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New Star Wars 8 Photos Reveal Returning Favorites & More Surprises

This week marks the arrival of Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie Preview, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is at the front and center of this issue, with two new EW cover. One with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and the other with Rey (Daisy Ridley), both featuring the question on everyone’s mind: “Who is The Last Jedi?” While we certainly won’t get an answer to that question until December 15, EW has unveiled 10 new photos, along with the two magazine covers, which don’t offer too much in the way of story details, but perhaps the most intriguing photo is of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), where we get our first full look at his face, and that pivotal scar that has gotten so much attention.

This new photo from Entertainment Weekly gives fans our first full look at Kylo Ren’s unmasked face, and a much better look at the now-infamous Kylo Ren scar. After the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi debuted, fans noticed that the nasty scar Kylo Ren received during his lightsaber battle with Rey at the end of The Force Awakens, had changed a bit. Director Rian Johnson admitted in an interview that he changed the scar slightly, since it “looked goofy” going up the bridge of his nose. We can see in this photo that, while the top part of the scar has healed nicely, and is almost invisible to the naked eye, the bottom half of the scar is still quite prominent, going down his right cheek. The caption to this photo reveals that Ren has “retreated” to Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), but nothing else is known about this scene.

There are also a few interesting photos featuring Rey and Luke on the planet of Ahch-To, one with Rey by herself, presumably during her training, while another features Rey standing outside a temple entrance, holding her staff, while a cloaked Luke Skywalker stands at the temple entrance. While there doesn’t seem to be any animosity between the two, there is also no indication of what may have happened between these photos were taken, although it seems possible that it’s all part of Rey’s training. All it says in the caption of this photo is that Rey is at the ruins of the first Jedi temple, although there are no other details that can be gleaned.

There has long been rumors that Rey will mirror the Jedi training that Luke himself went through, which seemed to be confirmed with scenes in the trailer that showed what looked like Rey practicing her lightsaber movies on the edge of an Ahch-To cliff. Rian Johnson has confirmed there will be a certain training element involved, although he wouldn’t say much else about this aspect of the story. Hopefully we’ll see more of this “training” when the second trailer arrives, whenever that may be.

We also get a new look at Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), who is said to form a bond with the iconic Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher) in this movie. There is also a new image of John Boyega’s Finn learning how to fly an unidentified spacecraft, along with another glimpse at the TIE Silencer, which is Kylo Ren’s new spacecraft that we got our first look at back in June. One cool shot shows Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with a Porg, and we get a look at the Jedi caregivers on Ahch-To, who are compared to Nuns.

The final images reveal Rian Johnson with the late Carrie Fisher on the set, along with a glimpse at Rian Johnson with his producing partners Ram Bergman and Kathleen Kennedy. Take a look at these images below, and head over to Entertainment Weekly to check out the rest.

The force is strong, #StarWars fans! Grab your lightsabers and get exclusive intel on #TheLastJedi: https://t.co/vGt4Dm9pCApic.twitter.com/TUvk9GMeSV

— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 9, 2017

Calling all #StarWars fans: See new out-of-this-galaxy images from #TheLastJedi: https://t.co/ytEuzjIWK6pic.twitter.com/MYd6lxY5Bs

— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 9, 2017

The Last Jedi: Can Rey save Luke Skywalker from his own darkness? https://t.co/9FbujuFDbP

— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 9, 2017

The Last Jedi: With Finn and Rose, a ‘big deal’ is redeemed by ‘a nobody’ https://t.co/3G9mUTCdHI

— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 9, 2017

New STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI photos from @EW!!! ???????? pic.twitter.com/QkAUH2hnZP

— GEEK MOTIVATION (@GEEKMOTIVATION) August 9, 2017

Brand new ‘STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI’ images released featuring Rey, Poe, Leia, and a Casino at Canto Bight 1/2 (Source: @EW) pic.twitter.com/qlL3TL8guU

— Comic Fade (@ComicFade) August 9, 2017

New images from Star Wars: The Last Jedi are here and the Force is STRONG with them! https://t.co/O12nzWeYWrpic.twitter.com/4hH5DFv7wo

— Comicbook.com (@ComicBook) August 9, 2017

Gritty New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Set Photos – Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer https://t.co/XCxK4ildLKpic.twitter.com/Pf2FyGbPgh

— Comic Vault (@comicvault) August 9, 2017

???? @EW’s The Last Jedi cover: Part 4 – Supreme Leader Snoke emerges with the crimson-armored Praetorian guard: https://t.co/8RGSN4m451pic.twitter.com/MCBDz8V50r

— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) August 9, 2017

????Also Part 3 of The Last Jedi cover: The alien nun “Caretakers” of the Jedi temple on Ahch-To: https://t.co/JIq7r6FVZPpic.twitter.com/mqTIKeHjiV

— Anthony Breznican (@Breznican) August 9, 2017

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Photos & Details: Finn Becomes a Pilot, Rey is Not Welcome … https://t.co/vdBiPSZhlHpic.twitter.com/u8rVeo4ISo

— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) August 9, 2017

New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Images Officially Revealed https://t.co/SqxTMYicBMpic.twitter.com/aEQNyR38le

— Heroic Hollywood (@heroichollywood) August 9, 2017

Chewbacca + Porg = Just broke the internet. Well played, @rianjohnson. [email protected]/tYS6TsQYKq

— William Andrade (@SirDarthUno) August 9, 2017

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Why Jennifer Lawrence Loves Dating Director Darren Aronofsky

Jennifer Lawrence is finally opening up about how well her relationship is going with acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky. Get the details.

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Goosebumps Creator Blames Jim Carrey for Ruining Lemony Snicket

R.L. Stine is a cool dude. And he doesn’t often speak out of school or criticize other performers, artists, or their work. But he seems rather upset with Jim Carrey’s awful performance in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. In fact, he blames the comedian for ruining any chance the book adaptation had of becoming a successful movie series. It did eventually find success as a TV series on Netflix, with Season 2 already shooting and a third season expected. While Stine has yet to comment on Neil Patrick Harris’ take on Lemony Snicket’s Count Olaf, he had this to say about Jim Carrey.

“A really horrible movie can ruin a book franchise, look what happened to the Lemony Snicket books. Jim Carrey just ruined it. He was so awful. It’s weird, they can’t really translate it because Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler, is one of the funniest people on earth. I was on a panel with him, and afterwards, I swore I would never go on a panel with him again. He finished every one of my jokes. He was hilarious!”

R.L. Stine’s outrage about Jim Carrey ruining the Lemony Snicket movie franchise came after Entertainment Weekly asked the author who he’d want to see play him in a biopic. And he was quick to point out what a great performance Jack Black already gave in the first Goosebumps movie, even if it is a heightened version of himself. R.L. Stine was greatly pleased with that film, as was Sony, with a sequel already on the way next year.

“Come on! Jack Black already played me! How lucky was I that the movie turned out good?”

R.L. Stine had a lot more to say in his question and answer session. Perhaps the most interesting of which was the fact that he’s ripped-off his favorite Stephen King novel 5 different times, and has no qualms about it. He says this about Pet Sematary, calling it the scariest book he’s ever read.

“Pet Sematary by Stephen King is the all-time creepiest. I’ve stolen that plot about five times, I had to!”

You can’t fault the man for being honest. R.L. Stine goes onto say that he’s in the midst of binging Netflix’s Bloodline series. And claims he’d want Jack Reacher at his side if he was allowed to be friends with one fictional character during the impending zombie apocalypse. He also has the nerve to call The Girl on the Train the most overrated book he’s ever read, but to each their own.

Perhaps most surprising to learn from his quick chat is that he has to buy his own books from the book store because his publisher won’t send them to the house. He’s not stock piling his own novels just for fun though. He explains about heading to the book store to buy his own books when asked if he actually does this.

“I do it all the time! People are very polite. They don’t say anything. Publishers are cheap, so I always have to buy my own stuff. I do it constantly. I give away a lot of books, like for school auctions, we’ll give away a set of 10 autographed Goosebumps books. So I buy Goosebumps all the time.”

The author ends his interview saying he doesn’t get scared at movies. That horror movies make him laugh. Which sounds about right. You can read all his fun answers over at Entertainment Weekly. We’ll have to wait until his next round to hear how he feels about the Netflix Lemony Snicket show.

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Alien: Covenant Honest Trailer Goes Savage on Ridley Scott Bomb

Several of this summer’s major releases managed to disappoint. Some at the box office and some in terms of expectations. In some cases, it was a bit of both. Such is the case with Alien: Covenant, which was poised to be the Alien movie we’ve all been waiting thirty years for. Instead, we wound up with another divisive movie that massively underperformed at the box office. Now, the Honest Trailer gang has decided to give us their take on Alien: Covenant as it heads to Blu-ray and DVD, and it is pretty brutal, but definitely hilarious.

The folks over at Screen Junkies decided to make Alien: Covenant the subject of this week’s honest trailer, in honor of the movie making its way to home video. This is an honest trailer in the truest sense in that, even those who loved this movie can easily see what is being poked fun at here and the larger points made about the Alien franchise are hard to argue with. How many more times are we going to see the Xenomorph defeated by having it blown out an airlock?

One of the most poignant things that will hit home for those who felt mixed about Alien: Covenant has to do with Ridley Scott. They point out in the beginning that he is simultaneously one of the best and worst directors of our time. Movies like Alien, Gladiator and Blade Runner are undeniable masterpieces, but then we have disasters like The Counselor and Robin Hood. Then there are the divisive entries to his resume like Alien: Covenant. At one point, they say that the movie is the result of a bad sci-fi script in the hands of a visual genius. Love it or hate it, that may be pretty close to the truth.

Even if you are one those who wound up falling in love with Alien: Covenant, and despite how brutal this Honest Trailer is there are plenty of those people out there, the movie simply didn’t become the hit that Fox was hoping it would. Alien: Covenant wound up making just $232.5 million at the box office, which is a little more than half of what Prometheus made. Considering that Prometheus didn’t actually feature any Xenomorphs in it and didn’t have the franchise name in the title, that says a lot. As such, Fox has their doubts about continuing the Alien franchise, as one might expect.

With the lackluster performance, Ridley Scott’s lofty plans for the Alien franchise is in doubt. He may not even get to finish this Alien prequel trilogy, which may frustrate many fans because Alien: Covenant certainly didn’t tie everything up. That would be a pretty unceremonious way to end one of the best sci-fi franchises of all-time. If nothing else, we got a pretty great Honest Trailer out of the deal. Be sure to check out the Alien: Covenant Honest Trailer for yourself below.

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Amber Heard Speaks Out After Breakup With Elon Musk

Now that Amber Heard and Elon Musk have called it quits, Heard is putting rumors to rest.

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After Love

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Joachim Lafosse’s new claustrophobic chamber drama “After Love” follows Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and Boris (Cédric Kahn), a couple undergoing an acrimonious separation following 15 years of marriage. Boris refuses to move out until he receives adequate compensation for his share of the family apartment, which Marie staunchly refuses to do. The couple’s fraught relationship only intensifies as the two alternate taking care of their two young children, Margaux and Jade, with regular fighting. Sometimes they shout, but they mostly engage in passive-aggressive humiliation, hoping that one will eventually cave.

Though undoubtedly a flawed enterprise, “After Love” is a formal wonder, due to the efforts of Lafosse, photographer Jean-François Hensgens, and production designer Olivier Radot. Set almost entirely in a two-bedroom apartment, Lafosse uses every inch of the confined area as a visual projection of Boris and Marie’s frayed emotions. Clichéd as it might be, Lafosse turns the apartment into both a prison and a battleground for the adults, while still retaining a hospitable quality for the children. Meanwhile, Hensgens intimately tracks Boris and Marie’s movements in long takes as they both try to dominate the space, each subtly conveying ownership over their past lives. Whether they’re shuffling past each other or hurriedly tending to their children, the two desperately try to exercise control over the other by simply walking with purpose in a shared environment. In many ways, “After Love” is a wonderful exercise in blocking; Lafosse coordinates Bejo and Kahn’s precise positions in the frame to communicate respective power or its fundamental imbalance. He routinely demonstrates how his characters’ conflicted interiority transfers onto their actions and their home.

“After Love” nevertheless suffers from oblique characterizations that don’t support the visual acuity on display. While Kahn and Bejo imbue their characters with perceptible antipathy and fatigue, Boris and Marie are respective cyphers beyond their expressed motives. Lafosse and his screenwriting collaborators purposefully hide past details about the couple’s marriage as they intend to solely capture their downfall, but this doesn’t necessarily have the intended effect. Since we only gather glimpses or hints at their past love, their slow, methodical breakup lacks proper impact, even after spending a long time in their bitter company. Lafosse roots their primary disagreement in financial terms, a welcome respite from other well-worn interpersonal territory, and though he fleshes out the nature of their dispute (Boris, a middle-class out-of-work architect, clearly resents the wealthy Marie for treating him like a charity case; Marie resents Boris for using her wealth as a scapegoat for not taking responsibility), it hardly ever feels grounded in a 15-year long relationship. Lafosse flattens Boris and Marie’s relationship into a flickering flame, losing the actual contours of a relationship that would provide its extinguishment with the appropriate stakes.

Moreover, the film suffers from a pacing problem that’s unfortunately built into its very premise. Since “After Love” chronicles a separation mediated by the stop-start rhythms of daily life as parents, it only ever intermittently gains momentum as a series of compounded slights between Boris and Marie. Individual scenes standout as barbed attacks, such as Boris crashing a dinner party hosted by Marie with mutual friends in attendance, but it never feels like an actual tête-à-tête, even though the two ping pong off each other throughout the film. Though this likely arises from a verisimilitudinous impulse, it still feels quite facile as drama, especially when “After Love” reaches its egregiously contrived climax, featuring a moment so out of place from the rest of the film that it scans as a trite suggestion from a Hollywood executive.

There’s a moment late in “After Love” when Boris, Marie, and the kids have a pleasant night together playing cards and exchanging jokes. All four of them eventually dance in the living room together and Lafosse lingers on Boris and Marie sharing a warm embrace. This scene does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of establishing their relationship’s foundation, but it’s still a clarifying moment that suggests something more beyond the actions on screen. “After Love” does so many things very well, and yet it’s unfortunate that the central relationship never quite takes on much shape beyond animosity. Anger only means something when the love from which it emerges has depth.

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Machines

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Rahul Jain’s “Machines,” a documentary about a textile factory in southern India where workers endure Dickensian conditions of 12-hour days for minimal pay, is a film so obedient to current academic fashions in both politics and cinema aesthetics that it ends up feeling both contrived and a bit dishonest.

The aesthetic part of its contrivance is evident immediately. Jain’s camera takes us inside the operating factory and moves about it observing the workers going about their tasks in traditional cinema verité fashion. The lighting is apparently all natural, which gives the environment—with its dim browns, grays and greens occasionally offset by the brighter hues of manufactured fabrics—a kind of macabre cast that in some moments can be strangely beautiful. The men who labor here, ranging from teens to middle-aged, do their work of running machines and hauling various materials with the dull regularity of automatons.

For a while, no information is given regarding the people we’re watching or the place. Then, one worker speaks to the camera. Later others will. (The filmmaker interviewing them is never seen nor heard.) The men talk about their hard lives and the conditions they work under. They work 12-hour shifts and are given no comforts. They must buy their own food and water. Many, it seems, are poor farmers who have to travel long distances for the factory work. One speaks of riding a train for 36 hours, unable to sit down and with only crushed chickpeas to eat.

“Machines” is one of those fashion-conscious docs that ends up being mildly infuriating for not supplying the basic information about its subject that most viewers will want. For example, here are statements from its press kit that the film itself doesn’t convey:

“The $40 billion Indian textile and garment industry, much of which operates in the informal sector and is poorly regulated, employs an estimated 45 million workers. More than 12 million children are engaged in child labor in India and 95% of the factories have no trade unions on their premises.

“Overtime practice reaches about 70 to 80 working hours a week and is mostly not paid—or underpaid. With an average daily wage from $2 to $5, the workers take home between $90 and $150 per month.

“Estimates of the number of people trapped in forced labor vary. The International Labor Organization says 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally, while the Global Slavery Index says there are 36 million slaves in the world, half of them in India.”

Such information is of course highly relevant to the world shown in “Machines.” However, viewers who want to understand that world would be better off seeking out pertinent magazine articles or books, texts where fashion doesn’t suppressed information or avoid it in the name of stylistic puritanism.

As its interviews continue, the film hears from people whose comments do touch on some issues that viewers are likely to wonder about. Unions, which might help replace 12-hour stints with an eight-hour day (a goal that most workers seem to fervently desire) are regularly thwarted by the owners, we’re told. Any time a union movement gains steam, its leaders are eventually identified and killed.

Later in the documentary, we see some of the people who buy and sell the fabrics the workers manufacture. With their sharp haircuts, nice clothes, aviator sunglasses and smartphones, they are a different order of being than those we’ve been observing, and they seem unthinkingly comfortable as they go about their business.

We also hear from one factory manager who’s the very picture of smug self-righteousness. He says he now pays his workers ten times what he did when he started out 12 years before, but he evidently finds them irresponsible and ungrateful. Only half of them, he says without offering proof, send money to their families. The rest fritter it away on tobacco and alcohol.

Another thing the press kit reveals that’s not in the movie: Filmmaker Rahul Jain grew up visiting a factory like this that was owned by his grandfather. When he went back to film, he knew some of the workers, and was given full access due to his connections.

The very best scene here—one that suggests the premise of a much better movie—comes very late, when there’s a crowd of workers facing the camera and, in effect, demanding to know what he’s going to do with the access he’s had. Is he going to do anything to help them?

If Jain had spoken to them, and incorporated his own memories and feelings about the subject into the doc rather than hiding behind the privilege of the auteur, “Machines” would be a much richer and more revealing film. But he keeps silent, leaving them to suspect that he’ll do no more good for them than the politicians who come through, offer empty promises, then retreat back into their privileged lives. 

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More Hunger Games and Twilight Movies Planned at Lionsgate

It’s been just two years since the Hunger Games franchise came to an end, but even before The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 hit theaters, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltenheimer teased that the studio is “actively developing” prequel and sequel ideas to continue the franchise. We haven’t heard anything concrete on this front since then, but during an earnings conference call, Jon Feltenheimer again teased that the studio not only wants more Hunger Games movies, but more Twilight movies as well. However, he also seemed to indicate that these projects would not move forward unless the franchise creators are involved. Here’s what he had to say during the investor’s call below.

“There are a lot more stories to be told, and we’re ready to tell them when our creators are ready to tell those stories.”

Shortly after The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 hit theaters, rumors of Hunger Games prequels started to surface, but there was never any indication if author Suzanne Collins, who wrote the trilogy of Hunger Games novels, would be involved in any way, shape or form. It seems that the studio wants both Collins and Twilight author Stefanie Meyer to be actively involved in any project that extends either of their franchises, but whether or not that will happen remains unclear. Both franchises were quite lucrative for Lionsgate, so it’s not too surprising that the studio’s CEO wants to tell more stories from these franchises. Jon Feltenheimer didn’t reveal any other details about these franchises coming back during this conference call, courtesy of Variety, but it’s easy to see why he’d want to bring both franchises back to life.

The Hunger Games hit theaters in the spring of 2012, launching not only this beloved franchise, but the soaring careers of its two young stars, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. The Hunger Games opened huge with $152.5 million en route to $408 million domestic and $286.4 million international, for a worldwide total of $694.3 million, from a $78 million budget. 2013′s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opened with $158 million, with $424.6 million domestic and $440.3 million international, for a worldwide total of $865 million, from a $130 million budget. All of those numbers were franchise highs, but the decision to split the last book into two movies caused quite a bit of drop-off. 2014′s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 debuted with $121.8 million, with $337.1 million domestic and $418.2 million international for a worldwide tally of $755.3 million, from a $125 million budget. The Hunger Games franchise finale, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 closed out the series with franchise lows all across the board, with a $102.6 million opening, $281.7 million domestic and $371.7 million international for a worldwide tally of $653.4 million, from a $160 million budget.

There has also been rumblings of more Twilight movies as well, but nothing has solidified in the four years since The Twilight Saga came to an end, after launching the careers of stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. This franchise also saw a decrease in the final installments, after the studio split the last book into two movies, but the drop-off wasn’t quite as drastic as The Hunger Games. The first Twilight movie was a modest hit in 2008, opening with $69.3 million en route to $192.7 million domestic and $200.8 million internationally for a worldwide tally of $393.6 million, from a meager $37 million budget. The 2009 follow-up The Twilight Saga: New Moon opened with $142.8 million en route to $296.6 million domestic and $413 million foreign for a global total of $709.7 million from a $50 million budget.

The third installment, 2010′s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse actually dropped quite a bit in its opening weekend tally, earning $64.8 million, but it ended up with a franchise high of $300.5 million domestic and $397.7 million foreign for a global tally of $698.4 million, from a $68 million budget. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 opened with $138.1 million, but ended up with $281.2 million domestic and $430.9 million foreign for a worldwide total of $712.2 million, from a $110 million budget. The final installment of The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, opened with $141 million, with $292.3 million domestic and $537.4 million international for a franchise-high global tally of $829.7 million. Whether or not these franchises come back to life remains to be seen, but anything is possible.

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