‘Deadpool 2’ relies on a sexist cliche that has been a problem in superhero stories for decades


Warning: This post contains spoilers for “Deadpool 2.”

  • “Deadpool 2” makes fun of superhero cliches, but also relies on one of the oldest as a plot device.
  • Violence against women to further a male character’s story arc has been a topic of criticism for years in the comic book industry, and superhero movies have also adopted the cliche.
  • In the late 1990s, a website called “Women in Refrigerators” listed female comic book characters who had been put in danger or killed as a plot device. 
  • The term comes from a story where a superhero’s girlfriend is killed and her body is stuffed into a refrigerator.


The best thing about the “Deadpool” movies is that they poke fun at superhero cliches, especially at a time when the genre is so saturated and many might be feeling fatigue. So it was a bit of a disappointment when “Deadpool 2” relied on one of the oldest superhero cliches of all time: killing off a male character’s love interest to further his story arc.

Early in the movie, Wade Wilson/Deadpool’s girlfriend Vanessa is killed by people seeking revenge against him. This sends Deadpool into a depression that he tries to bury by protecting a young mutant from the time-traveling assassin Cable. 

The movie doesn’t exactly parody this plot device: It sets up the movie’s plot, is the drive of Deadpool’s motivations, and is a recurring source of emotional weight throughout a movie that is otherwise graphic violence and pop culture jokes. 

Ryan Reynolds, who plays Deadpool, has even said that he’s unsure if “Deadpool 3” will happen because “in order for him to function properly within his own universe, you need to take everything away from him.” In the case of “Deadpool 2,” that “everything” is Vanessa. 

That’s a sign that Vanessa’s death is supposed to be taken seriously as an important part of the plot and not as another self-aware joke.

Violence against women has been a topic of criticism in superhero stories for a long time. Most prominently, in the late 1990s, comic book writer Gail Simone created a list of various female comic book characters who had been treated with violence or put in danger as a plot device. The list could be found at a website called “Women in Refrigerators.”  

The term “Women in Refrigerators” stems from a mid-1990s Green Lantern story where the character’s girlfriend is killed by a supervillain and her body is stuffed into a refrigerator. The website sparked a conversation throughout the comic book industry about how creators treated women in comics.

Two of the most popular comic books of all time are also ones centered around violence against women. “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” in 1973  is just that, the death of Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy at the hands of the Green Goblin. And “Batman: The Killing Joke” in 1988 crippled Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, after the Joker shot her through the spine.

These stories (and many more) show how far back the plot device goes. But it’s not just comic books. Superhero movies, like “Deadpool 2,” have adopted the cliche as well.

In “The Dark Knight,” Batman’s love interest Rachel dies in an explosion. Gwen Stacy is killed, again, in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Lois Lane dies in 1978’s “Superman,” and Superman flies around the Earth fast enough to go back in time to save her.

In “Deadpool 2,” Deadpool also goes back in time to save Vanessa during the after-credits scene. But no amount of time-traveling can fix this decades-old cliche, or the fact that “Deadpool 2” succumbs to it.

More on “Deadpool 2”:

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/deadpool-2-uses-girlfriend-cliche-as-plot-device-2018-5


A major new ‘core’ Pokemon game is being made for Nintendo Switch — here’s everything we know so far

Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch — prepare yourself!

all pokemon

Indeed, Nintendo says a “core RPG Pokémon title” is coming to the Nintendo Switch — not a spin-off, like “Pokémon Stadium” and “Pokémon Snap” way back on the Nintendo 64, but a full-on main series entry.

The beloved Pokémon series of games has always been a portable affair. With few exceptions, the only way to engage with the long-running series was on Nintendo’s handheld consoles. But with this new entry, that’s about to change.

Here’s what we know so far:

Nintendo announced the new Pokémon game in a brief statement from Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president of The Pokémon Company.

Without giving the game a name, or a release date, or even a look at the logo, Nintendo officially announced a new Pokémon game in June 2017.

“Game Freak has begun developing a core RPG Pokémon title on Nintendo Switch,” Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of The Pokémon Company, said in the video. “It may not release for more than a year, but we hope you’ll look forward to it all the same.”

As far as “official” statements go on the game, that’s pretty much all there is.

Of note: Ishihara specifically calls the game a “core RPG Pokémon title.” That seems to indicate it’s the next main entry in the long-running Pokémon game franchise — the successor to “Pokémon Ultra Sun” and “Pokémon Ultra Moon.”

The game shows up in Nintendo’s financials with a placeholder name and a vague release window.

I pulled the image above from Nintendo’s most recent financial report, issued in April. 

It classifies the new “Pokémon” game with a placeholder name: “Pokémon RPG for Nintendo Switch.” And the release window it gives is extremely vague: “2018 or later.”

You may have noticed that “2018 or later” means, “Literally all times.” Indeed.

Ishihara said in June 2017 that the game may not launch “for more than a year,” and we’re coming up on that first year pretty quickly. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if this new Pokémon game were ready for holiday 2018, but it also wouldn’t be a huge surprise if it didn’t come out for another year or more.

Big, main entries in the Pokémon game series tend to launch every two to three years, but this one is an unknown given that it’s on an entirely new console: Nintendo’s Switch.

It may have some tie-in with the outrageously popular mobile Pokémon game, “Pokémon Go.”

The “Pokémon” games were already enormously popular — then “Pokémon Go” launched on iPhone and Android, and became the most popular “Pokémon” game by miles. 

Nintendo’s clearly aware of the importance of “Pokémon Go” to the overall fan base, and the studio developing the new “Pokémon” game for Switch is reportedly, “exploring ways to connect the main games to Pokemon Go.” Kotaku deputy editor Patricia Hernandez confirmed as much back in October 2016.

Crucially, “Pokémon Go” is not the creation of Game Freak, the Japanese studio that makes major “Pokémon” games. It was made by Niantic Labs, a California game studio that was spun off from Google. The company’s first investors were a curious trio: Google, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company.

The new “Pokémon” game for Switch is being developed by Game Freak.

See the rest of the story at INSIDER
Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/pokemon-nintendo-switch-2018-5

‘Deadpool 2’ screenwriters break down the movie’s biggest Easter eggs and cameos

deadpoolWarning: MAJOR spoilers if you haven’t seen “Deadpool 2.”

After successfully bringing the complex Marvel character Deadpool to the big screen in 2016, screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick quickly became one of the top screenwriting teams currently working in Hollywood. And their stock in town is only going to rise after the box-office success of “Deadpool 2” over the weekend.

Thanks to the rule-breaking mentality Reese, Wernick, and franchise star Ryan Reynolds (who received a writing credit in the sequel) have always had about the character, “Deadpool 2” is more outlandish than the first. And because of all the Easter eggs, funny lines, and cameos buried throughout the movie, it needs to be seen more than once (to the glee of the studio behind the franchise, 20th Century Fox).

Reese and Wernick gave Business Insider insight on many of the big spoilers and Easter eggs scattered in the movie:

Why this huge star decided to do the voice of Juggernaut.

The massive Juggernaut made a glorious return to the Marvel franchise (he was previously seen in 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand”) in “Deadpool 2.” There was no actor playing him on screen this time (he was CGI), but the voice was done by quite a big star.

Though in the credits Juggernaut is credited as only “Himself,” Reese and Wernick revealed that it was Ryan Reynolds who did the voice — thanks to some voice manipulation by the audio team.

Reese and Wernick said during post production, Reynolds was the one coming up with lines for the character.

“We just looked at him and were like, ‘You should just do the voice,’” Wernick said.

But what really sold Reynolds was when the sound department began modulating his voice to sound like the character. Reynolds fell in love with it. And then there was the ease with which Reynolds could do it.

“Ryan essentially recorded the lines into his iPhone, emailed it to the editor, and it gets plugged into the cut of the movie; it’s that quick,” Reese said, as opposed to Reynolds having to spend a day in an audio booth recording lines.

Reynolds also used the same method when new lines or jokes were added in post production for Deadpool.

How the movie nabbed all those great cameos.

From Brad Pitt as Vanisher, to Matt Damon as a redneck with a lot to say about toilet paper, “Deadpool 2” has some major cameos. And the screenwriters have a simple answer for why: once you’re making a successful franchise, everyone says “yes.”

“We got a fair amount of people saying ‘no’ last movie,” Wernick said. “This one, it was ‘yes’ across the board. It was a real treat for us.”

And for the audience, too (if you caught them).

Pitt shows up in the blink of an eye when mutant Vanisher accidentally glides into power lines due to the rough winds, as X-Force does its skydive to rescue the young mutant Russell. “Deadpool 2” director David Leitch told Business Insider that getting Pitt was a combination of Pitt’s kids loving the first movie, an ask by Reynolds, and Pitt knowing Leitch from the days when he was the actor’s stunt double.

Damon is even harder to catch in the movie. He’s completely unrecognizable as one of the men Cable encounters when he shows up in the present day from the future. Damon is the redneck in back of the pickup truck talking to his friend about toilet paper. Reese and Wernick said it was a chance encounter with Reynolds that led to Damon getting in the movie.

“I think they were at some event together and Matt was telling Ryan how much he loves ‘Deadpool,’” Wernick said. “We were in the process of writing the script and around that time Rhett had written this fantastic diatribe about toilet paper. Ryan told Matt about it, Matt said to send him the pages and he just fell in love with it and told Ryan he would do it.”

And the yeses kept coming. Reese and Wernick said Hugh Jackman approved the footage used in the post credit sequence from “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and the footage of “Yentl” is in the movie thanks to Barbra Streisand — with an assist from her son-in-law Josh Brolin, who plays Cable in the movie (Brolin’s father, James Brolin, is married to Streisand).

“We actually wrote all the Streisand and ‘Yentl’ stuff before we cast Josh,” Wernick said. “So once Josh came aboard it became a lot easier. We said to him, ‘Hey, do you mind picking up the phone?’”

This Christopher Plummer joke is so buried even one of the screenwriters missed it.

When Deadpool decides to try and be part of the X-Men, his first assignment (as a trainee) is to stop Russell from wreaking havoc outside the orphanage he’s staying at. In the scene, a news crew shows up to cover the chaos and there’s a shot of news footage with a crawl at the bottom of the screen. If you look at the right moment, you’ll see the text in the crawl read: “Christopher Plummer turns down role in ‘Deadpool 2.’”

It’s a recognition of the #MeToo movement that was in full throttle toward the end of the movie’s post production. The Plummer joke also seems to reference one of the movie’s stars, T.J. Miller, who has been accused of sexual misconduct (Reynolds said Miller will not be in the upcoming “X-Force” movie).

But Reese and Wernick are not taking ownership of the joke. In fact, Wernick didn’t even know about the Plummer line until Business Insider told him.

“I thought that was hilarious,” Reese said. “I don’t know who put that in, probably David Leitch or one of the editors.”

See the rest of the story at INSIDER
Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/deadpool-2-screenwriters-break-down-biggest-easter-eggs-and-cameos-2018-5

A company that raised over $5 million through crowdfunding has shut down, and nearly everyone who paid for its $200 headphones lost their money

Ossic Kickstarter

  • A high-tech headphone company, Ossic, raised nearly $6 million on Kickstarter and Indiegogo to build headphones with surround sound. 
  • It sold 22,000 preorders for the headphones, which cost between $200 and $300. 
  • The company announced over the weekend that it was out of money and shutting down. 
  • It only shipped 250 headphones, the company said. Backers are not getting refunds. 

Every time you back a crowdfunded project with your hard-earned dollars, you’re taking a risk. There’s always the chance that the project doesn’t work out.

The latest example of a Kickstarter failure is Ossic, a company making programmable “3D” headphones. It had raised $2.7 million on Kickstarter and $3.2 million on Indiegogo, selling 22,000 pre-orders for its high-tech headphones which cost between $199 and $299.

Now the company is shutting down and will not deliver any additional headphones, it announced on its website. Backers will not receive refunds.

“We were not able to secure additional funding, and are out of money,” the company’s founders wrote on Ossic.com.

Ossic X

“The company is shutting down effective immediately,” the note continued. “We have a very dedicated team up [sic] folks who have remained for the last 6 months, working for free, doing anything they could to try and make the company succeed.” 

The note mentioned that San Diego-based Ossic had also taken millions of dollars in seed funding from other sources. 

Ossic only ended up building 250 pairs of headphones, mostly pricey $999 “developer units,” according to the company.  

Ossic was founded to design a pair of headphones for virtual reality that could deliver surround sound. That meant they were somewhat more advanced than normal headphones — they had more sensors, more chips, and more software. 

When Tech Insider covered the Kickstarter in 2016, the company was promising headphones that would sense the shape of your ears and head and customize the sound profile for each individual user. 

Tech Insider was even able to try a prototype of the Ossic X headphones. “It’s like virtual reality for audio,” Tony Villas-Boas wrote. 

The headphones were also able to track head position, which could have been exciting if it had gone mainstream and virtual reality apps could build that functionality into their experiences. 

Tech Insider wasn’t the only outlet to cover these cans. They were featured in Popular Science, Mashable, Game Informer, and other gaming and tech magazines and websites. 

Ossic Founding Team

Creating new hardware remains a very difficult challenge — companies need to master the complexities of Asian manufacturing and often need to plunk down millions of dollars in deposits just to secure factory time. That’s while developing a new product that hasn’t been done before. 

At the end of the day, those challenges were too much for the Ossic team. A Facebook group of angry backers has accumulated 1,800 members in 48 hours, according to the group’s administrator. 

“I appreciate your participation in this group and I really hope we’ll achieve our goals – getting a significant refund from these a——s,” one admin of the group wrote

Ossic Indiegogo

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/ossic-headphones-raise-millions-on-kickstarter-shut-down-backers-lose-money-2018-5

Ford bought a Silicon Valley startup that will work with the automaker’s rivals — here’s why that’s a good thing (F)

2018 CES Ford Hackett

  • In January, Ford outlined a vision for the future that includes technology which connects autonomous vehicles with pedestrians and city infrastructure.
  • Later that month, the company purchased Silicon Valley startup Autonomic, which is developing the Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC), cloud software that auto and tech companies can use to connect vehicles and apps.
  • The TMC will be available to other auto companies, like Aptiv.
  • Buying a tech startup and allowing it to work with your competitors may seem like a curious move, but the logic behind it points toward a fundamental shift in Ford’s strategy.

Tech companies have learned that there’s more money to be made in software than hardware.

The auto industry is starting to apply that same lesson, beginning a gradual shift from goods to services, like car subscriptions and ride-hailing apps.

At the CES in January, Ford outlined a vision for its future built on connecting people, autonomous vehicles, and city infrastructure. During CEO Jim Hackett’s presentation, he said the Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC), which will facilitate those connections.

Two weeks after CES, Ford announced that it had purchased Silicon Valley startup Autonomic, which is developing the TMC. (Previously, Ford and Autonomic had worked as collaborators.)

The TMC is cloud software that auto and tech companies can use to connect vehicles and apps. Ford is currently using it for its ride-sharing service, Chariot, so it can place and refuel vehicles efficiently. During his CES presentation, Hackett said the TMC could eventually allow for apps that cities would use to direct autonomous vehicles away from accidents, obstacles, or high-traffic areas. 

Autonomic’s work will not be exclusive to Ford

But Ford did not buy Autonomic to get exclusive access to its work. According to Autonomic’s new CEO, Gavin Sherry, no part of the TMC will be available only to Ford.

“There is nothing exclusive or proprietary to Ford about TMC,” he said in an interview with Business Insider. “That makes it very special and unique within the industry.”

Sherry compared the TMC to Amazon’s cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services. The platform doesn’t have any special capabilities for Amazon, and companies can use it to support a wide range of products.

As Sherry describes it, the appeal of the TMC is simple. It’s designed to send data between vehicles and apps and present it in a clear, standardized form. 

“While this seems quite intuitive, and you’d be right to think so, it turns out that homegrown platforms and industry platforms do not take on the complexity of normalizing and standardizing this data in the way that we have,” he said.

Ford will make money from rival apps and vehicles 

Autonomic’s website lists some of the company’s partners, including Aptiv, an autonomous vehicle company that could become a rival to Ford. Buying a tech startup and allowing it to work with your competitors may seem like a curious move, but the logic behind it points toward a fundamental shift in Ford’s strategy.

Making cars is a complex, capital-intensive business. Creating and selling the right to use software is also difficult, but it doesn’t require global networks of factories and suppliers that must be repeatedly coordinated with precision. By allowing other auto companies to pay to use the TMC, Ford can make money from rival apps and vehicles, while letting its competitors bear the development costs.

“I think it will be transformative for Ford as a company,” Sherry said.

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/how-ford-benefits-from-autonomic-transportation-cloud-2018-5

Tesla’s new $78,000 Model 3 is incredibly overpriced (TSLA)

Tesla Model 3

  • Elon Musk took to Twitter on Saturday to announce a $78,000 version of the Tesla  Model 3.
  • The Tesla Model 3 was originally revealed in 2016 as a $35,000 mass-market vehicle.
  • Tesla needs an influx of revenue, and a very expensive trim level of the Model 3 will help.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasn’t sufficiently distracted over this past weekend by the royal union of Meghan and Harry to avoid tweeting out some illuminating news about his carmaker’s newest effort to arrest a stock slide.

Say hello to the performance-spec of the Model 3, a vehicle that was revealed amid considerable hoopla back in 2016 and promises that it would sell for $35,000. At launch last July, Tesla announced that only a premium version would initially go on sale, priced at $44,000. 

In 2017, when we got to check out the Model 3, we enjoyed a nearly $60,000 version.

Now Tesla will add some performance goodies, longer range (310 miles on a charge), and a second motor, delivering all-wheel-drive. But not Autopilot semi-self-driving tech (another $5,000).

“Cost of all options, wheels, paint, etc is included (apart from Autopilot),” Musk tweeted. “Cost is $78k. About same as BMW M3, but 15% quicker & with better handling. Will beat anything in its class on the track.”

The M3 taunt is barely worth touching, given that Tesla has spent exactly zero time in motorsports and to the best of my knowledge has never in its history actually hosted a formal event where its cars could be evaluated on a track. And for the record, the M3-beating Model 3 might be able to outrun the bimmer in a straight line — for a while, until the M3’s 450-plus horsepower chased the Model 3 down and roared past it in a fugue of German engineering and fully developed torque. I’d also take the M3 any day if I had to go around corners or actually run at speed for longer than what the Model 3’s battery is capable of delivering.

What’s more interesting, if that’s the word, is the staggeringly high sticker price for what is the all-electric automotive equivalent of a Toyota Corolla, build-wise. 


The very expensive Model 3 trumps the very affordable Tesla

OK, Musk says it will do 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, but really, who cares? Opportunities to tackle that level off-the-line giddyup will be few and far between for drivers, and in any case, bonkers Tesla acceleration can get old fast, once you realize that you have to tie everything down before you step on the, um, gas. A top speed of 155 mph also looks good on paper, but the legal speed limit in most of the USA is 65 mph.

Having experienced the Model 3 firsthand and been impressed by its presentation, I’d still have to say I’m hard-pressed to figure out how another motor and some tweaks to the battery and powertrain add $20,000 to the price. 

However, if some of Tesla’s 400,000-ish reservation holders configure their Model 3’s based on this hot new spec, that equals a revenue surge for Tesla at a time when the company desperately needs it. I also think, based on back-of-the-envelope math, that if the carmaker is promising a 20% net profit margin on what amounts to a pretty basic four-door, then this is the trim level that could get it done.

Tesla Model 3

But if you thought that you might see your $35,000 stripped-down Model 3 in 2018, Musk just told you to take a hike. 

For what it’s worth, this type of pricing strategy (and I’m using that term charitably) is an unfortunate consequence of Tesla’s lack of a product portfolio. The company’s Model S and Model X sedans are produced in various configurations, but the platforms have to be stretched from what might be termed “entry level” luxury all the way up to Mercedes-Benz S-Class territory.

In this framework, the Model 3 has been asked to do some very heavy lifting: it has to be everything from a Chevy to an allegedly racetrack-primed BMW M car. 

Except that the Chevy part is increasingly being left out. 

Hey, it’s Tesla and Musk’s prerogative to sell whatever vehicles they want. A superfast Model 3 will get a narrow and well-heeled slice of the Teslerati excited and will probably cheer up the Wall Street bulls who have been suffering a crisis of faith.

But if the everyman Tesla was what you were hoping for, it had definitely been pushed over the horizon.

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/tesla-model-3-performance-version-is-overpriced-at-78000-2018-5

Alibaba’s futuristic supermarket in China is light-years ahead of the US, with 30-minute deliveries and facial recognition payment — and shows where Amazon will likely take Whole Foods

AlibabaHemaXiansheng AmazonWholeFoods (35 of 43)

  • Chinese tech giant Alibaba is expanding aggressively into physical retail through investments in a variety of product categories to push its “New Retail” strategy of combining online and offline shopping.
  • Its most critical “New Retail” venture has been the futuristic supermarket Hema Xiansheng, which launched in 2015 and offers free deliveries in 30 minutes and facial recognition payment.
  • Deeply integrated with Alibaba’s technology and services, Hema provides a window into where Amazon may try to take Whole Foods in the future.
  • We recently visited Hema in Shanghai, China and found the store to be a pleasant, streamlined shopping experience. While the tech was cool, it was the store’s uber-fresh seafood and picture-perfect products that left the biggest impression.

With a valuation over $500 billion, Chinese tech giant Alibaba is second only to Amazon in e-commerce. But it’s going after the offline world to keep growing.

Long before Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Alibaba was forging into physical retail with investments in supermarket SunArt, department store operator InTime, electronics seller Suning, and furniture store EasyHome, among others. All in all, Alibaba has spent $10 billion on traditional retailers since 2016.

The investments have aimed to help the company develop its “New Retail” concept, a term coined by Alibaba founder Jack Ma to mean the fusion of physical retail and e-commerce.

At its core, it’s about making it insanely convenient to buy what you need or want in whatever way is the most convenient to you — whether at the store, online, delivered to your home, picked up at a nearby store location. By integrating online and offline, Alibaba thinks it can radically change customers’ shopping experiences for the better while boosting business for its partners.

“That means that the whole inventory and supply chain is one solution for whatever your needs are. No matter whether [your purchases] are generated online or offline, it will be fulfilled in whatever is the most efficient route to you,” Jet Jing, President of Tmall, Alibaba’s brand-focused e-commerce platform, told Business Insider recently.

Nowhere is the “New Retail” idea more on display than in Hema Xiansheng, Alibaba’s futuristic supermarket. Launched in 2015, Hema has expanded to 46 stores in 13 cities in China, with plans to open up to 2,000 more branches in the next five years.

The fresh food-focused supermarket offers customers the ability to shop in-store or on its app, see the origins of the products in the store, have food delivered for free or prepared for pickup within 30 minutes, and pay with facial recognition technology.

We recently visited a Hema branch in Shanghai to see what the company’s vision of the future of grocery shopping. One can’t help but think that Alibaba’s deep integration with Hema signals how Amazon will integrate Whole Foods in the future.

Take a look inside:

There are over 40 Hema Xiansheng locations in China. Most are located in high-end shopping malls or mixed-used developments close to where Chinese people both work and live. Core to Hema’s model is that it offers free 30-minute grocery deliveries to a 3-kilometer radius.

The joke used to be that Chinese people like to live near good public schools, Liyan Chen, manager of international corporate affairs at Alibaba, told Business Insider. “The joke now in China is that they want to live where the Hemas are. Because then they can get everything delivered to them really easily.”

In order to shop at Hema, you have to download the app, which logs all of your purchases, saves your preferences and delivery address, and allows you to pay with Alipay, Alibaba’s mobile payments provider. After shopping at Hema, you’ll have a personalized product page based on your preferences and purchases.

See the rest of the story at INSIDER
Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/alibaba-hema-xiansheng-supermarket-whole-foods-amazon-future-2018-5

All 11 ‘X-Men’ movies, ranked from worst to best — including ‘Deadpool 2’


Back in 2000, what is now the modern superhero genre probably didn’t seem possible. “Blade,” about a half-vampire Marvel Comics anti-hero, was the closest audiences had at the time. That changed with “X-Men,” which introduced a franchise that is still churning out movies.

In that sense, even though it’s suffered from a confusing timeline in recent years, the “X-Men” series may be the original “cinematic universe,” before the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to be.

The current entry in the franchise, “Deadpool 2,” opened to $125 million over the weekend, proving the franchise can still draw an audience. It’s hard to remember that the “Deadpool” movies are technically part of the “X-Men” franchise. But they are loosely connected to that universe built by Fox for nearly two decades.

As the Disney-Fox deal looms, it’s impossible to predict where the franchise will be in the future. But for now we can expect both “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and “The New Mutants” next year.

With “Deadpool 2” now in theaters, Business Insider has ranked all 11 “X-Men” movies from worst to best. 

Below is every “X-Men” movie, ranked:

11. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009)

A movie so bad it basically destroyed any plans Fox had for future “Origins” spin-offs, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” is a monstrosity of a movie that is cluttered with useless characters (will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas shows up for some reason?) and a nonsensical storyline. It also had the audacity to cast Ryan Reynolds in a role he was born to play (Deadpool, before Deadpool was even cool) and sewed his mouth shut. Deadpool’s nickname is “The Merc with a Mouth,” and this movie sews his mouth shut. It is beyond comprehension how awful this movie is, but for an idea, I have a friend who saw a leaked version of the movie before special effects were finished and said that was infinitely more fun to watch.

10. “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006)

After director Bryan Singer left the third “X-Men” movie to make “Superman Returns” (not the greatest decision in hindsight), Brett Ratner stepped in to direct “X-Men: The Last Stand.” The promise of the superb “X2’s” ending, in which Jean Grey sacrifices herself but a phoenix silhouette hovers over the water as the screen fades to black, meant that the third movie had a lot to live up to. Turns out Ratner was not the guy to answer the call. “The Last Stand” presents a lot of good ideas, but ultimately fails to deliver on the only one that matters: The Dark Phoenix storyline that is an essential part of the X-Men comic books. To make matters worse, not only is the movie such a misfire, but Ellen Page recently accused Ratner of using homophobic and abusive language on the set. In conclusion, this movie is such a stain on the X-Men franchise that it’s basically being ignored and Fox is trying it again with next year’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.”

9. “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016)

I don’t know who had the idea to cast a great actor like Oscar Isaac in a role that demanded he be covered in blue make-up the entire movie, but it was a bad idea. Unlike Josh Brolin’s Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War,” Isaac is miscast as the universe-decimating big blue alien. Bryan Singer came back to the “X-Men” franchise in full-force with “Days of Future Past,” so it was disappointing he followed that up with this. 

See the rest of the story at INSIDER
Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/all-x-men-movies-ranked-from-worst-to-best-2018-5

How to help protect your kids from ‘online luring’

kids watching tablet

Keeping your children safe online seems to get more difficult by the day. Children as young as five are getting tablets and smartphones. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other apps have become essential to how kids and teens communicate with each other.

And yet, in the decades since children have been using the internet, a host of parental controls and devices have been developed to make it easier to monitor online use. And the new crop of parents are more familiar with the inner workings of the internet than ever before. 

One of the most fearsome threats to kids is online luring — the act where a predator attempts to coerce or trick a child from the safety of their homes or schools, with the intention of committing sexual offenses or abducting them. 

Parents should use what technology is available to protect their kids, but the most important thing parents can do, experts told Business Insider, is talk to their children about being safe online.

“The best parental control out there is talking to your kid,” said Stephen Balkam, the founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute.

Every child and teen is different. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to keeping your kids safe.

“It has to be a really complicated and layered approach. It really is different for every family, every parent and every kid,” said Paige Hanson, chief of identity education at Symantec.

Here’s what you need to know about protecting your kids from online predators — including online luring.

What is online luring?

Online luring is the act of coercing or tricking a child into leaving the safety of their homes or schools, with the intention of committing sexual offenses or abducting them. 

The most effective way to protect against predators is to keep tabs of what your children are doing online, say experts.

Don’t let your child sign up for social media if they’re under 13

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act already makes it illegal for children under 13 to sign up for websites that gather data about users, which notably includes most social media sites.

Parents should stick to this rule, or even wait until their child is older, Balkam said. But sometimes it’s easier said than done to enforce.

Parents who help their children under 13 make Facebook accounts “to talk with Grandma” should instead consider downloading Facebook Messenger Kids, the social media giant’s dedicated app for children between the ages of 6-12. The app lets parents see their child’s messages, control their contact list, and set time limits. 

But Messenger Kids is controversial and has been met with backlash from health experts and child advocates, who have called on the app to be shut down completely, on the basis that the app could push children towards smartphone addiction in their earliest stages. 

Another problem parents may have to contend with: Kids can simply lie about their age. In these cases, it may be difficult to stop them from making an account entirely, especially if they have their own tablet or smartphone. But experts recommend having a conversation with children who want social media accounts before they open one.







iOS and Android parental controls

Parents can set restrictions on any iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

In an iPhone or iPad’s settings, go to “General” and find “Restrictions.” Once there, parents can restrict access to certain apps or games, including the Safari web browser and the camera. Parents can also prevent children from making any purchases or downloads in the app store.

On Android, parents can download the Family Link app, which lets users set restrictions on what apps and videos can be downloaded from the Google Play store. Without the Family Link app, parents can set content restrictions directly in the Google Play app by going to the “parental controls” option in the app’s settings.

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/protect-kids-online-luring-2018-5

Terry Crews explains how the X-Force joke in ‘Deadpool 2’ was pulled off, including shooting a scene they knew would never be in the movie


  • Terry Crews plays Bedlam, a member of X-Force, in “Deadpool 2.”
  • But this version of a team of more edgy X-Men mutants doesn’t last long in the movie.
  • Crews explains how the X-Force sequence in “Deadpool 2” turned out to be a huge practical joke on the audience.

Warning: MAJOR spoilers below if you haven’t seen “Deadpool 2.”

The birth of X-Force was in the trailers, posters, almost all the marketing for “Deadpool 2.”

But if you saw the latest Marvel hit over the weekend, you know that the formation of a grittier version of the X-Men didn’t happen the way the movie’s marketing teased it.

Let’s set the stage. In “Deadpool 2,” the Merc With a Mouth finds himself up against a soldier from the future, Cable, who is driven to kill the young mutant, Russell. Deadpool, by this point in the movie, has alienated himself from the only X-Men members who would talk to him, and decides to form his own super team to stop Cable. He calls it X-Force.

Enter mutants Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Vanisher, Domino (Zazie Beetz), and Peter (Rob Delaney). Well, Peter isn’t a mutant, but he wowed Deadpool at the audition. They team up with Deadpool and head out to take on Cable and spring Russell from prison. They all skydive from a large plane to pull off their plan.

Almost all of this is teased in the trailers. But what happens next is one of the biggest shocks of the movie.

Due to the strong winds on the day Deadpool decides to do the jump, his X-Force mates veer off course and they all suffer horrific deaths — except for Domino because her superpower is being really, really lucky. Bedlam glides face first into the windshield of a bus. Shatterstar is chopped up by helicopter blades. Peter dies after being covered in the acid vomit spewed by Zeitgeist just before he’s sucked into a wood chipper. And Vanisher flies right into power lines and the electrical shock reveals that he’s played by Brad Pitt.

The sequence is one of the most memorable from the movie and is the biggest example of the lengths Ryan Reynolds and director David Leitch went to give audiences a very different superhero sequel.

Business Insider talked to Terry Crews about what it was like to be a part of the movie’s biggest joke, why there was fight footage of Bedlam in the trailers if it wasn’t going to be in the movie, and if anyone on set knew that Brad Pitt was playing Vanisher.

Jason Guerrasio: Going into doing the movie, were they straight up with you about the fate of Bedlam?

Terry Crews: I knew everything. We were trolling the world. That was the whole point. And the big thing was to keep it a secret. That was the hardest part. I didn’t even tell my wife what was going to happen. My son was like, “What happens?” and I was like, “I’m not going to tell you.”

Terry Crews Deadpool 2 FoxGuerrasio: So what many people, like me, are wondering after seeing the movie is what is that footage of you knocking someone out in the trailer? Did you guys shoot more X-Force footage?

Crews: [Laughs.] Yes. We shot a whole scene that we knew was never going to be in the movie. I’m telling you, it’s the biggest troll of all time. I couldn’t believe we were going to do this.

Guerrasio: They were just going to use that footage for the marketing knowing it wasn’t going to be in the movie.

Crews: Exactly. Everything that we shot that isn’t in the movie was done to fool everybody to think that me and the other members of X-Force were going to be in the movie the whole time.

Guerrasio: That’s amazing.

Crews: And I felt horrible. The fans were excited. But, to me, the purpose was to give the audience something they would never expect. And it was crazy to keep all that a secret. When we were shooting in Vancouver I had to walk around with blankets over me because there were spies. I just got a few pages, sometimes even just a few lines of the script. Our goal was not to let anyone find out what we were going to do. Because the fanboy culture wants to find out everything before it happens.

Guerrasio: So you’re at the world premiere of the movie, you are one of the few people in that room that knows it’s coming. What was the reaction when the X-Force start dropping one by one?

Crews: When I was first on screen the audience went crazy and I just felt so bad because it’s basically a giant practical joke. [Laughs.] So I’m just bracing for it and then we jump out of the plane and our parachutes start going wild, gradually you notice the audience can tell something is wrong. As we died one by one I could feel in the audience people realizing that this isn’t the start of X-Force that they thought they were getting. There was just this audible gasp. When they show Deadpool walking by me and people were trying to revive me by the bus, people around me in the theater were just like, “What the?” It was so good.

deadpool 2 poster foxGuerrasio: Did you guys shoot different deaths or was that always Bedlam’s fate?

Crews: That was it. He was always going to get hit by a bus.

Guerrasio: How about the reveal of who Vanisher was? Did you know it was Brad Pitt before seeing the movie?

Crews: That was a total surprise for me.

Guerrasio: So you guys on set doing the scenes didn’t know?

Crews: Nope. I did not know. I had no idea.

Guerrasio: How did they shoot the Vanisher character? Was it just a guy in a head-to-toe green suit wearing a parachute sitting with you guys in the plane scene?

Crews: Not even that. In the scene where we are all sitting around they just had two indented pillows to make it look like Vanisher was sitting there. And then in the plane scene there was a harness rigged to look like a body was wearing the parachute. There wasn’t anyone in a green suit. We were just acting like there was a person there the whole time.

This is what everyone has to appreciate, the level of which this whole thing was done is on another level. There were layers upon layers. This is “The Matrix” meets “Inception”-type level. And this is why it’s so satisfying. At this point in the superhero genre everyone has seen everything. Nothing rivals what we’ve done here.

Guerrasio: So the future of Bedlam, are you just waiting for a phone call?

Crews: I’m waiting. There’s nothing that will prevent me from being in stuff but there’s nothing that says I’m locked up for seven pictures. This is Marvel. I’m open to anything and everything. And it’s funny, some folks are like this is my only shot at a franchise. But hey, Josh Brolin is now two different characters in the Marvel universe — Cable and Thanos. Michael B. Jordan did “Fantastic Four” and “Black Panther.” There’s no limits here, that I can see. To be honest, I love that Bedlam is a character a lot of people don’t know about because hopefully we can grow it into something. I’m ready for anything. And with what is shown at the end of the movie, the way they are fooling with time—

Guerrasio: Ah, I was waiting for you to give me this tease.

Crews: [Laughs.] There’s always ways to bring me back.

Guerrasio: It’s really a testament to you guys keeping this under wraps. As you know, this is an industry of big egos, one of you guys could have been so upset that you all are only in a few minutes of the movie following all that marketing hype they could just leaked everything.

Crews: Oh, easy. It all could have fallen apart at any time. The other day me and Ryan hugged each other and he was just like, “Thank you.” It feels good.

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/terry-crews-explains-x-force-in-deadpool-2-2018-5