Netflix May Have Deleted User Reviews To Save Face On Originals

In what may have been a response to a marked increase in negative ratings for their original content, Netflix has removed user reviews entirely. July 30 marked the final chance for fans to offer public criticism of shows like Orange Is The New Black, Master Of None, or Bojack Horseman, at least via the Netflix website.

Unlike competitor Amazon Prime Video – which recently announced a quality over quantity focused initiative – Netflix has been pumping out original content as often as possible since House Of Cards debuted in 2013. From original TV series to films to stand-up comedy specials, the streaming service has been attempting to drift further and further away from licensing pre-existing content by filling the site with its own material. The ease at which content creators have been attaining Netflix deals allows for new voices and stories to be heard that may have otherwise lacked a proper platform. Unfortunately, as the amount of Netflix originals has increased, the user ratings of those originals have been on a consistent downward trajectory.

Related: 7 Netflix Originals That Were Canceled Way Too Soon (And 8 That Need To Go)

Citing the excuse of “declining usage”, Netflix removed their user reviews feature permanently in August, wiping out all past contributions from the site. In actuality, this move appears to be an attempt to conceal poor ratings – as suggested today by Cordcutting. Their report includes two graphs, one depicting Netflix’s discernible and consistent rise in volume of original content, and another tracking how ratings on said content continued to trend negative. While correlation doesn’t equal causation, the information presented is certainly intriguing.

Having produced many high quality shows and movies over the years, Netflix is arguably doing itself a continual disservice by pumping out a constant stream of what many deem low quality content. Now, with the removal of its user reviews, fans will have even less of an ability to discern the likes of the critically acclaimed Beasts Of No Nation from a movie like The Do-Over – an Adam Sandler vehicle that was widely regarded as awful.

In an attempt to create a large library of their own content and become less reliant on pre-existing content, Netflix is creating a deep forest of subpar material in which their higher quality content could easily get lost. Perhaps by spending more time on pre-production and opting to focus on quality over quantity, Netflix could change the culture of their service. Otherwise, disappointed subscribers may eventually find themselves drifting over to competing platforms.

More: The Best Romantic Comedy Films On Netflix

Source: Cordcutting

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2018-09-07 05:09:56 – Gabby Means

IT Chapter 2 Writer Believes Ending Will Break Fans’ Hearts

Pennywise is coming back to Derry in IT: Chapter Two, and while the film will surely make fans jump out of their seats, writer Gary Dauberman says it will also break some hearts. One of last year’s biggest surprises was director Andy Muschietti’s theatrical take on Stephen King’s novel IT, which broke box office records, and gained praise not only for the performances of the young cast but also the way the story was adapted.

IT: Chapter One covered half the novel, following a group of kids self-named “The Losers Club” as they come face to face with an evil, shape-shifting entity whose preferred form is that of Pennywise, the dancing-clown. IT: Chapter Two will take the audience back to the fictional town of Derry, as the adult versions of the Losers take on this evil foe one more time and bring the story to a close. Being a horror film, fans can naturally expect suspense and jump scares here and there, but according to the sequel’s writer, fans can also expect some heartbreak.

Related: IT 2 Director Shares Bloody Bev Photo As Jessica Chastain Wraps

During an interview with Slash Film, while promoting The Nun, writer Gary Dauberman was asked about IT: Chapter Two, and whether the film reaches the end of the book or if there will be more from Pennywise and the Losers. Dauberman answered that it’s a complete story, and as for the ending, he thinks it “will satisfy the audience and maybe break their hearts a little bit”.

Dauberman also spoke a bit about the challenges that came with writing this second part. At the end of IT: Chapter One, fans saw the Losers take a blood oath – promising they would return to Derry to destroy the creature if it came back – and say their goodbyes as the group went their separate ways. In the second part of the story, the Losers are all in different parts of the country, which was a challenge for Dauberman, as there had to be a sort of “introduction” to their adult versions.

In the novel, the adult part is pretty emotionally charged at some points, showing the contrasts between childhood and adulthood, how relationships change through time, and how fears are more complex when one becomes an adult. The ending has received mixed reactions over the years, and it’s unknown if the film will stay true to it or tweak things a bit – after all, various details have already been changed so far. Could the heartbreak mentioned by Dauberman be a result of Losers dying that originally didn’t in King’s classic story? It’s a completely open question.

The team behind IT: Chapter Two has been very careful in what they say and what they share on social media in order to not give anything away – even the set photos that have made their way to the internet don’t tell much, and while some appear to reference key moments from the book, nothing on that end is confirmed. What’s known for sure is that the sequel will be scarier and more intense – and that “intensity” might not only be in terms of scares, but other emotions as well.

More: IT Chapter 2: The Weirdest Things That Happen In The Book

Source: Slash Film

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2018-09-07 05:09:27 – Adrienne Tyler

Infinity War: Children of Thanos Star in Hilarious F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Video

The Children of Thanos cross paths with the theme of Friends in the latest Infinity War fan video. Months after the film’s release, viewers continue to show their love for Avengers 3 through the creation of fan art. With so many characters to follow and the need to at last provide Thanos’ backstory, the Children of Thanos were regulated to the side. One fan has decided to end that, making them the focus of their own humorous spoof.

When the Avengers weren’t battling things out with Thanos, they often found themselves toe-to-toe with some of his remaining loyal followers, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, and Corvus Glaive. Since Gamora and Nebula have long since turned their backs on their so-called father, audiences could only hear stories about how the Children of Thanos once cut their way across the universe, killing in his name. With so many Avengers and so little time, what parts of their past that were filmed became deleted scenes Marvel released online.

Related: Fan Art Re-Imagines Marvel Heroes as DC Atlanteans

While waiting for Avengers 4 news and still trying to get over the shock at Infinity War’s ending, fans have turned to making their own narratives, both grim and comedic. Under the subreddit r/MarvelStudios, user NerdyParker00 added a video titled Children of Thanos (F.R.I.E.N.D.S style), where all six of the Children of Thanos look ready to appear in their own Friends spinoff, albeit, a dark one.

Click to see Infinity War/Friends Mashup Video

Much of the fan art currently in existence depict artists’ rage towards the Mad Titan, like Iron Man decapitating him or Captain Marvel successfully taking him down in a possible Avengers 4 scenario. But some fans find themselves taking Thanos’ side, arguing in favor of his plan to “balance the universe” by killing half of it off. Earlier this year, fans showed their loyalty by joining a different subreddit that had half of the members purged in honor of the Mad Titan.

Seeing Thanos’ adopted family united is a cool concept. But with Nebula and Gamora no longer on his side and most of the Children of Thanos dead, the idea will have to remain a fun “what if” for fans to speculate about. With the concept of time travel still in play for Avengers 4, a chance remains for some characters to come back. Although it would be far more likely to see the characters needed for Phase 4 return than Thanos’ villainous children. But Infinity War fan art doesn’t need to conform to cannon, its limited only by what artists can think up next.

More: MCU Fan Edit Makes Every Infinity War Death Even More Heartbreaking

Source: r/MarvelStudios

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2018-09-07 05:09:11 – Samantha Callender

Vertigo’s Border Town Comic is a Latinx PREACHER

Warning: SPOILERS for Border Town #1

Vertigo Comics has kicked off the relaunch of their brand with Border Town – an intensely controversial comic whose racially-charged premise tackles the tensions along America’s border with Mexico head-on. Despite the controversy, or perhaps because of it, Border Town may be the most sharply satirical work that Vertigo Comics has published since Preacher. Not bad for a first issue.

Set in the fictional town of Devil’s Fork, Arizona, the action of Border Town centers upon Frank Dominguez – a troubled teenager who was forcibly relocated to the small town after his mother decided to move in with her latest boyfriend. Soon Frank finds himself running afoul of the local gang of teenage skinheads, before the greater dangers of Devil’s Fork begin to rear their heads (and teeth). The boundary between this world and the next is growing thinner out in the desert, and for monsters who take the form of a person’s greatest fear… they have no shortage of choices.

Related: Latino Comic Writer Receives Racist Threats Ahead of SDCC

The first issue establishes the main characters and its premise, with Frank befriending some of the other outcast teenagers of Devil’s Fork. The early synopsis reveals that Frank and his new friends will soon be the only ones who can stop the monsters in the desert, whose murderous rampages are written off by the local authorities as the work of illegal aliens.

This, coupled with the idea of depicting corrupt and/or incompetent police has drawn the ire of various political groups, prompting promises of boycotts as well as death threats against Border Town‘s writer Eric M. Esquivel. It has also inspired many to write the series off as intentionally courting controversy to hide the similarities to Stephen King’s IT (just set in Arizona).

While many horror stories are built around the concept of young people having to fight a threat their elders refuse to acknowledge, it does Border Town a disservice to dismiss it as a southwestern-themed Stranger Things. The first issue sports a sharply comedic edge that attacks everyone who allows the fear of the unknown to control their lives. Much of the humor of the book comes from seeing the outrageous forms the monsters take on, with racist militiamen being torn apart by a figure who resembles The Incredible Hulk in a sombrero, and one woman seeing the giant creature as a neo-Nazi preppie with a Tiki-torch.

It won’t take readers long to see how Border Town invites comparison to the original Preacher comics, embracing a similar over-the-top approach, and using dark humor to address current events – a feat the Preacher TV show embraces as well.

All questions of politics and originality aside, it seems likely that Border Town will get people talking about what else is in store for Vertigo Comics’ relaunch. The mature readers’ imprint of DC Comics was first founded in 1993 to give the company’s titles aimed at adult readers more freedom, and the ability to operate outside the confines of the Comics Code Authority (which governed the content and distribution of most US comics at the time).

Vertigo’s relaunch, timed to coincide with their 25th anniversary, will see the release of six more new series inspired by the original Vertigo mandate to create topical, thought-provoking works of comic art. And if Border Town is a sign of how fearlessly they’re swinging, they have our attention.

Border Town #1 is now available from Vertigo Comics.

More: Vertigo Comics Returns To Its Roots With A Line-Wide Relaunch

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2018-09-07 05:09:02 – Matt Morrison

Solo: Full Maul Scene Officially Released Online

The full Maul scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story has been officially released online. For the most part, critics felt the spinoff, while an entertaining ride, played things relatively safe in its depiction of young Han Solo’s origins. Even those who enjoyed Solo would admit it didn’t offer much in the way of surprises – until the very end, that is. In the film’s third act, it’s revealed none other than Darth Maul is the mastermind behind the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate, marking the villain’s first big screen appearance since 1999’s The Phantom Menace.

Unsurprisingly, the decision generated a fair amount of controversy, splitting the fandom as viewers debated the pros and cons of Maul’s return. Given the character’s popularity, Lucasfilm has leaned into his comeback to market Solo’s upcoming home media release. Earlier today, two new promotional stills of actor Ray Park in costume were unveiled. Now, for those who can’t wait a few more weeks until the movie comes out on digital, the full Maul sequence is now available to view online.

Related: The Clone Wars Revival Can Pay Off Maul’s Solo Cameo

Coming courtesy of IGN, the clip starts at the moment Qi’ra places a call to the mysterious Crimson Dawn leader. The details of the duo’s conversation are well known by now, but if one is in the need for a refresher (or simply wants to watch it again), the clip can be viewed in the space below:

Maul’s path to Solo was quite interesting, as the Crimson Dawn kingpin was referred to as “boss” in the script (a list of possible candidates was developed). Co-writer Jonathan Kasdan always hoped to use Maul, and director Ron Howard advocated for the former Sith Lord as well. Perhaps things could have played differently if original helmsmen Phil Lord & Chris Miller stayed on board, but that’s something viewers will likely never know. One does have to admire the choice the creative team went with, as it demonstrated a commitment to unifying the canon across all mediums. Whereas the Marvel Cinematic Universe maintains a division between its film and TV properties, Maul’s cameo was the latest instance of the Star Wars movies paying respect to their small screen brethren.

Despite that, some people can’t help but see the Maul scene as nothing more than empty fan service, distracting audiences from Han’s character growth at the end of the film. Speaking of the MCU, the scene also had the feel of a stinger that plants seeds to be explored later. With Solo unlikely to spawn any sequels or spinoffs of its own, the onus will be on the Lucasfilm story group to find a proper conclusion for this story thread. Yes, the scene does work as an ending of sorts by illustrating Qi’ra’s dedication to the criminal underworld she’s a part of, but she certainly has unfinished business with Maul. A novel or comic series could be in order.

MORE: Ray Park Tried to Spoil Maul’s Solo Cameo

Source: IGN

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2018-09-07 04:09:39 – Chris Agar

Vampire Diaries: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Damon And Elena’s Relationship

The core relationship in The Vampire Diaries is between Elena and Damon. Elena did have major friendships with others, and a romantic affair with Damon’s brother Stefan early on, but the show is ultimately about the love between Elena and Damon.

The problem with that is that their relationship occasionally doesn’t make sense. They have their moments of affection, hostility, and friendship, and while there are scenes that do make sense for each one, there seem to be even more that just don’t add up.

Every show has something about it that doesn’t make sense, no matter how hard the writers, creators, and producers attempt to make everything sensible. Sometimes it’s not on purpose, as continuity is forgotten or characters need to act a certain way– different from their usual behavior– to move the plot along.

Damon and Elena seemed to have more issues than any other couple on the show. Maybe that was because they were the focus, and for many episodes and arcs, they were involved in many other relationships – romantic and platonic.

Much of this list contains behaviors that conflict with previous scenes or dialogue. Some other entries extract parts of storylines that involve Damon or Elena and show you how much establishing those characters is important in keeping their relationship believable and consistent. There are, of course spoilers, so anyone who has yet to finish The Vampire Diaries should tread somewhat carefully.

Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Damon And Elena’s Relationship.

20 Damon’s Violent Streaks

Damon has a temper. Many of Damon’s violent actions occur because he’s upset with Elena or she has done something to spark his anger. He goes on reckless sprees, hurting many people in the process.

Elena overlooks this about Damon.

Even as a human, Elena’s moral character becomes weak when she glosses over the violence because a part of her sees the good in Damon. A small argument could be made that after she becomes a vampire, Elena understands what Damon goes through, butElena never had as many outbursts as Damon.

Is that enough to foster a solid relationship – friendship or romantic? For most couples, a temper that results in people getting wiped out would be a relationship-ender.

19 Books to TV Show Inconsistencies

The creators changed some aspects of Elena and Damon and their relationship from the novel series.

In the books, Elena was selfish and always got what she wants. This is different than the caring and loving person in the show. Damon is a completely different vampire who really hated his brother, Stefan.

However, the one thing that remained the same between the TV show and books is Damon’s reactions when he makes advances towards Elena. Elena in the books rejects him constantly, which causes him to lash out with jealousy.

If you haven’t read the books, Elena eventually chooses Stefan as her life partner for eternity.

18 Shallow Feelings from Elena

For many of the early seasons, Elena struggled with her feelings for Damon and Stefan. Damon tried to get her to confess her love for him. She fought it, but somehow managed to reciprocate the same kind of emotion back to Damon.

But that was only on the surface. Elena seemed like she couldn’t grasp what she was really feeling for Damon.

It was obvious to fans that, deep down, she still loved Stefan no matter what she felt for Damon.

That didn’t make sense, since she allowed those outward affections to overtake anything she had for Stefan. It’s almost like she was so defeated and exhausted from the emotions that it was easier for her to simply choose Damon.

17 Elena Forgives Damon For Everything

At its most basic level, Damon and Elena’s relationship is based on control, fear, and physical attraction. Unlike Elena and Stefan as a couple, Elena and Damon have no solid foundation to sustain a long-term relationship.

The main problem is that Damon abuses Elena emotionally and physically way too many times. She shouldn’t simply say, “I see something good in him” to stay with Damon. For example, Damon broke Elena’s hand when she tried to slap him out of frustration. He caught the hand and squeezed it until her bones snapped.

When Elenawent to save her boyfriend at a lake, Damon threw her into that lake because he was jealous. But Elena constantly forgives him, no matter how badly he treats her.

16 Damon loved her doppelganger first

Damon’s returned to Mystic Falls for one reason: to help the woman he loved – Katherine Pierce – for over a century escape the tomb she was in. When he went to free Katherine, he learned she had already left the tomb and never came looking for Damon.

He had been in love with Katherine, but she had never loved him back. As time went on, Damon grew to dislike Katherine. However, he started to befriend Katherine’s doppelganger, who happened to be Elena.

Wouldn’t this cause some awkwardness for Damon?

The woman he had loved for 145 years never returned those same feelings, but here is Elena, who he grew to like, then love. Emotions aside, Elena looking like Katherine probably should have caused more resentment, but things between them progressed as if Elena wasn’t a doppelganger.

15 Too many break ups and make ups

If you take a look at the Damon and Elena’s relationship from his point of view, you might get the impression that he’s indifferent to having Elena in his life. When they are together and “good” (meaning Damon hasn’t gone on a violent streak or done something to Elena’s friends) they are really good.

But they break up multiple times. Once, he claims he broke up with her when she attended college because he saw how he was changing her, so he broke up with her. He tends to cast their relationship, no matter what type it is, aside without another thought. He tries to move on.

When the desire is too great to resist, and they decide to get back together, all is forgiven, which is a big theme between Damon and Elena.

14 Damon shares blood with Elena while she’s still with Stefan

When The Vampire Diaries had Elena share Damon’s blood, creator Julie Plec said that it’s “a little bit of a shout-out to the books.” Blood sharing, we learn from the show, is a very intimate experience.

In one episode, Damon decides to share his blood with Elena. Except Elena is still with Stefan at this point. And being very intimate, as Plec says, “you really shouldn’t be doing it with anybody who’s not your one true vampire love.”

Elena had no idea what was going on, but Damon did.

Stefan was furious, but Elena didn’t seem quite as upset as Stefan. Once again, it was Damon’s selfish behavior that threw a wrench in things.

13 Damon attacked her little brother

In the season two episode “The Return”, Damon finds out that Katherine never loved him. He goes to Elena’s place to wait for her. When she shows up, Damon and Elena have a talk.

Damon informs Elena that she is hiding her true feelings for him from herself, so he kisses her. Elena finds it necessary to tell him that, while she truly cares about Damon, her life will always be with Stefan.

This angers Damon greatly. And in response to Elena, Damon finds her brother Jeremy and snaps his neck. Elena does tell Stefan that she hates Damon, but when Damon and her finally get together, the incident with her brother is completely forgotten. Jeremy did come back to life later.

12 Damon got with her mother

At the time Damon and Isobel start their relationship, Damon is a cured vampire. Damon had turned Isobel into a vampire, who then returned to Mystic Falls later. Isobel wished to cause harm to Elena, who happened to be her daughter.

Elena doesn’t seem bothered by the fact Damon got with her birth mother.

It is possible that Elena doesn’t know, but you have to assume when Isobel threatened Elena, she probably used her past with Damon to cause further issues.

Another reason Elena probably doesn’t seem bothered is that Damon and Isobel only had a physical affair. Still, if Elena had learned how violent he was to Isobel to make her leave town, Elena would be bothered.

11 Damon Used his Special Powers on Elena in the pilot

In the premiere episode, viewers were treated with a display of Damon’s powers. While Elena was sitting in a cemetery, writing in her diary, Damon conjured fog and crows.

Elena didn’t really freak out. She acted like it was an everyday occurrence. Perhaps she had other stuff on her mind, like the passing of her parents.

Even early on, Elena’s reaction to this new supernatural world around her was sometimes indifferent. With Damon, she focused on getting him to act good, despite knowing what he was capable of.

Maybe she wasn’t all that afraid because she knew something viewers didn’t: that the fog and crow powers would never be used again after the pilot.

10 Damon blames the Sire Bond for Elena’s love

The sire bond is a connection between a vampire and the person they turn. The sired then shows their loyalty by following the orders of their sire– sometimes called a master.

In The Vampire Diaries, Damon creates a sire bond by turning Elena. Elena realizes her strong love for Damon and professes her love to him, but Damon only thinks she is saying that because of the bond.

We learn in the show that the bond only affects actions, not emotions like love.

If anyone should know this, Damon should. He’s over 170 years old and was sired himself by Katherine. Why was he skeptical about her love confession? He pretty much flat-out didn’t believe it.

9 Elena Chooses Damon… Twice

The cornerstone relationship in The Vampire Diaries is between Damon and Elena. They each had other relationships, but it was their love and desire that took center stage in the television program.

Except Elena had to choose Damon twice, which, in the grand scope of the show, didn’t make sense. While the show was on the air – and even to this day – fans were either Team Damon or Team Stefan.

To choose to be with Damon more than once may have meant she had fallen out of love with him– or it could have meant Elena always had feelings for Stefan, who she probably fit better with anyway.

8 The Diaries

The word is in the name of the TV show. If the creators wanted to use the word “diaries” merely to represent an account of the lives in Mystic Falls, then they shouldn’t have teased viewers with actual diaries.

Stefan and Elena had diaries, which were catalysts to how they met. It was interesting to see her viewpoint of events through her human eyes, and vice versa with Stefan. It’s clear the diaries were important.

Thus, it’s understandable why they ended up together in the beginning. But what about Damon? He didn’t start writing in a diary until season 7 and it wasn’t really seen again.

With how much they had in common, Stefan and Elena should have stayed together. Damon and Elena just didn’t have the compatibility.

7 Elena’s Hallucination Relationship with Damon

When Damon perishes, Elena is extremely heartbroken, so she decides to do something drastic. Elena begins taking special substances to induce hallucinations of Damon. She doesn’t want to believe the person she loved is gone.

What she’s doing is dangerous, mainly because of the type and amount of substance she’s ingesting. Eventually, she sees the harm and goes to Alaric to remove the memories of Damon. What doesn’t make sense is what comes before.

Not one of her friends steps up to force some kind of intervention, subtle or direct.

Do some people see it and don’t care? Elena is having a ghost-relationship with Damon at this point, which is an unhealthy way to grieve, but most of her friends apparently feel it’s the right way for Elena. No matter how hazardous.

6 Damon turned Elena and pushed vampire blood on her

Vampires usually turns humans by biting their necks. For the most part, the humans who are turned don’t know what’s happening to them until it’s over and they wake as vampires. Some humans want to change. Elena, however, had no desire to become a vampire. Still, Damon turned her.

While Elena is trying to adapt to drinking animal blood, Damon pushes his own blood on her.

It could be considered selfish, but afterward, Elena was just fine with Damon turning her and giving her his blood. At least, the method wasn’t as painful and violent as some others on the show.

Could she have been angrier at Damon for doing what he did? Sure, but as Elena often did during the show, she forgave him.

5 Damon repeatedly compelled her

Because Damon has the ability to control others through “compelling,” most of his relationships progress this way– included his bond with Elena.

Damon “compelled” her on a few occasions, and essentially controlled her during the sire bond situation.

What makes no sense is that at no time did Elena realize this was happening to her, even when she wasn’t under Damon’s control. She never really questioned her actions while under the influence, nor did anyone step up to tell her some of the things she did or thought or said were out of character for her.

Also, no one ever decided to confront Damon about “compelling” or controlling others, especially Elena.

4 Damon Abused Elena’s Best Friend

Damon’s attitude towards Caroline was one of disdain and indifference. He continuously hurt Caroline through a variety of ways (which seems to be Damon’s modus operandi through life) including meaningless hook-ups and thinking that she was just something to play with.

In less than 24 hours, Damon has bit her neck, then attacked her the next morning. Later, Damon “compelled” Caroline to wear a dress he wanted to see her in. It got worse form there.

Elena was horrified at first to find out Damon treated her friend like this.

She even called him cruel, but all was forgotten when it came time to share her feelings for him. Elena should have at least been worried about being treated the same way.

3 Elena only loved Damon after she was turned

It was established in another part of this list that Damon uses his special abilities to get people and vampires to do what he wants. With Elena, he doesn’t let their romantic relationship progress as naturally as it should.

Instead, he hurries up Elena’s love for him. In many ways, Damon knew what he was doing and who he was hurting when he turned Elena into a vampire. He was definitely aware that Elena’s emotions would be heightened, especially after the sire bond.

In truth, Elena didn’t realize she had a deep love inside her for Damon until after she became a vampire. Is it possible that if she wasn’t turned she’d still be with Stefan?

2 Everyone Is Afraid of Damon

Damon has lived a long life (about 180 years) and has befriended many, fell in love with many, and made enemies of many. No one has ever really had the gumption to stand up to him — except Elena.

Damon wasn’t the most powerful vampire, and if enough people got together, they could find a way to put Damon in his place. But the demure little human, Elena, wasn’t afraid of him and had no issues calling him out when it suited her.

Unfortunately, it seems like she never really called out the bad things he did. Her reasoning was that she saw something in him that wasn’t all evil, even when he was visibly doing evil things.

1 Damon’s Love A Problem

As this list has established, Damon has a problem keeping his anger subdued. From the first episode, continuing through season after season, Damon lashes out at the smallest provocation.

In season 3, Damon gets his neck broken when Elena visits Ester. At that point, Elena calls Damon’s love “a problem.”

It’s easy to understand why: all you have to do is go back to any scene where Damon is mean to Elena.

Elena regrets the words and tries to apologize and make excuses, but Damon ignores all that. He goes out with Rebekah. A totally appropriate response, right? Never mind the fact that Elena has already forgiven him for so many things already.

What didn’t make sense about Damon and Elena’s relationship for you in The Vampire Diaries? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-09-07 04:09:33 – Gregory Thompson

The Nun: The True Story Behind The Conjuring Prequel

Warning: SPOILERS for The Nun

The Conjuring universe has scared millions, but its origins are finally revealed in The Nun. A spinoff prequel set decades before the rest of the Conjuring universe’s hauntings, fans will want to know: how much of this story is actually true?

If not true, then how much of it is based on or inspired by the very real paranormal investigations carried out by Ed and Lorraine Warren. Actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga have made the Warrens household names for horror fans, but previous films have made some tenuous connections between fact, fiction, and fantasy. And by now, horror fans know they’re likely not seeing a faithful account of how the original story unfolded.

RELATED: Does The Nun Have a Post-Credits Scene?

The Nun may be a similar case, but real figures, locations, and accounts of demonic possession do act as the basis of large parts of the movie… more than some will expect.

  • This Page: The Real Demon Valak & Lorraine’s Vision
  • Page 2: The Real Monastery & Nun Possession

Yes, Valak The President of Hell is a Real Demon

We hope readers will understand that saying any demon is “real” or fictional means drawing a line not between true or false, but between creation for the film, and referencing established demonic history. And while Valak taking this specific appearance in The Conjuring universe is a style choice by the filmmakers, the demon itself is known quite well to demonologists, holding the same rank and titles as communicated in the movie.

We’ll stop short of diving any deeper into the categories and names of the 72 demons codified in the Ars Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon one of the most iconic, 17th Century texts on demons and demonology (and seen as a compilation of some texts that go back even farther into the 1400s). Curious readers can head down those rabbit holes on their own. All movie fans likely want to know is that: yes, “Valak” or “Valac” is one of those demons. Although he is usually depicted as a young boy with angel’s wings, who rides a two-headed dragon and can deliver those who contact him into either treasures or serpents.

But the movie appearance of Valak is also related to some real-life inspirations from Lorraine Warren herself.

A Nun-Like Figure Really Did Haunt Lorraine Warren

The white faced, habit-ed, demonic nun isn’t connected to the traditional appearance of the demon Valak – but is it based on anything other than Hollywood marketing? Surprisingly, yes. While making the press rounds for The Conjuring 2, where The Nun first emerged as the real antagonist of the series haunting Lorraine Warren (Farmiga), director James Wan explained the origin to i09:

From talking to Lorraine in passing, she mentioned a spectral entity that has haunted her in her house. And it’s this swirling tornado vortex with this hooded figure in there, and I remember hearing that and my first thought was, ‘Oh crap, that’s going to be a CGI character.’ I didn’t want to do that. And so, it kind of took me a while to cement in my head what this vision was. And it came across eventually in a very organic way.

Because it is a demonic vision that haunts her, that only attacks her, I wanted something that would attack her faith. Something that would threaten the safety of her husband. And so that was eventually how the idea of this very iconographic image of a holy icon cemented in my head.

So there you have it, The Nun is visually inspired by the actual entity seen by the real-world Lorraine. That helps to explain Valak’s role in The Conjuring 2 – being tied to Lorraine specifically through visions – but The Nun is intended to be a prequel, telling its own story.

So is the monastery real, along with the odd nun murders, and rift to Hell blown open during World War II?

Page 2 of 2: The Real Monastery & Nun Possession

The Film is Set at The Real Cârța Monastery

The building where the nun intrigue takes place in the film is referred to as “The Abbey of St. Carta,” located – predictably – in Transylvania. And believe it or not, that really does seem to be based on the Cârța Monastery, or Abbey of Carta, located in the mountainous heart of Romania. A monastery erected as early as the year 1202 which, like the film, was home to monk and nuns referred to as “white,” due to their wearing white habits, not black. But while impressive in the grand scheme of history, the real location is nowhere near as extravagant (or haunting) as the version arrived at in the movie.

The bad news? The Cârța Monastery had its Cistercian monks evicted by the King of Hungary around 1494. When the events of The Nun depict the Abbey in full operation as recently as 1952, the real-world monastery had been reduced to a handful of the stone walls (while the rest of the original wooden structure had been worn away by time. Today, residents of the area congregate on the site to practice Evangelical services. But there’s no question that historic name and location were chosen as a link to reality – not as an intent to recreate it.

A True ‘Nun Possession’ Did Happen in Romania

Interestingly though, the selection of Romania for The Nun may not be an accident, either. Considering the previous Conjuring films tied into real-world events like the Amityville and Enfield phenomena, it would be strange if The Nun ignored real supernatural history entirely. But if movie fans were to do a bit of digging into Romanian exorcisms that gained notoriety, they would find one. A ‘haunting’ which took place in 2005, not 1952. Of course, not everyone saw it that way.

The believed possession and subsequent criminal trial made the Tanacu Exorcism a widely-covered case. It began when a 23 year-old woman sought out the monastery, and soon began acting strangely. Doctors diagnosed schizophrenia, but those around her believed to be witnessing a demonic possession. The resulting exorcism tragically cost the nun her life, with those responsible sentenced to jail time.

RELATED: Just How Scary is The Nun?

Separate, these accounts and details have little connecting them. But placed into one large, creative melting pot, they show just how outlandish or original a film can be while still claiming to have been “inspired by real events.”

The References Are Real, The Movie Story Isn’t (Obviously)

No horror movie fans needs us to confirm that there was not a reliable, confirmed case of a demonic nun terrorizing a convent, monastery, or any other religious residence. All things considered, the fact that The Nun connects The Conjuring and Annabelle to the origin of the Warrens’ investigations, while actually being the sixth movie released should leave little doubt that it’s fiction intended to stitch separate incidents together.

The closest one could claim that The Nun comes to being based on a real-world event would be Lorraine Warren’s vision of a dark, hooded figure. That’s less concrete experience upon which to build a story than any Conjuring film thus far, so perhaps the filmmakers can be afforded a freebie (since The Nun isn’t boasting the same ties to true accounts or happenings as previous entries).

As for cinematic inspirations and meta filmmaking, the similarities to countless other horror tales can’t be ignored (in which two supernatural warriors arrive to encounter unspeakable evil). Factor the murder mystery taking place in a monastery, and Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of The Rose comes to mind. No surprise, then, that producer James Wan describes The Nun as a cross between that narrative and The Conjuring spirit.

MORE: Complete Timeline of The Conjuring Movie Universe

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2018-09-07 04:09:15 – Andrew Dyce

Black Ops 4: Blackout Private Beta Codes GIVEAWAY!

We’ve seen and played Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s main multiplayer mode. And this week we finally got our first glimpse at the features and gameplay of the franchise’s first ever battle royale mode, titled Blackout. And next week, we all finally get to play it for the first time.

Next week begins the Blackout private beta for gamers who’ve pre-ordered Black Ops 4, and it’ll first be available on PS4, followed by Xbox, and then PC after before it goes public for any PC player who has a account and client installed. Screen Rant has you covered though since we’re giveaway early access private beta codes, meaning you can try Blackout battle royale without having to pre-order the game.

Watch: Call of Duty’s Blackout Battle Royale Gameplay Reveal Looks Really Impressive

For details on prizing and information on how to enter, see below.

Blackout Private Beta Code Giveaway Details & Prizes

Screen Rant is giving away forty (40) Blackout private beta codes that can be redeemed at for any platform (PS4, XB1 or PC).

The beta first begins on PS4 on the 10th so we’ll email codes to the 40 winners the evening before!

How to Enter Screen Rant’s Blackout Private Beta Code Giveaway

Blackout Private Beta Codes

Eligibility: Open to legal residents of Canada and USA who are 18 years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor, prize supplier and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the “Promotion Entities”), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize.

About Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout Mode

Blackout drops players into a last-player-standing experience that is uniquely Black Ops. A true celebration of the series, Blackout features fan-favorite characters, weapons and iconic parts of classic maps, all in the largest map in franchise history complete with land, sea and air vehicles.

Fight through classic Black Ops locales while playing as some of your favorite characters from across the series. Drop into the action in a wing suit, and take command of land, sea and air vehicles in this last-player-standing experience celebrating the Black Ops series in an unprecedented way, all on the biggest map in Call of Duty® franchise history.

More: Call of Duty’s Battle Royale Supports More Players Than Battlefield V’s

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2018-09-07 03:09:51 – Rob Keyes