‘Game night’ Trailer: Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams Have a Real Bad Time

game night trailer

It’s easy to imagine the pitch meeting for Game Night, a high concept dark comedy about an evening of frivolous fun gone horrifically wrong. “What if David Fincher’s The Game starred a bunch of bumbling idiots?” Well, here you go. The first Game Night trailer is here, and I’ll be the first to admit that it made me chuckle more than a few times.

This is a low comedy, but there’s nothing wrong with a low comedy that works! Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams lead a strong cast as a couple whose weekly game night spirals out of control when an interactive “murder mystery” element is introduced. But what’s real and what’s not? And why are people actually dying and why are guns going off? And why is that dog covered in blood?

Game Night Trailer

Most importantly, Game Night is a Friday Night Lights reunion, once again putting Kyle Chandler and Jesse Plemons within spitting distance of each other. Texas forever!

While this is undeniably a glossy studio comedy hoping to please the broadest audience possible, I’ll just be honest with you and admit that yes, I laughed during this trailer. I laughed a lot. I especially laughed during the plane engine gag, an amusing bit brilliantly punctuated by McAdams’ line delivery. While I’m not a fan of Vacation, the previous film from directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (okay, it’s straight-up rotten), the dark edge on display in this footage has my attention. After all, Bateman has been at his best when his “straightforward nice guy” persona is pushed to uncomfortable extremes, and McAdams is a frequently underutilized comedic talent. Bring it on.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Bateman and McAdams star as Max and Annie, whose weekly couples game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks (Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. So when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all part of the game…right? But as the six uber-competitive gamers set out to solve the case and win, they begin to discover that neither this “game”—nor Brooks—are what they seem to be. Over the course of one chaotic night, the friends find themselves increasingly in over their heads as each twist leads to another unexpected turn. With no rules, no points, and no idea who all the players are, this could turn out to be the most fun they’ve ever had…or game over.

Game Night also stars Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Danny Huston, and Michael C. Hall and opens on March 2, 2018.

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Final ‘Justice League’ Trailer Gives Us Our First Real Look at the Villainous Steppenwolf

Final Justice League International trailer

The release of Justice League is fast approaching, tickets are on sale now, and there’s a final international trailer loaded with new footage, including our first good look at the film’s big bad, Steppenwolf. So come together below and watch the final Justice League trailer.

It’s hard to believe Justice League is finally about to hit theaters. It feels like we’ve all been talking about this movie for the longest time, and now the big team-up of the DCEU heroes is mere weeks away. We’ve already had multiple trailers to give us a sense of what to expect, but a brand new final Justice League trailer has even more action-packed footage.

Justice League Trailer

Not only does this final international Justice League trailer give us new footage, it also gives us our first real look at the film’s villain Steppenwolf, played by Ciarán Hinds. Steppenwolf is an intergalactic threat to the Justice League, leading an army of Parademons (those winged creatures you glimpsed in the lengthy desert dream sequence in Batman v. Superman), who are on the hunt for three Mother Boxes on Earth. A deleted scene from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice gave us the briefest of glimpses of the character, and previous trailers included quick shots and a few voice overs. Here, however, we see Steppenwolf in action, growling, “This world will fall, like all the others!”

The trailer also puts Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman front and center, which makes sense, since Wonder Woman was the only DCEU film almost everyone seemed to like. On top of all that, we get more Aquaman drinking and more Batman making jokes. But if you were hoping for some shots of Henry Cavill‘s Superman in action, you’re out of luck. All the trailers for Justice League have been low on plot and big on action, and this one is no exception. That’s not a criticism; it just shows that Warner Brothers and DC are working hard to keep most of the plot details secretive so they’ll feel fresh when audiences get their first look at the film.

Here’s the official synopsis, which is also vague enough to keep spoilers to a minimum:

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League opens November 17, 2017.

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‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’ Trailer: LEGO Ninjas, LEGO Dragons and a Real Cat [Comic-Con 2017]

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Trailer

Everyone who enjoyed The LEGO Movie saw the animated building brick world become even bigger with The LEGO Batman Movie earlier this year. Now it will expand into a totally different arena with yet another LEGO branded adventure.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie takes one of the building brick company’s most popular toylines, one that already has its own animated series on TV, and brings the action to the big screen with a completely new story and an all-star comedy cast. A new trailer debuted during San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, and it has the same humor and creativity as the previous LEGO movies. Watch it below!

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Trailer

Unlike The LEGO Batman Movie, this new LEGO adventure doesn’t really have any ties to The LEGO Movie, though it seems to live in the same imaginative universe, albeit in a completely different part of that world. The movie also stands independently from The LEGO Ninjago TV series that already exists, so it’s accessible for people of all ages.

Easily the best part of the trailer is the introduction of a new villain, a real “giant” cat named Meowthra. Clearly there will be a riff on the kaiju monsters from cinema’s history when this cat starts wreaking havoc on the city. It also plays into the dichotomy between the LEGO world and the real world that exists around them, as we saw in The LEGO Movie.

Apparently the cat isn’t the only element that will be real in the movie, because producer Dan Lin said during a Comic-Con panel this weekend that there would be real grass, water and trees in the movie, and maybe some other surprise real world elements that pop up. Lin said, “Like in the first one, you had the Kragle, and you’ll see we’ve taken that to the next level.”

Dave Franco, Michael Pena, Zach Woods, Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani and Abbi Jacobson all lend their voices as the ninja ensemble, but Franco’s character does the heavy lifting since his father is the villain  Lord Garmadon (voiced by Justin Theroux). But the ninjas will get hep from Master Wu, voiced by Jackie Chan, who also worked with a martial arts team to perform action sequences that will be animated over for the movie.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is directed by Charlie Bean (Tron: Uprising) with The LEGO Movie‘s Phil LordChris MillerDan Lin, and Roy Lee serving as producers.

If you want to see more from The LEGO Ninjago movie, check out the previous trailer right here.

In this big-screen NINJAGO adventure, the battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is in theaters September 22, 2017.

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Facebook Spaces adds live video, letting users without Oculus Rift peek into VR in real time

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After months of letting Oculus Rift users connect with friends and family in virtual reality, Facebook is opening up the party to the rest of your social network by introducing Live video. The feature will let all Facebook users see what others are seeing in virtual reality, even without a headset. 

When Facebook Spaces debuted earlier this year, the only way to let someone without a Rift headset could view your VR avatar was through a one-to-one Messenger video call.

But the new Live component of Spaces will function just like regular Facebook Live video, giving Rift users the ability to broadcast from virtual reality straight to their regular Facebook page.  Read more…

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WHIST – Shifting Between Real & Digital

“The unconscious is the true psychic reality; in its inner nature it is just as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly communicated to us by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the reports of our sense-organs.”

– Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams

WHIST is our first major commission, it received sold out premiere in April 2017 and currently on tour. It took 4 years to complete from the initial idea. This piece is inspired by Freudian case studies and Japanese renowned film and theatre maker Shuji Terayama.

The experience merges Physical Theatre, interactive Virtual Reality
 and Augmented Reality and an art installation, in an environment that blurs the boundaries between consciousness and unconsciousness, reality and fiction, the physical and the virtual.

Participants will be immersed in a surreal world, exploring the story from one of the 76 different perspectives.

Why did we end up with VR?

We are professional dancers and our company is called AΦE. We create work that is audience-led, where without their input or action, nothing would happen. We want to give audiences the same visceral feeling and emotions that we get when performing ourselves.

Our first encounter with VR was in 2014, seeing someone watched the roller coaster video in VR and saw the potential of creating the total immersion of the participants. It became the medium that gave us the freedom to step away from everything that already existed.

Our main explorations were:

  • the use of VFX combined with theatrical techniques
  • the use of audience’s instincts to direct their own and unique experience

We were lucky to meet Happy Finish who helped us all the way to realise the production and agreed to accompany us in this venture as technology partner. Because everything was new – the technology, audience experience, the presentation format – it became an ambitious project, which of course not without challenges but we held it tight and felt that we have accomplished our mission.

Credit: AΦE

Concept creation

Our creation always starts with total freedom to its shapes and forms. The ideas can grow from anywhere and any angles. For WHIST the initial inspiration was Minotaur from Greek mythology back in 2013. When we first saw the power of VR technology on a TV programme the following year, we immediately connected Minotaur as Freudian’s “monster” in the subconscious that could be confined by a “labyrinth” that we create using VR. We further investigated into Freudian Interpretation of Dream and Uncanny. We visited Freud Museum London where we met psychoanalyst Emilia Raczkowska who led us to explore Freud’s famous case studies “Dora”, “Little Hans” and “Wolfman”. What fascinated us about these characters was that they were real people with real dreams, and were written through Freud’s perspectives.

The piece evolved to the constant play between “real/virtual”, “conscious/unconscious” and “dream/fear”. It boiled down to the notion of perspectives in WHIST: physical installation/digital exploration, pre-judgments/intuition, fantasy or phantasy?

Credit: AΦE

Key (and interesting) learning from the creation process

We come from dance, but for this production, we picked up different skills and knowledge from filmmaking and post-production editing.

We really enjoyed the experience, even though at that time was a complete mind-bending exercise at that time and we often confuse ourselves! We orchestrated all elements – the storyboard, the art installation, music, 3D sound, AR so that a) they work together in both the real and digital world; and most importantly, b) choreograph the audience journey the two parallel worlds – the narrative, how they might react, how to make it an instinctive, full body experience (like a human being!) rather than one with controllers. In retrospect, it did come back the round to our roots as choreographers after all!

Credit: AΦE

It was a delight to see how much the audiences (or rather, participants) have enjoyed the work. Of course, many were intrigued by how immersive it is. But we also saw them engaging their bodies (consciously/unconsciously, hah!). Some walked around in awe; some let go of sighs; some lied down; some touched the installation – which you are not allowed to do in the museum or a conventional exhibition. As one of them said, “It was an incredibly surprising and full body experience that challenged and inspired”.

Wish to future VR production

We think that the VR is a completely new platform – not film, not gaming, not theatre but maybe a bit of all and more? There is no right or wrong and the most important thing is to have a free mind and not to be restricted by the previous method neither the technology. We feel many of the VR experience we see are created with what VR can do and not going beyond. What is so amazing about 360? We already live in 360 since our existence, don’t we? So what can this tool offer the human experience?

There are many people hungry of seeing the unknown, and willing to let themselves in new and risk-taking experiences. To develop this technology and ways to go forward we believe is to gather people from different industries who have completely different eyes and mind to create together. We are going to a break from VR after 3 years of hard work making something new from it, but we look forward to seeing what is out there when we are ready for more!

WHIST premiered at The Gulbenkian in April 2017 and continues to tour nationally and internationally.

  • Ugly Duck – London 23-25 June 2017
  • Pavilion Dance South West – Bournemouth 3-4 July 2017
  • Festival Theatre – Edinburgh 21 July-3 August 2017
  • Colours International Dance Festival – Stuttgart, Germany 6-15 July 2017
  • The Old Market – Brighton 19-20 September 2017

(Further dates until 2018 to be announced)

Co-produced by The Gulbenkian and tanzhaus nrw Dusseldorf. Supported by Arts Council England, South East Dance and Happy Finish.

Credit: Paul Plews

Aoi and Esteban, the founders of AΦE, will be talking at the Raindance VR Masterclass: VR and AR for Immersive Theatre, Live Performances and Art Installations on Monday 19 June. Tickets available here

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‘Baby Driver’ Featurette: Real Cars, Real Locations, Real People and Real Driving

Baby Driver Stunt Driving

Nowadays it’s become easy for blockbusters to use visual effects to pull off insane stunts. It’s part of the reason some action movies have become surprisingly mundane. There’s just something that lacks excitement about a stunt you know wasn’t actually done by anything other than a computer. Even the Fast and Furious movies have taken to having more visual effects heavy action sequences when they used to rely on real stunt driving. But thankfully, this summer brings a cure for the common blockbuster.

Baby Driver is the latest film from writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs the World), and a new featurette reveals that the action flick about a getaway driver trying to get away from his chosen profession is chock full of real stunt driving, with real cars, on real locations, with real people. For real.

Watch the Baby Driver stunt driving featurette after the jump.

One of the most exciting aspects of this movie is all the real stunt driving that was done. Reportedly all of the driving stunts in this movie are practical, and even the actors themselves (at least Ansel Elgort and Jon Hamm) had to go through some stunt driving training of their own, as seen in the video above. Some of the stunts featured in this video alone are extremely impressive, especially that 4×4 getting spun sideways under the semi-truck.

The rest of the Baby Driver cast includes Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal and Eiza González, but the real star of the movie is going to be the soundtrack that drives the entire movie. If you want to know more about just how important the film’s soundtrack is to the movie, read the rave review from our own Jacob Hall, who caught the film at SXSW earlier this year.

To see more from Baby Driver, watch the two trailers for the movie right here, and another featurette over here.

A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Baby Driver arrives in theaters on June 28.

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Trust us: You probably don’t actually want a real life hoverboard

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Trust us: you don’t really want a real life hoverboard — at least not in the first few iterations of the future tech.

Sure, you’ve probably been impatiently waiting for the day you’d finally be able to zoom above the pavement from the moment you saw Marty McFly defy the laws of gravity in Back to the Future Part II — but there’s more than just a crew of angry bullies that could make the practice IRL a bad and dangerous idea. 

Your dream hoverboard would probably be a floating injury machine at first, with potentially sketchy internals, a super-high price tag, and a high level of skill needed just to take it for a spin.      Read more…

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New app wants to help you find real friends, like the kind without benefits

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There are a zillion apps to help you find friends with benefits, but what if what you really want is just regular, old-fashioned new friends?

Me3 is a new app that’s launching today that’s designed to help you meet new people who share your interests, goals, and personality traits — also known as potential pals. It was created by Julian Ilson, along with cofounder Emanuel Petre, after he noticed that making friends after college was both difficult and time-consuming.

Indeed, finding new people to hang out with can be one of the hardest things about adult life. Once you’re out of the immediate social circle that school offers, it can be a challenge to forge new connections — especially when you’re always busy working. And often your posse starts to shrink as your friends move to different cities or start settling down with families. Read more…

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VOTD: College Humor’s ‘Shazam’ Footage Makes a Fake Sinbad Movie a Real One

Sinbad Shazam Movie

Since it was April Fools’ Day over the weekend, a lot of stupid things happened on the internet. Thankfully, the prankster holiday wasn’t all garbage with Adult Swim having a surprise debut of the third season premiere of Rick and Morty. But when it comes to online jokes, College Humor may have taken the cake.

If you’ve spent any time reading about movies online, then you’ve probably heard about people claiming to have vivid memories of a movie called Shazam starring Sinbad as a genie. Your immediate thought may be that the movie they’re thinking of is called Kazaam, and it didn’t star Sinbad, but rather NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. But somehow there are still people who legitimately think they’ve seen this movie. Well, College Humor made them all honest by unearthing footage from this lost movie that never actually existed, featuring none other than the real Sinbad himself.

Watch the Sinbad Shazam movie footage below.

The AV Club points out that while this could have easily been an obvious cash-in on a viral internet meme, the short is actually rather clever in what is included in the footage. You see, the existence of Shazam is considered to be part of what is called The Mandela Effect, a human tendency to create shared incorrect memories that feel real. You can go see 20 examples that might drive you crazy right here, and then rewatch the video to see if you notice any references to The Mandela Effect and some of the pieces of pop culture that have become associated with it.

The existence of Shazam, or lack thereof, has become such a popular topic of discussion that there’s even a Snopes.com article that tries to clear up the confusion. But as long as people want to keep giving into these false memories, Shazam will always be real. And it’s probably no worse than Jingle All the Way.

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The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is Ready for the Real World. Here’s What to Expect

A group of filmmakers and photographers tested out the GH5. Here’s what they found.

For a camera that still is not available to the public, the Panasonic GH5 has engendered both high expectations and a fair amount of criticism online. The message coming from a live panel at B&H (watch it here) is that the GH5 is a massive upgrade from the GH4. It is a flexible camera that is ready to work as a stable, reliable platform—and not just for filmmakers.

To emphasize that point, the panel consisted of a diverse group of image-makers and storytellers: David Flores (still photographer), Griffin Hammond (documentary filmmaker), Lok Cheung (Vlogger), Jacki Huntington (producer and director), and Sean Robinson (Panasonic).

If the GH4‘s touchstone was that it brought 4K to the masses, then the GH5 continues expanding on the 4K culture.

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