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90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? is returning for Season 4.

We know that there will be a total of six couples, but they were not all confirmed at once.

Below, we have what we know so far and what we can expect from them this season.

We also have our best guesses about a few couples who may or may not be returning.

Season 4 begins airing in a matter of weeks -- get hyped!

With these couples, it's going to be a mess.

1. 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? returns!

The official premiere date announcement has yet to get more specific than "this spring," but 90 Day Fiance blogger John Yates says that the premiere date is April 28.

2. Larissa and Colt

Larissa Lima and Colt Johnson were the most controversial couple on Season 6 of 90 Day Fiance, so of course they returned.

3. We already knew that ...

Back in December, Larissa let it slip that they were filming for Happily Ever After? while she was exposing Colt's cheating to her fans and followers. We wonder how much of that we'll get to see on TV!

4. Of course, we know how their story ends

Larissa is currently living with her bestie, Carmen. She and Colt had a scary, violent fight on January 10 and their terrible, toxic relationship came to an end.

5. Larissa even has a new boyfriend, now

Will she and 26-year-old Eric watch Happily Ever After? together? It will be interesting for Eric -- and the rest of us -- to watch how Larissa's marriage unraveled at the seams.

6. Paola and Russ

There's no question what will be front and center as Pao and Russ return to this series -- Paola's pregnancy.
View Slideshow

Cardi B, Lili Reinhart (“Riverdale”), Keke Palmer and Julia Stiles have joined Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu in the upcoming film “Hustlers,” STXfilms announced on Tuesday.

Inspired by a viral 2016 New York Magazine article, the film follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. They get their revenge on wealthy, drunk and abusive clients by maxing out their credit cards after they’ve passed out.

The film begins shooting on March 22, 2019 in New York City.

Mercedes Ruehl (“Broadway’s Torch Song”) also joined the cast, and Mette Towley (“Cats”) and Trace Lysette (“Transparent”) are in negotiations to join the film.

“We could not have asked for a more exciting or talented lineup of performers to join our cast,” STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson said in a statement. “STX is thrilled to reunite with Jennifer, Elaine (Goldsmith-Thomas) and Benny (Medina) to bring this unexpected, entertaining and often shocking story to the big screen for audiences worldwide.”

“Hustlers” was written and will be directed by Lorene Scafaria (“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”).

STXfilms is producing “Hustlers” alongside Lopez, Goldsmith-Thomas and Medina, who previously collaborated with the studio on the 2018 romantic-comedy “Second Act,” as well as Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and Jessica Elbaum for Gloria Sanchez Productions.

Kate Vorhoff and Catherine Hagedorn are overseeing the film’s production for the studio. STXinternational is handling international distribution and distributing directly in the U.K. and Ireland.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this dynamic group of women,” Scafaria said in an announcement. “We’re grateful to have assembled such a powerhouse cast and can’t wait to start filming at the end of the week.”

STX picked up the film last October after it was dropped in the script phase by Annapurna over creative differences.

Cardi B is represented by CAA; Reinhart is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content; Palmer is represented by 3 Arts, UTA and Cari Davine at Hertz Lichtenstein & Young; Stiles is represented by Untitled Entertainment, The Gersh Agency and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern; and Ruehl is represented by Sue Leibman/Barking Dog Entertainment and Peikoff-Mahan Law Offices.

Towley is represented by 3 Arts and WME and Lysette is represented by ICM Partners and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Wu is represented by UTA, Principal Entertainment LA and Hansen Jacobson. Lopez is represented by CAA, The Medina Co. and Hirsch Wallerstein. Scafaria is represented by UTA.

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Let me start off by saying that this should in no way be considered the final word but rather the beginning of a long discussion. There are so many great directors out there that it’s almost ridiculous to narrow it down to only 10.

For that matter it’s seemingly ridiculous to give all the credit of a film’s success to just the person who directed it because every film has thousands of people who make it what it is. But with that being said any director truly in control of their median knows exactly who to work with, how to direct their skills into their vision, and give a signature to their films that makes it their own.

There are many great examples I can point to in regards to the greatest auteurs in cinema history: from the beginning of film as an art form with the likes of Méliès and Griffith, to the innovators like Welles and Godard, to the modern influences of Spielberg and Tarantino. Needless to say this conversation can go on forever but for this current space of time and the mind frame of just myself these are the 10 Greatest Film Auteurs. (In Alphabetical Order)

1. Ingmar Bergman

“Sometimes when I’m dreaming I think ‘I’ll remember this, I’ll make a film of it, it’s a sort of occupational disease.’” This quote by Ingmar Bergman better explains the fundamentals of his work than anything else. He was a dreamer, but more specifically the quote itself sets up a larger question. Being, could Bergman actually control his dreams while asleep? When you watch his films the quick realization one might have is that Bergman is filming the thoughts that lie in his subconscious. His films had a clear dream like haze to them, whether or not they took place inside a characters dreams or not.

The ideas of profound existential fears, sexual anxieties, demonic visitations. Bergman cited August Strindberg’s 1901 “A Dream Play” as a major inspiration. It was written after the playwright suffered a mental breakdown, it was praised for following a dream logic and calling towards modern Freudian psychology. Bergman’s films strived on this type of ambiguity, a fascinating dissection between dreams, reality, and psychology. And how much each one of them can intertwine with one another.

Bergman said “No other art medium, neither painting nor poetry, can communicate the specific quality of the dream as well as the film can. In a dream time and space no longer exist and cinema is uniquely equipped to alter viewers perceptions of those properties. An unconventional camera angle, an abrupt cut, an unexpected sound. The very basics of filmmaking can clue us in that what we’re watching cannot be trusted as real.”

When you watch his films like “Persona”, “Cries and Whispers” among many others it becomes abundantly clear that Bergman’s philosophy is that dreaming is cinema’s natural state. Whether it be the battle between life and death in “The Seventh Seal”, a reflection on one’s existence in “Wild Strawberries”, or any number of countless masterworks he made throughout his career. Bergman was a dreamer and could make dreamers out of all of us.

2. Federico Fellini

One of the strange facts of Fellini’s work was his own observations. He felt his greatest achievements were in the beginning of his career then he felt as though he had abandoned his craft in favor of personal reflection. Gone was the neorealism of his works like “La Strada” and then came semiautobiographical fantasies like “La Dolce Vita”, “8½”, and “Amarcord”.

According to Fellini himself his works got worse, delving into Christian and sexual roots of his mindset. It’s funny hearing this from the man himself because it couldn’t be farther from the truth, what we categorize as ‘Felliniesque’ was his fantasy dreams of his own life.

What better inspiration to draw from than one’s self? His early films in the wake of Italian Neorealism were good but were weighed down by the grounded material of reality. Fellini’s true calling card was fully realizing the capabilities of film, he preferred images over anything else because image is what gives films its artistic edge over any other art form.

Fellini’s early work is certainly nothing to write off though, “La Strada” and “Nights of Cabiria” are wonderful classics. But more so they convey the same ideas Fellini would demonstrate in his later films as well, the constant battle of body, soul, and mind.

His films, whether obvious or not, contained Christian ideology to punctuate the events that unfolded. “La Strada” deals with sins regarding mistreatment and abandonment. Many have theorized that “La Dolce Vita” is symbolically about the seven deadly sins, each one of its stories revolving around these very concepts.

And then of course later on he would make films like “Fellini Satyricon” which held nothing back in its depictions of sinful nature. But all of this was combined with an equal amount of personal reflection. Many of his films were extensions of the chapters in his life.

“La Dolce Vita” was a portrait of the sweet life he had come to live, “8½” was so autobiographical he might as well of named the main character after himself, “Amarcord” was a reflection of the vast memories he has from his childhood. For as much as Fellini was artist for visual flare, a lecturer of religious warnings, and an author of his own life. He was also an extravagant man who made the most of life at every turn.

3. John Ford

Orson Welles once said in an interview where he was asked who his favorite directors were “well I prefer the old masters by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.” If Welles is the innovator of the language of cinema then Ford is the innovator of the innovator. Ford’s vision of the American West in his many films has become the definitive look of our national identity, the size and scale of his craft is what paints the pictures of our Western culture.

In one single year he made “Young Mr. Lincoln”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, and “Stagecoach”. All of which are very different in genre, tone, and execution but encompass the same theme of his work in which it details a significant transition period in American culture from the old west, to the civil war, to the great depression.

While his stories were large in scale they were simultaneously personal with characters, Ford had a simple way of telling his stories that were easy to latch onto which makes his films easy to watch and understand. But he’s a master because of the technique that went into making his grander visions.

Everything in a John Ford film is pretty easy to follow from point A to point B, but away from each story beat lied a moment that raised a sophisticated question in regards to American culture. Such as the relationship between the White man and Native Americans during these challenging eras. Many have noted with “The Searchers” the idea of justified racism in the face of adversity following the Civil War.

Whether intentional or not, and knowing Ford it likely wasn’t unintentional, the ideals of some of his films probably haven’t aged well as society has progressed with time. But nevertheless is a fascinating study that intrigues to this very day.

When President Woodrow Wilson saw the screening of “The Birth of a Nation” he supposedly said “It is like writing history with Lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” That was in regards to Griffith but I feel this can be applied to Ford as well. Regardless of whether it was politically correct or not, his works were a summation of history as it was happening.

4. Alfred Hitchcock

No matter how much I think I’ve got it I’m not sure what the secret behind Alfred Hitchcock is, and I’m not convinced anyone truly does either. While so many other great talents from his time seem to fade away Hitchcock has only gotten more popular, not to put anyone down but when’s the last time you heard a name like Cecil B. DeMille mentioned in casual conversation? Hitchcock understood his audience better than any director ever has, knowing exactly how to play off their intellect as well as their emotions.

William Friedkin is known for saying “don’t waste your time at film school, just go see Alfred Hitchcock’s movies. You’ll learn the techniques now it’s just a matter of finding your own voice, it’s what I did.” Hitchcock’s body of work encompasses nearly everything you could ask for.

He’s known for being “The Master of Suspense” but that’s very unfair to his skills, he was capable of far more than merely scaring us. Hitchcock’s old saying was that he wanted to play the audience like a piano, and naturally he had a way of tapping into humanity’s most primal ways to truly move us around in whatever way he wanted us to go.

A lot of this ability came from his personal revelations in his films, a lot of what went into his films were what he felt. His deepest fears, his deepest flaws, his desire for control over others, and of course his fascination with blonde women.

Much of this can be seen in films like “Rear Window” where we see his way of being a voyeur who watches others through the eyes of a camera, or in “Vertigo” where a man forces a woman to be made up in his ideal fantasy image of a blonde haired ghost. But one of the true marks of genius in Hitchcock’s repertoire was his ability to create public perception of himself, he would appear in trailers for his films and cameo all the time.

Hitchcock lived in an era where directors were predominantly behind the camera and the stars were the main attraction. Hitchcock broke this mold by raising his mystique while also making everyone aware of who he was, the next thing you know his name was synonymous with the movies as much as James Stewart was. Hitchcock knew how to make everyone aware of who he is, even after he’s long gone. And that’s the work of a true master.

5. Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was one of the most fascinating individuals who’s ever lived and wouldn’t you know it his films were pretty great too. Possibly more than any other director in history, Kubrick had a complete vision of what his films were meant to be and utilized every aspect of film making like a brush that creates a portrait. I’m sure there will be debate over this statement but there’s probably no other director who’s furthered the mythos of the cinematic art form than Kubrick did.

The mark of what makes an auteur is that even if you don’t know who directed a film you can tell just by watching it, and that’s exactly what Kubrick had. Growing up with Jewish heritage but shifting more towards atheistic views, Kubrick understood a vast amount of religious literature and always had a fascination with larger concepts in our universe. From a young age he went into photography and continuously perfected his craft and his eye for detail, which as we all know would come to serve him extraordinarily well.

With Kubrick’s breakout film “The Killing” continuing into the 1960’s with the likes of “Spartacus”, “Dr. Strangelove”, and “2001: A Space Odyssey” (among many others) it was apparent he wasn’t just another great director but rather a true genius who was raising the craft to another level.

The coolest thing about Kubrick’s abilities however was his diverse reach for genre. He showed the darkest of humanity in war films like “Paths of Glory” and “Full Metal Jacket”, told history with films like “Spartacus” and “Barry Lyndon”, made us laugh with “Dr. Strangelove”, scared us with “The Shining”, made us question the puzzling ethics of morality in “A Clockwork Orange”, and took us on the experience of a lifetime in “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Each film is uniquely different but still encompass the mythos of Kubrick we know and love. That we can be a part of something much larger than ourselves, that transcends our lives and existence, and goes where others refuse to go.

Nearly two years after Disney’s multi-billion dollar deal to acquire key entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox was announced, the Disney-Fox acquisition has been completed to the tune of $71.3 billion. The acquisition wil become effective at 12:02 a.m. Eastern Time March 20, 2019.

21st Century Fox announced that the long-standing deal for the Walt Disney Company to acquire its key assets, including the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox’s entertainment cable networks, and its international assets, has been completed. Read 21st Century Fox’s statement below:

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21CF”) (NASDAQ: TFCFA, TFCF) announced that it has today completed the distribution of all issued and outstanding shares of Fox Corporation (“FOX”) common stock to 21CF stockholders (other than holders of the shares held by subsidiaries of 21CF) on a pro rata basis (the “Distribution”). 21CF and FOX are now each a standalone, publicly traded company. FOX Class A common stock and FOX Class B common stock are now listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbols “FOXA” and “FOX,” respectively. 21CF Class A common stock and 21CF Class B common stock, which were formerly listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “FOXA” and “FOX,” respectively, are now listed on Nasdaq under the symbols “TFCFA” and “TFCF,” respectively.

Shareholders from Disney and Fox approved the deal back in July 2018, but the finalization awaited major share approval for the deal from regulators in Mexico. Now with the long-standing deal finally closed, Fox has officially joined Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm under Disney’s umbrella of studios.

The Disney-Fox deal is one of the biggest Hollywood deals in history. Disney initially put up $52.4 billion for Fox’s assets in December 2017 and received the approval of the Justice Department despite concerns that the deal would be in violation of antitrust laws, but faced a few other bumps in the long road to finalization. The price was driven all the way up to a massive $71.3 billion after Comcast approached Fox with a higher offer. Comcast ended up bowing out of the Fox bidding, leaving a clear (albeit more expensive) path for Disney to swoop in.

The Disney-Fox acquisition has received notable attention from the pop culture world thanks to the impending incorporation of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, those elements often overshadow the human costs of the deal, which will almost certainly result in at least 4,000 employees losing their jobs. Once the deal becomes effective at 12:02 a.m. Eastern Time tonight, we’ll likely see more news roll in about the effects of this deal.

The post The Disney-Fox Acquisition Has Been Completed, Announces 21st Century Fox appeared first on /Film.

On Monday’s “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert brought forth a parody of an old animated ad for Tootsie Pops to talk about Donald Trump.

Last week, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the man accused of killing 50 people in shootings at two Christchurch, New Zealand mosques, said in a manifesto that Trump is “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Trump has consistently denied he is a white supremacist, and various administration officials said the same thing in media appearances after the attacks.

For example, on Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday”: “The President is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”

So on “The Late Show,” Colbert rolled out an animated clip riffing off Mulvaney’s implied rhetorical question. Watch it below:

For those of you who aren’t a million years old like us, the clip is a parody of commercials for Tootsie Pop brand lolipops that first aired in the 1970s. In the commercial, a boy asks a wise owl named Mr. Owl, “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” As it turns out, Mr. Owl is kind of a jerk. Check out the original version and see for yourself:

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What did it take to restore the classic Shazam TV series for DC Universe? Why is The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip coming to an end and what will happen to it? Could Arrow become Red Death on The Flash after the series ends? Is the Disney merger with Fox hurting the release of Dark Phoenix? Why did Aquaman director James Wan leave Twitter? Want to get paid to blog throughout a marathon of every Marvel Studios movie? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

An episode of DC Daily looks at how they restored the classic 1970s Shazam series to stream on DC Universe.

Even though Lex Luthor is now causing trouble on Supergirl, don’t expect Superman to get involved this season.

The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip has ended, but that doesn’t mean Marvel is done with newspaper comics.

The opening weekend for Shazam! is already tracking a little bit higher with a possible $50 million box office haul.

The latest promo for the next episode of the third season of Supergirl brings the Red Daughter into the equation

A popular and intriguing theory wonders if Arrow star Stephen Amell could become Red Death on The Flash.


Empire Magazine has released their two special covers for the Avengers: Endgame issues available this week.

Azie Tesfai, who just debuted as James Olsen‘s sister Kelly, will be a Supergirl series regular next season.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the next page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Get Paid to Marathon All Marvel Studios Movies, Spider-Man Comic Strip Ends & More appeared first on /Film.

David enjoys the provocative dance-horror film Climax while Jeff reflects on parenthood through the Netflix show Working Moms. For their feature review, the trio tackles Triple Frontier, the star-studded Netflix original film directed by J.C. Chandor.

Listen to David’s other podcast Write Along with writer C. Robert Cargill Devindra’s new podcast Know More Tech, answering your question on the latest gadgets. Subscribe to David’s Youtube channel at Davechensky.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

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David – Climax
Devindra – Black Earth Rising
Jeff – Working Moms

Feature (~31:00)
Triple Frontier
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Norman Hollyn, a prolific film and film music editor whose credits include “The Cotton Club,” “Sophie’s Choice” and “Heathers,” died over the weekend after suffering a coronary embolism and cardiac arrest. He was 66.

Hollyn, who was also a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, was in Yokohama, Japan, where he was serving as a guest lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Hollyn began his career as an apprentice sound editor on Bob Fossee’s “Lenny” in 1974, and was an apprentice editor on “Network” two years later. His subsequent credits include “Hair,” “Fame,” the Rodney Dangerfield comedy “Easy Money,” “Mr. Destiny,” and “It’s Pat: The Movie,” among many others. Hollyn also had numerous television credits, including the ABC miniseries “Wild Palms.”

Hollyn wrote the “The Film Editing Room Handbook” in 1984.

“All of us at the USC School of Cinematic Arts are profoundly saddened by the passing of Norman Hollyn, who was an extraordinary film, television and music editor, and was the inaugural holder of the Michael Kahn Endowed Chair in Editing here at SCA,” Dean Elizabeth M. Daley said in a statement posted to the school’s Facebook page.

“Norm died in Yokohama, Japan, where he was sharing his wonderful knowledge with students from Tokyo University of the Arts. Norm was such an important member of our faculty for many years and his loss is devastating. We will grieve with his family in the days ahead and find a time this Spring to join together to celebrate his life and his many contributions to all of us here at SCA.”

“There are truly not enough words to pay tribute one of the most wonderful and talented humans we’ve had the honor to know,” the American Cinema Editors said in a statement on Twitter. “Norm was an admired film editor, honored professor, esteemed writer, film historian, world lecturer & a cherished friend.”

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Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free-spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is one of the most influential women in the world. Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she’s a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for…well, mostly everything. The two have nothing in common, except that she was his babysitter and childhood crush. When Fred unexpectedly reconnects with Charlotte, he charms her with his self-deprecating humor and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte impulsively hires Fred as her speechwriter, much to the dismay of her trusted advisors. read more

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What did it take to restore the classic Shazam TV series for DC Universe? Why is The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip coming to an end and what will happen to it? Could Arrow become Red Death on The Flash after the series ends? Is the Disney merger with Fox hurting the release of Dark Phoenix? Why did Aquaman director James Wan leave Twitter? Want to get paid to blog throughout a marathon of every Marvel Studios movie? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

An episode of DC Daily looks at how they restored the classic 1970s Shazam series to stream on DC Universe.

Even though Lex Luthor is now causing trouble on Supergirl, don’t expect Superman to get involved this season.

The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip has ended, but that doesn’t mean Marvel is done with newspaper comics.

The opening weekend for Shazam! is already tracking a little bit higher with a possible $50 million box office haul.

The latest promo for the next episode of the third season of Supergirl brings the Red Daughter into the equation

A popular and intriguing theory wonders if Arrow star Stephen Amell could become Red Death on The Flash.


Empire Magazine has released their two special covers for the Avengers: Endgame issues available this week.

Azie Tesfai, who just debuted as James Olsen‘s sister Kelly, will be a Supergirl series regular next season.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the next page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Get Paid to Marathon All Marvel Studios Movies, Spider-Man Comic Strip Ends & More appeared first on /Film.

Though there are occasional rebels who deviate from the path that's been laid out for them, for the most part, Duggar children follow in their parents' footsteps as they make their way through adulthood.

From a young age, Duggar women in particular are taught that it's their mission in life to marry young and raise a large family, ideally close to home so that the rest of the clan can assist in caring for a small army of children.

Duggar Daughters

The few who have decided to blaze their own trails have been regarded with suspicion by both fans and the Duggars themselves.

The biggest rebel of the bunch is Jana Duggar who has decided to remain single well past the age at which her siblings started families of their own.

But there are other Duggar daughters who have disregarded their parents' best-laid plans in much more subtle but almost equally significant ways.

Jinger and Family

Take Jinger Duggar, for example.

Not only was she the first Duggar daughter to wear pants in defiance of the family dress code, but she's also the first of her generation to relocate outside of Arkansas.

Currently, Jinger and husband Jeremy Vuolo reside in Laredo Texas, quite a long ways from the family compound in Tontitown.

Jinger Duggar, Jeremy Vuolo, and Baby Felicity at a Cubs Game

Insiders say Jim Bob is not thrilled with their decision to flee Jinger's home state -- some have even claimed that he harbors an intense grudge toward Jeremy.

And if that's the case, we guess old JB is about to get even angrier.

Duggar fans have pieced together the clues, and many now believe there's no doubt that Jinger and Jeremy are moving to LA.

Jinger Duggar and Felicity Vuolo, Twinning

The couple travels to SoCal frequently, and each time they document their trips on social media, commenters encourage them to take the plunge and commit to becoming West Coast residents.

“I have an inkling you, Jinger and Felicity will be moving to LA,” one fan wrote on Jeremy's Instagram page over the weekend.

“Move to LA already!! Yall seem so at home in LA!"

Jinger Duggar Baby Pic

The reason for the frequent visits is that Jeremy is working on a degree at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley California.

The school has a campus in Dallas, which is where Jeremy takes most of his classes now, but it seems he won't be able to graduate without putting in some time at the Sun Valley campus.

So while the couple hasn't announced any plans to relocate, you can bet they'll be making the move soon.

And Jim Bob probably won't be too happy about it.

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David Lynch is adored by millions because of his idiosyncratic style. One of the very few filmmakers to successfully merge the underground with the mainstream, Lynch has affected many crowds because of his ability to deliver something different to the masses.

It’s no secret that his films are strange. That’s what makes this list easy. However, picking only a handful of scenes for this list was downright difficult. So many of his films are unorthodox from start to finish; how can we only go with one example from each?

I am going to avoid strictly television shows (so no Twin Peaks or The Return here, but a certain film is more than applicable). I am going to avoid The Straight Story; I don’t have to find a weird moment in Lynch’s most normal film for the sake of it. I’m also going to avoid Dune (who needs to discuss Dune?).

The only other rule is that I am going to only pick one scene per film; otherwise Eraserhead, Inland Empire and Wild at Heart may take up the entire list. Having said all of that, I’m sure there are many moments that affect us all differently, so this can’t exactly be set in stone. Here are ten of the weirdest scenes in David Lynch films.

10. The Elephant Man: Joseph Marrick’s Dreams

Seeing as The Elephant Man is one of David Lynch’s most normal films (besides The Straight Story, of course), there aren’t too many scenes that can honestly perform well on a list like this. Of course, in Lynchian fashion, he starts the film off with one of John Merrick’s dreams; his mother being scared by an elephant (an urban legend that “explained” why Merrick was born the way he was, which is of course a load of nonsense).

With huge elephants super imposed, and a slow-motion take of his mother screaming into oblivion, we get a tiny snippet of what Lynch loves to do best: analyze our subconscious. For a relatively straight forward biopic (albeit a tremendous one), The Elephant Man starts off with an unnerving sight that will put the entire film’s melancholy into perspective.

9. The Grandmother: Planting on the Bed

You can basically claim this entire early Lynch short film is weird, but I tried to pick just one moment. Maybe the early scene where the grandson dumps a whole of dirt on his bed can be a good starting point. He plants a seed and begins to water the soil (it just looks so gross seeping into the sheets like that).

A bizarre plant grows and continues to for about five minutes of the film. This vegetation then proceeds to birth a human-like grandmother to interact with the boy, seeing as he feels no love at home. The Grandmother is a moving short film, but that does not mean it isn’t incredibly eerie. Even the sincere moment, where a grandmother comforts a grandchild, is spine tingling; perhaps to showcase the importance of how badly this kid needed affection.

8. Blue Velvet: Climax

Jeffrey returns to Dorothy Vallens’ apartment, only to find her husband, gagged to death. The “yellow man” is standing in a daze, with his brain exposed after he was attacked. Frank Booth returns, knowing Jeffrey is in the room somewhere. He shoots the television off, gives the yellow man a coup de grâce, and proceeds to look around for Jeffrey, with a cloth of blue velvet around his gun. He takes a few more breaths of his mysterious gas, and charges towards the closet.

Jeffrey blasts Frank in the head, and we see it in slow motion like a nightmare. In fact, the entire scene plays out like an awful dream. It is full of awful images, brooding tension, jarring noises, and Frank’s evil. There aren’t many climaxes that put you in such a place of dread like this one.

7. Wild At Heart: The Good Fairy

As insane as Wild at Heart is, it shouldn’t have been this easy to pick out a weird scene (especially when we have the infamous shotgun scene). At the end of the entire film, we believe we have made it through one of Lynch’s most extreme films. There’s action, gore, trauma and the electricity of good old America.

Then, Sailor lays down on the ground waiting to die, and he gets a vision. The good witch saunters down in a massive bubble, and pink strobes glow throughout the entire setting. Sailor gets up, and apologizes to the gang that just kicked his ass, as if nothing had happened (except for what he was able to see).

This is obviously a moral awakening, but damn is it ever weird. I get that this is Lynch’s take on Elvis films and The Wizard of Oz, but who in the hell expected to see Glinda here?

6. Mulholland Drive: Winkie’s Diner

Despite being Lynch’s magnum opus, not a whole lot in Mulholland Drive can be considered weird (not by his standards, anyways). The entire film is surreal, but most of it feels deeply rooted and at least answerable when you think about it. The most obvious place to go is to Winkie’s diner, placed conveniently on Sunset Boulevard (where, according to cinema’s greatest films, dreams go to die).

A nightmare is detailed in full by two characters you never really meet up with again (aside from the dreamer telling his tale). You get engulfed in the entire recollection. That’s when it happens: You’re asked to face it. We slowly walk out of the front door and towards the back area of Winkie’s.

That’s when one of cinema’s scariest moments happens, and the man described is there (and presumably has been the entire time). Not that things were certain at first, but the rest of Mulholland Drive is unsettling after this abrupt stunt takes place.

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Even though the Alien and Predator franchises have both gone in some weird directions over the years, their individual missteps pale in comparison to the insanity of the Alien vs Predator franchise. The war between these two interstellar species began in Dark Horse comic books back in 1989, and it came to arcades not long after in 1994. But sometime in the mid-90s, that battle almost came to video game consoles in a completely unexpected fashion: a cosmic football game. That’s right, there was almost an Alien vs Predator football video game set in the distant future. Find out all about it below.

Last week, the National Videogame Museum (via Comic Book Resources) stumbled upon some concept art and details for an Alien vs Predator football video game called Cosmic Hard Bowl. Instead of fighting like normal deadly extra-terrestrial creatures, the two species would have competed against each other in American football. And it all would have happened in the year 2702. Here’s some of the concept art:

Here’s what the roughly translated Japanese text says about the game on these papers:

Mankind had neutralized the 400+ year war between Aliens and Predators. Now they have agreed to finalize the conflict by American Football on Earth. The Alien Football League and the Predator Football League were born and fierce battles engaged for the Super Bowl Title. There was only one new rule. The quarterback must be human.”

Holy shit. How the hell is a human quarterback supposed to survive playing a football game with Aliens and Predators as all the other players? Why would an human want to participate in this cosmic rivalry? Why would either the Aliens or Predators agree to a sport that is so specific to one part of the globe? Why is the xenomorph wearing a football helmet when their head is already made to be so tough? What is this insanity?

It only gets weirder when you see how the teams were laid out. Don’t forget, each side has their own league:

So this isn’t just the Aliens and Predators playing a single game to decide the fate of their war. Each of them have their own leagues where they have to compete with each other in order to determine which team goes to the final Super Bowl.

The Alien Football League (left) has the Anchorage King Salmons, the Los Angeles Blade Runners (that’s awesome), Houston Exterminators, Chicago Dirty Heroes, Dallas Jet Flying Kickers, and Washington DC Bashings. Their leagues motto is, “My mom is the team owner. I crave some fresh human-quarterbacks.” So yeah, these human quarterbacks are definitely dying.

Meanwhile, the Predator Football League has the Seattle Samurai Mifunes, San Francisco Black Catfish, Detroit Big 3, Las Vegas American Dreams, New York Psychic Murders, and the Miami Dolphin Creatures (sounds like someone got lazy). Their motto is, “My chieftain is the team owner. I will turn you into a fully-grown quarterback warrior.

Keep in mind that this is also translated roughly from Japanese, so some of these team names would like be reworked for American gamers.

In the end, the game never came together. But we might have gotten a taste of what it could have been like in the form of the 1993 Sega Genesis game Mutant League Football. Either way, we’re a little disappointed that we never got to play this game. Maybe it can make a comeback on one of the next generation systems.

The post WTF: An ‘Alien vs Predator’ Football Video Game Was Once in Development for SEGA Genesis appeared first on /Film.

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Jordyn Woods is sick of the hate and sick of the drama.

She is also, apparently, sick of the United States of America.

Jordyn Woods in a Bathing Suit

The polarizing social media personality and former best friend of Kylie Jenner let followers know over the weekend that she is getting the heck out of the country in the very near future.

The 21-year old posted to her Instagram Story on Friday to explain how and why.

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“What’s up guys?” the model could be heard in this video, as she walks towards her mother and some consulting agent named Sheeraz Hasan and then asks: “Mom, what are you guys talking about?” 

“Here’s the plan: London activation and I heard you live skydiving in Dubai so right now, me and mom are lining up Dubai,” Hasan says, adding:

“It’s done, we’re arranging it right now.”

Replies Woods: “I cannot wait, no, I need to skydive - soon."

She also revealed that she would be in London at the end of the month while she’ll be traveling to Dubai “soon," as you can see below:

jw insta

We don't know exactly when Woods departs, but we can easily guess why she's so anxious to bust outta here.

Jordyn, as you must know by now, admittedly made out with Tristan Thompson a few weeks ago.

Back when she was very close to Khloe Kardashian. And back when Thompson was still intimately involved with the reality star.

While Thompson hasn't really said a word about this scandal, Woods has actually gone in the completely opposite direction.

She sat down with long-time mentor Jada Pinkett Smith and confessed her sins on a Facebook Watch talk show.

Into the Jordyn Woods

Explaining to Smith that she and Thompson remained in "plain sight" of the other party-goers the entire night they hung out at Thompson's house, Jordyn admitted:

They did swap some spit as she left the gathering.

But that was it, she insisted. Tristan initiated it and they only really pecked.

"It was like a kiss on the lips," Jordyn said. "But no tongue kiss, no making out. Nothing."

Did they have sex? Gosh, no. She has even said she'd take a lie detector test to validate this claim.

Jordyn Woods Selfie

"When alcohol’s involved, people make dumb moves or people get caught up in the moment," Woods explained in this same interview, taking some responsibility for her actions, but also insisting she did NOT break uo Khloe's family.

"I need people to know the truth, and more importantly, I need the people involved to know the truth," Jordyn said.

“I know I’m not the reason Tristan and Khloe aren't together."

It certainly does appear to be the case that Kardashian and Thompson were having problems long before Tristan laid a smooch on Jordyn.

But why did she refrain from telling Khloe what happened? The model has no real answer to that question.

"I didn’t tell the truth to the people that I loved,” Jordyn confessed.

“Not because of malicious intent," she clarified. "But because I was just scared."


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It can be difficult to stand out in the world of independent filmmaking. The low budget nature inherently lends itself to telling variations on stories we’ve heard before. Most film festival indies are criticized for their use of tropes and clichés, when the question that should be asked is not have we heard this story before but do we believe this telling of it? These films are not designed to break new ground conceptually – they are, by their very nature, character studies. And it can be remarkably easy to ignore the clichés and tropes if one simply believes in the people up on the screen. Such is the case with two well-liked films from this year’s event, including the Audience Award winner.

That prize went to the powerful “Saint Frances,” a movie that really snuck up on me and walloped me emotionally in the final scenes in ways I wasn’t expecting. The reason this film has cumulative power is simple: we believe in its characters. The authenticity of the entire production is remarkable, and when that genuine believability is used to send a message, even if it’s one we’ve heard before, audiences listen. The message this time is a classic: life isn’t easy or predictable and stop judging yourself for not knowing exactly what you want or need. Women especially are so often inundated with what they should want from life, especially when it comes to relationships and children, that sometimes it takes the wisdom of a child to break free of the rigidity of adulthood.

Kelly O’Sullivan, who also wrote the film, gives a truly excellent performance as Bridget, a 34-year-old “server” looking for a better job and a better relationship. She finds both, first meeting a nice guy and then getting a great job as a nanny for a 6-year-old named Frances (Ramona Edith-Williams). Neither turn out exactly as expected when the former produces an unwanted pregnancy and Frances’ parents (Charin Alvarez & Lily Mojekwu) seem to be struggling. Throughout, O’Sullivan and Thompson deftly refuse to judge their characters. Bridget makes mistakes, but they feel organic and genuine, not designed as “movie lessons”. It helps that O’Sullivan’s performance is one of the best of SXSW 2019 and that Edith-Williams is unforgettably adorable.

Ultimately, “Saint Frances” is about a lot of things but I took the most emotional power away from what I think it says about self-judgment. We spend so much of our lives judging ourselves about our job, our bodies, our relationships, our families – and it does so much more harm than good. Six-year-olds don’t judge. They love and need love. And, as cheesy as it sounds, watching this 34-year-old woman learn a lesson or two about accepting herself and defending those she loves hit home for this 43-year-old man. It is both a beautifully specific character study and something that has resonance beyond the demographic of its cast. You'll want to watch for it when it's inevitably released. 

There’s undeniable emotional resonance in Annabelle Attanasio’s “Mickey and the Bear” too, and again it’s largely due to the performances of its leads. In this case, it’s Camila Morrone as a Montanan teenager and James Badge Dale as her deeply troubled father. This one can’t avoid feeling a bit more clichéd than “Frances” and missteps over the line a few times from realism to manipulation, but the two leads are so good that it’s easier to forgive. Morrone is going to be a star and Dale should already be one.

Camila plays Mickey, and Dale her father Hank. He’s toxic in a dozen or so ways. He’s a single father dealing with PTSD and addiction. Well-sketched by Dale, he’s one of those people who has unmanaged demons and a deep well of selfishness. He’s dependent on Mickey in multiple ways and lashes out now that she’s turned 18 and is threatening to leave him. There are echoes of the masterful “Leave No Trace” in the way Annabelle Attanasio’s film tells the story of a girl realizing she has to leave her father behind to become a woman.

“Mickey and the Bear” has a few too many familiar beats and sometimes feels like a dirge when it comes to tone. It’s so oppressively bleak because we know that Mickey and Hank are beyond repair. We can see it in the way he emotionally abuses her, and so we just keep waiting for her to break the tie that could otherwise destroy her. And yet Dale and Morrone find a way to elevate what could have easily felt like poverty porn into something truthful. Again, we’ve been here and we’ve seen stories like this in indie cinema before, so success or failure rests on the shoulders of how much we believe that Mickey and Hank are real. Morrone and Dale make that easy to do, allowing the criticisms to fall away. It doesn’t feel like a cliché if you believe in it. 

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“Aladdin” stars Will Smith as the larger-than-life Genie; Mena Massoud as the charming scoundrel Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine, the beautiful, self-determined princess; Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, the powerful sorcerer; Navid Negahban as the Sultan concerned with his daughter’s future; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s free-spirited best friend and confidante; Billy Magnussen as the handsome and arrogant suitor Prince Anders; and Numan Acar as Hakim, Jafar’s right-hand man and captain of the palace guards. The film is produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich with Marc Platt and Kevin De La Noy serving as executive producers. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and two new songs written by Menken and songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.The film, which was shot on practical stages in London and on location amidst the stunning desert vistas of Jordan, has a talented creative team helping to bring Agrabah to life, including: director of photography Alan Stewart, production designer Gemma Jackson and costume designer Michael Wilkinson. read more

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Captain Marvel is only in its second weekend at the box office (which added considerably more cash to the movie’s haul), but it’s already a certified hit. Even though Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn are the stars, there’s one breakout character that fans can’t get enough of, and they’re not human. It’s Goose the cat, and the little feline is getting a pair of new Funko POP figures that fans of Captain Marvel are going to love. But if you want to see them, beware of spoilers.

Goose the Cat Funko POP Figures

Yes, as anyone who saw Captain Marvel will tell you, Goose the cat is not a feline friend. Instead, she’s an alien creature known as a Flerken. She just happens to look like a friendly orange cat. But as you can see in the Funko POP figure above revealed at the toy company’s official blog, inside that cat body are some impressively large tentacles. But that’s not all.

In Captain Marvel, Goose the cat swallows up the Tesseract with its slimy tentacles. And one of the above Funko POP figures features the Tesseract about ready to be swallowed into its stomach, which holds an entire dimension within it. But you can find out a lot more about that in our breakdown of what a Flerken is and what we know about them from the movie and Marvel Comics.

Meanwhile, the second Goose the cat Funko POP features just a little bit of those tentacles coming out of her mouth. In fact, it almost looks like the cat just ate a squid or octopus. That one is going to be a little harder to find since it’s one of the chase variants with a 1/6 rarity, so good luck getting your hands on it.

Both of the new Goose the cat Funko POP figures will be available sometime soon, but no exact date was given.

The post ‘Captain Marvel’ Favorite Goose the Cat Gets the Purrfect Funko POP Figures appeared first on /Film.

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"The Creature from The Black Lagoon" is arguably the last classic horror film released during the golden age of Universal Studios, the same distributor that released the still-beloved black-and-white incarnations of "Dracula," "Frankenstein," "The Wolfman," "The Mummy," "King Kong" and other indelible imaginings. The movie wouldn't work without the title creature, a prehistoric "missing link" between sea and land animals who is pictured in totality fairly early in the story, compared to some well-known movie monsters, and who arguably has more personality than any of the humans tangling with him in the Amazon jungle.  

Film historian and filmmaker Mallory O'Meara fell in love with the creature and the film that surrounds him. She was disturbed to learn that while the design of the beast was officially credited to Bud Westmore, a member of the Westmore dynasty of Hollywood makeup artists, all the substantive work was done by a woman, Milcent Patrick, whose contributions had been effectively erased. O'Meara would go on to spend several years researching Patrick's life, and the result is The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, a book about Patrick and the author's often frustrating search for basic facts about her life. (You can order it here.)

When did you first discover the classic Universal monster movies, and what was it about "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" that struck a chord with you, or that seemed different from the rest?

I first started watching the classic Universal monster movies when I was a teenager. Creature really stuck out among the other Universal monsters because he’s not the villain. He elicits so much empathy from the audience.

How do you go about finding historical or biographical materials for somebody who is, for reasons of historical erasure, just a couple of steps up from a "civilian"? It's easy to find information on somebody like Rick Baker or one of the Westmores, less so with somebody like Milicent Patrick.

Finding historical materials for Milicent Patrick was extraordinarily difficult and I have many, many librarians and archivists to thank. I spent nearly a year talking to historians and visiting various libraries and archives all over Southern California before I had enough material to even begin a proposal for the book.I found all of it thanks to some really incredible libraries and archives! There’s one special archive in particular that really made a difference for me, but I won’t spoil which one it is.

There's practically a second book happening underneath the first one, having to do with your own experiences as a woman writing about and learning about popular culture, and exploring how Milicent's experience mirrors yours.  

It’s easy to dismiss the story of what happened to Milicent Patrick as just “how things were” back in the 1950s. But it’s not just “how things were.” What happened to Milicent Patrick is still happening right now to women in every single industry, in 2019. I wanted to make the book feel both more accessible and more urgent. The best way I knew how to illustrate that was by weaving in stories of my own parallel experiences in the film industry. 

A lot of biographies leave this stuff in the background or summarize it in the introduction or end notes while leaving it out of the main story. Why did you decide to incorporate it into the main text and be so transparent about all the different steps and stages?

I really wanted readers to see just how difficult it was to uncover her story. By showing the trials and tribulations of finding out what happened to her and where she went, I also show how enduring the effects of Milicent getting her credit taken away were. 

It didn’t just affect her life in the 1950s, it affected her legacy and left thousands and thousands of potential fans and filmmakers and artists bereft of a role model.

One of the most harrowing (though brief) parts of the book is the section about Milicent's affair with the Disney animator Paul Fitzpatrick, whose wife killed herself after she found out about the relationship. How did this knowledge affect your perception of Milicent, and how does one go about discovering and confirming something like that, again with the understanding that it's easier to get that kind of information if the subject is already very well-known?

It was very important to me to put all of Milicent’s story in—all the good and all the bad. If I edited out parts of her life to make her look better, I’d be implying that women are only worth writing about if they live a life without mistakes. Milicent Patrick deserves to have her story told, no matter what. Women can be flawed and still be heroes.

You write about the way the story of the film took shape, with different forces pushing and pulling to transform the story, particularly in relation to how much screen time the heroine Kay gets, and how she's portrayed. How do you think this dynamic is reflected in modern science fiction and fantasy movies, both in terms of what ends up onscreen and what happens during production? And do you think the producer, William Alland, and the director, Jack Arnold, ultimately made the movie better or worse this regard?

Having a system of checks and balances is almost always the best way to make art. It can go off the rails if it’s pushed too far in either direction - one person having all the control, or too many - but I think it’s essential to filmmaking. I think having a team giving feedback to Alland and Arnold made the film better. If Alland had his way, we’d have a different, less memorable Creature! 

Can you describe the arc that took you from imagining Milicent's life and talent, and the conclusion that you ultimately came to after doing all that research and forming a clearer picture of her?

She’s still my hero, maybe now more than ever. By the end of the research and writing, I have even more respect for her as a person and as an artist. Being able to see her as a flawed human being, rather than just a mysterious figure, made me relate to her and love her more. 

There are a lot of secondary showbiz characters that you write about during the course of exploring your heroine's life. Who are the ones you found most fascinating or memorable?

Writing this book made me a big fan of architect Julia Morgan, the woman who Milicent’s father, Camille Rossi, worked under at Hearst Castle. She was a magnificently talented badass. Luckily, Julia Morgan’s legacy was not hidden, and information about her is readily available. 

Did you know about The Shape of Water before you started writing the book? At what point during the research or writing process did you see it, and what was your reaction to it, as a Black Lagoon fan?

I started working on the book in December, 2015, which was a long time before any news about The Shape of Water was announced. I saw the film on its opening night in New York City while I was still writing the book. Sitting in that theater, I started crying with joy during the opening credits. That film is a jewel. Seeing a reimagining of the Creature story with a strong, female main character made my heart explode.

What advice would you give to anyone embarking on a nonfiction book about a person whose life is not well-known?

Get a library card! There were several pieces of information that I was shocked to get, and I found them all thanks to archivists and librarians. I won’t spoil them for readers of this interview, but what I found was simply fantastic.

In the world of cinema, so many directors have a message or idea they wish to get across. Some of these ideas are conveyed in such a shocking or absurd manner that it really drives the idea home. Legendary directors such as Pier Paolo Pasolini are masters of this with films like Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) which speaks of the dangers of fascism and mass consumerism.

However, there are definitely some films which are shocking for no other reason than to be shocking. These films are usually grotesque in nature and achieve nothing but making an audience want to vomit in their seats. Please note the controversial parts of these movies are from the stories of these films, not any opinions from this author or Taste of Cinema. Here are 10 controversial films that exist on their shock value alone:

10. Hostel (2005)

Starting this list we have a film that has left in its wake a very interesting legacy. Hostel is one of the key inspirations for the Torture Porn sub-genre of horror along with the likes of Saw (2004) and Wolf Creek (2005). This sub-genre is very similar to earlier video nasties with excessive gore and violence on screen except with the advantage of having a larger budget than its predecessors and a wider cinematic release.

Films in this genre have tended to do rather well at the box office. According to box office mojo, Hostel had a budget of $4.8 million and made a huge profit of $47,326,473. Although this film is undoubtedly gory and shocking, it still isn’t as explicit as some of the entries on this list. The film features several torture sequences which portray a man’s Achilles tendons being cut, fingers mutilated and other gruesome acts of torture.

The film revels in its own absurdity and shock value as this is all the film really has going for it. Such examples of this absurdity is the gang of kids known as the ‘bubble gum gang’ who attack and kill people who don’t give them bubble gum. Not only was this film considered shocking for its impact on creating a new horror sub-genre but also due to how it disgusted and offended Slovak officials on its release.

The film showcases a very inaccurate view of Slovakia, portraying it as a poor under developed country filled with slums. One Slovakian Member of Parliament said this about the film: “I am offended by this film. I think that all Slovaks should feel offended.” This shows how the film has a legacy of being shocking due to extreme portrayals of violence and gore whilst also being offensive with its representation of Slovakia.

9. Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin (1994)

This feels like a very sadistic short. Roadkill starts with our star John Martin wandering around town and through a graveyard with nothing to signify the upcoming absurdity with the exception of a bloody title screen.

After we see John walk around for a bit, we are immediately thrown into the world of this deranged serial killer. Which consists of chopping up giant rats and other mutilated body parts, and wandering around his house which has blood smeared on every wall possible with bits of guts and intestines lying grossly on the floor. Shockingly things manage to get even worse as this short goes on. John Martin decides to leave his house and capture two unsuspecting victims whose car has just broke down.

After capturing these two, John proceeds to keep one of them in a small cage naked whilst he butchers the body of the other one in front of them. The short ends with him eating bits of human intestine whilst watching TV. From this synopsis alone you can see just how gory and explicit Roadkill really is.

This film is made entirely for shock value alone with its sickening gore that includes decapitation, faces stuck to the wall and body parts practically everywhere. It is certainly a very hard film to stomach and one that certainly achieves its goal of leaving its audience disgusted. Other than this, however, it really hasn’t got any value other than good practical effects, and an affinity for the macabre.

8. The Burning Hell (1974)

The Burning Hell is a movie that lacks any semblance of subtlety and comes across extremely intolerant considering it is trying to act as a propaganda conversion piece for Christianity. This film remorselessly relishes in this idea of all non-Christians going to hell. On the gore front this film is relatively light, despite showing scenes from hell and a decapitation, the practical effects are pretty bad, not making it sickening to watch in any capacity.

The shock value from this film comes more from its aim to provoke an audience. Most of the film features a bullish preacher who attempts to fear monger people into attending his sermons by warning them that if they don’t they will go to hell.

In fact one scene points out just how tone death this film is, in this scene we are introduced to two bikers. Both are Christians who we assume are part of a contemporary church who have come to the more traditional church to discuss the philosophy of Christianity with him.

The two bikers say that this idea of Hell is ridiculous as a loving God would never condemn his subjects to eternal torture, however the preacher tells them that if they don’t believe in Hell and come to his sermon, they will both burn in hell.

One of the Bikers quite understandably gets annoyed by the Preachers telling him he’s going to Hell so he leaves with his friend angrily. Following this he has a roadside accident and comes off his bike and somehow gets decapitated. The friend runs immediately to the preacher’s church and asks if his soul is safe.

Remorselessly he tells him that his friend’s in Hell but he’s more worried about the friend and then tells him to join his sermon to stop him going to Hell. The fact that this film is nothing more than victimising propaganda trying to shock people into converting earns this film a spot on this list.

7. The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots (1895)

This film may be the most influential one on this list. Acting as arguably the first horror film and also the first decapitation on screen, this movie must have shocked audiences to the extreme on its release.

To put it into perspective, this movie came out in the same year as The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat which involved a train coming into a station. At the time this film had people running out of the cinema in fear of being hit by the train because film was an incredibly new medium. So to put it into context, this film must have given people nightmares with what they perceived to be a real beheading.

If we judge the film on what we see today, it is still just an illusion that relies on shock, the film presents no message to speak of and the only action seen is someone being executed with an axe. For today’s standards, this film is relatively light on the shock value.

Maybe if a child watched it now they might be disturbed by the imagery. However anyone above that age would see that it is clearly just a cut where the actor is replaced with a dummy. Back in 1895, films were mainly either purely observational such as Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895) which just observes workers leaving a factory, or acting more as visual illusion as seen in the work of George Méliès with films like The Four Troublesome Heads (1898).

The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots, although lacking substance, is arguably one of the most influential early films and pushed the boundaries of what can be shown on screen.

6. Teeth (2007)

What more can be said about this movie which is arguably one of the most absurd films of all time? Why Lichtenstein thought that his script was worth $2 million to make is beyond comprehension. The film’s plot revolves around a girl who suffers from Vagina dentata which in the real world is nothing more than a folk tale found in different cultures and religions.

This could have been cleverly played out to make an interesting point on fear of growing up during puberty and feeling different from your peers which films like Carrie (1976) portrays so well. However, it is clear that Lichtenstein isn’t competent enough to make a film as provoking as Carrie, instead opting for cheap shocks and poorly written characters.

The film relies entirely on its shocking premise, almost every male character who comes across the main character Dawn turns out to be an evil rapist and subsequently end up getting their penis bitten off. Some of the imagery is truly absurd such as a crab crawling over a man’s severed penis and another scene where a dog eats a man’s penis which has just been severed.

Maybe on a psychological level you could argue that the film discusses the idea of male impotence and the subconscious fear of losing your masculinity, however, the film comes across way too silly and over the top to make that point well.

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Creed II continues the legacy connection to the classic Rocky franchise by having Michael B. Jordan‘s character Adonis Creed face-off with Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu). He just so happens to be the son of Rocky Balboa’s dangerous opponent Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the man responsible for the death of his fellow boxer Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). But instead of only continuing the legacy of Creed, it apparently almost featured an appearance by Apollo Creed himself in the form of a ghost.

Dolph Lundgren recently participated in a Q&A at Monster-Mania Con 42 (via CinemaBlend), and while he was talking about Creed II, he was asked about the return of Brigitte Nielsen as her character Ludmilla. While complimenting what a great idea it was, he casually mentioned that a different draft of the script featured the return of Apollo Creed, possibly as a ghost. Lundgren said:

“It was a great idea I thought (to bring Nielsen back). In the original first draft it was Apollo came back. Or like his ghost or something. It was a little hokey, you know. So I think it was much better to bring Brigitte back.”

Unfortunately, Lundgren didn’t elaborate on the scene in question, so we have no idea how Apollo Creed’s appearance in that capacity would have worked. It certainly would have been quite the departure from reality for the Rocky franchise, who has never used the spirit of any deceased characters before. Maybe it was some kind of dream sequence for Adonis Creed to have instead of a real ghost appearing to him in the movie. That would have made more sense, but even that would have also been something new for the boxing series.

Honestly, it’s for the best. Perhaps Sylvester Stallone wrote the scene in simply because he wanted to get Carl Weathers back in the franchise after killing off Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. He even expressed regret over the decision recently when he wished the actor a happy birthday. But now Sylvester Stallone himself is probably retired from the Rocky franchise for good, so it sounds like we won’t be seeing Apollo Creed’s ghost appearing in a Rocky or Creed movie anytime soon. And that’s probably for the best.

We don’t have any idea of there will be a Creed III in our future at all, but Creed II is available on digital download, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD right now.

The post ‘Creed 2’ May Have Almost Featured Another Cameo…By Apollo Creed’s Ghost? appeared first on /Film.

A slew of new releases hit the indie box office this weekend, with the top per screen average going to Focus Features’ “The Mustang,” which stars Matthias Schoenaerts as a violent prison inmate who undergoes a personal transformation when he is entered into a mustang taming program.

Released on five screens in Los Angeles and New York, the film grossed $94,750 for an average of $18,950. Critics have hailed the performances of Schoenaerts and co-star Bruce Dern, as well as the direction of Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, giving the film a 95 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Less impressive was Fox Searchlight’s “The Aftermath,” which also released this weekend on five screens in L.A. and New York and grossed $57,000 for a per screen average of $11,500. Set after the end of World War II, the film stars Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke as a British couple who move into a home in Hamburg that has been recommissioned by the British but is still inhabited by a German widower (Alexander Skarsgard) and his troubled daughter. Circumstances lead to a secret tryst between the woman and the widower, as tensions between Britain and Germany remain high.

Directed by James Kent, the film will expand to 28 theaters next weekend but faces poor critical reviews, as it earned a 27 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Among holdovers, A24’s “Gloria Bell” expanded to 39 screens in its second weekend and grossed $378,000 for a total of $568,000, while NEON/CNN Films’ “Apollo 11” expanded to 588 screens and added $1.22 million for a total of $5.5 million after three weekends.

Finally, Magnolia and Shorts.TV’s annual screening of the Oscar short film nominees is reaching the end of its theatrical run, adding $14,500 this weekend to bring its total to $3.5 million, a record for the Oscar screening series.

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I may not have grown up with the legend of La Llorona, but I grew up with a healthy respect for superstitions and things that cannot be explained. In a number of Latinx communities, some of us give our children a piece of jewelry or amulet to ward off the evil eye (it can vary from country-to-country, as the evil eye varies from culture-to-culture). Mine is a bracelet of black and red beads that my mother bought. Even if you’re not a true believer of such curses, it’s preferable to be safe than sorry.  

I was ready to unearth those ancient fears when I walked into the South by Southwest premiere of “The Curse of La Llorona.” On our way into the theater, there were curanderos waving sticks of sage over the audience and we were given a red pañuelo. After a brief word from the film’s director, Michael Chaves, the main curandero took the stage. To ensure we didn’t take any bad spirits from the movie (or the haunted Paramount Theatre), he warded off the evil eye by waving a wind chime-like collection of blue and white charms, shook a maraca to drive away bad spirits, said a prayer as he brushed away bad feelings with several clothes in one hand and then instructed the audience how to wipe away negative energy with the pañuelo. He warned us not to bring the pañuelo home or we’d risk bringing those bad spirits back with us.

I wished “The Curse of La Llorona” lived up to that build-up. The loosely tied latest entry into “The Conjuring” universe suffers from an anemic script with too little scares and an underappreciation for who would likely be its core audience. Screenwriters Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis (“Five Feet Apart”) approach horror as if only newcomers to the genre will watch the movie. It’s frustratingly simple, the dialogue over-explains everything and while there are a few solid moments of suspense, there’s too much dead air in-between. In the Q&A after the movie, it sounded like an existing script was retrofitted to fit in “The Conjuring” series’ creepy doll, Annabelle, and a few other references.

In his feature debut, Chaves proves himself a close student to James Wan’s visual style, including spooky set pieces that psych out the audience and good use of darkness and interior space. There’s even a nod to Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” camera swoop from the point-of-view of the invading spirit charging the front door. Yet, either because of budget or creative choice, his entry into “The Conjuring” series lacks the aged sense of the original, which felt steeped in horror movies of the late ‘70s. While this story is set in 1973 Los Angeles, it does not feel at home in that era apart from old school TV dinners, lack of cell phones and an old TV set.

I know many are looking forward to “The Curse of La Llorona” because it’s one of the painfully few horror movies to center on an Latin American folk tale and feature a Latinx cast even though our demographic flocks to the genre. However, the lead character, Anna (Linda Cardellini), does not identify as Latina, only that she’s the widow of a Latino police officer. Her kids, Chris (Roman Christou) and Sam (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen), don’t speak Spanish and the family doesn’t seem to keep up any cultural ties other than the last name of Garcia. In the movie, Spanish functions as the language of the other – the language used by a deranged woman, a folk healer and a murderous ghost. The Spanish in “La Llorona” offers nothing like the feeling of home and safety like the Spanglish lines in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” when Miles Morales is packing up to leave for school and his mom talks to him in Spanish while his dad speaks in English. Bilingual viewers may be also annoyed when the same line is repeated in both languages. In order to sidestep using subtitles, “The Curse of La Llorona” does not translate the Spanish language dialogue, which is kind of a treat for Spanish speakers in the audience, but reaffirms the otherworldliness of La Llorona and the curandero, Rafael (Raymond Cruz). The sporadic words and handful of sentences are basic (and brief) enough that non-Spanish speakers won’t get lost.

Perhaps the film’s most grievous sin is that it isn't very scary. There are a few enjoyable moments – like when La Llorona appears behind the unsuspecting little girl to wash her hair and the ghost attacks kids in a Catholic orphanage – but the plot feels fairly mild, as if one of our traditional dishes was made without enough seasoning. The performances are good despite the script, the design of La Llorona was okay, but nothing made me feel like I needed a limpia after watching the film. On our way out, the curanderos were back outside with sage, and I got a cleansing for the hell of it. After she was done, I asked the woman what she was practicing and she told me it was Santeria, a religion that started in my parents’ country of Cuba, not Mexico, the home of La Llorona. The conflation of practices and beliefs made me wonder if part of the reason the Garcia family lacked cultural ties was an attempt to appeal to all U.S. Latinos, but in losing that cultural specificity, I lost the connection to what makes our ghost stories “ours.”  While it was fun to watch a big budget horror movie finally play in the fertile grounds of Latinx superstitions, I wish we had a better reason to break out our sage.

This review was filed from the South by Southwest Film Festival.

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