Articles on this Page
- 10/30/18--09:17: _The latest blockbus...
- 10/30/18--10:55: _A 'Legend of Zelda'...
- 10/30/18--10:55: _'The cord is still ...
- 10/30/18--11:29: _How much the highes...
- 10/30/18--11:49: _Keeping with Apple'...
- 10/30/18--14:18: _The true story behi...
- 10/30/18--15:18: _Electronic Arts is ...
- 10/31/18--06:34: _Forget about the Pl...
- 10/31/18--07:02: _Johnny Depp was emb...
- 10/31/18--07:52: _Money troubles, feu...
- 10/31/18--08:09: _MIT is giving you c...
- 10/31/18--08:13: _Disney is reportedl...
- 10/31/18--08:48: _A new billboard ask...
- 10/31/18--09:06: _Music industry mogu...
- 10/31/18--09:34: _Netflix is turning ...
- 10/31/18--12:09: _MoviePass' parent c...
- 10/31/18--12:18: _Online scammers are...
- 10/31/18--12:24: _Everything you need...
- 10/31/18--13:26: _I switched to AMC S...
- 10/31/18--15:02: _Inside an intense t...
- The team behind "Grand Theft Auto," Rockstar Games, has another massive hit on its hands.
- The new game is named "Red Dead Redemption 2," and it's off to a huge start: It grossed $725 million in its first three days.
- Rockstar is calling the launch "the single-biggest opening weekend in the history of entertainment."
- On Instagram, the producer Adi Shankar said he was working with an "iconic" Japanese gaming company to adapt a video game series, with an official announcement coming November 16.
- Shankar is already the executive producer of another video game adaptation, Netflix's "Castlevania."
- The Wrap is reporting that Shankar will adapt Nintendo's "Legend of Zelda" franchise.
- As cable-TV cord cutting continues, Comcast, the nation's largest cable-TV provider, remains optimistic.
- The company points to its growing broadband relationships as a sign that cord cutting isn't the threat that some perceive.
- "Some say the future of TV is apps — we really believe it is more and more around aggregation," Matt Strauss, the executive vice president of Xfinity Services, said.
- Apple often has surprise musical guests appear at its release events, and this month's launch in Brooklyn featured Lana Del Rey.
- Del Rey performed songs off her new album "Norman F-----g Rockwell," but she said on stage that she couldn't say the title because Apple asked her not to swear.
- While that request might come as a surprise to some, Apple has long positioned itself as a family-friendly brand where some things aren't allowed. Apple doesn't allow pornographic material in its App Store, for example, and some of its upcoming original content has reportedly been delayed due to concerns over "gratuitous sex, profanity, or violence."
- 10/30/18--14:18: The true story behind Boston gangster Whitey Bulger
- James "Whitey" Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster, was found dead at a West Virginia prison on Tuesday.
- His life story was filled with drugs, violence, and murder and inspired the movie "Black Mass" starring Johnny Depp as well as Jack Nicholson's crime boss character in "The Departed."
- Watch the video above for the true story of how he ruled Boston's criminal underworld and managed to avoid capture for years.
- Electronic Arts, the largest video game developer in the world, is the latest company to reveal plans for a cloud gaming platform.
- EA's Chief Technology Officer Ken Moss announced the new platform, Project Atlas, in a blog post on Medium.
- With a stable internet connection, Project Atlas will be able to stream full quality video games to mobile devices and home computers, eliminating the need for expensive video game consoles.
- Microsoft and Google have their own, similar initiatives in the works — meaning that the race to take cloud gaming to the mainstream is now in full effect.
- In January 2017, Johnny Depp filed a $25 million lawsuit accusing his former business managers of fraud and mismanagement.
- His managers countersued, claiming that the actor led an "extravagant and extreme" lifestyle, which included buying 14 properties and a 156-foot yacht and spending $3.6 million a year to pay his 40-person staff.
- The lawsuit was settled in July. No details were released at the time, but a spokesman for Depp said in a statement that the actor was "pleased" with the outcome.
Take a look at some of the insane real estate that he has loved, lost, and held on to over his career.
- Orson Welles' final movie, "The Other Side of the Wind," will be available on Netflix on Friday.
- It marks a huge cinematic moment, as the movie was considered lost forever due to Welles never finishing the movie before his death and its legal woes.
- Some of the main people involved with picking up where Welles left off spoke to Business Insider about the decades-long process to get the movie to audiences.
- For Halloween, the MIT Media Lab is hosting a mass online social experiment at 11 p.m. EDT tonight.
- Called "BeeMe," the goal of the "dystopian game" is to let participants control an actor and defeat an evil artificial intelligence program.
- Internet users will program the actor by crowdsourcing commands and then voting on them.
- BeeMe's creators say they want the project to stoke conversations about privacy, ethics, entertainment, and social interactions.
- According to Variety, Disney is developing a Marvel limited series starring Falcon and Winter Soldier.
- It raises further questions about Captain America's fate in "Avengers 4," as the two are his best friends in the comics and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- If Captain America dies as speculated, a show starring the two could deal with the aftermath of that.
- A digital billboard near Disneyland is asking Disney to rehire James Gunn for "Guardians of the Galaxy 3."
- It was paid for by a GoFundMe campaign that has raised nearly $5,000.
- But Gunn has been tapped to write and possibly direct a sequel to DC and Warner Bros.' "Suicide Squad 2."
- Warner Bros. beat Disney in public sentiment after hiring Gunn for "Suicide Squad 2."
- In 2019, one of the world's biggest game franchises is coming to Netflix: "The Witcher."
- The game's iconic main character, Geralt of Rivia, is being portrayed by Henry Cavill (Superman from "Justice League").
- Fans are torn over whether or not Cavill is an accurate representation of the notoriously gruff Geralt.
- Helios and Matheson, the parent company of MoviePass, is postponing by two weeks a vote on its plan to reverse split its stock for the second time in four months.
- The delay is the second in two weeks for the company, another indication that shareholders are resistant to the plan.
- Shareholders have seen their holdings in the company plunge amid its huge financial losses and its massive stock issuance.
- Investors seem to be balking at MoviePass' parents' plans to reverse split its stock again — and for good reason
- MoviePass' parent company just freed up some room to sell more stock — after already increasing its share count by 80,000% since July
- MoviePass' parent company says the $65 million in new funding it just raised isn't exactly 'new'
- MoviePass' parent company has boosted its share count by an unbelievable 80,000% since July — but it's run out of room to issue new stock
- Online scammers are targeting "Fortnite: Battle Royale" players with fake offers for free v-bucks, the game's digital currency.
- Players use v-bucks to purchase cosmetic items and skins; the currency can be earned through playing or purchased outright in the game's store.
- More than 4,700 websites are fraudulently offering free v-bucks as a front for phishing and information collection.
- Though "Fortnite" is a free game, players spend more than $200 million each month on v-bucks. The best way to avoid being scammed is to buy them from in the game directly.
- "Red Dead Redemption 2," is an open world video game set in the Wild West.
- The main character is an outlaw who can do things like hunt animals, rob stagecoaches, play dominos, and drink whiskey.
- The highly anticipated follow-up to "Red Dead Redemption" was released by Rockstar Games, the same company behind other elaborate, narrative games like the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise.
- Watch the video above to see what it's like to play "Red Dead Redemption 2."
- After MoviePass's "one movie a day" deal proved too good to be true, author Alexis Reliford switched to AMC's movie subscription service, AMC Stubs A-List.
- Reliford says MoviePass users "definitely won't regret switching" to AMC Stubs A-List for a number of reasons.
- Wrestling for WWE first requires learning the fundamentals of working the ring.
- Students at the New York Wrestling Connection in Deer Park, NY get one-on-one instruction from seasoned performer, Bull James.
- James spent three years working for WWE as "Bull Dempsey" in the company's NXT promotion.
- Watch the video above to see what it's like to take an intense practice session at the wrestling school.
The most-anticipated game of 2018 is off to a killer start: "Red Dead Redemption 2" made over $725 million in its first three days of availability.
That's according to Rockstar Games, the prestigious studio behind the "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead" franchises.
"Red Dead Redemption 2" is the latest blockbuster from Rockstar — a massive, years-long undertaking by a set of international studios comprising thousands of people. The project was the first from Rockstar Games to combine the collective workforce of all its international studios, from New York City to India. There are no official numbers of how much "Red Dead Redemption 2" cost to make and market, but an educated guess puts it in the high hundreds of millions.
The last major game from Rockstar was "Grand Theft Auto 5" way back in 2013 — it's the only game with a bigger launch, pulling in over $1 billion in its first three days.
It's no huge surprise that the $60 "Red Dead Redemption 2" is doing so well on the sales front: It's a gorgeous, fascinating game that's been lauded by critics and hyped by a blitz of marketing.
What is particularly surprising is one statistic about the game's sales on Sony's PlayStation 4 — the most popular game console available. Despite the game being available on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, "Red Dead Redemption 2" set sales records on the PlayStation 4 as the highest-selling game on Sony's PlayStation Network digital storefront.
That's particularly important given the massive success of games like "God of War" and "Spider-Man" — games that are only available on the PlayStation 4.
If "Red Dead Redemption 2" is already surpassing their digital launch numbers on PlayStation 4, it means the game is off to a pretty serious start. And, with the holiday sales season ahead, it won't be long before Rockstar's latest blockbuster surpasses the $1 billion mark.
Nintendo's "The Legend of Zelda" may be the latest video game franchise to be adapted for the screen, based on a series of rumors surrounding the "Castlevania" producer Adi Shankar.
Shankar took to Instagram on Monday to share that he was "working with an iconic Japanese gaming company to adapt one of their iconic video game series," promising an official announcement on November 16. A day later, on Tuesday, The Wrap reported that Shankar would develop a "Legend of Zelda" series for Nintendo.
Shankar is already the showrunner for another video game adaptation, Netflix's "Castlevania." Based on the vampire-hunting games of the same name, "Castlevania" debuted its second season on Friday. Fans and critics alike have celebrated the animated series for its balanced tone and respect to the source material. Written by the comic book legend Warren Ellis, "Castlevania" turns the thin plot of the early games into a tragic tale focused on Dracula, the series' main antagonist.
The "Legend of Zelda" games are fantasy tales following the adventures of the player/protagonist Link. The name is rather literal; Link is the player's connection to the game as they take on his quest. In nearly all of the games, the player can give Link whichever name they like, and he never speaks. Instead, the series has used a colorful collection of supporting characters to tell the extended history of the world of Hyrule. Zelda is the princess of Hyrule, typically requesting Link's help to vanquish Ganon, a timeless demonic force posing a constant threat to the kingdom.
The newest game in the series, "Breath of the Wild," showed a big shift in storytelling, preventing players from renaming Link while incorporating voice acting and more meaningful story cutscenes. "Breath of the Wild" was widely seen as one of 2017's best games and has sold more than 10 million copies since launching alongside the Nintendo Switch.
There's no word as to whether any new "Legend of Zelda" series would be animated, but it would not be the first cartoon adaptation for the franchise. DIC Animation produced a 13-episode animated "Zelda" series in 1989 alongside two other Nintendo shows, "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show" and "Captain N: Game Master." Unlike the games, Link spoke regularly in the 1989 series, perhaps even too much.
Cable-TV viewership, and subscriber counts, continue to drop as the industry sees ever-increasing competition from digital upstarts like Netflix or YouTube.
Yet amid this waning linear-television environment, the cable-TV giant Comcast had a solid third quarter. What's more, it added to its total footprint, picking up net 288,000 new customer relationships. "We surpassed 30 million customer relationships," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts touted on the company's third-quarter earnings call.
At a time when disruption in the pay-TV market is as high as ever, Comcast doesn't seem worried about the signs cable TV is in decline. And it all comes back to that so-called disappearing cord.
"The cord is still intact," Matt Strauss, the executive vice president of Xfinity Services, told Business Insider. "When people describe cord cutting I think in many ways it's a misnomer because we don't see people cutting the cord for high-speed data."
Cord shifters, not cord cutters
In the third quarter, Comcast added 363,000 new broadband subscribers. Its broadband subscriber base is growing at about 5.5%, double that of the rest of the industry, according to analysts at Cowen who predict Comcast could add another 1 million subscribers in 2019.
Instead of slashed revenue as a result of customers choosing to fully end their relationships with Comcast, the company is seeing a significant amount of "cord shifting" as subscribers opt for standalone broadband through Comcast without subscribing to a pay-TV service.
Part of the strength in broadband adds can be attributed to a stronger economy and the growing necessity for a fast, persistent in-home internet connection. But share stealing from telecommunications companies — such as AT&T and Verizon — is also what's boosting added subscribers at Comcast, according to Cowen analysts, who noted both AT&T and Verizon reported declining broadband adds.
"The utility of broadband access is high and rising," analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote. Morgan Stanley conducted a survey on the industry and found the risk of cutting the broadband cord was low among all respondents but especially low among cable subscribers.
That probably has to do with differences between how telcos and cable companies deliver internet. Cable companies have an intrinsic leg up on telcos when it comes to delivering faster internet because of the underlying infrastructure that each is built upon.
In the telco sector, the cheapest option for broadband access is typically DSL. The service, short for digital subscriber line, is provided over a copper wire. This type of service is slow and unreliable, with limited ability for streaming. The cheapest option at cable companies, on the other hand, is offered over a coaxial cable. That means faster speeds and more reliability, but often at a higher price. Fiber is the fastest, most costly option and is offered by both cable and telecom companies.
Comcast has a larger broadband business than a pay-TV business
Of course, video subscribers are another story. Relationships in video continue to decline, and Comcast lost 106,000 subscribers in the third quarter, compared with 140,000 a quarter before. At this point, the nation's biggest cable-TV provider actually has a larger broadband business than a pay-TV business.
That's the result of the companies disrupting linear TV, pitting Comcast against the likes of Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video. Yet Comcast touts the amount of time its customers watch Netflix on the X1 set-top box.
"In a relatively short amount of time we've become, in our footprint, the number one platform for Netflix," Strauss said.
It's probably not something you'd expect from should-be competitors that are trying desperately to unseat each other's dominance in the industry. But Comcast is naturally incentivized to offer to customers a seamless way to access all of its content in one place.
In the Morgan Stanley survey, analysts noted that Comcast respondents held the highest streaming video on-demand penetration, most likely because of its integration efforts on its Xfinity platform. Comcast has already integrated YouTube service into its platform, with Amazon Prime video coming soon. There's not yet been any indication whether Comcast will come to an agreement to integrate Hulu, which has 60% ownership by Disney (which Comcast just battled for Fox and Sky).
And while the subscribers to cable-TV programming declined, Strauss said the company measured 6 billion hours of on-demand video played on the X1 platform, an increase of 20% from a year before.
That means customers are increasing engagement time on Comcast's platform, and getting the company closer to its bet that future of TV will mean assembling the disparate digital TV bundles and streaming video on-demand options that exist.
"We really see X1 as the premium destination for allowing customers to get access to all of their TV choices in one place," Strauss said. "Some say the future of TV is apps, we really believe it is more and more around aggregation."
How much are networks shelling out to bring Hollywood stars to TV?
In this age of proliferated programming, marquee names have become essential to bring sizable audiences to shows. And the competition among networks and producers has driven industry salaries to new heights.
Norman Reedus is now making $1 million an episode for "The Walking Dead" as co-star Andrew Lincoln prepares to leave the show, according to Variety. Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the stars of HBO's "Westworld" would be getting big raises ahead of the sci-fi drama's third season.
At its height, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman reportedly negotiated $1 million salaries for the upcoming second season of HBO's Emmy-winning drama, "Big Little Lies."
Jim Parsons of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" made headlines in August for walking away from a reported two-year, $50 million paycheck for two more seasons of the sitcom, which CBS subsequently decided to end in 2019.
Here's how much the highest-paid stars on TV are earning per-episode:
Note: Some salaries may include producing fees.
Jethro Nededog contributed to a previous version of this story.
$1,000,000 – Norman Reedus, "The Walking Dead" (AMC)
Source: Variety (2018)
$1,000,000 — Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Source: Variety (2018)
$1,000,000 — Nicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)
Source: The Hollywood Reporter (2018)
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Apple closed out its launch event on Tuesday with a performance from surprise musical guest Lana Del Rey, but in an unusually transparent move, the singer told the audience she wasn't able to actually name drop her song or album due to their explicit titles.
Del Rey took the stage to perform two songs off her upcoming album, titled "Norman F-----g Rockwell." She said she was unable to share the name of the record because Apple "told us not to swear." She ran into the same problem when introducing the track "Venice B----h."
"Again, in the name of swearing, I won’t say the title of the second track," Del Rey said. "I'll call it 'Venice' for now."
While those accustomed to hearing their favorite artists perform unfiltered at concerns might be surprised at such a request, this family-friendly approach to its events and services isn't new for Apple. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that CEO Tim Cook is determined for Apple to present itself as a family-friendly company, so it's not a stretch that cursing would be considered a no-no during a live event that's streamed to Apple fans around the world.
We've also learned more about what Apple is and isn't willing to produce thanks to recent reports on Apple's $1 billion venture into original TV programming. The tech giant has ordered more than a dozen shows, but an already-produced series from rapper Dr. Dre was reportedly rejected after Tim Cook flagged scenes that depicted cocaine use, graphic sex, and "drawn guns."
Meanwhile, producers of original content like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO have found great success and popularity in edgy shows like "House of Cards," "Handmaid's Tale," and "Game of Thrones" that often include nudity, explicit language, and graphic violence.
At the launch event Tuesday where Del Rey performed, the tech giant announced a new MacBook Air, iPad Pros, and Mac Mini.
The real story of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger is filled with drugs, violence, and murder.
Bulger was the subject of Toronto International Film Festival stunner "Black Mass" starring Johnny Depp. Here's the true story of how he ruled Boston's criminal underworld and managed to avoid capture for years.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published September 15, 2015. Eames Yates contributed reporting on a previous version of this article.
Electronic Arts has announced a new cloud gaming platform, Project Atlas, that will be capable of streaming the company's latest video games to almost any mobile device or computer with a sufficient internet connection.
Chief Technology Officer Ken Moss detailed Project Atlas in a blog post published to Medium on October 29th, just weeks after both Microsoft and Google revealed their own cloud gaming platforms.
Cloud gaming uses remote servers to stream video games directly to the player. In the simplest terms, the server runs the game and sends the player a video feed from the cloud, while the player's controller inputs are sent back to the server. This allows the user to play the game remotely on their choice of computer or mobile device. With the server doing the heavily lifting, players will no longer need expensive video game consoles to run the latest games. Of course, cloud-based services still require a strong, stable internet connection to stream games properly.
Google launched a private beta test of its cloud gaming service, ProjectStream, at the start of October, giving players access to the recently released "Assassin's Creed Odyssey." The only requirements for ProjectStream are a computer Google's Chrome internet browser, and an internet connection with 25 mbps or higher download speed. While Google isn't known for video games, the ProjectStream experience was comparable to playing the game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, both of which start at $300. However, the ProjectStream beta doesn't work with mobile devices as of yet.
Microsoft followed Google with the announcement of Project xCloud, a gaming streaming service that will utilize the company's Azure Cloud computing service. Project xCloud will not enter beta tests until 2019, but Microsoft has already confirmed several popular Xbox games for the platform, including including "Halo," "Gears of War," "Forza" and "Minecraft." According to Microsoft, thousands of developers will be able to release their new games simultaneously for Xbox and Project xCloud without additional steps. Rumors suggest that the next generation of Xbox devices will likely utilize some form of cloud gaming as well.
Now EA is the latest company to join the cloud gaming race. In describing Project Atlas, Moss explained that the service will streamline game development by providing a unified platform for developers. Currently, development teams need to spend additional time making sure their games play nice with whatever platform they're working with. This means ensuring that social features work on both PlayStation and Xbox, that stats are properly recorded and maintained on different networks, and that updates are consistent across separate platforms. With a cloud-based gaming service, developers would maintain full control of the game, effectively cutting out the middleman.
"With the unified platform of Project Atlas, game makers will have the ability to seamlessly deploy security measures including SSL certificates, configuration, appropriate encryption of data, and zero-downtime patches for every feature from a single secure source," Moss wrote in the post. "This means that they can focus on what game makers are best at — creating the best games."
As the largest video game developer in the world, EA's decision to pursue its own cloud gaming platform speaks to rapid change in the industry. Up until now, major game developers needed to choose which platforms their games could support, often leading to their audiences being fractured between different consoles.
By streaming games directly to players on a device of their choosing, EA can effectively cut out the middleman when it comes to content control and sales. With Project Atlas set to compete directly with Microsoft's Project xCloud and Google's ProjectStream, it will also be interesting to see if Electronic Arts is willing to share its new games on other streaming platforms.
All three cloud gaming services are still very much in their testing phase, so it'll be some time before they're available to the public, and likely longer than that before they become mainstream. It remains to be seen what will come of traditional video game consoles if more developers start to prioritize streaming games from the cloud.
Ever since Nintendo released the adorable NES Classic Edition back in 2016, there's been a gold rush on hardware-based classic gaming: People simply love to buy tiny, nostalgia-laced boxes that resemble classic consoles like the NES and Super Nintendo.
It was no surprise when, earlier this year, Sony unveiled its own version — the PlayStation Classic— that costs $100 and arrives this December with 20 games packed in.
But what about Sega? What about everyone's favorite blue hedgehog, and the dozens of other classic characters and games from the Sega Genesis? Great news:
"Sega Genesis Classics" is an incredible package, with 51 classic Genesis games all baked into delightfully retro trappings (like the old TV with a VHS player built-in seen above).
Better still: It costs just $30 for all 51 games! Here's the full rundown.
"Sega Genesis Classics" is a wrapper for 50 classic games from the Sega Genesis (the "MegaDrive" outside of North America). That means games like the original "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Streets of Rage," and much more.
With 50 games to list, we broke up the list a bit for ease of reading.
Here are the first 10, in alphabetical order:
1. "Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle"
2. "Alien Soldier"
3. "Alien Storm"
4. "Altered Beast"
5. "Beyond Oasis"
6. "Bio-Hazard Battle"
7. "Bonanza Bros."
9. "Columns III: Revenge of Columns"
10. "Comix Zone"
Beyond just providing access to a huge library of Sega games, "Sega Genesis Classics" offers save states — so you can save at any point and return right where you left off.
Here are the next 10 games:
11. "Crack Down"
12. "Decap Attack"
13. "Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine"
14. "Dynamite Headdy"
15. "ESWAT: City Under Siege"
16. "Fatal Labyrinth"
18. "Gain Ground"
19. "Galaxy Force II"
20. "Golden Axe"
You can even outright rewind games while playing — if you keep dying at one particular part, you can rewind it over and over until you nail it!
And the next 10:
21. "Golden Axe II"
22. "Golden Axe III"
23. "Gunstar Heroes"
24. "Kid Chameleon"
26. "Light Crusader"
27. "Phantasy Star II"
28. "Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom"
29. "Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium"
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In January 2017, Johnny Depp filed a $25 million lawsuit against his former business managers, accusing them of fraud and mismanagement that has cost him millions of dollars.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star was then hit by a countersuit from his managers, who claimed that the actor led an "extravagant and extreme" lifestyle.
His business managers, Joel and Robert Mandel of The Management Group, said that Depp made $650 million in the more than a decade they worked with him. But Depp reportedly splurged this money on a lavish lifestyle that included buying 14 properties and a 156-foot yacht and spending $3.6 million a year to pay his 40-person staff, The Hollywood Reporter wrote in May 2017.
The lawsuit was settled in July, but no details were released. At the time, a spokesman for Depp said in a statement that the actor was "pleased" with the outcome.
Take a look at some of the insane real estate that he has loved, lost, and held on to over his career:
Johnny Depp's business managers alleged that he spent over $75 million to "acquire, improve and furnish 14 residences," according to the lawsuit.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
His managers persuaded him to sell some of these properties to keep up with monthly bills that totaled $2 million. One of those monthly costs was upkeep for his 150-foot luxury yacht, "Amphitrite," which he reportedly spent $18 million on.
Source: The Telegraph
His managers claimed that Depp would not be able to afford the $350,000 monthly upkeep he had laid out for this yacht. Joel Mandel, his accountant, convinced Depp to sell the yacht, and it was reportedly bought by JK Rowling in 2016.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
42 years after Orson Welles was finally finished with his movie, “The Other Side of the Wind” (which took him 6 years to complete principal photography on), Netflix will release it on its streaming service Friday.
For movie lovers, it’s the ultimate “lost movie,” a work that the iconic director toiled over until his death on October 5, 1985, but never completed. For Welles fans, it’s a glimpse into the evolution of their maestro. He will always be known for making “Citizen Kane,” which many still regard as the greatest movie ever made, yet with this movie he proved he could make something as edgy and forward-thinking as the up-and-comers of the era like Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford Coppola, and William Friedkin.
But for those who have spent years (and in some cases decades) trying to get Welles’ final film to the public, this weekend marks the time they can finally take a giant exhale.
“I’m thrilled to be done,” producer Frank Marshall (behind the Indiana Jones and “Jurassic Park” franchises) told Business Insider with a laugh. He was also a production manager on “The Other Side of the Wind” when he was 25.
“It was a long and tortured road, at times,” producer Filip Jan Rymsza said looking back. He worked the last nine and a half years trying to settle the copyright issues surrounding the movie.
In many ways, the story of how “The Other Side of the Wind” finally made it to audiences is as epic as Welles’ ambitions for the movie itself.
6 years of 'the poor man's process'
In 1970, Welles was back in Los Angeles after living in self-exile in Europe for more than a decade. Sensing the independent film wave that was building in America following the success of Dennis Hopper’s “Easy Rider,” Welles was ready for a comeback, and the project that would bring the auteur back into the zeitgeist would be the strangely titled “The Other Side of the Wind.”
It’s a tale that feels as if Welles bottled everything that happened to him in the latter half of his life and spilled it into a script — though he always claimed the movie wasn't autobiographical.
You can be the judge.
The movie follows the final day in the life of famed director Jake Hannaford (played by a famed director, John Huston). Celebrating his 70th birthday, Hannaford is trying to get the finishing funds to complete his comeback movie after being in Europe for years. Told mostly using handheld, faux-documentary footage (some in color, some in black-and-white), the bulk of the movie takes place at his birthday party, where Hannaford has brought financiers, critics, filmmakers, and film students to come and see the footage of his movie (which is shot on pristine high-quality film).
Welles cast the party with real film students, real filmmakers (Dennis Hopper, Henry Jaglom, and Paul Mazurksy all appear chatting about the craft), as well as his good friend and fellow filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich in the role of Brooks Otterlake, a rising-star director who owes his career to Hannaford. This very much mirrored the real-life relationship Welles had with Bogdanovich. In fact, during the making of the movie, Bogdanovich went and made "The Last Picture Show," which would give him auteur status like his mentor.
As depicted in Josh Karp’s book, “Orson Welles’s Last Movie: The Making of the Other Side of the Wind,” the six-year process to make “The Other Side of the Wind” was filled with many starts and stops as Welles constantly was looking for enough money to continue shooting. The script was changed almost daily by Welles, location shoots were often done without proper permits (a lot of it was shot at Bogdanovich’s home during the years Welles lived there), and scenes were pulled off in low-budget ways.
Take, for instance, one of the movie’s most memorable scenes: the sex scene inside a car featuring Welles’ collaborator and mistress Oja Kodar as the rain is pouring outside.
“It was the poor man’s process,” Marshall said of the scene, which he was on set for the shooting of. “We were just shaking the car to make it look like it was moving, would walk by with lights so it looked like cars were passing by, and had a garden hose for the rain.”
With Welles pinching pennies to get the movie finished, it was impossible to fathom how he’d find the money for post production.
Let's make a deal
For years, Welles was very much like Hannaford, searching for deep pockets to finish his movie. Even when Welles was honored with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 1975, a portion of his acceptance speech was him pitching “The Other Side of the Wind.”
Sadly, by the time of his death, Welles only had a 40-minute cut of the movie to show for the six years of effort he put into making it. Left behind, along with the cut, were hours of footage, notes on how to shape it all into a feature film, and mass confusion about who really owned it all.
When Welles died in 1985, he left many of his assets to his estranged wife, Paola Mori, and following her death a year later, they were inherited by their daughter, Beatrice Welles. But Welles also left assets, like “The Other Side of the Wind” and other unfinished projects, to Kodar. Then there was a third party who claimed ownership, Mehdi Bushehri, the brother-in-law of the Shah of Iran.
In Welles’ search for self financing on “The Other Side of the Wind,” which gave him the artistic control he craved, the director found a French-based Iranian group headed by Bushehri. Through years of tension between Welles and Bushehri’s company during production, things only got worse when funding became non-existent after the Shah was overthrown in 1979. However, Bushehri continued to have an ownership stake in the movie.
This was the mess Marshall found himself in starting in the 1990s, when he tried to help Bogdanovich and others finish what Welles started. Though there was the 40-minute Welles cut they could show potential investors, most of the movie was locked away in a Paris vault.
“I kept meeting with financiers — people from Canada, people from Europe, people from Malibu,” Marshall said. “They all had an idea of how to do this and the more we talked about it the more riskier it got for them. And then they would not come back.”
Then, when it seemed someone could pull it off and get the money needed, the three parties that needed to agree — Beatrice Welles, Oja Kodar, and Mehdi Bushehri — couldn’t.
“Everyone wanted the film to be completed,” Rymsza said, “they just wanted it done on their own terms. It was a minefield. And if you made an enemy with this group you made an enemy for life, so that was the tricky part.”
And as more and more potential financiers went to the wayside, the legend of “The Other Side of the Wind” only grew.
While writing the book, Karp was told stories of footage from the movie having been seen all over the world. The movie’s cinematographer, Gary Graver, kept footage of the movie in his refrigerator. Karp even remembers one of the directors who made a cameo in the movie, Paul Mazurksy, telling him that one day at a farmers’ market someone walked up to him and whispered, “Hey, you ever seen ‘The Other Side of the Wind?'” and that he was given an address and a time to see it.
“The stories were just crazy,” Karp said. “There was also stories of this mythical three-hour cut of the movie that people told me they saw that Welles was very close to completing.”
However, Karp could never prove that such a print existed. It's just another story that elevated the myth of “The Other Side of the Wind.”
Thanks Netflix, now open the vault
What finally led to the vault in Paris being opened so the movie could be completed and released was Netflix.
One of the biggest challenges a potential investor had to take, outside of the cost for the rights all three parties would agree on, was the unknown price tag for competing the movie. Both Marshall and Rymsza said they drew up separate budgets for the cost to complete post production, but without seeing the footage and its condition, they had one hand tied behind their backs.
“I didn't know it would be 100 hours of material,” Rymsza said. “I had done a paper inventory and so I knew the amount of film elements but it’s difficult to foresee how much material there is and a lot of these factors would drive the cost of post.”
Rymsza would not divulge how much his original budget was, only saying it was a “significant price tag” and that they did go over budget to complete the movie.
Netflix announced in August it would give the funds needed to compete the movie (it also greenlit the documentary, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” in which director Morgan Neville looks back on the making of the movie).
Along with a score being made for the movie, and special effects done to complete the drive-in movie scenes, there wasn’t any sound for three weeks of shooting, so that was a major undertaking. Also, a team of negative cutters had to come in to reconstruct the original negative of the movie, which took months. However, Netflix never wavered in backing the project.
“Netflix supported us above and beyond,” Marshall said. “They were basically like, ‘We know you bought an old house and you’re going to have old house problems,’ which is exactly what happened. And we would go in and explain what we needed and they would say, ‘Okay.’”
So what is the movie really about?
“The Other Side of the Wind” is a fascinating look at a legend trying to get back on top. But is it autobiographical? It’s hard to not come to that conclusion after watching the movie, which seems to also explore Welles' complicated relationship with Bogdanovich.
The most compelling moments of the movie are when Hannaford and Otterlake are having conversations about their work and their friendship. And on set, it was more than obvious to those who were there that Welles was putting his relationship with Bogdanovich on screen.
Take, for example, at the end of the movie in the drive-in, when Otterlake is speaking to Hannaford and at one point says to his mentor, “What did I do wrong, Daddy?”
“Huston wasn't there that day for that scene,” Marshall recalled. “Peter was playing it to Orson. Orson was also directing him and his direction to Peter for that scene was, ‘It's us.’”
Bogdanovich didn’t just drop everything to be in “The Other Side of the Wind” whenever he was called upon by Welles, or let him live in his home with his then-wife Cybill Shepherd, he also invested money in the movie to keep it going. Welles was grateful, but had a weird way of showing it sometimes, like the time he went on “The Tonight Show” and made fun of Bogdanovich with guest host Burt Reynolds.
But despite all that, Bogdanovich has never faltered in trying to accomplish his mentor’s final request: finish “The Other Side of the Wind” if he died.
“Peter became a much more heroic figure to me in just how much he cared about Orson,” Karp, who is also a producer on the documentary, said about talking to Bogdanovich for the book. “Welles took a lot from Peter and Peter got a lot from Welles. Welles truly loved him but in a way that probably didn’t feel like he was being very appreciated at the time. But Peter is a true believer, and there’s a lot to be said about that.”
“The Other Side of the Wind” and “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” are both available Friday on Netflix.
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This Halloween, the creepiest event to attend might be a mass online social experiment hosted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
MIT is famous for churning out some of the world's top engineers, programmers, and scientists. But the university's Media Laboratory is increasingly known for launching experimental projects in October that are designed to make us squirm.
In 2016, researchers at the MIT Media Lab created the artificial-intelligence program Nightmare Machine, which converted normal photos into into macabre images. (The results were predictably creepy.) Then in 2017, a researcher made AI software called "Shelley" that learned how to write its own horror stories. (These were also creepy.)
This year, members of MIT Media Lab are taking their desire to freak us out to the next level with a project called "BeeMe."
BeeMe is described in a press release as a "massive immersive social game" that aims to "shed a new light on human potential in the new digital era." But it also sounds like a choose-your-own-adventure episode of the show "Black Mirror."
"Halloween night at 11 p.m. ET, an actor will give up their free will and let internet users control their every action," Niccolò Pescetelli, who studies collective intelligence at MIT Media Lab, told Business Insider in an email about BeeMe.
Pescetelli added: "The event will follow the story of an evil AI by the name of Zookd, who has accidentally been released online. Internet users will have to coordinate at scale and collectively help the actor (also a character in the story) to defeat Zookd. If they fail, the consequences could be disastrous."
How MIT will let you control a person
The project's slogan is: "See what I see. Hear what I hear. Control my actions. Take my will. Be me."
The full scope of gameplay is not yet public. However, Pescetelli, BeeMe's social media accounts, and promotional materials reveal a few key details.
The person being controlled will be a trained actor, not anyone randomly selected. Who that actor will be and where they will be located won't be disclosed, Pescetelli said. He said he expects the game to last about two hours, but added "it will be the audience who ultimately decides" how long the game will go on.
There will be limits to what crowd-generated commands can make the actor do.
"Anything that violates the law or puts the actor, their privacy, or their image in danger is strictly forbidden," Pescetelli said. "Anything else is allowed. We are very curious about what [is] going to happen."
Participants will control the actor through a web browser, in two ways.
One is by writing in and submitting custom commands, such as "make coffee," "open the door," "run away," and so on. The second way is by voting up or down on those commands, similar to the system used by Reddit. Once a command is voted to the top, the actor will presumably do that very thing.
This is the origin of the word "bee" in the project's name: Internet users will have to act collectively as a "hive" to progress through the game.
BeeMe's Twitter account shared an eerie teaser video of the game on October 15.
"Many people have played an augmented reality game, but BeeMe is reality augmented," Pescetelli said in a press release. "In BeeMe an agent gives up their free will to save humanity — or perhaps to know whether humanity can be saved at all. This brave individual will agree to let the Internet pilot their every action."
The whole event will be broadcast live at beeme.online.
"In theory there is no limit to the number of users that the platform can support, but we will know for sure only on Halloween," Pescetelli said.
Why the researchers created BeeMe
The BeeMe project is made by eight people, will cost less than $10,000, and quietly went public in May 2018, when it joined Twitter as @beeme_mit. The tweets posted by the account capture some of its thinking and evolution.
One tweet quotes philosopher Marshall McLuhan, who famously wrote in 1964 that "the medium is the message" — meaning that any new way to communicate influences what we say, how we say it, and ultimately what we think. McLuhan, who lived until 1980, is described by his estate as "the father of communications and media studies and prophet of the information age."
"[In] the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed," BeeMe tweeted in August, quoting a famous saying of Darwin's (and likely as a tip on how to win the game).
Another tweet highlights a shocking act of performance art called "Come Caress Me," created in 2010 by Amir Mobed. In the installation, Mobed stands before a huge target with a metal bucket on his hed, and volunteers are led into the room to shoot him with a pellet gun. (Many do, not seeming to understand the ammunition is real.)
These and other BeeMe posts seem to reflect what the experiment strives to be on Halloween: Something that is on its surface fun, but reveals some hidden truths about ourselves and our digital society.
In a release sent to Business Insider, the project described itself this way: "BeeMe is a dystopian game that promises to alter the face of digital interactions, by breaking the Internet's fourth wall and bringing it back to reality. BeeMe wants to reopen a serious — yet playful — conversation about privacy, ethics, entertainment, and social interactions."
Whatever the game ends up teaching those who play or watch it, we'll find out tonight if humanity can pull together to save itself — or fail in dramatic disarray.
This story has been updated with new information.
You haven't seen the last of Falcon and Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The two may have vanished at the end of "Avengers: Infinity War" from the Thanos snap, but lets be real: They're coming back. And when they do, they'll reportedly star in a limited series on Disney's upcoming streaming service that is expected to debut late next year.
According to Variety, "Empire" executive producer Malcolm Spellman will write the series featuring Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson/Falcon and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This isn't the first potential series spinning off of the MCU. Variety reported in September that Disney is developing big-budget Marvel shows starring Tom Hiddleston's Loki, Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch, and more.
Just as the Loki and Scarlet Witch shows could raise questions about the future of the MCU, so too does this potential Falcon/Winter Soldier series. In both the comics and MCU, the two are Steve Rogers/Captain America's best friends, so it's intriguing that they would get paired together considering what Captain America's fate could be in next year's "Avengers 4."
Actor Chris Evans recently said goodbye to the role in a heartfelt message on Twitter after the movie wrapped filming, signaling that he is retiring from the franchise.
"Officially wrapped on Avengers 4," he said. "It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful."
It fueled further speculation that Captain America will meet his end in "Avengers 4." The character briefly dies in the comics after the "Civil War" comic event, and Barnes takes his place as Captain America. More recently, Wilson took on the role as Captain America in the comics.
A series starring both of them could be a somber one if Captain America does actually die in "Avengers 4," as the two would be reeling from his death and grappling with their roles as superheroes going forward.
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"Guardians of the Galaxy" fans aren't giving up on James Gunn, even though he's given up on Disney.
A new billboard near Disneyland in California is pleading with Disney and Marvel to rehire the director for "Guardians of the Galaxy 3," even though Gunn has been tapped to write and possibly direct a "Suicide Squad" sequel for the competition, DC and Warner Bros.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has also said that he doesn't regret the decision to fire Gunn.
"Guardians of the Galaxy 3" is currently on hold, but was originally scheduled for a 2020 release. Gunn had finished writing the script before he was fired in July when offensive tweets Gunn posted years ago resurfaced.
The digital billboard was paid for by a GoFundMe campaign that began in September, before Gunn was officially on board "Suicide Squad 2." Since then, the campaign has raised nearly $5,000.
It's the latest show of support for Gunn, whose firing drew criticism from fans and celebrities alike. The "Guardians" cast issued a statement shortly after he was fired in support of him. Drax actor Dave Bautista has been the most vocal against Disney, and even tweeted "Where do I sign up!" after it was announced Gunn would be writing "Suicide Squad 2."
Gunn's move to the DC world sparked positive public sentiment for Warner Bros. according to a Talkwalker social-media analysis provided to Business Insider. The analysis showed that more people disapproved of Disney's decision to fire Gunn than they did with Warner Bros.' decision to hire him, and "Suicide Squad 2" dominated online conversation when he was hired.
Nevertheless, the fans behind the billboard are still holding out some hope.
"It’s an exciting time to be a James Gunn fan," a message on the campaign page says. "With his great new gig at the Distinguished Competition, and the launch of the billboard to show public support for him returning to finish his beloved franchise. Who knows if we can make Disney see the error of its ways and correct this mistake but, like you, we couldn’t stand by and do nothing. At least their competitors seem to know what Disney has lost in letting him go."
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Troy Carter is one of the most fascinating names in music. His roots are in artist management (John Legend, Lady Gaga), but he's also a savvy consultant to technology startups, including Spotify, Warby Parker, Dropbox, and Uber.
Until September, he was Spotify's global head of creator services, and he's been a guest shark during the seventh season of ABC's "Shark Tank."
Lately, he’s been focused on developing Atom Factory, the talent management and full-service film and television production company that he founded.
Of Lady Gaga's rise to fame, Carter has said that social media played a big role when radio play was tough to get.
New album release strategies, improved data collection, and a new breed of digital, plugged-in artists and performers are among the trends Carter sees that he will discuss at IGNITION 2018.
And you'll hear more about his fascinating career and the lessons he's learned along the way.
To keep up with IGNITION news, join our mailing list and you'll be the first to get updates on our speakers and agenda.
Netflix is getting a huge video game series adaptation in 2019: "The Witcher" is scheduled to arrive next year. People are pumped about it.
And on Wednesday, the streaming giant released the first image of the show's main character — Geralt of Rivia — to a riotous social media reception.
Get your first look at Henry Cavill in The Witcher! pic.twitter.com/1O2eWS1MkP— Netflix US (@netflix) October 31, 2018
That's Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia — the actor most recently known for portraying Clark Kent (aka Superman) in DC's extended universe films.
Notably, Cavill is clean-shaven, whereas Geralt is known for his gruff facial hair (and gruff demeanor, and gruff appearance, and gruff everything else). But, to some fans of the original "Witcher" books, beardless Geralt is more true to the character.
Here's a rough comparison between Cavill and Geralt from the most recent "Witcher" game, "The Witcher 3":
If you ask us, Cavill looks more like a character from "Game of Thrones" — the Queen of Dragons' brother, Viserys Targaryen — than Geralt. Or maybe the long-lost uncle of Draco Malfoy from "Harry Potter"?
At any rate, we've got plenty of time to compare and contrast between now and 2019 when "The Witcher" is expected to debut on Netflix.
Shareholders of the parent company of MoviePass won't be voting Thursday on its controversial plan to reverse split its stock for the second time in four months. Instead, they'll get two more weeks to weigh in.
On Wednesday, Helios and Matheson postponed a shareholder meeting that was due to take place the next day for the purpose of collecting votes on the proposal. The meeting is now scheduled to take place on November 14.
The company delayed the meeting "so that our stockholders have more time to consider and vote upon the proposed reverse stock split," it said in a letter to shareholders that was included in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The move marked the second time in two weeks Helios and Matheson has delayed the shareholder meeting. It was originally set to take place on October 18.
Investors are objecting to the plan
The company is seeking shareholder approval of a plan to dramatically reduce its number of outstanding shares. Under the proposal, Helios and Matheson would exchange one new share of its stock for anywhere from two to 500 shares that investors currently hold.
The reverse split is intended to boost the company's share price. Helios and Matheson's stock has been trading at 3 cents a share or less for more than two months. The company risks having its shares delisted from the Nasdaq market if it doesn't get them above $1 a share by December.
The delay is yet another sign that the company's proposal is running into significant resistance from investors. In addition to delaying it the first time, the company has been on a public relations blitz to try to pass it, touting support for the plan by two prominent firms that offer recommendations on shareholder votes and hiring two different firms to solicit shareholder votes.
Despite those efforts, many investors have made clear they object to the plan. Many have seen the value of their holdings in Helios and Matheson evaporate almost entirely. The company has massively diluted shareholders over the last year by issuing hundreds of millions of new shares of stock. It's further depressed the value of its shares by running up hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
The company has already reverse split its stock once this year in an effort to boost its share price. In late July, it completed a 250-1 split, which sent it stock price from below $1 a share to above $20 a share. But within a week, the stock price slipped below $1 a share again as the company issued millions of new shares to raise funds to cover its losses.
As was the case with that split, the current proposal, while reducing the company's share count, would not affect the number of shares it is authorized to issue. By passing it, investors would effectively give the company room to issue billions of new shares, further diluting their stakes.
In addition to attempting to reverse-split the stock, Helios and Matheson has proposed spinning off MoviePass as a separate company. Even if it did so, Helios and Matheson would retain a majority stake in the money-losing movie ticket service.
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The popularity of "Fortnite: Battle Royale" continues to surge and the free game is raking in more than $200 a month in revenue for its creator, Epic Games. While "Fortnite" is free-to-play, players can purchase a digital currency, v-bucks, to unlock cosmetic items and other content within the game. Players can also earn v-bucks over time by playing the game, though the rate of return is rather slow.
Items purchased with v-bucks don't impact the game directly, but the coolest looking cosmetics come with a high price tag. There are those willing to pay $50 or more to buy a certain outfit, while others need to play for hours to unlock the same skin. As a result, some "Fortnite" players resort to seeking out free v-bucks offers online, in an effort to avoid investing their own time and money.
Unfortunately, offers for free v-bucks are largely predatory, providing a front for phishing websites and other scams. These free v-bucks offers are primarily shared through social media and redirect the user to a separate website. These websites often ask users to provide their "Fortnite" account login, email, or other personal information. In some cases, they request the user to prove they are human by completing other "free offers" or surveys for things like iPhones and gift cards. Other sites require users to share specific links or invite friends to earn points towards v-bucks.
While most adults should be familiar with these sorts of phishing scams, "Fortnite" has a large audience of young children. Based on its terms of service, "Fortnite" requires players to be 12-years-old or older to make an account, but younger players have no problem accessing the free game on their own. But when parents aren't willing to fund their child's gaming, offers for free v-bucks immediately become appealing.
ZeroFOX Research confirmed more than 53,000 alerts for "Fortnite"-related scams in a one-month period between September and October. The vast majority, 86 percent, came from social media posts while specific web domains and YouTube videos made up the rest. ZeroFox reports that more than 4,770 domains are currently offering v-bucks scams, and roughly 1,400 different YouTube videos have combined for more than a million views. Scammers have also targeted "Fortnite" players on mobile phones by offering fake "Fortnite" apps and downloads for Android devices.
Demand for v-bucks will persist so long as "Fortnite" remains popular, but players and parents should be careful about trying to cut corners with third-party offers. The best way to avoid scams is to only purchase v-bucks directly from the "Fortnite" store — and never share your account information online.
SEE ALSO: Fortnite made $318 million in May 2018
Following is a transcript of the video.
Ben Gilbert: "Red Dead Redemption 2" feels really alive, I think that's what makes it feel so special is that there's a lot of characters and a lot of different interacting elements and they all form one cohesive world.
Bartender: Down the hatch.
Gilbert: The world of "Red Dead Redemption 2" is full of dangerous animals and bands of outlaws and lots of different living things that react to you in interesting, unique ways. So playing as Arthur Morgan, this kind of grizzled, older, Western outlaw. I don't know how else to describe that. He's kinda like a caricature from a Western and he's out in the world trying to discern what's right and wrong. He sometimes does terrible things, sometimes he does good things, and the world reacts accordingly.
Character: He better get his act together. Now why would you want to be pointing that thing around? Gilbert: The reason that "Red Dead Redemption 2" is such an incredibly hyped game, I would argue, 2018's most anticipated game, is because it's the first game from the people who make "Grand Theft Auto" in five years since "Grand Theft Auto 5" came out. People are really just incredibly excited about it because of the pedigree behind it. "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead Redemption" both series are known for being extremely well-written, smart, satirical, something different than the average video game.
I think "Red Dead Redemption 2" appeals to more people than the average game specifically because it's so narratively driven. It's so smart. It feels so natural. The characters in "Red Dead Redemption 2" are some of the best in any game I've played in my 30 years of playing games. They're full of life, they're nuanced, and they have understandable, if sometimes complex emotional responses.
Arthur Morgan: Hang in there, we're on the up.
Character: I know, I'm fine.
Gilbert: It's hard to put into words. The gang in "Red Dead Redemption 2," the kind of family surrounding the main character, Arthur Morgan is full of vibrant, unique, interesting people who each have their own story, who each have their own backgrounds, who each have their own context, for who you are and the gang, and that makes a huge difference in making them feel alive and making the game feel like it's full of real people, rather than a bunch of scripted characters.
So I think that one of the best ways to enjoy "Red Dead Redemption 2" is to really embrace everything that's offered to you by the game. If you're the kind of person who might mainline the story quests in a game or try to just stick to the narrative, it's very important that you don't do that in "Red Dead Redemption 2."
In one particular mission, I was out hunting with an older gentleman in my, my gang and we came across a legendary bear. And in the world of "Red Dead Redemption 2" there are various legendary animals that you can go hunting and they are significantly more challenging than the average hunting expedition. And it came after us, it attacked us, I almost died, it was a whole thing. And then afterwards, I've got this massive skin from this massive bear and its head and I come across a trapper, who is out there in the woods and he wants, as it turns out, a legendary bear skin and he's gonna make me a ridiculous hat that I can then wear all over the world. And it turns out that this hat is literally just the bear's head on top of my own head and it's just as silly and ridiculous as you might imagine. And people in the world reacted to that hat as amazingly as you might imagine.
Character: Why are you dressed so ridiculously, sir?
Gilbert: "Red Dead Redemption 2" is full of stuff like this. Little things that you didn't necessarily know were coming and that was a real delight.
The cool stuff about "Red Dead Redemption 2," to me, is discovery. It's the unknown. It's that feeling that you are in an unexplored Wild West. Just do the game, just say yes to the game. Embrace the world of "Red Dead Redemption 2" and it will offer you lots to do. "Red Dead Redemption 2" is gigantic. The studio Rockstar Games who makes it has ballparked that it's about 60 hours, six zero hours to complete. That presumably does not include everything you could do as an optional. It is very big, so you know, get ready. Saddle up, or whatever you wanna say.
Arthur Morgan: Tried a desperate game in life, we tried the game and lost.
Confession: I've gone to a movie theater almost every weekend this year, and depending on what movies were released in a single weekend, more than once. There's just something about relaxing in plush chairs, munching on buttered popcorn, and seeing films on the big screen that keeps me going back.
But, while I'm happy to regularly breathe in the theater air, my bank account isn't always smiling. This is the reason more than one person in my life suggested I sign up for MoviePass.
Initially, I wasn't sold. Sure, the "one movie a day" deal the subscription service originally offered sounded intriguing, but it also sounded a little too good to be true.
My options, though, were to either scale back how often I went to the theater (not happening), go to only cheaper matinee showings (not a morning person), or to sign up for MoviePass. So, of course, I chose the latter and signed up in March.
But, then things quickly took a turn for the worse.
I got about a good month of use in before the MoviePass rug was pulled out from under me. The restrictions started rolling in. Glitches began occurring. Movies were missing from the app. Certain theaters were blocked. If I was going to pay for a service, then I wanted one that wouldn't crash when I was itching to see Tom Cruise's death-defying, action movie antics. That's when AMC showed up.
Around this same "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" fallout, AMC announced their own premium movie theater subscription, and instantly I was persuaded to join. Three months later, I still don't regret my decision to switch from MoviePass.
How AMC Stubs A-List works
For $19.95 a month plus tax, you can see up to three movies a week with the AMC Stubs A-List membership. In addition to regular 2D movies, you can also see films in premium formats, including IMAX at AMC, Dolby Cinema, and RealD 3D at no extra cost.
Plus, you get all the same benefits of an AMC Stubs Premiere membership, like waived online ticketing fees, and you can use the membership at all AMC, AMC Dine-In, and classic AMC theaters across the country.
It took less than 10 minutes to sign up
Maybe it helped that I was already an AMC Stubs Insider (their free membership program), but either way, signing up for the A-List membership was a breeze. I signed up directly on their app and was able to start using the service immediately.
This was already a huge improvement from MoviePass. With their service, I not only had to sign up on a computer, but was also forced to wait days for my subscription card to arrive in the mail before I could actually see any movies.
Making reservations and checking in at the theater is a breeze
With AMC Stubs A-List, I can make up to three reservations at a time via the app as soon as tickets go on sale. There are no blackout dates and I don't have to be within 100 yards of the theaters to reserve a ticket, as MoviePass requires. Once I arrive for my show, I just walk up to the theater concierge and scan my ticket directly from my phone.
Restrictions are a thing of the past … mostly
AMC Stubs A-List may be twice as expensive as MoviePass is at $9.95 a month, but it makes up for the price difference with fewer restrictions and better perks. On the days when MoviePass was actually working, I had to scramble to get to the theater early to reserve a ticket (due to the aforementioned 100 yards rule) and, eventually, couldn't see popular films that were once included in the subscription. I also had to upload photos of my ticket stubs to verify purchases and couldn't see a film more than once.
Now with AMC, I don't have to keep track of any paper stubs and can see a movie as many times as I please. This repeat movie perk is the best one of all, particularly for someone like me who saw "Avengers: Infinity War" seven times in theaters (don't ask me why.)
Smuggling snacks into the theater is no longer necessary
I've been that person before, the one who brought in their own candy, drinks, and popcorn. Once, I even smuggled in a bowl of Chipotle. Not because I'm wildly cheap, but because movie theater concessions are ridiculously expensive.
Sure, MoviePass allowed me to see a movie a day, but there were no perks on theater food. Fortunately, with AMC Stubs A-List there is. In addition to scoring a free large popcorn and drink combo on my birthday, I also earn 100 points for every $1 spent on concessions or extra tickets (beyond those three a week). Every $50 spent equals 5,000 points, which converts into a $5 reward.
For someone who goes to theaters as often as I do, this reward isn't hard to come by and those Reese's Cups I used to smuggle in inside my purse are more affordable (if not free).
Additionally, A-List members enjoy free size upgrades on popcorn and fountain drinks and priority lanes at the box office and concession stands. If you've ever gone to an opening night showing of a popular film, you'll identify with how good of a feeling it is to not have to wait in a long concession line, especially when the theater doesn't have reserved seating.
Overall, it was more than worth the investment
Snack rewards, simple service, and general access to films make AMC Stubs A-List a great alternative to MoviePass in its current state. Best of all, the terms and fees won't change in the middle of service as they did for me with MoviePass.
Once you sign up for AMC Stubs A-List, the price and perks are guaranteed for one full year. So, while it's double the cost of MoviePass, you definitely won't regret switching.
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Before making it as a WWE superstar, aspiring professional wrestlers first have to learn the fundamentals of working in the ring. The New York Wrestling Connection in Deer Park, NY offers the chance to get one-on-one instruction from a seasoned performer. Bull James spent three years working for WWE as "Bull Dempsey" in the company's NXT promotion.
After being released by WWE in 2016, Dempsey became the head trainer at NYWC, which counts as alumni current WWE superstars like Tony Nese, Curt Hawkins, and Zack Ryder.
We attended an intense practice session at NYWC and talked to Dempsey about what it takes to take the first step towards becoming a WWE superstar.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Bull James: Okay, stop. So...
Narrator: If you want to make it as a professional wrestler...
Narrator: You've got to learn the basics of working in the ring.
James: Schoolboy. Wait for me to take you.
Narrator: Many WWE superstars start out at schools like this one: The New York Wrestling Connection in Deer Park, New York on Long Island. Some of the school's alumni are current WWE superstars like Tony Nese, Zack Ryder, and Curt Hawkins.
James: No choking!
Narrator: At NYWC, students get one-on-one instruction from former WWE superstar Bull James.
WWE Announcer: Going to the top rope, maybe trying to put away Baron Corbin! Diving headbutt!
Narrator: James spent three years in WWE's NXT promotion where he was known as "Bull Dempsey."
Announcer: Dempsey grabbing hold of a steel chair!
James: Best three years of my life, hands down. Just traveling the world with a great group of people. Learning from some of the best minds in the history of our industry.
Narrator: After being released by WWE in 2016, James became the head coach at NYWC. The school charges students $200 for their first month of training. And $150 for each subsequent month, which comes out to around $1800 for a full year.
James: Here, you are paying us to train, so it really just comes down to how bad that person wants it. If they want to put their all into it and be here every day and make the sacrifices and take the bumps and bruises, cool. And if they don't, then they don't. This right here is where the magic happens.
Narrator: The students get to train in a real 18x18 foot ring.
Graham Flanagan: How would you describe the surface of the ring?
James: Hard! Everybody thinks there's like a spring underneath. Not true. It's wood and steel, padding maybe is that thick, so. Your body builds up a callus. If you can handle it, then you know, you got a shot.
Narrator: The students learn the fundamentals of the sport.
James: Give him a receipt.
Narrator: The basic rolls, holds, and throws.
James: Everything is based around having good footwork. I won't let them get in the ring unless their feet are right. Nope, do it again. It's all repetition. So, you're gonna do it over and over again the right way and then it just becomes muscle memory.
Narrator: To make the in-ring battles look real students have to learn the art of "selling" or making it look like they're actually in pain.
James: Reacting with your face and body in a way to make people emotionally invest in what you're doing. I don't think anybody can really ever teach selling. You either develop it or you don't. Every hold that you see is a real hold. If you are going to treat the hold properly during a match, you need to know what it feels like. Nobody's gonna get stretched to where they're hurt. You'll just feel a little bit and go, "Okay, yeah I don't want that on."
Narrator: Advanced students get the chance to showcase what they've learned in real matches. Along with being a school, NYWC is an independent wrestling promotion that puts on shows in the Long Island area. One of the school's up-and-coming students is Jaden Valo. At only 18-years-old, Valo is already showing huge potential.
Jaden Valo: Ever since the first time I watched it something drew me into it, you know? Wanting to entertain people, wanting to be a part of something like, something huge like this.
Narrator: Jaden is a senior in high school and uses the money he earns from a part-time job as a lifeguard to pay to train at NYWC.
James: Turn it up, Jaden!
Valo: Being able to work with someone so often, especially, you know, three days a week, being able to spend these hours with him. He has so much knowledge. He has so much stuff to share with everybody else, every one of the new students. Having him as, like, a coach is kind of like one of the main things that is gonna help me in the future for sure.
Narrator: NYWC offers the students the tools they need to get started in the business, but after that it's up to them to see it through.
James: If you're coachable and you're willing to learn you're gonna go so much farther than somebody that shuts off and thinks they know everything. Why do I have this?
Student: So you can control.
James: When I have head-control you're going anywhere I put you. I don't let people fail. They can fail themselves but I won't fail them as a coach. Before you roll backwards grab his ankles and pull him over. You build confidence and trust from other people in you by just, simply just not quitting.