Mark Hamill had a great joke about Trump appearing next to Darth Vader

Image: Disney

Mark Hamill felt a great disturbance aboard Air Force One over the weekend.

It all started on April 6 when Donald “45” Trump popped into the press cabin aboard the presidential airliner to answer some questions about his missile strike in Syria. And in a truly “truth is stranger than fiction” twist, he delivered his remarks just as Darth Vader made his Rogue One debut on the monitor next to Trump’s face.

I can’t make this stuff up.

The internet predictably chuckled at this momentous photo opp. But one Twitter hero journalist and Star Wars toy collector Brent Ashcroft went a step further on Friday: He asked Mark Hamill for a reaction.

The Luke Skywalker actor hasn’t been shy about knocking the Trump White House. He’s even taken to recording audio of himself reading Trump’s more problematic tweets in the voice of the Joker, the Batman arch-nemesis whom Hamill has famously voiced in animated features and video games.

He responded to Ashcroft’s tweeted query with feigned confusion. “Rogue One?” Hamill asked. “I thought they were just screening Steve Bannon’s home movies.”

Bannon, of course, is Trump’s controversial Chief Strategist and the former executive chair of “platform for the alt-right” Breitbart News. He is also, by his own admission, an admirer of those who attain power through “darkness.”

“Darkness is good,” Bannon said in a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they” THR believed Bannon’s use of “they” was a reference to liberals and the media “get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

Sigh. Let’s just go back to appreciating Hamill’s tweet.

WATCH: Stephen Colbert and ‘SNL’ have figured out the right way to use President Trump

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/04/09/mark-hamill-trump-darth-vader-steve-bannon/

Why you need to read Marvel’s new America Chavez comic

America Chavez has finally gottenher own solo series, swapping intergalactic adventures for college life. The first issue bursts with energy and personality, balancing explosive action scenes with a more grounded setting for the dimension-hopping superhero.

America falls into the same category asMs. Marvel andSquirrel Girl: a superhero comic with an authentic youthful tone. This is a surprisingly rare achievement, because while Marvel and DC publish plenty of comics withyoung heroes, they’re often written by middle-aged men. And this inevitably leads to some“How do you do, fellow kids?” awkwardness.

America went in a different direction, hiring YA author Gabby Rivera to write Marvel’s first queer Latinx lead, collaborating with artist Joe Quinones and colorist Jose Villarrubia.

America #1/Marvel

So, who is America Chavez?

Created by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta for the 2011 Vengeance miniseries, America Chavez is a reboot of the Golden Age hero Miss America.She’s a super-strong badass whocan fly andkick holes into other dimensions.

Chavez was born in an alternate realitycalledthe Utopian Parallel, leaving home to travel the multiverse after her mothers died. Followinga brief stint in the Teen Brigade inVengeance,Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’sYoung Avengerstransformed her from C-list side-character to cult favorite. (It also transformed her costume from this cleavage/butt-crack nightmareinto something a young woman would voluntarily wear while kicking ass.)

Young Avengers #7/Marvel

Young Avengers set the tone for America’s role inlater teams like A-Force and the Ultimates,as an independent heavy-hitterwho always sticks to her guns. She fulfillsthe same wish-fulfillment role as early Captain America: an underdog with a relatable anger about injustice, armed with more confidence and power than us mere mortals in real life.

Fans spent years clamoring for Chavez to get her own solo series, partly spurred on by Marvel’s frequent PR statements about promoting diverse characters. Thedesire foran America Chavez comic was so strong that Image Comicsgreenlit a series about “America Vasquez,” a similar character from Chavez’s creators Casey and Dragotta. But Marvel eventually saw the light,launchingAmerica in March 2017.

America #1

The new series ties up America’s relationship with the Ultimates, creating aneasy starting point for new readers. Chavez is stilldating her girlfriend Lisa and is still BFFs with Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop, but she’s basically flying solo for the first time in years. Issue #1marks her arrival at Sotomayor University, a college catering tosuperpowered students.

America #1/Marvel

America deftly handles two issues that inspire frequent criticismin superhero comics: sexuality and character design. America Chavez isn’t just incidentally queer, and her sexuality isn’t confined to scenes she shares with her love-interest. It’s a central part of her identity.

The comic also features another queer character (Prodigy fromYoung Avengers), solving a problem that many superhero writersdon’t seem to understand. Queer characters are usually portrayed as lone wolves in a sea of straight people, only interacting with other queer characters in a romantic context.This isn’t really true to real-life experience, so it’s refreshing to see Prodigy and America as college friends.

Photo via America #1/Marvel

Finally, there’sAmerica‘s fashion choices. Female superheroes are often drawn inimpractical,sexualized outfits, but that isn’t the only problem. A lot of those outfits are also wildly out-of-date, borrowing looks that belong in anearly-2000s Britney Spears photoshoot. Jamie McKelvie’s Miss America redesign was a cosplay hit because it looks trendy and realistic, andAmerica follows in its footsteps with stylish fashion choiceseven for background characters. This kind of detail is vital for a comic likeAmerica, bolstering that indefinable sense of cool.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/america-chavez-marvel-comic-2017/

That ‘The Walking Dead’ Reveal Is Our Savior

The Payne of waiting is over for Walking Dead fans.

In the comics, Jesus, the character actor Tom Payne portrays on the AMC show,is gay. Its not a big deal. Its just an aspect of the character. But it was unconfirmed on the show when The Huffington Post spoke with Payne about it late last year during a Build Series interview.

When asked about the possibility of confirming Jesus sexuality on screen, Payne was all for it, saying, I think that would be amazing.

He also basically said that would be the case.

I see no reason why it would be different in the show.

Now, its official.

AMC
Jesus talks … to Maggie.

In Sundays episode, The Other Side, Jesus chats with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) near the beginning of the episode. He talks about Hilltop, saying,When I was first here, I was never here. I always found it hard getting close to anyone: neighbors, friends, boyfriends.

Maggie responds, You should try it some time, even if it doesnt last.

With that, The Walking Dead gave us what weve been waiting for.

AMC
Jesus is here to save us.

Its not an entirely sweet moment, though. Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) overhears the chat and it seemingly reinforces her decision to go after Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

From the look on Sashas face, Maggies line appears to make her think about how she loved Abraham (Michael Cudlitz). Negan killed Abraham. That guy has got to go.

At the end of the episode, Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Sasha make it to the Saviors facility and create an opening in the fence. They see Eugene (Josh McDermitt), but he denies their attempts to rescue him. Sasha then goes in after Negan and locks up the fence opening so Rosita cant follow.

Rosita runs away and eventually sees someone standing in the shadows with a crossbow. Is it Daryl (Norman Reedus)? Is it Dwight (Austin Amelio)? Who knows?

What we are pretty sure of is that Sasha is going to die. She just doesnt have much hope of navigating the facility with all those Saviors, finding Negan, and killing him by herself. Plus, Sonequa Martin-Greennow has a starring role on Star Trek: Discovery, so its not looking good for her Walking Dead longevity.

But lets not think about that for now. Remember that cool news about Jesus? Praise Jesus!

The Walking Dead airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-walking-dead-reveal-jesus_us_58cbffafe4b00705db4f01d0?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Kids’ Choice Awards 2017: The Complete Winners List!

The kids have spoken — and it’s not just about John Cena getting slimed!!

The 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards took place Saturday night, and some stars walked away as fan favorites.

In case you missed any of the awards, we’ve got the complete winners list right here.

Ch-ch-check it out (below)!

Favorite Kids’ Show

Game Shakers
Girl Meets World
Henry Danger (
Winner)
Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn
The Thundermans

Favorite Family Show

Big Bang Theory
Black-ish
Fuller House
(Winner)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Supergirl
The Flash

Favorite Reality Show

America’s Funniest Home Videos
America’s Got Talent
(Winner)
American Ninja Warrior
Paradise Run
Shark Tank
The Voice

Favorite Cartoon

ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks
SpongeBob SquarePants
(Winner)
Teen Titans Go!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Amazing World of Gumball
The Loud House

Favorite Male TV Star

Benjamin Flores Jr. (Triple G, Game Shakers)
Aidan Gallagher (Nicky, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn)
Jack Griffo (Max, The Thundermans)
Jace Norman (Henry, Henry Danger) (Winner)
Casey Simpson (Ricky, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn)
Tyrel Jackson Williams (Leo, Lab Rats)

Favorite Female TV Star

Zendaya (K.C., K.C. Undercover) (Winner)
Rowan Blanchard (Riley, Girl Meets World)
Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie, Liv and Maddie)
Lizzy Greene (Dawn, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn)
Kira Kosarin (Phoebe, The Thundermans)
Breanna Yde (Tomika, School of Rock)

Favorite Movie

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Captain America: Civil War
Ghostbusters (
Winner)
Pete’s Dragon
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Favorite Movie Actor

Ben Affleck (Batman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Will Arnett (Vernon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows)
Henry Cavill (Superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Captain America: Civil War)
Chris Evans (Captain America, Captain America: Civil War)
Chris Hemsworth (Kevin, Ghostbusters) (Winner)

Favorite Movie Actress

Amy Adams (Lois, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Megan Fox (April, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows)
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Captain America: Civil War)
Felicity Jones (Jyn, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Melissa McCarthy (Abby, Ghostbusters) (Winner)
Kristen Wiig (Erin, Ghostbusters)

Favorie Animated Movie

Finding Dory (Winner)
Moana
Sing
The Secret Life of Pets
Trolls
Zootopia

Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie

Ellen DeGeneres (Dory, Finding Dory) (Winner)
Kevin Hart (Snowball, The Secret Life of Pets)
Dwayne Johnson (Maui, Moana)
Anna Kendrick (Poppy, Trolls)
Justin Timberlake (Branch, Trolls)
Reese Witherspoon (Rosita, Sing)

Favorite Villain

Helena Bonham Carter (The Red Queen, Alice Through the Looking Glass)
Idris Elba (Krall, Star Trek Beyond)
Will Ferrell (Mugatu, Zoolander 2)
Kevin Hart (Snowball, The Secret Life of Pets) (Winner)
Charlize Theron (Ravenna, The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Spencer Wilding (Darth Vader, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

Favorite Butt-Kicker

Ben Affleck (Batman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Henry Cavill (Superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Chris Evans (Captain America, Captain America: Civil War) (Winner)
Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman, The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Captain America: Civil War)
Felicity Jones (Jyn, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique, X-Men: Apocalypse)
Zoe Saldana (Lieutenant Uhura, Star Trek Beyond)

BFFs (Best Friends Forever)

Ruby Barnhill & Mark Rylance (Sophie/BFG, The BFG)
Kevin Hart & Dwayne Johnson (Bob/Calvin, Central Intelligence) (Winner)
Kevin Hart & Ice Cube (Ben/James, Ride Along 2)
Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto (Captain Kirk/Spock, Star Trek Beyond)
Neel Sethi & Bill Murray (Mowgli/ Baloo, Jungle Book)
Ben Stiller & Owen Wilson (Derek/Hansel, Zoolander 2)

Favorite Frenemies

Ben Affleck & Henry Cavill (Batman/Superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Chris Evans & Robert Downey Jr. (Captain America/Iron Man, Captain America: Civil War)
Ginnifer Goodwin & Jason Bateman (Judy/Nick, Zootopia) (Winner)
Dwayne Johnson & Auli’I Cravalho (Moana/Maui, Moana)
Anna Kendrick & Justin Timberlake (Poppy/Branch, Trolls)
Charlize Theron & Emily Blunt (Ravenna/Freya, The Huntsman: Winter’s War)

Most Wanted Pet

Baloo from The Jungle Book (Bill Murray)
Dory from Finding Dory (Ellen DeGeneres)
Po from Kung Fu Panda 3 (Jack Black)
Red from The Angry Birds Movie (Jason Sudeikis)
Rosita from Sing (Reese Witherspoon)
Snowball from The Secret Life of Pets (Kevin Hart) (Winner)

#Squad

Finding Dory Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Willem Dafoe, Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy (Winner)

Captain America: Civil War – Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman
Ghostbusters Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson
X-Men: Apocalypse James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Ben Hardy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Olivia Munn

Favorite Music Group

The Chainsmokers
Fifth Harmony (Winner)
Maroon 5
OneRepublic
Pentatonix
Twenty One Pilots

Favorite Male Singer

Drake
Justin Bieber
Bruno Mars
Shawn Mendes (Winner)
Justin Timberlake
The Weeknd

Favorite Female Singer

Adele
Beyonc
Ariana Grande
Selena Gomez (Winner)
Rihanna
Meghan Trainor

Favorite Song

“24K Magic” Bruno Mars
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Justin Timberlake
“Heathens” Twenty One Pilots
“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” Adele
“Side to Side” Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj
“Work From Home” Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign (Winner)

Favorite New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Daya
Lukas Graham
Solange
Rae Sremmurd
Hailee Steinfeld
Twenty One Pilots (Winner)

Favorite Music Video

“24K Magic” Bruno Mars
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Justin Timberlake
“Formation” Beyonc
“Juju on That Beat” Zay Hilfigerrr and Zayion McCall (Winner)
“Me Too” Meghan Trainor
“Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots

Favorite DJ/EDM Artist

Martin Garrix
Calvin Harris (Winner)
Major Lazer
Skrillex
DJ Snake
Zedd

Favorite Soundtrack

Hamilton
Me Before You
Moana
Sing
Suicide Squad (Winner)
Trolls

Favorite Viral Music Artist

Tiffany Alvord
Matty B
Carson Lueders
Johnny Orlando
Jacob Sartorius
JoJo Siwa (Winner)

Favorite Global Music Star

5 Seconds of Summer (Australia/New Zealand)
BIGBANG (Asia)
Bruno Mars (North America)
Little Mix (UK) (Winner)
Shakira (South America)
Zara Larsson (Europe)

Favorite Video Game

Just Dance 2017 (Winner)
Lego Marvel’s Avengers
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Minecraft: Story Mode
Paper Mario: Color Splash
Pokmon Moon

So fun!!!

Congrats to all the BIG winners!!!

What’d U think of last night’s show, Perezcious readers?! Let us know in the comments (below)!!!

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-03-12-kids-choice-awards-winners-list

‘Get Out’ Is The Type Of Movie The Oscars Should Pay Attention To

The same night Moonlight won Best Picture, Get Out ended its fruitful theatrical debut with $33.4 million in North American grosses, surpassing forecasts that estimateda $28 million opening. Jordan Peeles horror film is expected to net another $26 millionthis go-round,remarkable for a genre known for steep second-weekend revenue declines.

One week alone cannot presage a seismic shift, but the coupled victories for Moonlight and Get Out send a clear message about the types of stories worth telling on the big screen. Moonlight is a delicate coming-of-age masterpiece with an exclusively black cast, and Get Out is a scalding satire that indicts Americas racial bigotry as thoroughly as any slavery movie.

The two share another commonality:rapturous reception.Moonlight drew near-universal acclaim and placed high on many critics year-end lists. It was, in many ways, the defining art film of 2016, doing first-rate business for a project that cost a mere $1.5 million to make. Similarly, Get Out promos boasted of the movies100 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, at least until critic Armond White published his characteristically contrarian review in the National Review.

Because Moonlight is an austere drama, it found an obvious portal into the Oscar race, eventually securing eight nominations. Get Out, on the other hand, hails from a genre regularly ignored by awards groups.Movies released in the first half of the year arent often remembered by the time Oscar campaigns rev up around September anyway. But those constructs should change because Get Out is every bit as worthy an Oscar candidate as much of the prestige fare that floods theaters every winter.

Universal
Catherine Kenner, Bradley Whitford, Allison Williams, Betty Gabriel and Daniel Kaluuya star in “Get Out.”

Making his directorial debut, Peele positions Get Outwithin a through-line of classics chronicling social terrors. He has cited Rosemarys Baby and The Stepford Wives nightmares about female subjugation and spousal manipulation as key influences. Except instead of demonic neighbors or patriarchal fascism, the fear in Get Out is something far more common: white people.

Peele has crafted a postmodern indictment of racial bondage that requires astute viewership. Some will call this a horror comedy, but thats a simplistic label: The humor is often a tongue-in-cheek result of the terror, which derives from white faces preying on black bodies. It is history, modernized and largely depoliticized, aside from the central milky clan insisting they would have voted for Barack Obama for a third term.

As Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a black photographer, meets his white girlfriend Roses (Allison Williams) family for the first time at their suburban WASP manor, his anxieties are reflected in common horror tropes. Chris oozes paranoia, leaving us at first wondering, as we did with Rosemary, whether his misgivings are unfounded.

We are all familiar with, or can at least imagine, the stresses of meeting a partners relatives. (In-laws are terrifying, after all.) Abetted by the tension of a psychological thriller, that familiarity invokes skeptical amusement.We chuckle nervously as Roses family dotes over Chris like a trophy while their black house-servants mill about like zombies. We titter as his fears are seemingly confirmed and dismissed at once. Jump-scares those cheap Boo! tricks that have come to define the horror genre end in us laughing at ourselves for giving in to the scene the way it wants us to. We dont yet know Rose and her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) have brewed a sinister plot that lobotomizes and enslaves black people,but we can detect an intangible racism beneath the surface, and that careful escalation leaves the viewer feeling susceptible.(It must be said, however, that the film does pepper in earnest comedy, mostly thanks to Chris loyal best friend, played by a boisterous Lil Rel Howery.)

Universal
Jordan Peele directs a scene in “Get Out.”

Get Out is a piece of craftsmanship, seemingly made by a veteran director. It takes a skilled filmmaker with a deep connection to the nature of storytelling to create something that twists our familiarity with movies into something original. That it follows familiar patterns is precisely the point. In Peeles heightened narrative, well-meaning white people those clueless social liberals who would gladly dedicate their avocado toast to Black Lives Matter are villains without masks. These boogeymen and -women are all around us. You might even be one of them. And that idea, however brashly it is outlined, fosters a sociological commentary as complex as any prestigious Oscar title.

Whether Get Out will remain one of the years best, thereby sealing its Oscar worthiness, is yet to be seen. The last Best Picture champ released in January or February was 1991s The Silence of the Lambs, the only horror movie thats ever won. But Universal would be wise to start pondering an awards campaign, particularly for Kaluuyas effective performance and Peeles direction and script. Even if the Academy hasnt delivered on its promise, the Best Picture category expanded to a potential 10 slots so the Oscars could recognize popular movies regularly edged out by more somber conventions. Get Out is every bit as nuanced and layered as many intimate indie dramas, and at a time when our country can seem more racially polarized than ever, its just the sort of topical confrontation that Americans should be encouraged to embrace.

Get Out is now in theaters.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/get-out-oscars_us_58b9742de4b05cf0f3ffbdd2?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Oscar winners 2017: the full list updated live

All the winners from the 89th Academy Awards, as theyre announced during the ceremony

Best supporting actor

WINNER: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best makeup and hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
WINNER: Suicide Squad

Best costume design

Allied
WINNER: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Best documentary

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
WINNER: OJ: Made in America
13th

Best sound editing

WINNER: Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Best sound mixing

Arrival
WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

Kevin
Kevin OConnell wins at the 21st attempt for sound mixing for Hacksaw Ridge. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Best supporting actress

WINNER: Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best foreign language film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
WINNER: The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

Best animated short

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
WINNER: Piper

Best animated feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life As a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
WINNER: Zootopia

Best production design

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
WINNER: La La Land
Passengers

Best visual effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
WINNER: The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best film editing

Arrival
WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Mahershala
Mahershala Ali, winner for Moonlight. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Best documentary short

4.1 Miles
Extremis
Joes Violin
Watani: My Homeland
WINNER:
The White Helmets

Best live-action short

Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
WINNER: Sing
Timecode

Best cinematography

Arrival
WINNER: La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Best score

Jackie
WINNER: La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Best song

Audition (La La Land)
Cant Stop the Feeling! (Trolls)
WINNER: City of Stars (La La Land)
The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story)
How Far Ill Go (Moana)

Kenneth
Kenneth Lonergan wins best original screenplay for Manchester by the Sea. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Best original screenplay

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
WINNER: Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Best adapted screenplay

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
WINNER: Moonlight

More to follow, as they are announced…

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/27/oscar-winners-2017-the-full-list-academy-awards

Crowds flock to Saudi Arabia’s first Comic Con

(CNN)Dressed all in black with her face exposed, Fatima Mohammed Hussein has come to Saudi Arabia’s first Comic Con event dressed as Bat Girl.

“The minute I stepped in, I couldn’t believe this is happening here,” she told CNN. “It’s a big move for Saudi to have something like that.”
Hussein was one of the many Saudis who dressed up and flocked to the coastal city of Jeddah to celebrate pop culture, comic books, video games, and film between February 16 and 18.

    Fatima

    The three-day festival was part of a government initiative to bring more entertainment to Saudi Arabia, which bans public cinemas and theater.
    “When you enter into the tent, you forget that you are in Saudi Arabia,” Abdul Rahman Bakhsh, 25, an engineer and an avid YouTuber, who came to the event dressed in rustic armor over a black faux suede pullover and armed with a spear, told CNN.

    A post shared by Eng. Abdulrahman Bakhsh (@healthway_22) on

    With his friend, Ameer, he documented the Comic Con experience on YouTube video, starting with their search for costumes.
    “There is a lot of creativity in Comic Con. People really interacted with the event and their costumes were amazing,” Bakhsh said.

    Gender mixing

    Young men and women crowded into the tent, mingling near stands for comics and video games — a remarkable scene for a government-sponsored event in a country where gender segregation is imposed in many public spaces.

    People

    .. #__

    A post shared by Saudi Comic Con (@saudicomiccon) on

    A long queue formed in front of the booth of a group of talented female artists who — with make-up — created scars, injuries and anime-inspired faces. “It was Hollywood-level creativity,” Bakhsh said.
    A separate female-only tent was set up for women who wanted to take off their traditional abayas and show off their costumes.

    A

    Saudis at the event also had the opportunity to attend panel discussions with Charles Dance and Julian Glover from “Game of Thrones,” Giancarlo Esposito from “Breaking Bad,” and Mads Mikkelsen from “Doctor Strange.”
    Other panels featured Saudi producers and actors, including cast members from the upcoming Saudi superhero show, “Mas’hour” — meaning “Bewitched.”

    Comi Con history

    Comic Con events began in 1970 in San Diego and have slowly spread across the world. But before this festival, fans from Saudi Arabia had to outside the country to attend Comic Con events.

    #__

    A post shared by Saudi Comic Con (@saudicomiccon) on

    The Saudi version was organized by local company Time Entertainment. Its director Hisham AlSaeed said that Comic Con’s international presence gave Saudi Arabia the perfect opportunity to highlight homegrown talent.
    “There’s a lot of talent (here) when it comes to comics, animations, anime (and) movie production,” he said.
    AlSaeed said the initiative was inspired by the huge demand for a Comic Con in his country, illustrated paartly by the rise in people holding their own cosplay competitions at small, underground private events.
    “(Comic Con) has never been done publicly like this, it has just never been set up,” he said.

    A

    The event, which was supported by the Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, is part of country’s “Vision 2030” program, which is promising a wave of cultural reforms to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy.
    AlSaeed said his team is planning to make this an annual event.
    “We’re considering this a soft Comic Con in Saudi Arabia, and then the next (one) will be way bigger.
    “I’m hoping by next year we have a full cast of ‘The Walking Dead’, but we also have a lot of casts of our own movies and TV shows,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/19/middleeast/saudi-arabia-comic-con/index.html

    Before Leia: This U.K. actress may be joining the young Han Solo movie

    Phoebe Waller-Bridge promoting ‘Fleabag’ on August 7, 2016 in Beverly Hills.
    Image: Getty Images for Amazon Studios

    Move over, Chewie. There may be another kind of fleabag aboard the Millennium Falcon next year.

    Actress Pheobe Waller-Bridge, star of the BBC and Amazon-produced comedy show Fleabag, is in talks to join the forthcoming Han Solo movie, Mashable has confirmed via a source familiar with the talks.

    With the Han Solo script locked up tighter than the Death Star on Sunday, we don’t know who or what Waller-Bridge would be playing.

    But Variety, which first revealed the talks, says she’s the voice for a “CGI-driven” character much in the same way Alan Tudyk gave his voice and mannerisms to K-2SO in Rogue One.

    If she gets the part, Waller-Bridge would be the latest in a line of relatively unknown young British actresses to appear in a blockbuster Star Wars movie. Daisy Ridley was the breakout star of The Force Awakens; Felicity Jones held her own at the center of Rogue One.

    She’d also be the third woman to play a starring role in a Disney-led Star Wars film without showing her face. Lupita Nyong’o was similarly hidden behind the CGI character Maz Kanata, while Gwendoline Christie was unseen beneath the armor of Captain Phasma. Both those roles were rumored to have been offered to male actors first.

    The Han Solo film’s actors confirmed so far include Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian (the previous owner of the Millennium Falcon so yeah, we’re pretty sure the ship shows up in this) and Woody Harrelson who’ll play a “bit of a criminal” mentor to Solo.

    And of course, Alden Ehrenreich stars as the scoundrel himself. He revealed last year that he had been screen-tested next to a Wookiee. No definitive word yet on whether this means Chewbacca himself shows up at this point in Han’s life. But given the way Lando treated Chewie like an old pal when they met again in Cloud City “you still hanging around with this loser?” we wouldn’t bet a hand of Sabacc against it.

    Adding a female voice (at least) to the proceedings would thus provide some necessary relief and representation in a movie that is otherwise shaping up to be the most male-centric Star Wars adventure yet.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/02/08/han-solo-fleabag/

    RIP Wii U: Nintendo’s glorious, quirky failure

    Nintendo has ceased production of Wii U less than five years after its launch. What went wrong, and what will be its legacy?

    In late January it was announced that Nintendo had ceased production of the Wii U console. The follow-up machine to the hugely successful Wii had sold fewer than 15m units worldwide since its launch in 2012. PlayStation 4 sold more in a year. Wii sold more than 100m in its lifetime.

    What happened? How did Nintendo, one of the oldest and most respected companies in the video game industry, get it so wrong? And did anything good come out of the Wii U era? How will the machine be remembered, if at all?

    Certainly, some believe the console was cursed from the start right from the first announcement at the 2011 E3 video game conference in Los Angeles. Before that, Nintendo had made vague references to Project Cafe, a new piece of hardware deep in development at the companys famed R&D labs, but the nature of the device was unclear. The E3 presentation was supposed to be the big reveal.

    Then, there it was at the Nintendo press conference, in front of the whole games industry. Wii U. Reggie-Fils-Aim, head of Nintendo America, gave an obtuse introduction and showed the unique GamePad controller, with its built-in display. After this, came a showreel of gaming moments, then nothing. The crowd whooped, but when the lights went down, a few expressed confusion: was the Wii U GamePad an extension to the original Wii? Was it an entirely new console? That evening, in an interview with the Evening Standard, the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated: Because we put so much emphasis on the controller, there appeared to be some misunderstanding.

    The
    The PS4 and Xbox One, high-powered machines arrived and changed the gaming landscape. Composite: Xbox One S v PS 4 Pro v PS4 Slim v Project Scorpio

    A masterpiece of understatement. In some ways, that misunderstanding never went away. Even when it became clear that Wii U was a whole new console, with a unique motion-sensitive screen pad, consumers were nonplussed. There had been rumours that, with its custom AMD 7 series graphics chipset and IBM multicore central processor, the machine would be more powerful than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 especially as it was arriving years after those machines debuted. But before the launch, developers were already whispering to news sources that this was not the case driving the second-screen would eat up the graphics processing power and the CPU wasnt that special. It was all academic anyway: barely a year later, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One arrived to completely change the technological landscape.

    But Nintendo wasnt competing with PlayStation and Xbox, and never really had. Instead, it needed to convert the tens of millions of Wii owners whod rarely bought consoles before; whod been seduced by the Wii Remote controller and the immediate, social experience it promised. Those people were now quietly migrating to other platforms: smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes … Thats who the Wii U was aimed at.

    In the months following E3, it was at least picking up interest from the development community. I had done work on the N64, Gameboy, GameCube and Wii and I still maintain they were my favourite systems to work on, so when the WiiU was announced it had me excited, says Byron Atkinson-Jones of Xiotex Studios I wanted to see how far we could go in game design terms with the two screen setup. Were we going to get new game paradigms like we did with the Wii and its controllers?

    However, even before the launch, the games media was complaining about a lack of compelling first-party content. The machine would arrive with only two major Nintendo titles, the mini-game collection Nintendo Land, and New Super Mario Bros U, a decent side-scrolling platformer, but by no means a major Mario title with with little involvement from Miyamoto. There were intriguing moments: Nintendo Land has the clever asymmetrical multiplayer action of Luigis Ghost Mansion and the boisterous arena-battler Animal Crossing: Sweet Day. But there was also nothing as immediately compelling as Wii Sports or Wii Play nothing that completely crystallised the idea of the GamePad.

    Veteran developer Rhodri Broadbent once worked for Q-Games in Japan, and met Shigeru Miyamoto while making Star Fox Command. He felt there should still have been a role for the Wii Remote in the new era. The fact that Wii U did not come bundled with a Wii Remote was really disappointing to me, he says. I felt that the identity of the Wii Remote was worth continuing, and that combining the jump to HD visuals with the jump to HD motion control of the Wii Remote Plus would have been a smart play. In terms of marketing, the Wii Remote was iconic from the get-go, whereas the GamePad sadly didnt really get to find its identity in either software, nor marketing. There were some truly excellent, best-in-class games released for Wii U, but very few of them gave life or character to the GamePad.

    The GamePad, as a unique selling point, was also a unique curse, an albatross around the neck of the whole project. Designers struggled over its multifaceted nature: should they support it as a standalone screen, a second-screen for the TV, or as a device to allow asymmetrical multiplayer experiences (the player with the GamePad is able to have a different experiences to others using Wii Remotes). It was a tough business proposition too. Games publishers like to be able to transition their projects freely between different machines most modern game engines are platform agnostic making this process easier. But Wii Us controller demanded a different approach, so including the console on multiplatform projects was complicated and expensive even if they were just going to use the GamePad as a mini-map, which many did.

    Of the third-party games available at launch, most were quick conversions of familiar PlayStation and Xbox titles: Call of Duty, Batman, Fifa… few of these exploited the GamePad feature-set in truly innovative ways. The best was perhaps ZombiU, a fascinating survival horror title with a neat permadeath mechanic, set in a post-apocalyptic London that made inspired use of the GamePad as both an environment scanner and a cellphone. With its tense, gory action, it also brilliantly subverted expectations of a Nintendo launch title. But it wasnt enough.

    The problem is, mainstream game development is all about confidence. Console manufacturers have to be certain that third-party publishers will support the device; third-party publishers have to be sure that consumers will buy it, and draw confidence from first-party titles; and consumers wont commit until they know there will be great titles from both first- and third-party studios. Its a vicious circle of reliance, and it often all depends on that launch week. Nintendo just didnt come up with the goods to inspire consumers, and because of this, the likes of Activision, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft were all backing off right from the outset.

    Meanwhile, Nintendo was trying to make things easier for independent developers, noticing the huge influx of excellent indie titles on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. After the success of the 3DS eShop in attracting experimental games, the company set out to improve its digital store for the home console experience. However, its legacy was not good. On the Wii, support for smaller studios was patchy: the submissions process was, according to some studios, extremely lengthy, and there were sales thresholds that made it risky to commit to offbeat projects. Even after these problems had been addressed, Wii U had no support for the important multi-platform games engine Unity until much later in the consoles lifespan, strangling its potential with the indie community.

    [The Wii U dev kit] was clunky and far more difficult to setup than its predecessors, says Atkinson-Jones. I remember opening the box it came in and there was a warning saying it was very easy to brick the machine so getting it setup was a terrifying prospect. Id love to say I got further than this but the reality is that even though Nintendo had signed So Hungry to appear on WiiU, Unity would not actually be ready for another year its because of this my other game Blast Em! came about and thankfully that game has kept my studio running.
    Once you got past all the problems of setup and getting a working build of Unity, it was just that much harder than doing any kind of cross platform work – the big difference being the two displays of course.

    Nintendos
    Nintendos Wii and revolutionary remote. Photograph: Andrew Parsons/PA

    So the Wii U had a lot to contend with: a poorly conceived debut, a unique selling point that was difficult to describe, and a hesitant development community unwilling to commit resources to a quirky machine. But it did provide moments of genuine brilliance. The defining first-party titles Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Splatoon and Pikmin 3 may not have been top tier Nintendo originals (theres no Miyamoto Mario, no new Zelda), but they were excellent games, filled with interesting ideas and classic moments of design genius.

    Pikmin 3 is one of the greatest games I have ever played on any system, says Broadbent. Its mission mode is so tightly balanced, with so many tricks and techniques to optimise battles, find new routes and shave seconds off your time that I can and often did replay the same mission for entire days without noticing that the my weekend had disappeared. Im a big fan of the oft-overlooked, but to my mind never bettered, New Super Mario Bros U, especially the challenge modes. And keeping with Mario, Super Mario Makers musical, whimsical user interface is a masterclass in hiding complexity and infusing character into menus the way the sound effects harmonise with the background music as you place objects on the screen is endlessly charming to me.

    There were beautiful third-party games too, sparsely spread out though the machines lifespan perhaps, but certainly there. Cult Japanese studio PlatinumGames, best known for its demanding brawlers, was an unexpected hero producing two masterpieces for the machine: the extravagant Bayonetta 2, and the kookie super hero puzzler, Wonderful 101. Warner Bros brought us the excellent Armored edition of Batman Arkham City, but also the ludicrously overlooked Lego City Undercover, a hilarious Grand Theft Auto pastiche, which is now rightfully being remade for current consoles.

    More importantly however, there were indie developers who truly embraced the idiosyncracies of the system and its development environment. We enjoy letting the quirks of specific hardware inspire new ideas and features here, so from a design point of view, Wii U was a lot of fun, says Broadbent. Gyros, a camera, a touch screen there was a lot there to use. For Scram Kitty, I had the idea of making the titular cat appear as a sort of sports commentator on the TV while the player focused on the GamePad action, and although in the end that element didnt turn out to be an essential feature of the game, it was a great source of personality for the game, and one which kept throwing up new ideas throughout development.

    Highlights included DrinkBox Studios crazed platformer Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition, the lovely retro platformer Shantae and the Pirates Curse, and the intriguing puzzler Art of Balance. Most were multiplatform, but lots used the Wii U capabilities in interesting ways. A key example was the engrossing Affordable Space Adventures from Danish developer KnapNok Games. In this interstellar puzzle game, the GamePad was used to monitor and interact with your crafts primary systems, including engines, anti-gravity controls and scanner, providing a great Star Trek bridge experience.

    There were also thoughtful conversions of iOS titles, including Dakko Dakkos translation of the spooky narrative adventure Year Walk. We took a much more all-in approach to the machines feature set, combining the gyros, touch screen, separate displays, and even subtly altering the audio between the gamepad and the TV, to create very satisfying controls and puzzles, says Broadbent. The end result feels uniquely suited to Wii U.

    Its also worth remembering Nintendos unique attempts to create friendly online communities around the Wii U. The Miiverse is a family-friendly social network in which players can chat about what theyre playing, draw and share pictures, and seek gaming advice, all within a safe, charming environment populated with customised Mii characters. It was a much more warm, human approach to networked play than Xbox Live or PlayStation Network and, as Jennifer Schneidereit, co-creator of luscious historical adventure Tengami discovered, it allowed unique relationships between developers and players:

    It was possible to post to Tengamis Miiverse from within the game, to show level progress or ask other players for help, she says. As a developer I was able to interact with people in Tengamis Miiverse and help with puzzles, answer their questions and listen to their feedback. Because Miiverse posts are not only textual, players can also hand draw and incorporate stamps, it was a real delight to watch players using our stamps to create artwork of their own.

    Wii U had a difficult start, with a difficult idea in a difficult era. The E3 presentation blurred what the machine actually was, and the GamePad was never an easy proposition to market unlike the Wii Remote that people could see was fun, just from the adverts. Meanwhile, with Xbox and PlayStation continuing their graphics arms race, and competition coming in from smartphones and tablets, the gaming audience seemed to be stratifying into two groups: the sorts of players who bought consoles and high-end PCs, and the sorts whod quite as happily play Candy Crush Saga for free on their phones. The idea of a console as the central focus of a party or family event, which had peaked between 2005 and 2010 with both the Wii and the rise of music games like Guitar Hero, had drifted out of favour.

    Nintendos
    Nintendos Shigeru Miyamoto. Photograph: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

    Now here comes the Nintendo Switch, a regeneration of the Wii U concept where the GamePad effectively becomes the console, with its own built-in controllers. If anything, it is a more flagrant attempt to seduce casual players away from their phones, while tapping into the family living-room appeal of the original Wii. Broadbent sees Switch as a reconnection with that machine: Im very happy that the joy-cons have so many little tricks in them, and encouraged to see games like ARMS push forward higher-fidelity motion controls right out the gate. But Im mostly happy that Switchs identity as a home console thats not tied to your TV is being communicated so clearly.

    Communication, it seems, is key. The Wii did its own communicating: you just watched people playing Tennis or Bowling and you knew it was fun. Nothing Nintendo has done with its hardware since then has been quite so alluring. But to write off Wii U as a creative failure would be a gross disservice. The GamePad actualised a lot of vague entertainment industry hype about the second screen, and lots of games truly illustrated the magic of the concept. And lets not forget that Wii U also saw Nintendos entry into the toys to life market with its Amiibo characters little figurines that could be placed on the screen to interact with games. They sold over 40m of those.

    In years to come, people will pick up the console second-hand, with a few games Super Mario 3D World, Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8 and theyll realise what it was that Nintendo had in mind, theyll understand the appeal of the hardware. Much too late, of course.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/03/rip-wii-u-nintendos-glorious-quirky-failure