Black Friday Deals: Music, Movies, TVs, Video Games, Flash Memory, Toys, and More

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With Black Friday tomorrow, Amazon has started offering some crazy deals on almost everything they sell.  Since the number of things on sale is far too long to list here, I’ve linked each section below.  You’ll find new CDs for $6.99, tons of video games for 50% off, 4K TVs for 30% off, flash drives for 50% off, and so much more.   Like all Amazon deals, don’t wait too long to buy because prices change all the time and the best deals usually sell out.

Watch Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Patricia Arquette, and More in 50-Minute Roundtable Discussion

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As many are spending the Thanksgiving holiday with relatives, some may find they need a breather or two.  Luckily, THR has released a new roundtable interview from its Oscar series that makes for a fascinating and entertaining watch.  This 50-minute discussion involves a group of actresses that are in the mix for awards consideration this year: Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Hilary Swank (The Homesman), and Laura Dern (Wild).  The resulting video is a candid talk that touches on topics like the pressure of playing real people, the uncomfortableness of sex scenes, and more.  It’s well worth a watch.

Check out the actress roundtable video after the jump, and be sure to check out the writers roundtable if you missed it.  For more on the current state of the Best Actress Oscar race, peruse my recent Best Actress edition of Oscar Beat.

Public Service Announcement: HDMI Cables and You

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This year, you’re finally going to get that ridiculously crazy, big-screen TV.  The Black Friday deal is too sweet, even sweeter than the little old lady in front of you who should have known the risks.  The doors open, you rush inside, you get your TV, and then you realize you should probably get HDMI cables.  You turn around and see them.  They cost…$139 dollars.  Your heart falls, and you feel you have no choice but to dig deeper into your wallet for this hidden cost.  You sucker punched that old lady for nothing.

Stores will try to cheat you on accessories, especially cables.  Stores make a lot of money pushing warranties and having huge markups on items like HDMI cables, and while I leave it to you to consider the former (they’re really only for piece of mind), you shouldn’t get gouged on an easily affordable cord.  Hit the jump for how you can save not only a lot of money, but also make your home setup easier.

Dylan McDermott Talks MERCY, How it Compares to AMERICAN HORROR STORY, His Favorite Horror Film, Peter Cornwell’s Directing Style, and More

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Now available on Blu-ray is Mercy, Peter Cornwell‘s feature length adaptation of Stephen King’s short story Gramma, which follows a single mother (Frances O’Connor) and her two young sons as they move into a remote country estate to care for her ailing mother, Mercy (Shirley Knight).  Unlike most grandmothers, Mercy isn’t all candies and kisses on the cheek, and as her prognosis gradually worsens the family learns shocking truths about the source of Mercy’s darkness.  Mercy also stars Chandler Riggs, Mark Duplass, Dylan McDermott, and Joel Courtney.

Early last year I joined a handful of journalists on set while they were filming in Simi Valley. While there we had an opportunity to interview McDermott, who plays family friend Jim Swann in the film. He talked about how different Mercy is to American Horror Story, why he likes working in horror, why he thinks the genre resonates with today’s audience, his favorite horror film, how Cornwell’s past in animation influences his directing style, and more. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Lake-town Gets Toasty in New THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Images

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Warner Bros. has released three new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies images online.  The film concludes the Hobbit saga as five armies descend upon the Lonely Mountain in order to claim its now unguarded treasure, and it also acts as as prelude to Jackson’s other J.R.R. Tolkein trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.  Because The Desolation of Smaug ended in an action cliffhanger (as opposed to the previous movies, which ended in walking cliffhangers), I assume TBOTFA will begin with Smaug raining down fire on Lake-town.  The movie is supposed to end with a 45-minute battle sequence, and I guess that’s the only way to go when your first set piece is a dragon destroying an entire town.

Hit the jump to check out The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies images.  The film stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens on December 17th.

Watch Batman vs. Darth Vader in Fight to the Death in New SUPER POWER BEAT DOWN Episode

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Machinima’s “Super Power Beat Down” series knows its audience.  They pit popular fictional characters against each other in fights to the death (like Superman vs. Thor or Captain America vs. Master Chief) and let viewers vote on the outcome.  Then the SPBD team writes, choreographs, and films the fight scene with solid production values.

The latest fight is Batman vs. Darth Vader.  Batman lands on the Death Star demanding the release of Superman (apparently hostage) and Vader decides to deal with the breach himself.  This was my first experience with the series, and it was surprisingly brutal.  Hit the jump to watch.

Screenwriter Zak Penn Says READY PLAYER ONE Script Is Finished; Project Might Get Stuck on Licensing Issues

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Ernie Cline‘s Ready Player One is a fun read.  The story follows Wade Watts, a poverty-stricken kid in a dystopian society whose only escape is a massive, completely immersive online world.  The inventor who created the online landscape hid a massive treasure, but no one has come close to finding it until Wade finally solves the first puzzle and discovers that if he wants to proceed in his quest, he’ll have to put all of his 80s pop-culture knowledge to the test.  These trials include playing classic arcade games and quoting movies.  The online world combined with the nostalgic references give the story a unique feel where a talented director, if armed with a good script, could make a pretty enjoyable film.

The book set off a bidding war four years ago, and earlier this year, Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk) signed on to write the screenplay.  Since then, word on the project has been quiet until now.  Hit the jump for more.

Prepare for THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer with the First Trailers for All 6 STAR WARS Films

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There’s a palpable degree of anticipation in the air, and it’s not for great Black Friday deals on vacuum cleaners.  No, tomorrow marks a different holiday of sorts, as Disney and Lucasfilm will unveil the very first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Episode VII in the sci-fi saga marks the first new Star Wars film in nine years and the first entry in the franchise without George Lucas’ official involvement as a director, writer, or producer.  Indeed, The Force Awakens is the beginning of a new era kicked off by director J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy, and a stellar cast led by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.  In preparation for our introduction to the film tomorrow, now feels like an opportune time to look back at how all of the previous Star Wars films were introduced with their first trailers.

After the jump, watch the very first Star Wars trailers for all previous six entries in the franchise, and be sure to check back here early tomorrow to watch the debut teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

UHF 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

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Now here’s a real cinematic oddity.  You can describe UHF in any number of ways: hubristic misfire, beloved cult classic, amiable shaggy dog as harmless as it is corny.  All of them apply, and in fact the stories surrounding the movie are actually more interesting than the movie itself.  But as forgettable as it is, its core sweetness makes it terrific comfort food for the right sort, and while you may not love it, hating it seems like an act of needless cruelty.  Hit the jump for my full UHF Blu-ray review.

New FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Images Reveal Christian Grey’s Parents and Sister

by     Posted 16 hours ago

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We’ve seen a good deal of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) at this point so how about we put his family in the spotlight for a bit?  Focus Features just unveiled a few new images from Fifty Shades of Grey featuring three members of the Grey family.  We’ve got a shot of Christian’s adoptive sister, Mia Grey (Rita Ora), their parents, Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey (Marcia Gay Harden) and Carrick Grey (Andrew Airlie), but Christian’s older brother Elliot (Luke Grimes) is nowhere to be found.  Perhaps they’re saving him for a character poster?

Hit the jump to check out those new Fifty Shades of Grey images.  The film also stars Dakota JohnsonJennifer Ehle, Max MartiniEloise MumfordDylan NealVictor Rasuk and Callum Keith Rennie, and is due in theaters on February 13, 2015.

Colin Trevorrow Addresses the CG Gate in the JURASSIC WORLD Trailer

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Even after just one second of that Jurassic World trailer teaser, I was already nervous.  Why?  Because of that stupid gate.  We finally get our first look at some Jurassic World footage and the very first thing we see is a digital shot of the park gate?  Ugly/obvious CG is always problematic, but when Jurassic Park is so well known for its incredible practical effects, opening a promo with a shot like that is bound to be a major turnoff and raise some serious doubts.

Sure enough, a couple of fans called director Colin Trevorrow out on Twitter.  Check out how he responded to the tweets about the Jurassic World gate after the jump.  Jurassic World is due in theaters in 2D, 3D and IMAX on June 12, 2015.  The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick RobinsonTy SimpkinsVincent D’OnofrioIrrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy and Judy Greer.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer Will Also Be Released Online on Friday

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So who bought a ticket to a movie screening this Friday just to catch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer?  Well, it turns out that the 88-second piece won’t be exclusive to theaters.  The teaser will also arrive on iTunes on Friday as well.  But on the bright side, if you did already buy a ticket then you’ll be one of the first to see it on the big screen!

Hit the jump for more on the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer.  The full feature is due in theaters on December 18, 2015 and stars John BoyegaDaisy RidleyHarrison FordAdam DriverMark HamillCarrie FisherLupita Nyong’o, Oscar IsaacDomhnall GleesonAndy SerkisGwendoline Christie and many more.

Fox Greenlights the INDEPENDENCE DAY Sequel

by     Posted 19 hours ago

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Last we heard of that Independence Day sequel, about six months ago, Carter Blanchard was being brought in to pen a new draft of the script while director Roland Emmerich was busy shooting Stonewall.  I guess 20th Century Fox liked what Blanchard turned in because it’s being reported that the studio has green lit the film.

Apparently the next step is to close Emmerich’s directing deal and then the film will be heading towards a May production start date.  Hit the jump for more on what Fox has planned for the much-anticipated sequel.

Greg Berlanti Says Supergirl Could Enter the Worlds of THE FLASH and ARROW

by     Posted 20 hours ago

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With The CW’s The Flash and Arrow crossover episode, Flash vs. Arrow, coming up, it’ll probably come as no surprise that Greg Berlanti is aiming to put his upcoming Supergirl TV show in the same realm as well.  CBS only first made the straight-to-series commitment a little over two months ago, but during a recent interview, Berlanti revealed that he’s already working on the show with producer Ali Adler and costume designer Colleen Atwood, and also that he’s hoping to bring Supergirl into The Flash and Arrow’s world.

Hit the jump for more on this possible The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl shared universe.

THE COLLISION: Episode 113 – THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

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This week on The Collision, we take a look at The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  We discuss how it differs from the first two films, the growing legacy of the series, where it fits in with current franchises, how it compares to the book, and much more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Birdman and Foxcatcher“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @PNemiroff.

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