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'I was concerned about Dolph': 9 harrowing behind-the-scenes stories from 'Masters of the Universe'

4 hours ago

On August 7, 1987, "Masters of the Universe" stank up movie theaters across the country and killed any hopes of kicking off a live-action franchise for He-Man and his merry band of heroes (the property is currently in the process of being rebooted with the help of "Thor" screenwriter Christopher Yost). As I wrote earlier this week, "MotU" actually wasn't all bad, with standouts like Frank Langella's Skeletor and Bill Conti's excellent score keeping the film just this side of unwatchable. Glory be! A happy byproduct of my online research arose in the form of a YouTube recommendation for a video entitled "The Making of Masters of the Universe the Motion Picture," which is not, as it turns out, an extra ripped from the film's DVD release but rather a segment from a 2012 documentary entitled "Toy Masters," which boasts the following synopsis on IMDb: "Filmmakers Roger Lay, Jr. and Corey Landis »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Ghostbustin' girl power and teenybopper feminist theory - 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

21 hours ago

“Two Steps Forward and One Step Back” takes a look at the past week in media entertainment and picks two times comics/television/movies/video games got it right, and one time they made comically sexist assumptions. ************* If you'd like to know more about this week’s topics, check out the links below! • Check out this group photo of all the women of “Ghostbusters.” • Read this 13-year-old’s explanation of “white feminism” and how it hurts all women and be impressed. • Watch Funny or Die lampoon Hollywood’s aversion to female directors.   »

- Donna Dickens

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Wayne Brady: 'You have to earn the right to be dirty in comedy'

21 hours ago

Wayne Brady has spent almost two decades proving his improvisational mettle and vaudevillian flair as a comic on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", the host of "The Wayne Brady Show" (where he picked up two Daytime Emmys), and now as a voice actor on the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First." His family-safe version of comedy made him a fitting emcee for Charmin's "Keep It Clean Comedy Show," where New York high school students performed their cleanest versions of bathroom humor earlier this week. We caught up with Brady to discuss what makes for good clean humor, the worst cliches in comedy, and the challenges of taking over for Billy Porter in Broadway's "Kinky Boots" beginning November 21.  You just hosted a Charmin-sponsored event where kids aged 14-18 told their best clean versions of scatological jokes. That seems like a challenge. Were you optimistic about what the contestants could produce? Well, »


- Louis Virtel

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‘Game of Thrones’: the show makes one more big change from the books

22 hours ago

Warning: Full spoilers for “Game of Thrones” season 5 ahead. When “Game of Thrones” completed its fifth season, it left viewers with several questions, some of which were the same cliffhangers that book readers have been living with for years. Jon Snow’s fate has launched a thousand theories, for example. I know, I know – they insist he’s really dead. Well that can mean a lot of different things in Westeros! Guess who’s Not dead (likely because he’s just too mean to die)? Stannis “the baby burner” Baratheon. He lives on in the books, that is. In answer to a fan question on his LiveJournal, author George R.R. Martin recently confirmed that Stannis is indeed “beyond a doubt” still breathing in the world of his novels. Now to be fair, Stannis is not yet a child killer in Martin’s creation, and he may never be one. As fans of the show know, »


- Roth Cornet

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Brit Marling's got a gun on this exclusive 'The Keeping Room' poster

23 hours ago

Could we be seeing a quiet resurgence of the Western? During the Comic-Con presentation for "The Hateful Eight," Quentin Tarantino talked about being a Western director, and said that he doesn't feel like he's earned the right to call himself that until and unless he makes a third Western. The idea that we could see three Westerns inside of a decade, much less from one filmmaker, feels sort of groundbreaking considering how many times the genre has been pronounced dead over the years. What's really exciting is seeing that there are big studio Westerns being made as well as small indie Westerns, and once again, as in the heyday of the genre, any numbers of stories are being told. The Western is the American mythic form, a type of storytelling that allows us to tell big moral stories against this remarkable backdrop. And it sounds like "The Keeping Room" is »


- Drew McWeeny

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'It Follows' director has some notes for Quentin Tarantino as well

23 hours ago

Earlier this week during a wide-ranging interview with Vulture, Quentin Tarantino revealed that he liked but didn't love David Robert Mitchell's indie horror hit "It Follows" -- “It's one of those movies that’s so good that you start getting mad at it for not being great," he said in part -- and followed up by offering several specific critiques of the film (not all of which I agree with). Not content to take Tarantino's comments lying down, Mitchell subsequently offered a cheeky response on Twitter: Hey Qt, why don't we get together over a beer and talk about these notes. I have a few of my own for you. — DavidRobertMitchell (@DRobMitchell) August 26, 2015 Clearly concerned that his response may have been construed as angry, Mitchell followed up this morning with the following: Like all of you, I'm a Tarantino fan. My comment was meant to be humorous and not disrespectful. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Star Wars shuts down sexist attitude towards 'female' armor on Facebook

28 August 2015 9:59 AM, PDT

If there was one thing I thought we all agreed on when it comes to “Star Wars The Force Awakens,” it was that Gwendoline Christie is Rocking her look as the mysterious Captain Phasma. What’s not to like about an imposing figure stalking through the halls of the First Order looking shiny and chrome? Apparently for some, the lack of molded breasts on the armor is a sticking point. This complaint was in full effect yesterday when Star Wars put up this fantastic piece of artwork of Phasma on their Facebook page. Almost immediately a dude was complaining that he can’t tell there’s a woman under all that metallic armor. Usually comments like this are left to the winds of the Internet, screaming into the abyss. But not this time. This time, Star Wars responded. And it was glorious. Preach it, Star Wars community moderator. Preach. Oh! »


- Donna Dickens

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Michelle Pfeiffer reunites with Robert De Niro in HBO's Madoff film 'Wizard of Lies'

28 August 2015 9:52 AM, PDT

Michelle Pfeiffer has joined the cast of "Wizard of Lies," HBO's upcoming movie about the Bernie Madoff scandal. She'll be playing Ruth Madoff, wife to Robert De Niro's Bernie, and mother to Alessandra Nivola's Mark, in a film directed by Barry Levinson. This is the fourth film to feature both Pfeiffer and De Niro, though only the second in which they'll have any kind of meaningful interaction. They were largely in separate parts of "Stardust" and "New Year's Eve," though they played husband and wife in 2013's "The Family." It will also be Pfeiffer's first TV role since an uncredited cameo in an episode of husband David E. Kelley's "Picket Fences." »


- Alan Sepinwall

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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Why does Finn have Anakin's lightsaber?

28 August 2015 9:44 AM, PDT

If you’ve been paying attention the the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” marketing, then you know that fans have been wondering about Finn (John Boyega) and his lightsaber since the first image of him with it (holstered) was released during Star Wars Celebration this past April. Lucasfilm granted us a good look at Finn with the lightsaber in the teaser that was released this week, and it does indeed look to be Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber (as some suspected). The one that Obi-Wan passed on to Luke. The same lightsaber that was lost when Luke’s father, Anakin/Darth Vader, cut off his hand in Cloud City. People have been theorizing about how and why Finn appears to have Anakin's lightsaber in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and given some of the other recent reveals, we’ve come up with one about both how he got it and why he needed it. »


- Roth Cornet, Donna Dickens

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There is A Lot going on in this 'Suicide Squad' wrap photo

28 August 2015 8:58 AM, PDT

It’s official! “Suicide Squad” has wrapped principal photography. To celebrate, the cast and crew gathered together for one last group photo. The team was so large, it appears the photographer is up on a lift or scaffolding of some sort. And with That many people in one shot, there’s gonna be some interesting things going on. How many can you spot? • Two Harley Quinns •Two Killer Crocs •Literal Bluebeard •Someone checking their watch •The script •The code name the movie was filmed under •Literal Red tape •Someone throwing the goat •A bored flannel hipster •One guy still working •A lady with a mohawk Image Credit: Twitter Bonus! Cara Delevingne is wearing pants! This is a pleasant surprise as the initial character design appeared to be little more than grey body paint and a metal bikini. Huzzah! Is "Suicide Squad" a future bomb or blockbuster? »


- Donna Dickens

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'The Real reason women don't direct more action movies' satire is infuriatingly accurate

28 August 2015 8:19 AM, PDT

Either Funny or Die has an impressive turnaround time, or it’s just bleak serendipity that the role of female directors in the Hollywood blockbuster machine came up right before their latest video dropped. Either way, this lampooning of the process of choosing a director manages an interesting trick. It both feels absurd And as if it could be happening in an office somewhere, right now, with little to no dialogue changes. The Real Reason Women Don't Direct More Action Movies from Funny Or Die Some quick background. A week ago, director Colin Trevorrow was asked if he thought he’d have been given the chance to direct “Jurassic World” after only one indie film — “Safety Not Guaranteed” — if he’d been a woman. After all, the historical evidence points to no. Despite rave reviews, you don’t see Jennifer Kent (“The Babadook”) on any shortlists. Despite winning Best Director »


- Donna Dickens

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Ask Alan: Renaming shows, switching roles, and tell-all TV-movies

28 August 2015 6:00 AM, PDT

Two Fridays have passed, which means it's time for another installment of Ask Alan. I zipped my way through three questions this week, including yet another discussion of one of the worst TV show titles ever, a question of whether professionally handsome men Rob Lowe and John Stamos should pull a job switcheroo, and what TV show I'd like to be the subject of a behind-the-scenes TV-movie. As always, you can send questions to askalan@hitfix.com. Shorter, the better. »


- Alan Sepinwall

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This Key & Peele 'Gremlins 2' sketch is absolutely hysterical

27 August 2015 5:49 PM, PDT

"Gremlins 2: The New Batch" isn't a topic you expect to be covered by a contemporary sketch comedy series, and yet here we are: on last night's episode, Key & Peele dropped an incredible bit that imagines the insane brainstorming session that could have possibly resulted in Joe Dante's batshit brilliant 1990 sequel. (The real story? Bolstered by the success of the original, Dante was given complete creative control over the final product and took full advantage of the opportunity.) Let us all bow to Peele's riveting "Hollywood Sequel Doctor" Star Magic Jackson Jr, who clearly anticipated Wesley Snipes' "Demolition Man" character by at least four years. [h/t Bloody-Disgusting] Key and Peele Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Why am I not as excited about 'Star Wars' now as I was in 1999?

27 August 2015 5:30 PM, PDT

One of the memories that I treasure most from 1998 came when I was driving from La to Palo Alto with my friend Pete. I had a copy of "The Beginning" with me, the script by George Lucas, and he had a CD player loaded up with the soundtracks for the first three films. I read the script aloud while he drove, and by the time we got to his family's house for Thanksgiving, we were both convinced that we were going to get an amazing gift in movie theaters in May of 1999. History has proven the two of us to be a wee bit overenthusiastic. While I am not a rabid prequel-hater the way many people are (watching the films with my kids radically changed my opinions on them and their place in the overall saga), I think there is something magical about the original three that only becomes more clear with time and distance. »


- Drew McWeeny

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‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ is ready to light up concert halls

27 August 2015 4:30 PM, PDT

What would “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” be without John Williams’ heartwarming, awe-inspiring score? Not the same movie, for sure. That Oscar-winning music for the beloved 1982 Steven Spielberg film will be spotlighted when “E.T.” is screened at concert halls around the world, beginning next week. Orchestras will perform the score live in sync with HD screenings of the film about a 10-year-old boy named Elliott and the lost little alien he befriends. The screening series is part of Film Concerts Live!, which has given a similar big screen, big live music treatment to “Back to the Future” and J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek.” Jamie Richardson, one of the producers of the concert screening series, told HitFix that watching recording sessions of movie scores is an experience he’s thoroughly enjoyed, and that’s partially what inspired him to start Film Concerts Live! “To hear [film scores] come to life with a 90-piece orchestra and see »


- Emily Rome

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10 alternate titles for 'Stonewall' based on its bizarre new poster

27 August 2015 2:12 PM, PDT

There's this Roland Emmerich movie "Stonewall" coming out about the riots at New York's Stonewall Inn in 1969 that paved the way for the Lgbt civil rights movement. We discussed earlier how the trailer's cloying feel seems disappointing. Now we have a poster to ogle. I'll be: It does not get better.   Now, now: I have not seen this film. I don't know how successfully it will defy our expectations and present an accurate picture of the uprising. But I did have to check multiple sources to make sure this poster wasn't a fraud. Look at it. Look at those ragtag, smiling kids. Is this a poster for a critical Lgbt moment or Six Flags? It's time to rename this movie. Here are the best ten options. 1. Step Up 4... Civil Rights 2. So You Think You Can Disturb the Peace 3. The Sandlot 3: We Play Ball Like a Girl 4. Xanadu 2: »


- Louis Virtel

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Hawkeye debuts new duds and a little friend for 'Captain America: Civil War'

27 August 2015 12:00 PM, PDT

Okay, damn it… Hawkeye better shoot an arrow that's got Ant-Man riding along at some point in "Captain America: Civil War," or I'm suing someone for getting my hopes up. In a very low-res image that he posted via Twitter this morning, Jeremy Renner revealed his new Hawkeye outfit, and the publicity still reveals a new friendship in the Marvel universe that could pay some hilarious on-screen dividends. I mean, just being able to write that opening sentence makes me so happy on a basic fundamental lifelong fan level that it's almost silly. We live in a world where we've gotten far enough down the road with these movies and these characters that we can have these kinds of crossovers and it's not the entire point of the movie… it's just a fun part of the overall story they're telling. Here's the Tweet that set tongues wagging: Got new threads. »


- Drew McWeeny

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[Redacted] ignites their lightsaber to fight Kylo Ren in new 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' footage

27 August 2015 10:25 AM, PDT

Remember that time when I said “Star Wars The Force Awakens” was really only showing us footage from Jakku? You know, way back 15 minutes ago? I take it back! Star Wars just uploaded a short video to Instagram and now we know who Kylo Ren is fighting in the snow. That is Totally Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber. Maybe Ren wants it to complete his Darth Vader shrine?   There has been an awakening... #StarWars #TheForceAwakens A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on Aug 27, 2015 at 10:00am Pdt   »


- Donna Dickens

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'The Martian' and Rooster Teeth part of dazzling Fantastic Fest 2015 line-up

27 August 2015 10:15 AM, PDT

It is time for me to make my peace with the fact that I will not be at Fantastic Fest this year. Last year's fest was one of my favorites ever, fitting for a tenth anniversary, and I would love to go this year. It's just not in the cards, though. It guts me, too. The event continues to grow and change and evolve, and it features one of the greatest programming teams in the business right now. There are films playing at the festival that I'll see in Toronto, and I'm sure I'll catch up with others, but that's not the point. Fantastic Fest is an experience, and an amazing one. If you want to go, you still can. "Daytime Only Badges, Fan Badges, and 2Nd Half Badges for Fantastic Fest 2015 are available for purchase here," today's press release urged. If you can go for the second half, you'll »


- Drew McWeeny

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New 'Star Wars The Force Awakens' photos take us deep into the desert of Jakku

27 August 2015 10:01 AM, PDT

The slow burn marketing strategy for “Star Wars The Force Awakens” has been kind of ingenious. The photos and videos and plot details have been dropped with such precision that you barely notice a majority of them are from a small sliver of the actual runtime. All those photos of Finn and Rey, the chase scene with the Millennium Falcon, the image of Kylo Ren standing in front of a burning village at night? All from Jakku. Considering the trailer has also hinted at a lush planet and an ice planet, we’re probably not getting as much of the story as the sheer output of information would imply at first blush. That being said, Check Out These New Photos Of Finn And Bb-8! Empire Magazine unveiled the new images that are inside the latest print edition, on newsstands now. »


- Donna Dickens

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