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  1. OMAROSA Manigault Newman has released another secret audio recording that she says proves President Donald Trump wanted to silence her after firing her from the White House. In the recording played on MSNBC, Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump offers Manigault Newman a job earning $15,000 ($A20,600) a month. The job wouldn’t require her to report to any particular office or have a specific set of duties, other than to speak positively on Trump’s behalf as part of his re-election campaign. Lara Trump, married to Eric Trump, can be heard on the tape noting a New York Times report that suggested Manigault Newman had inside information that could be damaging to Trump. “It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out,” Lara Trump said. “Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have, we got to … ”. Manigault Newman interjects: “Oh, God, no.” “Everything, everybody, positive, right?” Lara Trump asks. The secret recording is one of several Manigault Newman released this week to back up her claims in her new book, Unhinged. In a written response on Thursday, Lara Trump said her entire family was concerned for Manigault Newman after she was fired “because we had no idea about the basis for her dismissal,” but “we still wanted her on our team because we cared so much about her personally.” Lara Trump says that’s why she reached out and offered Manigault Newman a job on the re-election campaign “before we knew anything about the gross violations of ethics and integrity during her White House tenure.” Lara Trump says that the latest tape is a “fraud” and that the snippets of discussion aired by MSNBC “took place in numerous phone calls over the course of several weeks.” “Woman to woman, I shared a connection with Omarosa as a friend and a campaign sister, and I am absolutely shocked and saddened by her betrayal and violation on a deeply personal level,” the president’s daughter-in-law said. The president on Thursday tweeted: “Thank you for the kind words, Omarosa” in a post that included the link to a video, released by the Republican National Committee, that is a compilation of broadcast interviews in which Manigault Newman makes positive comments about Trump. The RNC released the video on Twitter under the headline, “Guess she forgot about these tapes.” MSNBC also played the GOP video for Manigault Newman during its interview with her. A former contestant on Trump’s reality TV show The Apprentice, Manigault Newman was one of Trump’s most prominent African-American supporters during his campaign. He hired her to be a White House assistant, earning $179,700 ($A247,588) a year as director of communications for the White House office of public liaison. But she was deeply disliked by many of her colleagues and eventually was ousted by Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, for “significant integrity issues.” According to other recordings released this week, Trump appeared to be in the dark on her December 2017 firing. And Kelly suggested, “If we make this a friendly departure … you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.” Manigault Newman alleges there is a tape of Trump using a racial slur while working on The Apprentice. Trump denies this and has lashed out at his former aide on Twitter, calling her “wacky and deranged,” “not smart” and a “dog.”
  2. ORGANISERS of the Wyndham Championships, the last tournament that Jarrod Lyle played on the US PGA Tour, produced touching gestures to honour the late golfer. Sitting on the first tee at the Sedgefield Country Club was Lyle’s golf bag, club and signature yellow bucket cap. It was a tribute that warmed the Australian players in the field of the tournament, which began on Thursday night WA time. “When I hit my tee shot I turned around and saw it and I was like oh, man, I've got to get a picture of that,” Aaron Baddeley told PGATour.com. Another Australian, Cameron Percy, told the website: “That was awesome.” Sand artists also created a likeness of Leuk the Duck, the mascot of Challenge, the Australian charity supported by Lyle who work with children fighting cancer. Lyle died in Victoria last week after a recurring battle with leukaemia. Donations to a GoFundMe page set up for Jarrod Lyle’s daughters has already exceeded its $200,000 goal.
  3. POLICE believe they’ve found the bodies of two young girls allegedly killed by their father in Colorado. The discovery comes after the body of their mother, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, was found on a property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, one of the state’s largest oil and gas drillers, where Christopher Watts used to work, police said. The bodies believed to be of Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were located near to where Ms Watts was found dead, police said. After his pregnant wife and two daughters disappeared, Christopher Watts stood on his porch in Colorado and lamented to reporters how much he missed them. He longed for the simple things, he said, like telling his girls to eat their dinner and gazing at them as they curled up to watch cartoons. “Last night, I had every light in the house on. I was hoping that I would just get ran over by the kids running in the door, just barrel-rushing me, but it didn’t happen,” he told Denver TV station KMGH. On Thursday, Watts was in jail after being arrested on suspicion of killing his family, probably before he spoke those words. Authorities did not offer a motive. “As horrible as this outcome is, our role now is to do everything we can to determine exactly what occurred,” John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said at a news conference in Frederick, a small town on the grassy plains north of Denver, where fast-growing subdivisions intermingle with drilling rigs and oil wells. Watts, 33, has not been formally charged. A judge ordered him held without bail and told prosecutors to file charges by Monday afternoon. He set a Tuesday hearing to review the case. As he was escorted into the courtroom, Watts did not speak. He looked down for much of the hearing but made eye contact as the judge reviewed his rights. Watts’s lawyer, James Merson of the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, left without commenting to reporters. He did not immediately respond to a voicemail left at his office Thursday by The Associated Press. A family friend reported Shanann Watts and her daughters missing on Monday, police said. In his previous interviews with Denver TV outlets, Christopher Watts said his wife of nearly six years returned home about 2am Monday after a flight for a work trip was delayed. He said the two had an “emotional conversation” before he left for work a few hours later and that he became concerned after she did not return his calls or texts or those of her friends. He said he came home to an empty house after a friend knocked on the door at noon and got no answer. Shanann Watts’ Facebook account paints a portrait of a happy married life, with a constant feed of photos and videos of friends, relatives and herself. Her comments were typically upbeat, whether she was running errands, playing with her kids or promoting a health program. She posted selfies of her and her husband smiling in restaurants, at the ocean on vacation and at their house. On May 5, she wrote: “I love this man! He’s my ROCK!” On June 19, she posted a photo of some texts with her husband after sending him a picture of a sonogram. He replied that he loved the baby already. She posted: “I love Chris! He’s the best dad us girls could ask for.” Her page has photo collages and video slide shows praising Chris Watts, describing how their love was growing stronger and how he gave her the strength to have a third child. The couple’s 2015 bankruptcy filing captures a picture of a family caught between a promising future and financial strain. The filing estimated that they had the same range of assets as liabilities, according to court records. At the time, Christopher Watts worked for Anadarko, earning about $61,500 a year as an “operator.” His wife was working at a call centre at a children’s hospital, making about $18 per hour. Combined, they earned $90,000 in 2014. But they also had tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, along with some student loans and medical bills — for a total of $70,000 in unsecured claims on top of a sizeable mortgage. A spokeswoman for the oil company said Christopher Watts was fired on Wednesday, but she declined to provide any details, citing the active investigation. Shannan’s friend Ashley Bell said she never detected that anything was wrong between Shanann and her husband, who she described as a loving father. “She was always about her girls,” Bell said. “She would do anything for her girls.” Shanann’s father, Frank Rzucek, said on Facebook that the family did not want to talk to the media.
  4. THE Vatican has expressed “shame and sorrow” over a scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report about clergy who raped and molested children in six dioceses in the state. The abuse was “criminally and morally reprehensible”, the Vatican said, and added Pope Francis wanted to eradicate “this tragic horror”. Harrowing examples of horrendous abuse filled the long-awaited report. In one such example, a young girl was raped by a priest visiting her while she was in a hospital following surgery to remove her tonsils. In another, a priest tied up a victim with a rope in a confessional booth, and when the victim refused to perform sex, the priest assaulted him with a crucifix. A written statement using uncharacteristically strong language for the Holy See, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke sought to assure victims that “the pope is on their side.” Mr Burke said the incidents of abuse graphically documented in the report were “betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.” “The church must learn hard lessons from its past, and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur,” he said. Pope Francis himself wasn’t quoted in the statement, and there was no mention of demands in the United States among some Roman Catholics for the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Cardinal Wuerl was accused in the report of helping to protect some molester priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He defended his actions in Pittsburgh while apologising for the damage inflicted on victims. “The Diocese worked to meet or exceed the requirements of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the reporting requirements of Pennsylvania law,” Wuerl said, according to the Associated Press. “We showed pastoral concern by reaching out to victims and their families, while reporting allegations to the authorities so they could investigate crimes.” Victims and their advocates for decades have lamented that top Catholic churchmen repeatedly put the reputation of the church ahead of obligations to protect children from harm from paedophile priests. In a sign that Pope Francis wants to end that pervasive mind set among church hierarchy, including bishops and cardinals, he recently accepted the resignation from cardinal’s rank of former Washington archbishop Theodore McCarrick amid allegations that the American prelate had engaged in sexual misconduct. Resignations by cardinals are extremely rare, and McCarrick’s was the first time a prelate lost his cardinal’s rank in a sexual abuse scandal. Burke said Pope Francis “understands well how much these crimes can shake the faith and the spirit of believers and reiterates the call to make every effort to create a safe environment for minors and vulnerable adults in the church and in all of society.” The grand jury report documented how paedophile priests were often protected by church hierarchy or moved to other postings without the faithful being told of the priests’ sexual predatory history. Speaking about Pope Francis, Burke said: “Those who have suffered are his priority, and the church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.” Even before the report was released, a series of scandals over the last few decades involving paedophile priests and systematic attempts by pastors and bishops to cover up the abuse by shuttling offenders to new parishes had rocked the faith of many Catholics in the US. Similar abuse and determination by protect abusers had also stained the reputation of the Catholic Church in many other countries. Pope Francis recently did a turnaround on how accusations by victims in Chile were viewed by the Vatican. After casting doubt on the victims’ accounts during his visit to Chile earlier this year, Pope Francis apologised to them, hosted the victims at the Vatican and later accepted the resignations of some of the country’s bishops, who offered en masse to step down. On Thursday, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops invited the Vatican to play a key role in investigating the scandal involving McCarrick, who allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with minors and adult seminarians. The conference’s president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, said he would go to Rome to ask the Vatican to conduct a high-level investigation known as an “apostolic visitation” to deal with McCarrick’s case, working together with a group of predominantly lay experts.
  5. Texas-based Internet provider Grande Communications has no right to a safe harbor defense, several major record labels have informed the court. The companies are requesting a summary judgment, arguing that evidence and testimony clearly show that the ISP's acceptable use policy was a sham. Last year several major record labels, represented by the RIAA, filed a lawsuit against ISP Grande Communications accusing it of turning a blind eye to pirating subscribers. According to the RIAA, the Internet provider knew that some of its subscribers were frequently distributing copyrighted material, but failed to take any meaningful action in response. Grande refuted the accusations and filed a motion to dismiss the case. The ISP partially succeeded as the claims against its management company Patriot were dropped. The same was true for the vicarious infringement allegations, as the court saw no evidence that the ISP had a direct financial interest in the infringing activity. The labels were not willing to let go so easily. They submitted a motion for leave to file an amended complaint including new evidence obtained during discovery. And a few days ago, they upped the pressure with a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Grande has no safe harbor defense. In order to get safe harbor protection, the DMCA requires ISPs to adopt and reasonably implement a policy for terminating the accounts of repeat copyright infringers. According to the motion, it is clear that Grande failed to do so. As such, the company should be held directly liable. “For years, Grande claimed in its online ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ that it had a policy of terminating repeat infringers. Grande continued to assert that claim in its pleadings and written discovery responses in this suit. “None of that was true. The undisputed record evidence establishes that Grande’s Acceptable Use Policy was a sham,” the labels’ motion reads. There can be little dispute over Grande’s failing policy, the labels state. They point out that corporate paperwork and testimony of Grande’s senior executives clearly show that there wasn’t an adequate repeat infringer policy. “Indeed, the documents and testimony demonstrate that rather than a policy for terminating repeat infringers, Grande consciously chose the opposite: a policy allowing unlimited infringement by its subscribers,” the labels write. At the same time, there was no lack of DMCA notices. The labels note that the ISP received at least 1.2 million notices of alleged copyright infringement between 2011 and 2016. This includes hundreds of thousands of notices from Rightscorp. Despite these repeated warnings, the company didn’t terminate a single subscriber from October 2010 until June 2017, the labels allege. This changed after the lawsuit was filed, but even then the number remained minimal, with ‘only’ twelve terminations. Based on the provided information, the record labels ask for a summary judgment in their favor. “Grande’s failure to adopt and reasonably implement a repeat infringer policy renders Grande ineligible for the DMCA safe harbor. The Court should grant Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment and reject Grande’s DMCA safe harbor defense as a matter of law,” the labels say. If the court sides with the record labels, Grande will be at a severe disadvantage, to say the least. Without safe harbor protection, the company can be held liable for the copyright infringements of its users, which could potentially lead to dozens of millions of dollars in damages. — A copy of the record labels motion is available here (pdf). Source: Torrentfreak.com
  6. Hello, @Kolompár Joco Excellent GA.. I have been looking forward to join here since long time.. An invite to the Secret Cinema will be much appreciated.. PM for any proofs if needed.. Like & Rep added.. Thanks in advance.. Regards..
  7. Spider-Man-Noir-Humphrey-Bogart-Header.jpg Nicolas Cage is set to play Spider-Man Noir in Sony's upcoming animated film Into the Spider-Verse, and he based the performance on Humphrey Bogart. Cage is certainly one of the most recognizable actors working today, but his notoriety isn't always for the right reasons. While Cage has more than proven that he's a talented performer - earning two Oscar nominations, winning once - the more recent stages of his long career have seen him gravitate more toward the eclectic. His latest choice of unconventional role will see Cage voice Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, alongside a variety of other Spider-Man variants. This convergence of Spider-people is made possible by the film's universe-blending plot, which sets the lead focus on young Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who's new to both the Spider-Man identity and being a superhero. Peter Parker's (Jake Johnson) Spider-Man also makes an appearance, as does Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn). For those unfamiliar, Spider-Man Noir is an alternate universe version of Peter Parker whose story is set in 1933. He made his first comic appearance in 2009, and this will be his first adaptation to the big screen. During a recent chat with EW, Cage revealed his inspirations for the characterization of Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Verse, citing classic Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Edward G. Robinson. Bogart is of course probably the actor most closely associated with the film noir genre. Here's Cage's full quote: There are multiple Spider-Men in different dimensions that are kind of colliding together,” says Cage of the movie. “My character’s Spider-Man Noir. He’s really Peter Parker from the ’30s. I tried to channel those noir films with [Humphrey] Bogart, and have those kinds of sounds that he might make with [James] Cagney, or Edward G. Robinson, that kind of way of talking. I tried to give the character that. It was a lot of fun. I think it should be quite funny. The movie definitely has a sense of humor, and that’s a good thing because it’s good for the whole family. Humphrey-Bogart-in-Casablanca.jpg One of the most legendary leading men in Hollywood history, Bogart's glory days came in the 1930s and 40s. He'll probably always be best remembered for playing club owner Rick Blaine opposite Ingrid Bergman in 1942's Casablanca, but gave almost equally iconic performances in noir classics like 1941's The Maltese Falcon and 1946's The Big Sleep. If most film fans were asked to name an actor from the noir genre, chances are their answer would be Bogart, making him a completely logical choice for Cage to base a noir-styled version of Spider-Man on. At this point though, it remains to be seen how big a role in the story that Spider-Man Noir will have within Into the Spider-Verse. After all, he's sharing the screen with such a large line-up of characters that it would be easy for him to get lost in the shuffle. Hopefully his unique backstory and a sure to be intriguing vocal performance from Cage will be enough to set Spider-Man Noir apart from the pack, and make his film debut a memorable one. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018
  8. Wes-Anderson-and-the-Grand-Budapest-Hotel.jpg Wes Anderson's live-action follow-up to his stop-motion feature Isle of Dogs will reportedly be a post-WWII musical. The project is currently untitled, and filming is expected to begin sometime this year, or possibly early 2019. Though there is currently very little information regarding Anderson's next movie, it's expected to be a musical taking place directly after WWII in France, and will be Anderson's third period piece, following the 1960s-set Moonrise Kingdom and the decade-jumping Grand Budapest Hotel. The musical will reportedly follow in a similarly whimsical vein of Anderson's eclectic filmography, including critical darlings like The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Rushmore. According to Charente Libre (via The Playlist) Anderson was spotted in southwestern France, preparing for the upcoming shoot. He was seen scouting for houses around a small, historically preserved city called Angoulême. That said, aside from any potential filming locations, the general time period, and the fact that this may turn out to be Anderson's first foray into musicals (though music plays a significant role in all of his movies - namely in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, in which Brazilian musician Seu Jorge is seen occasionally singing acoustic covers of various David Bowie songs), there are currently no other details regarding the movie. Ralph-Fiennes-and-Wes-Anderson-in-The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel.jpg The only other speculation that might be worth considering is the potential release date of the movie. There is generally a two to three year gap between Anderson's movies, which suggests that this next project may not make its way to theaters until around 2020 or 2021. The longest gap between his movies was the four years in between The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and his most recent stop-motion feature Isle of Dogs (2018), likely due to the time commitment necessary for stop-motion animation (Isle of Dogs was longer and more technically complex than his previous stop-motion feature Fantastic Mr. Fox). Fans of Wes Anderson might also factor in that familiar faces will show up in his next movie, as he tends to cast actors he's worked with in the past (see: Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson). Also, assuming this movie does turn out to be a musical, Anderson will have the opportunity to stretch his creative palette even further than usual - which is really saying something, considering how removed from reality he allows some of his movies to be.
  9. Hollywood-Walk-of-Fame.jpg Regardless of how much she deserves it, Carrie Fisher can't receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for at least another three years. Ever since the Walk of Fame was established in 1958, it has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. That is because it's a symbol of celebrity as well as the entertainment industry, specifically the five categories of entertainment: movies, television, music, radio, and theater. In 2007, Donald Trump received a star due to his achievement in producing The Apprentice and the Miss Universe Pageants. But, because he "belittles and attacks minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities [and] women," the West Hollywood City Council recently voted unanimously to remove Trump's star from the Walk of Fame. However, the resolution can only indicate their desire for the star removed; the only organization who has the authority to remove a star is the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The Hollywood Historic Trust, on the other hand, maintains the Walk of Fame. During this time, Mark Hamill suggested that his Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher replace Trump's star. That notion was later shared by William Shatner. While Fisher not having a star is baffling to many, she's actually not eligible to receive one for another few years. It's not uncommon for someone to get a star on the Walk of Fame posthumously, but a deceased individual can't receive one until five years after their death. Since Carrie Fisher passed away in December 2016, she wouldn't be eligible for a Walk of Fame star until at least 2021. It's worth noting that the rules don't indicate whether she can't be nominated or can't receive a star for five years. If it's the former, then her nomination wouldn't even be voted on until June the following year - in 2022. So, it could be another four years from now at the very least. Billie-Lourd-and-Carrie-Fisher-in-The-Force-Awakens.jpg It's unclear why there's such a long posthumous waiting period for someone to receive a star on the Walk of Fame, but it's one of the rules devised by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce - and they aren't known for budging at that sort of thing. To do so would mean granting an exception, which would open them up to more exceptions down the line. Even if Trump's star isn't removed - which most likely won't happen since the Walk of Fame is considered a historic landmark - Fisher very much deserves recognition for her contribution to the entertainment industry. While some people have speculated that Lucasfilm and/or The Walt Disney Company would nominate Carrie Fisher for a star on the Walk of Fame to commemorate the release of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX next December, in which she not only will appear once again thanks to unused footage from past Star Wars films but also because it marks the end of the Skywalker saga. Plus, it would coincide with the three-year anniversary of her death. But it simply won't happen due to the Walk of Fame's rules. Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
  10. The Office and A Quiet Place's John Krasinski voices a kindly robot in the trailer for Netflix's animated film, Next Gen. The company spent approximately $30 million in order to win a bidding competition for the worldwide rights to Next Gen earlier this year, at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Written/directed by Kevin R. Adams and Joe Ksander (the art director and animation director on 9, respectively), Next Gen was developed by the Canadian studio Tangent Animation (Ozzy) and adapted from the comic 7723 by Wang Nima. Krasinski lends his voice to the film for the role of 7723: a top-secret combat robot who, in Next Gen's future setting, joins forces with a "rebellious" girl in order to stop a madman from executing his plans for "technological world domination" (per the official synopsis). Joining Krasinski in the voice cast here are Costance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians), Charlyne Yi (Steven Universe), and Michael Peña (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as the scrappy pup Momo. Netflix has now released an official Next Gen trailer that quickly introduces the film's various players and touches on some of the major plot points in the film. The clip also offers a sneak peek at the character Justin Pin (Jason Sudeikis) - who, between his sandals, casual wear, and man-bun, has a pretty stereotypical Silicon Valley tech industry look - and Dr. Tanner Rice (David Cross), the scientist responsible for designing 7723 in the first place. You can watch said trailer in the space above, then check out the Next Gen poster below. Netflix-Next-Gen-poster.jpg Interestingly, Next Gen is one of two upcoming releases that explore Iron Giant-esque tales of teenaged girls befriending giant robots and getting caught up in grand adventures along the way. The other film, of course, is December's Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, starring Hailee Steinfeld as Bee's new human companion. Both movies are rather different otherwise, what with Bumblebee being live-action and taking place in an '80s setting that's a far cry from Next Gen's world of tomorrow (one that features technology like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-style talking doors that love being opened and closed). All things considered, the animation in Next Gen is pretty shiny for what was surely a lower-budgeted production than similar CGI offerings from major animation studios like Disney and Pixar. The film itself looks to blend humor and heart with thoughtful subject matter, as evidenced by the trailer's hints at a story that deals with social injustice and warfare, among other things. Similarly, the Next Gen synopsis describes the movie as being about "the bittersweet power of memories" - something that suggests the actual film may yet prove to be more poignant than its preview lets on (in a good way, mind you). Next Gen begins streaming through Netflix next month on Friday, September 7.
  11. Tony-Kaye-and-iRobot.jpg Further proof that the future is now, a robot will star in the lead role of an upcoming movie. Director Tony Kaye (American History X) is casting an artificially intelligent robot in the sequel to the upcoming indie comedy 1st Born (starring Val Kilmer, Tom Berenger, and Denise Richards), aptly titled 2nd Born. While the use of an artificially intelligent actor might suggest that 2nd Born would belong in the science fiction genre, Kaye's upcoming movie will actually be a romantic comedy. And though there are currently no details regarding the plot, the first movie centers around a married couple who are forced to deal with complications not only pertaining to their first pregnancy, but their extended family as well. The couple's parents are at odds with each other due to differing backgrounds, but realize that they must overcome their differences for the sake of the baby. Now, despite not having any sci-fi influence in the sequel (as far as the plot of its predecessor implies) one of its characters will be played by a robot - though Kaye has yet to specify who that character will be. According to Deadline, Kaye came up with the idea to use an artificially intelligent robot in the movie after a discussion with one of the movie's producers, Sam Khoze. The two men decided that the use of a physical robot over a computer-generated character was preferable, going so far as to hope that it might get official recognition from the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG). Kaye also explained that the artificially intelligent robot will be trained as a proper actor, learning traditional acting techniques. However, as it turns out, the inclusion of an artificially intelligent robot actor isn't the only groundbreaking element in this upcoming film series, with 1st Born also being the very first Iranian-American co-production ever. Tom-Berenger-Denise-Richards-William-Baldwin-and-Val-Kilmer-in-1st-Born.jpg Kaye is no stranger to calling questionable attention to his movies. Aside from testing the waters with robot actors in lead roles, he ran into some trouble on his controversial movie American History X, about a white supremacist (played by Edward Norton) who ultimately has a change of heart after serving time in prison. After issues pertaining to the final cut of the movie, Kaye requested that his name be removed from the credits. What Kaye is trying to pull off is certainly innovative; and, in Hollywood, innovation is exciting. The film industry - like any other art source - has been evolving for the past century. That said, the changes have been mostly gradual (see: talkies, color film, etc.), long enough to let audiences familiarize themselves with the new normal. So, introducing a robot in a lead role - when the closest thing audiences have come to that was, at best, Scarlett Johansson's voice in Her or Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina - might result in some divisive reactions.
  12. TAYLOR Swift has battled tears during her concert in Florida as she opened up about the harrowing experience of her groping court case. Swift took a brief pause during the Tampa stop on her Reputation tour to talk about the trial, People reported. Last year, the 28-year-old singer was awarded a symbolic $1 after the jury ruled unanimously in favour of Swift and vindicated her claims that DJ David Mueller had groped her during a 2013 meet-and-greet. “A year ago, I was not playing in a stadium in Tampa, I was in a courtroom in Denver, Colorado,” Swift told the audience, the anniversary of the verdict. “This is the day the jury sided in my favour and said that they believed me. “I guess, I just think about all the people that weren’t believed and the people who haven’t been believed, and the people who are afraid to speak up because they think they won’t be believed,” she continued. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry to anyone who ever wasn’t believed because I don’t know what turn my life would have taken if somebody didn’t believe me when I said something had happened to me.” The pop star, who was visibly emotional, thanked her fans for their support. “So, I just wanted to say we have so much further to go, and I’m so grateful to you guys for being there for me for what was really a horrible part of my life,” the singer said. “I wanted to thank you for just kind of … I mean, I know when I meet you guys at meet-and-greets and after the shows, you guys tell me about the hard times that you’ve gone through in your lives, and I really appreciate you trusting me with that information.” Swift said she’s happy to have fans who have seen her “go through so many ups and downs.” “Sorry I just haven’t really talked about it, and so I’m just not composed at all,” Swift said. Concertgoers held up $1 notes after Swift’s speech in honour of the compensation she was awarded a year ago. Mueller was fired from his job at Denver radio station 98.5 KYGO after Swift reported in 2013 the DJ had placed his hand up her skirt and on her bare backside. Mueller sued Swift alleging that the pop star, her mother and her radio liaison, Frank Bell, were deliberately trying to destroy his career. Swift countersued. In court, Swift testified that Mueller grabbed her “bare ass.” She sought a symbolic $1 for her countersuit to serve as an example to other women who have been assaulted. The judge ruled in her favour last year.
  13. Make a straight sequel, or evolve the series? 1yAcw2vn4kx8CzuENkHPgW8-970-80.jpg "The forges here at Blizzard are burning hot" said community manager Brandy Camel last week, letting us know that multiple new Diablo games are afoot. Blizzard job adverts a month or so ago asked for environmental, technical and dungeon artists in service of more Diablo games, and we might get our first glimpse of something new later this year—maybe at Blizzcon in November. Blizzard has reiterated several times that it still cares about the Diablo series even as Hearthstone and Overwatch continue to do well, but will Diablo return as an action RPG, or evolve into something new? Let's speculate about what Blizzard could do with Diablo next. Diablo 4, obviously 27LqbZ7atymfaFBjWZir7hA-650-80.jpg Think about everything you love about Diablo—blasting thousands of enemies with cool spells, picking up loot in the aftermath, levelling a cool hero. Now imagine all that, but there’s also a player-driven shop where people can sell loot for real money. Ah, jokes. Diablo 3’s fraught development showed how hard it is to make a new game in the series. Even if you discount the auction house (as Blizzard did when it eventually shut it all down) Diablo 3 sacrificed and reworked a lot of features ahead of launch. At one point there were going to be pets. At another point the skill system worked completely differently. There was going to be a player vs. player arena, but that never emerged. A lot of these changes reflect the normal rough-and-tumble cuts that happen in game development, but it took years for Diablo 3 to get back to what fans really enjoyed about the series. I would take more expansions at the quality of Reaper of Souls, and more classes like the Necromancer, but it’s tougher to imagine a game different enough to justify the big ‘4’, but close enough to the Diablo fantasy to keep everyone happy. There is plenty the series could do better, though. In 2018 games are good at allowing quick and seamless grouping between players. Games like Destiny 2 also allow players at different levels to play together in most modes, with obvious restrictions for high level PvP modes and raids. Diablo should be an effortlessly social game that lets you check out friends’ builds and armour sets, and then group up to attack high level challenges. Personally I’d like faster combat that demands more skill, and class skills and abilities that have more utility in group play. All while still allowing for a satisfying solo experience, of course. I would also like a legendary Moon On Stick item, and Deckard Cain as a secret character class. Diablo: Infinite, the looter shooter 3XZVvZeqBmy329m2UNqLGkA-650-80.jpg Diablo 2 delivered bursts of co-op play with high levels of character customisation and buckets of semi-randomised treasure to chase—sound familiar? Diablo 2’s approach to levelling and loot progression has had a profound influence in the era of endless games like Destiny and Warframe. The MMO scene codified open world questing, dungeons and raids, but the Diablo 2 community has always made its own dungeons from specific area runs. In the year 2000 Diablo 2 created an enduring template for grinding. 18 years later it’s still quite effective. Since then many games from different studios have modernised aspects of Diablo 2. It ought to be possible to recombine those modernised elements with overhauled combat to create a game that can challenge Bungie and Bioware. That may require a controversial change in perspective, to a close third-person view or even first-person. Can the famous top-down view deliver the level of spectacle that new players expect in an era of Anthem? Vermintide 2 is one of the best games to come out this year so far. It proves that first-person melee fantasy combat can really work, especially when you’re constantly unlocking new weapons with distinct in-game styles. Combine that with Path of Exile style gem socketing, Destiny style dailies and weeklies, and set it in a dark and grandiose version of Diablo’s universe inspired by the series’ outstanding cinematics. It’s not the game long-term series fans are likely to want, but it could be pretty good. Diablo Royale 4YL7Z65JyhcT8Vym75h5KhA-650-80.jpg Deckard Cain shoves you out of a blimp into a hellscape overrun with demons and minibosses. Instead of finding new weapons and spells in houses you kill demons for them. As the boundaries of the map, represented by an infinitely tall wall of hellfire, close in, you have to take down other heroes in combat until you are the only hero left—you have proved your worth to fight the prime evil. At that point Diablo rises out of a ring of fire and kills you immediately. Better luck next time! ‘What if it was battle royale!?’ is already becoming a stale joke, but let’s think about Blizzard’s history. StarCraft and World of Warcraft took existing formats, applied Blizzard’s chunky art style, and refined the idea into something palatable to the mainstream. This approach didn’t seem to work quite as well for Heroes of the Storm, but perhaps a gritty fantasy-themed battle royale will find favour among players put off by Fortnite’s garish battleground. Diablo 2 Remake 5NL3mCTavZFtuRmoz6FyPoY-650-80.jpg If Resident Evil 2 can have a proper remake in a modern engine, then why not Diablo 2? A straight HD upgrade of the old art would be sweet, of course, but I would be curious to see Diablo 2 interpreted as a 3D game with high production values and monsters that explode real well. Diablo 2 creator David Brevik has suggested it would be very difficult to get a remake to feel like the original game, particularly in a modern 3D engine, but I like the idea of a reinterpretation of Diablo 2 from the perspective of new designers. The Resident Evil 2 remake is applying the camera angles of later games in the series, and rebuilding the environments free from the constraints of fixed backgrounds. It would be fascinating to see Diablo 2 receive similar treatment, then I'd like to run an old-school Necromancer with Poison Nova again at 4K resolution.
  14. Deaths-Gambit-Review.jpg It’s only in the final hours of play where Death’s Gambit begins to make good on its ambitions as a Souls-like game in the tradition of a 2D metroidvania, but there are a startling number of stumbles and missteps on the way there. When it’s not being dysfunctional, shoddy, or bug-infested, though, there is the unmistakable heart of something beautiful and pure; it's almost as if the polished, intentional version of the game is hiding behind its glitches, ungainly combat, strange pacing, and manifestly broken portions. It’s a hard sell, especially when considered next to a handful of its able contemporaries, those other indies proudly wearing a Dark Souls love on their sleeves, but for players willing to look past or even generously ignore its blunders, there's some worthwhile content and a sincere, occasionally wonderful story to explore. The first hints of its development showed off images that were clearly meant to catch gamer attention. Deliberately paced combat against imposing foes, a purposeful challenge, the probability of dying a whole lot, and that compelling pixel art hinted at a worthy love letter to the games which inspired it. And, to be clear, Death’s Gambit’s first moments are promising, and the addition of new ingredients, like a mountable steed, help differentiate it from other games with similar motivations. The main character, Sorun, is a weathered soldier entered into a compact with a personified Death, and they journey to Caer Siorai, a well-guarded citadel which protects a magical source of immortality. As one might expect, Death isn’t happy with this relic, and Sorun is put to the task of destroying it, and will be aided and hindered by allies, turncoats, and the mystical natives of the land of Aldwynn. The Dark Souls references don’t really let up through the majority of the game. Everything from the audio cues of enemies dying, to the lore-heavy item descriptions, to even the actual font and menu design presents an obsequious recreation of Miyazaki’s beloved series. Sometimes this devotion is outright hilarious in its excess, though that’s not to say that Death’s Gambit avoids putting its own decided spin on those infamously ruthless mechanics. For one, dying does not rob players of any of their shards (souls), but removes a single feather (estus) from their inventory, which can be reclaimed by returning to the scene of the crime. If you run out of feathers, though, there’s zero punishment, allowing you to wail against a boss or enemy gauntlet as many times as you like, dutifully upgrading your stats as you go with a growing stockpile of level-gaining shards. 1Deaths-Gambit-Zuma.jpg This kindness never exactly honors the expected drastic challenge, which is essentially fine; everyone isn’t looking for that precise flavor of game difficulty. But a strange mechanic were players can clamp down their healing feathers for a boost in damage (sacrificing the ability to heal at all) gingerly removes all possible punishment for dying, aside from the traveling time lost. It comes off as a baked-in bureaucratic workaround to the only real penalty for loss in the game, and isn’t mechanically interesting in the least. The art style and animation makes a terrific first impression as well, but reveals addition flaws on closer inspection. The game’s resolution is often inconsistent, which means that some art assets have been been blown up in size, but then placed next to others with higher resolutions, creating a noticeably shabby and disjointed effect. Some enemies have distinctly well-animated actions, some seem to have a few scant frames, and others have a mix of both. There’s a puppet-like quality to how most every character moves, which certain players may find irritatingly lazy in lieu of legitimate pixel-based frame-by-frame animation, and armor pieces add no visual change to Sorun’s appearance at all — this last detail might be a conspicuous deal-breaker for some. The visual characteristics are the tip of the iceberg, though, and almost every corner of Death’s Gambit betrays the impression of a considerable amount of cut content. Its outright pacing feels wholly out of whack, where almost every individual area is abruptly small, leading to an unexpected “boss-rush” feel for the first half of the game. There’s a certain section where players can enter buildings in the background of a walled city, but this functionality is virtually absent anywhere else. Elsewhere, a snowy biome composed of a small handful of screens ends up absolutely crammed with traps and enemies in close quarters, leading one to believe that a certain scale for the map was initially intended, but then cut short at some point prior to release. 2Deaths-Gambit-Phoenix-Fire.jpg And then there’s the combat. Much like Dark Souls, players can equip shields, dodge-roll, parry enemies, and make use of weaponry and armor that accommodates their specific builds. Unlike any Souls game, the choice of character made at the start can greatly affect the entire playthrough, which is at least an interesting and unexpected twist, and players should thoughtfully weigh the cost of that decision. Attacks never seem to provide a satisfying sense of feedback, confusingly rendering damage received and returned. Beyond that, the stamina system feels utterly off-kilter, and even simple dodges decimate your reserves, turning many fights into extended kiting ordeals as you jockey between dangers waiting for a bar to refill. Some enemies have their own visible stamina, but most of them don't, and are happy to relentlessly wail on Sorun without pause, while others can be completely stumped by just quickly walking back and forth right on top of them, turning the battles into unintentionally ridiculous slapstick-styled standoffs. Bugs are numerous, and include getting stuck in walls, an entire missing chunk of level geometry next to an NPC, a boss that never died despite over-killing their health bar (a glitch which granted an impressively massive sum of shards), game crashes, a special ability which fills the menu with duplicates and deletes others at random... the list goes on. It’s hard to believe that this game was competently QA-tested in light of all these loose threads. With all of that being said however, it’s hard not to at least recommend Death’s Gambit. There are some truly magical hours here, whether it’s the few hugely entertaining and lengthy areas, or the passionate performances of the voice cast, or the unique narrative and plot, which invokes the tone of Dark Souls but manages to retain its own identity and sense of the world. There are more than a few fantastic moments, and some of the mechanical twists are thoughtfully implemented, like how the horse Sorun rides serves as a kind of fast-travel system, galloping through an underground tunnel system that unites the entire map. There’s an adorable little drunken demon, some unexpected weapons to play with, and genuinely inventive storytelling set-pieces, especially a mind-bending sequence that seems to arrive out of the blue, which players should try and avoid having spoiled for them, if they can. 3Deaths-Gambit-Sniper-Origa.jpg There remains some hope that the developers at White Rabbit will add a few patches, and maybe even thread in the content that was evidently removed, presumably to hasten the game's release. These additions might boost the overall takeaway of Death’s Gambit into something refined and special but, in its current state, it’s a guarded recommendation, at best. Reaching the finale takes approximately 10-12 hours, and while there’s a New Game+ option made available, it’s hard to imagine that most will be tolerant of these shenanigans a second time.
  15. Dishonored-Key-Art.jpg Arkane Studios is currently taking a break from development of their popular Dishonored series as no additional installments are planned at the moment. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider released to favorable reviews last year, like Dishonored 2 in 2016, earning spots on numerous end of the year lists, including ScreenRant's own. It was the third entry in the series following Dishonored and Dishonored 2. Speaking with VG247, lead designer Ricardo Bare left opportunities open this week at QuakeCon, saying "anything could happen," but clarified that future projects are "resting for now." While the first two games followed the characters of Cordo and Emily, the third game took a departure from the familiar father and daughter pair. It focused on Billie Lurk, a supporting character from the second game. Clearly a fan favorite, Billie's game also featured brand new game-play mechanics and traded the typical progression system in favor of an immediate focus on experimentation in the game's system. 1dishonored-death-of-the-outsider-billy.jpg In his interview with VG247, Bare continued that Arkane "[will] always craft spaces that you feel like you’re visiting, whether it’s Dunwall or Talos 1." Talos 1, of course, refers to last year's Prey, another Arkane release that saw players enter a space station invested with shape shifting creatures. The game retained Dishonored's first-person perspective and physics-based interaction, but diverged from the role-playing elements entirely, focusing on crafting and resource management. Bare detailed Arkane's "game plan," if you will, saying they will always focus on "improvisational gameplay – giving players a bunch of cool abilities and tools." He wants players to "figure it out, be creative, [and] own the experience." Arkane's desire to bend the limits of the 'stealth RPG' genre is evident in the changes of pace and game-play in their 2017 releases. In fact, each of their subsequent releases after the original Dishonored improves upon and adds to the formula; these aren't your "carbon copy" sequels. Luckily for fans of the series, the trilogy came to a natural conclusion with Billie Lurk's story in Death of the Outsider. If Arkane does decide to take a permanent break from development of Dishonored titles, there would be few loose ends to tie up. Alternatively, if they do continue to work in the world of Dunwall, there are plenty of side characters with stories to tell. That's one advantage of creating a rich, unique world full of whale oil and rat plagues. 2Dishonored-2-Key-Art.jpg So what's next for Arkane then? According to Bare, Arkane is looking into "incoporat[ing] more online sharing or multiplayer type stuff" that's centered around community. Given the huge popularity of games like Minecraft that encourage creativity with an emphasis on sharing, this seems like a natural step forward for Arkane. They previously developed an unfinished title known as The Crossing (2007) that would have seen players face their friends in a single-player mode, functioning as obstacles in their story. While for now Arkane is stepping away from the series that brought them so much success, it's exciting to know that they are exploring every story opportunity in an effort to bring players games with just as memorable moments as that first time you put on Corvo's mask.