How a Movie Can Go Wrong (Even When It Had Everything Right)

James Ellroy’s novel “The Black Dahlia” is a fictionalized crime noir that launches from one of the most gruesome unsolved murders of old Los Angeles. Ellroy’s book is quintessential noir layered in a dark world of criminals, muscled confessions and crooked cops. No one is innocent in the pursuit of justice for the murder of […]

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Facebook’s fake news problem was so bad even Barack Obama talked to him about it

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After a long, confusing, fake news-filled 2016 election in which Donald Trump became President of the United States, Barack Obama was one of the many people to take shots at Facebook’s role in spreading fake news.

But according to a new New York Times Magazine article published online on Tuesday, Obama didn’t just complain about fake news, he also spoke directly to Mark Zuckerberg it. 

In the article, titledCan Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug,” writer Farhad Manjoo investigated Facebook’s efforts to adapt to and fix the problem of fake news on social media. While interviewing Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg for the story, Manjoo asked if he had spoken to Obama about the former president’s complaints. And according to the New York Times Magazine, “Zuckerberg paused for several seconds, nearly to the point of awkwardness, before answering that he had.”  Read more…

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New Details on ‘Rogue One’ Opening Crawl Emerge Even Though Gary Whitta Forgot About It

Rogue One Opening Crawl

One of the biggest departures from Star Wars tradition that was taken by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the lack of an opening crawl to set the stage for the movie to come. However, even though we didn’t see one in the final movie, we did find out that there was once an opening crawl that was part of the original draft of the script.

The existence of a Rogue One opening crawl was further confirmed just a few days ago when director Gareth Edwards confirmed in a Reddit AMA that Gary Whitta wrote one in the first draft of the script. But he said that we would have to bug him to find out what it entailed. Thankfully, someone was able to follow up with the writer, and now we have some clarification on the matter.

UPDATE: Apparently writer Gary Whitta’s memory isn’t what it used to be. It turns out the Rogue One opening crawl did exist in the first draft of the script, but was removed when he did revisions. He reached out to us on Twitter to clarify his previous comments. In addition, we got some brief details about what that opening crawl entailed. Our original story follows, and you can find the update with details on the opening crawl after the jump.

io9 spoke to Gary Whitta not long after Gareth Edwards gave everyone that trailer to follow, and Whitta clarified, “It was never actually in a draft of the script. It’s just in a document, like a story document that I wrote.” Then he went on to explain how the discussion about the opening crawl (and some of the other traditional elements of Star Wars) went behind the scenes

“Literally in the very first days working on the film we were asking ourselves those questions. Like ‘What makes these :standalones different? Do they have opening crawls? Do they have John Williams music? Do they have all the same furniture and trappings? Do you do the Kurosawa wipes? Or do find your own language?’

Initially Gareth, a hardcore Star Wars fan, was like ‘You’ve gotta have an opening crawl.’ We wanted to have all the things we grew up with. And so as an experiment, purely because it was fun to try and write one, I wrote one. But it was never in a script. It was never actually in a draft.”

It’s likely we’ll never see that opening crawl, but even if we did, it would only offer insight into an entirely different version of the movie. There were some drastic changes made to the story that Gary Whitta wrote, as well as the first draft of the script, when Chris Weitz was brought in to write a second draft. There were characters in the final movie that weren’t even part of Whitta’s original draft, including the favorite duo Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus.

In the end, Whitta thnks that Rogue One is better without an opening crawl anyway:

As we started to embrace the idea more and more that these films were going to be different, and they didn’t have to be beholden to all the same laws as the original films, we were like, ‘You know? We’re better off without it.’ And I understand there are some people out there that really want things the way they want them, and they’re upset there isn’t an crawl. But I feel like it was a really great way to make the bold statement at the very beginning, literally the very first frame of the film: this is not like the Star Wars films you’ve seen before.

As we’ve mentioned before, the opening crawl would have had a somewhat difficult time setting the stage when you consider the fact that the first sequence takes place roughly 15 years before the events that follow in the rest of the film. So much time passes between the opening scene and the rest of the movie that the opening crawl wouldn’t really be able to tell us anything that helps set up the movie like the rest of the Star Wars saga installments.

UPDATE: For those curious, a reader reached out to us with details from an appearance Gary Whitta made at the Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX this past weekend. Whitta wouldn’t give any specific details about the content of the opening crawl, but he did reveal that in addition to having three paragraphs that end with ellipses as you would expect, it did have the exact same word count as the opening crawl from A New Hope.

We’ll have more on Rogue One soon as the press heats up for the film’s digital release on March 24 followed by the Blu-ray and DVD release on April 4.

The post New Details on ‘Rogue One’ Opening Crawl Emerge Even Though Gary Whitta Forgot About It appeared first on /Film.


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Sorry Trump, even Fox News thinks your wiretapping claim is BS

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Not everyone at Donald Trump’s favorite news network is gobbling up his latest piece of red meat.  

Fox News anchor Shep Smith countered Trump once again Friday, this time aiming his measured, declaratory tone at the president’s outlandish claim that his predecessor was wiretapping him.

“Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way,” anchor Shep Smith said during a Friday broadcast. “Full stop.”

Smith’s “full stop” comment, which was spread widely on social media, comes after analyst Andrew Napolitano claimed on Fox & Friends Tuesday that “three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command” and requested British intelligence officials spy on Trump. Read more…

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Google’s figured out how to store even more selfies on your phone

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If there’s anything the lovable nerds in Silicon Valley have taught me, it’s that compression technology is indeed sexy.

Who am I kidding? It’s not, but compression technology is very practical.

Take Google’s new open source JPEG algorithm called Guetzli — it can dramatically reduce the size of JPEG images without loss of quality, according to ArsTechnica

As per Google’s Research Blog and GitHub, Guetzli-generated JPEG files are up to 35 percent smaller than most current JPEGs encoded with the widely-used libjpeg encoder. With smaller JPEG files, you’ll not only be able to store more pictures (and most importantly: selfies) on your phone and computer, but websites that use Guetzli-encoded JPEGs would also (at least, in theory) load faster. Read more…

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The Next Generation of Drones May Survive Even the Worst Crashes

Although your camera may not be so lucky.

Flying camera drones is a serious endeavor, and drone operators not only need to have expertise to capture the shot, they also need to be aware of the laws regarding the operation of drones in their area. A drone crash is certainly a nightmare scenario, and trained operators are hopefully adroit enough to avoid most disasters, but if a drone does crash, it’s likely to suffer some serious damage, and one can only hope the camera survives (and no one was injured).

Now, roboticists at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland have tackled the idea of creating a drone that can withstand substantial crashes and continue to operate (no word on your camera, though). Taking a cue from insects, this team has created an innovative flexible design that allows the drone to withstand serious impacts. Check out the video below to learn more about their design.

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I love social media, even if it doesn’t love me back

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I’ve checked my various social feeds at least a dozen times this morning. I stare into the void watching a space that never looks back in search of something I can’t even define.

This is my unhealthy social media love story.

I’ve been on social media for almost a decade, and even when I wasn’t, I wanted to be, jealous of those college students who got involved with Facebook early. 

I’ve been, if I’m being honest, a fickle social media lover. First obsessing over Twitter, then flirting with Vine and even enjoying a brief dalliance with Google +

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Even primates use Tinder now

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Swiping has become such a pervasive way of finding love that even primates are doing it now.

It’s all part of a four-year project in the Netherlands dubbed “Tinder for orangutans.” 

Scientists at the Apenhaul primate park will soon have an 11-year-old female orangutan named Samboja swipe through a selection of possible partners. Though, sadly, she’ll have her own private app, so you won’t be able to match with her next time you open Tinder. 

The goal is to pair her up an orangutan she’s actually attracted to and improve her breeding chances. Basically for the same reason you find yourself swiping around at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday. Except your companion for an evening can usually be right around the corner.  Read more…

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