Author

Jordan Smith
  • 'The Maze Runner' Trailer Reminds Us that Male-Centric YA Films Are a Big Gamble
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 29, 2014
    20th Century Fox Film  The power of YA fiction is undeniable. While not every film becomes a sure-fire hit in cinemas, some do gangbusters. It's a gamble, but one that can pay off extremely well. The last Hunger Games film netted $864 million worldwide, while other films like Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars both did great business that far exceeded their respective budgets. But the thing that all these films have in common are that they're all fronted by female protagonists. Looking on the other side of the coin, YA films with primarily male protagonist tend to not do nearly as well as their counterparts. From I Am Number Four, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, Ender's Game, City of Ember, the two Percy Jackson films, and countless others have all failed to become to next big thing in ya cinema. Outside of Harry Potter (which we're going to call the exception that proves the rule), it's hard to think of a male fronted YA series that has had as big of an impact as something like Twilgiht. So what chance does The Maze Runner stand? The film, directed by Wes Ball, is only the latest hopeful in the YA film craze, one that shares a ton of themes with huge hits like The Hunger Games and Divergent. This time, dozens of teenage boys are locked in the middle of the glade, a grassy plain enclosed by gigantic maze with seemingly no solution. Each day, a group of boys ventures into the maze to search for clues, but many fall victim to the mysterious creatures that lurk in its passages.  The latest trailer boasts an intriguing premise with a ton of potential mysteries to be explored, but the undeniably male-centric cast might not have the appeal to capture as wide as an audience as a series like The Hunger Games, which has ballooned into a minor phenomenon. Since The Maze Runner is only the first part in a planned series of films, and answers to the mysteries won't likely come until deep into the series. We're hoping that this series goes the distance, but the box office may be a maze to complicated for this film to solve. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • 'Super' Proves That James Gunn Is Perfect for 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 29, 2014
    IFC Films "Shut up crime!” It's the comic battle cry of the Crimson Bolt, a crimefighter garbed in a red patchwork costume and doling out steel-lugged justice to line butters and other scum of his city. Before being snatched up to helm Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn wrote and directed 2010's Super, a darkly comic deconstruction of the superhero genre, nestled right in the middle of the genre's hostile takeover of American cinema. The film follows Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson, in one of the best performances of his career), a nebbish fry cook with only two good memories in a life filled with pain: 1) marrying the love of his life, and 2) helping a police officer subdue a criminal. When his wife (Liv Tyler), a recovering drug addict, slips back into addiction thanks to a local high level dealer named Jacques (Kevin Bacon), it is only a matter of time before Darbo snaps. And snapping for this man, who can only see the world in black in white, is to don a homemade superhero costume and beat ne'er-do-wells with a monkey wrench. Super is an examination of what it would mean to be a superhero in the real world. It asks the question: What if someone lifted the techniques, methods, and moralities from a comic book, and applied them to real life? And the result is something far less fun than the Avengers, or even the similar-in-concept Kick-Ass. Frank's quest to rid his city of crime is one of a deluded man. While all manner of people decide to take the streets into their own hands in the pages of comic books, Super posits that anyone would have to be legitimately insane to become a costumed vigilante. It's not the whim of a well-adjusted individual, but someone who is severely broken in some way. It's a thread that Batman comics have been pulling for eons, but one that hasn't quite made it up to the big screen in a big blockbuster production.  Gunn's directorial debut is a much different superhero film than Guardians of the Galaxy promises to be, but it's easy to see why Marvel was so keen on having Gunn bring the property — Marvel's weirdest venture to date and a considerable gamble for the studio — to life. With Super, Gunn proves his deep understanding of the psychology of comic book superheroes, of the type of lunacy that it takes to become a vigilante. And to varying degrees, Both Super and Guardians are films that mess with the status quo of what most filmmgoers expect from their costumed heroes. At its core, Guardians of the Galaxy is a tale about a handful of galactic misfits that band together to save the day. Rocket, Groot, and Peter Quill don't resemble the stalwart Superman or the endlessly charming Tony Stark. Instead, they are the misfits. They are the losers, the outcasts, the downtrodden, the guys with a couple of screws loose. The Guardians of the Galaxy are more Frank Darbo than Clark Kent, and they are in the hands of a director that understands that. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • This Weekend at Comic-Con: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Assemble, Wonder Woman Suits Up, and 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' Gets a Date
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 28, 2014
    Warner Bros. Pictures San Diego Comic-Con: the annual gathering of comic book nerds, blockbuster action movie fans and the slightly terrifying people who still watch Supernatural religiously. It's the biggest pop culture event of the year, a time when studios bring the biggest and most shriek-inducing stars together to unveil new projects and showcase the exciting things fans will eventually be camped out all night for. And even though not all of us are lucky enough to experience Comic-Con in person, that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get all the up-to-the-minute news, reports and surprises. Since we here at Hollywood.com don't want you to miss out on all the excitement happening in Hall H or the surprises being unveiled over the weekend, we're running down the biggest news to come out of San Diego during the convention to ensure you can stay on top of everything, whether you're stuck in the office or waiting in line for another sold out panel. All Bow Before ThanosAt the tail end of star-studded Avengers: Age of Ultron portion of the Marvel panel, Thanos himself, Josh Brolin joined the rest of the cast and riled up the crowd with a plastic Infinity Gauntlet, though this version of the legendary Marvel artifact probably doesn't have the power to create universe-spanning chaos like the real deal. The panel also featured short sneak preview of the upcoming film, which shows the team of heroes trading quips over drinks and taking turns trying to pick up Thor's hammer before banding together to battle Ultron. The trailer received a standing ovation from the mesmerized crowd. The World's Finest Go Head to HeadIt looks like things are getting tense on the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice set. The Warner Bros. panel featured Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill sizing each other up like prize fighters in front of an estatic Hall H crowd. We have to note how absolutely huge Affleck looked during the conference; Superman is certainly going to have his hands full. Director Zack Snyder then premiered a short sneak preview of the film, which showed a heavily armored Batman rigging up the Bat Symbol before looking up to see a angry looking Superman with glowing red eyes, ready to fire on the dark vigilante. The Princess of the AmazonAlso at the Warner Bros. panel, Snyder revealed the first glimpse of Gal Godot's Wonder Woman costume via a new poster. The image features Wonder Woman brandishing a sword in an apocalyptic backdrop; the new costume, while lacking the iconic stars and stripes, is a fine mix of comic book inspirations and modern sensibilities. Best of all, Gadot looks positively fierce in the role. You could almost hear all the haters around the world silence at once. Get ready for Guardians of the Galaxy 2Still a week away from the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, a boldly confident Marvel revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 would arrive on July 28, 2017, with director James Gunn appearing via video from London to help announce the news. The Hateful Eight Is a GoAfter a very messy and public leaking scandal, it looks like cooler heads have prevailed. Quentin Tarantino's shelved Western is set to begin filming in early 2015. Ant-Man Infests Hall HThe cast and crew of the turbulent Ant-Man production gathered at the Marvel panel to introduce newcomers Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly to the crowd. Lilly will play Hope Pym, The daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) while Stoll will play Darren Cross, who will eventually become a similarly insect-themed foil to Ant-Man named Yellowjacket. Marvel boss Paul Feige also introduced a clip from the film which featured Paul Rudd's Scott Lang in the Ant-Man suit, jumping on a flying insect while being coached by Hank Pym. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Review: 'Hercules' Is an Entertaining B-Movie Cheesefest
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 25, 2014
    Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection For whatever reason, there's been a flood of sword and sandal epics charging toward the screen. But Brett Ratner's Hercules, already the second film starring the mythical demi-god to be released this year, is the best of the lot. Unsurprisingly, this feature lacks the polish and ambition of the year's weightier blockbusters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the sublime Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But what it lacks in ambition, it makes up for in pure thrills. It's been years since Hercules completed his mythical labors, and stories of his gallantry have spread far across Greece, which benefits Herc and his merry band of mercenaries just fine since a résumé that can double as a child's bedtime story is worth its weight in gold. But when King Cotys of Thrace (John Hurt) enlists Hercules to end a rebellion that threatens to send his city into chaos, a quest that has the untrained Thracian soldiers whispering nervously of monsters, beasts, and an evil sorcerer, the mighty son of Zeus might not have the gods on his side. Who knew a film by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne Johnson would have more than two brain cells to mush together? Hercules boasts a narrative that's all about the power of mythmaking; it examines the way legends grow, spread, balloon, and deflate, and takes the classic Hercules story in unexpected directions in a nicely subversive, clever way. Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection The Rock's brawny good looks do the Greco-Roman demi-god his due justice, and the hulking hero's physique looks like a supreme feat of nature (and the gym). But even through the muscles and leather armor, Johnson's natural charisma shines through. While The Rock is the centerpiece of the film, the true highlights are his supporting cast of heroes, who fire off expertly loaded quips when necessary. The standout here is Ian McShane's soothsaying Amphiaraus, whose quest to meet his fate often requires standing right in the way of flaming spears. The jokes sometimes feel anachronistically modern, but they mesh well enough into a story that's wholly uninterested in adhering to classic representations of ancient Greecian myths. Hercules is by no measure a great film. Hell, I'd even be cautious to call it a good film. The suspect CGI and cheesy costumes break the spell all too often, but it's such a cheerfully ridiculous take on Hercules myth that it's nearly irresistible. The film is knowingly doofy and hits every rung of the standard action adventure, but does so with such a spirited commitment to the material and swashbuckling sense of fun, it's hard not to buy into its legend. 3/5 Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • Is 'Lucy' the Most Powerful Film Character Ever?
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 24, 2014
    Universal Pictures via Everett Collection "We only use 10% of our brain power." While that little piece of junk science is mostly false, it's the central conceit of Luc Besson's upcoming film Lucy. In the film, Lucy (Scarlett Johannson) is able to unlock weird and wondrous abilities after a mysterious drug unlocks her brain's latent potential. Lucy's powers grow exponentially per every gained iota of brain functionality, and by the end, the character is able to control people with her mind, whip baddies through the air with telekinesis, and even warp reality to her whims. Just judging from the trailer, Lucy may be the most powerful film character ever created, but she does have some stiff competition. We bet these near-omnipotent beings can give the character a run for her money. Professor X (X-Men)Abilities: Telepathy, mind controlThe on-again, off-again leader of the X-Men is one of the most powerful mutants in the world. Despite being paralyzed from the waist down, the professor towers over his peers thanks to a variety of mental powers. He can create illusions, change your memories, read minds, and manipulate the actions of those under his control. The professor is wheelchair-bound and doesn't have telekinesis, which does limit him in a purely physical sense, but he does have the power to rewire nearly anyone's brain, so he's not to be taken lightlyPower Rating: 7/10. The professor's score could have been higher, but when all your arch-nemesis needs to stop your powers is a metal helmet, you get knocked down a few grades. The Doctor (Doctor Who)Abilities: Extreme IntellectIf anyone on this list were a walking deus ex machina, it would be the Doctor. For over 50 years and thousands of adventures across film, television, comic books, and even radio dramas, the Time Lord has been able to think his way out of any situation. He's basically the British Batman. The fact that he can regenerate his body 13 times over is also a huge boon. The Doctor's only flaw is that he can't seem to keep his traveling companions safe. While a few of them have outright died, others have been trapped in parallel dimensions, locked in the past, had all their memories of their adventures with the Doctor wiped clean, and more. (And that's just in the latest incarnation of the series). The Doctor is also usually portrayed as a feeble old man, showing big things sometimes come in small packages.Power Rating: 6/10. The Doctor can certainly outsmart nearly everyone on this list, but he's not winning any fist fights. Dr. Manhattan (Watchmen)Abilities: Control over matter, telekinesis, teleportation, clairvoyanceDr. Manhattan, from Alan Moore's Watchmen, is a superhero with unparalleled power. He dwarfs his crime-fighting peers and humanity in general thanks to his abilities to reconfigure matter, perceive the future, and teleport anywhere in the galaxy. The downside to his extreme powers is his inability to connect with humanity. His mind has stretched so far past the capabilities and concerns of normal people that their earthly concerns seem to him like a bunch of cockroaches fighting over a spec of dust. This, of course, causes friction with his very human girlfriend throughout the book and film. He could also use a lesson or two about modesty, but when you're basically a demi-god, you don't have any qualms about letting it all hang outPower Rating: 9/10. When you hint at the end of your comic book that you're about to create life on other planets, you get a 9. Galactus (Fantastic Four)Abilities: Reality alteration, control over matterGalactus is a creature of immense power that devours entire worlds for sustenance. Born in a place that predates the big bang, the god-like creature has roamed the universe eating planets. Unfortunately for Galactus, his plans to eat the planet Earth are  continually foiled by Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four. Thanks to the  Ultimate Nullifier, which can destroy any target the wielder chooses, Galactus is often sent running from earth with his tail tucked between his legs.Power Rating: 8/10. Galactus would have scored higher, but when you're continually rebuffed by a stretchy man, someone who is hard to see, a rock, and a guy on fire, you're not as all-powerful as you think. Morgan Freeman (Bruce Almighty)Abilities: Life creation, reality warping, narrating penguin movies, appearing in two too many Dolphin Tale moviesIn a list full of demi-gods, Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty is real deal Judeo-Christian deity, and what better way for God himself to spend his time than to help out Jim Carrey with his relationship problems. Freeman is seen warping reality in ways we would expect, given that he is the creator of all things, and he is even able to give Carrey's character a slice of his powers for a short while.Power Rating: 8/10. Freeman or "God" would have scored higher, but he somehow didn't forsee the biblical plague on cinema that was Evan Almighty, so he gets docked a couple points. Scarlet Witch (X-Men, The Avengers: Age of Ultron)Abilities: Reality warping, probability manipulation, magicThrough her long history in comic books, the Scarlet Witch's powers have gone through many iterations and transformations. Currently, she is one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel universe, able to wield magic and manipulate probability. The only downside is that Wanda doesn't have absolute control over her powers, and they often manifest in unintended ways, given her mood. In a recent Marvel event called House of M, the comic book character was able to rewrite the entire Marvel universe so she's certainly one of the more powerful characters on the list.Power Rating: 9/10. It's hard to give a definitive power rating to the Scarlet Witch, but she is definitely a force to be reckoned with  Tetsuo (Akira)Abilities: TelekinesisAkira was one of the first animes to truly break into the American public consciousness, and one of its most powerful characters is Tetsuo, an insanely powerful psychic that threatens to destroy the city of Neo-Tokyo, a city previously destroyed by another rampaging psychic 30 years earlier. (Note to self: don't move to Tokyo in the imaginary future). Tetsuo loses control of his powers, which mutate him into an uncontrollable and grotesque mass of organs, but is brought back under control by Akira.Power Rating: 10/10 While Dr. Manhattan hinted about creating life at the end of Watchmen, Tetsuo creates his own big bang at the end of Akira. Game. Set. Match. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • The Best Comic-Con Announcements and Surprises of All Time
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 24, 2014
    Getty Images/Kevin Winter Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past. The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak. Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands. Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay. The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe. The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical. The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget. Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • All Of Our Hopes for San Diego Comic-Con 2014
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 23, 2014
    Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel San Diego Comic-Con is nerd culture's second Christmas, and every year the annual ode to all things geek gets bigger and better, with film studios jostling each other for the biggest moment of the weekend. This year, the con's legendary Hall H will likely be the home of some game-changing reveals, dizzying sizzle reels, and exclusive trailers that may just be worth the dozen or so hours of waiting on line to get in. Here's a look at what we're expecting from the big film studio panels at Comic-Con: Warner Bros.  Jupiter Ascending: The Wachowskis' latest, Jupiter Ascending, was supposed to make landfall this summer but was delayed just a few weeks away from its expected release date and sent to February — which is basically Hollywood's graveyard for lackluster films. This year's con has to be all about assuaging fears and ensuring fans that the film isn't a complete disaster. Showing a lengthy, eye-popping sequence from the film would be a great way to keep expectant fans at ease. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: As it turns the bend toward the final film in the franchise, The Hobbit series is pretty much in cruise control. We know what to expect from Peter Jackson's last hurrah in the Tolkien-verse but flames can still be fanned. We're hoping for some new footage for the upcoming film and more, since Jackson will be in attendance. Mad Max: Fury Road: We've seen some dusty set photos from this post-apocalyptic epic, and the cast looks appropriately dirty and world weary, but what we really want to see is some footage. Since the film is set to release next May, a trailer of some sort is surely imminent. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice: Curiously absent from the list of films showing at the Warner Bros. panel, Dawn of Justice  is the biggest question mark of the con. Can Warner Bros. really walk into Hall H without a bit of Batman up their sleeves? We're gonna go with no. We're betting the studio is saving something huge for a giant payload of hype to end their conference with. If not, then Marvel has already won Comic-Con - if you believe in the notion of winning these sorts of things. Considering we've already seen glimpses of Affleck kitted out in the Bat Suit and the new Bat Mobile, we're gonna need something pretty cool. Marvel  Avengers: Age of Ultron: Marvel's Avengers sequel is bar-none the biggest film at the con, and since the film has been shooting for months at this point, and the cast is descending on San Diego for the event, there's definitely going to be something big showing. If not, expect San Diego to be scorched to the earth in the ensuing fan rage. Ant-Man: After losing longtime director Edgar Wright and a very worrying scramble to find a suitable replacement, Ant-Man, formerly Marvel's most promising film, is looking worse for wear. Some fans even swore off the film entirely the second Wright was jettisoned from the project. Some serious damage control is on the bill this year. The studio needs to show something tangible, like a costume or some early footage, to get the hype machine rolling again. Guardians of the Galaxy: Since Guardians is so close to release, some Hall H faithful are expecting a screening of the film. We're doubtful that Marvel will preview the entire movie, but we are expecting to see a lengthy preview of the film. Perhaps something like the 17 minutes of the finished film shown to journalists earlier this month. Everything Else: Sure, Marvel is king of the mountain now, but keeping that title means keeping everyone happy in the near and distant future. Marvel should add a couple more pin-drops to their map of Phase 3, and announce some anticipated films like Black Panther  and Captain Marvel, but also dish about  upcoming projects like Thor 3 and Doctor Strange. 20th Century Fox X-Men: Apocalypse: Since Days of Future Past just dropped earlier this summer, we're not expecting a whole lot on the X-Men side of things, but the studio would be remiss if they didn't at least hint at something X-Men related, especially given the great post-credit sequence at the end of the last film.Fantastic Four:  With its oddball casting, Fantastic Four might be the most heavily scrutinized superhero film to appear at the con. Since shooting has already begun, Fox needs to prove to fans that they know what they're doing. Some test footage from the project would be great. Everything Else: Everyone's making huge, interconnected franchises these days, and we wonder if Fox will put it's own hat in the ring. Even though their list of properties is pretty scant, the promise of a sprawling blockbuster universe might be too appealing to resist. Can there be a X-Men/Fantastic Four meet-up? Stranger things have happened. Otherwise, also expect additional news and clips from Let's Be Cops, The Maze Runner, The Book of Life, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and hopefully, a first trailer for Hitman: Agent 47. ParamountTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The film is basically out at this point, so there really isn't much to do besides add some last minute fuel to the hype machine. The film does have its share of detractors due to Michael Bay's involvement and a mixed reaction to the new turtle designs. An early screening to Comic-Con attendees might win the film some brownie points with fans. Interstellar: This is one instance where less is most certainly more. Christopher Nolan's mysterious space adventure is probably the year's biggest question mark, and that's the way things should be. Universal should keep its cards close to its vest and let the enigmatic nature of the project be its own marketing tool. The Nolan pedigree will likely brig in a big audience. A new trailer would be fine, but lets keep the plot points to a minimum. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • All the Times Computers Screwed Stuff Up for Humans in Movies
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 17, 2014
    Columbia Pictures The Cloud. It's the data storage solution of the future. But is it evil? Sure, it's useful for storing documents and pictures, but what exactly is the Cloud in the first place? Is it dangerous? Am I breathing it in right now? Isn't it disturbing how little the average person knows about the technologies we use every day? The new Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz film Sex Tape might looks like just another raunchy rom-com, but it's really a sobering warning about the dangers of computers and technology. Look down. You're probably reading this on a computer right now. That's how far they've gotten. They're right under our noses! Filmmakers have been warning us for years about the dangers of computers, and how with just a few mouse clicks, our lives can be ruined forever. Before we all retreat to our luddite caves, let's take a look at all the ways computers have screwed things up in movies. Sex Tape The Technology: An iPad/the CloudWhat It Did: Synched a couple's embarrassing sex tape to multiple iPads given out as gifts to all their friends Fallout: The couple feels the appropriate amount of embarrassment at having your friends seeing you bump uglies in a crappy tablet video. Also, ridiculous hijinks ensue while they try to get the video deleted. In terms of technology screwing things up, this one isn't bad at all. Her The Technology: Samantha, a sentient operating system What It Did: Fell head over heels in love with the hapless Theodore Twombly, then broke his heart after the OS race decides to fly away to another plane or universe or something. Fallout: Mr. Twombly (how is that an actual name?) loved and lost, but at least he became a better person because of it. Office SpaceThe Technology: The Initech computer virusWhat It Did: Office drones Peter, Michael, and Samir, in an attempt to get back at their bosses for years of mistreatment, decide to infect their company's accounting system with a virus that would steal fractions of pennies over time from Initech. The amount stolen would be so small that no one would notice. Unfortunately, a missing decimal point caused the virus to steal thousands of dollars over just a few days.Fallout: Before the trio could get into any trouble, Initech is mysteriously (though not that mysteriously) burned to the ground, along with all of the evidence pointing Peter to the crime. The situation resolves itself, but being caught could have meant years of jail time. American PieThe Technology: Jim Levenstein's PC What It Did: Jim hooks up a webcam and unwittingly shares his embarrassing sexual encounter with Nadia, a foreign exchange student from Slovakia, with his entire school.Fallout: Jim blows it for all of the internet to see and Nadia's foster parents send her back home, leaving him dateless and sexless for the prom. Happily, he does hook up with Michelle before the end credits roll. Back to the Future The Technology: The DeLorean, a car-shaped time machine What It Did: It sent Marty McFly to the year 1955, where he unwittingly meddles into his parents' past and almost prevents his own birth. Fallout: Marty is able to get his parents back together at the end, but has to forever live with the idea that his mother tried to get into his Calvin Kleins. Yuck! Captain America: The Winter SoldierThe Technology: Arnim Zola, a HYDRA supercomputer What It Did: Zola helps HYDRA infiltrate the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leads the team of scientists that turn Bucky Barnes into the Winter Solder. He then tries to kill Captain America and Black Widow, but the heroes survive in the end. Fallout: Cap's best friend, Bucky is turned into a brainwashed HYDRA spy and the terrorist organization nearly takes over the entire world after infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. WarGamesThe Technology: Joshua the WOPR, a supercomputer at NORADWhat It Did: After hacker wunderkind David Lightman hacks into NORAD and plays a mock game of "Global Thermonuclear War," Joshua stages a real Soviet nuclear attack to win the "game." After that fails, Joshua tries to launch the missiles himself, and nearly plunges the world into World War III.Fallout: After playing a couple rounds of tic-tac-toe, Joshua learns that nuclear war has no real winner except the cockroaches and settles for a game of chess instead. The day is saved, but the world came dangerously close to ending. Terminator The Technology: Skynet, a self-aware intelligence system What It Did: Skynet, given command of the U.S.’s computerized defense programs, becomes self-aware and starts a nuclear war with Russia, leading to the near genocide of humanity. The intelligence system then sends Terminators to kill what’s left of the population Fallout: The initial nuclear attack kills three billion people and locks humanity in a war with machines. Skynet then sends a Terminator into the past to kill John Connor, the leader of the human resistance. This is certainly a far cry from your sex tape getting leaked onto the internet. It's a slippery slope. 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  • The Weirdest Parts of the 'Breaking Bad' Kickstarter
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 17, 2014
    AMC We definitely thought the guy who netted over $50,000 to make potato salad would be the oddest thing we'd see on Kickstarter all year, but nary a week has passed, and the bowels of the internet have already spit out something that somehow manages to be even weirder. Breaking Bad super-fan Larry Shepherd wasn't entirely satisfied with the conclusion of Vince Gilligan's landmark series, which ended with (spoiler!) Walter White dying, so he has decided to launch his own Kickstarter campaign for a Breaking Bad spinoff series called Anastasia. The imaginary series would pick up just moments after the finale, and star two U.S. Marshals (hopefully played by Val Kilmer and Slash, oy vey!) who discover Walt's body. But there's a twist: after the two Marshals leave the body unattended for just a few seconds (Slash just really needed to rip out a few guitar riffs to let out some stress; law enforcement is a tough gig, you know), a mysterious figure of unidentifiable gender and age, grabs Walt's body by the ankles and escapes into the night. So starts the mystery of Anastasia, and so ends the sanctity of western civilization. It only gets more absurd from there. Here are the weirdest aspects of this very unfortunate Kickstarter project. The show will presumably star Val Kilmer and Slash for some reason.We can already feel the electric chemistry between these two leads. Amazing. Unscripted Alcoholics Anonymous meetings will happen on the show with real celebrities going through real drug recoveries.Certainly, loads of in-recovery celebrities will pop on by to talk about their very real addictions on a scripted television show... "Steven Tyler is going to be the first person we invite."He's not coming. "People that love Native American spirituality are going to love this show."No they won't. Shepherd promises to get Val Kilmer an Emmy, but not an Oscar because this is a TV show.Tatiana Maslany can't even get a nomination, but we're sure this guy will  get Val Kilmer an Emmy. "To me, Anastasia is a restaurant...and our actors are the food."Huh? A-list actors will dress up in pounds of makeup and the audience will have to guess who they are.I'm sure their agents will love that. Val Kilmer will create the "quirkiness" of his character.You know, I don't think the real Val Kilmer is terribly enthused about this whole thing. But "Slash will stay in the 'Slash' character."What? So Slash will just be Slash? Will he bring his top hat and Les Paul to drug raids? Backers on Kickstarter will pick the names of the main characters.Yep, that's totally going to end well. Get ready for your two lead U.S Marshals "I.C. Weiner" and "Call of Duty Hitler." Vince Gilligan and Sony have not approved of the idea.But Shepherd is prepared to move ahead with the idea, with or without Breaking Bad.  Nothing stops this train, nothing. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //
  • The Best Uses of Beatles Songs in Movies and TV
    By: Jordan Smith Jul 16, 2014
    United Artists via Everett Collection The Beatles' influence has touched every inch of modern pop music, leaving an indelible mark on film and television... which is pretty good for four working-class mop tops from Liverpool. Director Ron Howard will be the next to immortalize the band onscreen, in a new documentary that will explore the group's early years, when they still toured their music across the globe. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison will contribute to the feature, which will trace the band's humble beginnings at the Caven Club in Liverpool, their tours through Germany, all the way through the group's final public performance in San Francisco's Candlestick park. But before we get around to seeing Howard's tribute to the Beatles, we're inclined to look back upon some of the best musical contributions they made to movies and TV.  Bowling for ColumbineThe last half of the John Lennon-penned "Happiness Is a Warm Gun," which may or may not be about heroin, serves as the perfect soundtrack for Michael Moore's anti-gun manifesto Bowling for Columbine. It's used in a terrifying sequence that shows just how gun crazy some Americans are, and as the song ramps up, the sequence escalates to a violent and unnerving conclusion that still has us wincing all these years later. "Baby, You're a Rich Man" in The Social NetworkWhat better way to end a biopic about one of the richest men in the universe than this cut from Magical Mystery Tour. It's so fitting, it's almost like it was made expressly to cap off David Fincher's tale of billion dollar grudges. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" in HelpWe couldn't, in good faith, compile a list of the best Beatles moments in film and television without including a sequence from the Fab Four's own filmography. We chose "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" the film Help for sheer oddness of the sequence. Plus, it's just a great song in general. "In My Life" in Little ManhattanThe best thing about the Beatles is how timeless their music is. "In My Life," a song about losing and gaining friendships through the slippage of time, is the perfect piece of music to accompany the story about a preteen losing his first love in modern day New York. "A Little Help From My Friends" on The Wonder YearsJohn Cocker's throaty rendition of "A Little Help from My Friends" graces the title sequence of The Wonder Years, and it may be the best cover song ever recorded. It's even better than the original Beatles tune, and it just makes The Wonder Years a better show. Nowadays, we can't even look at Fred Savage without hearing Cocker's raspy croon blasting through our heads at full volume. "Come Together" in A Bronx TaleIn a scene from Robert De Niro's directoral debut, a pair of Italian mafiosos rough up a couple of unruly bikers that stop into their bar while "Come Together" spills out of a jukebox. Thanks to the '60s aesthetic, the song is a perfect addition to the scene. "Hey Jude" in The Royal TenenbaumsFilmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese are often celebrated for their use of pop music in film, but Wes Anderson's musical touches in his work are just as poignant. His use of a beautifully orchestrated version of "Hey Jude" in 2001's The Royal Tenanbaums is a perfect example of this. "Twist and Shout" in Ferris Bueller's Day OffWe're still not sure if Ferris Bueller is really a wizard, or if it was just the power of music, but the teen somehow brings the entirety of downtown Chicago to a grinding halt for the musical number to end all musical numbers. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @CurrentlyJordan //