Amazon launches new free movies and TV streaming channel through IMDB

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The free, ad-supported streaming video market is getting extremely competitive.

IMDb, the movie and TV website owned by Amazon, launched a free streaming channel on Thursday. Called IMDb Freedive, it’s available to U.S. viewers on the IMDb website and Amazon Fire TV devices. 

IMDb Freedive offers a variety of content, spanning film and television, at no cost. There is no IMDb or Amazon Prime subscription required, as the service is supported by advertisements. Viewers simply need to create a free IMDb account to begin watching.

Older movies like The Illusionist, Memento, and The Last Samurai are currently available to watch on the serviceFringe, Heroes, Without a Trace, and The Bachelor make up some of Freedive’s current television offerings. (There are multiple categories on the service, including drama, comedies, horror, action, family, and so on.) The streaming service also boasts of a few IMDb original series’ that take a look at the movie and TV industry. Read more…

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Fun fact: It took 24 frames to create a single second of filmed animation for the 1964 TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Great bouncing icebergs, indeed. 

A far cry from the stop-motion projects of yesteryear, modern animated works are created using (much more efficient) tools such as Adobe After-Effects, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro. The development of those tools and other technologies — such as augmented and virtual reality — have made animation one of the fastest-growing divisions of the global media and entertainment markets, according to one research firm.

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From ‘Moon’ to ‘Sunshine’: the 21st Century’s Best Thoughtful Sci-Fi Movies

While many of today’s big-screen offerings might appear to only offer audiences superficial, throwaway entertainment full of crash, bang, wallop, the last 20 years has also seen its fair share of thought-provoking sci-fi masterclasses. And not just those with super slick (often sexy) neon-laced cityscapes – like Blade Runner 2049 – either. Rather, there’s a small selection of standout science fiction that’s a whole lot quieter than the standard spectacle, making us stop, ponder, and consider where our future is heading. Sure, you might get thrills thrown in but the sci-fi we’re talking about is a whole lot more contemplative than it is flashy.

Of the most thoughtful sci-fi movies released in the 21st century (so far!), the following are intimate, with character relationships, emotion, and a deeper meaning at the core of their lofty narratives. Here are five modern sci-fi classics guaranteed to give you food for thought.

Sunshine (2007)


Jeepers, would you look at that.

A movie whose chances of box office success — in the UK at any rate — were ironically killed by the sunshine (2007 was a good summer in Blighty), Danny Boyle’s Sunshine stars a who’s who of international actors primarily known at the time for their roles in independent films. This isn’t surprising considering that Sunshine itself was made for a fairly modest budget of just $ 40 million. Not that you’d know it watching Cillian Murphy’s Robert Capa stare into infinity, such is the quality of the film’s effects.

Murphy makes up just one of Icarus II’s eight space-crew members, unceremoniously tasked with reigniting the Earth’s sun using a nuclear payload. While the premise here might appear simple at first, Sunshine revels in raising the stakes, hiking up impossible odds for every crew member to overcome. Some take issue with the stark genre-shift the movie embarks on after Mark Strong’s character is introduced towards the end — but that doesn’t mean the action playing out on screen is any less intelligent.

Moon (2009)


Sam Rockwell in Moon.

When Duncan Jones’ Moon released in 2009, the director and co-writer was thought to be the next best sci-fi protégé. Turns out, he’s been struggling to match his debut ever since, but that doesn’t make his original film any less of a space odyssey worth going on. Featuring a career-defining performance from Sam Rockwell as lonely helium harvester, Sam Bell, his performance conveys the toll taken on a man who finds himself alone in space. Rockwell is the man on the moon, but it’s his humanity that makes us empathise with his solitude.

Moon is a modern sci-fi classic unafraid to spend long sequences lingering on moonscapes, taking its time to unfurl, before finally revealing its central mystery of who he is, why he’s the one chosen for the mission, and for how much longer he’ll stay content. Emotions are tugged throughout Moon’s 97 minutes, and by the end, it’s impossible not to get wrapped up in both its story and greater meaning.

Interstellar (2014)


Chris Nolan’s Interstellar is both gorgeous and deep.

No longer bound by the comic-book pages of DC’s Caped Crusader, people had every right to be excited about Christopher Nolan’s next project: an original story set within the realms of hard science fiction. 2014’s Interstellar was that movie, and for the most part, it lived up to the ambition its title suggests. Matthew McConaughey’s Coop acts as humanity’s only hope, tasked with venturing through a wormhole in an attempt to find a new world capable of allowing life to prosper.

What gives Interstellar its credibility is how grounded both humanity’s plight and use of technology feel considering it’s a movie about zipping around space. A central theme throughout is the idea of time slipping away: the time we have left on Earth, the time we let slip away doing worthless tasks, and time spent away from loved ones. These ideas are integrated into what could be, on the surface, enjoyed as a rollicking sci-fi adventure. By the end, however, it becomes clear that Nolan is spinning his story into a web of concepts not too often explored in mainstream cinema.

Ex Machina (2015)


Alicia Vikander as Ava in Ex Machina.

Alex Garland’s Ex Machina is proof positive that sometimes smaller is better when trying to deal with the loftiest of concepts. Often, the idea of artificial intelligence becoming self-aware is realised simply as a means of giving our heroes an enemy to fight, but here it’s used as an opportunity to explore the differences between humanity and those engineered by us to mimic us. Alicia Vikander’s performance as android Ava helped put her on the map, and the chemistry she shares with Domhnall Gleeson’s sheepish programmer, Caleb, makes it an electrifying watch.

While the isolated tech centre the majority of the film takes place in looks shiny, sleek, and clean, Ex Machina cleverly evokes an insidious sense of seediness sparked by Oscar Isaac’s power-hungry Nathan. So obsessed with creating a perfect human replica able to pass the Turing test, his overconfidence in controlling Ava is what eventually proves to be his downfall. All three main actors are at the top of their game in Ex Machina, making this smart science fiction at its finest.

Arrival (2016)



Based on Ted Chiang’s acclaimed short story, The Story of Your Life, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is far from your standard alien invasion movie. Whereas most would instantly see hordes of militia swarm the unknown force before it had even a chance to touch the ground, here we see humans take a calm and calculated approach to tackling the potential alien threat. This refreshing shake-up of pace leads to a fascinating dialogue (of sorts) between us and them, allowing room for Amy Adams’ linguist to attempt to decipher their intentions.

This turns out to be much more ethereal than it might at first appear, as we eventually learn that the extra-terrestrial presence hopes to teach us more about our species. Arrival isn’t afraid to keep audiences out of the loop for extended lengths of the running time but, by the end, it mostly manages to click into place eliciting a sense of understanding on the part of the audience for a pay-off that’s elevated by an emotive central performance by Adams. As beautiful as it is smart, Arrival sits with you long after the credits roll.

Avatar Producer Compares Sequels to the Original Star Wars Trilogy

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Movies That Should Have Been Based on Video Games

The extent to which bad movies based on video games outweighs the good is almost laughable. Over the years, many studios have tried to translate the thrills and bombast of our favourite interactive medium to film, but it continually proves all-too-easy to slip up spectacularly. We say this fully aware that director Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil series has grossed box office takings of $ 1.2 billion worldwide. But as any fan of Capcom’s celebrated horror franchise will tell you, even Anderson’s franchise quickly abandoned the original concept, mutating into its own beast until it was near-unrecognisable.

The movies that do the most justice to video games tend to be those that skirt around gaming – such as Wreck-It Ralph, Ready Player One, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – rather than the ones that directly lift an existing plot or concept, condensing down hours and hours of gameplay into roughly 90 minutes. It’s an impossible task most of the time, it seems, when a studio sets out to transfer a game to the big screen. However, there are a bunch of Hollywood flicks that accidentally encapsulated our favourite game franchises – and in the process, made decent versions that could only have been improved had someone stepped in at the end of shooting and shouted: “Surprise! You’ve just made a Call of Duty film! Now add in these bits…”

Perhaps more movies need to be retroactively or stealthily made into game adaptations. Here’s our pick of movies that could, and perhaps should, have been based on video game properties.

Overlord/Wolfenstein

Originally rumoured to be another undercover addition to the cult Cloverfield anthology series, the J.J. Abrams’ produced Overlord turned out to be a gore-fuelled genre mash-up of war film and horror flick – one with an affinity for relentlessly dispatching zombified Nazi soldiers. It’s a pretty tongue-in-cheek take on what lengths the German army might have gone to in order to secure their thousand-year army. These traits are emblematic of the Wolfenstein video games: a series that also isn’t afraid to take some creative liberty when it comes to depicting what the Nazis were capable of.

Set in an alternate history where Hitler’s Third Reich has steamrolled its way onto American soil, recent Wolfenstein entries have placed you in the shoes of gung-ho resistance fighter B.J. Blazkowicz. And while there are no zombies for you to fight per se, the in-game Nazi forces have been conducting some equally grotesque human experiments. Just add in some mechs with the patriotic spirit dialled up to 11, and Overlord is a Wolfenstein movie in the making.

Exodus: Gods and Kings/Assassin’s Creed


We can image Christian Bale donning AC’s iconic hood.

While portraying a sneaky assassin and climbing tall buildings bring much of the joy gamers get from playing Assassin’s Creed games, it’s the historic locations and stories that are of chief appeal. The official Michael Fassbender-led Assassin’s Creed movie botched this a few years back by emphasising the series’ futuristic aspect, when what we should have got was a fully-fledged swords-and-sandals epic likes Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings.

The 2014 movie that cast Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Rameses II wasn’t great, as it happens. But it could have been had it been deliberately infused with a touch more Assassin’s Creed DNA. Only last year, the Ubisoft series ventured into the Ptolemaic period of Egypt, casting players as Bayek the Last Medjay, tasked with protecting the innocent. Exodus: Gods and Kings was, in the end, a plodding retelling of a story told countless times before and would have benefitted by borrowing from the Assassin’s Creed brand of fictionalised history.

Gangster Squad/LA Noire


Slick but soulless, Gangster Squad should have been based on LA Noire.

Set in post-WWII Los Angeles and intended as an homage to noir films of the era, Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad had a cracking cast in Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, and more. However, it’s instantly forgettable thanks to an uninspired story. It follows a rogue team of LAPD officers challenged to go beyond police boundaries to take down a local crime baron. The movie, however, shares plenty of similarities with the critically acclaimed detective game, LA Noire, released just two years prior.

LA Noire forgoes the usual action spectacle for a slower-paced crime story that is gradually pieced together as you work your way up the police departments. The cases you, as protagonist Cole Phelps, are solving are based on real Los Angeles crimes committed in 1947, and there’s a strong emphasis on the morality of the decisions you make in order to get your confession. Gangster Squad could have been vastly improved with this nuance, which would have done justice to the style of film it honours. Instead, the film just consistently descends into a 21st century-brand of action.

REC/Resident Evil


REC matched the first Resident Evil’s vibe of close-quarters horror.

While a diluted version of Resident Evil may have already found success among cinema audiences, the Milla Jovovich-led franchise leaned more on action than the intimate horror of Capcom’s best entries of the classic game series. The formula for a perfect Resident Evil movie should go something like this: zombies + limited resources + a confined space. In other words, the elements masterfully executed within 2007 Spanish found-footage horror REC, and by extension its US remake, Quarantine.

Both versions of the film centre on an innocent reporter accompanying a team of firefighters on their first job of the night, only to find that the apartment building they’re called to is Ground Zero to a viral outbreak. This is akin to the close-quarters horror Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine find themselves experiencing in the first Resident Evil’s Spencer Mansion, or, more recently, Resident Evil 7’s Baker House. The movies’ found-footage aspect aligns them specifically to the latter game, restoring the stripped-back scares that Anderson’s films always lacked. REC is already intense, but just imagine if it was approached as a Resident Evil film.

Edge of Tomorrow/Call of Duty

Edge of Tomorrow is already quite video game-y. In it, we follow an underprepared Tom Cruise, who is forced into battle during an alien war against Earth, only to find that he is able to die again and again before being sent back to the beginning of the skirmish. That’s right, it’s Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers. And while Edge of Tomorrow could make a case for being based on any first-person shooter franchise, it aligns well with the fast-paced action of Call of Duty’s multiplayer offering.

The movie is actually based on a manga comic called All You Need Is Kill, but the time-loop aspect reinforces the tediousness of war until ultimately it’s trivialised – similar to how Call of Duty players have become acclimatised to “live, die, repeat”, up to the point where they win for their team online. There is an official Activision-licenced Call of Duty movie currently in development, but Edge of Tomorrow’s futuristic element means it doesn’t sit too far away from sub-series entries Black Ops and Infinite Warfare. Another movie that could have been improved by an overt association with a gaming franchise? What could have been.

5 Times Dystopian TV and Film Fiction Became Real-Life Dystopian Fact

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Feige: MCU Could Start Developing X-Men, Fantastic Four Movies Within 6 Months

With the Disney-Fox merger looking to come together in January, this next year looks like it could bring some big, exciting changes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While MCU head honcho Kevin Feige continues to say talks haven’t formally begun to figure out how Fox-owned superheroes, like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, will fit into the Marvel Studios fold, he has finally given some semblance of a timeline for when that will happen — and it’s sooner than we expected.

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The 5 Most Overrated Movies of 2018: ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ ‘Vice’ and More

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Look, 2018 was a great year for movies.

It was a year where Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz duked it out for a horny queen with a thing for rabbits; a CGI bear in a cute red hat warmed out hearts; world-savers were finally more diverse; 99 people in a room didn’t believe in Lady Gaga but one thankfully did; a twenty-something stand-up opened our eyes to Generation Instagram; and Nicolas Cage proved why he’s one of the most compelling actors around. Oh, and fucking Roma.

But there were also plenty of times where we felt the critical consensus had led us astray, and now that we’re in the throes of awards season, and everyone and their mother is cranking out year-end lists, it’s time to highlight some of the films that, in this writer’s humble opinion, have been way overpraised.

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The 5 Most Overrated Movies of the Year: ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ ‘Vice’ and More

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Look, 2018 was a great year for movies.

It was a year where Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz duked it out for a horny queen with a thing for rabbits; a CGI bear in a cute red hat warmed out hearts; world-savers were finally more diverse; 99 people in a room didn’t believe in Lady Gaga but one thankfully did; a twenty-something stand-up opened our eyes to Generation Instagram; and Nicolas Cage proved why he’s one of the most compelling actors around. Oh, and fucking Roma.

But there were also plenty of times where we felt the critical consensus had led us astray, and now that we’re in the throes of awards season, and everyone and their mother is cranking out year-end lists, it’s time to highlight some of the films that, in this writer’s humble opinion, have been way overpraised.

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Next 3 DC Superhero Movies: ‘Shazam!,’ ‘Birds of Prey,’ ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Next 3 DC Superhero Movies: 'Shazam!,' 'Birds of Prey,' 'Wonder Woman 1984'

James Wan's highly-anticipated Aquaman has exceeded all expectations, establishing Jason Momoa as a superhero on both land and sea. The action-adventure has a light heart while dealing with serious issues, bolstered by spectacular visual effects and strong performances by Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman.

Now that Aquaman has launched successful into theaters, what's next for DC Films? We take a closer look at three of their upcoming productions.
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The Week in Movie News: First ‘Hellboy’ Trailer, Favorite Movies of 2018 and More

The Week in Movie News: First ‘Hellboy’ Trailer, Favorite Movies of 2018 and More

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YEAR-END REVIEW

Our favorite movies of 2018: Fandango editors Erik Davis and Brian Formo listed their top 10 movies of this year, with lots of love going to If Beale Street Could Talk, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Roma between them. Read their respective picks for the best of 2018 here and here.

 

The women of Welcome to Marwen: Meet the real women characters of…

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The Top 10 Movies of 2018: Erik’s Picks

The Top 10 Movies of 2018: Erik's Picks

Whenever it comes to forming a list of my favorite films of the year, I always think long and hard about the stories that affected me the most. What moved me? What shook me? What scared me? What made me laugh uncontrollably? What did I connect with the most, personally, and what films entered my life at a time when I really needed it the most? 

When this year’s list began to materialize, I noticed a lot of the films had something in common: they were about coming of age, and they…

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Next 3 Marvel Studios Movies: ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Next 3 Marvel Studios Movies: 'Captain Marvel,' 'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'

The chilly month of December has warmed up nicely, thanks to superheroes. The animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (above), opening in theaters this coming Friday, December 14, has already received rave reviews. Advance word on Aquaman, opening in theaters the following Friday, December 21, has also been very positive.

To further stoke the excitement, Marvel Studios released two new trailers last week, with a third tipped for wide release soon. Let's look a bit closer at…

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Tours you can take based on your favorite movies or shows

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Sometimes just watching a TV show or movie isn’t enough and you really want to take a step into the world you know and love so much. Many people have begun to tour the filming locations of their favorite stories, putting themselves in the heart of the action. These places are a great way to put you in touch with much-loved works of fiction.

Game of Thrones – Northern Ireland, Iceland, Croatia

The iconic fantasy TV series Game of Thrones was shot in several places around the planet and if you want to put yourself in the dangerous backstabbing world of Westeros, you can. Many of the scenes were filmed in Northern Ireland, including Winterfell, the Iron Islands, and the world-famous Dark Hedges.

The show was not only shot in Ireland however, and the scenes beyond The Wall were captured in Iceland. There are several tours available in Iceland to take Game of Thrones fans to iconic settings, and if you’re lucky you’ll also get to see the Northern Lights.

If you don’t fancy the colder temperatures of Iceland or Ireland, you can travel to Croatia. Dubrovnik was the city where King’s Landing was brought to life, and fans can take a guided tour around the ancient city.

Harry Potter, London

The Harry Potter fantasy franchise is one of the biggest in the world. Millions of people have read the books or watched the films, and lots of the movie locations were shot in London. The movies had a big impact on the city and many of the iconic locations have been developed specifically for people on Harry Potter tours.

Head over to Kings Cross Station to see Platform 9 ¾, where you can take a picture of a trolly stuck in the wall. When Harry first speaks Parseltongue, he does so at London Zoo and you can visit the exact snake tank featured in the film. There are many locations along the streets of London, and tours can be arranged to allow the biggest Harry Potter fan the chance to walk the same path as their hero. You can even swing on by to the movie studio where the film was shot where you can see props and costumes from the franchise.

Lord of the Rings, New Zealand

From one fantasy movie to another. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was shot in the beautiful country of New Zealand. Fans of the movies can visit many of their favorite locations including the Gardens of Isengard, Rivendell, and the Fangorn Forest.

If you want to feel like a hobbit on your own adventure, then you can check out the real-life set of Hobbiton. The houses built into the ground remain there to this day, and it’s the perfect way to be at one with the fantasy series.

If you’ve been looking to get in touch with some of your favorite movies or shows then check out these filming location tours. They are perfect for placing you right in some of film’s most famous scenes.

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Movies Starring Women Earn More Than Male-Led Films, Study Finds

The research, covering 2014 to 2017, also showed the power of films that pass the Bechdel test, in which two female characters discuss something other than a man.
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Next 3 Michael B. Jordan Movies: ‘Just Mercy,’ ‘Wrong Answer,’ ‘A Bittersweet Life’

Next 3 Michael B. Jordan Movies: 'Just Mercy,' 'Wrong Answer,' 'A Bittersweet Life'

Michael B. Jordan first gained notice as a teenage drug dealer in David Simon's superb series The Wire way back in 2002. He stood out again on the small screen in both Friday Night Lights and Parenthood before his startling turn in Ryan Coogler's charged, true-life drama Fruitvale Station. That led to his sterling starring role as Adonis Johnson in Coogler's gritty and surprising sports film Creed.

Earlier this year, Jordan showed his range with his gripping, villainous…

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See Brand New Images for The Hottest Movies of the Holiday Season

See Brand New Images for The Hottest Movies of the Holiday Season

From the colorful and whimsical to the big, bold and daring, this holiday season promises a whole bunch of new movies guaranteed to entertain in a multitude of ways. The 2018 Fandango Holiday Movie Preview is now here, featuring over 20 upcoming titles arriving in theaters between right now and the end of the year. Whether you're craving more dynamic superhero stories or more dramatic Oscar contenders, we have your complete guide right here.

Click here for our full Holiday Movie Preview…

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Interview: ‘Creed II’ Director Steven Caple Jr. Talks ‘Rocky’ Movies, Training Montages and More ‘Creed’ Sequels

Interview: 'Creed II' Director Steven Caple Jr. Talks 'Rocky' Movies, Training Montages and More 'Creed' Sequels

 

Before Ryan Coogler directed the original Creed and Steven Caple Jr. followed up with Creed II, the two filmmakers attended USC together as film students. Coogler was a senior when Caple Jr. was a freshman, and they formed a bond that would eventually act as a catalyst for Caple Jr. — who had only directed one feature film previously, 2016's The Land — to lead the Creed sequel.

In Creed II, Caple Jr. builds off Coogler's rich, character-driven film with a story that…

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Next 3 Major Family Movies: ‘A Dog’s Way Home,’ ‘The Kid Who Would Be King,’ ‘Dumbo’

Next 3 Major Family Movies: 'A Dog's Way Home,' 'The Kid Who Would Be King,' 'Dumbo'

A cheerful comedy about a grouchy creature who doesn't like Christmas, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, opened over the weekend to grand success. Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the titular character with gruff yet winsome authority, leads the voice cast in the animated holiday adventure, joined by Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury and Pharrell Williams.

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is ideal for families. More family films are coming soon to theaters, including Ralph Breaks the…

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Netflix Christmas 2018 movies revealed – the festive films to watch this winter

NETFLIX has released a new trailer to show what’s available to stream over the Christmas period.

Films on offer include The Princess Switch, The Christmas Chronicles and A Christmas Prince: A Royal Wedding.

Netflix has released a new trailer for its offerings over the Christmas period
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There will also be a holiday special of Bake Off with Paul and Prue welcoming back their favourite bakers.

And for fans of the new Sabrina series that’s getting its own Christmas special called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinters Tale.

Love Actually and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are both already available to watch on the site.

It comes days after The Sun Online revealed the easy way of tracking down the best Christmas films on Netflix.

You can unlock secret Netflix Christmas movie genres using special codes
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What to watch

The Princess Switch – coming November 16

The Christmas Chronicles – coming November 22

The Great British Baking Show: Holidays and A Christmas Prince: A Royal Wedding – both coming November 30

Nailed it! Holiday – coming December 7

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinters Tale – coming December 14

Love Actually – already streaming

We tracked down the secret codes that unlock specific categories and have together a guide on how to get access the genres on ANY device.

You should also read our guide to the secret Netflix controls you never knew existed.

If you waste hours trying to find something to watch, you’ll definitely want to try Netflix Roulette.

And find out how to get new Netflix features first.


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Big Movies Saturate Korean Cinemas Over Holiday, Damaging the Box Office

The outlook for South Korea’s film box office business is decidedly guarded. Over Chuseok holiday period, overall sales increased but business ended up being a zero-sum game. According to the Korean Film Council’s report, box office managed to sell almost 32% more tickets in September, compared to the same month a year ago. That’s partly […]

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Disappointed By Big-Screen DC? Their Animated Movies Pack the Biggest Punch

Oh, what a frustrating time it is to be a DC Extended Universe fan. Or Worlds of DC to use the newly coined title. Just when it seems like all the pieces are finally in place for our heroes to push forward into a brave new era of screen adventures following the conclusion of 2017’s Justice League, we’re hit with the news that the solo Flash outing is indefinitely delayed. Not to mention the fact that discussions for Henry Cavill’s next appearance as Superman have broken down. If there’s one thing the DC movies have been lacking, it’s consistency — something the MCU has championed for so long. And it doesn’t look to be arriving any time soon.

While the live-action universe’s overall trajectory remains uncertain, there is an avenue where DC fans can get a reliable, respectful fix of the comic-book giant’s most beloved characters. And that’s the DC Animated Universe. A continuing series of direct-to-video film projects originally intended for mature audiences, these animated features are well-directed, often standalone, and are generally more aligned with the comic book stories readers will be familiar with – all while pushing them in new directions.

Some of the most notable comic arcs translated so far include: Flashpoint ParadoxGotham by Gaslight, and even The Dark Knight Returns in a fully fledged two-part epic. These stories, and some new ones, are treated with the love and care they deserve, free of the need to waste time setting up undercooked plot threads that will likely never happen. Forget the universe formerly known as the DCEU, here’s why DC’s animated movies pack the biggest punch.

Intelligent Stories For Well-Travelled Comic Book Fans


Gods and Monsters shook up the origins of DC’s holy trinity.

Quite understandably, blockbuster interpretations like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad aren’t likely to take any real creative risks. Especially in the latter’s case; even in a film fronted by a ragtag team of supervillains we’re expected to believe that they’re merely misunderstood – rather than seriously disturbed – individuals sure to see the value of good before eventually fighting off ‘true evil’. They’re written and filmed to appeal to a broad audience of cinema-goers, after all, thus making any big-screen representation of DC’s strong character slate pretty cut and dried. Or worse, watered down.

The DC Animated Universe stories are the opposite of this, by comparison, going so far as to explore characters like Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and The Flash in much more depth than their straight-laced, silver-screen versions. Take Justice League: Gods and Monsters, for example. It’s an entirely original and unique storyline that riffs off the origin stories of Superman and the gang, presenting a universe where Batman is a pseudo-vampire, Wonder Woman is a god willing to kill, and Son of Zod, rather than Kal-El, was the baby exiled to Earth following the destruction of Krypton.

Even when universe lore is kept classic, very rarely do these animated features waste time explaining characters’ backstory or origins, unless it’s crucial to the central story about to unfold. Remaining confident that viewers will have a basic understanding of these heroes that have been ingrained in pop culture for 70+ years now, DC animated movies like Batman: Assault on Arkham – in which the Dark Knight largely takes a backseat – can be the perfect jumping in point for newcomers as well as die-hard DC fans not wanting to be pandered to.

Exploration of DC Characters We Wouldn’t Typically See


Only DC’s mystical cast of outsiders can fight a magical threat.

Whereas the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown bravery in letting its lesser-known characters come to the fore in eponymous movies such as Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, the Worlds of DC probably hasn’t established itself well enough yet to get quite as wacky. The DC animated films, however, have done a great job at highlighting the stranger side of superheroes. Released with little fanfare on store shelves last year, Justice League Dark is the perfect example of this.

In it, we follow Batman as he recruits the DC universe’s supernatural slate of characters, with John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, and more coming to the fore in order to stop a mystical force threatening the world. These characters make sense in a story that is noticeably darker than what the light and bright members of the Justice League world normally face – in a world where mythology and mystery are woven together. Hollywood director Doug Liman was allegedly developing a live-action version of Justice League Dark, but as with most Worlds of DC projects announced these days, it wouldn’t see the light of day.

Unexpected Twists on Familiar DC Arcs


It’s nice to see certain beloved comic book arcs given the animation treatment.

So far, we’ve explained how the DC Animated Universe does right by comic-book fans looking for something slightly off-kilter and new. However, every so often, the folks spearheading this animation arm of DC Entertainment see fit to adapt an established comic book arc – with a welcome twist. The animated interpretation of Gotham by Gaslight, for example, dreams up an entirely different identity for the Jack the Ripper that Batman has been chasing. Batman vs Robin, on the other hand, takes elements from Scott Snyder’s celebrated Court of Owls storyline before choosing to delve deeper into the relationship between Bruce and his estranged son Damian Wayne.

In lifting these much-beloved DC one-shots off the page though, the risk is that they aren’t always done justice. Take 2015’s animated adaptation of The Killing Joke. The original Alan Moore graphic novel works out at a perfectly paced 50-or-so pages. This wasn’t enough material for a 100-minute home video feature, meaning that creative liberty was taken by way of a new prologue. Many took against this change – proving that, despite best intentions, in animated form, it’s still possible to get things wrong.

Occasional hiccups like this don’t take away from the runaway success of so many of the entries in the DC Animated Universe, which for the most part explore far more interesting territory than DC’s big-screen offerings likely ever will. While seeing our favourite characters and stories done right on the big screen can be a thrilling experience, it’s in the DC Animated Universe where the truly great stuff is happening.

8 DC Villains We’d Love To See Show Up In Arrowverse’s ‘Batwoman’

The post Disappointed By Big-Screen DC? Their Animated Movies Pack the Biggest Punch appeared first on FANDOM.

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Halloween is coming, so here’s a state-by-state roundup of the most popular horror movies

Favorite horror movies

It’s that time of year again.

Break out the popcorn, dump some candy into the trick-or-treaters’ bags, and settle in for some scary movies. It’s interesting — horror is a particularly buzzy genre right now thanks in part to programs like The Haunting of Hill House and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, both of which have just debuted on Netflix and garnered plenty of online chatter.

The genre is also definitely resilient at the box office, because think about it — what better way to get scared out of your mind watching a horror movie than on a giant screen in a dark room with a bunch of strangers? Heck, people love horror films so much there’s even a streaming service dedicated to horror-related content.

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Halloween is coming, so here’s a state-by-state roundup of the most popular horror movies originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 28 Oct 2018 at 14:07:53 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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FIRST LOOK: Don Cheadle, Regina Hall, Jay Ellis And Quincy Brown Star In New Shows, Movies

There’s some good new TV and movies coming down the pike and we’ve got the first look at the new trailers. Don Cheadle and Regina Hall have a new 80’s themed Wall Street show coming to Showtime, Quincy Brown (Al B. Sure’s son and Diddy’s stepson) and actress/singer Kat Graham have a new movie The Holiday Calendar headed to Netflix, and Insecure‘s Jay Ellis stars in a thriller based on the popular Escape Room attractions, though hopefully those are not as scary in real life as the one in the movie.

Here are the trailers and release dates for all three. Which one are you feeling?

ESCAPE ROOM 

Jay Ellis, Taylor Russell

Six strangers from different walks of life including an executive (Jay Ellis) and a college student (Russell of Lost In Space fame) are invited to compete to win a million dollars by being the first to crack the code to get out of the Escape Room. As you can imagine, things soon turn scary.

BLACK MONDAY

Showtime comedy series about October 19, 1987 when the stock market lost a quarter of its value on a single day. Cheadle plays Rod Jaminski, Wall Street’s first Black millionaire.

Showtime, January 20th, 2019

THE HOLIDAY CALENDAR 

Netflix, November 2

Kat Graham. Ron Cephas Jones, Quincy Brown

A woman receives a holiday calendar from her grandfather and magical things start happening.

PHOTO: Showtime


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Next 3 Timothée Chalamet Movies: ‘The King,’ ‘Little Women,’ ‘Dune’

Next 3 Timothée Chalamet Movies: 'The King,' 'Little Women,' 'Dune'

Timothée Chalamet began appearing on the big screen with brief roles in Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar before snaring larger roles in indie dramas like One and Two. He caught fire in Hollywood thanks to his trio of acclaimed performances last year in Call Me By Your Name (for which he received a well-deserved Academy Award nomination), Lady Bird and Hostiles.

Now he is again receiving plaudits for his sterling performance as a…

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‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ Review: Good Time at the Movies

What is Bad Times at the El Royale?

In this star-studded thriller, seven strangers — each with a secret to hide — check into the titular Lake Tahoe hotel, which sits on the California-Nevada border. Over the course of a stormy night, their paths cross, their pasts are revealed, and the characters find themselves on a collision course that will either lead to redemption, or an early grave.

Tarantino-Esque

Drew Goddard — whose last film was meta horror gem The Cabin in the Woods some six years ago — is clearly a fan of the master of meta crime movies, Quentin Tarantino. Not only does Goddard’s new movie ape QT’s tone and style and approach to character, it also has much in common with his last release, The Hateful Eight.

Both films feature a bunch of disparate souls holing up in a single location overnight. Thanks to Biblical storms raging outside. In both stories nothing and no one is what they seem. In both movies, dialogue-heavy interactions reveal that some characters are there by coincidence, while others have more in common than it first appears. And in both instances, those conversations trigger intense bursts of violence that result in far fewer walking out than walked in.

Tahoe’s Best Kept Secret

And what a strange, mysterious space the El Royale is. A red line running down the middle of the lobby, it’s a “bi-state establishment” that divides the warmth and sunshine of California from the hope and opportunity of Nevada. With the beds in the ‘Golden State’ a buck more.

The El Royale is decked out like a 1960s Vegas lounge, though one that’s a few years past its heyday. The film takes place at the start of the ’70s, long after the hotel’s gambling license has been lost, and a time when the ‘Summer of Love’ has transformed into something more sinister, with Nixon in the White House, and murder on the news.

Following a brief prologue in which a murder occurs in one of the rooms some 10 years previous, we’re introduced to this den of iniquity’s newest clients.


Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, and Cynthia Erivo in Bad Times at the El Royale.

The Likeable Seven

Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm) is a southern, silver-tongued salesman obsessed with his “accoutrements,” and determined to lavish himself in the honeymoon suite. Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo) is a soul singer clearly struggling to make ends meet. Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) looks like a hippie, but her attitude is anything but. And Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a charming priest with a serious sob story who seems out of place in such an establishment.

These first arrivals introduce themselves while waiting for the hotel’s staff, their interactions sparking tensions, setting the characters at odds with each other, and creating audience expectations that are cleverly defied as proceedings progress.

And progress they do, via a series of chapters that revolve around characters or events, some in the past to lend much needed context and stakes, and others in the present, as new guests are added to the mix (turning the four into seven), and the various storylines start to coalesce.

Excessive Run-Time

Trouble is — much like Hateful Eight — it takes an absolute age to get to the film’s finale, which itself is dragged out for longer than’s necessary. And while some of the tales that play out along the way are thrilling — most notably Father Flynn’s — others are less engaging, with one particular back-story dishwater dull. Meanwhile Chris Hemsworth’s role — which we won’t spoil here — is a little too on the nose, an issue that isn’t helped by his mugging for the camera.

But the dialogue is as sharp as it is smart. The film’s soundtrack is an all-timer that’s filled with pop, rock and soul from music’s greatest era. The politics that sneaks into the film is effective, making clever comment on the cult of celebrity and the behaviour of those in power. And there are some terrific performances, not only from Bridges and Hamm, but also via less familiar faces like Erivo — who sings like an angel — and Lewis Pullman, who might just steal the film as the El Royale’s mysterious desk clerk Miles.

Is Bad Times at the El Royale Good?

You could call Bad Times at the El Royale a Hateful Eight imitator (with a little Identity thrown in for good measure), but if you are going to crib, crib from the best. And to be fair to writer-director Drew Goddard, he’s pulled off a pretty impressive feat in his own right, effortlessly cross-cutting between multiple timelines and stories to craft a cohesive thriller that constantly pulls the rug out from under the audience.

So while it ultimately outstays its welcome, Bad Times is anything but for much of that run-time, making it both the best crime thriller that Quentin Tarantino never made, and a joint that’s well worth paying a visit.

Bad Times at the El Royale was reviewed at Fantastic Fest and hits Australian screens on October 11 and releases in UK/US cinemas on October 12.

‘Overlord’ Review: WWII Monster Movie That Plays Like a Celluloid ‘Wolfenstein’

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