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Avengers: Endgame Breaks International BO Records with $169M Opening Day

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame has officially broken several international box office records with its opening day. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise to moviegoers: Endgame is probably one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, if not the decade. Even before its opening weekend, the film was already selling out thousands of screenings, and fans crashed ticket-buying sites, such as Fandango, when ticket pre-orders went live.

Endgame follows up on a story that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up to for over 10 years. It’s a direct follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War, a movie that saw the Avengers lose to the Mad Titan Thanos, who successfully collected all the Infinity Stones to give him ultimate power. Thanos then used that power to snap his fingers, which decimated half of the universe’s population, as well as many of the superheroes who were members of the Avengers team. The movie will help wrap up Phase 3 of the MCU, although that phase officially ends in July with the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Related: Avengers: Endgame Recap: The Most Important Things To Remember From Each Movie

For now, though, Endgame is breaking records all over the world. According to Box Office Pro, the film has brought in a whopping $169 million in its opening day overseas. It opened at #1 in all markets and broke records in China for the highest all-time industry single day and the highest all-time midnight showing. Other countries also saw the movie break records for the highest all-time industry single day, including Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Taiwan. It also scored the highest all-time superhero opening of all time in many countries.

Considering that Endgame cost anywhere from $350-400 million to produce, the fact that it is well on track to take in a sizable profit speaks loudly about just how many people are interested in seeing this film. The movie already has a Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and both fans and critics have started to chime in with statements about how epic Endgame is.

Endgame breaking box office records isn’t surprising to fans of the franchise since Marvel spent over a decade building up these characters and stories, with Endgame being the ultimate finale in the series. The enormous demand for the film has some theaters adding additional showings around the clock to give fans what they want – unlimited power to see the movie of all movies in the MCU without needing an Infinity Gauntlet to do so. There is also a high likelihood of repeat viewings, meaning that the sky’s the limit when it comes to how much money Endgame will eventually take in.

More: Avengers: Endgame Hides a Secret Thor Joke in Its Poster

Source: Box Office Pro


2019-04-25 11:04:09

Robin Burks

Leslie Jones Breaks Down Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere In Funny Video

Leslie Jones hilariously breaks down the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones in a brand new clip. HBO’s smash series is back for its final outing, and while there wasn’t any shocking deaths of major characters in the premiere, there’s still a lot that happened. With no shortage of great moments to talk about, the comedian had a field day dissecting the new episode of the fantasy series.

Game of Thrones season 8 episode 1 (aptly titled “Winterfell”) opened with the arrival of Jon (Kit Harington) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) at the northern castle, marking the reunion of the former with his (supposed) siblings. While the Starks’ warmly welcomed him, Sansa (Sophie Turner) wasn’t exactly thrilled with the Khaleesi’s presence despite being diplomatic with her. Later in the episode, Sam (John Bradley) also drops the bombshell on Jon about his true lineage. Whether or not he’s the one to deliver the news to Daenerys remains to be seen, but the couple seems to still be head-over-heels in love with each other. The episode ends with the much-anticipated reunion of Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) after their encounter all the way back in season 1 where the Kingslayer shoved the young boy out a window, crippling him.

Related: Game of Thrones: Every Season 1 Callback in The Season 8 Premiere

With so much to discuss, Jones sat down with Late Night with Seth Meyer host, Seth Meyer for the segment, Game of Jones, where they both watched the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones. The actress/comedian didn’t disappoint with her reaction as she is voracious and animated all throughout. Apparently, the HBO show is the first nerdy content she’s really been obsessed with, explaining her enthusiasm to almost everything happening on the screen. Watch the full video below:

This is not the first time that Jones has done this, sitting down with Meyers for different episodes of Game of Thrones over the last couple of seasons and providing simultaneous commentary to what they’re watching. At one point during an earlier video, Lord Varys actor Conleth Hill surprised her and joined the screening. During that session, she confronted him with where his real loyalty lies despite the fact that he’s stuck it out with Daenerys. While Game of Thrones is the only nerd content that Jones provides commentary at this level, she’s also live-tweeted her viewing of Avengers: Infinity War to the delight of people reading her tweets – even the cast of the movie.

From the sound of it, Jones and Meyer will be doing this as a weekly thing throughout the final season of Game of Thrones. As the tension is amplified in the final five episodes of the HBO series, watching this segment is a great way to put a fun spin on it without disrespecting the seriousness of the narrative. If anything, Game of Jones somehow provides a communal experience for fans who may not have anyone to share the experience of seeing how the story for one of the best shows on TV pans out.

More: Game of Thrones Star Explains Jamie Lannister’s Reaction to Seeing [Spoiler]

Game of Thrones continues Sunday, April 21 at 9pm on HBO.

Source: Late Night with Seth Meyers


2019-04-20 09:04:10

Ana Dumaraog

When Batman Breaks, His Only Friend is… Penguin ?

They may have spent most of DC history as bitter enemies, but in the latest run of Batman comics, the dastardly Penguin has actually become Bruce Wayne’s newest partner. That’s what happens when Bane demands loyalty from Gotham elite.

Our preview of Batman #60 begins the first chapter of Penguin and Batman’s newly confirmed alliance. The previous issue saw Oswald Cobblepot seek out the Dark Knight, before explaining that Bane had been slowly controlling a much larger game from within Arkham Asylum – and at that very moment, was going to kill Alfred Pennyworth. Penguin called off the killers, and offered to work with Batman to foil Bane’s plans. And while Penguin may not exactly have free rein throughout the Batcave, our preview shows how his partnership with Batman is slowly taking shape.

RELATED: Titans Shows Why Robin Was Batman’s Dumbest Idea

While these preview pages of Batman #60 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, and Jorge Fornes don’t actually show Alfred thanking Penguin for not having him killed, as was requested of the villain by Bane, we can assume it definitely happened. Instead, the pair are left to listen in on Batman’s radio as he searches for leads or evidence of Bane pulling the strings from his Arkham cell. And from the looks of it, the inmates recently released from Arkham are about as unwilling to give real information as those still serving time.

Check out the preview pages below:

Aside from the Shakespeare, the other part of the preview that should interest fans is Jim Gordon’s behavior, having recently dissolved his trust and partnership with Batman when the hero took his beating of Bane (and eventually, Gordon) too far. The cop’s first priority? To pull out Batman’s recent attack on Mr. Freeze and look over the case himself. The beating will be familiar to fans, since Bruce Wayne served on Mr. Freeze’s jury, and already argued that Batman used excessive force. An epiphany that Batman has obviously forgotten about, or dismissed now that Penguin has revealed Bane’s master plan. But even on good days, Batman doesn’t want a man like Jim Gordon coming for him.

We’ll need to wait and see the rest of the issue before predicting how successful this new alliance between Batman and Penguin will turn out to be. And, come to think of it, if Penguin may have more secrets and motivations than he is currently revealing (almost a guarantee for a gangster like himself). Until then, check out the full synopsis for the new issue below:

  • BATMAN (2018) #60
  • Published: December 5th, 2018
  • Writer: Tom King
  • Art: Mikel Janin
  • Cover: Mikel Janin
  • Variant Cover: Francesco Mattina
  • Batman takes on a new partner, and it’s…the Penguin? After rejecting Bane’s crime-boss co-op, Cobblepot finds himself in the crosshairs of some very teed-off villains. The feathered felon turns to his old foe to snitch on Bane’s scheme, but has to prove his intentions to avoid a Bat-beatdown. Along the way, this Gotham odd couple begins to bond—could there be a new bird joining the Bat-Family? Not if Bane has anything to say about it…

Batman #60 will be released on December 5th from DC Comics.

MORE: Batman’s New Son is His Weirdest Sidekick Yet



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2018-12-02 11:12:35

Assassin’s Creed: 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – the latest installment in Ubisoft’s wildly popular video game franchise – has finally landed on shelves. Set in Ancient Greece, Odyssey gives players the opportunity to assume the role of a mercenary from either Athens or Sparta, and to take part in a mythology-infused recreation of the Peloponnesian War.

The game features an even greater emphasis on the RPG elements first introduced in its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and boasts multiple endings that are triggered by the player’s actions. Odyssey also sees the return of the controversial Hitbox combat engine which debuted in Origins – albeit in a significantly enhanced form. Thanks to these and other challenging core mechanics – not to mention the daunting size of the game’s virtual environment – Odyssey should prove suitably tough for more casual gamers. But for seasoned veterans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise? Not so much.

Indeed, gamers who have followed the series since the very first entry way back in 2007 aren’t likely to struggle. On the contrary, we expect them to flourish, putting to good use the skills and knowledge they’ve gleaned from the past 11 games in the series – not to mention the six spin-off entries – to finish the main quest in record time.  This will leave them free to start focusing on tracking down Odyssey’s hidden Easter eggs, secret areas, and other bonus content clueless rookies don’t have a chance of tracking down unaided.

Here’s a list of 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

20 Find The Legend Of Zelda Easter Egg

Of all the many classic video game franchises, few are as unanimously beloved by both gamers and developers alike as The Legend of Zelda series. The team at Ubisoft clearly rank amongst this iconic Nintendo series’ admirers – as the easter egg they tucked away in Odyssey proves.

In a tip of the hat to the most recent Zelda instalment, Breath of the Wild, a Korok – a small humanoid figure made out of clay, flower petals and twigs – can be found on the Pandora’s Cove coastline. Although this hidden tribute is now the most well-known Easter egg in the game, experts had no trouble tracking it down on their own within mere days of Odyssey’s release!

19 Achieve The Secret Ending

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey marks a dramatic change in direction for the franchise – from purely action/adventure outings to something closer to an action/RPG hybrid. This is reflected in how important the player’s actions are to the game’s overall narrative, and in particular, how that narrative reaches its climax.

Indeed, what the player decides to do – or just as importantly, say – will determine how events unfold next, and ultimately determine which of the game’s multiple endings they achieve.

Most players should be able to reach at least one ending.

If you complete every side quest and make all of the right decisions to unlock the secret, ultra ending, ensuring the best possible finale for your mercenary.

18 Visit Atlantis

As soon as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting was announced, fans immediately began speculating over whether the fabled lost city of Atlantis would be part of its virtual environment. The good news is that Ubisoft hasn’t missed a trick, and Atlantis does indeed count among the many sunken locations scattered across the game’s humongous map. The bad news? It’s highly likely that only experts will be capable of uncovering the most eagerly anticipated (not to mention coolest) secret area in Odyssey.

The steps involved are extremely taxing, requiring players to traverse treacherous terrain, solve fiendish riddles posed by the Sphinx and dispatch a bevy of mythological horrors like Medusa, the Cyclops and the Minotaur!

17 Recruit Legendary NPCs Early

Over the course of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, players can enlist NPCs to serve as crew members aboard their ship, the Adrestia. Recruiting a high calibre crew is a great way to upgrade the Adrestia – so the trick is to bring legendary NPCs into the fold. Casual gamers will wait until they unlock these characters by completing quests, however experts are aware of a hidden mechanic that speeds up the whole process.

There’s a less publicized gameplay mechanic which enables you to recruit legendary NPCs by defeating them in combat using non-lethal takedowns.

Better yet, once your ship’s roster is made up entirely of legendary NPCs, you unlock the “Argonauts” trophy, too!

16 Regain The Cyclops Eye

One of the most frustrating moments in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey arrives early on, when you’re forced to give up the Cyclops’ Eye during Sequence 1. It’s not exactly the most classy of disposals, either: to put it bluntly, you squeeze it up the rear end of a poor, unsuspecting goat. If you’re scratching your head over this last revelation, then just trust us: it makes sense at the time!

Rookies will write off the Eye as a lost cause, but experts up to speed on the game’s secrets won’t give up so quickly. By engaging in an exhaustive goat-hunting expedition in Kephallonia, they’ll recover this valuable artifact, earning the dubious “Stink Eye” achievement, as well.

15 Change Their Ship’s Figurehead

Long-time fans of the series will recall that in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you could easily customize your ship’s decorative figurehead as part of the normal upgrade process. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that carries over to Odyssey – and only expert players are likely to work out the secret method of doing this.

For starters, you need to defeat a boss – not exactly a walk in the park itself, by the way – and then behead them.

Once this has been take care of, if you scroll through the inventory of ship upgrade options, you’ll see your new souvenir listed. Select it, and voila! The Adrestia will have itself a brand new (and rather creepy) figurehead!

14 Track Down All Of The Cultist Clues

The underlying mythology of the Assassin’s Creed franchise incorporates several shadowy organisations – and Odyssey is no exception. The latest entry in the series introduces the nefarious Cult of Kosmos, and players aiming to get the most out of game’s story need to track down and eliminate key members of the group. In order to do so, they’ll have to swap their mercenary’s helmet for their detective’s cap, as the cultists’ whereabouts are only revealed by clues sprinkled through Odyssey’s sprawling Ancient Greece setting.

Some of these hints can be uncovered with little effort, whereas others will prove elusive to all but the most seasoned of gamers!

On the plus side, all of this running around pays off, as only players who chase down every single cultist will get to experience the game’s whole story.

13 Unlock Evie Frye

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – the ninth video game in the main series – is headlined by twins Jacob and Evie Frye. Of the two siblings, Evie is arguably the more memorable – which is probably why she’s an unlockable character in Odyssey. Now, before you get too excited, bear in mind that Evie is a legendary NPC, so you won’t get to play as her directly.

Still, it’s incredibly cool to recruit her as a crew member on your ship, provided you’re an Ubisoft Club member with enough XP to afford her. See, unlocking Evie requires players to part with 7,500 XP in exchange for the “Master Assassin” badge, which only long-time fans of the franchise will have amassed!

12 Access Battle Royale Mode

Battle royale games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds are currently the hottest thing on the block. Making the most of modern online multiplayer capabilities, games in this genre pit a pack of players against each other in thrilling, last-man-standing contests.

Obviously, this stands in stark contrast to the single-player, open world experience offered by Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – until experts stumble across the “Call to Arms” sidequest. Found by scouring the island of Melos, this mission – which requires skilled players to wipe out 99 consecutive enemies – represents a thinly-veiled attempt by Ubisoft to acknowledge (or should that be “cash in on”?) the popularity of the battle royale genre!

11 Find The Black Panther Easter Egg

Black Panther is currently the second highest grossing film of 2018, and with that success comes a considerable fanbase, too. At least some of the developers at Ubisoft fall within that category, if the Black Panther Easter egg included in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is anything to go by. As experts will have no doubt already discovered, the game contains a fairly faithful recreation of Black Panther’s two most notable scenes: the duels that occur at the base of a waterfall.

This is staged at the Gortyn Waterfall, where players can first spectate on the melee using Eagle Vision.

That’s not all, though: it’s also possible to clamber up the cliff where the fight is going down, and actually confront the pair of brawlers yourself!

10 Discover Sam Fisher’s Goggles

So far we’ve focused solely on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting – which disregards the fact that certain sections of the game are set in a present day safe house. Anyone unfamiliar with the franchise’s convoluted (some would say downright insane) science fiction elements, just trust us when we say that this does make sense.

Regardless of whether or not you buy into this more far-fetched aspect of the Assassin’s Creed mythology, there are multiple Easter eggs to dig up during these segments. Not all of these relate to the franchise either – just ask the experts who’ve unearthed the iconic, three-lensed night vision goggles worn by Sam Fisher, the protagonist of Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell games!

9 Stumble Across The Sword In The Stone

The team at Ubisoft has done a remarkable job of recreating an utterly convincing (albeit wildly fantastical) rendition of Ancient Greece in Odyssey. This awesome attention to detail is reflected in almost every aspect of the virtual environment, particularly the character and weapon design. We say “almost”, because at least one item experts will undoubtedly come across whilst roaming the game map definitely does not fit the time period depicted: the Sword in the Stone from Arthurian legend. Fortunately, this gag is an intentional mistake on the developer’s part.

Unfortunately, you can’t remove this legendary blade from its Lakonia resting place.

That’s a real shame: historical accuracy be damned – there’s always a place for Excalibur in our armory!

8 Locate The Rabbid Figure

Another easter egg squirrelled away in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s modern era safe house setting, the Rabbid figure is hard to spot if players blitz through these sequences. However, experts tend to favor a more methodical approach – even when confronted by the franchise’s moments of less than engaging gameplay.

These long-time campaigners will cast their eyes over every inch of the safe house, which means snooping around each room, no matter how empty it appears to be. This will eventually lead them to the shelves of a particularly untidy room. Here, they’ll spy the Rabbid toy – a cute shout-out to Ubisoft’s all-ages Rayman franchise, accompanied by a line of dialogue (“Bwaah?”) associated with these bunny-like characters.

7 Acquire The Epic Unicorn Skin

It doesn’t matter what mythology we’re talking about: unicorns are invariably treated as an incredibly rare species. Certainly, this carries over to the world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where players can indeed transform their horse into one of these awe-inspiring creatures – provided they can get their hands on a unicorn pelt.

They sport an eye-watering 6,400 Drachmae price tag!

Rookies who are feeling flush will plump for either the Black Unicorn or undeniably amazing (though sadly, non-flying) Pegasus skins, purchased with real-world cash from the Ubisoft Store. On the other hand, genuine experts prefer to earn their keep, and will trawl merchant stalls for the appropriately named, randomly-spawing Epic Unicorn skin, which leaves rainbow hoof prints.

6 Home Town Pride

The developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hail from Ubisoft’s Montreal headquarters, based in Quebec. Like the citizens of any city or town, these guys and gals are proud of the place they call home – so much so that they managed to sneak a Quebec-related easter egg into the game!

It’s something that will almost certainly go unnoticed by less observant gamers, but experienced players – the type of people who scan the entire game environment for secret material – will discover a travel magazine whilst rifling through the safe house. The destination this mag is promoting? Why, Quebec, of course! True, it’s not exactly the most exciting bonus content in Odyssey, but it’s a nice touch all the same.

5 Put The Arena Spikes To Good Use

A key trait which separates veteran Assassin’s Creed players from newcomers is the willingness of the former to experiment with their surroundings. Take the spikes that dotted around the Arena in Odyssey.

Rookies will probably dismiss these as mere set dressing and completely ignore them once the fighting breaks out.

Don’t expect experts to make the same mistake, though. Already clued up on just how interactive the game worlds in the franchise can be, these gamers will immediately identify the potential for the spikes to deal damage to their opponents. The next thing you know, the edges of the Arena will begin to resemble a shish kebab vendor who trades in skewered would-be gladiatorial champions!

4 Reminisce About The Frye Twins

It turns out Assassin’s Creed Syndicate isn’t the only instalment in the franchise to take place in London – Odyssey does, too. True, the vast majority of the game is set in Ancient Greece, but its modern era sections unfold in London, something that won’t come as a shock to more attentive players.

After all, just by gazing out of the safe house windows, you can take in a decent view of London’s famous skyline, with what tourists would recognize as Big Beg especially prominent. What’s more, if you allow yourself a moment to properly contemplate the sight before your eyes, you’ll even trigger a line of dialogue that references Jacob and Evie Frye, the lead characters in Syndicate!

3 Discover All Of The Underwater Locations

As you might expect from a virtual environment that recreates the entire Aegean Sea, Atlantis isn’t the only submerged area on the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey map.

The ocean floor of Ubisoft’s vision of Ancient Greece is littered with dozens of hidden locations brimming with valuable treasure.

Anyone prepared to embrace their inner Jacques Cousteau will be in for a real treat. That said, given the sheer amount of exploration required to pinpoint all of these sunken locations – fun fact: at 130km², Odyssey’s map is 62% bigger than the already massive world of Origins – we’d wager only experts will visit all of them.

2 Get All Of The Other Endings As Well

Sure, everybody wants to get the best possible Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ending – you know: the super secret, totally awesome one we mentioned earlier. Even so, part of being an expert is also having a completist streak, which is why we think they’ll figure out how to achieve Odyssey’s eight other possible endings, as well.

This might not sound like much, but it’s actually quite a feat, for two main reasons. First of all, this game is absurdly long – the main quest alone clocks in at 40 hours of gameplay – so repeating it again and again is no picnic. Secondly, they’ll need to ensure they get every single word and deed right, in order to arrive at their desired conclusion!

1 Climb Up The Naked Statue

Full disclosure: this entry is unashamedly juvenile in nature, given it revolves around players scaling up a male statue and dangling from part of its anatomy (three guesses which part). Regardless, we’re positive that even the most mature expert will decide to do just that, when they pass by this landmark early on in Odyssey – honestly, it’s just too hard to resist.

You’ll be rewarded for your childish antics if you do.

Performing this act initiates a wry line of dialogue from the player’s mercenary, which just goes to show that Ubisoft definitely predicted this becoming a thing. Although to be honest, they hardly needed the talents of one of Ancient Greece’s oracles to foresee it!

Did we miss out any other things that only experts know how to do in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 06:10:21 – Leon Miller

15 Rules The Cast Of Counting Cars Is Forced To Obey

The guys working at Count’s Kustoms may not seem like a the type who are keen on rule-following, and, for the most part, that is true. There really aren’t all that many stated rules in the domain of Danny Koker and crew, but everyone has lines that they would prefer remain uncrossed.

That said, Danny and the crew of Counting Cars do have a few unstated laws that must be adhered to on the set. While the History network may not be as interested in staging dramatics and scenarios as their competitors, that isn’t to say that they haven’t laid out a few orders which need to be followed in order to keep the show interesting for the viewer. It may betray the tough guy bravado of the show, but rules are rules, no matter how many hot rods you’ve restored.

Some of these rules are relatively petty and simple, while others might raise an eyebrow or two and hint at a darker history behind these Las Vegas-based body shop workers. Danny, Mike and company haven’t caused all that many controversies when compared to some other big-name reality TV stars out there, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a couple of skeletons in their closet. Again, there don’t appear to be all that many hard-and-fast rules on the set of Counting Cars, but there are at least a few things that cast members know to keep an eye out for.

Here are the 15 Rules The Cast Of Counting Cars Is Forced To Obey.

15 Only Approach Certain People About Their Cars

A major focal point of many Counting Cars episodes is Danny’s frequent run-ins with random car owners. He’s often been filmed approaching people on the street or following someone home in order to track them down and make a deal for their car. These moments are, as most viewers may have guessed, almost always staged.

This is a pretty important rule for the cast to follow, however, as following hot rod owners home and offering to buy their cars is a pretty good way to creep out your clientele and make viewers think you’re a huge weirdo.

While Danny may have done something like this once or twice in his private life, these instances are commonly pre-arranged for the show. Stalking someone with the intent of bartering for their car is probably illegal anyway, though it does make for some interesting TV. Most of the Counting Cars guys aren’t actors by trade, either, and their performance sort of ruins the facade at times.

14 Get Every Fact Straight

If there’s one rule that Danny Koker does his best to follow, it is this one. Danny and the rest of the Counting Cars crew have frequently been called out and ridiculed by trivia-loving car aficionados for small mistakes they have made on air. Event the smallest of inaccuracies get pointed out, and it may call the integrity of Count’s Kustoms into question for the hardest of the hardcore.

For instance, Danny was once noted to have been incorrect about the year in which Chevy first started producing the Corvette: he said it was 1954, but it was actually 1952. It is a mistake he has yet to live down in some circles, and he’s since been sure to get his facts straight when he’s on camera.

13 Keep an Eye Out

Again, this isn’t necessarily a written rule, and it may seem like common sense for most business owners, but Danny and the rest of the guys working at Count’s Kustoms need to do their best to make sure burglary and theft aren’t taking place under their noses. This may sound like a no-brainer, but these things have happened more than once in the autoshop’s history.

From stolen trailers to ransacked houses and full-on employee embezzlement cases, Counting Cars hasn’t had a totally spotless run.

As a result, the guys at Count’s Kustoms need to keep an eye on their surroundings as well as on their co-workers, which doesn’t exactly create grounds for a healthy work environment.

12 The Customer is Always Right

The guys at Count’s Kustoms have taken on some pretty ludicrous jobs over the years, and this is partially because, as a rule, they try not to refuse any customization requests. This definitely isn’t something that’s been set in stone, as Koker and his employees have certainly turned some people away over the course of the show’s history, but it rarely ever happens.

Though they specialize in motorcycles and cars, the Counting Cars crew has accepted vans, busses, and even boats in the past, which certainly made for some interesting TV. It probably isn’t in Danny’s best interest to take on literally every project which comes through his door, but they certainly seem to try.

11 Keep Them Coming

Time is money, and the crew working behind the scenes at Count’s Kustoms sure like to keep busy. Though Counting Cars never really gets into the inner workings of the shop, Danny has said that they never have fewer than fifteen projects going at one time.

Given that each project is a pretty hefty investment in terms of time and resources, this is a pretty major commitment.

As a result, Count’s Kustoms has taken on a bunch of new employees over the years, and they don’t seem to show any signs of slowing down any time soon. Though the show’s popularity may eventually fade, Danny and his employee’s work probably won’t.

10 Stick to the Budget

Danny Koker is known to be very conservative both politically and fiscally. He is extremely protective of his money despite the fact that he has plenty of it to spare, and he never overspends except in very particular situations. Though it may not be an explicitly laid out rule in his shop, Danny’s employees are doubtlessly aware of the fact that they really need to stick to a budget.

The Count himself has shown his financially conservative nature when haggling, and he has been known to walk away from deals he finds unfair. This doesn’t show up all that often in the show, of course, because most of the drama is scripted and most of the bartering has already been pre-arranged. Those close to Danny, however, will know the truth.

9 Don’t Rush It

Count’s Kustoms may take on no fewer than fifteen projects at a time, but most of these projects take quite a while to complete. This is never really shown on the show, though, as the Counting Cars producers like to expedite things for the sake of viewer interest, but customization jobs are known to take 12 to 24 months to complete on average.

This may sound like an insane amount of time, but there really aren’t many places in the world that offer customization options like Count’s Kustoms.

Though some projects cruise through the shop in as little as ninety days, most employees know not to rush things.

8 Don’t Mention Danny’s Dad

Danny Koker’s father, a well-respected man who taught Danny everything he knows about autobody customization, bequeathed his extensive collection of rare cars to his son when he passed away. These vehicles hold an incredible amount of sentimental value to the Count’s Kustoms owner, and, though he has shown parts of the collection off in recent years, he doesn’t like to work on them.

Danny has said that his father’s passing is still a tough subject for him, and, as a result, most of his employees know better than to bring it up. In fact, even Counting Cars regulars should know better than to mention those cars or suggest working on them. While this may one day change, it remains a point of contention in Danny’s garage.

7 Don’t Bring up the Bandana

This really isn’t an unspoken rule, as Danny’s look has been the subject of occasional workplace antics over the years, but it should be said that Danny doesn’t seem all that keen to reveal what’s going on underneath his iconic bandana.

Many have speculated that he is covering some sort of facial deformity or unsightly tattoo, while others believe that he is abnormally committed to his rock-and-roll look.

The most likely explanation is that he isn’t eager to show off his receding hairline. Though this is little more than speculation, it does explain why Danny is often pretty defensive in regards to his dress. Those close to him might poke fun, but fans may want to avoid the subject.

6 Be Careful When Haggling

Danny Koker has stated on multiple occasions that the success of his show has made haggling at car shows much more difficult. As a typical enthusiast, the Count never seemed to have a problem getting his way on the showroom floor.

However, once his profile was raised, sellers began recognizing him more often and attempting to upsell him. This has become a major headache to the penny-pinching autobody overhauler, and anyone working with him should ensure that they don’t overpay when bartering. Danny is most likely very grateful for all of the good that the show has done his business over the years, though he could almost certainly go without this one annoying quirk.

5 Don’t Mention Danny’s Family

In keeping with his conservative values, Danny Koker typically doesn’t like to reveal all that much about his family or his private life. This is completely fair, and most Counting Cars fans will understand that his reality TV star status doesn’t require him to relay all of his personal matters to the public.

That said, Danny is abnormally protective of his loved ones, and very little is known about his wife and kids.

His wife, Korie Koker, co-owns Count’s Vamp’d Rock Bar & Grill with her husband, though her private life remains largely undisclosed. Counting Cars cast members should almost certainly know better than to go prying into Danny’s personal life while the cameras are rolling.

4 Don’t Break The Fourth Wall

The guys on Counting Cars may seem like larger-than-life celebrities at times, but it is important to remember that they are actually people, and Count’s Kustoms is an actual business that will continue to operate independently of the show once the production crew heads home.

That said, though it may be an actual business, much of the situations covered on the show aren’t genuine. Whether played up for the sake of drama or totally fictional, much of the on-air hijinx covered on Counting Cars is dramatized. The Counting Cars cast is careful not to break the illusion, though, and everyone seems pretty eager to play along. There seems to be a rule against fourth wall breaks while on set, and it seems to have gone pretty much unbroken over the years.

3 Politics Are a No-Go

In today’s radically partisan climate, few shows are all that eager to take sides or show any sort of political bias at all. That said, Counting Cars star Danny Koker was an avid supporter of the current leader of the United States during his campaign in 2016. This should come as no surprise given his conservative background, but it remains a major point of contention among many viewers.

Rather than bring up a potentially costly political debate on-air, the Counting Cars crew is pretty careful to keep their lips sealed concerning the subject.

The time may well come when things of that nature can be discussed more freely, but Count’s Kustoms is better off free of political drama for the time being.

2 Forget About Scott Jones

Scott Jones, the ornery store manager featured in the first and second seasons of Counting Cars, isn’t brought up all that much these days. He was hardly mentioned at all in the third season, and he seems to have been totally absent from every subsequent episode since then.

Fans have speculated that he was actually fired as a result of an embezzlement scheme, while others believe he simply grew tired of the daily grind and returned to his hometown. It’s tough to know exactly what happened to Jones, though none of the Counting Cars cast members seem all that eager to bring it up. This probably isn’t an explicitly stated rule, but most will know better than to bring up Scott on camera.

1 Don’t Deal With Vince Neil

Show lead and shop owner Danny Koker has met quite a few celebrities through his business, and his rock-and-roll band side project has also put him in contact with some pretty interesting characters. Koker has, in one way or another, come to be pretty good friends with ex-Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil.

Though it started out as a pretty lucrative relationship for Koker and his show, the Counting Cars cast soon decided that their relationship with Neil was detrimental to the show’s good standing.

After that, they by-and-large disbanded any professional connections to the singer, though Koker and Neil are said to have remained friends. Even so, it isn’t likely that the ex-rocker will be making any appearances on the show any time soon. The bottom line is that Vince is bad news, and the cast can’t mention him anymore.

Are there any other rules that the cast of Counting Cars has to follow? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 05:10:54 – Tanner Fox

20 Storylines Shameless Wants Everyone To Forget

With the announcement that Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan will leave the series following the ninth season of Shameless, the Gallagher household is prepping for a major shake-up on the casting front. The creator of the Showtime series John Wells has remained open about a future Fiona return, though he has also stated that there are many more dysfunctional tales left to be told for the Gallagher clan.

For eight seasons, Shameless has remained consistent in the deplorable decision-making skills of its characters, though the series’ depiction of a low-income family living below the poverty line has always been at the forefront. As the strong matriarch who single-handedly raised her siblings while her father wasn’t around, Fiona’s absence is sure to shift more focus towards the show’s younger stars as writers hope fans will soon forget her. Ian’s storyline in season 9 drove much of the action, so Monaghan’s exit will surely leave a whole as well.

Whether they’re dealing with the changing gentrification of their community or watching as another beloved character takes their leave, the Gallaghers have proven time and again that they can adapt better than anyone. From the show’s debut back in 2011 until now, the stars of the series have been forced to mature, sometimes faster than they wanted to. Along the way, there have been many entertaining or even head-scratching subplots which have since been left behind. Although the changes are nothing new to the Gallaghers, they have left many questions up in the air for fans.

Join us as we take a look back at 20 Storylines Shameless Wants Everyone to Forget.

20 Frank and Bianca

After Sammi shoots Frank in the arm to teach him a valuable lesson about courtesy, she forces him to visit the hospital to have his wound checked. During his stay, he begins bonding with his distraught doctor Bianca, whose diagnosis of stage three pancreatic cancer has left her with a new lease on life. Attempting to persuade her to live life to the fullest, Frank offers to teach her how to live carelessly, which includes a copious amount of substance abuse.

Although Frank’s time with Bianca was intended as a heart-wrenching moment which left him reeling the following season, it was never clear why the successful, young doctor would choose to spend her remaining days with him. With her money, she could seemingly spend her days anywhere. There’s little reason to believe Frank would appear as an enticing option.

19 Lip’s Sports Gambling Internship

With an exceptionally high IQ, Lip isn’t the standard member of the Gallagher household, though his self-sabotaging personality has prevented him from achieving a legitimate career. Accepted into the University of Chicago, he threw away his future after an assault on a campus guard led to his expulsion. Following a stint in rehab, Lip secured an internship with a tech start-up, thanks to his friend, Professor Youens.  Soon, however, he discovered the truth behind the company. His co-workers were using proxy servers to hide illegal sports gambling activities.

Although the crooked start-up appeared as a perfect match, nothing would come of it.

He temporarily used a wire fraud scheme to steal cash from the company, but in due time, the start-up went under and Lip was left without a career goal once again.

18 Kevin Discovers His Kentucky Heritage

Season eight concluded with a strange hodgepodge of storylines for Kevin, which included a search for self-identity as he tracked down his biological parents and found himself in Kentucky. Once he arrived, he was introduced to Aunt Ronnie and the rest of the family, immediately settling in and recalling his past as Little Barty. Unfortunately, V immediately sensed something wrong about the group, apart from their offhanded racist remarks.

As a small child, the low-income family struggled to properly raise Kev, resorting to abandoning him at a roadside gas station. He eventually learned to accept his heritage, although he seemed to quickly forget all about it soon after. Kev would have other moments of a self-identity crisis in season eight, including exploring his possible attraction to men, but his Kentucky lineage would ultimately become an afterthought.

17 Fiona Marries Gus, Then Immediately Cheats on Him

Speaking of his character on Shameless, star Steve Kazee said Fiona’s former husband Gus Pfender “got a really raw deal” over the way his storyline ended. After meeting the eldest Gallagher sibling, the two went from strangers to married seemingly overnight.

When Jimmy’s return visit catches Fiona off guard, she’s faced with an ultimatum.

Either run away with Jimmy or stay with Gus, whom she’s known for a few days. Her reaction is to throw away her newfound relationship for the temptation of her ex-boyfriend. She cheats on Gus then immediately regrets it, but by then it’s too late. Her marriage to Gus is over and any remnants of it are completely forgotten by the writing staff.

16 Debbie Steals a Baby

Before Debbie was doing crazy things like stealing expensive baby strollers to support Frances or having Liam amputate her toes to avoid undergoing a pricey surgery on her crushed foot, she was just a lonely girl looking for a playmate.

In the episode “Casey Casden”, Debbie grows tired of playing with a sack of potatoes decorated to look like a baby.

Rather than asking for a new doll, she takes matters into her own hands when she lures a three year old boy back to the Gallagher residence. The Gallaghers then spend the episode concocting a plan to call in false sightings of the child with the cops finally finding him with Debbie, who acts like she found him wandering around Chicago. Needless to say, it was a crazy storyline that the show’s producers haven’t attempted since.

15 Anything Involving Sammi or Chuckie

Frank’s estranged daughter Sammi is first introduced in season four after Frank discovers his liver in failing. Posing as a Good Samaritan, he begins dating her to grow closer before dropping the devastating bombshell. Oddly enough, however, she’s not disgusted at all by the news and even embraces her new father figure, despite his countless shortcomings.

By season five, Sammi has acquainted herself enough with the Gallaghers to move into the household, though she was never invited. When her son Chuckie is later arrested and sent to juvenile detention for possession, she blames Carl, later ratting him out to the authorities. As a result, a dispute breaks out which ends with Mickey locking her inside a shipping container and Sammi later shooting at him, presumably leading to her arrest and the end of her story.

14 Fiona Cheats on Mike with His Brother

With her recent investments in Patsy’s Pies as well as a laundromat and an apartment complex, Fiona’s newfound entrepreneurial spirit has only recent become a central part of her storyline. Prior to becoming a property owner, she was a down on her luck South Side girl who constantly found herself in failing relationships.

In season four, Fiona’s downward spiral of relationships hit another low.

She was in desperate need of a rebound following Jimmy’s disappearance. After securing a job at Worldwide Cup, she began having a fling with her boss Mike. When Mike’s brother Robbie comes into the picture after his release from rehab, Fiona’s attraction to danger takes ahold. Putting her career in jeopardy, she has an unwise affair which culminates in her arrest at the end of the season.

13 Frank Uses Liam as Collateral

Scouring Chicago for enough money to support his many dirty habits, Frank has attracted the attentions of enough bad guys that it’s a miracle that he’s manage to run around carelessly for so long. In the season two premiere, he again backed himself into a corner when he drunkenly bet a bar patron at the Alibi Room that he couldn’t remain conscious after two taser blasts. After the customer manages to remain on two feet, Frank’s $10,000 gamble comes at the expense of the Gallagher household.

Unable to come up with the dough, the patron threatens Frank with a blowtorch, to which he responds by offering up Liam as collateral. Luckily, the Gallagher clan rallies together to get him back. Frank would later develop a bonding relationship with his youngest son, completely erasing all memory of the incident.

12 Kevin and Veronica’s Foster Child

With twins Amy and Jemma, Kevin and Veronica finally settled down to have children of their own after V became pregnant in season four. Prior to having their own kids, the couple were experimenting with parenthood in the form of a money scheme which saw them taking in a foster child in order to collect money from the government.

In season one, Kev and V welcome Ethel, a teen saved from a polygamist colony where she was married to an elderly man named Clyde.

They also took in Ethel’s son Jonah, who was born as a result of the marriage. Over the course of her stay, she struggles to grow accustomed to the modern world, but eventually settles in, until she runs away with her boyfriend Malik in season two, disappearing forever.

11 Anything Involving Sheila

Remember Sheila? The agoraphobic housewife with a proclivity for cooking was a former love interest of Frank’s, who welcomed him into her home to take advantage of her disability checks. For five seasons, she played the picture-perfect example of a housewife, though her repressed emotions would occasionally rear their ugly head.

Throughout the series, Joan Cusack would receive considerable acclaim for her turn as the wacky, subservient Sheila, earning an Emmy nomination for each season she appeared in. Although she would never receive more than a guest credit, her most memorable storylines would include dealing with her troubled daughter Karen, having an affair with Karen’s boyfriend Jody, and marrying Frank. Her storyline came to a rather abrupt end after her house exploded in season five, resulting in her driving off in an RV, never to be seen again.

10 Frank Hires a Hitman

Always the deadbeat father, Frank experienced a slight morality check when he wasn’t invited toFiona’s wedding to Sean in season six. As a way to make up for all his shortcomings, he offered to pay for all of Fiona’s wedding expenses. Everything came to a head, however, when Sean began sleeping over at the Gallagher residence, resulting in a brutal confrontation between Fiona’s fiance and the lousy patriarch of the household. After days of Frank wearing Sean’s underwear and drinking his milk, Sean’s frustration boiled over, resulting in a fight between the two.

Frank is seen on a train attempting to pay a random guy to dispose of Sean permanently.

Although nothing would come of the exchange, the attempted assassination was out of the ordinary, even for the lowly Frank.

9 Debbie Purposely Gets Pregnant

The third youngest Gallagher, Debbie began the series as the well-intention, younger sister who still held high hopes for Frank and cared for her family, though she often found it difficult to socialize in school. In due time, she transformed from the innocent girl wise beyond her years to one of the most troublesome characters on the show, using her hardened attitude to deceive her way to whatever she desired.

In season five, Debbie’s manipulative personality crossed a line when she became enamored with Derek, a boy who taught her how to box. Wanting a perfect life with her newfound boyfriend, she purposely lies to him about being on birth control in order to become pregnant and force him into a marriage. Unfortunately, her plans fall through when Derek leaves to live with his grandmother, leaving Debs a single mother.

8 Frank Tells Carl He Has Cancer

As the delinquent troublemaker whose interests include weapons, explosives, and various money-making schemes, Carl has proven to be the most like his dear deadbeat father Frank. As a faithful member of the Gallagher family, he’s the unfortunate product of a dysfunctional upbringing, but none of his regrettable actions were deserving of the scare Frank gave him in season five.

After seeing a cancer patient receive an autographed Bulls basketball on television, Frank decides to extort the Make-A-Wish Foundation by giving them a sob story.

Shaving Carl’s head, he convinces him that he has cancer and tries to get him an autographed basketball of his own, that he can later sell for a profit. Instead, Carl is offered a free summer away at a camp for cancer patients, ruining Frank’s plans and giving Carl his own mini vacation.

7 Carl Marries Kassidi

As a way of coming up with enough cash for military school in season eight, Carl sets up his own rehabilitation center in the basement of the Gallagher home, hosting neighborhood addicts for days of withdrawal. It’s here where he first encounters Kassidi, a seemingly sociopathic teen who concocts a plan to extort money from her rich father to pay Carl’s expenses.

Soon after sparking a relationship, Kassidi’s wildly chaotic personality begins threatening Carl’s career goals. As she wanders about Chicago’s South Side doing things like Snapchatting drive-by shooting victims, Carl becomes more wary of her actions, which makes it all the more confusing that he marries her at the end of the season. The season nine premiere seems to have ended her story, however, as the character’s recent disappearance suggests that she may now be deceased.

6 Mandy Hurts Karen

As the manipulative former girlfriend of Lip, Karen was the incessantly rude daughter of the agoraphobic Sheila, who would go to extreme lengths to get her way. After she stops seeing Lip due to her marriage to Jody as well as the birth of her down syndrome son Hymie, Karen decides to start things back up with her former lover, only for Lip rejects her for Mandy.

After brazenly attempting to meddle with Lip and Mandy’s relationship, Karen receives a rude awakening when she receives a text from Lip, which is later revealed to be Mandy using Lip’s phone. Showing up to a park to meet, Karen is struck by an SUV driven by Mandy, leaving her permanently brain damaged, effectively ending her story on the series.

5 Frank Has a Twin Brother

With so many siblings running around and Frank constantly inviting himself in with his various trouble-making shenanigans, it’s impossible for the Gallaghers to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings. That’s why the existence of more Gallaghers seems completely absurd, but as the early seasons have shown, there are more family members out there.

Of all the odd Gallagher members forgotten from the early seasons, none were crazier than Jerry, Frank’s twin brother.

Ian and Lip visit Jery after their grandmother Peggy claims he owes the family $5,000. Looking just like Frank, he threatens to shoot his nephews shortly after realizing they’re after money. Since his appearance, little mention has been made of Frank’s twin or of Frank’s other siblings Clayton and Wyatt.

4 Jimmy’s Return

First appearing as Fiona’s love interest in season one, Jimmy introduced himself to the Gallagher household as Steve, a hotshot businessman who comes from money. Soon afterward, his real personality begins to shine through as Fiona discovers that he makes his money through various illegal activities. In due time, he gets engaged to the daughter of a crime lord, which leads to his supposed demise in the season three finale.

Jimmy returns at the end of season four, becoming a recurring cast member for a brief time.

In an attempt to flatter Fiona, he tries to persuade her to leave her husband Gus for him. Although his return answered questions about his fate, it still left his future up in the air, leaving many to believe his story should have ended with the season three cliffhanger.

3 Frank Lies to Butterface About Her Heart Transplant

Of all the lowdown plans Frank has concocted, perhaps nothing is more despicable than the time he began hanging out with Dottie, a former good-time girl with a heart condition. Nicknamed Butterface for her less than stellar looks, Frank discovers that Dottie is in serious need of a heart transplant, rewarding him the opportunity to weasel his way into her good graces and work his way into her will before she passes away.

Although Frank’s decision proves to be flawed, he fully commits to the scheme. While Dottie is in the shower, she gets a phone call telling her a new heart has arrived which could save her life, only Frank decides to tell the hospital that Dottie has already passed away. Later, Dottie loses her life during an intimate moment with Frank, making his actions even more awful.

2 Kev has a Baby with Veronica’s Mother

As the Gallaghers’ longtime friends, Kevin and Veronica are often the supporting comic relief of the series, though they have also proven to be the strongest lasting couple. In season three, after repeatedly failing to have a baby, V enlists her bubbly mother Carol to act as a surrogate. When Carol also fails to become pregnant, Veronica to suggests her mom and Kevin actually get intimate with each other to possibly improve their results.

In due time, Carol warms up to the idea, becoming pregnant with Kevin’s child. By happenstance, Veronica soon discovers that she too is pregnant, with twins. Nine months later, the couple are the proud parents to three newborns, only Carol decides to single-handedly raise her child on her own. After a few brief appearances, Kevin and Carol’s child is forgotten and never shown again.

1 Everything Positive About Ian and Mickey’s Relationship

As a violent street thug, Mickey Milkovich is the antithesis of the gay stereotype. Ian, whose storied history with Mickey makes up a large portion of his story in the early seasons, is the more sensitive of the couple, but his rebellious nature and struggles with bipolar disorder make him an equally multi-dimensional character.

As one of the best-written gay relationships on television in recent memory, Ian and Mickey’s story was at times chaotic. 

After his imprisonment at the end of season five, Mikey escaped from prison and fled to Mexico, tearfully leaving Ian behind. Since then, the positives of their relationship have been largely dismissed and Mickey’s absence has left a void on the show which has yet to be filled.

What other storylines does Shameless want to bury? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 03:10:17 – Turner Minton

New York Comic-Con: 26 Biggest Announcements (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities)

It might not be as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but New York’s pop culture celebration is just as eventful. This year’s New York Comic-Con was littered with scoops. Whether it’s juicy rumors or brand new trailers, there was plenty to see and talk about. Of course, the convention weekend can get a bit overwhelming — the onslaught of news, panels, and footage seems endless. Thankfully, we’ve collected all of this biggest topics for those of you who are lost amidst all of the comic book news.

For this list, we’re going to cover the most important stories of this year’s New York Comic-Con, including some big ones that just happened to drop during the week rather than at the convention itself. The list will even feature a few big rumors that have come out of the con for some good measure — or for those of you who just like some gossip. Even those who attended the convention might have missed some of the major stories, so use this as your post-NYCC guide to recap the weekend as things begin to wind down.

We know it’s difficult to keep track of all this news, especially after the convention weekend. This list should make things a bit easier. Even if you didn’t attend, the bombardment of news is probably still filling your news feed. So after you’re finished watching trailers all day and unpacking your NYCC hauls, settle in and we’ll break everything down for you.

Here are the 26 Biggest Announcements From NYCC (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities).

30 Aquaman’s New/Old Armor

The new Aquaman trailer was the highlight of the weekend for many. It revealed a surprising amount of footage — some would say too much. The extended look — roughly five minutes long — featured a plenty of unseen footage.

Audiences were treated to a sequence involving Arthur and Mera in desert ruins, another look at Atlantis, and even an extended action sequence between the two leads as they are chased by Black Manta. Perhaps the biggest spoiler in the trailer was the reveal of Aquaman’s iconic orange and green outfit.

29 Hellboy First Look

While no footage from the Hellboy panel has been released to the public, convention-goers were treated to a poster reveal and an exclusive first look at the upcoming film.

The panel footage wooed many fans in attendance and featured a tone that balanced the movie’s violence and gore with humor. It saw Hellboy receive his iconic handgun and show off the Hand of Doom, and it highlighted his especially shaky relationship with his ally Ben Daimio.

The trailer’s money shot had Hellboy in all-out demon mode, rising out of a pit sporting a flaming sword and crown.

Hopefully it won’t be long before this footage is released to the public.

28 Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil’s new trailers suggest a return to the grounded crime-noir tones of the first season with some big new developments. The first trailer reveals that not only is Kingpin out of prison, but he appears to design a smear campaign to turn New York against Daredevil.

One of the ways this may be happening is through a Daredevil impostor, who is none other than the hero’s most famous villain, Bullseye. Bullseye is the subject of the second new trailer, exploring his life as a government agent-turned-assassin under the employ of Kingpin.

27 Titans Is Grittier Than The DCEU

Titans has already received flak for the marketing’s seriously dark tone. Now, after the first two episodes were screened for viewers at NYCC, it is getting the same criticism.

Not only does Titans sport the DCEU’s same dark tone, but apparently the show is even more violent than the films.

The footage featuring Robin displayed some extremely violent and lethal combat, complete with the same amount of gore and disrespect for human life one might find in — well, anything but a comic book show. With that said, the show did receive a warm reception from the audience, so maybe Titans has potential after all.

26 Possibility — Will Rick Grimes Survive?

The Walking Dead is losing its lead character this season, with the confirmed departure of Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln. His impending exit has been talked about for months now, but fans still don’t know how his character will be written out of the show. In a new rumor, it seems that Rick Grimes might meet a brutal end.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Andrew Lincoln joked that he might not “make it through the credits sequence” teasing Rick’s potential demise. Fans don’t want to say goodbye to Rick, but it will be even harder to do so if he is torn apart by walkers. Can’t somebody get a happy ending on this show?

25 Spock On Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek fans weren’t left out of the fun this year, with a new trailer for season two of Star Trek: Discovery. The trailer promises a ride that might be just as intense as the first season, with plenty of action, character beats, and visuals so gorgeous that one would think the show had the budget of a feature-length film.

Amidst the sizzle of the trailer is a big reveal — the inclusion of a young, bearded Spock.

The character is supposedly connected to the “Red Angel” visions that Burnham is experiencing, though details on his appearance in the season are still under wraps.

24 First 35 minutes of new Spider-Man movie

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still a few months out but panel attendees were treated to the first 35 minutes — and apparently what they saw was incredible. Reactions to the NYCC footage is overwhelmingly positive, citing the stylish animation and and lighthearted tone as some of the film’s standout elements. These early reactions come off the back of a new trailer for the film, which shows off several more of the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man.

Of course, this was only the first 35 minutes. Much of the movie is still under wraps and it has a long road ahead of it, being only one of many tentpole releases hitting theaters this December.

23 Deadly Class is coming in 2019

SYFY’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Deadly Class comic series made a big showing this year. Between the close collaboration with series writer Rick Remender, the promise of intense action, and the Russo brothers at the helm (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers Infinity War), this long-awaited series has the potential to be a household name.

Not only does the show seem like a contender for the “next big thing” in comic book television, but it finally has a release date.

This was revealed to be January 16 in a new trailer that focuses on the coming-of-age aspect of the anarchic action series.

22 Star Wars’ The Mandalorian

The first image of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series was released on Thursday, getting fans hyped for the first real TV show in a galaxy far far away. The photo was released alongside new details about the show, namely its title: The Mandalorian.

Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force AwakensThe Mandalorian centers on a warrior from Mandalore travelling across the galaxy. The title character wears the iconic armor that the planet is known for — a costume shared by fan-favorite character Boba Fett. Plenty remains unknown about the series, though it is set to premiere on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

21 Possibility — Kingpin and Spider-Man Crossover

Marvel fans will rejoice if this rumor comes true — during all of the Daredevil buzz over the convention weekend, Vincent D’Onofrio made a very reassuring tweet.

When a fan tweeted that the world will never see the him as Kingpin in an MCU film, D’Onofrio responded with “Who says?”

Marvel’s Netflix shows have been especially vague in their references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but having Kingpin show up in a Tom Holland Spider-Man film would be the perfect connection. The chances are slim, but at least there’s hope.

20 Bane On Gotham

Gotham‘s fifth and final season was revealed in a trailer this weekend, promising quite the grand finale. The trailer hints that Gotham will be adapting the classic No Man’s Land comic book story this season, and also teased another big bad.

Actor Shane West has been cast as Bane, one of Batman’s greatest adversaries and one of the only major rogues that the show hasn’t yet adapted. Bane’s appearance so early in Bruce Wayne’s life has been met with mixed reactions among fans, but at least that suggests a bombastic end to the pre-Batman series.

19 The X-Men Go To Space

New York Comic-Con got an extended look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix, despite being subject to what seems like endless delays. The exclusive footage, which still has not been revealed to the public, gave fans a look at the fully-formed X-Men team and their upcoming cosmic adventure.

Highlights of the footage included an argument between Mystique and Professor X, Jean Grey absorbing a solar flare, and the team going on a rescue mission in space.

While most of the movie likely takes place on Earth, it’s nice to know that the movies aren’t above digging into the spacebound shenanigans that the comics do.

18 Penny from The Big Bang Theory is Harley Quinn

Among the many DC Universe announcements this weekend was the trailer for the Harley Quinn animated series, which has taken many fans by surprise. The show looks like a quirky adult comedy with Harley breaking the fourth wall and using foul language.

The show is already being compared to the likes of Deadpool, with positive reactions coming out of NYCC. It also features a great cast, with Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, JB Smoove, and Wanda Sykes among the voice talent. It is set to release late in 2019 on the DC Universe streaming service.

17 Umbrella Academy’s Big Debut

Netflix’s adaptation of Gerard Way’s superhero darling The Umbrella Academy came to play during NYCC, with a handful of new images and even a trailer exclusive to the folks at Comic-Con. An Umbrella Academy movie has been in the works for many years, but after the switch to television and some time in development freefall, it finally seems right around the corner.

The series — which consists of a dysfunctional family of superheroes — seems to be maintaining its gothic comic book aesthetic.

The show looks like surreal than its counterpart on the pages, but it already has people excited. Umbrella Academy hits Netflix on February 15, 2019.

16 Doctor Who First Reactions

Those who attended the Doctor Who panel were in for quite the event. The attendees got to see the premiere of the new season as well as have an in-depth talk with the season’s Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. The audience’s response to the episode was ecstatic to say the least, and that sentiment seems to be shared by viewers around the world.

Not only was the show a critical hit, but its viewer ratings were record-breaking. The premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” peaked at 9 million viewers, which the highest the show has ever had! Sounds like the new season of Doctor Who is off to a fantastic start.

15 Odin’s true form in American Gods season 2

Last year’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was a massive hit and the trailer for the new season looks just as enticing.  Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday are back on their surreal fantasy roadtrip, accompanied by even more colorful characters and bizarre, unsettling visuals.

The footage teases a war between Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World, with an especially striking shot of Wednesday in his true form: Odin. 

American Gods is a trippy, gorgeous series that many may have missed last year, and with such a great-looking sequel on the way, now might be the time to go back and binge. The second seasons drops in 2019.

14 Possibility — Sabrina/Riverdale Crossover

A full trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hit the web early last week, revealing a spooky-yet-fun adaptation of the comics, as well as a revival of the late ’90s sitcom. Sadly, Archie fans will be disappointed to hear that Sabrina is not currently attached to the hit CW series, Riverdale.

While the Sabrina was originally set to appear on the CW as Riverdale’s companion show (much like CW’s Arrowverse), the move to Netflix seems to have stifled the idea. Still, Sabrina showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is holding out hope for a potential crossovers so that the original plan can come to fruition.

13 George R. R. Martin’s new show

Those of you eagerly awaiting Game of Thrones… well, we don’t have any good news for you. But, if you want more content from the mind of George R.R. Martin, an adaptation of his book Nightflyers has received a new trailer and a first-episode premiere at New York Comic-Con.

The sci-fi thriller follows a crew they struggle to survive on their space mission.

Not everything is as it seems on the vessel, as the show promises some solid horror scares as well as a character-driven story. The show doesn’t officially premiere until December 2nd, but at least sci-fi horror fans have something to look forward to.

12 She-Ra And The Princesses’ LGBT rep

Dreamworks Animation has been launching hit after hit lately — between shows like Trollhunters and Voltron: Legendary Defender, their work has earned them much success on Netflix. The newest series from the studio, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, dropped a poster and teaser trailer at New York Comic-Con that looks like promising fun for young viewers.

The reboot of the ’80s television show sports new cartoony visuals, witty humor, and a diverse cast of characters — even including a same gender couple. While the show’s initial reveal was met with some backlash, the trailer seems infectiously pleasant and fun.

11 Matt Bomer stars in DC’s Doom Patrol

While Titans got plenty of attention at NYCC, the next DC Universe original series got a brief first look. Doom Patrol is set to release next spring, but panel attendees were show some exclusive photos of Brendan Fraser’s character, Robotman. Fraser appeared at the panel and talked through the first look.

Seeing as Doom Patrol is currently filming, it shouldn’t be long before official footage hits the web.

The Robotman design look remarkably accurate to the comics, which has gotten many fans even more excited for the obscure property’s TV adaptation. Supplementing this news was the casting of Matt Bomer as Negative Man — another big name

10 The Spawn Trilogy

Fans hoping for a Spawn trailer at NYCC were out of luck this weekend, but series creator Todd McFarlane spoke at length about his plans for the newly rebooted movie. McFarlane explained that he envisions an ambitious trilogy of Spawn movies, with each one visually and tonally distinct from the last.

The first film might be described as a kind of existential horror-superhero film, with characters wondering if what they see is even real. While the project is still a ways off, the Jamie Foxx-led vehicle is going to emphasize the dark tones of the book with a hard R-rating, as well as cater to the now-older readers of the comic series.

9 DC Universe Streaming Plans

DC Comics and Warner Bros wanted to spotlight their DC Universe streaming service at this year’s NYCC, several small news breaks on he various related properties. Not only did they show footage of Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn, but they also revealed the service’s content release schedule over the coming year.

While no specific dates were given, the timeline depicts various release windows for the service’s different original series.

While Young Justice: Outsiders seems to have been split into two parts, Doom Patrol will drop next spring followed by Swamp Thing in the summer, with both Stargirl and Harley Quinn dropping next fall.

8 Pet Sematary First Look

Horror fans might not have had much to talk about at Comic-Con, but during the convention some promo images dropped for the reboot of a Stephen King classic. The first images of the Pet Sematary remake were released, featuring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

The best image of the bunch comes in the form of the Creed family cat, Church, looking meaner and mangier than ever.

While an evil cat may not be the scariest thing you’ll find in Pet Sematary, it’s a nice preview of the Stephen King spookiness to come, especially after the success of 2017’s It. Pet Sematary is set for release on April 5, 2019.

7 Runaways Season 2 Footage

A new trailer for the second season of Runaways shows that the series has moved way past high school drama, and further into superhero action territory. The trailer features the Runaways’ comic book hideout, huge action set-pieces, and plenty of superpowers to go around.

Highlights of the trailer include a kiss between Nico and Karolina, a battle on an airport runway, and a glimpse at Gert’s pet dinosaur Old Lace. The first season of the show was a quiet hit among the newer Marvel properties, but this season promises a much deeper dive into the superhero genre that fans of the series are have been waiting for.

6 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

One reveal snuck in towards the end of Comic-Con — a very short trailer for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Although very brief, the trailer is made up of all-new footage.

The trailer consists of baby Hiccup in his father’s arms as he is told about the legendary world of dragons.

During his father’s narration, the titular Hidden World is given a brief tease as hundreds of dragons flutter across a cavernous landscape. It ends with a shot of Hiccup and Toothless overlooking a town covered in dragons. It’s not as extensive as the film’s last trailer, but it might hold fans over until the film’s release on February 22, 2019.

5 Good Omens Trailer

It’s a great year for Neil Gaiman lovers as they got not one, but two different Gaiman projects revealed at NYCC. First was the second season of American Gods, and now Amazon’s adaptation of Good Omens. 

The trailer for the new series pits Michael Sheen and David Tennant against each other as an angel and a demon who must join forces in order to prevent the apocalypse. The dark subject matter is contrasted by the show’s whimsical tone and David Tennant’s devilish charisma. It sets up what looks to be a very fun buddy comedy about he end of the world.

4 First 25 Minutes Of Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines

Fans of director Peter Jackson were treated to the first 25 minutes of his next project, Mortal Engines, at this year’s New York Comic-Con. Mortal Engines is another expansive world, like the Tolkien material that Jackson has worked with before, but with a post-apocalyptic twist.

The most talked about elements of the footage were the massive scale of the world and the jaw-dropping visuals.

The Mortal Engines footage introduces viewers to Hester, a girl who lives in a world that was ravaged by the “60 Minute War” that destroyed civilization. Now the world consists of giant cities on wheels that fight each other. Audiences won’t see it for themselves until December 14.

3 The Boys Teaser Trailer

Amazon’s adaptation of Garth Ennis’s hyper-violent superhero comic The Boys has finally been revealed with a brief teaser trailer . The teaser features a public service announcement from Vought International, a company that facilitates the operation of the Seven, this world’s league of superheroes. At the end of the PSA, the titular Boys can be seen sitting on a couch, rudely gesturing to their televisions.

The Boys is already setting itself apart from the traditonal superhero fare, and with good reason — the series is about a team of people who keep out-of-control superheroes in check– by blackmailing them, stealing from them, and beating them up. It’s extremely adult-oriented and it already looks like fun.

2 Voltron Ends in December

The release date and synopsis for the eighth and final season of Voltron was revealed at New York Comic-Con, finally bringing the critically acclaimed Netflix series to a close.

The last season will feature the final battle between the Paladins and Witch Haggar.

A few promo images were released as well — one featuring the villain Honerva and another depicting the Voltron Paladins in a control room with Shiro commanding the gang in a background role. While no footage was shown at NYCC, the release date was confirmed to be December 14. The show’s final season will premiere on Netflix.

1 Possibility — Avengers 4 Titled “Avengers: Annihilation”

This rumor went viral during the weekend of NYCC — “Avengers: Annihilation” may or may not be the name of the still untitled Avengers 4. Speculation over the film’s name has driven fans mad in recent months, with “Annihilation” being yet another choice amidstthe rumored titles titles like “Avengers: Forever”, “Avengers: Endgame”, and “The Last Avenger”.

Annihilation comes from the name comic storyline of the same name, though it bears few similarities to the Infinity Gauntlet story that the films are adapting. Seriously, Marvel, just call it “Avengers: Assemble” and get it over with already. Don’t keep us waiting!

What announcements from New York Comic-Con excite you the most? Make sure to leave a comment before you go to share your thoughts!



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2018-10-08 07:10:26 – Jonathan Figueroa

A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad (And Always Has Been)

WARNING: Major spoilers for A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born‘s ending undoes what could have been a Hollywood classic – but that’s not exactly Bradley Cooper’s fault. From its first version in 1937, A Star Is Born has always had a problematic resolution to its story, one that’s only got worse over the past century, and this latest version is no different.

A Star Is Born is a classic story that Hollywood loves so much it’s told it four times (with a suspiciously-similar earlier version, several failed attempts and many, many imitators). A top-of-his-game star (in 2018, Bradley Cooper’s rock star Jackson Maine) is suffering from alcoholism and in a stupor discovers a struggling artist (Lady Gaga as Ally, a waitress moonlighting in a drag bar), falling in love with both her and her talent. He provides her with a big break, sending her fame into the stratosphere just as his addictions begin to derail his career. The pair marry, but despite their love things begin to fray.

Related: Read Our A Star Is Born Review

It’s a tale of rags to riches, of falls from grace, of the power of love, and personal identity within all of that. And, for much of the runtime, A Star Is Born 2018 is genuinely a great version of all those stories. Gaga’s first major concert leaves you floating, Cooper shows mental affliction with grace, both perform their songs incredibly (to actual live crowds, no less), and are utterly believable as troubled lovers. It is, for much of its runtime, a very good film worthy of that deafening hype.

However, everything implodes into a black hole of pretentiousness as what could have been a great film its own right has to follow through on being called A Star Is Born

  • This Page: The Problem With A Star Is Born’s Ending
  • Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad
  • Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

What Happens In A Star Is Born’s Ending

We’ll stick with Cooper’s take for now before going deeper into the past. A Star Is Born‘s third act is kicked off by Ally winning the Grammy for Best New Artist – a major step for her career, undercut entirely by Jack drunkenly taking to the stage with her and relieving himself on live TV. He goes into rehab and she wrestles with where her focus should lie, eventually deciding to try and protect her recovering husband. She cancels her European tour when her agent, Rez, blocks the duo playing together.

As a result, Jack kills himself. He’s confronted by a seething Rez who has no sympathies or expectations of sobriety and states outright Jack’s ruining his wife’s career. When she matter-of-fact states the tour cancellation, he sees the impact of his actions and, while she plays a concert, he hangs himself in their garage.

Related: Every Song On A Star Is Born’s Soundtrack

This breaks Ally at first, leaving her emotionally distraught, before her understanding the meaning of Jack’s sacrifice – to enable her to truly become the star he always saw – helps her pull through. The film ends at a tribute concert in Jack’s memory. “My name is Ally Maine.” she declares before singing “I’ll Never Love Again”, a song based on their relationship they wrote together while he was recovering. A flashback shows the pair singing, she looks through the camera at the audience, the end.

Why A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad

Removing the ending of all presentation and self-imposed importance (a character looking into the camera at the end is an overused trope that Cooper simply doesn’t earn), in just writing down the events of A Star Is Born its problems should be obvious.

Jack decides to kill himself to save his wife, committing suicide because it’s the only way to set her free. This comes about two hours into a film which has slowly built up its numerous interpersonal relationships, and so comes as a drastic and rather unearned turn. Now, there is an argument to be made about accuracy to the unpredictability of mental illness, but given the intimacy audiences had with both Jack and Ally up until this moment, that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. A Star Is Born, plainly, presents suicide as the only way out. It’s meant to come across as a selfless act but still values success as a true route to happiness, meaning anything emotional about the “gesture” is laced with hypocrisy.

But it’s what comes after and Ally’s coming to terms with her loss that’s so disquieting. For all her innate talent being the drive of the story and her freely made decision to step back what motivated Jack to kill himself, the final scene makes everything about Jack; the mononymous singer for the first time takes on her husband’s surname at his concert, where she performs a song that he helped her write in her original singer style. The suggestion is meant to be that Jack was holding her back, but in the shadow of the previous two hours the strange implication is that the act of a true star being born came from the adversity of Jack’s sacrifice. Making Ally’s success symbiotic to her dead husband is already heavily in the text of the film, but the final scene makes her final ascension even more indebted to his drastic act.

It’s hard to not read A Star Is Born‘s ending as trivializing suicide down to a plot point to give the fundamentally broken male lead the defining role in its female protagonist’s arc. It’s a weird move to make in 2018, although don’t believe this is just the product of an 80-year-old movie being remade. There’s something flawed at the heart of A Star Is Born.

Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad

The True Story Behind A Star Is Born’s Ending Explains The Problem

There have been four versions of A Star Is Born: the 1937 Hollywood-skewering original starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 shift to the music industry with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the latest Cooper/Gaga release. Each one has its own quirks, but all endeavor to tell the same story of love and fame intertwined, and all have the same basic ending. But the 1937 version isn’t the start. While A Star Is Born‘s narrative is a fiction, it’s very much based on truth; each movie is rooted heavily in the entertainment industry of the time – Hollywood for the 1937 and 1954 versions, music for 1976 and 2018 – and aims to tell an encapsulating story. There are some real-life events that inspired it.

The established star falling for an unknown as she climbs to the top was seen in actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay’s relationship, with the pair marrying in 1928 when the former was an unknown after starring in a Broadway show together. Their marriage fell apart after she rose above him and he fell into alcoholism. They separated in 1935 after seven years of marriage, two years before A Star Is Born was released. This appears to have been composited with the death of silent film actor John Bowers, who died at sea in 1936 after failing to win a part (whether it was a suicide or not is unclear). There are others (as we’ll see) but these are regarded as the ones who powered the 1937 version.

Related: Lady Gaga Fans Are Trolling Venom With Fake Bad Reviews

Of course, there’s one key distinction between inspiration and movie: in real life, it was two unrelated stories. There are the famous lovers who piggyback success and the past-it star who takes his own life, but in all cases these two aspects are entirely independent; the woman goes on to greater success by cutting the man out, while elsewhere another man falls from grace. Both stories epitomize Hollywood together, and taken alongside each other rather than melded have an ingrained believability. A Star Is Born trades that for something more streamlined in having the suicide be the culmination of the romance, but it’s also idealistic and wistful, losing the real moral of either.

This is reflected in what is regarded as a proto-Star Is Born, the 1932 film What Price Hollywood? Released five years before the 1937 version and produced also by David O. Selznick (and directed by George Cukor, who was approached for the first A Star Is Born and directed the first remake), this is regarded as something of a dry run at the story. Obviously from the release year it can’t share the same real-life inspirations (although, because this is the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are others pointed to), but the core concept and even smaller story beats are there, albeit with one massive difference: the leads are not romantically involved. Lowell Sherman’s Max drunkenly finds Constance Bennett’s Mary and helps make her a star, eventually killing himself after he sees realizes how far he’s fallen and is hurting his friend, while Mary’s suffers an ill-fated marriage that breaks down due to her absences filming and is reconciled at the end.

Watched today, What Price Hollywood? has a cynicism about the film industry ahead of its time despite ultimately being a movie romanticizing Hollywood – and at the core of this is the tragic story of Max and its impact on Mary’s life. The title question is apt.

How The Remakes Have Tried To “Fix” The Ending

In contrast to What Price Hollywood?, A Star Is Born 1937 carries a self-awareness and charm, but in bridging the romantic and the career side of protagonist Esther creates the problematic suicide reading. It’s not helped by dated elements, including the defining part of Esther’s ascension being the actress known as Vicki Lester taking on her husband’s name with a declaration “This is Mrs. Norman Maine“. It works given the time period, but even 16 years later needed an update.

Related: Watch the Trailer For A Star Is Born

The 1954 version is, for the most part, a beat-for-beat remake, just with dance number expansion to make it a musical, but it does make some strides to justifying the ending. The toll that caring for a drunk has on Judy Garland’s Vicki Lester is shown gradually, most upsettingly in an off-stage breakdown she immediately returns to filming from: an unavoidable presentation of the line between art and performer. But, ultimately, it ends in the same way: Norman Maine overhears Vicki’s plans to quit acting to care for her husband, so he feigns going for a swim and drowns himself; after a traumatic period and being unmasked at her funeral (the invasion of the press), Vicki returns to the public eye where she declares herself “Mrs. Norman Maine“. Every issue discussed is here.

The 1976’s A Star Is Born is overall incredibly melodramatic, nowhere less than its handling of the ending. What it should be praised for is its attempts at giving the female lead a greater sense of autonomy: throughout Streisand’s Esther makes decisions that power the narrative, not just being led along by Kristoffersen as those who came before her, but that’s lost thuddingly in the finale. After his meltdown, John Howard has imposed isolation – not rehab – and when returning home immediately sleeps with a reporter wanting an interview for Esther. The couple tries to power past this, but John figures he’s still broken and crashes his car at high speeds. Again, Esther is sad before taking his name (and singing at a tribute event).

Like we’ve already explored with A Star Is Born 2018, all versions have tried to provide their own contemporary spin on the tale to iron out its kinks, yet all wind up having to repeat the same suicide-anger-name triple-tap that doesn’t belong. A degree can be accounted to the changing times, but that ignores that the original trio of movies released over nearly 40 years, and that Cooper wasn’t able to address it either.

Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

Why Bradley Cooper Can’t Fix A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper certainly tries to bring a modern slant to the worn tale of A Star Is Born. He invests heavily in making Jack and Ally’s opposite trajectories operate independently – Jack is suffering from tinnitus before he’s heard a note of “La Vie En Rose”, while Ally’s SNL appearance is deemed to contradict his advice – while making the love story more immediate. It’s a bigger story, more personal and considerably more consummately paced.

But, like all the others, the ending hits a snag. And some of his decisions make it worse. The method of final descent is different, with the awards show upset and rehab undone not by Maine going off the rails again as in every other take, but rather by Ally’s agent calling his supposed bluff. It’s implied from the British Rez knowing when exactly Jackson first toured across the pond that he was once a fan, now disillusioned with his hero, making him a millennial scapegoat to any affronting reading.

Related: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

This generational push and pull could have been what sent A Star Is Born to greatness. Sam Elliott’s speech about there only being twelve notes played over and over, with the majesty coming from how the artist uses them is a beautiful sentiment that sees Cooper self-justifying another remake and appears like a zen view on the entertainment business that birthed it. Except it isn’t, because this idea is also trying to explain the ending, claiming that the music industry is cyclical and that stars are born and then new stars are born later; Jack’s death is enabling that. What the film seems to miss is that for one state to ever enter another, a star must always die. Ally will fall too. The raw textual argument is that the failures are as eternal as the successes, raising the question of worth, yet the film provides no further exploration and presents it as somehow immediately uplifting.

And that’s the hump that A Star Is Born 2018, like its predecessors, can’t get over. The story thinks it’s a biting, self-aware take on itself, but it’s too close to the subject to see that it’s really just propagating a harsh cycle. This isn’t helped by the film being weighted by so much – the casting of Lady Gaga, his writer-director-producer-actor whammy, even Sam Elliott as the Sam Elliott-type – although those concerns are also the key explanation for what’s really going on.

A Star Is Born Only Exists Because Of Ego

Throughout this article, there’s been one question dangling unspoken. Why are there four versions of A Star Is Born anyway? It’s a story that is flawed and dated, on a topic which has been tackled in more films than any other. Yes, each movie got serious Oscar nominations and wins, but that alone isn’t enough to justify going back. The true answer is enlightening.

1954’s A Star Is Born was conceived as a bid to restart Judy Garland’s career after it stalled over the 1940s. 1976’s A Star Is Born was Barbra Streisand’s attempt (along with then-husband Jon Peters) to boost her standing in Hollywood. And 2018’s A Star Is Born is Bradley Cooper’s grand attempt to win the Oscar that he believes he deserves (his entire post-Hangover career is a carefully played game of chess with a Golden Baldie the King). There are studio concerns too (before Cooper, Warner Bros had been attempting to get a remake off the ground since the early 2010s, although as a Beyonce vehicle has the same career expansion goals), but those are the primary purposes of each version. A Star Is Born is a vanity project on repeat.

Related: A Star Is Born Is An Oscar Favorite – But Could An Infamous Producer Hurt Its Chances?

Now, vanity projects needn’t be bad, and indeed a lot of good comes from each of these attempts. Indeed, each was ultimately successful in both their primary and commercial goals: Garland’s career was rejuvenated; Streisand won her second Oscar; and Cooper’s currently the front-runner in multiple categories for next year’s Academy Awards.

But this aspect appears to be why each version of A Star Is Born struggles to understand the real meaning of its ending. Each powering force believes this movie will be what takes them being a Norman/Jack Maine to a new Esther/Ally while missing that it’s built into the story to be impossible. They believe so much in the two contradictory Hollywood legends wholesale, so don’t see that the story is almost warning against such a thing.

A Star Is Born Is No Longer Needed

In recent years, we’ve seen Hollywood’s reliable rotation of movies about itself take a genuinely incisive slant. 2015’s Best Picture Winner Birdman was an ostentatious exploration of ego that too ended with the protagonist committing suicide, but there it was with the wry critique that fame and adoration are fleeting and that such a bold act was the only way for the self-involved hero to reach the heights he dreamed of. Then there’s 2017’s almost-Best Picture Winner La La Land, which was a celebration of Hollywood-gone-by looking at love in a city of stars, eventually concluding that success required the sacrifice of the central relationship.

Together, these take on all the ideas that A Star Is Born is playing with and apply them in a more thoughtful way. The messages are more widely applicable and their endnotes have considerably less of the hypocrisy. Birdman and La La Land may find joy in the arts, but they also uncover the trials of creativity and fame, keeping the brutal truths in earshot while presenting from a position of success.

A Star Is Born 2018 is a good movie, an undeniable achievement for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. But there is a flaw at the heart of the tale that just doesn’t ring true. Unless it’s made with a completely revisionist, ego-less eye, in twenty years we do not need another one.

More: Every Version Of A Star Is Born Ranked, From Garland To Gaga



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2018-10-06 01:10:52 – Alex Leadbeater

Why Venom’s Director Saved [SPOILER] For The Sequel

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Venom.

Venom director Ruben Fleischer has explained just why he saved Carnage for a sequel. The post-credits scene introduced viewers to Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady, the serial killer who becomes the most dangerous symbiote villain in Marvel Comics.

In 1992, David Michelinie, Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley created the character of Carnage. Envisioned as a darker version of Venom, Carnage was created when a symbiote bonded with a convicted serial killer, a sociopath who revels in bloodshed. Carnage has become a comic book legend in his own right, a monstrous force of destruction who’s pushed every hero to the brink of madness.

Related: Venom: The 10 Biggest Spoilers

The post-credits scene for Venom revealed that Woody Harrelson is playing the part of Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who’s under arrest in San Quentin prison. He’s visited by journalist Eddie Brock, having asked Brock for the chance to tell his story, but really all Kasady wants to do is issue a threat; when he breaks out – and, Kasady swears, he will do so – he’s coming for Brock. It was a promising introduction to the character, and in an interview with IGN director Ruben Fleischer has explained why he took this approach.

“We’d like to think that this movie will expand to other movies and Carnage is, I think, the most beloved of the Venom adversaries, with the exception of probably Spider-Man. And so we definitely didn’t want to include Carnage in this first movie because it felt like we wanted to establish Eddie and Venom and so that’s why we worked having Riot as our main adversary. But the intention or the ambition was to show that there are legs for the franchise in that a fan favorite let alone played by Woody Harrelson would be something we could look forward to in the future.”

Fleischer has a point; the narrative in Venom is pretty economical, with a tightly-focused story that serves to introduce viewers to the idea of Venom and the alien symbiotes. As a result, Venom is essentially a standalone film, and that post-credits scene is really the only explicit piece of setup in the entire movie. That’s quite a remarkable approach to take, given this film is expected to launch an entire Spider-villains franchise.

Fleischer admitted that he doesn’t really know how Carnage will come to exist in the films just yet. As he pointed out, “In the comics, he’s a spawn of Venom’s and basically he and Eddie in the comics are cell mates.” Sony wanted to set Venom up as an antihero rather than an outright villain, and so didn’t want him to wind up in jail at the end of the film. “That would’ve been a bit of a bummer,” Fleischer observed. Instead, he had the idea of shooting a scene in which journalist Eddie Brock visits the prison and talks to Kasady. That sets up a fascinating new dynamic, in which Kasady is obsessed with Brock even before he’s exposed to a symbiote. It will be fascinating to see how this develops.

Notice how careful Fleischer is with his comments, though. He doesn’t actually confirm that Carnage will appear in Venom 2. Back in 2014, leaked Sony emails revealed that the studio was considering a Maximum Carnage event movie as the culmination of their Spider-villain universe. That idea may still be on the cards, and Carnage could be a far more important foe than simply the key sequel villain.

More: Maximum Carnage Can Be The Avengers Of Sony’s Spider-Villains Universe

Source: IGN



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2018-10-05 04:10:16 – Thomas Bacon

Jodie Whittaker Breaks the Glass Ceiling (Literally) In Doctor Who Promo

The latest trailer for the upcoming season 11 of BBC’s Doctor Who features Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch) literally breaking a glass ceiling. While many fans are excited about the new series, some of the negative response has stemmed from objection to a female actor taking on the traditionally male role. With today’s teaser, the show and Whittaker have issued a clear response.

Since the show began in 1963, the Doctor has been portrayed by 13 different men, making Whittaker the first women to take over, following Peter Capaldi’s departure in last year’s Christmas special. Doctor Who fans have since been preparing for big changes. Steven Moffat, the showrunner since Matt Smith took the lead in 2010, will be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall. Previous trailers have also revealed that three regular companions will be joining the Doctor aboard the TARDIS, instead of one. The new series is set to premiere next month.

Related: Doctor Who Season 11 Premiere Date Revealed by BBC

BBC America published the 20-second teaser to its official Twitter this morning with caption: “The Doctor’s ready. Are you?” As a broken stained-glass ceiling rains down on Whittaker in the middle of a massive cathedral, she nonchalantly utters, “Whoops.” Check out the full trailer below:

The glib smile Whittaker cracks at the end, combined with the soundtrack use of Macklemore’s “Glorious,” affirms that the show is going to actively celebrate, rather than shy away from its casting decision. BBC America also released the trailer to YouTube under the title “It’s About Time,” and Whittaker herself was very vocal about taking on the role in a recent interview with Marie Claire, stating: “I recently had someone ask me, ‘Are you playing it [the Doctor] as a girl or a boy?’ I replied, ‘I’m just playing it.’ This is the most freeing role because there are no rules.”

The actress may be referring to the fact that objecting to the Doctor’s gender-swap as bending the rules isn’t warranted. Doctor Who canon has pre-established that this occurs in Time Lord regenerations. Season 10 of the show brought on Michelle Gomez as Missy (aka the Master) as the adversarial Time Lord, who up until then had been played by a male actor. Whittaker isn’t the only women to be received poorly by some sci-fi fans for taking a lead role. Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran reportedly left social media due to harassment, following the release of The Last Jedi. She has since discussed the importance of standing against online bullying.

As the Doctor returns this Fall, a lot of opportunities to explore complex character dynamics are in view. With a cast of three companions potentially making a new sort of family, fans may see a lighthearted tone that’s been absent from the series for some time. With a new lead, cast, and showrunner, the adventures are sure to be something of a destination that has never been travelled to before.

MORE: Doctor Who Season 11 Announces Writing & Directing Crew

Doctor Who season 11 premieres Sunday, October 7th on BBC One and BBC America.

Source: BBC America





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2018-09-07 01:09:11 – Calvin Barr