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- 01/06/17--05:00: _Here's who's going ...
- 01/06/17--06:30: _The new 'Resident E...
- 01/06/17--06:52: _Trump mocks Arnold ...
- 01/06/17--08:04: _I got a sneak peek ...
- 01/06/17--08:51: _Schwarzenegger snap...
- 01/06/17--09:10: _Pandora is falling ...
- 01/06/17--10:01: _Nintendo's newest g...
- 01/06/17--10:56: _Michelle Obama chok...
- 01/06/17--11:32: _An intimate new doc...
- 01/06/17--13:30: _This three-screen l...
- 01/06/17--14:13: _Tony Stark becomes ...
- 01/07/17--05:15: _30 beloved stars wh...
- 01/07/17--06:00: _RIP: Here are the o...
- 01/07/17--07:05: _Idris Elba explains...
- 01/07/17--07:40: _One man spent 5 yea...
- 01/07/17--12:13: _NBC's 'Emerald City...
- 01/08/17--05:15: _The 13 most shockin...
- 01/08/17--06:05: _Scientists identifi...
- 01/08/17--06:30: _A YouTube star with...
- 01/08/17--07:30: _The biggest surpris...
- 01/06/17--06:30: The new 'Resident Evil' game looks like a new 'Resident Evil' movie
- Liberty Media/SiriusXM: "Liberty’s CEO has been reported by CNBC to have acknowledged the benefits of a P/Sirius merger and was reported by the Wall Street Journal to have made an informal $15 offer for P. Liberty Media is 65% owner of Sirius XM. Further, P’s activist shareholder has publicly endorsed a tie-up between P and Liberty/SiriusXM."
- Spotify: "A potential merger of Spotify and Pandora has also been discussed in the press, including Forbes. We believe synergies would be substantial as it relates to product development, marketing, salesforce, content delivery, royalty tracking/reporting, back office, demographics, data, local, in-auto, upsell, and programmatic. A reverse merger could provide Spotify an alternative to an IPO and a liquidity event for its investors."
- Others: "The suitors that make most sense to us are mobile-first and acquisitive with an ad business and amenable to an inside plus feet-on-the-street salesforce model. We believe this includes Verizon and to a lesser extent AT&T."
- It's called Nintendo Switch.
- It's scheduled to launch in March 2017.
- Nintendo has a gaggle of games starring its most prominent creations in the works.
- 01/06/17--13:30: This three-screen laptop is both amazing and ridiculous
- 01/07/17--05:15: 30 beloved stars who died in 2016
- 01/07/17--06:00: RIP: Here are the only 4 shows Netflix has ever canceled
- 01/07/17--07:05: Idris Elba explains why he's over the rumors that he's the next Bond
- 01/07/17--07:40: One man spent 5 years creating an incredible 'Minecraft' universe
- 01/07/17--12:13: NBC's 'Emerald City' is a beautiful journey through Oz
- 01/08/17--05:15: The 13 most shocking snubs of the 2017 Golden Globes
- 01/08/17--06:05: Scientists identified what makes a joke funny
All the big hitters from film and television will hobnob this Sunday at the first major award show of the year, the Golden Globes.
In movies, the frontrunners are "Manchester by the Sea" and "Moonlight" in the drama category while over on the comedy/musical side "La La Land" is the favorite (and it could take home awards in multiple categories).
Over on TV, FX is most likely going to rule the day with drama "The People v. O.J. Simpson" and Donald Glover comedy "Atlanta." But they should watch out for challenges from Netflix's "The Crown," HBO's "Westworld," and Amazon's "Mozart in the Jungle."
Which movies, TV shows, and stars are most likely to hold the gold this year? Here's who we think will be taking home Globes in 2017:
DON'T MISS: The 10 best TV shows of 2016, ranked
“Hell or High Water”
“Manchester by the Sea”
What will win: "Moonlight"
The movie has quickly become an award-season darling, adored by critics and audiences alike. It's worthy of the top honor.
What could win: "Manchester by the Sea"
Critics have instantly taken to "Manchester" since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival early last year. With only 90 or so members in the Hollywood Foreign Press, the movie doesn't have to win over many for it to take the prize.
“20th Century Women”
“La La Land”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
What will win: "La La Land"
This incredible modern musical about love and how ambition gets in the way is powerful for so many reasons. It would be a complete shock if it didn't win.
What could win: It's "La La Land" or bust.
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Who will win: Damien Chazelle ("La La Land")
With Chazelle's imaginative vision and his homage to the musicals of the past, it's hard to see him not winning the award.
Who could win: Barry Jenkins ("Moonlight")
If the HFPA leans more toward the top dramas of the year, it's likely they would favor Jenkins' powerful story of a man's life through three important stages.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
There are few moments in video games that fans remember as vividly as an early scene in the first "Resident Evil" game. Your crew of special agents has split up to explore a seemingly abandoned mansion. You turn a corner and find a humanoid creature bent over another. What's it doing?
It slowly turns to look up at you:
That crucial scene from the first "Resident Evil" game, which debuted on the original PlayStation way back in 1996, set the stage for a franchise that has spawned at least 10 games, countless remakes, and a successful film franchise.
On January 24, the latest entry in the "Resident Evil" series will arrive on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
It's called "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard," and it's an incredible demonstration of how far the franchise has come in the past 20 years.
But it's more than another creepy entry in a creepy series; "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" is a return to the series' roots. Here's what we know:
The first thing to know about "Resident Evil 7: Biohazard" is obvious — it's very pretty:
Much of the game, if not all of it, takes places in an abandoned plantation home. The house is located in the (fictional) town of Dulvey, Louisiana.
The game stars a man named Ethan Winters. He's looking for his wife, Mia, who has gone missing.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
President-elect Donald Trump used Twitter on Friday morning to comment on the lower ratings for the first episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice" with new host Arnold Schwarzenegger, drawing comparisons with his time as host of the show.
"Schwarzenegger got 'swamped' (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for being a movie star," Trump said in his tweets.
It was reported Tuesday that the Monday-night two-hour premiere was seen by 4.9 million live viewers.
Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got "swamped" (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
For adults under the age of 50, the demographic TV advertisers desire most, the show earned a 1.3 rating. The Trump-hosted season-seven premiere in January 2015 was watched by 6.8 million viewers and earned a 2.4 rating among the advertiser demographic.
Trump is still listed as an executive producer on the show.
Schwarzenegger is a registered Republican but said during the lead-up to the presidential election that he would not vote for Trump.
Hulu is starting to give details on its long-talked-about live TV streaming service, and it thinks it can be the one the finally make linear TV feel at home on the internet.
The company is giving press a sneak peek at the upcoming service at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, and after a brief tour of what Hulu’s got thus far, there are reasons to believe it’s on to something.
Let’s be clear upfront: This was a very controlled demo, and Hulu still can't confirm several make-or-break details.
Hulu wouldn’t say how many channels would be included in the service, whether or not there’ll be more than one subscription tier, exactly how much content will be in its on-demand library, how many hours of cloud DVR will be included, how many streams you can have at once, what the search function looks like, a firm release date, a price point besides “under $40,” or even a specific name. I can’t tell you if it’ll be better than its closest competitors — Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Dish’s Sling TV, or AT&T’s DirecTV Now — as a result.
What I can say is that Hulu’s mindset appears to be in the right place, and that the interface it’s created is exceedingly pleasant.
The big idea here is to blur the lines between live and on-demand content. Other services have made that pitch, of course, but too often they’ve felt like handicapped versions of cable at a lower price point. Hulu, meanwhile, seems to be squeezing live TV into something like its existing video on-demand service, instead of making live the number one focus.
How does that work? To start, Hulu has an onboarding procedure where you pick out clusters of shows, networks, and genres you like, so the service can get a sense of your taste. From there, you’re brought to the home screen, which pulls up sets of shows and movies it thinks will be relevant to you. A little selection called the “lineup” will present the most immediate stuff, but next to that will be specific tabs for things like movies, sports, or certain themed collections. A “winter of Bond” tab, for example, showcased a set of James Bond movies.
Hulu’s SVP of product Richard Irving says these recommendations will differ based on the time of day and what device you’re using. If you specifically watch a lot of sports on your phone and tablet, for instance, Irving says that will be prominently presented whenever you open the mobile app. If you tend to watch family comedies on the living room TV, though, you won’t necessarily have a sporting event right front and center. All of this will vary by user profile, too.
In any case, both live and on-demand shows are presented side by side. A little note within each program listing will tell you what’s what, but on the home screen the two aren’t siloed off into separate spheres. Irving says there’s no TV Guide-style channel grid anywhere in the service. Hulu seems to be focused more on upselling its existing subscribers more than pulling in tons of new people, so keeping this sort of nonlinear interface would make sense.
This approach could also make it easier to avoid the shows you’ll never want to watch, but it requires a big library of on-demand shows to really work. Hulu’s big advantage is that it runs a streaming service with that already, which you gain access to when you subscribe here. Irving says more on-demand programming specific to the live service will be included on top of that.
Once you start watching a show, you can pull up a menu of related programs — again with both live and on-demand shows mixed in — or with what’s coming up with that specific channel.
You’re also able to pause and rewind a live program, much like you can with Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. Per usual, though, not every station or show will support it right away. Irving says it’ll work with a “large percentage” of them, but the biggest networks still tend to be protective over their most popular material, and that isn’t changing here.
Either way, you can add whatever shows you like to a “Watch Later” section, which acts as a hub for all the things you’ve marked down as favorites and holds whatever you’ve saved to your cloud DVR. That Hulu’s service even has a cloud DVR gives it a leg up over DirecTV Now, but unlike PlayStation Vue, there’s a limit on how much you can record. Irving wouldn’t say how tight that limit will be. However, he did say that the service will automatically link you back to the SVOD version of a saved show when possible, instead of just copying what aired on the network and using up DVR space.
Though Hulu’s aim is to present you with the things you like, the service still has a section for flipping through whatever’s live now. Like the rest of the service, it’s broken down into little subsections, and presented with a very clean look that’s heavy on big graphics and letters. If nothing else, the service certainly looks good.
The one section I wasn’t able to see was how searching would work. Irving said that the company is working to incorporate tools from the Video Genome Project, a metadata company Hulu acquired late last year, which could allow it to be more granular in its searches. Instead of searching for a specific genre, for instance, you could ostensibly search for what movies in that genre have a specific type of scene.
Though there's promise here, there are still too many unknowns to say if Hulu’s service will be anything good. The company has previously announced content deals with CBS, Time Warner, Disney, and Fox, but it’s still working out the kinks with NBCUniversal (NBC, USA, Bravo, NBCSN, etc.), and we don’t know how much it’s gotten out of its existing deals. Irving couldn’t specify how local affiliates and regional sports networks will be treated, for instance.
We also don’t know if it’ll actually work, since technical issues have been a problem for Hulu’s competitors, particularly Dish and AT&T. Irving pointed to Hulu’s experience in the market and a partnership with streaming tech company MLB Advanced Media — which works with Vue — as reasons to think it’ll avoid those troubles, but also said it is investing in another “set of partnerships” related to streaming tech to make things faster. Still, we’ll have to wait and see.
However it works, it doesn’t seem like the service will be a huge moneymaker for Hulu to start. None of the existing live TV services are rolling in subscribers thus far, and Irving says that the company is currently more focused on figuring out how to make the service worthwhile before determining what the right long-term business is.
“We’re not thinking about this purely in the capitalist sense, where we want to make a quadrillion dollars over the next ten years,” he said.
Ultimately, Hulu is making a skinny bundle that costs around $40, just like its peers. If it can follow through on its goal to break down the barrier between live and on-demand TV, though, it has a chance of legitimately appealing to cord cutters. Hulu says the service will be available within a “couple of months." While it couldn't tell me what devices it’ll support at launch, a Gizmodo report says it’ll first work with iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, and Xbox.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returned fire at Donald Trump on Friday after the president-elect mocked the new host of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" for getting "destroyed" in the ratings.
"There's nothing more important than the people's work, @realDonaldTrump," the ex-Republican governor of California and Hollywood star tweeted, adding in a subsequent post that he wishes Trump "the best of luck and I hope you'll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings."
Trump, the former host of the NBC series who remains credited as an executive producer on the show, went off earlier on his successor and called himself "the ratings machine, DJT."
In a pair of tweets, he wrote: "Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got "swamped" (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for ... being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary."
Schwarzenegger said during the lead-up to the presidential election that he would not vote for Trump. He posted another tweet following his initial two, highlighting a quote from President Abraham Lincoln.
It was reported Tuesday that the Monday-night, two-hour premiere of the revamped Schwarzenegger show was seen by 4.9 million viewers, well below the 6.8 million viewers who tuned in for Trump's previous season premiere in January 2015.
Internet radio pioneer Pandora tumbled more than 5% in trading on Friday after a Sirius XM exec threw cold water on rumors that the radio giant might acquire the company.
For months, Pandora has endured on-and-off rumors that it's trying to sell itself, and satellite radio powerhouse Sirius XM has been floated as the main suitor.
But, unfortunately for Pandora, Sirius XM doesn't appear to be interested.
"With respect to all the chatter about acquisitions, you have to look at them as sort of being not very likely," Sirius CFO David Frear said Thursday (after market close) at a Citi conference in Las Vegas, as noted by TheStreet.
This is bad news for investors hoping for a sale.
In December, Pandora jumped over 16% after CNBC reported that Pandora was "open to engaging in talks with longtime suitor SiriusXM,"
Sirius XM had reportedly made an informal offer to buy Pandora in 2016 this year for $15 per share (Pandora is currently trading at around $12.25 per share). That offer valued the company at over $3.4 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Pandora is a company in transition, on the brink of launching an on-demand product to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. That product had been shown around to press and investors, and is scheduled to arrive early this year.
On Thursday, Frear seemed pessimistic about the chances of that product succeeding. "And you know on the Pandora front, they've got a big change in strategy with this move into the interactive sort of music business, which we've been public in our doubts about it," he said. "And we'll see how that strategy plays out for them."
Would anyone else be interested in buying Pandora?
In September, SunTrust analyst Robert S. Peck explored who the potential buyers for Pandora would be. Here's what he came up with at the time:
After years of waiting, Nintendo's finally got a new video game console on the way: It's called the Nintendo Switch.
Here, look at it!
It's a hybrid console — you can play it at home, on your living room television (left), or you can take it on-the-go (right). Here's what we know about the console thus far:
There's of course much more to the Switch than that, but Nintendo isn't offering many explicit details just yet. Nintendo has an event scheduled for January 12 where we expect to learn more about switch, but in the meantime, reporters have been digging up as much info as they can. What you'll find below is a roundup of the most credible rumors about Switch, from the price of the console to the games you can expect to find when it hits store shelves this March.
Alex Perry contributed to an earlier version of this story.
It should be less expensive at launch than Nintendo's last console, the Wii U.
The Wii U launched in 2012 with two models: a $300 base edition, and a $350 "deluxe" edition that came with more storage. That cost was way too much for a console that was seriously underpowered compared to the competition from Microsoft and Sony.
It sounds like Nintendo Switch won't repeat that mistake.
Laura Kate Dale of Let's Play Video Games has been the most reliable reporter when it comes to verifying Switch rumors, and her sources have Switch launching with a $250 base model and a $300 deluxe bundle that comes with more storage space and an included game.
That puts Switch right in line with the base models of Xbox One and PS4, price-wise.
Though it'll be in line with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 price-wise, it sounds like the Switch isn't as powerful as the aging competition.
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched in 2013 at $500 and $400, respectively. Expensive consoles, no doubt, but that's with good reason: These are devices that were built to last for several years. Even still, new versions of both consoles either already exist (Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 Pro) or are in the works (Microsoft's Project Scorpio).
In the case of the Switch, it sounds like Nintendo's aiming for affordability over horsepower. Without getting too technical, sources tell Eurogamer that the hardware inside the Switch is less powerful than what the Xbox One is capable of, to say nothing of the PlayStation 4 (the PS4 is slightly more powerful than the Xbox One).
That's good and bad: It means Nintendo can keep the console affordable for consumers, but it constrains what developers are capable of doing with the system. It also means you're unlikely to see multi-platform games on the Switch — stuff like "Call of Duty" or "Grand Theft Auto," for instance.
The home version of Switch is reportedly more capable than the mobile version.
Unsurprisingly, the same report from Eurogamer says Nintendo Switch will be more capable when plugged in at home than when it's in mobile form.
There's a simple reason for that: Power! As in electricity. Mobile gaming platforms — the original Game Boy straight through to the Nintendo 3DS, and your iPhone too — are limited tremendously by their reliance on batteries. Spend an afternoon playing "Minecraft" on your iPhone and see what happens to your phone's battery.
As a result, the companies that make mobile hardware — Apple, Nintendo, Sony, etc. — intentionally build their hardware to balance horsepower with power use. You could make a super powerful phone, for instance, but the battery required to power it would be massive. So instead of doing that, they sacrifice horsepower for battery constraints. That constraint is removed, though, when you're plugged in to a "limitless" power supply (the wall).
All of which is to say: When you dock the Nintendo Switch at home, it can "turn on" horsepower that it otherwise doesn't use (in order to save battery life when on-the-go). It's up to game developers to choose how to use that extra horsepower, of course.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Michelle Obama gave an emotional final speech as first lady on Friday, addressing an initiative she has worked on since her husband took office eight years ago: education.
"For all the young people in this room and those who are watching: Know that this country belongs to you, to all of you from every background and walk of life," Obama told the crowd of educators, celebrities, and supporters she gathered to honor the Counselor of the Year.
"If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition — the infusion of new cultures, talents, and ideas generation after generation," she continued. "That has made us the greatest country on Earth."
Obama is leaving the White House as an extraordinarily popular first lady, with a favorability rating of 72%.
She was perhaps Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's most effective surrogate on the campaign trail, giving a particularly emotional speech after the release of the 2005 tape of President-elect Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women.
On Friday, Obama was nostalgic. The women surrounding her cried and cheered, interrupting her as she spoke.
"That's my final message to young people as first lady — it is simple," Obama said to a roar of applause. "I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. Lead by example with hope, never fear. And know that I will be with you — rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life."
Obama held back tears as she said her final official words.
"I want to close today by simply saying thank you," she said. "Thank you for everything you do for our kids and for our country. Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I've made you proud."
Watch the first lady's full speech below. Her remarks start at 2:18:41:
The world lost two of Hollywood's most towering figures in little more than the blink of an eye with the shocking deaths of Carrie Fisher, on December 27, and her mother Debbie Reynolds the next day.
As is so often the case in the career of Sheila Nevins, head of HBO Documentary Films, her cameras will be the coda to the story.
On Saturday at 8 p.m., HBO will air the documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.” Directed by Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom, it gives an intimate final look inside the lives and professions of the two legends who have been dominating the news and your social-media timelines for weeks.
This is familiar ground for Nevins. When the West Memphis Three were finally let out of prison in 2011 after decades of being on death row for a crime they didn’t commit (a story brought to light by the HBO documentary “Paradise Lost” and its sequel), her cameras were there among the throng of press to recount their release. The event would later be fleshed out in Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s final chapter, “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.”
From the shocking conclusion to the true-crime miniseries “The Jinx” to director Laura Poitras’ encounter with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in the Oscar-winning “Citizenfour,” Nevins has made HBO the home for getting the deeper story behind news that's captivated the country.
But the death of Carrie Fisher was different because Nevins was a close friend of the actress and writer.
Nevins first became captivated by Fisher while sitting with an audience to watch her one-woman show “Wishful Drinking” in 2009. She went to Fisher so HBO Documentary Films could tape a version for the channel. That led to a friendship between the two until Fisher’s sudden death.
“It was instant love,” Nevins recently told Business Insider over the phone while getting emotional. “I so admired her honesty and her intelligence. I mean there was nothing about her that was phony.”
Nevins recalls that Fisher was the same to everyone, whether they were going to stores together, having lunches, or Fisher was signing autographs at New York Comic-Con.
“Carrie was no different with those people on that line than she was with celebrities,” Nevins said. “She was one person fighting to be alive, fighting to have fun, fighting to survive mental illness.”
Then two years ago Nevins got a call from Fisher Stevens with the idea of doing a documentary about the lives of both Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, an icon in her own right going back to her starring role in the 1952 musical "Singin' in the Rain."
“Bright Lights” follows the two through their everyday lives, which often started with Carrie walking the path to her mother’s house, as the two lived beside one another in separate houses on the same plot of land they called “the compound.” When the two aren’t having back-and-forth repartee similar to the leads from the landmark Maysles brothers’ documentary “Grey Gardens,” they are on the road giving the fans what they want. For Reynolds, at 83, it’s doing a lounge act in a casino in Connecticut while Fisher goes to a comic convention or is in London shooting “The Force Awakens.”
“I was always interested in that house. I was always bewitched by the relationship, but it didn't occur to me that it would be something to make a documentary about,” said Nevins, who gave complete credit to Stevens and Alexis Bloom for convincing her it could be a movie.
“Bright Lights” has been completed for a while and played at the Cannes and New York Film Festivals in 2016. It was scheduled to premiere on HBO May 8 (Mother’s Day) and even when Nevins got word of Fisher’s death she was wasn’t going to change the airdate.
“When I found out she died, I almost couldn't speak because I thought she would be okay,” Nevins said. “I didn't realistically face what could happen and we weren't given information that she wasn't responding. If she's breathing she'll come back.”
Nevins made the decision to keep the Mother’s Day airdate as the film would now be for Reynolds to remember her daughter. But then when Reynolds died, Nevis felt it had to air immediately.
“It seemed like a piece of memorabilia that needed to be shared with the public,” she said. “This movie was them, unadulterated, this was the way they were. From Debbie not wanting anyone to come in because she didn't feel well, Carrie losing weight and drinking Coca-Cola — that was the life as I had seen it and it seemed like it was time to share it because it couldn't be given to someone like Debbie, but it could be given to the audience.”
The passing of Debbie Reynolds is another step away from the old Hollywood royalty that was born and bred within the studio system. But Nevins said she could never see an end in sight for Fisher and that’s what’s most painful about her death.
“Carrie still had a million books, a million shows, a million wisecracks,” Nevins said. “There were many, many more songs that Carrie had to sing, and I don't mean just music. I think she still had a lot of things to talk about. She wasn't the end of anything — she ended too soon.”
There you were, living in a reality where laptops had a single screen. And then the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show happened, and suddenly a paradigm shifted.
That's right, folks: Razer is taking the bold step of not just doubling, but outright tripling the number of laptop screens. This is Project Valerie, a super bizarre concept from a company known for making very nice, very expensive gaming hardware.
The first thing you'll notice, of course, is the three-screen concept. In total, the screens create a massive 11520 x 2160 display.
Razer's calling it "12K," which isn't exactly accurate. These are three 17.3-inch discreet displays, each offering 4K visuals.
So, how does this work? The screens are automated — you push a button and they extend out:
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
This post contains spoilers for "Civil War II."
The image is immediately recognizable as the Pietà, where the Virgin Mary holds the dead body of her son, only this time it's Spider-Man holding the body of Tony Stark.
"Civil War II," in case anyone missed it in the first seven issues of the latest Marvel Comics crossover, is a story of Christ.
For comparison, here's Michelangelo:
What does Tony Stark, the billionaire genius and Iron Man creator, have to do with Jesus? The connection in "Civil War II," written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, is compelling and provocative.
(For those not interested in analysis, I'll add that "Civil War II" is also a fantastic comic book event — on par with anything you see in the movies.)
Stark, in short, believes the future is unknowable and everyone has the potential to do good.
Jesus might agree, even if for Stark the future is unknowable because of chaos theory and for him it is unknowable because of God.
The drama of "Civil War II" is set into motion when a new character, Ulysses, develops the power to see visions of the future. After his prophecy helps the Avengers stop a cosmic threat, Stark alone recognizes the danger of relying on precognitive visions, especially for criminal enforcement. First, he is skeptical that any prediction could explain all the possibilities of the future. Second, he knows that power corrupts, and that both Ulysses and the people who use his powers might be biased.
While the other heroes appear willing to accept that Ulysses's powers at face value, Stark calls for closer examination. When Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, invites Ulysses to join a world superhero team called The Ultimates, Stark objects.
And so begins the central conflict of "Civil War II": Stark and his band of outlaws fighting against Danvers and the assembled forces of world power.
Stark's position is fundamentally Christian, if expressed as a kind of religious futurism: He says we shouldn't use politics to justify violence.
This is, in fact, the central message of the New Testament, according to the critical theorist René Girard: Jesus is standing up for people who have been scapegoated through history, insisting that all men are equal in the eyes of God. Stark, for his part, might say that all men contain infinite possibilities, and that restricting people's freedom of choice is a dangerous game.
Stark's statements in "Civil War II" often contain religious language:
"I respect the future. I believe in the future. I worship at its feet," he says at one point.
"What are the odds of these visions being true and pure and right," he asks at another.
Is Stark a Christian? Though he doesn't appear particularly religious in the comics, he clearly has a spiritual side. For one, he's a recovering alcoholic who is no doubt familiar with the reformed Christianity offered in AA, which boils down to belief in a benevolent higher power.
Stark later discovers that Ulysses' foresight is like an uncannily accurate prediction algorithm. Presenting his findings to the Illuminati, Stark warns that the precognitive visions are a kind of profiling — a modeling of reality that erases individual differences — and can easily be abused.
"It's profiling. It's profiling our future. And by Carol acting on it as if it were the Bible ... she is, by any definition, profiling individuals," Stark says, again in religious terms.
Stark's comments about profiling are, of course, rather topical. After all, we live in an era when prediction algorithms are used in judicial sentencing, and where people talk about using them to assess everything from societal value to terrorist potential. We also live in an era when certain groups, among them black males in the US, are often unfairly treated like criminals.
The political connection becomes clear when Ulysses has a shocking vision: Miles Morales, the black-hispanic kid who is the new Spider-Man, holding the impaled body of Steve Rogers, aka Captain America.
Rogers, who can be considered in this series something like the voice of God, has a friendly conversation with Morales and tells him to go in peace. Danvers, however, insists on arresting Morales.
Thus Stark finds himself fighting to protect an innocent soul from oppressive forces. It's a battle he can't win by force, not least because Danvers appears to overpower him.
And so the crucifixion: Battling in front of the US Capitol, Stark is blasted from his suit of armor and falls back, arms outstretched.
In the moment that follows, revelation. Ulysses transmits to the assembled heroes a sequence of possible futures (each drawn by a different artist), from the dark to the bright to the bizarre, that make clear how little we know and how little we control.
And then the lamentation of Stark, as Morales holds his fallen body ...
The entombment, as Stark is placed in a kind of cryogenics pod ...
And the resurrection, as a hologram of Stark's body appears to rise, with the promise that he will walk on earth again.
What does Stark's sacrifice accomplish?
In the Marvel Universe, his actions set the stage for an exciting new era. Danvers, chastised and repentant, hints that she will run for president. Beast, the blue furry mutant who explains Stark's actions in the end, appears a kind of Saint Paul. There's also a bombshell cast of Stark acolytes — including Morales and the Muslim-American Ms. Marvel—in a new team called Champions. At least as far as story potential, this is the best Marvel has looked in a long time.
In our own universe, perhaps this story can teach something too. For one, be humble, remembering how little you know. For another, do not let freedom be trampled by concern for security.
There's also no denying that Danvers, the short-haired blonde leading a global government agency, resembles a fantasy version of Hillary Clinton. Since Danvers is on the wrong side of the conflict, the series could be taken as a criticism of Clinton. At the same time, since she ultimately sees the light, the series might endorse her in the end.
There is, in any case, a light warning against the kind of scapegoating (i.e., unfair vilification) directed at Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
"Cap, tell him I'm not Satan," Danvers says at one point.
"She's not Satan," Rogers agrees.
As for Stark, it's not clear who he resembles. Bendis pointed to an only superficial connection between him and fellow billionaire Donald Trump in a 2012 tweet that he retweeted last week: "Donald Trump is like Tony Stark if Tony Stark wasn't a genius or philanthropist and just sucked."
In the end, we might not have anyone like Stark in our universe. It clear at least from this comic, however, that the gospel of love lives on.
DON'T MISS: The 20 most popular TV shows in the world
We lost a lot of legends in 2016, and we're not going to forget them soon.
As we settle into 2017, Business Insider has compiled a list of some of the most influential, important, and prized figures in entertainment who died last year — from towering music stars (Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Merle Haggard, George Michael) to film legends like Carrie Fisher and Alan Rickman.
It's by no means an exhaustive list, but one that hopefully helps pay tribute to the talents who have left us as we move forward.
Here are 30 stars we said goodbye to in 2016:
January 10: David Bowie (1947-2016)
English rock artist
January 14: Alan Rickman (1946-2016)
English theater and movie actor
January 26: Abe Vigoda (1921-2016)
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Netflix has loudly rejected the "pilot" system of TV, instead ordering full seasons of shows before any of them air.
And since it began releasing original shows in 2013, Netflix has stuck by a remarkably high percentage of them for subsequent seasons. But even Netflix knows sometimes you have to cut your losses.
So far, Netflix has canceled four shows, not including "Bloodline," which will "conclude" after season three.
The worst of the bunch for Netflix was probably "Marco Polo," which The Hollywood Reporter estimated lost Netflix a whopping $200 million. And not all of them were panned by critics; remember, what Netflix cares about most is how a show can drive new subscribers and keep old ones.
Here are the four shows Netflix has killed, along with their critic and audience ratings from Metacritic:
'Longmire': Canceled after 6 seasons (3 on Netflix)
Netflix description: "This contemporary crime thriller focuses on a Wyoming sheriff who's rebuilding his life and career following the death of his wife."
Critic rating: 77/100
Audience rating: 9.1/100
'Lilyhammer': Canceled after 3 seasons
Netflix description: "They killed his dog. They made him run. Now he's living a new life in a strange land ... like a boss."
Critic rating: 68/100
Audience rating: 7.6/10
'Hemlock Grove': Canceled after 3 seasons
Netflix description: "A quaint town links a mangled corpse to a dark outsider with a carnivorous secret. But monsters come in many forms."
Critic rating: 37/100
Audience rating: 6.7/10
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
There's a good chance you were entertained by Idris Elba in 2016.
The actor voiced characters in three Disney hits — “Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Finding Dory” — and also starred as the villain Krall in “Star Trek Beyond.” In 2017, we’ll have the luxury of seeing more of his face in “Thor: Ragnarok” and “The Dark Tower,” but before that we’ll see Elba in a small movie he’s tried to get off the ground for three years.
“100 Streets” (in theaters and On Demand January 13) follows the lives of people who live within a square mile of a London neighborhood. Elba’s character is the most complex, a former rugby star who has found himself in a drug and depression tailspin that concludes with a dramatic standoff with police.
Elba, who is also a producer on the movie, talked to Business Insider about how the project has prepared him for his upcoming feature directing debut, how his passion for music keeps him grounded (check out his appearance on a Macklemore song and his own singing and rapping), and why he no longer gets a kick out of the rumors that he’s the next James Bond.
Jason Guerrasio: What is the creative satisfaction you get producing a movie like “100 Streets”?
Idris Elba: With this particular project it was a small film that really doesn't attract the big film financiers so I have a small production company called Green Door Pictures and basically my ambition for the company is to help smaller films come to life, especially films that explore the human condition like this film does. So I get a huge buzz out of watching that grow and seeing my little company help things move along. It's very satisfying because it's a passion piece and I enjoy that. It's hard, it takes a very long time to make an independent film come alive, but the process is satisfying when people say they dug it.
Guerrasio: Do you think if you didn't produce this film and put your name on it that it would have gotten made?
Elba: I’m sure it would have been made one way or another eventually but for me I was determined to make it. So I can't say it wouldn't have been made but I —
Guerrasio: You helped it get a green light a little faster.
Elba: Yeah. Definitely.
Guerrasio: Max is at a different point in his life than you are now, he's past his prime, but can you relate to a character like this that still lives under a microscope?
Elba: I can relate to it. His is a little extreme compared to mine, but people in the spotlight tend to be scrutinized, every move they make. I guess you can say my star is rising or whatever, but what comes with that is a lot more inquisitive people who want to know who you are as a person and what life decisions you're actually making. Because you're an actor or sportsman people want to know that and they are curious. But it's part of the job — if I didn't want anyone to know anything about me, I would have probably gone for a different career path.
Guerrasio: You were DJing and making music before your breakout role on “The Wire” in the early 2000s and you still do it. Has that become your escape from people like me who are curious about your life and what you do daily?
Elba: Yeah. I think people love music and, yes, they want to know more about that person but they only want to know more about the person if they like the music. With actors and sports people you don't even have to know anything about what they do and you end up getting probed. But with musicians they have the veil, if the music is good. It can be obscure and you're allowed to do different things without being overly scrutinized. I get a lot of freedom and a lot of relief when I make music because it's faceless.
Guerrasio: How close are you to your first feature directing effort, “Yardie”?
Elba: Six months. I start making this film next year and I'm going into prep so I'm very close. It's been a two-year process.
Guerrasio: Producing something like “100 Streets,” can that help prepare you at all to direct?
Elba: Yeah, as a producer you're helping put all the elements together for the director, so yeah, I totally am seeing all the different sides of a director's job from an actor's point of view and now a producer's point of view. It's definitely given me a lot more bandwidth as a director.
Guerrasio: We saw you do so many different things in 2016, both in the flesh and through your voice. Did you have a personal favorite?
Elba: [Laughs] I really enjoyed being a part of “Zootopia.” I enjoyed all the movies I did a voice for, but “Zootopia” was a very, very bold film and it was just really great that Disney made a film like that that really challenged young people and adults to think a little bit about our existence in the human race using animals.
Guerrasio: I have to bring this up because I want to see it happen: Can you give any update on the James Bond rumors? Have the producers on the film reached out?
Elba: Are people still talking about that?
Guerrasio: I’m talking about it!
Elba: [Laughs] No, man, I don't know anything. Nothing, there's no update whatsoever.
Guerrasio: Do you get a kick out of the rumors or are you over it now?
Elba: No, I don't get a kick out of it.
Guerrasio: But even in “100 Streets,” there are scenes where you are wearing a tux. You had to have looked in the mirror while shooting and said, "Yeah, I can play Bond."
Elba: [Laughs] That's a compliment, man, I appreciate that.
Guerrasio: You are certainly a busy guy at the moment, but any chance we will see you appear in the “Pacific Rim” sequel?
Elba: I don't think so. I don't even know where they are starting the story, but I'm not in it. I know that much.
SEE ALSO: 30 movies we can't wait to see in 2017
As one of the world's most popular, most widely played games, "Minecraft" attracts a large swath of players. Many of these folks are just like you and me — casual, into playing fun games, but maybe not ready to dig in and spend, like, years handcrafting a massive world.
And then there's a small section of that massive playerbase that takes the game's creation aspect to stunning heights. Such is the case with the "Kingdom of Galekin," an enormous, incredibly ambitious world that one "Minecraft" player has been building for nearly five years.
In both size and detail, the Kingdom of Galekin is insanely impressive. Check it:
Rather than a single impressive building, or a city, or a re-creation of something famous, the Kingdom of Galekin is an entire unique world.
With distinct regions:
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
There are certainly pros and cons to creating a new creative work from an already established brand. On the one side, the public is already aware of the title. That helps to cut through the noise of competition. On the other side, comparisons to the original give new works an almost impossible bar to meet.
As of late, TV reboots and remakes have proven that the challenges can be pretty insurmountable. In the past year alone, we've seen the failures of Fox's "Exorcist," CW's "Frequency," ABC's "The Muppets," CBS's "Limitless," "Rush Hour," and "The Odd Couple." TV remakes have pretty much worn out their welcome.
That's the dangerous climate NBC's "Wizard of Oz" adaptation, "Emerald City," faces when it premiered on Friday at 9 p.m.
"Emerald City" stars Latina actress Adria Arjona ("True Detective") as Dorothy. In this iteration, she's a young woman who finds that looking for the mother that abandoned her years ago creates new questions and thrusts her into a dark world called Oz. While trying to figure out her mother's connection to this strange land and a way to get home, she happens upon similarly lost souls as traveling companions, most notably the handsome scarecrow substitute, Lucas ("Dracula" actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen).
The series had been in development off-and-on for nearly three years and had seen showrunner changes as its creative team and NBC settled on a vision for the show. In the end, David Schulner ("Dracula," "The Event") served as showrunner and Tarsem Singh ("Mirror, Mirror," "The Fall") joined as an executive producer and director on all 10 episodes.
As a result of Singh's involvement, the show's star is its cinematography. Sorry, Dorothy! "Emerald City" is visually stunning – from its beautiful use of pops of color against the grey, barren land of Oz to its intricate costume design.
Amid some thin character development, there are standout performances. Vincent D’Onofrio ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Daredevil") plays a kooky, villainous wizard to the hilt. And it's tough to take your eyes off Romanian actress Ana Ularu ("The Borgias," "Inferno") as the drugged-up, brothel-running wicked witch of the west. I don't even have a problem with Dorothy sort of being led through Oz like a pawn, because I expect she'll find her inner strength at some point. Isn't that the underlying lesson of "Wizard of Oz"?
The series takes the story to a lot of ambitious places: It's extremely sexy, explores violence, the aforementioned drug use, and even a gender-bending supporting character. That said, it should be noted that this Oz probably isn't suitable for young children.
The challenge for audiences here is whether they'll be able to clear their minds of Judy Garland's musical, suspenseful journey or L. Frank Baum's novels and let "Emerald City" tell its own story over 10 hours. But after all, that's the challenge NBC took on when it decided to go to Oz in the first place.
Watch a trailer for "Emerald City" below:
With more TV shows and platforms than ever before, every awards show is bound to make some very difficult choices, and that's the case for this year's Golden Globes.
Naturally, each year there are a ton of deserving actors, writers, producers, and shows that end up without a nomination.
But the snubs for our favorites don't get any easier to digest each year, as evidenced by the nominees for the 2017 Golden Globes, which air Sunday. The Globes are seen in many Hollywood circles as the precursor to the Emmys, so a nomination here can be very important.
This year, the comedy series category was tougher than ever. Awards favorites, including HBO's "Silicon Valley," went forgotten.
And while an awards show can't hit every TV actor or show that stood out in the year's pop culture, "SNL's" Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump impersonators, "The Walking Dead's" new murderous villain, and the show that makes you look at your mobile phone in a whole different way were upsetting absences.
Here's a look at the biggest TV snubs of the 2017 Golden Globes nominations:
While some may be disappointed that Taraji P. Henson didn't get a nom for the movie "Hidden Figures," TV fans may be scratching their heads as to why last year's drama actress winner didn't get recognized at all for "Empire" this year. In fact, "Empire" got no love at the Globes this year at all.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, "The Walking Dead" (AMC)
As the new big bad villain on "The Walking Dead," Jeffrey Dean Morgan has flipped that show on its head. The energy he's brought the show should've been recognized.
"Silicon Valley" (HBO)
"Silicon Valley" is one of the funniest and most scathing looks at the center of the tech world. It has also been nominated for two years running. But now, just zeros for the HBO comedy.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
It's really hard to be funny. It's even harder to be funny and get paid for it. But the cartoon editor of The New Yorker, Bob Mankoff, has made a living making people laugh for decades. He says there are a lot of scientific theories about what makes something humorous – he cites 3 main categories of what works and why.
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When 22-year-old Eva Gutowski first started making YouTube videos in college, she thought of it just as a way to help her broadcast journalism major. The idea that she could be a YouTube personality for a living didn’t even register in the general sense, let alone for her specifically.
But fast forward less than five years, and Gutowski’s YouTube channel MyLifeAsEva has over 7.5 million followers, she’s coming out with a book, and has an upcoming TV show on YouTube’s premium “Red” tier, with Emmy-winning actress Rhea Perlman.
And Gutowski isn’t the only one.
A crop of top YouTube stars are making up to $15 million per year, snagging shows in places like Netflix and HBO, and striking major deals with brands.
Business Insider talked to Gutowski to learn about how YouTube stars are making the leap from the video website to other venues, the various ways to make money and support a career as a YouTube personality and what it's like to work in an industry that's still in the process of defining itself.
A $20 dinner
Gutowski first discovered the power of YouTube when she was running a fashion blog in college. She started making videos and embedding them into her blog posts, but then she noticed that the videos were actually getting a ton more views on YouTube than on her blog, and she switched her focus.
She understood that YouTube was an easier way to grow an audience for her particular mix of style, beauty, and comedy.
Gutowski’s subscribers began to climb, from thousands to hundreds of thousands, but still, she wasn’t exactly rolling in dough. She said the first check she ever got from YouTube was for about $20.
“Maybe I can get myself a special dinner,” she thought.
The first time she thought about her videos as a business was when she signed to Fullscreen, a network the helps promote and develop stars on places like YouTube, in exchange for a portion of ad revenue. The underlying ad revenue began to provide enough of a baseline income for her to think about it as a career.
But YouTube was just the starting point.
As the social media landscape changed, so did both the sources of income for Gutowski and the type of creative product she was putting out.
It’s no longer about just growing her YouTube audience and boosting the amount of ad revenue YouTube is sending her way.
In a nutshell: She has to be everywhere.
“YouTube channels are home,” Gutowski explained. "But other platforms [like Snapchat, Instagram, and so on] are excellent way to show off personality.” And what audiences want is a full 360-degree view of your life, she said.
“Luckily I don’t have secrets,” she laughed, though she admitted it’s definitely exhausting. “I’m always thinking about the viewers.” She recounted a moment when the Bruno Mars album came out, and she had to decide whether it would be better for her fans to Instagram or Snapchat about it.
A big source of revenue for Gutowski, like other YouTube stars, is working with brands on sponsored posts or videos. In many cases, the brand will also have a preference on how they want it distributed, so she has to be nimble. A favorite is Instagram because the measurement is quick and easy, within 24 hours, to see how it performed. While Instagram used to be just a complement to YouTube, it has often become the main event for brands.
Hopping from platform to platform
Moving from platform to platform is a hallmark of successful YouTubers like Gutowski. “I always used to tell people I wanted to be the next Oprah Winfrey,” she said, and it certainly makes sense in the type of brand she’s creating.
And it's not just moving between different social media platforms.
Like many YouTube stars, Gutowski has a book deal for a memoir, “My Life as Eva: The Struggle is Real,” forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in February.
And a big new avenue that has opened up for her is getting her own high-budget show. Services from Netflix, to Verizon’s go90, to YouTube Red, are all are shelling out money to create "premium" shows from YouTube stars.
In Gutowski’s case, the show is with YouTube $9.99 per month "Red" service, and it’s called “Me and My Grandma,” a buddy comedy with “Cheers” star Rhea Perlman, which will be released later this year.
“It was absolutely crazy walking onto set for that show,” Gutowski said. “There’s a trailer for everything.” It is so different from the normal crew of her YouTube videos, she explained, which is basically just her and one other person.
But Gutowski was in a unique position during production. She was both a newcomer with regards to many of the TV veterans on the production, who had decades of experience, but also the only one who truly understood her audience. And she was the star.
Gutowski had a hand in everything from set and costume design, to the writers’ room. She was learning the ropes and correcting things at the same time.
And when “Me and My Grandma” comes out later this year, it will be a test of how Gutowski’s brand travels to premium TV.
The record of YouTube stars breaking into more traditional show formats has, so far, been mixed. Netflix has bet on two social-media stars, Miranda Sings and Cameron Dallas, only to see their Netflix releases get walloped by bad user reviews. Yet on the other end, YouTube star Issa Rae’s new HBO show, “Insecure,” has garnered critical praise.
With the intense growth of the investment in high-quality “streaming” TV shows, led by Netflix and Amazon, there's opportunity. And the crossover success of YouTube personalities like Gutowski over the coming months will help carve out, or close up, a potential major source of revenue for future YouTubers.
"When the dust settles we'll see where the eyeballs will land," Adam Wescott, who manages Gutowski told us late last year. It's not yet clear which audiences have an appetite for the type of high-budget shows YouTube stars put out.
But what is certain is that the number of ways YouTube personalities can make money continues to grow and to change. Being adaptable to each new medium isn't optional, and will likely be a key factor that determines how much YouTube fame is really worth.
Part of the fun of the Golden Globes, which will be handed out on Sunday, is seeing what kind of surprises the Hollywood Foreign Press Association throws at us. And we're quite happy with one of them: The movie "Sing Street," directed by John Carney, was nominated for best comedy or musical movie.
Unless you're really steeped in the world of independent film, you likely missed this one when it was in theaters in April. But the word of mouth around it will certainly kick up, thanks to the nomination.
This isn't Carney's first time delivering a cult hit. He directed the 2007 movie "Once," which won an Oscar for best song and became a hit Broadway show.
If you've seen that and you liked it, then you have to check out "Sing Street." Like "Once," it's powered by original songs, which are used to delve into the characters' feelings.
"Once" looks at the loneliness of two people who find each other in Dublin and begin to write love songs together. "Sing Street" is much more playful. It's set in 1980s Dublin and follows a boy who starts a rock band to impress a girl.
Here, Carney takes the usual beats of a teen comedy and combines that form with songs influenced by the bands the main character, Conor, admires, like Duran Duran and The Cure. We follow Conor as he recruits his band and uses some DIY tricks to pull off a music video, which features the girl he's trying to impress.
You can watch the whole movie on Netflix now— we highly recommend it. But in the meantime, check out one of the songs featured in the movie: