Mid90s: How Jonah Hill Avoided Leaning Too Heavily On Nostalgia

Just when you thought you were getting tired of ’80s nostalgia featuring kids on bikes, neon lights, and synth-pop, along come films filled with grunge music, skating, and Nintendo games. The ’90s don’t feel like they were that long ago, but the wave of ’90s nostalgia in movies and TV may have just arrived with Jonah Hill’s Mid90s. Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s is the story of a 13-year-old kid who finally finds friends and a sense of belonging in the rough world of skateboarding in Los Angeles in the 1990s. We had a chat with the first-time director at Fantastic Fest after the movie’s US premiere, and he said despite the subject matter, he didn’t want to lean too heavily on nostalgia.

The first thing you notice about the film is how true-to-life it feels. From the squared, 4:3 VHS-like look, to the ’90s soundtrack, to the clothes, Mid90s doesn’t feel like a recreation, but like a lost film from that era. Despite this, it doesn’t point at its many references or shove them down your throat. “That was very intentional,” Hill said. “The rules of the film were no skate-porn and no nostalgia-porn. I didn’t want it to be that ’90s movie. The idea ultimately was that if I, at the last second, decided that the film would not be set in the ’90s, it would still work as a film about growing up.”

Yet there are plenty of references and Easter eggs to that decade. Shortly after the main character, Sunny, starts to become part of a group of skater kids, there’s a memorable scene in which he asks his brother for his skateboard. When the brother asks what Sunny can give in return, he offers his Nintendo games as trade, and we see Sunny’s brother going through a stack of cartridges. It’s a very small and simple scene, made special because we never see any of the games, just the sides of the cartridges. They could be any games–replace them in your imagination with whatever you grew up playing.

“I made sure that even if you don’t see the games, if you grew up at that time, you’d know which games they are,” Hill said. “Every one of those games are ones that I loved. I made sure they would place games that I’d play at that time. The wrong decision would be to punch in on it and focus on each game and make a big deal out of it. Instead, just hint at it so those who know, know they are the right games.”

This attitude of not making a big deal out of the references is key to making Mid90s feel natural. “My favorite scene in the movie is where two characters are outside a courthouse talking to a homeless guy,” Hill recalled. “That’s Del the Funky Homosapien, one of my favorite rappers, but it’s so casual you don’t really notice him. That was the point–to not make things overt.”

When it comes to the music, Mid90s has plenty of songs viewers can recognize, but you aren’t hit over the head with one hit wonders. Hill had a list of 300 songs he would write the film to, all of which made it onto the film’s “soundtrack.”

“We got all of the songs I listed,” he said. “Which was amazing because we didn’t really have any money for the music, so I wrote letters to like Morrissey and Nirvana’s estate and everybody. And they said yes,” Hill said. Spotify currently has a 30-song soundtrack available for streaming, and it’s been reported that more will arrive in additional “waves.”

Friendship and having a sense of belonging are big themes in Mid90s, and the film’s core cast of young actors, most of them first-timers, have great chemistry together. To achieve that, Jonah Hill did one simple thing. “I took everyone’s cell phones away,” he said. “That was actually my main reason to set the movie in the ’90s–because there weren’t cell phones. That made the intimate conversations and friendships in the movie real.”

“Nowadays the second you feel uncomfortable, you can just take out your phone, so you don’t get intimate with people,” Hill explained. “Growing up, you were so bored you’d get into these strangely deep conversations just waiting for the bus or hanging out at the skate spot only because you didn’t have anything better to do.”

Getting the actors into the ’90s vibe was obviously important to the film. Hill provided his cast with iPods with the 300 songs he wrote the music to, which he felt was important. “The most important part was getting the actors related to the feelings of the characters,” he said. “The music and the clothes helped in getting them to the mindset of the ’90s, but I didn’t want them to just rely on the gadgets and references. And they didn’t even need to understand them, because they are just existing as people and that’s just what’s around them. Because the film should feel like living in the ’90s–we didn’t go around pointing at every single piece of contemporary pop culture, it was just part of our world. My movie should feel like that.”

Mid90s is now out in theaters.

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Author: GameSpot

Game Of Thrones Prequel Adds Josh Whitehouse To Cast–Report

Joshua Whitehouse is joining the cast of HBO’s untitled Game of Thrones prequel, according to a report from Variety. The actor is probably best known for his turn as British aristocrat Hugh Armitage in BBC One’s Poldark, which is set in the aftermath of the American Revolution.

Whitehouse joins Naomi Watts on the cast, who HBO officially announced this week as joining the show and who is reportedly playing its lead. Watts’ character is said to be “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.”

There’s no title for the prequel yet, the pilot of which was written by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), who created the series with George R. R. Martin and will serve as its showrunner when it begins filming in 2019. We know from HBO’s previous description of the prequel that it’ll take place thousands of years before the current Game of Thrones series, during the Age of Heroes.

That period is when some of the longstanding noble houses of Westeros–like the Lannisters and the Starks–were first founded. According to HBO, the show “chronicles the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.”

It’s tough to speculate who Whitehouse might be playing, but Game of Thrones lore and the show description suggest two potential possibilities. The first is Land the Clever, the trickster character who legend says founded House Lannister and tricked the Casterly family out of the Lannister family seat, Casterly Rock. There’s also Bran the Builder, the founder of House Stark, who was responsible for the construction of the Stark castle of Winterfell according to legend, and later, the Wall.

HBO has several Game of Thrones spin-off series in the works to pick up the story of Westeros after Game of Thrones comes to an end with Season 8 in 2019. There still isn’t too much information about that season available yet, thanks to HBO’s intense secret-keeping efforts. The recent tie-in video game, Reigns: Game of Thrones, seems like it might have some possible story hints for the final season, though.

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Author: GameSpot

That Star Wars Boba Fett Standalone Movie Has Been Canned – Report

You must have seen this one coming. After not so much as a peep about the potential Boba Fett standalone Star War movie since May, it’s time to move on. That project is dead and buried.

The news comes from Critics Choice Association journalist Erik Weber, who asked Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy about the film. “Kathleen Kennedy just confirmed to me Boba Fett movie is 100% dead,” he writes in a tweet. Instead, Lucasfilm is committing its focus to the upcoming TV series The Mandalorian, which is being written and executive produced by Jon Favreau.

It’s an unfortunate turn for the now-dead Boba Fett movie, which was reported in May to have signed on Logan helmer James Mangold to direct. Of course, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t plenty of Star Wars coming to the big screen.

Firstly, Episode IX will arrive in theaters in 2019. Beyond that, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is developing a trilogy of films, while Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss are writing and producing a series of films. Outside of the next–and possibly final–chapter of the Skywalker saga, no other story details or release dates have been announced.

Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

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Author: GameSpot

Thronebreaker The Witcher Tales Review | Ulvespill

Dominic writes: Its been three years since Witcher 3, one of the most praised video games of modern times, and now Projekt Red has followed up their success with Gwent, a free-to-play card game similar to Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, set in the same universe as the rest of The Witcher series. A stand-alone singleplayer campaign Thronebreaker was also released simultaneously, and thats the focus of this review.

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Author: N4G

Pre-Black Friday Sale At Sam’s Club Announced

Black Friday doesn’t arrive until November 23, but we’re already starting to hear rumblings of what’s sure to be the biggest sale event of 2018. Sam’s Club is cashing in early on the buzz with a pre-Black Friday sale that drops prices across a number of product categories–including PS4 and Xbox One. This one-day sale will take place on Saturday, November 10.

The online side of the sale starts at 12:01 AM ET (9 PM PT). If you want to go to a brick-and-mortar location, doors open at 7 AM local time. The sale covers all kinds of items, including furniture, baby supplies, mattresses, pillows, and outdoor play equipment. But it also has some great deals on TVs, computers, and Apple products like iPads and Apple Watches. Note that some of the deals are only available online.

Two of the deals are particularly good for gamers. You can get a PlayStation 4 Slim 500 GB for $229, which is $40 less than its standard going rate. Or you can get an Xbox One S 1TB bundle that comes with three months of GamePass, three months of Xbox Live Gold, Call of Duty Black Ops 4, and Destiny 2 for just $300. That’s a great deal.

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If you’re familiar with the retailer, you’ll know there’s one big catch: you have to be a Sam’s Club member to take advantage of the sale prices. You can become a regular member for $45 per year, or a Plus member for $100. You can find the details of both programs here.

You’ll find some of the sale’s highlights below, and more items in the full ad. Just remember, the prices won’t drop until November 10.

Game Consoles

TVs

TV Bundles

Computers

Apple Products

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Author: GameSpot

Red Dead 2: Where To Get Your Special Edition And Pre-Order Bonus Content

We’re now nearly a week past the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, and if you pre-ordered the game or bought of its special editions, you may be wondering just how and when you get your respective bonuses. As you might expect from the way the story unfolds, these goodies aren’t immediately bestowed upon you. The game’s first chapter sets up many of the mechanics and story information you’ll need, so you’ll have to progress past at least that point before you can start to access any of these extras.

To get your hands on any of it, you’ll need to first enter a code to enable the bonuses. Those codes can be found on slips included with your game disc (or as a bonus alongside your download). Even after entering the codes, though, these things won’t necessarily be accessible immediately. In case you’re wondering where to find your loot, we’ve compiled a list of the goodies below.

War Horse — The War Horse bonus is included with all pre-orders of Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s accessible once you’ve progressed through the story mode enough to browse the available horses in the Stables.

Dappled Black Thoroughbred — This special horse is included in Special and Ultimate editions. Like the War Horse, it’s accessible once you can browse the Stables.

Eagle Talon Talisman and Iguana Scale Trinket — Both of these bonuses are included in all Special and Ultimate editions, and they can be equipped at the start of Chapter 2. The Eagle Talon Talisman can be found in the Wardrobe and the Iguana Scale Trinket is in the Satchel under the Kit tab.

Nuevo Paraiso Gunslinger Outfit — This outfit is included in Special and Ultimate editions. You can access it through your Wardrobe after completing Chapter 1.

Volcanic Pistol, Pump Action Shotgun, and Lancaster Varmint Rifle — These specialty guns are included with Special and Ultimate Editions. They can be picked up for free at any Gunsmith after completing Chapter 1.

Bank Robbery Mission and Gang Hideout — These are both available for Special and Ultimate editions. The Del Lobos gang hideout can be found in the world during story progression. The Bank Robbery Mission will also be available through story progression, and the game will notify you when it becomes available. If you miss the opportunity, you can find it in the Story menu to replay it.

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Author: GameSpot

Destiny 2’s Festival Of The Lost Murder Mystery Quest Is Live: Here’s How To Complete The First Step

The final week of Destiny 2‘s Festival of the Lost has kicked off, and with it comes the last big piece of the three-week Halloween-themed event. It’s a murder mystery quest line Bungie teased at the start of the Festival, in which players are tasked with figuring out what happened to Master Ives, the Cryptarch formerly seen in the Reef back in the first Destiny.

Ives’ death is both a story point and, some Destiny 2 players suspect, a quest to get a new Exotic weapon. That gun is Thunderlord, a lightning-slinging machine gun from the original Destiny that hasn’t shown up yet in the sequel, which recent datamining leaks have suggested is going to pop up in the Festival. There has also been some suggestion from leaks that the quest might take three weeks to complete–the first step unlocked on October 30, but players are still waiting to see when the second step will become available.

So far, the quest to find Master Ives’ killer does have the hallmarks of an Exotic quest line. To start it, head to Amanda Holliday in the Tower, where you’ll receive Master Ives’ journal. The pursuit item is colored gold, like other Exotic weapons quests, and requires players to search out the missing pages from Ives’ diary out in the world.

Clearing that first step is actually pretty easy to accomplish. There are 10 pages to acquire, and players can get them either by finding Legendary engrams in various activities–including Gambit, the Crucible, Strikes, and everything else you already do in Destiny 2–or from killing tougher Fallen enemies in the EDZ on Earth.

Actually snagging all the pages is an easy feat to knock out if you head to the EDZ. You’re looking for Fallen with orange-colored health bars, which are otherwise known as Elite bad guys. You need the orange enemies in particular; you won’t get pages from Majors, who have yellow health bars, like the ones designated as high-value targets, for instance.

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The quickest way to find Elite Fallen to kill in the EDZ is to find a public event and join it. The Glimmer Mining event that takes place in various places in the EDZ is a solid bet, especially if you knock it up to its Heroic level. You won’t get a page for every Elite you kill, but the drop rate is pretty high–one or two public events should do it.

If you don’t feel like messing around on Earth, you can also spend some shards at the Cryptarch in the Tower to quickly gather up the Legendary engrams you need to complete the step. That method will cost you 250 Legendary shards if you buy 10 engrams to get all 10 pages. Given how easy it is to get the pages in the EDZ or by earning Legendaries organically, though, you probably don’t need to waste the shards.

Once you’ve completed that step, you’ll have to wait. According to the description on the pursuit, Holliday needs time to decrypt the pages Master Ives created in order to find out what happened to him, and she’ll contact players when that’s done. Since the next step didn’t unlock with Destiny 2’s daily refresh on Wednesday, October 31, it may well be that we’ll have to wait until the November 6 weekly refresh for the next piece of the puzzle. We’ll follow up with more information on how to track down Master Ives’ killer (and maybe get Thunderlord) once the next steps become available.

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Author: GameSpot