Halt and Catch Fire: The Most Relevant Show on Television is Set in the 80s

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With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it's drama you crave, but the Hillary v. Trump show is driving you to near-suicide, then the AMC series Halt and Catch Fire is your new best friend. Returning for its third season on Tuesday, August 23rd with a two-hour premiere, you'll still get your fix of intriguing plot twists, flawed personalities, and high stakes, but without the partisan tantrums and pre-apocalyptic anxiety.

What the Hell is this Show About?

The show's title refers to the computing term (HCF), "Halt and Catch Fire," an early technical command that sends a computer into race condition, forcing all instructions to compete for superiority at once. Control of the computer could not be regained. The namesake series takes place in the personal computing boom of the 80s, when IBM was dictator, and before "website" was a word. Though HCF is categorized as a "workplace drama," you could say the same thing about Breaking Bad, and you'd be completely missing the point--and the thrill--of both shows.

To "break bad" is a colloquialism used in the American South meaning to challenge authority. Breaking Bad and HCF have three important things in common: obscure, nondescript titles that run the risk of losing potential viewers who need their plot summaries spoon-fed and hashtagged, a committed, forward-thinking home on AMC Networks, and the consistently visionary TV producer Melissa Bernstein. Read the rest

Miss Cleo dead at 53

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TMZ reports that Miss Cleo is dead at 53. The TV psychic, also known as Youree Harris, was famous for the character's faux-Jamaican accent and the bizarre Tarot-themed advertising campaigns exhorting Americans to call in for a reading.

You couldn't fool Miss Cleo, went the catchy 90s' tagline, but the entertainer could not fool the FTC, either: her Psychic Readers Network collapsed after the government charged it with deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices. Harris went on to perform as an actress and a spokesperson.

"It's the one who is really unpleasant. That's the daddy." Read the rest

Cosplay at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International: 10 amazing fan portraits

A cosplayer at Comic-Con on July 22, 2016 in San Diego. Source: IMGUR, photo by Matt Cowan

San Diego Comic-Con International has concluded for 2016, but these amazing photos of dedicated cosplayers at the event will live on.

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What famous person do you look like?

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“We ask strangers on the street which celebrities they've been told they look like.” Another fun piece from our friend and collaborator Joe Sabia, for Vanity Fair.

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Is this 80-minute eighties supercut the most 80s thing ever?

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Smash TV's Megaplex feels like your entire 1980s life flashing before your eyes. Note: some of the 80+ films include 80s nudity. Read the rest

What everyone earns working on a $200m blockbuster

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Vanity Fair breaks down the individual incomes of people who work on a major Hollywood blockbuster. Assuming a budget of $200m, the breakdown is approximate but based upon average union rates and published figures. [YouTube] Read the rest

Disney movies head exclusively to Netflix starting in September

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“Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar,” Netflix announced today in a blog post. The blockbuster Netflix/Disney deal from 2012 goes into effect this fall.

From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar. And we’re excited to be bringing you new and exclusive Netflix Original movies including Mascots from the master of low-key comedy Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) and War Machine, from acclaimed Australian director David Michod and starring Brad Pitt, in the serio-comic tale of the U.S. military adventure in Afghanistan.

Get Ready for Summer on Netflix US [netflix.com]

Disney and Netflix giveth, and they taketh away. In the long list of titles Netflix will be adding and removing next month, one noticeable loss is some really great ‘90s Disney movies. From E Online:

Hercules, Mulan, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hunchback of Notre Dame II (actually from 2002) will all be gone off Netflix in June. Hercules, an underrated classic if you ask us, will no longer be available come June 1. On the plus side, you still have time to enjoy the Hunchback of Notre Dame series and Mulan until June 24. Not every Disney animated movie will be off Netflix next month, so this situation could be worse. Tarzan, Robin Hood, Lilo & Stitch and Emperor's New Groove will still be around for your viewing pleasure.

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A new trailer is out for 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' reboot starring Laverne Cox

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“It’s not easy having a good time.”

A short but sweet new trailer for Fox's all-new production of the 1975 cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show. It's scheduled to air around Halloween 2016.

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Louis CK announces 2016 comedy standup tour dates in US, Europe

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Comedy genius Louis CK just emailed his fan list (I'm sure as hell on it) the summer and early fall dates of his 2016 tour.

Go here to buy tickets. In LA, he's playing Inglewood! The hood! Holy shit, I'm going to THAT show. Read the rest

These are the new Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers' suits

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No spandex in the Power Rangers reboot coming to theaters next March.

“It’s tricky finding a new language for a superhero costume,” production designer Andrew Menzies (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) told Entertainment Weekly. “Ours is an alien costume that grows on them, that’s not man-made. You can’t win everyone over, but we are trying to appeal to a more mature audience and gain new fans.”

Below, the title sequence from the 1993 television show:

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Wrapped: magical short film about mutant monster ivy that engulfs New York City

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"Wrapped" is a short film created by Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann from Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, at the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction.

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Review: 'Pee-wee's Big Holiday' (loved it)

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Last night my eight-year-old daughter and I enjoyed Pee-wee's Big Holiday. This is a fantastic return for Pee-wee Herman, and Paul Reubens has done a masterful job. Pee-wee's charm, innocence, and awesome moral compass are still keeping him out of trouble, despite a cast of delightfully troublesome characters that pop up along the way.

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The FCC wants to unlock your cable box, and Silicon Valley agrees

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Silicon Valley has managed to break apart the long-locked cable TV bundle. On Thursday, The Federal Communications Commission okayed a proposal to let cable TV customers swap out their Comcast or TWC cable boxes for third-party boxes and applications.

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The hyperviolent sport of Rollerball in Sports Illustrated, 1975

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The original Rollerball (1975) is a fantastic dystopian science fiction film in which corporations run the world and crowds go crazy for an ultraviolent sport called, you guessed it, Rollerball. (Watch the movie trailer below.) Just before shooting wrapped up, the movie teams played the game for real (apparently with less blood) for an audience of thousands at Munich's Olympic Basketball Stadium. Sports Illustrated covered the chaos for its April 21, 1975 issue:

(Director Norman Jewison... was delighted that the game devised for his film turned out to be one that can be played in earnest. "It can be played, if it's played with very strict rules..." he said on the set. "But it is still a very violent game, though maybe no more so than football. There is a gladiatorial aspect to rollerball that frightens me."

"Rollerball" article from Sports Illustrated (via Reddit, thanks UPSO!)

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Louis C.K. just released a new 'surprise' web show with Alan Alda, Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco

The comedian Louis C.K., photo via Reuters.

How cool of an internet-age entertainer is Louis C.K.? Here's what I got in my inbox this morning, as a subscriber to his email updates:

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer with much unseen footage!

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Posted by Walt Disney Studios Japan.

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Activision Blizzard to buy Candy Crush game maker King Digital for $5.9 Billion

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Activision Blizzard announced Monday evening that it plans to buy King Digital Entertainment, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, for about $5.9 billion. It's the third-largest video game industry deal ever. It's quite a dollar amount, but it's significant for other reasons, too.

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