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- 01/16/16--09:00: _The doctor treating...
- 01/16/16--09:03: _Here's the story be...
- 01/16/16--09:18: _George Clooney is s...
- 01/16/16--09:48: _Surprising NFL secr...
- 01/16/16--10:59: _Tracy Morgan is sta...
- 01/16/16--12:53: _FX boss says Netfli...
- 01/16/16--14:05: _I talked with Oculu...
- 01/16/16--15:20: _6 things we know wi...
- 01/17/16--07:10: _'Saturday Night Liv...
- 01/17/16--07:23: _A deleted scene fro...
- 01/17/16--08:13: _'Ride Along 2' beat...
- 01/17/16--08:30: _Here's why Golden G...
- 01/17/16--10:11: _Netflix defends its...
- 01/17/16--11:17: _Netflix renewed its...
- 01/17/16--11:43: _5 of the most succe...
- 01/17/16--14:46: _If there's one movi...
- 01/17/16--15:04: _'Making a Murderer'...
- 01/17/16--16:36: _Netflix exec bashes...
- 01/17/16--17:41: _'Fuller House' crea...
- 01/18/16--04:36: _Here's everything w...
- 01/16/16--09:48: Surprising NFL secrets that even the biggest fans don't know
- 01/16/16--15:20: 6 things we know will happen on Fox's 'X-Files' return
- 01/17/16--07:10: 'Saturday Night Live' savages GOP debate with outrageous sketch
- 01/17/16--10:11: Netflix defends its ratings secrecy against competition's criticism
- 01/17/16--11:43: 5 of the most successful 'Shark Tank' stories of all time
- 01/17/16--14:46: If there's one movie you should watch before the Oscars, this is it
- 01/18/16--04:36: Here's everything we know about the Super Bowl ads so far
Actor Charlie Sheen, who went on NBC's "Today" show last November to confirm rumors that he was HIV-positive, now claims he is no longer taking his HIV medications and is seeking alernative treatment in Mexico, People magazine is reporting.
According to People, the actor announced on "The Dr. Oz Show" that he had been off his meds for a week and was getting treatment from a physician named Sam Chachoua, who is not licensed to practice medicine in the US, according to the show's host Mehmet Oz.
Chachoua reportedly told Oz he was so confident in his treatment that he had injected himself with some of Sheen's blood — probably not a good idea considering that HIV is spread by direct contact with blood and certain other bodily fluids.
"I drew some blood from him and I injected myself with it and I said, 'Charlie, if I don't know what I'm doing, then we're both in trouble now aren't we?'" Chachoua reportedly told Oz by phone.
The National Enquirer tabloid first reported in November that Sheen had contracted the virus and that some of his sexual partners weren't aware. But Sheen maintains that he told all his partners of his HIV status, adding that many threatened to blackmail him for a sum totaling "into the millions."
At the time Sheen appeared on the Today Show last November, his physician Robert Huizenga, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at UCLA, said Sheen had been put on a cocktail of strong antiviral drugs, and that the HIV was undetectable in his blood.
The actor had achieved what is known in the medical community as viral suppression by taking a three-drug cocktail known as antiretroviral therapy, or ART. This is not a cure, it just means the virus has been reduced to an undetectable level in the body, where it is unable to multiply and wipe out the immune system.
Many people who take their medication consistently can achieve viral suppression in three to six months, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
No longer undetectable
However, Sheen reportedly told Oz the virus has now returned to detectable levels.
"I'm a little off my game because right before I walked out here, I got some results I was disappointed about," he told Oz, according to People. "I had been non-detectable, non-detectable and checking the blood every week and then found out the numbers are back up."
Sheen said he does not recommend the alternative treatment he received to everyone.
His doctor, Huizenga, was also in the audience of "The Dr. Oz Show," and reportedly told Sheen, "It would just break my heart if you did anything where you threw that opportunity ... away and went back to where we were several decades ago."
As far as we know, Sheen does not have AIDS, a condition in which the virus has dramatically suppressed the immune system, leaving the patient susceptible to infections and rare types of cancer.
About 35 million people were living with HIV worldwide as of 2013, according to the World Health Organization, and about 1.5 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses that year. But thanks to antiretroviral drugs, the virus no longer has to be a death sentence for those like Sheen.
A 'hard 3 letters to absorb'
On the "Today" Show in November, Sheen said he did not know how he contracted the virus. He said he had unprotected sex with two people since he learned of the HIV diagnosis and that his doctor was monitoring both of them.
Sheen said he learned he had HIV four years ago, after suffering from extreme migraines and "sweating the bed." Thinking he might have a brain tumor, he was hospitalized. But after numerous tests, doctors confirmed he had HIV.
One of the reasons HIV can go long periods before being diagnosed is that its earliest symptoms can mirror those of the flu — many people experience a fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and swollen glands. The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested.
"It's a hard three letters to absorb," the actor said. "It's a turning point in one's life."
At the time, Sheen said he was on a "triple cocktail" of HIV medications and took four pills a day. He added that since his diagnosis he had never missed taking his medication.
His doctor said, however, that there was still a very small chance that Sheen could pass the virus to sexual partners even if he continued his treatment and used protection.
Donald Trump's campaign typically kicks off his rallies with a playlist of bombastic pop hits.
Wednesday's rally was in large part no different. Only this time, the music was accompanied by a trio of children singing and dancing to an original song dedicated to the Republican presidential front-runner himself.
"Cowardice, are you serious? Apologies for freedom — I can't handle this! When freedom rings, answer the call!" they blared. "On your feet, stand up tall! Freedom's on our shoulders, USA! Enemies of freedom face the music. Come on boys, take them down!"
The group, which calls itself the USA Freedom Kids, was formed by Jeff Popick, a Trump supporter whose 8-year-old daughter, Alexis, is one of its members.
"Donald Trump far and away is the No. 1 guy to protect our freedoms. And we need that because we're coming off the heels of a guy who doesn't even get the concept," Popick told Business Insider in a phone interview on Thursday.
Popick himself wrote the lyrics for the Trump tribute song. He said it was originally written about US Army Gen. George Patton, whom he revered since he first saw the 1970 biopic, "Patton."
After watching Trump's campaign-announcement speech in June, the self-described band-manager and lyricist said he was inspired to make a more contemporary alteration to the song on the fly.
"I was watching when Donald Trump announced his candidacy, and he talked about the need for a strong military. And I remember him saying that, 'We're going to find the next Gen. George Patton," Popick said. "When Donald Trump said that, I was inspired to make it even more contemporary than it already was, and make it more about Donald Trump."
Popick has major ambitions for the group, whose three main members are under the age of 12. Those kids have been working together for about six months after Popick and a former "Kidz Bop" employee assembled the group together during casting calls in South Florida.
The group is currently in the studio recording covers of classics like "America The Beautiful" and "Grand Old Flag," and has shot a music video inspired by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But Popick said the group is focusing most on recording re-interpretations of older patriotic songs set to what he described as a combination of "electronic dance music, hip-hop, and dub-step," an EDM subgenre.
Popick said he first reached out to the Trump campaign, concerned that he could be sued over the song. Instead, they began a dialogue with the campaign that eventually led the USA Freedom Kids to open for Trump at his Wednesday-night rally.
Asked about whether the children's families were concerned about the political nature of the lyrics, Popick said the parents of the other children in the band were "very supportive" of the his decision to dedicate the song to Trump, and were Trump supporters themselves.
"It wasn't a requisite or prerequisite for them, but yeah, we are all on board," Popick said.
Popick said he's hoping that the Trump track isn't a one-hit wonder, but is instead a launching pad for the group's patriotic and political tracks. USA Freedom Girls already released a song called "National Anthem Pt. II," a song about "riding the wave of freedom."
And "there may be one other song that is, if you want to say, political," Popick said.
"For me, it is all about freedom," he said.
"Ocean's 11" stars George Clooney and Julia Roberts are costarring in the coming financial-news thriller "Money Monster," directed by Jodie Foster.
Clooney plays financial-news personality Lee Gates, the so-called Wizard of Wall Street who hosts the stock-picking TV show "Money Monster." Roberts plays Gates' producer, Patty Fenn.
The show seems very similar to Jim Cramer's "Mad Money."
The plot centers on Gates, his crew, and Fenn being held hostage on live television by an enraged investor who lost money on a tech stock that Gates had pitched as a good investment.
The movie debuts in theaters in May.
Watch the trailer below:
Tracy Morgan could return to TV with an FX comedy series.
FX announced the project during the Television Critics Association press tour on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Morgan will star in and develop the project, on which Jordan Peele (Comedy Central's "Key and Peele") will serve as an executive producers.
This project follows after a previous TV deal with FX was derailed by Morgan's injuries and recuperation from a car crash. FX Networks CEO, John Landgraf, said FX has always planned on upholding its commitment to Morgan.
The new comedy project follows Morgan's character, a career criminal, who's released from prison after 15 long years, hoping to reintegrate into a society that long ago left him behind. Fresh out of prison, his only expertise is making grilled cheese with an iron. Now, he must navigate a modern world of political correctness, internet, and self-driving cars.
This would be Morgan's first TV series since starring for seven seasons on NBC's "30 Rock." Production on the project will begin this summer, but it's important to remember that many pilots never make it to TV.
John Carcieri ("Eastbound & Down"), Eric Tannenbaum ("Two and a Half Men"), and Joel Zadak ("Key and Peele") will serve as executive producers alongside Morgan and Peele on the half-hour comedy pilot.
Netflix's lack of transparency when it comes to its show viewership has certainly been under the microscope during the current Television Critics Association press tour.
Earlier this week, NBC reported to journalists that it had potentially engineered a way to closely estimate the amount of viewers for Netflix's original series.
On Saturday at TCA, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, who has been pushing for Netflix viewing numbers for years, told journalists that Netflix's level of secrecy doesn't make sense to him.
"I think it’s ridiculous that we don’t have usage numbers on Netflix," Landgraf said.
He went on to conclude, "There’s probably some information that a national security apparatus has the right to keep secret. That’s important for our national security. I don’t know that I feel the same way about television usage data."
As for NBC's numbers for Netflix ratings, Landgraf believes they could be more accurate.
"I think those numbers that [NBC's] Alan Wurtzel provided are directional more than anything else," he said. "I mean, I look at the methodology underlying it, and it doesn’t feel rigorous enough to say those numbers."
During the panel, Landgraf revealed that FX wanted the Aziz Ansari comedy "Master of None," but Netflix overwhelmed them with more money and other commitments FX couldn't beat. Yet he challenged the streaming company's bottom line versus that of more traditional TV networks.
"There’s a perception that’s very carefully cultivated by Silicon Valley that essentially they’re going to take over everything, they don’t have to be held to the same standards in terms of earnings because you’re buying the future."
He then added, "So we have to return a profit to our shareholders and our board of directors and we have to grow that profit year in and year out; and nobody pays attention to the profitability of many of our competitors."
A lot has changed since the last time I talked to Palmer Luckey, the 23-year-old creator of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
We last spoke over the phone back in 2013 when the Oculus Rift was still a runaway Kickstarter project, back before the team showed Mark Zuckerberg a prototype. Zuckerberg loved it, calling it "one of the coolest things I've ever seen," and Facebook ended up paying $2 billion for Oculus a year later.
That means Luckey is now a multi-millionaire — Forbes pegs his net worth at $700 million — and I point out how surreal that must feel, reaching that level of wealth a few short years after giving up his journalism studies to pursue virtual reality full time.
"This may sound — everyone says this — but it’s not about the money," says Luckey, who's wearing a blue polo shirt and fidgeting with a bottle of water. We're sitting at a round table inside of a small demo room deep within the Oculus booth at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Luckey was studying to become a tech journalist when he decided to pursue his vision.
"I didn’t get into tech journalism for the money, I didn’t get into VR for the money. When I was in tech journalism, I thought I was taking a break from school after Oculus took off. That seemed like the riskier path at the time. Like ‘I’m almost done with my degree in tech journalism, am I really going to give up my career in tech journalism for this wacky VR thing?’ Well that sounded like a lot of fun, so I’m going to go do that."
The journey has just begun
So Luckey dropped out of college and the gamble paid off, but Luckey's personality — quirky but genuine, laid-back but you can still tell his mind is thinking a mile a minute — is a refreshing break from that of the usual Silicon Valley tech startup founder. This is the guy who originally planned to simply sell the plans for building the Oculus Rift to virtual reality enthusiasts so they could build it themselves, the cheapest way at the time to get the technology into people's hands.
He's no longer hacking together prototypes in his garage. Now he's working within the Oculus headquarters on Facebook's campus. He lives nearby in a large house he shares with six other people — "All but one is from Oculus," he says — and things have been steadily ramping up over the past year.
Two weeks ago, Oculus reached a major milestone as pre-orders for the consumer version Oculus Rift went live. The site was flooded with people willing to fork over $600 for a chance to get in on the ground floor of virtual reality. While he says he can't talk about any solid sales numbers because "financial disclosure stuff," the shipping date for new pre-orders has already slipped from March to July.
I ask Luckey what's going through his mind at this point, days after pre-orders went live.
"Launching pre-orders is relatively easy compared to shipping a product. So it’s not like ‘What a weight off your shoulders!’, when in reality, taking pre-orders is the point where you are finally making an actual, solid commitment to when you’re going to ship, and how much you’re going to ship for, and you can’t stumble between when you do that and when you’re supposed to ship. It’s actually not a weight off of my shoulders at all."
So the stress levels are actually getting kicked up a notch?
"It's impossible to do that," he says, laughing before adding "but it's a good time, don't get me wrong."
A controversial price tag
The price did cause some controversy. The headset will cost $600, and that's not including the powerful gaming computer required to run the thing. Luckey and Oculus execs had said in years past they were targeting somewhere in the $200 to $400 range, but even after Luckey began hinting that the final price tag could be even higher, there were many that took to Twitter and virtual reality forums to voice their displeasure.
"It’s also worth noting that there’s a difference in reaction to the price between people who are buying it and people who aren’t," he says. "We are selling a ton of Rifts."
But Luckey is also quick to admit there was a bit of disconnect between the price people were expecting and what was announced.
"People have valid criticisms of the way we handled the messaging around our price. I think the price criticisms around what it cost are slightly less valid, but at the same time, people’s concerns are still valid. When they say ‘This isn’t going to be mainstream,’ I could talk about how reducing the cost of our headset from $599 to $499 doesn’t really matter when the all-in cost for a non-gamer is still gonna be $1400 to $1500 [including a computer to run it]. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of people who do have graphics cards that are already compatible, and for them the cost of the headset is really the only cost, and from their perspective, I totally get what they’re saying."
Luckey argues that all of his decisions have been increasingly long-term when compared to back when the Rift was a Kickstarter project. The Facebook acquisition allowed the team to shift its focus from simply making something accessible to "making the best," and so the company's strategy shifted, and they also partnered with Samsung to ship the $99 Gear VR headset on the side to ensure people could buy an entry-level headset that would work with their Samsung phone.
"We are attacking the high-end, trying to build the best thing possible, and we are working on Gear VR, which is $99, works with the tens of millions of people who have modern Samsung phones. The reality is, these are decisions are all mine and Oculus', and it’s because we think they’re the best decisions for the long term. And we haven’t abandoned gaming, we haven’t abandoned the high end, we also haven’t abandoned the low end. It’s really hard to keep every group of people happy when everyone wants a different thing."
The $600 price tag could have easily been higher too. Oculus maintains it's selling the Rift "at cost," and it's opting to ship with an Xbox One controller and wireless remote instead of including its Touch motion controllers that give players the chance to see their hands tracked in VR. The Touch controllers, held in each hand, allow you to pick up objects, give a thumbs up to other players, or use them as virtual guns during a firefight.
In most games, aside from flight simulators (where a joystick would feel more natural) or driving simulators (which feel best with a steering wheel), the Touch controllers definitely up the immersion levels. At this point, they feel like a solid first attempt at solving the issue of hand input in VR, but they're not a requirement for every experience.
Luckey and the Oculus team know this — they've purchased a slew of computer vision startups in the past couple of years that all involve hand tracking — but they still need to give game developers the time to build rich games and experiences that incorporate this tech, even its Touch controllers.
Avoiding Microsoft's Xbox One-Kinect debacle
When talking about the decision to ship the Touch controllers separately and in the latter half of 2016, the best parallel to make is when Microsoft announced it was bundling its body-tracking Kinect sensor with every Xbox One, without the option to purchase just the game console. The decision caused a huge controversy, and after Sony announced the PlayStation 4 would be launching for $100 less than the Xbox One, Microsoft eventually ended up reversing its decision.
Luckey doesn't want to repeat that mistake.
"That’s kind of one of the things that we looked at when we thought about bundling Touch," Luckey says. "Do we really want to bundle this thing that is significantly raising the cost, and making the barrier to entry higher, when a lot of people are going to say ‘Why did you bundle this stupid s---, I don’t want it.’ Now I might think it’s super cool and important, but a lot of people wouldn’t want it, and what we wouldn’t want to do is promise developers we were going to bundle Touch, get them worked up around building Touch games, and then say ‘Just kidding, we’re not bundling it.’ That would have led to fallout. So we’ve been kind of executing on the same plan for a long time, and we have an aggressive timeline, but it’s a realistic timeline."
After finally getting the chance to try these titles on one of Oculus' latest engineering samples for the consumer edition of the Rift, I'm convinced: 2016 is going to be The Year of VR.
Even without the Touch controllers, these games are insanely fun to play, and the immersion is so incredible that anything I would say would sound like hyperbole. (Oculus fans will also be pleased to hear Luckey mentioned that "We've actually made some further improvements from what you're going to get in the box and these show units.")
The craziest thing? The long wait is almost over — the Rift is less than three months away.
About 13 years after "The X-Files" went off the air, the series is back on Fox.
It reunites agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) for an adventure that promises to both honor the shows roots and redefine them.
"It's a re-entry into a series that hasn't been on the air for 13 years. I think you needed to get back into the characters' lives, their quest, where they are, where their relationship is and where their professional lives are," Carter said of the series return.
The show will have to do all that in just six episodes, which will consist of two "mythology" episodes, which are part of the show's through-line story, and four "one-off" episodes that could stand alone.
"The signature of the show was that we would do a mythology episode, then you could do a monster-of-the-week episode and go right back to the mythology episode and it worked," Carter said. "In this case, there are only six episodes so we had to do it in a shorter arc."
Although there's a lot of questions to be answered on "The X-Files," we do know something about what's coming up.
Here are six things we know about the upcoming "X-Files" return:
(Needless to say, there are spoilers for ahead.)
Joel McHale's character will help to place Mulder and Scully on a direct path to answers (and then more questions)
Joel McHale's character, a conservative web-series host named Tad O'Malley, will have great influence on Mulder and Scully. In fact, he will help them discover that they have been chasing the wrong enemy all these years.
"It takes a big right turn for the mythology of the show and it puts it into a contemporary context that you couldn’t have gotten to without the 12 to 13 years in between the time we went off the air and now," Carter told Business Insider after the TCA panel. "It’s of its time and obviously you couldn’t have done this in 2003."
The story relies heavily on conspiracy theories.
Chris Carter feels we're living in the scariest time of our lives and used that feeling to write this season.
“We’re living in a time where there’s a tremendous amount of distrust toward authority, the government, even the media,” he noted. “I’ve cherry-picked some of the things that are frightening to me and if even one of them comes true, it’ll be a very bad thing for America… It’s an interesting time to be shining lights into the darkness.”
The Lone Gunmen will be back (kind of).
The Lone Gunmen, which was the basis of a failed "X-Files" spinoff, will make a cameo 0n the upcoming season -- even though they died on the show's ninth season.
"The way that you see them return will explain itself. We don't just bring them back as live characters. They are back in a completely different way. They are actually back in a fantasy," Carter revealed.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
"Saturday Night Live" skewered Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for attacking Donald Trump over the reality-television star's "New York Values."
This week, Cruz has attempted to undermine the presidential front-runner in Iowa and New Hampshire by saying that Trump represents New York values, which according to Cruz, are inferior to values in the two key primary states.
"The rest of the country knows exactly what New York values are, and I gotta say, they’re not Iowa values and they’re not New Hampshire values,” Cruz told Fox News.
Saturday night's episode of "SNL" mocked the candidate's thinly veiled dig at New York stereotypes, with Cruz, played by Taran Killam, describing "New York values" as scenes from the 1990's sitcom "Seinfeld."
“I think most people know exactly what 'New York values’ are, and frankly, they are not the rest of the country’s values. Instead of celebrating Christmas, New Yorkers celebrate a pagan holiday called ‘Festivus,’" Killam said. "Instead of watching American football, they challenge each other to masturbation contests. In New York, people don’t say ‘Hi’ to their neighbors, they say, ‘Hello, Newman."
When "pressed" by the fictional Fox Business debate moderators about why he was describing "Seinfeld," the fictional Cruz dropped the pretense.
“Believe me, if I could say ‘liberal Jews,’ I would,” Killam said.
The skit also jabbed at Trump's frequent questions about Cruz's eligibility to run for president because he was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father.
"Clearly I'm not Canadian. Canadian's are well liked. I am not. Canadians are rugged and outdoorsy, where I myself am mostly made of pudding," Killam said.
Cruz wasn't the only target for mockery during the fake debate.
"SNL" also poked fun former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) seemingly canned one-liners, as well as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) frequent, repetitive tough-talking criticism of President Barack Obama.
The sketch also made reference to the debate organizers' decision to rely on national polls to determine which candidates qualified for the debate. Late in the "debate," Christie, played by Bobby Moynihan, got booted from the stage for dipping below 3% support in national polls.
Watch the skit below, via NBC:
Maz Kanata's castle plays a larger part in "The Force Awakens" than the character herself, but she's more powerful than you realized watching the film.
In an interview with Collider, "Star Wars" SFX supervisor Chris Corbould reveals that Maz has abilities that ultimately didn't make the film's final cut.
The motion-capture character, played by Lupita Nyong'o, tells Rey (Daisy Ridley) that she knows the Force, though she's not a Jedi.
In a cut scene, Maz uses the Force to stop advancing stormtroopers.
"There was a particular part of a scene that never made it, where they go underneath the castle and they’re going into the underground passageways, and stormtroopers are coming down the stairs and Maz uses her powers to collapse the ceiling," Corbould said. "From my point of view, [that] worked absolutely brilliantly because you had all the main actors running up and then Maz does her bit and then the whole ceiling collapses in front of them, but that never made it. That was a shot I was quite proud of, actually, it worked really, really well."
Other scenes, like a snowspeeder chase depicted in the film's novelization, were also cut. Some of the deleted scenes will be included on the film's Blu-ray release.
It was going to happen sooner or later. After four weeks at number one in the US box office (and breaking countless domestic and international records), "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has finally been knocked off the top spot.
The comedy "Ride Along 2," with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteaming as the most unlikely cop duo, took in an estimated $34 million to win the weekend, according to Forbes. By the end of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend on Monday the film will likely to be at $39.5 million.
Coming off a leading 12 nominations when the Oscar nominations were announced last week certainly helped "The Revenant," as the Leonardo DiCaprio survival tale came in second with an estimated $29.5 million by Sunday, according to The Hollywood Reporter, a four-day gross of $35 million.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens' dropped to third place with an estimated three-day total of $25 million, $31 million four-day, according to THR. Still an impressive figure for a movie in its fifth week in theaters.
It's now approaching a total of $860 million domestically and over $1.8 billion globally.
Michael Bay's latest movie, "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," performed softer than a typical Bay movie. Coming in fourth place with an estimated $16.8 million ($19 million four-day), according to Deadline, that's the lowest opening for a Bay movie since his first feature, "Bad Boys," back in 1996 (not counting for inflation).
But covering a topic like the 2012 Benghazi attack, with John Krasinski being the most recognizable actor in the cast (and some within the CIA calling the film a "distortion" of the facts), expectations on the film's performance were modest.
Thanks to his performance as pilot Poe Dameron in "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," the world is finally getting to know actor Oscar Isaac. However, he's been giving amazing performances since long before he was cast in "Star Wars."
In fact, people have called Isaac one of the best actors of our generation, comparing him to both Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
He deserves the hype.
Isaac can do just about anything. He is a trained musician, which helped him in his breakthrough performance as a folk singer in "Inside Llewyn Davis," as he sang and played guitar better than most professional musicians. He also has range. He can play quiet and reserved, like in "A Most Violent Year," or straight up goofy, as seen in "Ex Machina."
Despite disappearing for a majority of the "Star Wars" movie, Poe Dameron is still one of the most talked about new characters, which is mostly thanks to Isaac's charisma.
Isaac will play the villain in the upcoming "X-Men: Apocalypse," which will be out in the theaters this summer. He has already stolen the show, and we have only seen one trailer.
This past Sunday, Isaac won his first major award. He was named Best Actor for his performance in HBO miniseries "Show Me a Hero." It is most likely the first of many more to come.
Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Stephen Parkhurst
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Netflix got its chance to respond to a series of criticisms this week from the competition.
Earlier this week at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, NBC's research executive Alan Wurtzel reported to journalists that the network had potentially engineered a way to closely estimate the amount of viewers for Netflix's original series.
On Sunday, Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that their numbers are "remarkably inaccurate" and then joked about the network's obsession with the streaming company's ratings.
“There’s a couple of mysteries in play for me,” Sarandos said. “One is, why would NBC use their lunch slot with you guys to talk about our ratings? Maybe it’s because it’s more fun than talking about NBC ratings.”
As an aside, NBC is currently the No. 1 broadcast network in the ratings most important to advertisers: viewers aged 18 to 49 years old.
Sarandos went on to explain how ratings "make no significant affect" on the streaming giant's business, as their business model depends on subscriber numbers not ad sales according to viewership. He also added that if they did start to report numbers for their shows, it would be bad for business.
"If we turn it into a weekly box score, like TV, it will be negative," he said, explaining that unlike with TV networks, if fans thought their favorite shows were in danger of being canceled by Netflix they would leave the service.
"It only takes one press of a button to cancel Netflix," Sarandos said, revealing that the service has 70 million subscribers, 43 million of those are from the US.
Also this week, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf hinted at Netflix's lack of need to be profitable and therefore it has the ability to overspend on original content. He had revealed that FX wanted Aziz Ansari's "Master of None," but that Netflix outbid them for the show.
Sarandos explained that Netflix's profitability comes from its international business and not its original content. That said, Netflix's model, again unlike TV's need to bring in broad audience numbers, allows the streaming company to produce shows with certain viewers in mind.
"We make shows for 2 million viewers and we make shows for 20 million viewers," he said.
Netflix renewed Marvel's "Jessica Jones'" for a second season, the company announced Sunday amid a flurry of other original show updates.
The company has repeatedly called original content its future and promised a hefty output in 2016, so it's no surprise that it decided to move ahead with "Jones" after all the hype around the first season.
Although Netflix didn't provide any further details about when season two will actually make it to streaming, it did announce that "Orange is the New Black" should hit June 17, the second installment of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" will launch April 15, and new shows "Flaked" and "The Ranch" will debut March 11 and April 1 respectively.
Other announcements: "Grace and Frankie" season two premieres May 6, "Stranger Things" will be available July 15, the first part of "The Get Down" streams August 12, and Judd Apatow's "Love" will launch February 19.
Here's how "Jessica Jones" spread the news from its Twitter account:
One of this year's surprise Oscar contenders is the critically acclaimed but criminally underseen "Room." It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Though it shouldn't be a big surprise, given that it's by far one of the best films of 2015. "Room" tells the story of a young woman (Brie Larson) who is held prisoner for years with her son (Jacob Tremblay). Now, that might sound dark and unbearable, but "Room" doesn't drag you down in misery. That's because it's partially told through the eyes of Jack (Tremblay), who is seeing the world for the first time. It allows you to view every day things through a new perspective.
Nine-year-old Tremblay is amazing, but let's not forget about Larson, who is currently the frontrunner for best actress. It deserves to win a bunch of other awards, as well.
Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Kristen Griffin
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The filmmakers behind Netflix's popular "Making a Murderer" docuseries addressed recent allegations from Steven Avery's ex-fiancee that he abused her during their relationship and why that wasn't included on the show.
An ardent supporter of Avery's on "Making a Murder," Stachowski now says that she believes her former fiance is guilty of murdering Teresa Halbach, an Auto Trader magazine photographer last seen alive on the Avery property.
Reporters wondered why that information of the abuse wasn't included in the documentary.
"I can’t say why Jodi [Stachowski] is saying what she’s saying," director Laura Ricciardi said during Sunday's Television Critics Association Press Tour. "When we filmed with her, that’s what she was saying to us. It was an accurate feeling at the time."
Having no knowledge of the accusations during filming, the directors claimed, they defended themselves against portraying Avery as soft.
"We showed Steven, warts and all," Ricciardi said. "Just because someone comes forward with a narrative doesn’t make it accurate, doesn’t make it true."
The filmmakers made it clear that they went into the project more than a decade ago with the desire to examine the American judicial system.
"We chose [Avery] because of his unique status of being failed by the system in 1985 and for 18 years after that. We were looking at how someone like him could find himself arrested for a new crime," Moira Demos explained.
On whether they believe that Avery is innocent, Ricciardi said, "There are so many questions on the reliability of this prosecution that you have to doubt the resulting decisions."
During this week's press tour for the Television Critics Association, NBC Universal research exec Alan Wurtzel caused a stir when he he revealed Netflix ratings numbers for shows like "Jessica Jones" and "Master of None."
Today, Netflix fired back, calling the data "remarkably inaccurate" (and bashing NBC's own ratings in the process).
Wurtzel had highlighted data from San Francisco tech firm Symphony that showed how many viewers several Netflix and Amazon original shows received, including superhero drama "Jessica Jones", which he said had an average of 4.8 million viewers ages 18-49. The estimates piqued a lot of interest because Netflix has always refused to reveal any of its viewership numbers.
Netflix has long argued that because the company makes money through subscriptions and not advertising, viewership has no reflection on its business and would serve only to stifle creativity.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said during his own TCA presentation on Sunday that he hoped NBC didn't "spend any money" on the Symphony research since it was "really remarkably inaccurate data."
"There’s a couple of mysteries in play for me," Sarandos continued, according to Business Insider's Jethro Nededog. "One is, why would NBC use their lunch slot with you guys to talk about our ratings? Maybe it’s because it’s more fun than talking about NBC ratings."
He went on to explain that Netflix doesn't even track demographics like age group, but that it does create shows for niche and broad audiences alike.
"We make shows for 2 million viewers and we make shows for 20 million viewers," he said.
Although Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen decided to sit out the first season "Full House" spin-off, "Fuller House," its creator Jeff Franklin remains optimistic.
“I tried," Franklin told reporters during Sunday's Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles. "We all tried to persuade them to come and play. They decided not to at this time. We’re hopeful at some point in the future, they may change their minds and reprise Michelle. We only need one of them!”
After a series of back-and-forth conversations with the Olsen sisters about reprising their role as the Tanner family's youngest daughter, the women decided to pass because they didn't consider themselves actresses anymore. The multi-millionaire twins now run several fashion businesses.
In their desire to fill the role, producers also approached the twins' younger sister, "Avengers" star Elizabeth Olsen, but she passed on the offer.
At any rate, the creator says there are no hard feelings wih the Olsen Twins.
“I’m sure we’ve all had family reunions and not everyone shows up, but we still love them and the door is always open and I hope it happens,” Franklin said.
Even without the twins, the show will make a funny reference to Michelle Tanner, though Franklin said it was all in good fun. “It wasn’t meant to be a dig. It was meant to be a playful wink,” Franklin said.
"Fuller House" follows oldest daughter D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) repeating history after becoming recently widowed with two sons. Sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmy (Andrea Barber) move in to help D.J.
Stamos, Bob Saget, Lori Loughlin, and Dave Coulier also reprise their roles for the spin-off.
Franklin's reference to future seasons, of course, isn't a reality as of yet. The series premieres on February 26 and Netflix has yet to announce a second season renewal.
Super Bowl 50 is fast-approaching and some brands have already released teasers about the ads they will be airing during the big game.
The average cost of a 30-second slot during the Super Bowl has soared to $5 million this year — up 11% on the highest price last year's broadcaster NBC banked for its Super Bowl commercials. This year's broadcaster, CBS, has hinted that the last available ad space could even fetch as much as $6 million.
Here's everything we know so far about which brands are advertising during the Super Bowl and what they've got planned.
We've organized the brands in alphabetical order for ease of navigation. We'll keep updating this post right up until February 7, when you can follow our live coverage.
The automaker's ad will air during the first quarter and will serve to launch the new $156,000 NSX supercar — the most expensive car ever advertised in a Super bowl ad, according to I4U News.
There are not any more details out on the creative, yet.
Acura last featured in the Super Bowl in 2012, with a 60-second spot starring Jerry Seinfeld. Here's that ad:
Avocados From Mexico
Avocados From Mexico is making its second Super Bowl appearance, following last year's hit debut campaign "First Draft Ever."
The spot will run during the first commercial break, Adweek reported. Avocados From Mexico has not yet revealed details about the creative direction of the ad.
Here's last year's spot:
The Daily Mail got the scoop on the Bud Light campaign, airing a series of photos showing UFC Ronda Rousey and comic actors Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer on the set of the Super Bowl commercial shoot.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider