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Making A Murderer Part 2 Trailer: The Conviction Was Just The Beginning

Part 2 of Netflix’s true-crime docuseries Making a Murderer is set to stream on October 19, according to the first trailer. The new season is an anticipated follow-up to one of the most talked-about true-crime series in recent memory. The original series, which premiered in 2015, joined the likes of Serial and HBO’s The Jinx, as not only captivating television (or podcasts), but also highly influential series with real-world implications. The two subjects of Making a Murderer, Steven Avery and his newphew Brendan Dassey, had their convictions investigated — and in Dassey’s case, overturned before being upheld again — by a lengthy and fraught legal battle that is now the subject of the series’ second season. 

That Netflix would want to capitalize on the fervor of the first season is no surprise, but given that the follow-up was announced soon after the first season became a sensation, it is rather surprising the streaming service was willing to wait as long as it did for more. That certainly works in favor of the new episodes, as not only does it feel less opportunistic, but it also presents a greater likelihood that there will be more new information viewers were perhaps unaware of. 

More: Titans Premiere Review: Mature Content Doesn’t Make For Mature Storytelling

The trailer for Making a Murderer Part 2 plays out less as a follow-up to season 1 than a response to the furor it caused. The new season focuses its attentions on the efforts by attorney Kathleen Zellner to overturn the conviction of Avery and Dassey, and there’s plenty of seemingly compelling evidence presented to make is seem as though Zellner, her team, and Avery have a fighting chance. Check out the trailer below:

“Netflix presents the highly-anticipated second chapter of the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning original documentary series Making a Murderer, which followed the unprecedented journey of Steven Avery from DNA exoneree and reformer to convicted murderer. Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to the Midwest where they have exclusive access to Steven Avery and his co-defendant and nephew Brendan Dassey, their families and the legal teams fighting for justice on their behalf.  Over the course of 10 new episodes, Making a Murderer Part 2 provides an in-depth look at the high-stakes post-conviction process, exploring the emotional toll the process takes on all involved.”

Of course, with all true crime documentaries, the news and the internet will beat them to the punch, so what they offer will be a more in-depth look at the process of overturning a conviction and, presumably, the evidence that will once again get viewers creating petitions to overturn a murder conviction. Whether Making a Murderer Part 2 will be the phenomenon season 1 was remains to be seen, but true-crime obsessives won’t have to wait long to get their fix. 

Next: The Man In The High Castle Season 3 Review: More Sci-Fi Action Refocuses The Series

Making a Murderer part 2 will stream on Netflix on Friday, October 19.



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2018-10-09 01:10:40 – Kevin Yeoman

World War Z Sequel Begins Production in June, Confirms Producer

It seems World War Z 2 will finally begin production next June, according to one of the movie’s producers. Getting the first movie – which was directed by Marc Forster and based on a script by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof – onto the big screen was a long and arduous journey. While it wasn’t a direct adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed novel of the same name, it was still a different take on the zombie subgenre.

However, that doesn’t mean it revolutionized the horror genre. World War Z received generally positive reviews from critics and earned a whopping $540 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of $190 million, which was more than enough for Paramount Pictures to commission a sequel. But development on the follow-up installment lagged for years until the studio’s new chief came on board in 2017 and started to push it forward. Now, it’s slated to start filming next summer.

Related: Why Jurassic World 2’s J.A. Bayona Dropped Out Of Directing World War Z 2

In an interview with Variety on the red carpet for Beautiful Boy, producer Dede Gardner confirmed that World War Z 2 will begin production in June 2019. She also reaffirmed that Brad Pitt would be reprising his role from the first movie as Gerry Lane, with David Fincher on board to direct. Furthermore, producer Jeremy Kleiner provides an update on the script, saying that screenwriter Dennis Kelly is still working on it, but they’re quite happy with what they have so far.

It’s interesting that Paramount Pictures, especially under new leadership, still sees potential in this story despite it being more than five years since the first movie released. Sure, it performed well at the box office, but the zombie genre is even more crowded now than it was then. After all, Paramount recently and briefly started to develop a reputation for offloading properties they thought wouldn’t perform well in theaters, primarily to streaming giant Netflix. That’s why movies like Annihilation and The Cloverfield Paradox suddenly found themselves streaming online. But in the midst of all the apparent turmoil was World War Z 2, which kept on trudging forward.

Fincher started filming the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter this past summer, so, given how adamant Gardner is about the June production start time frame, it seems the filmmaker has set aside time next summer to get the ball rolling on the long-awaited World War Z sequel. Whether they actually make that production start date remains to be seen, but at least fans can rest assured knowing the studio hasn’t forgotten about the movie.

Next: World War Z Horde Gameplay Trailer Recreates Movie’s Zombie Tsunami

Source: Variety





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2018-10-08 08:10:30 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Legendary Armor Locations Guide

In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, there are legendary armor sets that players can obtain by completing missions, defeating specific bosses, or simply opening the right chests in the right areas. Obtaining and equipping a full set of legendary armor will grant players bonuses, some of which may change the entire course of their journey (including how they approach Odyssey‘s abilities).

While some legendary armor pieces may be acquired early on in the game, it’s best to wait until at least halfway through the story until players start to really try to obtain full sets. After all, most of them require defeating members of the Cult of Kosmos – and that can be harrowing in and of itself. Plus, the Cultists aren’t even introduced until quite a bit into the story.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: How To Get The Best Ending

Furthermore, equipping just one piece of legendary armor will grant players a bonus, but equipping all five pieces of equipment can either increase damage for all weapons and abilities, increase armor resistance, and perhaps even make players immortal in the grand scheme of things. Here’s a full guide on the all the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey legendary armor sets (images via PS4Trophies):

Pilgrim’s Legendary Armor Set

Players have to scour the Greek world looking for specific chests on specific islands. And acquiring each Pilgrim armor piece allows players to spend 40% less adrenaline when using the Shadow of Nyx ability.

  • Pilgrim’s Hood – Inside a chest in the Eleusis Telesterion in Attika.
  • Pilgrim’s Gloves – Inside a chest in the Akropolis of Argos.
  • Pilgrim’s Garment – Inside a chest in the Temple of Athena in Sparta.
  • Pilgrim’s Belt – Inside a chest in the Temple of Artemis in Lakonia.
  • Pilgrim’s Boots – Inside a chest in the Temple of Britomartis in Messara.

Amazon/Achilles Legendary Armor Set

Players who play as Kassandra will obtain the Amazon legendary armor set (something akin to Wonder Woman’s armor), whereas players who play as Alexios will get the Achilles armor upon defeating all the members of the Heroes of the Cult. Both armor sets provide players will a full set bonus of +2% damage dealt restored as health.

  • Helm of Achilles – Defeat Pallas the Silencer.
  • Bracers of Achilles – Defeat Swordfish.
  • Armor of Achilles – Defeat Belos, The Beast Of Sparta, in the Arena.
  • Waistband of Achilles – Defeat Okytos the Great.
  • Sandals of Achilles – Defeat Deianeira.

Agamemnon Legendary Armor Set

Agamemnon’s legendary armor set provides players with a full set bonus of +50% burning rate. But first, players have to defeat all the members of the Silver Vein branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Agamemnon’s Helmet – Defeat Machaon The Feared.
  • Agamemnon’s Gauntlets – Inside a chest at the Silver Mine in Athens.
  • Agamemnon’s Body Armor – Defeat The Silver Griffin.
  • Agamemnon’s Waistband – Defeat The Centaur Of Euboea.
  • Boots of Agamemnon – Defeat The Chimera.

Immortal Legendary Armor Set

Although players can’t become immortal while wearing the Immortal legendary armor set, they do get an additional 20% health restored to them upon respawning. However, they first need to defeat the entire Worshippers of the Bloodline branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Helmet of the Immortal – Defeat Zoisme.
  • Gauntlets of the Immortal – Defeat Chrysis.
  • Armor of the Immortal – Defeat Diona.
  • Waistband of the Immortal – Defeat Melite.
  • Boots of the Immortal – Defeat Harpalos.

Greek Heroes Legendary Armor Set

Instead of taking down Cultists, for the Greek Heroes legendary armor set, players have to take on mercenaries, who will drop the Perseus Helmet, Jason’s Golden Fleece, Bracers of Theseus, Hippolyta’s Belt, and Atalanta’s Sandals. However, different mercenaries may drop different items for different players. The armor set provides a bonus of 20% to all resistances.

  • Defeat The Translucent
  • Defeat The Flash
  • Defeat The Lucky Drunk
  • Defeat The Frenzied
  • Defeat The Resplendent

Arena Fighter’s Legendary Armor Set

In order to obtain the Arena Fighter’s legendary armor set, players will have to complete the Arena – defeating every champion – for a second time at or near the max level. Wearing the full set provides players with a bonus of +10% health restored with overpower.

  • Arena Fighter’s Helmet
  • Arena Fighter’s Gauntlets
  • Arena Fighter’s Armor
  • Arena Fighter’s Waistband
  • Pit Fighter’s Boots

Artemis Legendary Armor Set

The Artemis legendary armor set is obtained by essentially completing the Daughters of Artemis quest. A full set gives players a bonus of +15% damage on all Hunter abilities.

  • Master’s Artemis Hood – Defeat the Krokottas Hyena and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Gloves – Defeat the Erymanthian Boar and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Outfit – Defeat the Krekatan Bull and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Belt – Defeat Kallisto the Bear and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Treads – Defeat the Lykaon Wolf and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.

Snake Legendary Armor Set

One of the more intriguing legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the Snake set, which grants players a bonus of +10% intoxicated damage and weakening effect. The entire Eye of Kosmos branch of the Cult of Kosmos needs to be defeated in order to obtain the full set.

  • Viper’s Hood – Defeat The Master.
  • Venom Gloves – Defeat Hermippos.
  • Scaled Armor – Defeat The Snake.
  • Slithering Belt – Defeat Sotera.
  • Noxious Boots – Defeat Midus in Argolis.

Athenian War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Players have to defeat all the cultists part of the Delian League to obtain the Athenian War Hero legendary armor set. A full set grants a bonus allowing players to penetrate shields with arrows.

  • Athenian War Hero Helmet – Defeat Kodros the Bull.
  • Athenian War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Brison.
  • Athenian War Hero Armor – Defeat Iobates the Stoic.
  • Athenian War Hero Belt – Defeat Rhexenor the Hand.
  • Athenian War Hero Boots – Defeat Podarkes the Cruel.

Spartan War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Considering that Sparta famously fought in the Peloponnesian War, it makes sense that players have to defeat the Peloponnesian League of the Cult of Kosmos to get the Spartan War Hero legendary armor set, which appropriately grants players +15% damage to all Warrior abilities.

  • Spartan War Hero Helmet – Defeat Monger in Korinthia.
  • Spartan War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Silanos of Paros.
  • Spartan War Hero Armor – Defeat Skylax the Fair.
  • Spartan War Hero Belt – Defeat Lagos the Archon.
  • Spartan War Hero Boots – Defeat Kallias.

Pirate Legendary Armor Set

To get the Pirate legendary armor set, perhaps one of the coolest looking armor sets in the game, players have to take down the Gods of the Aegean Sea cultists. Then, the full armor set grants a +15% damage to all Assassin abilities.

  • Pirate Hood – Defeat Melanthos.
  • Pirate Gauntlets – Defeat Asterion.
  • Pirate Armor – Defeat The Octopus.
  • Pirate Waistband – Defeat Sokos.
  • Pirate Treads – Defeat The Mytilenian Shark.

Demigod Legendary Armor Set

Loot Deimos at the end of the main story to obtain four of the five pieces of armor needed to complete the Demigod legendary armor set. The four pieces of armor are: Demigod’s Chestplate, Demigod’s Bracers, Demigod’s Belt, and Demigod’s Boots. The final armor piece, Aspasia’s Circlet, is obtained by defeating the final Cult of Kosmos member, the Ghost of Kosmos.

In total, there are 12 legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Some of them will be relatively easy to obtain, while others will require some skill and ingenuity. But Ubisoft’s latest installment is quite long and expansive, so there’s no rush. After all, one or two of them can only be acquired after completing the game itself.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked

Images via PS4Trophies



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2018-10-08 07:10:42 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

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

Best Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Abilities to Unlock First

Unlocking abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is paramount not only with regards to surviving in the open world game but also being able to complete it without having to resort to constantly retreating. Just like most action-adventure and role-playing games, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gives players several tools to aid them in their journey, of which the abilities section is what elevates the playing experience above what franchise fans are perhaps used to.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey contains three sections of abilities – Hunter (ranged), Warrior (close-quarters combat), and Assassin (stealth) – and neither section should be ignored, for having a well-rounded skill tree provides for a more holistic experience. Every time players level up, they receive one new skill to redeem for any ability that’s currently available. And after progressing far enough into the story, they can even upgrade certain abilities, namely the ones that are assigned to their combat wheels.

Best Assassin Abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Starting out, it’s always best to begin filling out the Assassin category seeing as this game is, well… an Assassin’s Creed game, and stealth is just as prominent in this title as previous installments. For this section, unlocking Shadow Assassin is key to starting off, seeing as it allows players to assassinate stronger targets. Upgrade it along the way as well, whenever possible. Then, unlocking Venomous Attacks and then later Poison Mastery helps in injuring the enemy, even with ranged attacks; it’s especially useful when fighting captains and tougher enemies who have high endurance. Next is Hero Strike, which uses the full power of the Spear of Leonidas to deal a powerful strike. Along these lines, Critical Assassination is also enormously helpful in assassinating captains and various other mini-bosses who would otherwise require multiple strikes to defeat. Unlocking Shadow of Nyx is certainly useful, but it’s not something that players would use often unless they are in a hectic situation and have nowhere to go.

Best Warrior Abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

From the get-go, most players would want to start out with Sparta Kick, an ability which general gamers will recognize from the movie 300. Beyond being cool, it actually comes in handy when attempting to create some distance between yourself and the enemy. After that, acquiring the Bull Rush ability will help in clearing out a horde of enemies that have lined up. Even though those two aforementioned abilities will help clear out enemies, players will come face-to-face with some people with shields. To defeat them (or, at least disarm them while fighting), players should unlock the Shield Breaker ability. Then, in order to protect themselves and increase their damage, it’s best to acquire the Weapons Master and Gear Master abilities next – and upgrade them whenever the opportunity arises. Increasing damage and armor is vital to surviving harrowing fights later on.

Best Hunter Abilities in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Continuing off Assassin’s Creed Origins, archery in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is of utmost importance. Predator Shot should be selected first, seeing as it’s strong and allows players to guide the arrow themselves. It’s good at hitting hard to reach targets. Next up, Devastating Shot; a special ability that unleashes a powerful arrow, which can be even more powerful if fully charged up, to significantly damage stronger enemies. In fact, to completely master and utilize the hunter abilities to their fullest, it’s best to unlock the entire right column of that category: Archery Master (increases hunter damage), Overpower Bow Strike (a fully charged arrow that deals 1000% damage), and Ghost Arrows of Artemis (an arrow that be shot through shields, walls, etc.). The only other ability worth getting from the hunter category is Multi-Shot, which is useful in targeting four or more enemies at once. It helps with crowd control.

If players choose to follow this guide, they may unlock the aforementioned abilities at whatever point they feel like, but those are undoubtedly the best abilities that will aid players in their journey across Greece.



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2018-10-05 02:10:28 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Captain Marvel Movie Merchandise Provides New Look at Brie Larson



Official merchandise for Captain Marvel provides a new look at Brie Larson suited up. Marvel Studios is finally going to make their first movie solely led by a female hero. Captain Marvel filmed earlier this year and is already wrapped, leaving fans wanting to get some official looks at the film. There were plenty of set photos that leaked during production, showing a green suit for Captain Marvel that surprised many. Whether it comes during the bulk of her solo movie or just near the end, it’s known that Carol will be sporting the red, blue, and yellow eventually.

Larson’s Captain Marvel was part of previously leaked Avengers 4 art that puts her in the traditional color scheme, which matched the colors from concept art Marvel showed at SDCC back in 2017. Marvel has yet to officially release any looks at the solo movie so far, but some of the film’s first pieces of merchandise have now arrived.

Related: Lee Pace Teases Ronan’s Captain Marvel Return

Captain Marvel notebooks are now available to pre-order on Amazon through publisher Insight Editions, and they bring fans a new look at the film. One of the two set to be released notebooks features Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel on the cover. As you can see in the tweet below from CaptMarvelNews, Captain Marvel can be seen from the waist up with her hair blowing in the wind, with both fists powered up as well.

Based on this piece of merchandise, there’s even more signs pointing to Captain Marvel wearing her usual colors in the film. Although this could simply be by design for the notebook itself, it would be quite surprising for Marvel to not give Carol her accurately colored look. These notebooks aren’t being released until next April – after Captain Marvel hits theaters – but they’ll feature even more imagery from the movie inside.

With merchandise now starting to pop up, it may not be too long before more official looks at Captain Marvel arrive. A first look image could come any day now, offering fans their first official glimpse of the film. Once an image and possible teaser poster is released, an actual trailer could come quickly. There’s just over six months left before Captain Marvel hits theaters, so the marketing campaign will likely begin fairly soon. There’s already a considerable amount of excitement surrounding the movie, but promoting Captain Marvel through more official means is destined to become Marvel’s main focus until next March.

MORE: Captain Marvel Prequel Comic Teases Nick Fury & Maria Hill Team-Up

Source: Amazon [via CaptMarvelNews]





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Godzilla 2 Website Provides More Evidence For Kong: Skull Island Theory



Godzilla: King of the Monsters‘ viral website seems to confirm Kong: Skull Island‘s pivotal Hollow Earth Theory. This further unifies the shared MonsterVerse and shows how cleverly the brain trust at Legendary Pictures is plotting the intricate backstory of a world inhabited by giant monsters called Titans – a group that includes Godzilla and Kong.

The Hollow Earth Theory is part of Skull Island’s backstory. It was introduced by William Randa (John Goodman), a senior official of Monarch, the clandestine agency dedicated to tracking and cataloging the kaiju, which were then referred to as M.U.T.O.s – massive unidentified terrestrial organisms. In 1973, Randa led a joint Monarch/LandSat/U.S. Army expedition into the unexplored Skull Island and encountered Kong, the island’s 104-foot ape defender. Skull Island was infested with other creatures, the worst of which were the Skullcrawlers, killer beasts that came out of holes beneath the island. Before his unfortunate death, Randa explained Monarch’s Hollow Earth Theory: that there are enormous caverns beneath the planet which house untold numbers of M.U.T.O.s. Skull Island was a gateway for Skullcrawlers to escape, but there must also be others scattered around the planet.

Related: How Monarch Can Be Better Than Marvel’s SHIELD

The Monarch Sciences website allows fans to track Godzilla’s movements on a global map. After visiting San Diego for Comic-Con in July, Godzilla spent the next few weeks swimming west across the Pacific Ocean, where he passed by Skull Island as he continued his mysterious trajectory. Once he reached the Mariana Trench, east of the Philippines and South of Japan, Godzilla then mysteriously vanished. The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the world’s ocean, so there’s only one answer to how Godzilla suddenly vanished from the map: he dove and swam downward into the Mariana Trench.

Godzilla has since magically resurfaced thousands of miles west of Indonesia and then turned south, swimming to Antarctica. To do this, Godzilla must have traveled beneath the entire length of Indonesia. The only way he could have achieved this maneuver is through enormous caves underneath the surface of the planet, which confirms the Hollow Earth Theory. The Mariana Trench (which also figures prominently in The Meg) must be another major gateway into the hollow earth. Godzilla’s feat also tells fans a little something more about the Big G: to be able to navigate the deepest parts of the ocean and beyond, where there is no light, Godzilla must possess the ability to see in the dark.

As for why Godzilla is en route to Antarctica, his destination is the location where King Ghidorah is buried in a wall of ice. Ghidorah is the Big Bad of the Titans whom Godzilla, along with Rodan and Mothra, will face in the sequel – perhaps to determine once and for all which kaiju deserves the right to be called the real King of the Monsters. Ghidorah also figures prominently in Godzilla 2 as one of the Titans a mysterious organization who kidnapped Monarch scientist Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) wants to release as part of a mysterious plot to save humanity from a mass extinction.

Though William Randa died decades before the events of Godzilla 2, his backstory also links to Godzilla’s recent movements on the map. In 1943, Randa was the sole survivor of a monster attack on the U.S.S. Lawton in the vicinity of the Mariana Trench. This incident led to mankind’s discovery of the Titans and the inception of Monarch in 1946, with the mission of “discovery and defense in a time of monsters”.

Godzilla won’t fight Ghidorah until Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theatres in May 2019, so it will be interesting to monitor the Monarch Sciences site to try to determine why the giant lizard is visiting Antarctica now. Godzilla’s further movements across the globe may see him again periodically vanish, so when he does, fans now know it’s because he’s traversing the hollow earth.

Next: There Are Other Monster Kings (And Queens) In Godzilla 2



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