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Infinity War Is the Most Viewed Trailer in YouTube History

There’s a new champion in town. A couple of weeks ago, Marvel finally did the world a favor and released the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. It didn’t disappoint and gave fans even more reason to be excited for the massive event next year. Given the anticipation, the trailer was viewed a ton of times, to the point that it now has a pretty impressive record to its name. The Avengers: Infinity War trailer is now the most viewed trailer in the history of YouTube.

As of this writing, the Avengers: Infinity War trailer has 100,182,921 views. That tops the previous record holder, which was the first full-length trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As of this writing, that trailer has a total of 99,984,054. Considering the Infinity War trailer has only been online for a couple of weeks, that’s truly impressive. It shows just how excited audiences are to finally see Thanos duke it out with The Avengers in order to try and get his big purple hands on the Infinity Stones.

It should be noted that this is limited to views of the official trailer on YouTube. Trailers for movies are released on many different YouTube channels and across various social media platforms these days, so the official YouTube channel only accounts for a fraction of its total views. Case in point, Avengers: Infinity War amassed 230 million views in total in the first 24 hours of its release, which shattered the previous record. As long as this movie doesn’t totally suck, and it’s hard to imagine that it will, Disney and Marvel are likely to have a truly massive hit on their hands.

Avengers: Infinity War serves as the culmination of a decade’s worth of MCU movies. It’s all been building to this, folks. The movie is being billed as an unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The good guys of the MCU must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin), before his reign of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

It’s hard to think of another movie coming out in the near future that could possibly top the numbers being put up by the Avengers: Infinity War trailer. Then again, it was hard for anyone to predict how big the IT trailer was going to be this year, so there’s always something that could surprise us all. Perhaps the most likely option is when the first teaser for Avengers 4 drops next year, which will continue the trend of Marvel pretty much only competing with itself. As pointed out by Comicbook.com, this new YouTube record is just another signifier of just how dominant Marvel is in the current pop culture landscape.

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Annihilation Trailer #2 Is Absolutely Crazy, Terrifying and Trippy

The first full-length trailer for Alex Garland’s Annihilation has arrived and it’s truly crazy, along with two new photos. Audiences have been treated to some excellent, sophisticated sci-fi in recent years and those risks studios have been willing to take have really paid off. That’s why Paramount is betting on Annihilation, but this really looks like it’s going to be something totally unique. Will the risk pay off? Who knows at this point? But this new footage is something you absolutely need to see.

Paramount previously released a teaser trailer for Annihilation, which gave a general sense of what to expect from the movie, but didn’t give much in the way of story and was very shy on giving away any of the big visuals. This trailer goes all in on both. We get a sense for this team Natalie Portman is a part of and the strange world they’re going to enter in the movie. It turns out, that world is absolutely filled with horrifying creations that wouldn’t occur naturally. Like a shark mixed with a crocodile, for example. This looks like a trippy blend of horror, thriller and sci-fi that could make it a movie on your must-see list for 2018.

Annihilation is based on the novel of the same name written by Jeff VanderMeer, which was published in 2014. The movie and the book tell the story of a scientific expedition to a mysterious environmental disaster zone known as “The Shimmer”. Led by a psychologist (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the mission team also includes a surveyor, a linguist, an anthropologist, and a biologist (Portman). As we see in the trailer, this isn’t the first time that a group of (seemingly) qualified individuals has ventured into this mysterious place where the laws of nature no longer apply. It soon becomes clear to the team just how dangerous this “The Shimmer” really is.

Alex Garland, the author-turned-filmmaker and director of Ex Machina, wrote the adaptation and directed Annihilation. Unfortunately, test screenings have not gone so well and producer David Ellison said the movie was “too intellectual” for broad audiences. But fellow producer Scott Rudin didn’t feel the need to enforce the recommended changes, so instead, Netflix is going to handle international distribution for the movie. This move didn’t make Garland too happy, but Annihilation is still going to get a theatrical release in the U.S, Canada and China.

In addition to star Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the movie also stars Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Benedict Wong and Oscar Isaac. Even though many people around the world are going to see this movie on Netflix, if you’re up for some intellectual sci-fi, this very well may be worth checking out in a theater. Annihilation is set to arrive in theaters on February 23, 2018. Be sure to check out the new Annihilation trailer and photos, courtesy of Paramount Pictures YouTube, for yourself below.

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<strong><em>Annihilation</em></strong> Photo 1

<strong><em>Annihilation</em></strong> Photo 2

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10 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Facts You Never Knew

It’s the darkest chapter in the original trilogy of the most famous sci-fi franchise and it has one of the biggest surprising reveals in movie history. The Empire Strikes Back, long celebrated as the best chapter in the massive Star Wars saga, has many secrets swirling around that have yet been discovered by sone of the franchise’s biggest fans. Here we take a look at 10 facts you never knew about what some claim is the greatest Star Wars adventure of them all.

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Buffy the Jedi Master.

Buffy the Jedi Master

In the decades since Star Wars changed the world in 1977, a wealth of material about the saga’s developmental stages has come out, with some bits of old concept art and words like “Starkiller,” the original last name for Luke, even getting repurposed in later chapters and the extended universe. The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, by J.W. Rinzler, is a fantastic resource filled with a ton of surprising facts, such as the original name for Jedi Master Yoda. It was Buffy. Yes, Buffy. In early outlines drafted by George Lucas, Bunden Debannen aka Buffy was three to four thousand years old. Luke, the Chosen One, would be “the human buffy.” Later, Lucas envisioned him as a frog type creature, with the full name Minch Yoda.

The Emperor wasn’t always played by a man.

Emperor played by woman Empire Strikes Back

Before the great Ian McDiarmid was retroactively inserted into later editions of The Empire Strikes Back, to tighten up continuity with Return of the Jedi and the Star Wars prequels, actor Clive Revill voiced the mysterious and decrepit leader of the Galactic Empire. But it was a woman named Elaine Baker underneath the makeup. She was then the wife of Academy Award winning makeup artist Rick Baker, who in addition to his work on Star Wars, worked on An American Werewolf in London, Coming to America, the Men in Black series, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Baker not only made the suit for the 1976 King Kong movie, he’s the guy inside of it! Speaking of primates, Elaine Baker’s eyes in Empire were the eyes of a chimpanzee.

Darth Vader wasn’t always a Skywalker.

Darth Vader Empire Strikes Back

In the first draft by the late Leigh Brackett, aka the Queen of Space Opera, Anakin Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, and Minch Yoda swear Luke into the Jedi Order, in a little ceremony that involves an oath and the crossing of their lightsabers. Anakin also tells Luke about his sister, who was also training to become a Jedi, just like Luke.

Leia wasn’t always a Skywalker either.

Luke Leia Kiss Empire Strikes Back

That sister in the early drafts was not Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. In the second draft of The Empire Strikes Back, Vader tells Luke, “You’re in love with Leia. You don’t want to lose her to Han Solo… But you will, if you lack the courage to use the strength that’s in you. A strength as great as mine, Luke.” This second draft and its accompanying dialog, which of course reads much differently with the addition of the now familiar familial twists, was written by George Lucas himself.

George Lucas always had a Harrison Ford back-up plan.

Harrison Ford Empire Strikes Back

Before anyone knew whether or not the first Star Wars would be the kind of success that could warrant a big budget sequel, Lucas commissioned a novelist to write a story for a sequel that could be made for less money, reusing sets, and without Harrison Ford, who wasn’t signed on for follow-ups. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye featured a Luke and Leia romance, as the shipwrecked duo searched a swamp planet for something called a “Kaiburr crystal.” Both Luke and Leia would’ve had lightsaber duels with Darth Vader. In a similar fashion, the whole “frozen in carbonite” plot device was cooked up as a way to write Han Solo out of the next movie should wily scoundrel Harrison Ford have chosen not to return for a third Star Wars movie. (Of course, we all know what happened when Ford agreed to make The Force Awakens.)

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Die Hard, Goonies, Titanic & Superman Join National Film Registry

The Library of Congress has announced the 25 movies being added to the National Film Registry for 2017. The list this year is all over the place, which includes movies dating back to the early 1900s and modern classics. Movies like Die Hard, The Goonies, Titanic and Superman have all been selected this year and are considered worthy of preserving under the National Film Preservation Act. Yes, John McClane taking out terrorists at Nakatomi Plaza is worthy of being preserved by the government now.

Under the National Film Preservation Act, the Librarian of Congress names 25 movies to the National Film Registry every year. These movies are said to be “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. Beyond that, the only other requirement is that the movies must be at least 10 years old. Here’s what Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden had to say about 2017′s additions to the National Film Registry.

“The selection of a film to the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to American cinema and the nation’s cultural and historical heritage. Our love affair with motion pictures is a testament to their enduring power to enlighten, inspire and inform us as individuals and a nation as a whole. Being tasked with selecting only 25 each year is daunting because there are so many great films deserving of this honor.”

The oldest movie added to the list this year is Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street from 1905. One has to imagine that falls into the culturally significant side of things. The newest movie on the list is Christopher Nolan’s inventive thriller, Memento, which was released in 2000. Legendary director Richard Donner should feel rather proud, as two of his movies,The Goonies and Superman, both were added to the National Film Registry this year. Here’s what Donner had to say about it.

“I thank the National Film Registry for choosing ‘Superman: The Movie’ and ‘The Goonies‘ as films to be treasured. They are both special films in my life, as was the cast and crew for both. It’s wonderful to see them listed among so many great films.”

Disney’s 1941 Dumbo, a beloved classic, and The Sinking Of The Lusitania, a 1918 propaganda short, quite far on the other end of the spectrum, were the animated selections added to the National Film Registry this year. With this year’s selections added in, the Library of Congress now has 725 movies included in the registry in total. You can check out the full list of the 25 movies added to the National Film Registry, in alphabetical order, courtesy of The Library of Congress, for yourself below.

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Boulevard Nights (1979)

Die Hard (1988)

Dumbo (1941)

Field of Dreams (1989)

4 Little Girls (1997)

Fuentes Family Home Movies Collection (1920s and 1930s)

Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

The Goonies (1985)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

He Who Gets Slapped (1924)

Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905)

La Bamba (1987)

Lives of Performers (1972)

Memento (2000)

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918)

Spartacus (1960)

Superman (1978)

Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

Time and Dreams (1976)

Titanic (1997)

To Sleep with Anger (1990)

Wanda (1971)

With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain (1937)

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Salma Hayek Shares Terrifying Weinstein Experience: He Was My Monster

It’s been more than two months since the tidal wave of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein started surfacing, and now another famous actress has come forward with her story, Oscar nominated actress Salma Hayek. In a gripping first-person account published by The New York Times, the actress reveals how she was asked by reporters to come forward and share her story with others, including her friend Ashley Judd, but the actress revealed she didn’t want to share her story then because she was, “trying to save myself the challenge of explaining several things to my loved ones,” and since so many others had come forward with their tales of sexual misconduct against the producer, she didn’t think anyone would care about her pain.

The actress revealed that she first started working with Harvey Weinstein when she was trying to get her passion project, a biopic of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo off the ground, what would eventually become the Oscar-nominated 2002 film Frida. Here’s what she had to say about why she wanted to take this project to Harvey Weinstein in the first place.

“Harvey Weinstein was a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster. For years, he was my monster. In the 14 years that I stumbled from schoolgirl to Mexican soap star to an extra in a few American films to catching a couple of lucky breaks in Desperado and Fools Rush In, Harvey Weinstein had become the wizard of a new wave of cinema that took original content into the mainstream. At the same time, it was unimaginable for a Mexican actress to aspire to a place in Hollywood. And even though I had proven them wrong, I was still a nobody. One of the forces that gave me the determination to pursue my career was the story of Frida Kahlo, who in the golden age of the Mexican muralists would do small intimate paintings that everybody looked down on. She had the courage to express herself while disregarding skepticism. My greatest ambition was to tell her story. It became my mission to portray the life of this extraordinary artist and to show my native Mexico in a way that combated stereotypes. The Weinstein empire, which was then Miramax, had become synonymous with quality, sophistication and risk taking, a haven for artists who were complex and defiant. It was everything that Frida was to me and everything I aspired to be. I had started a journey to produce the film with a different company, but I fought to get it back to take it to Harvey. I knew him a little bit through my relationship with the director Robert Rodriguez and the producer Elizabeth Avellan, who was then his wife, with whom I had done several films and who had taken me under their wing. All I knew of Harvey at the time was that he had a remarkable intellect, he was a loyal friend and a family man. Knowing what I know now, I wonder if it wasn’t my friendship with them, and Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney, that saved me from being raped.”

While the initial story that first broke from The New York Times detailed decades worth of sexual harassment, a story a few days later from The New Yorker went even further, with three women accusing the producer of raping them, one of whom was actress Asia Argento. Salma Hayek’s account continues by revealing that she signed a deal for Harvey Weinstein to obtain the rights, with the actress getting the Screen Actors Guild minimum scale rate, plus 10% along with an undetermined producing credit, although no producer’s salary, along with a deal to appear in several other Miramax films. It was after that deal was signed, that the sexual advances began.

“I did not care about the money; I was so excited to work with him and that company. In my naïveté, I thought my dream had come true. He had validated the last 14 years of my life. He had taken a chance on me – a nobody. He had said yes. Little did I know it would become my turn to say no. No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with. No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman. No, no, no, no, no. And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage. I don’t think he hated anything more than the word “no.” The absurdity of his demands went from getting a furious call in the middle of the night asking me to fire my agent for a fight he was having with him about a different movie with a different client to physically dragging me out of the opening gala of the Venice Film Festival, which was in honor of Frida, so I could hang out at his private party with him and some women I thought were models but I was told later were high-priced prostitutes. The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.’ When he was finally convinced that I was not going to earn the movie the way he had expected, he told me he had offered my role and my script with my years of research to another actress. In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body.”

After threatening to offer the Frida Kahlo role to another actress, Salma Hayek lawyered up, not for a sexual harassment lawsuit, but to claim “bad faith” on Harvey Weinstein’s behalf. Harvey Weinstein claimed she was not a big enough star and an incompetent producer, but “to clear himself legally,” he gave Salma Hayek an impossible list of demands, which she was somehow able to meet. The demands were get a script rewrite with no payment to the writer, raise $10 million to finance the film, attach an A-list director and cast notable actors in four of the much smaller roles. Here’s what Salma Hayek had to say about how she somehow managed to pull all that off.

“Much to everyone’s amazement, not least my own, I delivered, thanks to a phalanx of angels who came to my rescue, including Edward Norton, who beautifully rewrote the script several times and appallingly never got credit, and my friend Margaret Perenchio, a first-time producer, who put up the money. The brilliant Julie Taymor agreed to direct, and from then on she became my rock. For the other roles, I recruited my friends Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton and my dear Ashley Judd. To this day, I don’t know how I convinced Geoffrey Rush, whom I barely knew at the time. Now Harvey Weinstein was not only rejected but also about to do a movie he did not want to do. Ironically, once we started filming, the sexual harassment stopped but the rage escalated. We paid the price for standing up to him nearly every day of shooting. Once, in an interview he said Julie and I were the biggest ball busters he had ever encountered, which we took as a compliment. Halfway through shooting, Harvey turned up on set and complained about Frida‘s ‘unibrow.’ He insisted that I eliminate the limp and berated my performance. Then he asked everyone in the room to step out except for me. He told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal and that there was none of that in this movie. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role.”

She added that Harvey Weinstein failed to see any of her accomplishments as a producer, which included negotiating deals with the Mexican government for locations such as Frida Kahlo’s houses, which had never been given before, but he only saw her sex appeal, and he offered her one option to continue: to have a full-front nude sex scene with another woman, or else he would shut the movie down, so she relented.

The actress goes on to state that she had her first and only nervous breakdown on the set and she began to cry uncontrollably, “not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein.” When the movie was finished, director Julie Taymor had to convince Harvey Weinstein to release it in one New York theater, and if it tested over an 80 (which only 10% of movies achieve on their first screening), it would get a theatrical release. The movie scored an 85, and was later given a limited release in New York and Los Angeles, which would result in six Oscar nominations, including one for Salma Hayek, and two Oscar wins for hair and makeup and original score. You can read Salma Hayek’s entire first-person account at The New York Times.

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NASA Is Screening The Last Jedi in Space

The world is very much ready to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which finally rolls out in theaters this weekend. Fans have been waiting eagerly to see this movie ever since the closing shot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Given the hype, what could possibly be better than seeing the latest chapter in the Skywalker saga in a theater surrounded by friends and fellow fans this weekend? How about seeing it in space? As crazy as it sounds, that’s exactly what the crew aboard the International Space Station will get to do, as NASA has confirmed Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be screened in space.

As awesome as watching a movie in the best film series ever to take place in space while actually in space sounds, it’s really out of necessity for those about the International Space Station. It isn’t as though they can just come home for a weekend to catch Star Wars: The Last Jedi at their local movie theater. Spaceflight reporter Robin Seemangal initially broke the news of this special space screening on Twitter. Here’s what he had to say about it.

“I received confirmation from Disney and NASA sources that the crew aboard the International Space Station will be screening Star Wars: The Last Jedi. More details soon.”

How cool is that? It’s not as though Disney has an obligation to send a copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi to the crew on the International Space Station, but they’re doing it anyway. It’s not clear when the astronauts are going to get to see the movie just yet, but it’s not as though they’re in any serious danger of being exposed to spoilers in space. So they’re not quite as desperate to see it as many of us here on Earth are. NASA Public Affairs Officer Dan Huot also confirmed that this screening is going to take place and says that the crew will likely get the movie as a digital file and can watch it however they choose.

“[I] can confirm the crew will be able to watch it on orbit. Don’t have a definitive timeline yet. They typically get movies as digital files and can play them back on a laptop or a standard projector that is currently aboard.”

Many fans on Earth had to purchase their tickets for Star Wars: The Last Jedi months ago, which led technical difficulties on sites like Fandango. The demand to see this movie is, as anyone would expect, very high. But it’s hard to think of a better way to watch the movie than seeing it in space. Sure, some of the astronauts may be watching it on a laptop, as revealed by Inverse, but still. Getting to watch a space movie in space is rad. While it’s not confirmed, it’s possible a copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi could be sent to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX dragon capsule, which is making its way there on Friday.

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The Last Jedi Is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes

Following the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the first press screenings over the past few days, The Last Jedi reviews are in, and they’re overwhelmingly positive, easily earning a certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While the percentage may very well fluctuate between now and the wide release on Friday, Star Wars: The Last Jedi currently stands at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 173 positive reviews and just 11 negative reviews posted thus far. That tally is currently higher than both 2015′s Star Wars: The Force Awakens (93%) and last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (85%).

Given the extremely positive Last Jedi early reactions, the Rotten Tomatoes score isn’t entirely surprising, but it certainly is encouraging for fans who have waited two long years to see how the story continues after Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The movie has also gotten a positive seal of approval from the man who created this very franchise, George Lucas, whose rep revealed the filmmaker thought this movie was “beautifully made” by director Rian Johnson. Along with its critical acclaim, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will most likely be the highest-grossing movie of the year as well.

Early box office projections put The Last Jedi at over $200 million domestic in its opening weekend, and while those projections seemingly haven’t changed, we reported earlier this week that The Last Jedi is eyeing a $425 million worldwide debut, which would be the fifth highest worldwide debut of all time. One reason why this number isn’t higher is because it doesn’t open in the second largest box office market in the world, China, until January 5, 2018. While these projections are certainly impressive, they will still fall short of the opening weekend record of $247.9 million and the all-time domestic record of $936.6 million, both set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

While The Last Jedi is already shaping up to be both a critical and commercial hit, it could be making waves this awards season as well, with a report from earlier this week revealing that Disney is mounting an Oscar campaign for The Last Jedi. The studio is putting The Last Jedi in contention for all of the major awards including Best Picture, Best Director for Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill for Best Actor and Daisy Ridley for Best Actress. While smash-hit blockbusters like Star Wars: The Last Jedi are often shunned by the Academy and other awards, aside from the technical categories, it will be interesting to see if the Academy sparks to this Oscar campaign, although the movie received no major Golden Globe nominations.

It has also been confirmed that this will be the longest Star Wars movie ever, at two hours and 32 minutes, although the original Last Jedi cut was over three hours long. It remains to be seen if this lengthy runtime will have any affect on repeat business for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but by all accounts, it should be another huge hit for Disney and LucasFilm. You can visit Rotten Tomatoes to read all of the reviews posted thus far for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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Pat DiNizio Dies: Smithereens Songwriter-Guitarist And Soundtrack Artist Was 62


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Singer/songwriter Pat DiNizio, who sold millions of records with his New Jersey band, the Smithereens, has died. He passed away just days after indicating via Facebook that he was looking forward to returning to the road. DiNizio was 62 years old and had been recovering from a fall that he was rehabilitating.

His death was announced on the band’s official Facebook page.

DiNizio’s music appeared on numerous film soundtracks, including Bull Durham and Backdraft.

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