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Gears of War 5 Lead Explains Why Smoking Was Really Removed

Although tobacco use has never been particularly prominent in Microsoft’s flagship cover shooter, it was rumored that Gears of War 5 would be removing all references to smoking as a result of anti-tobacco activism. But lead developer Rod Fergusson says the choice was made due to personal preference.

This comes directly after reports that anti-smoking organization, Truth Initiative successfully lobbied Gears of War developer The Coalition to cut all tobacco references and imagery from its upcoming sequel. Slated for a fast-approaching September 10 launch, Gears 5 was revealed at last month’s E3 to be shaking up the thirteen-year-old franchise in a few ways bigger than the omission of character Michael Barrick’s cigars. Along with an outlandish, character-driven trailer, an all-new mode called Escape was revealed, which will pit three players against the Swarm in a novel fight for survival that doesn’t come quite close to revolutionizing the series like Gears of War 2‘s Horde mode.

Related: New Gears 5 Map Draws Comparisons to BioShock

Responding to a now-removed Game Informer tweet about the Truth Initiative’s apparent anti-smoking victory, Rod Fergusson, studio head of The Coalition, implied that smoking likely wouldn’t have played any prominent role in the final release of Gears 5, anyway. Referring to pre-release concept art for Gears of War 2 in which a character could be seen smoking a cigarette, Fergusson backs up his anti-smoking track record in a tweet of his own when pointing out smoking’s inevitable absence from the game, saying, “I stopped it.” Though his rebuttal is undoubtedly a form of mild damage control, Fergusson later expanded upon his distaste for tobacco and its health risks when sharing that his father, who smoked, died early when Fergusson was only a small child.

In reality, it’s hard to say that the Gears of War franchise has ever done much to glorify smoking among young people, especially when considering that the most visible smoker of the COG bunch, Michael Barrick, is portrayed as a deeply damaged madman – hardly a role model for children in a series of M-rated games. Nevertheless, with the growing popularity of Juul and other vapor-based tobacco brands among kids and teens who can just get their hands on Gears 5 digitally, the removal of all tobacco products and references from the upcoming gorefest is probably for the best – regardless of who can claim responsibility for the deed.

It’s hard to say if this bit of controversy thrown The Coalition’s way was hardly deserved, but it should raise some concerns at the studio and Microsoft that this smoking debacle generated as much if not more buzz than the game’s somewhat lackluster showing at E3 2019. Ever since Epic Games’ departure from the franchise, fans have feared that Gears of War will get the axe in favor of new IP if its public zeal ever fades too greatly. And Gears 5 will have to deliver in a big way if The Coalition wants to secure further sequels.

Next: Gears 5 Won’t Have A Season Pass or Gear Packs and All Maps Are Free

Source: Rod Fergusson/Twitter



2019-07-13 01:07:25

Phillip Tinner

Yes, Far From Home’s [SPOILER] Really Was In Iron Man 1

 

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home ahead.

Mysterio’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) elaborate deceitful plan involved several people to pull off in Spider-Man: Far From Home, apparently including one pivotal member who previously appeared in Iron Man – but did he really? After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Far From Home is the public’s first glimpse at a post-Thanos Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and the rest of the world mourns the death of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the young hero won’t have the luxury of time as he’s thrust into a new mission.

Recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to fight the so-called Elemental creatures, Spider-Man reluctantly joins in and teams up with Quentin Beck/Mysterio – a hero from another dimension who traveled to Peter’s Earth through an inter dimensional portal that opened up after Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap in Avengers: Infinity War. But fans of the comic books knew better than to blindly trust anything that Beck says considering his conniving ways from the comic books. As it turns out, everything was part of Mysterio’s evil plan to get ahold of the E.D.I.T.H. technology. This way, Beck can continue to project himself as an Avengers-type of hero. Like Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Vulture (Michael Keaton), Mysterio is fueled by his grudge against Stark, as are his cohorts. But there’s one specific member of his team that fans have previously seen in an Iron Man film.

Related: All 8 Spider-Man Movies Ranked (Including Far From Home)

William Ginter Riva was the primary technical guy for Mysterio in Far From Home. He controlled the drones that created the illusions for their fake Elementals and he also provided tech support to Mysterio while they both orchestrated these made-up threats behind-the-scenes. Some fans who have been an avid fan of the MCU may find Riva quite familiar. It’s because he was the same, poor scientist that Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) chastised for not being able to re-create the Iron Man mini arc-reactor which Stark made “in a cave! With a box of scraps!” This is something that Beck pointed out during his creative expository scene – and it was true.

The character is played by Peter Billingsley, who was also the Ralphie Parker from 1983’s A Christmas Story. The 48-year-old is a close friend of Jon Favreau, hence why he’s appeared in a handful of the filmmaker’s projects. In fact, Billingsley even had a executive producer credit for Iron Man. After Riva’s appearance in the 2008 film, there was no word about his whereabouts until now. Far From Home didn’t reveal how he came together with Beck to carry out the ruse in 2024. But since Beck was still with Stark Industries until 2016, as he was involved in the creation of the B.AR.F. (Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing), there’s a chance that they both met at the company at that point.

Mysterio may be dead in the MCU, but the rest of his crew, particularly Riva, is still around. That means, that there is a chance that he’ll factor in future Spider-Man adventures moving forward. It seems like he has a hand behind the identity of the web-slinging hero revealed at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But with previous access to E.D.I.T.H., not to mention that he was wasn’t outed in the film, he could cause more damage in the franchise if he teams up again with another prominent villain.

More: Every Marvel Movie Coming After Spider-Man: Far From Home


2019-07-08 03:07:23

Ana Dumaraog

Star Wars Revealing Why Han Solo REALLY Joined The Rebels?

Every Star Wars fan will remember the moment they learned the once the roguish smuggler Han Solo had joined up with the Rebellion in The Empire Strike Back–but it was never fully explained how he made the transition from a life of crime to rebellion and leadership. Now, fans will get some more answers.

As part of the larger line of Age comics, the upcoming Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Han Solo #1 will pick up shortly after the first Star Wars film, as Han Solo and Chewbacca count their reward and prepare for their next adventure far from the Rebellion. And in our exclusive preview of the issue, Han and Chewie get roped in for one final mission by Luke Skywalker. A mission that may be the last push to send the Millennium Falcon’s pilots into the Rebel Alliance. Or more accurately, what convinces them to get out of the scoundrel life for good.

RELATED: Star Wars Comic Defends Han Solo Movie Actor

The new line of Star Wars comics from Marvel have done much to flesh out already beloved heroes. Previous comics and movie adaptations gave the ‘real’ meaning behind Han Solo’s name, and a glimpse of Han’s time with the Empire. And while various Legends and tie-in stories have been placed in and around the gap between Episode IV and Episode V, the standalone nature of this story suggests a greater significance to the core storyrline.

After all, previous single issues have helped to show Grand Moff Tarkin was a secret badass, and offer a possible explanation for why General Grievous was so good at killing Jedi. Others have explored character motivations far more intensely, making a case that Count Dooku wasn’t pure evil at all. Will a reunion with Han Solo’s old scoundrel pal go badly enough for him to abandon the life he used to live? Only time will tell. For now, take a look at the preview pages below:

Pick up the full issue this Wednesday, and check out the full details and synopsis below:

  • STAR WARS: AGE OF REBELLION – HAN SOLO (2019) #1
  • Published: May 1st, 2019
  • Writer: Greg Pak
  • Art: Chris Sprouse
  • Cover: Terry Dodson
  • THE SCOUNDREL’S CODE! After helping destroy the DEATH STAR, HAN SOLO’s ready to cash in his reward and return to life as a scoundrel. But when LUKE SKYWALKER asks for one last favor, Han gets pulled into a rebel mission that might wreck all of his plans. Co-starring CHEWBACCA and introducing AKKO, an old friend who might actually out-scoundrel Han himself!

Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Han Solo #1 will be available from your local comic book store on May 1st 24th, or direct from Marvel Comics.

MORE: Star Wars Theory: Boba Fett’s SOLO Cameo Set Up His Movie


2019-04-25 05:04:47

Andrew Dyce

How Much Did Avengers: Endgame REALLY Cost To Make?

Avengers: Endgame undoubtedly was a very expensive film to make, but just how much money did it cost? After 11 years and 21 films of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, the culmination of the Infinity Saga (but not Phase 3) is about to blast its way into theaters and potentially rewrite the record books in the process. Ever since Infinity War ended with the harrowing Decimation, die-hard MCU fans and casual audiences alike have been clamoring to see the conclusion of this story, eagerly anticipating the surviving Avengers’ mega showdown against Thanos.

Given the sheer number of characters, immense scope, and intense action sequences in both Infinity War and Endgame, it should be clear at the outset that these are not cheap movies. Even by the standards of the modern blockbuster, these Avengers installments boast price tags that would make most studio executives balk and turn the other way. The only reason Marvel was afforded the incredible funds to make these is that outside of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there’s never been a surer bet at the box office. And, it should be noted, Endgame’s budget blows anything Lucasfilm has paid for out of the water.

Related: Read Screen Rant’s Avengers: Endgame Review

Reportedly, Endgame cost anywhere between $350-400 million to produce. Unadjusted for inflation, that undoubtedly makes it one of the most expensive films ever made – if not the most. The current official record-holder is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which cost $379 million. Infinity War came in at $316 million and Age of Ultron cost $365 million. No other MCU installment had a budget of more than $230 million (Captain America: Civil War).

Obviously, this means Endgame’s break even point is so large, that it would be a respectable final gross for just about any other movie. But if any film is going to accomplish that feat, it’s this one. Thousands of Endgame screenings across the country are already sold out, and in the first week of advanced ticket sales, it sold five times as many as Infinity War. Marvel’s latest is poised to shatter the all-time domestic and global opening weekend marks, by virtue of it opening in China the same time as most of the world. Even the rosiest Marvel fan may not have predicted these kinds of commercial figures, but by the time Infinity War and Endgame were in development, the studio knew what they had. The first two Avengers films made more than $1 billion, so a monumental crossover event involving all corners of the MCU was a surefire success from the jump.

In the case of something like Black Panther or Captain Marvel, $1 billion is an undisputed triumph. As crazy as it sounds, in order for Endgame to truly be considered a box office success, it probably needs to match or surpass Infinity War’s $2 billion gross, becoming only the fifth film in history to earn that much. At this point, it would be surprising if it did not, so Avengers: Endgame is most definitely going to be another profitable endeavor for Marvel Studios.

More: Yes, You Should See Avengers: Endgame In IMAX


2019-04-24 01:04:49

Chris Agar

Riverdale’s New Threat is The PREDATOR (Yes, Really)

Riverdale’s latest twist is pitting Archie and his friends against Hollywood’s favorite alien hunter: The Predator. The comic book titled Archie vs. Predator 2 is set to launch on July 24th, and is guaranteed to make every other Riverdale threat The CW can come up with pale in comparison.

The five-issue series is a sequel to Archie vs. Predator, a crossover comic that was released in 2015. Alex de Campi, the writer of the previous installment, will be returning for the upcoming sequel along with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina artist Robert Hack. The story will continue on from where the previous comic left off, but is said to have a funny meta-commentary on corporate franchise reboots. Considering both Archie and The Predator have already been rebooted in film, comics, and television, they’ll have plenty to discuss… assuming they don’t kill eachother first.

Related: The Predator Wasn’t A Box Office Success – Here’s Why

In an interview with THR, Alex de Campi reassured readers that it is “massively important to me that both Archie and Predator fans feel like I’m handling their babies with love and respect and knowledge.” Though each comic is steeped in its usual humor and drama expected from a Riverdale story, there will be scares and violence aplenty to satisfy Predator fans. Robert Hack voiced his own excitement, saying “there’s so much to love about playing in this iconic universe,” and that creating art for a series like this “appeals to that subversive streak in me that wants to take the humor and the horror just that little bit too far.” 

Archie Comics have enjoyed some crazy stories and heightened teenage drama, which makes adding in a character like The Predator an exciting twist for their occasionally all-too-safe universe. Archie vs. Predator 2 will find Betty and Veronica at the forefront attempting to rescue their friends from the galaxy’s most vicious hunters. The series hasn’t held anything back when it comes to dismantling the safety net surrounding Riverdale. Both de Campi and Hack have ruthlessly killed off characters both old and new in the series’ previous installment, with the hopes of attracting more fans by bringing something new and out-of-this-world to the table.

Archie’s dependable and safe storyline in the comic books has proven to be an incredibly successful one since its initial release in 1941. His motley crew of friends, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead, have continued to garner attention with the release of Riverdale on the CW in 2017. Sabrina Spellman, another frequent friend of Archie’s in the comics, has also seen a very successful adaptation on Netflix with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. All of these takes on the teenagers of Riverdale, and its neighboring city Greendale, have shown that these memorable characters are easy to like and can tackle even Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

The success of Riverdale has shown that fans will watch these familiar faces in far darker situations than what is featured in the comic books. Creators have taken these characters’ stories in plenty of wild and different directions, from solving murder mysteries to preventing their fellow students from being indoctrinated into a cult to signing Satan’s book for their dark baptism. Despite its ridiculous storyline, the addition of The Predator into the series is one that’s proven successful due to how well it managed to blend the series’ different tones. Riverdale’s stories have no limits, and Archie vs. Predator 2 is a wild ride that fans of any genre can appreciate.

More: Biggest Changes Riverdale Made From Archie Comics

Header Art by Fernando Ruiz

Source: THR


2019-04-04 01:04:31

Hannah Hoolihan

The Highwaymen True Story: What Really Happened With Bonnie & Clyde

Netflix’s new movie The Highwaymen tells the story of Bonnie and Clyde’s final days from the perspective of the men who killed them – but how does it compare to the true story? Directed by John Lee Hancock, The Highwaymen stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as former Texas Rangers Frank “Pancho” Hamer and Ben Maney Gault, respectively, who are brought out of retirement and commissioned to hunt down and kill the celebrity sweethearts terrorizing the central United States.

The Highwaymen‘s cast also includes Kathy Bates as Governor Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first female Governor of Texas, who was first elected to the position after her husband, James E. Ferguson, was impeached. Following Ma Ferguson’s re-election in 1932, 40 Texas Rangers quit in protest of political corruption and the rest were fired; the Rangers would remain disbanded until 1935, when they were incorporated into the Texas Department of Public Safety, and it was during this period of dormancy that The Highwaymen takes place.

Related: The Dirt True Story: What the Mötley Crüe Netflix Movie Changed

Hancock’s movie is a blend of truth and fiction, with color and embellishment added to build a narrative of two old-school lawmen butting up against modern times. For example, the movie plays up the incompetence and hostility of Hoover’s FBI and even has them botching Hamer and Gault’s planned ambush of Bonnie and Clyde at their family homes, which didn’t actually happen. Similarly, there was no dramatic car chase through a dusty field that allowed Bonnie and Clyde to escape Hamer and Gault’s clutches. Let’s separate the fact from the fiction in The Highwaymen, and take a look at what we know about the real story of Bonnie and Clyde.

  • This Page: The Prison Break, Hamer and Gault, and The Real Bonnie and Clyde
  • Page 2: The Shootout and the Aftermath

The Highwaymen opens with a major event from towards the end of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker’s crime spree: a planned jailbreak of several criminal associates from Eastham prisoner farm, where Clyde himself had once been an inmate. Though many of the details in this sequence are taken from the true story (Barrow’s associates left weapons to  aid in the escape, and one prison guard was killed while another was wounded), there are also some creative liberties taken that set the tone for how The Highwaymen blends fact with embellishment.

According to My Life With Bonnie & Clyde – a memoir written by Clyde’s sister, Blanche Barrow – it was actually Clyde, not Bonnie, who fired a machine gun into the treeline while the men made their escape. While he did that, Bonnie stayed in the car and leaned on the horn to signal the men which way they should run. Moreover, Wade Hampton McNabb was not one of the attempted escapees, so the scene where he is dramatically left behind is fictionalized. Wade McNabb was eventually kidnapped and murdered while on furlough, but he was killed by Barrow gang member Joe Palmer as revenge for McNabb’s behavior in prison, not for ratting the gang out to Hamer and Gault. It was Palmer, not Hamer and Gault, who arranged for McNabb’s furlough.

The Highwaymen offers some stories about Hamer’s heyday as a Texas Ranger that are in fact lifted from real life, if embellished in places. The story that Hamer tells Clyde’s father – about being shot as a teenager by a rancher who tried to pay him to ambush his business partner – is true, and Hamer really did return to kill the rancher after he healed. The “manos arriba” story that Gault tells is also based on truth, though in reality it was bootleggers smuggling alcohol during the Prohibition that he killed, and there were only six of them, not sixty. Moreover, Gault himself was not actually present during this incident.

Related: Everything We Know About Martin Scorsese’s Netflix Movie The Irishman

Hamer and Gault were indeed old acquaintances before they were commissioned to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde together. Before joining the Texas Rangers, Gault had worked undercover for Hamer, as he had a talent for insinuating himself into criminal rings – a talent that’s showcased in The Highwaymen, when Hamer sends Gault out to sweet-talk residents of the migrant camp. The two families became close, and Hamer did indeed specifically choose Gault to be his partner after being approached for the Bonnie and Clyde job.

Though Hamer and Gault experience several frustrating near-misses of Bonnie and Clyde in The Highwaymen, in real life they didn’t actually catch up to the couple until the ambush on the morning of May 23, 1934. As depicted in the movie, Hamer refused lucrative offers from the media to spill the gory details of the Bonnie and Clyde shootout, and both he and Gault were said to have disliked the attention that the case brought upon them. Hamer said that he was “sickened by the sight” of the shootout’s aftermath.

Bonnie and Clyde themselves are not the central focus of The Highwaymen, and actually appear very little – glimpsed mainly from far away, with their faces only clearly shown in the moment before their death.

Perhaps the biggest change that The Highwaymen makes to the real story of Bonnie and Clyde is playing up Bonnie Parker’s role as a femme fatale – not only firing a machine gun into the trees to cover the prison break, but also stalking over to downed patrolmen and turning them over so that they could see their deaths coming as she shot them in the face. This is based on the account of William Schieffer, the farmer shown witnessing the Easter Sunday killings of patrolmen Wheeler and Murphy in The Highwaymen. However, other witnesses contradicted this claim and it was ultimately discredited – though not before inflaming public outrage against Bonnie.

Aside from Schieffer’s claim, there’s no evidence that Bonnie actually killed anyone, or even that she ever fired a gun, though she was obviously complicit in the Barrow gang’s crimes. At the time of her death, she had never actually been charged with a capital crime. The detail that she dragged her left heel after badly burning her leg in a car accident is based on real life, as is the bunny rabbit (called Sonny Boy) that Bonnie managed to successfully gift to her mother, despite being intensely pursued by the law in the final months of her life.

Page 2: The Shootout and the Aftermath

As seen in The Highwaymen, Bonnie and Clyde were eventually ambushed by a posse of six lawmen: Hamer and Gault, Texas officers Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton, Bienville Parish Sheriff Henderson Jordan, and Jordan’s deputy, Prentiss Oakley. Notably, all three of these duos characterized the ambush differently with conflicting testimony, and historians have speculated that each account was embellished by the storyteller’s own agenda. The Highwaymen sticks with the broader details that are consistent across all accounts: that Ivy Methvin, father of Barrow gang member Henry Methvin, agreed to help in the ambush, and that his truck was planted in the road so that Clyde would slow down.

Though in The Highwaymen there is a dramatic moment where Hamer decides to step out into the road to be the first to confront Bonnie and Clyde, and Gault steps out after him, the conflicting reports make it difficult to determine if this is actually what happened, or even if Bonnie and Clyde were given fair warning before the shooting began. Here is Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton’s account of the shooting, from a newspaper report at the time:

There must have been a signal given, but who it came from is another thing. We just all acted together, stepped out into the road and raised our guns. We all yelled “Halt!” at once. They didn’t halt. The car was going slowly and Clyde let go of the wheel. We could see him grab at a gun in his lap. Bonnie was going for something on the other side.

Then all hell broke loose. There were six men shooting at once… You couldn’t hear any one shot. It was just a roar, a continuous roar, and it kept up for several minutes. We emptied our guns, reloaded and kept shooting. As we jumped into sight, I could see Clyde reaching as if to get his gun. But he never had a chance to fire a shot. Neither did Bonnie, tho we learned a few minutes later that they both were carrying rifles across their laps.

After shooting the shotguns, we emptied the pistols at the car, which had passed us and ran into a ditch about 50 yards on down the road. It almost turned over. We kept shooting at the car even after it stopped. We weren’t taking any chances.

Related: The 25 Best Films on Netflix Right Now

One of the difficulties that Hamer and Gault face in The Highwaymen when trying to track down Bonnie and Clyde is the couple’s celebrity, with many people viewing them favorably as modern-day Robin Hoods. In the film’s most sobering scene, the adoring crowd that formerly thronged around the living couple with proclamations of love and praise returns when they are did, to try and take photos and collect “souvenirs” from the bodies.

This is, disturbingly, based on what actually happened – except that the crowd didn’t wait for the car to be towed back before descending. One man tried to cut off Clyde Barrow’s trigger finger, and another tried to cut off his left ear. A woman cut off bloody clumps of Bonnie Parker’s hair, and bits of blood-stained clothing were cut away from both of their bodies. Meanwhile, less daring members of the crowd gathered up fragments of glass and shell casings. After the car was towed back to Arcadia, thousands of people descended on the town, hoping for a look at the car and the bodies.

Thousands attended the funerals of Bonnie and Clyde, with as many as 20,000 estimated onlookers at Bonnie’s. The “death car” itself is still on display at Whiskey Pete’s Hotel and Casino in Primm, Nevada.

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of The Highwaymen


2019-03-29 10:03:14

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Us Ending Explained (& What It Really Means)

WARNING: Major spoilers for Us from the start.

What does the ending of Us really mean? Jordan Peele’s latest is a scarier film than his debut Get Out, and with that comes a more ambitious exploration of the rot in modern American society.

Us follows the Wilson family – Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), Gabe (Winston Duke), Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) – on vacation to Santa Cruz. On their first night, a family of warped doppelgangers invade their house and attempt to kill them. Adelaide, scarred from a previous run-in with these shadows as a child in 1986, leads her family through the horror as they learn the uprising encapsulates the entire country. Known as the Tethered, the attackers are a failed government experiment fighting for their place in the world. Red, Adelaide’s supposed double and Tethered leader, kidnaps Jason, leading to a fight between the mirrors which Adelaide emerges victorious… only for the movie to reveal she was Red all along.

Related: Read Screen Rant’s Review Of Us

A twisted home invasion slasher that takes aim at the heart of American society, there’s a lot of ambiguity to Us in both how its world is constructed and ultimately what Peele is trying to say. If you’re confused and want to learn more, we’re here to help. Discover the secrets and real meaning of the movie in our Us movie ending explainer.

  • Page 1: The Tethered’s Origin & Plan In Us Explained
  • Page 2: Us’ Adelaide/Red Twist Ending Explained
  • Page 3: What Us’ Ending Really Means

The Tethered’s Origins In Us Explained

The doppelgangers that attack the Wilson family – and the rest of the world – in Us are known as the “Tethered”. They are perfect copies – or shadows – created by the U.S. government as a means of controlling the population and stored in the labyrinth of deserted tunnels underneath the country (a reference to the Mole People urban myth). Each Tethered is connected to their above-ground counterpart through a psychic connection, with all aspects of their life recreated meticulously.

The initial purpose of the Tethered in Us was to literally turn the population into puppets: from underground, the Tethered would dictate everybody’s life, removing free will and leaving leaders in complete control. This sort of government-sanctioned control is a popular conspiracy theory, one teased earlier in Us when Zora suggests fluoride is added to the water to make people more docile.

However, this plan didn’t work. Due to some fault in the development of the Tethered, the connection didn’t imbue control, and so the government left their science experiment to its own devices. Either as part of the fault or a result of their discarding, the Tethered became the puppets and were forced to live out a shadow existence, mimicking their original constantly in the drab tunnels. Starved of sunlight and living off rabbits, they become warped, mute versions of their original.

A lot of the Tethered’s origins are left unexplored in Us. How they or the connection were originally created and how a mirror life leading to the same children was subsequently developed is left dangling for the audience to imagine – it may be that Zora is correct and this is just one part of a greater skewing of reality – but that’s because the only important thing is that they exist; the film’s real focus is on their life after creation.

The Tethered’s “Hands Across America” Plan In Us Explained

Us shows the night the Tethered emerge from their underground prison, with most (but, as evidenced by Jason, not all) having weakened their psychic connection. They first go about killing their doubles – along with any other people who get in the way – but the endgame of the uprising isn’t quite so violent; holding hands, they form a long, uninterrupted line from coast-to-coast. The aim isn’t to overthrow those living above but to find a place amongst them, with the line a striking announcement of their arrival.

The protest explicitly evokes Hands Across America, an audacious and successful charity initiative in 1986 where, across the continental United States, people held hands for homelessness charities (there was a $10 donation per place in line). Organized by music manager Ken Kragen and featuring celebrities Michael Jackson (who is referenced via a Thriller t-shirt), Michael J. Fox, Katheleen Turner and even President Reagan, it was a striking fundraiser. In reality, the chain didn’t exist uninterrupted due to the landscape of America, but did include enough people for it to occur in theory. Us‘ version, which was directly inspired by Kragen’s, appears to genuinely stretch across the country regardless of what mountains stand in their way, technically making it an even more striking example.

In the movie, this was all kickstarted when Red, Adelaide’s double, broke free from her connection and rallied the Tethered after a dance recital. Regarded as something of a messiah figure, she rallied all of the Tethered and began preparing them for war. Of course, there’s something darker going on in this pair’s connection…

Page 2 of 3: Us’ Adelaide/Red Twist Ending Explained

The Adelaide/Red Twist Ending Explained

Us opens in 1986 with Adelaide watching TV – including an advertisement for Hands Across America – before being taken to Santa Cruz pier by her parents. She walks off and finds herself in a hall of mirrors attraction. While trying to find her way out, she’s first creeped out by an extra person whistling, then comes across her exact double – her Tether. For much of the movie, we’re meant to believe that this experience irreversibly scarred Adelaide; this connection is how the Tether broke free and the trauma is why she’s so driven to fight back.

However, the final moments of Us‘ ending reveal something much darker: the Tether attacked Adelaide, chained her up in the tunnels, took her Michael Jackson Thriller t-shirt and returned to her parents, taking on a life above land. Adelaide was her own Tether all along! For the sake of simplicity, we’ll call the two characters by how they are known for the majority of the movie: Red is the original, Adelaide is the Tether.

After the switch – which is where the Tether between the two broke – Red assumed Adelaide’s life, learning to live above ground in a mostly normal manner, although still haunted by her early years. She originally suffered from ill-diagnosed P.T.S.D. and upon returning to Santa Cruz has an aversion to going near the beach; the film presents that as fear of the event but it is actually of returning to her origin. How much Red actually remembers is unclear – flashes of memory and her confusion over Adelaide’s two speeches suggest that over time memories has softened.

Adelaide, on the other hand, suffered considerably more after being trapped underground. While at first “Red” is presented as having broke free during a dance recital, the twist suggests that the girl actually used this as a way to rally the Tethered, showing her uniqueness. From there, her ability to speak allowed her to organize the uprising, an event rooted in her last memories of above; she saw Hands Across America on TV hours before the switch.

As with the true nature of Rose’s family in Get Out, there are a lot of clues to the twist early on, from Red telling Jason to “get in rhythm” to a Tethered visage appearing in her reflection when telling Gabe the 1986 story to her animalistic killing of the Tyler twin. Perhaps the biggest, though, is the characters’ evolving speech: Adelaide “loses” the ability to talk after her experience because, as a Tether, she never was able to and must learn, and later, the present day, she says to Kitty (Elizabeth Moss) she’s not much of a talker. Conversely, Red is the only Tether with the ability to speak, which becomes increasingly prominent as the nationwide scale of the story is revealed.

By the end of Us, Red has killed Adelaide following a tense mirrored showdown (where she chokes her just as she did in the hall of mirrors all those years ago) and escaped with her family. Jason suspects the truth – or, at least, that something is off with how his mother handled the outbreak, with her two kills seeing her slip into Tethered clicking – but, essentially, Red has managed to finally put the past to bed. While the Tethered have made their existence known under the leadership of Adelaide, to our lead character what mattered was her killing the big connection to that night in 1986 and her horrific existence before.

And if the fact that she was running and neglecting her past, or that Jason’s discovery has no discernable impact, leaves you feeling a bit morally confused, that’s exactly the point of Us and its ending…

Page 3 of 3: What Us’ Ending Really Means

Us Is A Commentary On Outside Fear

While Us isn’t as directly targeted as Get Out, there’s no avoiding what its core discussion is. This is a film about our fear of “the other” when “the other” is literally just us. More than that, even: when “the other” is a direct product of us and our actions.

The Tethered were created by the American government (the title’s U.S. double meaning is intentional, called our when Adelaide describes her family as “Americans”) as direct replicas of the population and then forgotten. They are the embodiment of outsiders that we’re told to resent by the people who created them. Immediately, that’s the homeless and underprivileged that Hands Across America was built to help while involving a President who made steps to worsen the social gap in a decade of opulence. But they can represent more: black slaves brought to America against their will and resented post-abolition; al-Qaeda, who were in the 1980s freedom fighters who the U.S. funded; and even Native Americans whose land was taken and the people discarded (it’s no coincidence that the hall of mirrors changes from an indigenous-themed attraction to an English mythological one).

But Us isn’t just a history lesson of injustice. It’s telling the audience how these injustices remain to this day, regardless of when they were created. The Tethered were a product of a time before Adelaide’s parents but, as easy as it is to bury, the modern America must address it. The film is a plea for humanity. The Tethered may act differently, but they are intrinsically the same as us; try as we might, there’s no getting around how we’re all the same. Us is a movie about basic human rights.

This isn’t a black-and-white issue. The Tethered’s end goal is non-violent protest, yet to get that point they brutalize their surface world doubles. To see them as relatable humans, we have to look past extreme actions they were pushed to and take in the full context. It’s the reverse of the approach taken by today’s judgemental media, and further roots Us in the here and now.

All of this is underscored by the Red and Adelaide twist. That they could swap and nobody noticed highlights just how close we are to the Tethered, further breaking down any mental barrier that may be put up. Indeed, what Red ultimately cares about is the safety of her family, making her indistinguishable from the humans she has infiltrated.

What Jerimiah 11:11 Means In Us

One recurring aspect of Us that is left unexplained is the repeated reference to Bible passage Jerimiah 11:11. It’s seen multiple times on a cardboard sign held by a drifter in Santa Cruz and one of the first to be killed by his Tethered. The movie doesn’t provide the quote so, first, here’s what it says:

“Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.”

Obliquely, it represents the brutality of the Tethered in their uprising and how unrelenting they are, with the command of the Lord being that of Adelaide, the only one who can speak. However, coming from a surface human and one murdered early on, this more represents the misguided view of what the Tethered are trying to achieve, a skewed propaganda take on what is meant to be a leveling of the playing field. Considering that religious rhetoric is synonymous with the far right media, there’s a further crass statement to be made.

Us is not an immediately open movie. It intentionally hides its narrative and thematic meanings behind a note-perfect slasher riff, but it’s in diving deeper the real and relevant horrors come out. This is a fantasy world of a twilight zone, and yet it’s far too real.

Next: Us Is A Very Different Film To Get Out


2019-03-22 02:03:51

Alex Leadbeater

Is Captain Marvel’s Post-Credits Scene Really From Avengers: Endgame?

After spending all of Captain Marvel in 1995, the post-credits scene brings Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) to the present day so she can meet the Avengers – but is the scene actually from Avengers: Endgame? Marvel Studios took a non-traditional approach to introducing Carol into the MCU by telling her story decades in the past, leaving years of mystery before she returns to Earth to try to help stop Thanos.

While most fans expected some Avengers: Endgame tease to arrive at the end of Captain Marvel, hardly anyone expected to see Carol Danvers’ actual return to Earth already. Captain Marvel‘s mid-credits scene showed the remaining Avengers studying Fury’s pager with the Captain Marvel symbol still showing when it suddenly shuts off, leaving them confused and desperate to figure out who was on the other end. They turn around to see Captain Marvel (in a new suit) standing in the middle of Avengers HQ asking about Fury’s location.

Related: Captain Marvel’s ‘Twist’ Was Spoiled in Infinity War

What made the scene even more surprising, though, is that Black Widow still has her short blonde hair and Captain America has yet to shave his beard, indicating this happens before any of the footage shown in Avengers: Endgame‘s trailers. For many, this was a sign that Endgame will begin almost in the immediate aftermath of the snap and confirmed that Marvel’s been lying to fans throughout the marketing campaign. However, this is all only true if the scene is actually in Avengers: Endgame. It has been confirmed that the Russo brothers shot this scene, but it has yet to be confirmed that it is in the completed cut of the film, so what if it isn’t?

This may seem like a bizarre and unlikely proposal at first, but it isn’t impossible. Marvel Studios’ history with post-credits is uneven at best in terms of whether or not they actually make sense, and hardly any of them are actually from upcoming films; Iron Man 2‘s is a slightly different version of a scene from Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger ends with a tease for The Avengers. There is some precedence for Marvel Studios using actual movie footage for post-credits scenes – Ant-Man ended with a scene directly from Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange helping set up Thor: Ragnarok – but these are the exceptions, not the rule. In the case of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, it may not be necessary.

The main purpose of this Captain Marvel mid-credits scene is to pay off the post-credits scene from Avengers: Infinity War and show that Carol will return in Endgame. But, when we’re looking what it actually means for Endgame‘s plot, it isn’t a lot. Yes, it establishes how and when Carol arrives on Earth, but that may not be that vital in the overall scheme of things. Her being involved is important, not necessarily when she enters. The second trailer for Avengers: Endgame ended with the tease of Thor meeting Carol, which can work as a more succinct introduction to the character that doesn’t require knowledge of the pager from Avengers: Infinity War‘s post-credits scene.

What we could have here is, instead of a scene from Avengers: Endgame, simply one that really helps set up the protagonist from the main film for the epic team up. After all, Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s post-credits scene happens at the exact same time, and no one is expecting to have to rewatch Scott Lang get lost in the Quantum Realm. With this in mind, there’s also not a clear reason why Marvel needs to use this scene in Endgame. The Russo brothers can get by with other character meetups and can allow the film to hit the ground running towards the conclusion, instead of having to set the stage again for what will come. So, unless the directors come out and confirm that this scene is actually going to be shown in Avengers: Endgame, proceed with caution about the actual function it serves.

MORE: Captain Marvel May Have Teased A Proper Avengers Replacement Team


2019-03-22 02:03:02

Cooper Hood

Colin Hanks Shares A Really Awesome Story About Luke Perry

The entertainment world is still reeling from the tragic death of Luke Perry, and as fellow actors continue to pay tribute, more unheard stories about his life are beginning to surface, including from Colin Hanks. Perry, who was only 52-years-old, passed away just days after suffering a massive stroke at his home in California.

Perry first skyrocketed to stardom due to his role as Dylan McKay on the teen drama Beverly Hill, 90210 (which just announced a six-episode event series). He maintained teen heartthrob status throughout the 1990s while continuing his rise to fame. Perry’s loyal fanbase stayed with him during his career, but a new generation of fans was introduced to the actor with his role on Riverdale. Perry played the role of Fred Andrews, the hard-working and sensible father of lead character Archie. The role was viewed as a career resurgence of sorts. There’s no word on what will happen to Perry’s character on the CW series, but production was halted as a result of his death. Perry finished his work on the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood prior to his passing.

Related: 10 Biggest Changes Riverdale Made From The Archie Comics Canon

As the heartbreaking news of Perry’s passing spread, many fans, friends, and colleagues took to social media to honor the beloved actor. Many knew Perry as a family man, renowned for his random acts of kindness. One particular story that stands out comes from Hanks. The actor took to Instagram to share an amazing story about Perry breaking up a fight between two young brothers with the help of some balloons.

Hanks and his wife were once on a flight from Mexico when they noticed two young brothers arguing. The kids spent hours fighting, crying, and carrying on much to the chagrin of the rest of the passengers. Just before the plane landed, a man came from first class to save the day. With the use of some balloons, the man managed to calm the kids down. Hanks later realized that the “balloon man” was Perry who he had never met before. After praising each other’s work in the industry, Perry shared that he travels with balloons for those situations. The encounter left a lasting impression on Hanks as he vowed: “I’ll be damned if I don’t start traveling with some spare balloons.

The above touching tale from Hanks pulled at the heartstrings of many readers. This goes to show how much of an impact Perry had on others. Whether someone knew him personally or admired him from afar, the sentiments are the same. As if anyone needed another reason to respect and appreciate Luke Perry, a story like this exists. His loss will continue to be felt, but as more stories from his life inevitably come out, his legacy will only continue to grow.

Next: Riverdale Season 3 Shuts Down Production, Producers Release Statement

Source: Colin Hanks/Instagram



2019-03-05 06:03:16

Kara Hedash

Why Gotham’s Joker Isn’t Really Dead

Gotham season 5 episode 4, “Ruin,” delivered a shocking scene that left the fate of Jeremiah, the show’s version of the Joker, hanging in the balance; however, it’s unlikely that viewers have seen the last of the Joker. In Gotham‘s season 4 finale, Jeremiah took inspiration from The Killing Joke and shot Selina Kyle (rather than Barbara Gordon) in the stomach, leaving her paralyzed.

Fortunately, Gotham season 5 saw Selina cured after Bruce collected some mystical vegan hoodoo from Poison Ivy that not only cured Selina’s condition, but also turned her into Catwoman. Since being cured, Selina’s primary goal has been to exact revenge on Jeremiah Valeska, aka the unofficial Joker, by killing him once and for all, and the young Catwoman finally got her wish in last week’s episode, “Ruin,” after infiltrating Jeremiah’s base and stabbing him in the gut several times. But that may not be the end for the Joker.

Related: Gotham Season 5 Finds A Solution To Its Batgirl Problem

Clearly, Jeremiah was not left in a good way, but Bruce and Alfred managed to drag Selina away before she could inflict any obviously fatal wounds, leaving Jeremiah’s status unclear. A short promo for episode 4 seems to confirm Jeremiah’s death, showing the Sirens toasting Selina as his killer, but the situation is unlikely to be quite straightforward, since many of Gotham‘s villains have come back from far worse. The fact scenes of Jeremiah used in Gotham‘s season 5 trailer still hasn’t featured in an actual episode is also a big hint towards the character’s eventual survival.

Cameron Monaghan as Jeremiah Valeska in Gotham

While the teaser for Gotham season 5 episode 5, “Pena Dura,” sees Barbara Kean in an unusually chipper mood as she lauds Jeremiah’s death, it’s not clear where she got her information. Selina may have assumed her attack on Jeremiah was fatal, when the Joker-esque villain is actually clinging to life and being gently nursed by his version of Harley Quinn. However, it seems that Jeremiah’s future is headed in the same direction whether he survived Selina’s attack or not.

Episode 7 of Gotham‘s fifth and final season is reportedly titled “Ace Chemicals”, and people familiar with Batman lore will know that this could mean something significant for the show’s version of the Joker. While the Joker’s origin story is often altered and shuffled to add to the villain’s sense of mystique, many versions of his background involve falling into a vat of some dangerous substance at Gotham City’s Ace Chemicals plant. The use of this location as an episode title would suggest that Gotham isn’t done with its Joker just yet. Further evidence that Jeremiah Valeska isn’t permanently dead comes from showrunner John Stephens, who claimed (via TV Guide):

“You never see a full transformation into the Joker, but you do see another transformation. Jeremiah undergoes another evolution in his character to become another amalgam of Jeremiah and Jerome that I think audiences are gonna look at and say, ‘If it’s not the Joker then it’s definitely an antecedent or a proto-Joker that lives there.'”

Related: Gotham’s Riddler Just Referenced Jim Carrey’s Batman Forever Version

Cameron Monaghan in Gotham Season 4

Combine this quote with Gotham‘s forthcoming “Ace Chemicals” episode offering and an exciting potential storyline rapidly emerges. Jeremiah’s rabid followers could throw his lifeless corpse/badly injured body into a chemical vat at the Ace Chemicals plant in an attempt to cure him, triggering the “evolution” Stephens refers to above. This scenario would also explain last year’s reports that a new version of the Joker would appear in Gotham season 5. Perhaps an even more crazed and unhinged Jeremiah awaits, fueled by a concoction of unknown ingredients.

While some may view this as a cheap way of avoiding Jeremiah’s exit, death is rarely a permanent thing in Gotham, and the show has a long history of characters coming back from the grave. Only last season, the Riddler and Lee Thompkins killed each other in Romeo and Juliet fashion, only to be revived by Hugo Strange in the very same episode without much fanfare. Bruce’s butler, Alfred, and Barbara Kean have both been revived with the help of a Lazarus pit, Butch was resurrected as Swamp Thing, and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney came back from certain doom on several occasions. Jeremiah’s twin brother, Jerome, the first of Gotham‘s Jokers, also died once before his actual death last season.

As a result of death’s fluidity in the world of Gotham, murder scenes that aren’t absolutely conclusive have somewhat lost their impact and the list of characters that have returned from the afterlife is almost as long as the cast list itself. It remains to be seen as to whether Jeremiah’s death is permanent, or if he even died at all following Selina’s attack, but in either case, it feels like Gotham‘s Joker still has an ace up his sleeve.

More: Gotham: 6 Unanswered Questions From Season 5, Episode 3



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2019-01-29 02:01:46