TIME movies

Matthew McConaughey, Christopher Nolan Make a Surprise Appearance at Comic-Con

Paramount Studios Presentation - Comic-Con International 2014
Actor Matthew McConaughey attends the Paramount Studios presentation during Comic-Con International 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 24, 2014 in San Diego, Calif. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

They debuted a new trailer for Interstellar

Actor Matthew McConaughey and director Christopher Nolan debuted a new trailer for their film Interstellar during a surprise visit to Comic-Con on Thursday. It was the first time either of the two has ever appeared at the San Diego convention.

“Thought it would be a fun thing to come down and see what all the fuss is about,” Nolan said to the audience in Hall H, according to Variety.

So far, audiences have seen only cryptic trailers for Interstellar. Nolan explained that the movie will focus on space travel. “To be an astronaut was the highest ambition,” he said. “The idea to keep exploring space farther and farther… it (fell) off greatly. We are in a period of incredible technological change, (but it’s about) what’s in your pocket, your living room. I like the idea that we are on the cusp of a brand new era and we are traveling outwards more.”

McConaughey expanded upon Nolan’s hints in more concrete detail: “Cooper is a pilot, an engineer and a widowed pilot of two children where civilization is just sustaining,” the Oscar-winner explained. “There’s food, clean water, but they don’t need any explorers, no new bright ideas. Then something happens and the dream of being a pilot agains knocks on his door.” The actor said that the movie pits his character’s loyalty to the human race against his love for his family.

Though Nolan has a history of taking on ambitious projects, like the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, the True Detective actor said, “By far, this is the most ambitious film that Christopher Nolan has ever directed.”

The movie is set to premiere on Nov. 7 and will also star Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and Casey Affleck.

[Variety]

MONEY deals

Movie Ticket Prices are Going Up. Here’s How to See the Latest Blockbuster for Less

140724_EM_MovieTickets
PhotoAlto—Alamy

Planning to catch a summer blockbuster this weekend? Use these 6 tips to save big at the movie theater.

The average movie ticket climbed to $8.33 in the second quarter of 2014, up from $7.96 earlier this year, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. Why the price creep? Industry watchers blame big summer blockbusters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which sold tons of tickets to expensive 3D and IMAX screenings.

Of course, in many parts of the country, an $8.33 movie sounds like a bargain. Take New York City, where it’s not unusual to pay $15 a pop for a regular flick, or $19 for 3D. But don’t let those nosebleed prices force you to settle for summer’s reality TV swill or drive you to—gasp!—go outside. Here’s how to get your movie fix for less.

Join a Club

Most of the big chains offer some sort of loyalty program. If you tend to go to a certain theater regularly, these clubs are an easy way to earn discounted or free snacks and tickets. One program that stands out: AMC Stubs, which costs $12 a year to join but lets members bypass those annoying “convenience fees” you usually pay when you buy ticket online.

Buy in Bulk

If you’re willing to commit to buying a stack of tickets (or, technically, “passes”), you can cut your price to $8 or less. Many theater chains sell bulk passes; Landmark Theaters, for instance, sells packs of 25 at $8 per ticket. Just be sure to read the fine print; passes will sometimes exclude certain theaters or types of screenings.

Go Wholesale

Wholesale clubs offer similar bulk deals and may have bargain options on a smaller scale. Recently, Sam’s Club offered a Cinemark gift card good for two adult tickets for $15.89.

Get a Discounted Gift Card

It’s pretty easy to track down cinema gift cards on eBay or card resale sites like CardCash.com and Raise. To get a quick sense of your options, try GiftCardGranny.com, which aggregates the deals offered by a variety of sites. A search for AMC Theaters, for instance, turned up 420 discounted gift cards.

Check Your Credit Card

Do you have Visa Signature card? If so, check out the deal the card company is offering through online ticket seller Fandango: two-for-one tickets to Friday shows.

Some cards also let you leverage your cinephilia for better cash back or points rewards. The US Bank Cash Plus card, for instance, will allow you to pick movies as one of your 5% cash-back categories.

Try Daily Deal Sites

While bargain sites are unpredictable, most of the big ones feature movie tickets relatively regularly. Both Groupon and Livingsocial have recently offered discounted Fandango deals.

 

TIME movies

Check Out the Newest Picture of Ben Affleck As Batman

Batman - Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck as Batman DCComics.com

The new Dark Knight gets his close-up

For Batman’s seventy-fifth birthday, DC Comics is displaying a new, dark image of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader at its San Diego Comic-Con booth. The image was part of a montage celebrating various depictions of Batman in comics, TV shows, movies and games, according to the DC Comics website. Affleck is set to star as Gotham’s dark knight in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice film opposite Henry Cavill, who played Superman in 2013′s Man of Steel. The new movie is set to drop in 2016.
MORE: See Every Batman Logo From the Past 75 Years — All In One Gif

TIME movies

Watch Jake Gyllenhall in the Nightcrawler Trailer

Nope, not about the comic book superhero

An extremely-thin, bug-eyed Jake Gyllenhall leaves a creepy impression in the premiere of the Nightcrawler trailer. The 33-year-old actor lost 20 pounds for the role.

Gyllenhall plays a TV crime reporter who is the first on the scene of car crashes and murders to catch footage for the news. It’s not long before Gyllenhall takes things too far and is slamming his hands against a mirror and crying out. “My motto is, if you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy the ticket,” Gyllenhall’s character Lou Bloom says in the trailer.

Eek.

The movie is set to hit theaters on Oct. 17.

MONEY Odd Spending

The High Cost of Being A Comic-Con Superfan

Night Elf at Comic-Con
Jessica's Night Elf Rogue outfit won an award at the 2012 San-Diego Comic-Con.

Some fans, known as cosplayers, construct elaborate costumes of their favorite comic characters. The results are amazing, but they don't come cheap.

On Thursday, the San Diego Comic-Con kicked off its 2014 edition. The annual four-day event has grown beyond comics into a geek-culture mecca, attracting fans of everything from superheroes and video games to mainstream network programming.

Of the thousands who descend every year on the San Diego convention center (at $45 a pop per session), most are just looking to meet other enthusiasts and see the latest on their favorite characters. But there’s a large number of fans who want to take their experience a little bit further—from liking a character to becoming it. They’re called cosplayers, enthusiasts who make costumes of their favorite fictional avatars. With costs that can run into the thousands of dollars, these costumes are an artistic and financial testament to the wearer’s love of a particular game or show.

Jessica Al-Khalifah is one of these superfans. She and a friend had gotten into the online role-playing game World of Warcraft and in the process grew attached their virtual avatars. Playing the game was fun, she thought, but what if they could actually be their in-game characters, if just for a day or two?

Lucky for Jessica, there was convention coming up nearby. “We decided we should make some outfits and see what it’s all like,” she says. “It turned out we weren’t so bad at it.”

“Not bad” is an understatement. Jessica’s creation, a Warcraft Night Elf outfit, took four months of on-and-off labor to assemble and involved learning a whole new trade in the process. “I just wanted to make it look really cool, so I said, ‘You know, I think I’ll learn how to leather work,’ ” she recalls. “I hurt my hand a million times.”

The finished product featured ornate leather-and-metal armor, as well as two gigantic painted scythes, and cost roughly $600 by the time she was done. The result was good enough to win her an award at the 2012 San-Diego Comic-Con, but it wasn’t even her most elaborate creation. Another costume, based around the Legend of the Seeker television show, included a leather bodysuit and fiberglass weapon that was electrically engineered to glow. The final materials bill for that one: $1,200.

It’s a lot of money, but in the end, Jessica says, the effort is worth it for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a great costume. She still remembers how she felt when she won the 2012 contest. Oh my gosh, that was awesome. It was so surreal,” she says. “All my hard work paid off.”

TIME Culture

5 Things to Do While You’re Waiting for 50 Shades of Grey to Come Out

Unleash your inner goddess with these recipes, books and vacations

+ READ ARTICLE


The trailer for the new Fifty Shades of Grey film dropped Thursday, leaving fans to count the days until it’s released on Valentine’s Day 2015. For those who can’t possibly wait that long, here are five ways to get your 50 Shades fix before next February:

Try on some Grey-inspired lingerie

Designed in part by 50 Shades author E.L. James, this collection of bras, briefs, negligées and stockings comes in a variety of colors: Black, red and (of course) gray. Customers can also purchase the title-inspiring gray tie that Christian wears in the book and a black mask to take things to the 50 Shades of Grey level.

Drink a glass of 50 Shades of Grey wine

E.L. James has created an entire industry around tiding over her impatient fans. The business-savvy author (who has already made an estimated $100 million from the trilogy) teamed up with California winemakers to blend a collection of wines specific to 50 Shades of Grey. The collection has both red and white, and the red “has flavors of black cherry, cocoa powder, creamy caramel and vanilla, leather and clove spice.” Leather? Well, at least one flavor stays true to the book.

Cook up a recipe from 50 Shades of Kale

“What’s the sexiest handful of foliage? A fistful of Kale battles cancer, inflammation, and low moods,” the 50 Shades-inspired cookbook’s website reads. It features 50 recipes centered around the sensual vegetable, fit for vegans and gluten-free fans alike. And for those fans worried that a cookbook won’t help them get their 50 Shades of sexy fix, the authors assure, “50 SHADES OF KALE is a fun and sexy romp powered by kale.”

Take a 50 Shades of Grey vacation

Seattle is so beautiful this time of year. Why not enjoy the city by staying at the Hotel Max, which previously offered guests a special package featuring perks from billionaire Christian Grey’s lavish lifestyle? Don’t forget to drink a bottle of Bollinger Rosé (Anastasia Steele’s drink of choice) before taking a helicopter tour around the city (unfortunately not piloted by Christian Grey).

Just reread the books

It never gets old reading a dozen different descriptions for Christian’s copper-colored hair while Anastasia continually insists that she isn’t pretty. You should have a refresher on which sex scenes come when anyway, so you’re ready to critique the film for its accuracy. After all, there’s a pretty high standard to uphold.

TIME movies

Fifty Shades of Grey Star Hopes Her Parents Don’t See the Movie

Dakota Johnson at the Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Chanel show at Grand Palais on July 8, 2014 in Paris.
Dakota Johnson at the Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Chanel show at Grand Palais on July 8, 2014 in Paris. Rindoff/Dufour—Getty Images

"If it were them doing the movie, I wouldn't want to see that”

If you feel awkward watching the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer at your desk, imagine how it must feel to be the parents of the stars. While presenting the trailer for the Beyoncé-approved adaptation of E.L. James’ wildly popular erotic novel on the TODAY show Thursday, Dakota Johnson told co-host Savannah Guthrie that she doesn’t want her mom and dad to check out her acting talents.

“Not at all,” said Johnson, who is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. “I mean, if it were them doing the movie, I wouldn’t want to see that.”

Johnson plays Anastasia Steele, an innocent college girl who starts a relationship with kinky billionaire Christian Grey, but the actress says shooting the steamy movie was anything but intimate.

 

“It’s not like a romantic situation, it’s more technical and choreographed — it’s more of a task,” she said. And nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like “technical and choreographed.”

MORE: Dave Barry Learns Everything You Need To Know About Being A Husband From Reading 50 Shades of Grey

 

TIME movies

Zoe Saldana Says Being a Ballerina Is Harder Than Being a Superhero

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana attends the premiere of Marvel's 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' on July 21, 2014 in Hollywood, Calif. Jason Merritt—Getty Images

The actress had a harder time with her 2000 film Center Stage than she did with Guardians of the Galaxy

Actress Zoe Saldana, of Avatar fame, is going back into orbit in this summer’s Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

In this week’s issue of TIME, the star discusses why she likes movies set in space, her thoughts on what the future will be like and her favorite mix-tape songs. But even though playing the alien assassin-turned-hero Gamora took a lot of work (and a lot of early mornings in the make-up chair to achieve that green-skin look), Saldana says it wasn’t her most grueling role.

For that, fans will have to look a little closer to Earth, to her first-ever film role, in 2000′s Center Stage:

TIME: What’s more physically demanding, being a ballerina or being a superhero?

Saldana: A ballerina, for me. When I was growing up, I wanted it so bad and I knew that I was never going to be as good as I wanted to be. It was very disheartening and stressful when I used to dance. But I guess ballet sort of trained me for action.

I can see that.

And it’s fun, also because of being a girl. The fact that you’re able to kind of discover all the things that you can do if you commit to it, if you practice enough. You go, ‘Oh my God, I can do this.’ It makes you feel really empowered and encouraged.

Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theaters Aug. 1.

TIME movies

Watch the Trailer for 50 Shades of Grey

The film, based on E.L. James' novel, releases Valentine's Day 2015

+ READ ARTICLE

The buzzy film adaptation of the blockbuster novel 50 Shades of Grey doesn’t hit screens until next year, but the trailer for upcoming film has already arrived. Those curious to see more about Anastasia Steele’s tumultuous love affair with billionaire Christian Grey have plenty to enjoy from this brief promo.

The movie will star Dakota Johnson as Steele and Jamie Dornan (of ABC’s Once Upon a Time) as Grey, with the novel’s author E.L. James working as a producer for the hotly anticipated film.

TIME Music

Mick Jagger on James Brown: “I Copied All His Moves”

Mick Jagger and James Brown
Mick Jagger, left, and James Brown Redferns/Getty Images (2)

The legendary rocker talks about the soul king's impact on his life and career

Mick Jagger first met James Brown backstage at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem fifty years ago, when the now-legendary British superstar was a 20-year-old music industry rookie. Singer Ronnie Spector, who introduced them, has said that Jagger was so excited to meet the funk icon that she thought he was going to have a heart attack.

With his involvement in bringing the new biopic Get On Up to the screen, Jagger is now helping to introduce Brown’s unique musical brilliance to a new generation. Jagger spoke with TIME about his relationship with the funk/soul superstar, and shared some additional information regarding his work on the film.

TIME: What’s your first memory of hearing or seeing James Brown do his thing?

Mick Jagger: We all had the Live at the Apollo album. That was the big album before [the Rolling Stones] had come to America. He was a big favorite, and a different kind of music than I played at that time, which was mostly Chicago-style blues and rock. In those days, he did a lot of ballads, and also did super-fast stuff like “Night Train.” All these songs were on this huge-selling album, where you kind of lived the James Brown show without actually seeing it, so I was very familiar with it. When I first went to America, I met James at the Apollo, and he let me hang out with him. I was just a kid, really. He was, like, ten years older than me or something, but he’d been doing it for so long, and he had it down so much. He was kind to let me hang out, and I watched the shows. They did, like, four or five shows a day. Not all with the same intensity, obviously. It’s not possible. So I watched him there at the Apollo, we hung out some, and then I met him various times, we crossed paths on tours and so forth. I went on stage with him at the Apollo in the seventies. He called me up on stage with him. It was kind of a cringy moment for me, because English people don’t really…(laughs)…I just wanted to watch the show. I wasn’t there to be called up to dance with James Brown. But of course, you had to. That was the first time I was on stage at the Apollo, funny enough. James was always very nice to me, always giving me advice.

Can you share some of that advice with us?

James talked a lot about business. It’s in the film. The whole thing about the Apollo was, it’s about renting [it], making your own money, doing your own promotion. He wanted to be his own man. He didn’t want to be bossed around. He didn’t want to be put on a salary. In those days, people got very low record royalties, or never got paid royalties at all. James was very aware of all that. He tried to be his own man, and make sure he wasn’t just used.

Were there any of his stage moves that you, either intentionally or unintentionally, made part of your own persona?

Of course. I copied all his moves. I copied everybody’s moves. I used to do [James’] slide across the stage. I couldn’t do the splits, so I didn’t even bother. Everyone did the microphone trick, where you pushed the microphone, then you put your foot on it and it comes back, and then you catch it. James probably did it best. [Soul singer] Joe Tex did it brilliantly. Prince does it really well. I used to try to do it, but in the end, it hit me in the face too many times and I gave it up. So of course I copied his moves. There was one particular one I used to do a lot, but then I gave up and moved on. You just incorporate everything into your act.

Which was the one you used to do a lot?

When you move laterally from one side of the stage to the other, twisting your foot on one leg. I could do that one. But it’s a kind of attitude, too, not just a body move. It’s a kind of an attitude that he had on stage. You copy it. Little Richard was another contemporaneous performer who appears in this movie, because they’re from the same town. Little Richard also taught me a lot of things. It wasn’t so much moves. It’s about presence on stage in relationship to the audience.

In addition to James’ renown as a performer, he had a huge impact behind the scenes as well, in the construction of his music. Talk about his role in crafting his legendary songs.

James wasn’t a trained musician. He didn’t write music and he didn’t do arrangements. But he did initiate lots of grooves. He had a style. When he reinvented his music from the Apollo-live-period stuff into the funk period, where he did “Cold Sweat,” which was mostly known as the first groove/funk record, he kind of reinvented this. A lot of credit goes to musicians, but a lot goes to him, because he did something that no one else had done. He was into repeating these riffs which were normally used for the outro of a song, and decided to just use that as the whole song. He stripped away a lot of the melodic themes, and just made it into percussive themes for the vocal and the horn lines. His influence on that is massive, because he and the musicians invented this whole new funk genre of music.

His influence has been felt, though, in all areas of music, including hip-hop and the music of superstars like Michael Jackson and Prince. Would any of it be the same without James’ influence?

He’s been a huge influence on all the people you mentioned. Nearly all hip-hop artists acknowledge his influence on their music. Bruno Mars does a lot of his stage act – he does sections which are very influenced by [James]. And also, on artists like myself. I didn’t do much of that kind of music, really, but it’s influenced all the rock bands I know. [Even if] you don’t sound like James Brown, you know that’s in your repertoire. Not on this last tour, but the tour before, we did a James Brown number. We did “Think.” Even though The Rolling Stones is mainly a rock band, if we wanna do that, we can, because we know it. We learned it so long ago.

How big an influence was he on the Stones’ music?

It’s hard to discern. My point is, it’s all there in the background. Particularly that Live at the Apollo album, and all those early funk records. All these bands, the Stones included, could all play [some of that].

James’ music is generally referred to as funk, soul or R&B, and rarely mentioned as an influence in the classic rock realm. But for bands like yours, or even Led Zeppelin, that influence is in there.

Definitely, it’s there. Dave Grohl will be able to do those songs too. The influence is major.

Brian Grazer says you were instrumental in giving feedback on the script for Get On Up. What was the script like when you first read it, and what changes did you feel needed to be made?

First of all, when you find these scripts that are in turnaround, often the reason they aren’t made is because they’re awful or unworkable or something. I found that the Butterworths (English screenwriting brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, who wrote Get On Up) are very talented, and to them, it was a labor of love. I liked the script very much. I thought it had an incredible amount to offer. It was unlike other biopics, which go in for an extremely small snapshot of a person’s life. But this is more extensive. So I thought it was a very good script, but every script needs [some work]. We did change accentuations of character. We amalgamated some characters, because there were just too many. It was slightly confusing. We made it funnier, we took out a lot of early stuff – we just shaved it around and got it into a workable state. It took a while, but the Butterworths did a rewrite, and also, as we got [the film's director Tate Taylor] on board, we did dialogue changes, and Tate did a polish.

Were there any specific aspects of James’ life you felt needed to be corrected, or portrayed in a different light?

For myself and for Brian, [this film] is about James Brown wanting to be master of his own fate, against the odds – to be in control of his destiny, coming from a place of extreme poverty where he’s in complete disarray and not in control of his destiny. He wants to be master of his own fate, but while doing this, of course, he often alienates people and becomes a loner, and that’s the price that he pays for wanting this success – for being so extreme in his work ethic. That was one of the things we wanted to show. We wanted to show in this movie how it happened, and how he was ultimately a lonely person.

Why was Chadwick Boseman the right choice to play James?

It was a tough ask, and everyone I spoke to said, “You’ll never get anyone to do it well enough.” And, [there was the question of], were we going for a dancer that could act, or an actor that could dance? And so on. You just have to look at everybody that comes your way. Chad had come off this movie, 42, which was successful in the United States, and he was very confident about his ability to play this part. I was very confident, and so were Brian and Tate, about his acting ability, but he knew he had to work – as anyone would have to work – really hard on the performing part, because he wasn’t a stage performer. Apart from immersing himself totally into the character, that was a load of work. The hours that Chad put into this with the choreographer, he really put in the extra hours to make it work, and it paid off.

So there wasn’t significant apprehension on your part knowing that he wasn’t that sort of performer?

Well, yes. Everyone had apprehension, or whatever word you wanna use. (laughs) You never know ‘til you do the first dance scene how it’s gonna work. That’s the nature of any of these things. I think everyone, including Chad, was a little nervy at the beginning. I’m sure they were. But as it went on, you could see how Chad had really taken on the character and made it his own.

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