble for a funny movie, right? 

SEE ALSO: North Korea Hates Seth Rogen's New Movie

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‘Let's Be Cops’ Looks Like Summer's Next R-Rated Comedy Hit


Let's Be cops

The final raunchy comedy in a summer packed with them, “Let's Be Cops,” opens Wednesday.

If the rest of the season is an indicator and the tracking numbers are on the money, Fox will be laughing its way to the bank after this weekend. The film, which stars Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. as faux peace officers, could go north of $25 million over its first five days say the analysts. The studio is more conservative, but the “Let's Be Cops” budget is less than $20 million, so it looks like a win going in.

Another financial score with an R-rated comedy isn't surprising this summer. Sequels and superheroes have been the biggest box-office winners as usual, but raunchy laughs have provided plenty of fireworks — and profits.

“By nature comedies offer something different than the superhero movies and blockbusters,” Rentrak senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian told TheWrap. “Besides being great counter-programming they give audiences something different to consider, and help fend off superhero fatigue.”

Sony's sequel “22 Jump Street” is the season's king of comedy, and is about to hit $300 million globally. Universal's frat vs. family romp “Neighbors” is over $260 million worldwide. And Open Road's Jon Favreau food truck comedy “Chef” has been the summer's biggest indie hit with $39 million, roughly three times its production budget.

If “Let's Be Cops” connects, it will solidify August as a strong launch pad, he said, noting the success of similar raunchy late-summer hits like last year's “We're the Millers,” “Pineapple Express,” “Tropic Thunder” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”

Also read: Why Hollywood Is Making Bank on Cut-Rate Comedies

The studios have maximized their returns, and cut their risks, by holding the line on production costs. Melissa McCarthy's “Tammy,” also rated R, has topped out at $82 million domestically, but that's nearly four times its budget. Even “Blended,” the studio's Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore romantic comedy disappointed domestically. But it's not a loss because it cost $40 million – less than a typical Sandler project – and has taken in $121 million globally.

Not only have there been 12 comedies released this summer, a dose of humor has played a part in the recent box office resurgence. Both “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” took direct aim at action fans’ funny bones.

“It's summer and people are looking for escapist fare,” Dergarabedian said. “Laughs go great with the popcorn movies.”

“Let's  Be Cops” is directed by Luke Greenfield, who co-wrote the film with Nicholas Thomas.

Fox's marketing team appears to have driven home the simple premise of “Let's Be Cops” with moviegoers, and made a point of screening it at the fanboy extravaganza Comic-Con three weeks ago. 

“The crowd there loved it,” said Chris Aronson, the studio's distribution chief, “so we ramped up the screenings and it's been going over great.”  Rob Riggle, Andy Garcia and Nena Dobrev co-star in the films which is produced by Greenfield, Simon Kinberg (“X-men: Days of Future Past”) and Aditya Sood

There will be screenings starting at 10 p.m. on Tuesday night and by Friday it will be in 3,093 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. It's solid on social media, and was behind only “Ninja Turtles” and “Guardians” in advance sales at online broker Fandango on Tuesday. Lionsgate's “Expendables 3”and the Weinstein Company's “The Giver” open wide on Friday as well.

Here's a chart that shows how much bang for the laugh buck the summer's biggest comedies managed:The Wrap chart

SEE ALSO: R-Rated Comedy "Neighbors" Dominated The Box Office

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Why The 'Expendables 3' Leak Won't Hurt Lionsgate At The Box Office



Weeks prior to its theatrical release this coming Friday, a DVD-quality rip of "The Expendables 3" found its way onto torrent sites and spread like wildfire

As of today, over 2.2 million people have downloaded (and likely viewed) the illegal copy, and Lionsgate, the film's distributor, isn't taking the offense lightly.

On July 31, the studio filed a temporary restraining order against six illegal torrent sites and 10 "anonymous users" associated with those domains in an attempt to halt further distribution of the film. Lionsgate was granted its restraining order and US District Judge Margaret Morrow barred the accused websites (as well as "any third party") from “taking any action that induces, causes or materially contributes to” the infringement of Lionsgate's copyright. 

The offending sites were ordered to stop “hosting, linking to, distributing, reproducing, performing, selling, offering for sale, making available for download, streaming or making any other use of any copy or copies" of the film. The temporary restraining order lasted until Friday August 8th and Lionsgate was granted a preliminary injunction that same day. Lionsgate ensures that an investigation of the leak is "ongoing" and says the copy of the film was obtained through "fraudulent or otherwise unlawful means." 

After the leak, entertainment blogs lit up with speculation over how the piracy would affect the film's theatrical box office. While there are multiple studies that indicate piracy has a negative effect on revenue, proving this is a fool's errand. There are just as many articles citing the exact opposite as being true. 

There are an impossible number of factors to consider when looking at a movie's box office. In addition to the obvious factors, like star power, brand recognizability, critical response, overall quality, and advertising, other seemingly unimportant factors like the weather in certain parts of the country, for example, do come into play.

There is so much variance here that any speculation as to how the leak will impact "The Expendables 3" box office is simply that — speculation.


Indie movie "Snowpiercer" was readily available for illegal download months prior to its domestic theatrical release this year, and the film still managed to thrive.

"Snowpiercer" may have been released in just eight theaters during its opening weekend, but its per theater average was a staggering $21,398. That gives "Snowpiercer," a movie that barely managed to make $4 million in the US theatrically, a per-theater-average that sizes up to wildly succesful blockbusters like "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" or Michael Bay's latest assault on the senses, "Transformers: Age of Extinction." This may seem like peanuts comparatively, but it's an impressive feat given The Weinstein Company's limited release strategy for the film. 

David Pierce wrote a piece at The Verge in which he admitted to illegally watching "The Expendables 3" and came to the conclusion that the movie may do better because of the leak. He posits that the film begs to be seen on a big screen and the leak will only put more people in seats because it's "fun" and moviegoers (according to a brief Twitter poll) prefer the theatrical experience. While I may not 100% agree with his logic, I do believe that the leak will not hurt the film in the long run.

After a workprint copy of 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" leaked online a full month prior to its release, the powers-that-be over at Twentieth Century Fox were rightfully up-in-arms and did their best to control the damage. Just as with "The Expendables 3" now, there were tons of online posts about the leak's effect on its box office figures. However, the film wound up having one of the biggest opening weekends of the year (just over $85 million) and topped out at just under $180 domestic. the wolverine x men origins

The people who illegally download movies are not the general movie going public. There are plenty of exceptions, but for the most part, torrent users are opportunists who watch what they watch simply because it's available and free. If "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" leaked early, it would get millions of downloads, too, and it would have little to no effect on its box-office intake, since the primary audience for that film skews slightly older among those who do not actively pirate movies.

The audience for "The Expendables 3" is broad enough that this admittedly major snafu shouldn't hold much weight in the long run. Since the franchise has never delivered outstanding box-office numbers domestically ("The Expendables 2" made $85 million stateside), the leak is all the more irrelevant.

Prepare for the onslaught of entertainment blog guesswork this weekend as "The Expendables 3" box-office figures start rolling in, and be sure to take it all with a grain of salt.

Analysts are expecting the film to open around $23 million this weekend, and with a reported budget of $90 million, it would need to do well internationally to turn a profit. Fortunately for Lionsgate, foreign markets made up 72% of the original film's $305 million box office intake and 62.4% of "The Expendables 2"slightly less impressive $274 million. 

SEE ALSO: Why You Should See "Snowpiercer"

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Why We Still Pay To See 'Bad' Movies


teenage mutant ninja turtles movie

Predictably, the Michael Bay-produced new adaptation of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" ruled the box office this weekend and has already been given the greenlight for a sequel set to be released in summer 2016 despite being panned by critics.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is the epitome of a summer blockbuster with its huge budget, gratuitous special effects, and plot that doesn’t ask for much in terms of brain power from its audience.

The audience doesn’t seem to mind that, though, as "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reveals another big trend among summer blockbusters — moviegoers and critics coming away with vastly different opinions.

The new reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" stars Megan Fox as the journalist April O’Neil. Her co-stars are giant CGI bipedal turtles named after Renaissance men who use their ninja skills to defend New York City from a villain called Shredder. Critics complained that the movie was overall boring, not entertaining or even terrible enough to be funny, and the review aggregator "Rotten Tomatoes" gives the movie a pitiful 19 percent rating.

I had to draw on my own ninja training and reflect intensively on the transitory nature of all phenomena, just to fend off the profound yearning for death,” said "Salon" critic Andrew O’Hehir. “Not out-and-out terrible enough to be completely dismissed, while also not particularly memorable either, perhaps the truest summation of the film is to say simply that the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is a movie that exists,” is what "The Los Angeles Times" writer Mark Olsen had to say.

Moviegoers, however, seemed to enjoy the film. Audiences gave it a 63 percent rating on "Rotten Tomatoes", according to 81,433 reviews from viewers. The film did an effective job of triggering nostalgia among those who grew up with the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cartoons, as well as making itself appealing to children who may not have been familiar with the characters before.

People were excited enough about the movie that it took number one at the box office, raking in an estimated $65 million during its opening weekend for one of the biggest openings in August ever, according to "Box Office Mojo." That success can be attributed to the appeal of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" for moviegoers of a wide variety of ages.

Michael Bay’s other big blockbuster this summer, the fourth "Transformers" movie, employed almost the exact same formula and received almost exactly the same results. The "Transformers" franchise is built on nostalgia for the popular toys and show, adds a heavy dose of action, and is eaten up by audiences while critics get excited for the opportunity to use their wittiest insults. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" has an 18 percent rating on "Rotten Tomatoes" among critics, but a 55 percent with audiences, who shelled out $100 million during the movie’s opening weekend to go see it.mark wahlberg tessa nicole peltz transformers

A notable exception to the critical hatred of summer blockbusters is the movie that came in at number two last weekend: the new Marvel film "Guardians of the Galaxy." That movie opened at number one when it came out, taking in $94 million during its opening weekend, and critics loved it. "Guardians" has a 92 percent rating among critics on "Rotten Tomatoes," who praised the film’s irreverent humor as well as its stunning visuals. Audiences, too, were impressed, giving the movie a 96 percent approval rating on the site.

Aside from actually being a good movie, "Guardians" actually has a lot in common with "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" that helped contribute to its success with moviegoers — aside from its qualities that made critics like it.

The film is based on an old Marvel comic, one of the less popular ones, but still a storyline that some may be familiar with. Others have enough love for Marvel as a whole that they were willing to test out a new story as long as it was coming from Marvel. "Guardians," too, got early approval for a sequel, which was announced at Comic-Con before the first film even premiered and is set for a summer 2017 release.

"Box Office Mojo" noted that it was possible the negative critical reception of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" could cut into the movie’s profit down the line, but given that "Transformers: Age of Extinction" went on to make $242 million while it was in theaters, it seems that critical reception really doesn’t play too much into the financial success of a movie.

Viewers enjoy movies like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" that provide mindless action and can please the kids while perhaps reminding them a little of their own childhood, even though such films will never be categorized as good art. Critics don’t really need to tell us that.

SEE ALSO: Michael Bay's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Movie Is More Like 'The Megan Fox Show'

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The Weinstein Company Is Auctioning Off An Unpaid Internship For $50,000


harvey weinsteinCharitybuzz is currently auctioning off a three-month internship at The Weinstein Company, a production and distribution company launched in 2005 by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

Responsible for Oscar-winning films like "The King's Speech" and "The Artist," TWC clearly thinks it's an honor to work at the company.

In fact, the Weinsteins think an internship at their company is worth an "estimated value" of $50,000. That estimated value is not the starting salary for the position, but what they expect the future intern to pay for such a golden opportunity.

The bidding is currently at $13,000. weinstein company charitybuzz

Hollywood internships are certainly hard to come by, but this opportunity is not meant to help the average, Ramen-eating college student.

This cash-grab is aimed solely at those with deep pockets who prefer to fast-track their way up the Hollywood food chain rather than actually earn it. The proceeds support the American Repertory Theater, but that doesn't change the fact that this bizarre stunt favors silver spoons over quality workmanship. 

A current TWC assistant, which is the position ideally next in line for an intern, told The Daily Dot that the starting salary at the company was only $31,000  making the "estimated value" appear even more trivial.

According to a 2013 study conducted by the National Association of College and Employers, only 37% of unpaid interns actually wind up working for their employer, and these numbers are certainly lower within the bizarro world of Hollywood. Compare that with the 35.2% who receive job offers without any internship whatsoever and it's near impossible to defend the unpaid internship infrastructure.

The now infamous "Black Swan" lawsuit was originally thought to be game changer for the industry, but nothing has changed.

Most production companies are still using this system, and the real victims are the overworked and (severely) underpaid interns themselves. For those with the "thick skin" required for the job, bidding is still live for a few more hours.

SEE ALSO: Why The 'Expendables 3' Leak Won't Hurt Lionsgate At The Box Office

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Ben Affleck: I Wouldn't Have Accepted 'Batman V Superman' Role If I Didn't Think I Could Do It


batman vs superman batsuit batmobileBen Affleck is in the first stages of his press tour for Gone Girl, which means he will be asked a million questions about his role as aging millionaire Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. First to come at him is EW, who manage to get a few nice quotes about his decision to take on the role, his preparations for the physically intense job, and his true thoughts on the so-called "fan outcry". When he hears the word 'Batfleck', he can only laugh.

It has almost been exactly a year since Ben Affleck was announced as the new Dark Knight. Since that time, the actor has packed on quite a bit of muscular weight and taken to sporting grey hair for this quite physical performance. While he won't give away any specifics about his role in what could be the biggest blockbuster of all time, Ben Affleck did have this to say about taking on the job.

"I'm right in the middle of shooting now. It's a process that I'll probably have better perspective on when I'm done. I can tell you that every time I do a role, it's the responsibility of an actor to get their physical self as close to the role as possible. And Batman's obviously got a set of expectations that are tough. So I spent a lot of time working out. And it's a far cry from Gone Girl where my character is described as "puffy and hungover." I want you to know I worked equally hard at both! [laughs]" 

He went onto address the fans who, at first, felt it was ludicrous that Ben Affleck would be suiting up in Batman's iconic cape and cowl. Some of his comments, we've heard before. He also goes onto praise the screenplay by Chris Terrio and his director Zack Snyder.

"Before I took the role, Warner Bros. gave me a bunch of past reactions to casting and said, "Are you sure you want to get into this? This is part and parcel of these movies now. There's a lot of active fans with a lot of opinions." To me, having been through a certain amount of that, it doesn't really... Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I wouldn't have taken the part if I didn't trust my instincts in terms of the filmmaking. I think Chris Terrio wrote a terrific script. Zack's a great visual director. And there's an interesting take. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think I could do it. I have the benefit of a lot of that understanding. But also, everyone is entitled to their opinion. That's a big part of this international sport. The Fifty Shades of Grey kid or whatever it is. That's sort of become a thing." 

Ben Affleck promises this will not affect his performance as The Dark Knight:

"You know what? It's great that people do care that much. They want to see the movie that much. And it is incumbent on you to honor the story. There are the Greek myths and these are the American myths. The American myths are these superheroes. People care about 'em a lot. And it's incumbent on you to do a good job and make it as excellent as you possibly can. At the end of the day, the movie's all that matters." 

Are you more excited to see Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice than you were a few minutes ago? Or do you think his casting is still a very bad idea? Sound off below!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to theaters March 25th, 2016 and stars Henry CavillBen AffleckAmy AdamsDiane LaneLaurence FishburneGal Gadot,Jesse EisenbergJeremy Irons. The film is directed by Zack Snyder.

SEE ALSO: DC Comics hid a new photo of Batfleck at Comic-Con for fans to find

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Mark Hamill Sports A Jedi Beard In New 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Set Photo


If the rumored plot details about the film are to be believed, then Luke Skywalker will be turned into a rather mysterious character in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII. Reports have said that the Jedi hero completely disappeared after the Battle of Endor featured in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and hasn't been seen since. It's hard to say what this will mean for actor Mark Hamill's presence in the December 2015 blockbuster, but if it's kept to a minimum we should probably cherish every sight we see of him. Which is why we're all too happy to have the photo above of Hamill standing on the Star Wars set. 

While you can't see the caption that came with the image because Instagram's embed isn't great, Mark Hamill posted the shot with a caption that reads: 

This is as close as Lava Bear got to the action (since he was barred from the set). Photo by: @nathanhamill #starwarsVII #lavabear

You may have already guessed that Nathan Hamill is Mark Hamill's son, but if you're still confused about Lava Bear, I'm happy to explain. The photo originally comes from Nathan Hamill's personal website, which features photos taken around the world with a little figurine called "Lava Bear." Now you're all caught up! 

To talk a bit about Mark Hamill's new look for Luke, we of course have to talk about the beard. For starters, as a fellow beard-possessor I must give him the thumbs-up - those are some mighty fine lookin' whiskers. Secondly, it's hard not to be reminded of Obi-wan Kenobi, who sported some thick facial hair for presumably most of his life.

After a two week long hiatus that was scheduled due to Harrison Ford's on-set injury,Star Wars: Episode VII is starting to get back to work and will presumably will be continuing to film for at least a couple more weeks. In addition to Hamill and Ford, the sci-fi epic has a stacked cast of returning veterans - including Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker - and a ton of new faces - like John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong, Gwendoline Christie and Max von Sydow. There's surely still a lot of work to be done, but if the reps at Disney can be believed, then the film is still on target for its release date on December 18, 2015. 

SEE ALSO: Disney CEO Claims 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Footage Is "Very, Very Exciting"

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You Can Now Watch The Best Scene From 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Online


baby groot guardians of the galaxyWarning: Don't go any further if you still haven't seen "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Some of our favorite scenes in"Guardians of the Galaxy" are Chris Pratt's awesome entrance to the film along with a surprise cameo from a long-teased villain entering the Marvel universe.

However, many people agree the best scene of the film comprises of a dancing baby version of Groot seen at the film's end grooving to Michael Jackson.

It's one of the cutest things we've ever seen and has quickly become one of everyone's most talked-about scenes.

If you've been dying to rewatch the scene, you don't have to head back to theaters. Yahoo! Movies has posted the footage online.

The clip is exclusively on Yahoo! right now. You can check it out here.

Here are the GIFs you'll want to see over and over again.

dancing baby groot

baby groot dancing

Also, for those of you who are obsessed with this scene, one genius individual has already made their own real-working dancing Groot. Disney, why aren't you capitalizing on this? 

SEE ALSO: Awesome photos of Lee Pace's transformation into the "Guardians of the Galaxy" villain

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Tom Hanks Made A Typewriter App, And We Tried It


hanx writer tom hanks app

The joke (type)writes itself: Tom Hanks—two-time Academy Award winner, beloved star of Nora Ephron rom-coms, tweeter of messages signed "Hanx"—is following the footsteps of Kim Kardashian and entering the 21st century of app-making by releasing an app for... typewriters.

It's called Hanx Writer, and it mimics the features of a typewriter onto an iPad screen. After all, Hanks is a noted typewriter enthusiast, and has proven himself quite adept at the skill of punching keys

"No longer must you surrender modern luxuries, like the DELETE key," Hanks said in a press release. "With Hanx Writer, you'll hear the rhythm of your work with SHOOK SHOOK or FITT-FITT."

hanx writer opening greeting tom hanks app

Of course, there are many typewriter apps available on the iPad. But none have Hanks' stamp (SHOOK SHOOK) of approval—or spirit, according to Stuart Westphal, VP of Games and Interactive the app's development studio Hitcents.

"It was Tom's energy and enthusiasm that made an impression on me," Westphal said in a statement. "I wanted to capture that spirit with this app. Nostalgic...yes! But also a tool that composes well and is enjoyable to use more than once."

Indeed, the artist known as Hanx is thrilled with the app's release, as evidenced by this tweet. But upon closer inspection...

Tom Hanks Typewriter App

...Is that a Macbook, Tom? Tsk tsk

 Now, please enjoy The Wire's own David Sims experiencing life as Tom Hanks, through the modern magic of Instagram:

SEE ALSO: Kim Kardashian defends her wildly addictive video game, telling parents to "be responsible" for in-app purchases

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Why 'The Giver' Is Too Late To The Young Adult Movie Franchise Party


the giver jeff bridgesIf "The Giver" had opened in the 1990s as originally intended, before the young adult dystopia boom, it could have been huge. Analysts estimate the film could open anywhere between $12 and $17 million this weekend, which is chump change compared to other movies in the genre. 

Unfortunately for The Weinstein Company, the film's distributor, we live in a post-"Hunger Games" world where the market is incredibly overstuffed with dystopian young adult projects. While somesucceed, othersflounder, and even though 'The Giver' may have been the novel that inspired the entire genre, its formula has been sucked dry by all the competition and the film is no longer as culturally relevant as a result.

the giver brenton thwaites

The blockbuster "The Hunger Games" series likely would not have existed without Lois Lowry's "The Giver," and according to the film's producer, "The Giver" film itself would never have made it to the screen if it weren't for the success of "The Hunger Games."

This seemingly mutual relationship is actually more one-sided than it appears — since "The Hunger Games" was released first, it not only stole "The Giver's" proverbial thunder, but also its shot at financial success. 

Rebecca Ford at The Hollywood Reporter reported on the film's tumultous path from page to screen and points out a number of fascinating details, like the fact that adapting the novel has been a passion project of Jeff Bridge's for nearly two decades.

Jeff Bridges Meryl Streep The Giver

Bridges originally wished to direct his father in a "Giver" adaptation, but the project slipped through the cracks time and time again, and he eventually lost the rights. In 2009, 

Bridges got the rights back (after more failed attempts to set up the film at different production companies) and, after the success of "The Hunger Games," Harvey Weinstein expressed interest in adapting the seemingly unadaptable novel. This time Jeff Bridges would play the role originally intended for his father.

Since the film was made on an estimated $25-$30 million budget, it shouldn't have any problem breaking even at the domestic box office. In that sense, "The Giver" is signifcantly smaller scale than most dystopian science-fiction, yet it's certainly trying to be just as ambitious. While it will certainly recoup its budget and most likely turn a (relatively small) profit,  the film will get nowhere near the exposure that it should for being an adaptation of the be-all, end-all dystopian YA novel that essentially started the trend. 

In Hollywood, timing can be everything. While bloggers argue over whether the tension in Ferguson this week will affect the box office results for "Let's Be Cops" (early estimates show that the answer to this quandry is "no"), in the case of "The Giver," it's just simply too late in the game for the film to thrive. The next installment of "The Hunger Games" trilogy-plus-one is on the horizon, as is the sequel to this year's slightly disappointing but still profitable "Divergent."

No matter how great the film may be (reviews are fairly mixed), there is simply no room for "The Giver" in this crowded and over-saturated demo to make a real impact.  

SEE ALSO: The One Thing 'The Giver' Author Lois Lowry Urged Filmmakers To Edit

MORE: Author Lois Lowry: Harvey Weinstein Changed The Ending To 'The Giver' Movie

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Harvey Weinstein Forced 'The Giver' Movie To Change The Book's Ending


the giver brenton thwaitesWarning: Spoilers ahead. 

When the long-awaited adaptation of "The Giver" comes to theaters this weekend, it will have a different ending than fans will remember in the 1993 bestseller.

Author Lois Lowry recently told New York Magazine that the head behind film distributor The Weinstein Company wasn't on board with the book's original ending for the movie. 

"I had a little trouble with the ending: In the book, it's ambiguous, but the movie people — and when I say 'movie people,' I mean primarily Harvey Weinstein, the head-honcho guy with the power and the money — felt that the ending should not be so ambiguous," said Lowry.

"You know, I'm a writer, I like to retain subtlety and nuance," she added.

The book, for which author Lowry won a Newbery Award, follows a 12-year-old boy Jonas who lives in a dystopian world disguised as a perfect utopia (Think Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"). At the books end, Jonas runs off with a newborn baby who is about to be killed to find a better life in a far off place supposedly called "elsewhere."

Though Lowry wrote sequels to the book, the reader never learns in "The Giver" if he successfully makes it to his destination alive. Instead, the book ends with Jonas riding a sled down a hill to a town where he describes hearing what he believes must be music for the first time.  

We haven't seen the movie yet, but according to The Daily Beast, the ending is more clean cut.

It leaves out any of the guess work with Jonas "sledding to safety at a cute-looking cottage in the real world outside of the community, which they had to trek days of precarious terrain to get to."

"The Giver" is in theaters today and is expected to make around $12 million opening weekend.

SEE ALSO: The One Thing 'The Giver' Author Lois Lowry Urged Filmmakers To Edit

MORE: Why "The Giver" is one of the most banned books in America

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Here's Who The Villains In 'Star Wars: Episode VII' May Be


Inquisitor For six consecutive Star Wars movies, the threat looming over all of our heroes has been posed by Darth Vader (or the threat of the eventual existence of Darth Vader, because in The Phantom Menace, he looked like a child). Obviously, J.J. Abrams can’t rely on Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode VII because the iconic character died at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. I mean, Abrams would have to pull some Star Trek-esque time warp tomfoolery to try and bring Lord Vader back for… wait, what is this new rumor? Really? Oh man, Star Wars fans. You are going to want to hold on to your butts for this bit of rumory news. 

Latino Review is going on record and spelling out who they believe will be the main villains in Star Wars: Episode VII. Obviously, if you are going to continue reading, you are going to get into MASSIVE spoilers. So stop, if you do not want to read them. 

The site lays out what we believe we already know. Luke’s lightsaber (and possibly his hand) drop down from the sky. This forces Daisy Ridley and John Boyega to begin a search for the missing Jedi. They encounter Han Solo and Chewbacca. The search continues. Only, they learn that Luke isn’t hiding. He "is a captive." A captive of whom? LR claims that the main villains in this installment will be the Inquisitors. They say that they are "loosely based" on the Expanded Universe Inquisitors, and that they have been around "for a long time." 

How long? Well, in a flashback, it will be revealed that they once worked for Darth Vader… who will make an appearance in the movie. That’s right. Supposedly, Darth Vader will be back in Star Wars: Episode VII

LR goes on to explain that Billie Lourd (daughter of Carrie Fisher) will in fact play young Princess Leia in a flashback. So this blast into the Star Wars past might not be a 10-second snippet. We might spend a chunk of time in the past, learning new elements of the Star Wars timeline that could impact Episodes VIII and IX. Are you paying attention, Rian Johnson? 

Now, where have we seen something similar to this before? Oh, yeah.

If this is actually the course that J.J. Abrams is taking, unleashing the Inquisitors on Luke, Han and their friends, are you still on board? Will we finally learn that Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o and maybe Max von Sydow are members of this villainous tribe? Are there more spoilers left to drop? Stay tuned.

SEE ALSO: Mark Hamill Sports A Jedi Beard In New 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Set Photo

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Here's Why Jackie Chan Turned Down 'Expendables' 2 And 3


jackie chanOn the list of "shoulda-been-Expendables," Jackie Chan ranks pretty highly.

He's one of the more highly-decorated members of the Action Hero Hall Of Fame, and he's done movies with several of the people in The Expendables 3, including Sylvester Stallone (Burn, Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Around The World In 80 Days) and Jet Li (Forbidden Kingdom). So why hasn't he got the call to show up in any of the movies in the trilogy? Perhaps the better question is, why hasn't he answered the call? 

In an interview with Den Of Geek, Chan claims that while he's obviously being sought for Expendables 4, he's simply not a fan of the format of these films.

"...this morning I did hear - the office called - Sly [Stallone] wants me for Expendables 4. I said, ‘Okay.’ Because they already asked me to be in two and three, but I refused. Well, I didn’t refuse, but I said, ‘Sly, can’t we just do you and me? Not just a bunch of people and me only coming out for five minutes.’ Because then the audience is, ‘Oh!’ And then I’m gone."

These movies so far have been overstuffed to the point of parody.

the expendables 3

The latest film tries to find space for two full Expendables teams, reducing Jet Li to a tiny cameo and four spoken lines, and he doesn't even throw any kicks. And Wesley Snipes seems like a selling point for the new movie, but after a major break-in that frees him, he and the rest of the Expendables are (temporarily!) fired and replaced by the new crew.

From what I hear, The Expendables sets are pretty basic, serious, low-key affairs where everyone keeps to themselves, particularly all the supposedly "bigger" personalities. Maybe they should just let Chan direct an Expendables 4 with a much smaller cast, and just please everyone? It's gimmicky because every new actor gets a big introductory scene, and we're supposed to act like its an event because its a certain actor, not because it's an interesting character or because something exciting will happen. 

Stallone and Chan are reportedly good buddies, to the point where even in the nineties he was trying to get the star to come to America for Demolition Man. Chan has been reluctant, not only because of the quality of the roles and the inadequacy of the American stunt teams, but because it's a very big commitment for him to leave home. He's already talked about how the Rush Hour films were a chore and he's gone on record having difficulty with English. Chan's a fairly reserved, personal guy, and in a foreign land, speaking a foreign tongue, certain personalities can feel alienated. 

Chan also mentions that he's been talking to people about Shanghai Dawn, the sequel to Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights – at least that film would involve him doing some martial arts and having a good time.

SEE ALSO: Why The 'Expendables 3' Leak Won't Hurt Lionsgate At The Box Office

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Awesome Photos Of Wrestler Dave Bautista's 5-Hour 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Makeup Process


drax the destroyer guardians of the galaxy

"Guardians of the Galaxy" has been in theaters for two weeks and has already made more than $313 million worldwide.

Before the film's release, we asked special makeup-effects designer David White to take Business Insider through the process of transforming some of the stars from Zoe Saldana to Karen Gillan into their onscreen characters.

Out of all the actors, wrestler David Bautista was among the cast members who spent the most time on set.

To transform Bautista into his character Drax the Destroyer it took a team of five makeup artists five hours each day to apply 18 prosthetic pieces to the wrestler, according to Marvel Studios.

"Drax started as a five-hour makeup, and slowly the time began to fall away, as expected," White tells Business Insider. "A makeup that extensive is a real slog for the team as it’s so complex."

"Every day, a Vac forma [plastic mold] of David’s exact body shape with perforated holes in it to indicate exactly where the prosthetics start and finish was offered up," White says. "This had rice paper skin illustrator airbrushed through it showing the map."david bautista vac forma drax guardians of the galaxy

White says Bautista was then brush sealed with a chemical and medical adhesive mix. Afterward, makeup artists started applying the 18 pieces onto the actor's shoulders and the rest of his body.

"The crew all had different tasks in the sequence. Some move[d] onto the paint system while some finished off the prosthetic blending offs," White says. 

Elaborate tattoos and markings cover Bautista's entire upper body. As you can see, they're incredibly detailed.

dave bautista gotg makeupdave bautista guardians of the galaxy makeup

Because Drax isn't predominantly blue or grey or red, there were different paint layers the artists then had to apply.

"We added thin layers of browns, reds and greens within the base grey to break up the tone and make it come alive before the final color sweep," White tells us. "Then the whole body is sealed with a fixative so that it can withstand the day’s shoot."dave bautista makeup guardians of the galaxy

In addition to all of that, Bautista also had to wear dentures to "dirty down his real teeth," along with contacts that gave him "ice blue eyes with a red circling the eye iris."

Co-star Chris Pratt told Buzzfeed that Bautista stood the entire time while his makeup was applied.

"Bautista had to stand like this with his arms out rested on posts ... stands that had tennis balls on them," Pratt said. "He had to stand for hours like that every single day. Never complained about it." chris pratt buzzfeed guardians of the galaxyEventually, White says, Drax's makeup took an average of three hours to do. Bautista recently told /Film that the makeup team was able to get it down to two hours, 47 minutes one day. However, it takes about another hour and a half to remove.

Here's a side-by-side of Bautista's transformation:dave bautista guardians of the galaxy


SEE ALSO: Awesome photos of Lee Pace's makeup transformation into the "Guardians of the Galaxy" villain

AND: The most complex makeup in "Guardians of the Galaxy" took more than four hours and a shaved head

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