WEIRDLAND: July 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain in The Division, Mr. Robot codes, DNA code

Jessica Chastain is in negotiations to join Jake Gyllenhaal in The Division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures’ adaptation of its own hit video game. Gyllenhaal is producing the project with Ubisoft’s Gerard Guillemot. Ubisoft developed and published the game with Red Storm Entertainment also involved. Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were the platforms.

The storyline is set in dystopian New York City after a smallpox pandemic. In the third-person shooter game, the player is an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division, aka The Division, and is searching for the origins of the outbreak.

The twice Oscar-nominated Chastain will be seen toplining Europacorp’s Miss Sloane, a gun-rights drama that has an awards-season-minded release date of Dec. 9, and also will star opposite Daniel Bruhl in the World War II drama The Zookeeper’s Wife. The actress also will soon tackle the lead in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Hollywood gambling drama Molly’s Game with Idris Elba. Source:

Karin Strauss, who works at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, is working to make that sci-fi fantasy a reality. Into this world comes the notion of DNA storage. DNA is by its essence an information-storing molecule; the genes we pass from generation to generation transmit the blueprints for creating the human body. That information is stored in strings of what's often called the four-letter DNA code. That really refers to sequences of four building blocks—abbreviated as A, C, T and G—found in the DNA molecule. Specific sequences give the body directions for creating particular proteins. Digital devices, on the other hand, store information in a two-letter code that produces strings of ones and zeroes. A capital "A," for example, is 01000001. 

Converting digital information to DNA involves translating between the two codes. Advocates also stress that DNA crams information into very little space. Almost every cell of your body carries about six feet of it; that adds up to billions of miles in a single person. In terms of information storage, that compactness could mean storing all the publicly accessible data on the internet in a space the size of a shoebox, Ceze says. Getting the information into DNA takes some doing. Once scientists have converted the digital code into the 4-letter DNA code, they have to custom-make DNA. For some recent research Strauss and Ceze worked on, that involved creating about 10 million short strings of DNA. Source:

In Season 2 Episode 4 of Mr. Robot "eps2.2_init1.asec," Darlene’s cry for help comes in the form of the Linux command that gives the episode its title: “init1” is their code for “Emergency Mode.” It’s enough to make Elliot put his fog aside and act like a big brother. “init1” also denotes “Single User Mode” in Linux, setting a system to only allow access to the primary user. As Elliot dons the mask and hatches the plan to take down Evil Corp, the dramatic music is from Holst’s “The Planets” — “Neptune, The Mystic,” with the dramatic crescendo over the credits spliced in from “Mars, The Bringer of War.” When we see Darlene on the subway, there’s a prominent ad for “Allez Ridesharing.” A way to avoid getting sued by Uber, or a potential in-world website to keep an eye out for?

When Elliot gets on Ray’s computer, he contacts Darlene through the old-school web protocol IRC. His IRC client is BitchX and the username he signs in under is “samsepi0l,” which was the same alias he used last season in a Wikipedia hoax. Elliot asks what would happen to him if he loses the chess match, and Mr. Robot describes it as, “The absence of knowing. Losing time forever. A deep black void that you will never come back from. No thoughts, no body, no memories, absolute nothingness.” Elliot’s entire fantasy scene of the imagined life worth fighting for seems to show him in a relationship with Angela, with Cisco proposing to Darlene, and even allowing the Wellick family to join in. Source:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Snowden, Ascendant, Equals, Dystopian Love

In talking to the press about Snowden, Shailene Woodley addressed the latest headlines about Lionsgate’s Divergent Series: Ascendant potentially skipping a theatrical release and being made into a TV movie, particularly after the last film Divergent Series: Allegiant stumbled at the box office, making $66M stateside. “Honestly, I was on a plane when all that happened and I landed, and I’m like Whoa, what’s going on?! I need to talk and find out what the details are,” said Woodley about Lionsgate’s plans for the conclusion of the feature adaptation of the Veronica Roth series. Source:

SNOWDEN (2016), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, is written and directed by Academy Award®-Winning Director Oliver Stone. The script is based on the books The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. Release Date: In Theaters September 16.

This documentary covers NSA analyst-turned whistleblower Edward Snowden and his escape from American authorities to Hong Kong and later to Russia, after leaking classified information about global surveillance programs used by the American government to spy on people around the world and other nations activities. The movie also presents the journalists who had an exclusive access to Snowden and the members of WikiLeaks, who helped him in moments of his escape.

"Malicious" doesn't quite cover it, when it comes to Peter Hayes. I can't say he's pure evil. A truly evil person wouldn't have any debt to repay, or any guilt to feel. On top of that, he asked Four for the memory serum. Begged him for it. "I want the serum because I'm sick of being this way, I'm sick of doing bad things and liking it and then wondering what's wrong with me. I want it to be over. I want to start again." That's what Peter said, word for word. An evil person wouldn't want to start over. Normally, Peter Hayes' voice would be enough to make my hair stand on end. But he's reached a point in his "detox" (as he calls it) where he's completely harmless now. The only bite he has left are a few stinging insults here and there. He sarcastically clutches his chest. "You're hurting my newly awakened, beating heart."I don't hate him. And I'm definitely not scared of him, not anymore. 

As much as I think I have him figured out, he's become endlessly complicated to me, now that he's adopted this "nice-guy" philosophy. And then we were kissing. I live just down the hall from Christina, so we went to his room. We hadn't thought any of this out, obviously, but the second we closed that door behind us, it kind of just started. The furious, guilty, impassioned kissing. He pushed me up against the wall, and I wrapped my legs around his waist. I ran my hands through his hair. No amount of therapy in the world would change Peter's innately aggressive traits. He didn't gracefully tug at my shirt fabric, like Four would; it came off in one sloppy, uncoordinated swoop, because he was too busy simultaneously crushing his lips against mine. 

If Peter Hayes wasn't already in love with me, then he was damn well on his way there. We paused, and I took a minute to look at his eyes, his face, his body. Of course I'd noticed that he was attractive before. His personality had always been enough reason for me to look away. But on this night and this room, Peter Hayes didn't have that personality; in fact, he didn't have any personality. He was a distraction. -Divergent Fan Fiction Source:

"I can't take this anymore," Miles says when we are half way to the premiere: "The awkwardness. I don't care if you saw me naked. I just want to keep talking to you. You're the most important thing in my entire life." I smile. "You're the most important thing in my life too Miles," I say. He smiles and we hug. "You know since you saw me naked I think I should see you naked," Miles says when we pull away from the hug. "I... I love you," he says his eyes tearing up. I smile at him. I want to tell him that I love him too.

"I used to like Shai," Miles says. I have known this for a while. They used to flirt a lot in interviews before I even met them. For some reason it hurts to hear this from Miles himself. I nod and blink away the tears. I turn around to leave but I'm close enough to the bed that Miles grabs my wrist. I turn around and look into his eyes and melt just like always. "Why, why should I stay?" I ask. He looks deep into my eyes. "Because Shai means nothing to me now. You are all I want. I used to think I was in love with her, but now I realise that I love you, and only you." We make out until we are out of breath. Miles kisses my forehead and my jaw. A month ago I was too scared to have sex with him. Now I suddenly want him, I want all of him. I begin to pull his shirt up. I take it off, exposing his beautiful abs. He looks up at me. "Are you sure?" He asks. His voice is husky and it sends shivers down my spine. I just nod and he continues kissing me. Source:

Love is a sickness in dystopian ‘Equals’: Nicholas Hoult plays Silas, a member of the Collective, an Orwellian society in which they all wear white and do their part to move humanity forward. Emotion has been eradicated in the future, except for those suffering from a disease known as SOS, or Switched On Syndrome. Sufferers of SOS often commit suicide, and after Silas witnesses one of those, something snaps in him, and he begins to exhibit signs himself. He also notices that Nia (Kristen Stewart), a co-worker, appears to be experiencing emotion, though she remains undiagnosed.

This is sci-fi on a budget, which means that Doremus has to rely on his actors, rather than high-end special effects. It has its share of tension, but “Equals” shouldn’t be considered a thriller. Rather, it’s a story of emotion in a world that considers emotion to be a defect. Our world, of course, is anything but emotionless. Things run high and shrill, every minute of every hour of every day. And yet, so often, it all is as internally empty as the citizens of Doremus’ Collective. It’s a strange dichotomy, but one that feels surprisingly timely. Source:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Golden Age of Hollywood in "Café Society"

Café Society opts for a more hopeless romantic narrative, albeit one that doesn’t feel as alert or developed as its predecessor. The film begins in 1930s Los Angeles, making for a speedy introduction to the luscious cinematography of Vittorio Storaro, whose warm palette helps capture the spirit of the Golden Age of Hollywood. A young Jewish New Yorker named Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) arrives in Tinseltown with hopes of finding a job within the film industry via his big shot agent Uncle Phil (Steve Carell). (One can immediately draw the parallels to Allen and his own experiences, especially once the director lends his voice to the part of narrator). Kristen Stewart's character claims that she prefers being “life-sized,” but as the story fast-forwards into the future, we see her succumb to the “Café Society” lifestyle. She becomes the name-dropping, nightclubbing and catty-gossiping socialite she once used to mock with Bobby. As Bobby laments, “It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.” Source:

"Abortions were our birth control,” an anonymous actress once said about the common procedure’s place in Hollywood from the 1920s through the 1950s. While patriarchal political powers connive to block women’s legal access to abortion in 21st century America, in Old Hollywood, abortions were far more standard and far more accessible than they often are today—more like aspirin, or appendectomies. How and why did a procedure that was taboo and illegal at the time become so ordinary—at least, among a certain set? From the very infancy of America’s film industry, abortions were necessary body maintenance for women in the spotlight. Birth control, including prophylactics, were about as new as “stars” themselves—movie performers who went overnight from being “Little Mary” or “The Vitagraph Girl” to “America’s Sweetheart” or “Sex Goddess.”

“These newly wealthy men and women didn’t know how to control their money, their bodies, or their lives, spending, cavorting, and reveling in excess,” writes Anne Helen Petersen in Scandals of Classic Hollywood. In the working environment of the Hollywood studio system, society’s 19th-century sexual segregation had fallen away. Women—flappers, It girls, sirens and seductresses—were spared their destiny in the kitchen. And so it became necessary for the studios to implement reformatory measures to prevent stars from destroying their value through scandal. In 1922, Will H. Hays introduced mandatory “morality clauses” into stars’ contracts. Consequently an unintended pregnancy would not only bring shame to these top box-office earners—it would violate studio policy. “It was a common assumption that glamorous stars would not be popular if they had children,” writes Cari Beauchamp in Old Hollywood, Without Lying Down.

These clauses may have extended to an actress’s right to marry. According to Petersen, rumor had it that “Blonde Bombshell” Jean Harlow couldn’t wed William Powell because “MGM had written a clause into her contract forbidding her to marry”—a wife couldn’t be a “bombshell,” after all. When Harlow became pregnant from the affair, she called MGM head of publicity Howard Strickling in a panic. Shortly thereafter, according to E.J. Fleming in The Fixers, “Mrs. Jean Carpenter” entered Good Shepherd Hospital “to get some rest.” She was seen only by her private doctors and nurses in room 826, the same room she had occupied the year before for an “appendectomy.”

In the 1930s, vamp and man-eating thespian Tallulah Bankhead got “abortions like other women got permanent waves,” biographer Lee Israel quips in Miss Tallulah Bankhead. When virtuous singing sensation Jeanette McDonald found herself pregnant in 1935, MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer told Strickling to “get rid of the problem.” McDonald soon checked into a hospital with an “ear infection,” according to The Fixers: Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling and the MGM publicity machine.

In 1931 Joan Crawford, estranged from her husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr., became pregnant with what she believed was Clark Gable’s child and Strickling arranged for an abortion. Rather than reveal the truth, Crawford told Fairbanks that during the filming of Rain on Catalina Island, she slipped on the deck of a ship and lost the baby.

Crawford’s rival Bette Davis also willingly chose to have abortions for the sake of her career. If she’d had a child in 1934, she told her biographer Charlotte Chandler in The Girl Who Walked Home Alone, she would’ve “missed the biggest role in her life thus far”—that of Mildred in Of Human Bondage, which earned Davis her first Oscar nomination. Other great parts—“Jezebel, Judith, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Margo Channing”—may not have followed, either. “But I didn’t miss any of these roles, and I didn’t miss having a family,” she said. Later in life, Davis had three children.

Her first child, Barbara Davis Sherry—known as B.D.—was born when Davis was 39. As biographer Whitney Stine notes in I’d Love to Kiss You-- Conversations with Bette Davis, “she was proud of the fact that, after her abortions, she could have a baby at last and a career, because her mother had always insisted that she couldn’t have both. She never tired of reminding her mother that she could be a mother and an actress.” Source:

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Shailene Woodley fights against Food Deserts, Allegiant Special Features, Miles Teller's My Girl

Hollywood star Shailene Woodley joined lawmakers and digital retailers on Capitol Hill at a congressional briefing Tuesday in an effort to persuade the Obama administration to enact changes that would allow people to use food stamps online. The 24-year-old Snowden star said the issue is one that affects her own family and friends. “This issue stems beyond food. It is about social justice, equality amongst all,” Woodley wrote in an Instagram post. “Healthy food should NOT be a privilege. healthy food is a RIGHT. and it’s our job to hold our government accountable to offer access to healthy food in ALL communities.”

The lawmakers are attempting to combat so-called “food deserts;” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 23 million Americans live in areas where there are no readily available opportunities to purchase healthy food. “A key step we can take to fight hunger, and combat food deserts is to make healthy, affordable good choices available to the greatest number of consumers,” Rep. Ryan said in a press statement. “I believe the federal government must advance to the level of today’s technology and allow for the easier use of EBT benefits through online portals.” Rep. Ryan also personally thanked Woodley for attending Tuesday’s briefing. Source:

The Divergent Series: Allegiant / 4K Ultra HD Review: Lionsgate truly pushed the envelope with this release of Allegiant creating I dare say one of the best audio mixes I have heard to date on a 4K disc. Back are the actors that the audiences fell in love with -- including Woodley, James, Watts, Ansel Elgort (The Fault In Our Stars), and Miles Teller (Fantastic Four). They all play their roles nicely, although Woodley seems a little more stiff and wooden in this installment than she had previously. To give the best possible video and audio presentation the Special Features are all contained on the Blu-ray disc in the set. Features include a Audio Commentary with Producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, Allegiant: Book to Film, Battle in the Bullfrog, Finding the Future: Effects and Technology, Characters in Conflict, The Next Chapter: Cast and Characters, and Building the Bureau. Source:

Specifically, the story picks up after the genetically pure Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) has defeated Jeanine Matthews, and freed a segregated Chicago population of faction controls while enjoying an ever-evolving romance with the genetically damaged Four (Theo James). However, the new leader Evelyn wants justice and power, but Beatrice and her pals want no part of her plans. They escape over a massive electrified wall surrounding the tattered Windy City and find a wasteland that looks like it was designed by Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” production team. The group eventually get to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare (built upon the ruins of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport), and Beatrice agrees to help the leader of the bureau David (Jeff Daniels) explain the importance of genetic purity to the mysterious council.

What completely overshadows the burdening narrative is the wonderfully fun and futuristic technology injected into the world. The HD port spotlights such slick items as a plasma protection globe that envelopes and protects the body, three-dimensional surveillance station pods, a set of mini drones, a mile-high-tall camouflage wall... As far as performances, Shailene Woodley carries the emotional load while Miles Teller continues to annoy as Peter Hayes, an overtly sarcastic, greedy weasel, always ready to undermine his new friends.

I cannot in my wildest imagination understand why the characters, movie after movie, are stupid enough to constantly trust this clown and not simply beat him to an unrecognizable pulp. Part two of the book’s movie adaptation arrives next year around this time to cement Divergent as one of the most excruciating in the history of young adult, post-apocalyptic franchises.

I did enjoy 11 minutes with Alec Hammond (production designer) and Stefan Fangmeier (visual effects supervisor) on the magic behind the special effects and computer-generated effects that showcased the sci-fi technology such as the secrets of the bubble ship and plasma globes. Also worth a look is a 12-minute overview on digitally redesigning Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport starting from its current iteration and adding levels of futuristic design to create a sort of “hive of science and living,” according to the production staff. Source:

"I'm sick of being this way. I'm sick of doing bad things and liking it, and then wondering what is wrong with me?" - Peter Hayes in Allegiant (Deleted Scene).

Miles Teller playing and singing "My Girl" (original by The Temptations).

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Neon Demon, Blondes Have More Fun, Lou Reed, Blonde Miles Teller

From the very beginning of Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, the protagonist, Jesse (Elle Fanning) is willing to sell herself to whoever’s buying. “I’m pretty, and I can make money off pretty,” she says baldly. Underage, on her own, fresh out of small-town America, and fixated on a modeling career in LA, she can’t afford to have scruples about who she works for, or how they present her for the camera. But one of the many fascinating, disturbing things about Refn’s film is just how suited Jesse is for soullessness. She starts off weak, but she’s never warm. She’s naïve, but she responds to predatory photographers and jealous models with what seems like an authentic eagerness to be exploited, if it gets her ahead.

Refn had his Neon Demon stars watch Russ Meyer’s infamous rock-star psychodrama Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls for inspiration, and that's no particular surprise: Neon Demon is lurid, lush, and overripe in the same sort of way, with a vulgar vapidity that's baffling and hypnotic at the same time. 

Fanning's performance gives Neon Demon a lot of its queasy power. Jesse is never a particularly sympathetic character, and by mid-film, she's thoroughly divorced herself from humanity. But Fanning gives her an elegance and a cool center that's separate from the icy scorn of the film's other career models. There's a surety to Fanning's portrayal that makes her immune to the petty envy other women focus on her, and that helps her rise above exploitative situations. Fanning makes being bought and sold as a product seem almost exalting, which makes it even clearer why the lesser success stories around her feel so hurt when they put themselves on the market and get rejected.  Source:

"I'm not as helpless as I look," Jesse asserts. Under her natural blond curls and periwinkle peasant dresses, she understands that beauty is the promise of sex, and the promise of sex is power. Refn exuberantly extrapolates visually on two key transformative moments in Jesse's life and career – viewing an s&m/contortionist stage show, taking her first jaunt down the catwalk – and renders them explosively, vigorously symbolic, often abstract, occult and feminist. The director's approach is strange and original, and deeply personal, even when it's overtly cryptic. It's almost as if he's exploring the forbidden, irrational elements of his psyche, and compelling us to do the same. The film's core concept is rooted in longing – to touch what's on a screen or magazine page, to eliminate the competition with vicious territorialism. Source:

The idea that ‘gender is a spectrum’ is supposed to set us free. But it is both illogical and politically troubling: since at least the 1960s, the word has taken on another meaning, allowing us to make a distinction between sex and gender. For feminists, this distinction has been important, because it enables us to acknowledge that some of the differences between women and men are traceable to biology, while others have their roots in environment, culture, upbringing and education – what feminists call ‘gendered socialisation’. At least, that is the role that the word gender traditionally performed in feminist theory. It used to be a basic, fundamental feminist idea that while sex referred to what is biological, in some sense ‘natural’, gender referred to what is socially constructed.

In reality, everybody is non-binary. We all actively participate in some gender norms, passively acquiesce with others, and positively rail against others still. So to call oneself non-binary is in fact to create a new false binary. It also often seems to involve, at least implicitly, placing oneself on the more complex and interesting side of that binary, enabling the non-binary person to claim to be both misunderstood and politically oppressed by the binary cisgender people. If gender identity is a spectrum, then we are all non-binary, because none of us inhabits the points represented by the ends of that spectrum. Every single one of us will exist at some unique point along that spectrum, determined by the individual and idiosyncratic nature of our own particular identity, and our own subjective experience of gender. Source:

Lou Reed can express the dark side of life in songs like Sally Can’t Dance, he can then reflect on a friendship in Billy and he can also be the most sarcastic of them all with songs like N.Y. Stars. N.Y. Stars is a nod to being bored with everything and everyone. The lack of depth in others has proven a way to be successful, but don’t buy into it. Listen to what Lou is saying here - don’t sell yourself short and don’t fucking dumb yourself down to please others. If you have to do that to keep people around, then please let them go and strike out on your own. Sally Can’t Dance is a proper Rock & Roll record, what came after this was a record of feedback and beautiful noise. Source:

Recorded at a Sydney, Australia show on November 21, 1974, Blondes Have More Fun is a bootleg LP that came out on various underground labels in the '70s. Blondes Have More Fun was reissued by Wizardo Records a few years later. Whether Lou Reed is turning his attention to solo favorites like "Walk on the Wild Side," "Vicious," and "Sally Can't Dance," or Velvet Underground classics such as "I'm Waiting for the Man" and "Heroin," Blondes Have More Fun is an LP that collectors made a point of searching for in the '70s. AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson

Lou Reed's quixotic/demonic relationship to sex was clearly intense. The psychology of genre was everything [for him]. No one understood Lou's ability to make those close to him feel terrible better than the special targets of his inner rage, his parents, Sidney and Toby. Lou dramatized what was in the 1950s suburban America his father's benevolent dominance into Machavellian tyranny, and viewed his mother as the victim when this was not the case at all. The fact is Sidney and Toby Reed adored and enjoyed each other. After twenty years of marriage, they were still crazy about each other. Lou would claim in Coney Island Baby that he wanted to play football for the coach, "the straightest dude I ever knew." –"Transformer: The Complete Lou Reed Story" (2014) by Victor Bockris

Suddenly Lou Reed looked like a concentration camp victim, his other-worldliness exaggerated by a brutal crop of his curly locks, first dyed black then with World War One iron crosses branded into the side and finally bleached blonde. Reed introduced an R&B feel to the September 1974’s ‘Sally Can’t Dance’ album. Dismissed at first as flimsy, it’s now another fascinating piece of the Reed jigsaw with zombie ballad ‘Ennui’ and nasty ‘Kill Your Sons’ shining as twisted mini-masterpieces beneath the unsympathetically overcooked production. “I’m told that I’m a parody of myself but who better to parody?” he said. “I can do Lou Reed better than most people and a lot of people try.” Source:

When many think of actor Miles Teller, they think of films such as The Spectacular Now and Fantastic Four. The first thing that comes to mind isn't necessarily how much he changes up his look. However, that's exactly what he did. Miles Teller's blonde hair at the 2016 ESPY Awards was totally unexpected. The typically brunette star has never been seen as anything but his seemingly natural darker hue, so there's got to be a reason for Teller's massive change. He is currently filming Granite Mountain, a film about the 19 firemen who lost their lives in the Yarnell Hill fire of 2013.

In The Spectacular Now, Miles Teller deserved a Best Actor nomination for taking what could have been a standard rogue on a journey of self-improvement and imbuing him with raw humanity and a sense of humor so unforced that his line readings feel improvised. Shailene Woodley completely matches him while finding a rhythm all her own. Source:

Miles Teller is set to play Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the crew. As it turns out, McDonough is blonde. As Granite Mountain is set to depict real events, it makes sense that Teller would want to make his depiction of McDonough as authentic as possible. Dying his hair blonde is a natural step toward giving McDonough the depiction he deserves. Say hello to blonde Miles Teller, everyone. I doubt he'll be around for too terribly long. Source:

Miles Teller (blonde version) with girlfriend Keleigh Sperry on 4th of July 2016.

Keleigh Sperry (Photo Session for One.1 - Models Management)

"Kissing was permissible as a hint at “the sexual act” that could not be directly represented; in the movies, thanks to the enhancements of lighting, makeup, close-up and decoupage, it was an even broader and more suggestive hint than it was onstage."  A.O. Scott (The New York Times)

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Miles Teller: Anti-Establishment Flavor Characters, "Allegiant" in Blu-Ray

Before long, Aimee (Shailene Woodley) loosens up, drinks all day long out of a flask like Sutter (Miles Teller) and even makes sexual demands on him. She also insists that he find out what has happened to his absent father, about whom his mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) refuses to speak. Eventually, Sutter does just that and, contrary to the soothing stories he has told himself about his father, discovers the older man (Kyle Chandler) to be something of a womanizing barfly. The film and Tharp’s novel each has its attractions. Tharp’s Sutter offers various pointed remarks about the absurdities of contemporary American suburban life. One feels a certain affection for the narrator and his generally well-intentioned actions, many of which go awry. The novel even has a certain genial anti-establishment flavor to it. The film version of The Spectacular Now is an improvement upon the book in some ways, a falling off in others. Source:

College students with an absent father are more likely to engage in casual sex, according to new research published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science. The study, conducted by Catherine Salmon of the University of Redlands along with her colleagues John M. Townsend and Jessica Hehman, examined the relationship between a father’s absence and the sexual behavior of college students. “There is a large amount of literature on life history strategy and psychosocial acceleration theory that suggests a strong impact of father absence on female sexual strategies and some evidence, from this new study and a few others, that it also impacts male sexual behavior,” Salmon told PsyPost. The earlier the students were no longer living with their biological father, the greater the number of one-night stands. 

This was true for both men and women. “Thus, father absence was a clear predictor of short-term reproductive decisions that affected both males and females, rather than a specific effect on females,” the researcher noted. According to life history theory, early life experiences can shape an individual’s expectations about the nature of other people, relationships, and life in general. Those faced with high stress, scarce resources, and insensitive parenting in early life develop a “fast life” strategy that typically includes “insecure attachment, early maturation, early sexual activity, and an emphasis on short-term mating.” Source:

Just Jared: -What was your audition process like for Divergent?

Miles Teller: -I didn’t have to audition. The director saw Shailene Woodley and I in The Spectacular Now, and said, “Hey, would you be interested in this?” I originally auditioned for Four and that didn’t work out. And they’re like, “We think you would make a good villain. Would you want to play the role of Peter?” I said “Yeah, sure.” I didn’t know much about him. Once I was cast and people were talking about it online, I read the book after. I didn’t know that Peter was so hated.

Just Jared: -But he does have a soft spot for Tris…

Miles: -He saves her life. I think in the third book, I think he’s going to come around even more.

Miles Teller: -You read the book I think because it gives you more information about someone, which I want. But at the same time, I read about two-thirds of The Spectacular Now and then I think I just stopped because the more they were talking about this kid, that’s not how I was playing him. I didn’t want to get too invested in.

Allegiant Blu-Ray / Digital HD special features:

Audio Commentary with Producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher
Six Featurettes: “Allegiant: Book to Film,” “Battle in the Bullfrog: The Stunts and Choreography Behind This Thrilling Sequence,” “Finding the Future: Effects & Technology,” “Characters in Conflict: The Motivations Behind the Film’s Antagonists,” “The Next Chapter: Cast & Characters, Building the Bureau”

Allegiant DVD special features:

Audio Commentary with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher
Two Featurettes: “Allegiant: Book to Film,” “Battle in the Bullfrog: The Stunts and Choreography Behind This Thrilling Sequence”

Meanwhile, the final movie in the Divergent Series (title Ascendant) will hit theaters next summer. A synopsis reads: “In this third exciting film in The Divergent Series, Tris and Four lead a team of rebels in a daring escape over the city wall—into a strange new world where they face a threat more dangerous than they ever imagined. Together, Tris and Four wage a furious battle for survival, fighting not only for their factions and loved ones, but for the future of an entire city in this dynamic, action-packed adventure.” Source:

"Divergent," "Insurgent" and "Allegiant" book author Veronica Roth recently opened up about Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and Peter Hayes' (Miles Teller) relationship in one of the books' deleted scenes. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Roth explained that "Strike First, Strike Hard" was deleted from "Allegiant" because it slowed down the pace of the story. According to Roth, "Strike First, Strike Hard" was supposed to also show Peter's vulnerable side. In the books, as well as the first two movies, Peter was depicted as Tris' nemesis. However, Peter later on teamed up with Tris and Four, and they escaped the Erudite compound together." It showed some of Peter's vulnerability as well as how much Tris has changed since he first tormented her in this dormitory," Roth said. Source:

Hero Complex: -I understand that the filming of “Insurgent” and “Fantastic Four” overlapped? How was it jumping between being the unlikable antagonist in one story to the hero of another?

Miles Teller: -It was difficult. It was harder than I thought it was going to be. I thought I would just be able to go to “Insurgent” and just be able to fall right back into Peter, but it was tough. I don’t walk around as Peter. I don’t carry myself in that way, so you have to kind of re-remember what you’re doing. I was pretty unsure of myself, actually, for a little bit, because you’re just not sure if what you’re doing is keeping the integrity of the character from what you were doing on the last film. And I saw it and I felt like I was pretty happy with some of the stuff I was able to do.

Hero Complex: -Many of the antagonists in “Insurgent” have more clear motivations that drive their actions, like what they think is best for society, or a longstanding rivalry. What do you see as Peter’s motivation?

Miles Teller: -I think it wavers. It wavers all the time, as it goes in life. It’s not like these people are his friends. He doesn’t know any of them, so he’s kind of figuring them out, and his biggest motivation is to survive. A lot of the people from the first movie died, so the fact that he didn’t means that he’s pretty smart and he’s cunning. He’s a pretty shifty character, but I think he’s really just looking out for himself. As the story progresses, and as Peter evolves, you find out that… he’s grown up by the end of “Allegiant.” Peter’s grown up, and he’s not happy with the kind of the person he was for a while. You’re just dealing with somebody who’s [still] kind of figuring out who they are.

In the span of a few years, Teller has gone from a browbeaten drummer in Whiplash to the lean Reed Richards in Fantastic Four. Now, he steps all the way into the spotlight, with a suitably with a ripped physique. Teller’s latest artistic undertaking centers on the storied career and tumultuous life of five-time lightweight boxing champion Vinny “the Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza. Pazienza suffered a devastating car accident that nearly left him paralyzed. Immobilized with a huge, cumbersome brace designed to help him heal two broken vertebrae, Pazienza was faced with a grueling recovery just to move and walk again—let alone reclaim a shadow of his former championship ability.

As with Paz's road to recovery, the stakes for Teller in Bleed for This are high and margin for error is slim. Martin Scorsese, who originally envisioned the project, is on as executive producer. Meanwhile, Teller's career is reaching a new height. In his October 2015 Men's Fitness cover story, Teller detailed how he trained and to get into peak athletic shape for his role. “Honestly, when I read the script,” Teller said in his profile, “I was like, ‘This is going to be really great for someone else.’ It was this masculine, macho story about this world champion boxer. I don’t think after people saw Whiplash or That Awkward Moment they thought of me and said, ‘This dude is a badass fucking boxer.’” Source: