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Deb Haaland Is One of the First Native American Congresswomen—It Took Only Two Centuries

Deb Haaland wears the same pearl necklace almost every day. Not a string of delicate iridescent beads that are usually coupled with the blazers and skirts on Capitol Hill, but a set of sturdy silver Navajo pearls that she bought at the annual Santa Fe Indian Market. Soon those beads will be making their debut in Washington, D.C., following a midterm election cycle that resulted in a historic number of women taking congressional seats in the 116th Congress.

Haaland is in that group. She’s Native American. She’s a single mother. She bucks the status quo. And she’s New Mexico’s newly minted congresswoman.

“A long time ago people knew where you were from by the jewelry you wore,” Haaland told Glamour over the summer. “They knew you were Navajo or what pueblo you were from because there’s different styles. This [necklace is] Navajo. I’m not Navajo, but I love it so I’ll wear it. Silver is protection.”

A member of New Mexico’s Pueblo of Laguna tribe, Haaland, 57, is now one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress. On Tuesday she took the lead against her opponents, Republican Janice Arnold-Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton, making history alongside another Native American congresswoman, Sharice Davids of Kansas. The two share more than the obvious connection in heritage and their new House status—Haaland and Davids go back, having supported each other since attending the same summer program at the American Indian Law Center.

“Deb and I spoke soon after I announced I would run. The first time I called Deb, she was like, ‘If you need to sleep on my couch, you can,'” Davids, who is also the first openly gay representative of Kansas, told Glamour in September. “In some way, I almost feel…that just hearing her on the other end in that first call, telling me, ‘Yes, do this,’ was the validation I needed.”

It’s not hard to believe. The generational power of women and unbreakable family ties are embedded in Haaland’s DNA, she says. Her mother, who served in the Navy, raised Haaland and her two sisters and brother while her father, who was in the Marine Corps, fought in Vietnam. Haaland reflects on the unseen and underappreciated work and the emotional labor that mothers often shoulder to keep the families together.

“There were four of us and she had to keep order, and she was by herself a lot,” Haaland says of her mom, who’s 83. “In spite of how strict she was, when it came to food, she would bend over backward to cook what we liked. As Pueblo Indians, food is important to us. I almost didn’t realize how wonderful she was about that. I didn’t like raw onions, so whenever she’d make enchiladas, she’d make mine without onions, and she’d put toothpicks in the top so we knew which ones were mine. You know what I mean?”

These are the little things that make Haaland who she is today. It’s how she can get so laser-focused and particular about the things her constituents need and why she vows to show up, fully and completely, for the Native American community. “I will do my best to always bring in tribal leaders to speak to the issues that affect them,” she says. “I don’t want to speak for tribes. But I feel like I can speak strongly in defending tribes and the U.S. government’s aggregation of their trust responsibility.”

If anything, she has the background and résumé to do just that.

As the kid of military parents, Haaland moved around a lot, but New Mexico is her home base: She graduated from high school in Albuquerque and went to the University of New Mexico and UNM Law School. Significant to Haaland being a first is that she’s also a working-class Indigenous woman who forged her own path into politics, without a silver spoon: As a young mom, she started a salsa company in the 1990s, delivering cases of the stuff out of her Maroon GMC Safari to grocers and gift stores across New Mexico. Her then-two-year-old daughter, Somah, would ride in the passenger seat.

“I wanted her with me 24 hours a day because I felt like I needed to influence her at that early age, and it paid off,” she says.

Deb Haaland and daughter

PHOTO: Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland pictured with daughter Somah

While pursuing her law degree, Haaland made ends meet with the assistance of food stamps. And with such a busy schedule, she had to teach Somah how to ride the city bus to school in case her mom couldn’t be there. She earned her organizing chops volunteering for dozens of local and statewide campaigns, and mobilized Native voters on the 2004 John Kerry campaign and both of Barack Obama’s campaigns (she served as Obama’s Native American vote director in 2012). She eventually became the chair of the Democratic Party in New Mexico and ran for lieutenant governor in 2014. She’s also served as chairwoman of her tribe’s economic development corporation.

Dedicating much of her career to getting out the Native vote has primed Haaland to work even harder to protect it: In recent weeks the Supreme Court upheld a law in North Dakota that requires voters to show identification with a current street address, when many reservations don’t use physical street addresses, leaving thousands of voters disenfranchised and unable to vote. “Native Americans couldn’t vote in New Mexico until 1948, [but] we’ve had elected officials who are deeply invested in making sure underrepresented folks get to the polls,” Haaland says. “Every time I think about the voter suppression happening in our country, it makes we want to win even more so I can go to Congress and work to overcome that,” she told Glamour before Tuesday’s victory.

For those who can’t vote, Haaland is hoping to be their voice: Just as she stood with activists at Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, Haaland is committed to expanding the use of renewable energy in her state and securing strong health care and education. Her inclusivity efforts won’t stop at her community, either: Somah, who’s now 24 and identifies as queer, has educated her mom on gender identity and LGBTQ issues. Haaland’s campaign priorities include working to close the pay gap for black, Latina, Indigenous, genderqueer, and transgender people, and fighting “bathroom bills” that restrict trans people from using public restrooms.

She’s unabashed about her criticism of Trump too. Haaland’s called out the President’s immigration policies, which have separated thousands of children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, and she is vocal about abolishing ICE. “It’s history repeating itself for no reason, other than a president who is just putting forward the most racist immigration policies we’ve almost ever seen,” she says, comparing the historic separation of Native Americans to the separation of migrant children from their parents.

But what makes Haaland so accessible, such a beacon for her community, is that she feels free to bare it all. Like many women who ran for office this election season, she didn’t hide parts of her story that might traditionally hurt a candidate. In one of her campaign ads, she climbs Albuquerque’s Sandias Mountains while revealing that she’s 30 years sober.

“Deb Haaland’s campaign for Congress is a representation of the culture shift that is being led by Native and Indigenous women to build a future that is safe, abundant, and connected,” says Vanessa Roanhorse, CEO of Roanhorse Consulting and cofounder of Native Women Lead. “We need a voice that can advocate for women’s reproductive rights, pushing for stronger laws to protect women and children from violence, and closing the pay equity gap that women, specifically Native American women, face, and a voice that has directly experienced the disparities themselves,” she continued.

“Deb is that voice and solution.”

What isn’t lost on Haaland is how this moment almost didn’t happen. While enrolled in Emerge New Mexico—a leadership and training program with the goal of getting more Democratic women into public office—she says she learned that if you ask a man to run for office, he’ll say yes the first time. Women, Haaland says, have to be asked seven times before they’ll actually run.

“I bet that’s one of the reasons why women don’t say yes right away,” she says. “If it were my mom, she would think, Who’s going to cook for my kids the way that I do?”

It’s a good thing she did: Along with Davids, Haaland’s historic win means that two Native American women—on the land where her indigenous ancestors lived—are now U.S. representatives. It took more than two centuries from the time Congress was established in 1789.

“Representation matters,” Haaland says. “I feel like some young Native women are seeing me and saying, ‘Finally, somebody who looks like me.'”


Jessica Militare is a journalist living in New York City.

MORE: Donald Trump Calls Her ‘Wacky’—Democrats Call Her the Key to Winning Big

Deb Haaland Is One of the First Native American Congresswomen. It Took Two Centuries.

Deb Haaland wears the same pearl necklace almost every day. Not a string of delicate iridescent beads that are usually coupled with the blazers and skirts on Capitol Hill, but a set of sturdy, silver Navajo pearls that she bought at the annual Santa Fe Indian Market. Soon, those beads will be making their debut in Washington D.C. following a midterm election cycle that resulted in a historic number of women taking congressional seats in the 116th Congress.

Haaland is in that group. She’s Native American. She’s a single mother. She bucks against the status quo. And she’s New Mexico’s newly-minted Congresswoman.

“A long time ago people knew where you were from by the jewelry you wore,” Haaland told Glamour over the summer. “They knew you were Navajo or what pueblo you were from because there’s different styles. This [necklace is] Navajo. I’m not Navajo, but I love it so I’ll wear it. Silver is protection.”

A member of New Mexico’s Pueblo of Laguna tribe, Haaland, 57, is now one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress. On Tuesday, she took the lead against her opponents, Republican Janice Arnold-Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton, making history alongside another Native American congresswoman, Sharice Davids of Kansas. The two share more than the obvious connection in heritage and their new House status—Haaland and Davids go back, having supported each other since attending the same summer program at the American Indian Law Center.

“Deb and I spoke soon after I announced I would run. The first time I called Deb, she was like, ‘If you need to sleep on my couch, you can,'” Davids, who is also the first openly gay representative of Kansas, told Glamour in September. “In some way, I almost feel—Deb, you don’t even know this—that just hearing her on the other end in that first call, telling me, ‘Yes, do this,’ was the validation I needed.”

It’s not hard to believe. The generational power of women and unbreakable family ties are embedded in Haaland’s DNA, she says. Her mother, who served in the Navy, raised Haaland and her two sisters and brother while her father, who was in the Marine Corps, fought in Vietnam. Haaland reflects on the unseen and under-appreciated work and the emotional labor that mothers often shoulder to keep the families together.

“There were four of us and she had to keep order, and she was by herself a lot,” Haaland says of her mom, who’s 83. “In spite of how strict she was, when it came to food, she would bend over backward to cook what we liked. As Pueblo Indians, food is important to us. I almost didn’t realize how wonderful she was about that. I didn’t like raw onions so whenever she’d make enchiladas, she’d make mine without onions and she’d put toothpicks in the top so we knew which ones were mine. You know what I mean?”

These are the little things that make Haaland who she is today. It’s how she can get so laser-focused and particular about the things her constituents need, and why she vows to show up, fully and completely, for the Native American community. “I will do my best to always bring in tribal leaders to speak to the issues that affect them,” she says. “I don’t want to speak for tribes. But I feel like I can speak strongly in defending tribes and the U.S. government’s aggregation of their trust responsibility.”

If anything, she has the background and resumé to do just that.

As the kid of military parents, Haaland moved around a lot, but New Mexico is her home base: She graduated from high school in Albuquerque, and went to the University of New Mexico and UNM Law School. Significant to Haaland being a first is that she’s also a working class indigenous woman who forged her own path into politics, without a silver spoon: As a young mom, she started a salsa company in the 1990s, delivering cases of the stuff out of her Maroon GMC Safari to grocers and gift stores across New Mexico. Her then-two-year-old daughter Somah would ride in the passenger seat.

“I wanted her with me 24 hours a day because I felt like I needed to influence her at that early age and it paid off,” she says.

Deb Haaland and daughter

PHOTO: Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland pictured with daughter Somah.

While pursuing her law degree, Haaland made ends meet with the assistance of food stamps. And with such a busy schedule, she had to teach Somah how to ride the city bus to school in case her mom couldn’t be there. She earned her organizing chops volunteering for dozens of local and statewide campaigns, and mobilized native voters on the 2004 John Kerry campaign and both of Barack Obama’s campaigns (she served as Obama’s Native American vote director in 2012). She eventually became the Chair of the Democratic Party in New Mexico and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2014. She’s also served as chairwoman of her tribe’s economic development corporation.

Dedicating much of her career to getting out the native vote has primed Haaland to work even harder to protect it: In recent weeks, the Supreme Court upheld a law in North Dakota that requires voters to show identification with a current street address, when many reservations don’t use physical street addresses, leaving thousands of voters disenfranchised and unable to vote. “Native Americans couldn’t vote in New Mexico until 1948, [but] we’ve had elected officials who are deeply invested in making sure underrepresented folks get to the polls,” Haaland says. “Every time I think about the voter suppression happening in our country it makes we want to win even more so I can go to Congress and work to overcome that,” she told Glamour before Tuesday’s victory.

For those who can’t vote, Haaland is hoping to be their voice: Just as she stood with activists at Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, Haaland is committed to expanding the use of renewable energy in her state, and securing strong healthcare and education. Her inclusivity efforts won’t stop at her community, either: Somah, who’s now 24 and identifies as queer, has educated her mom on gender identity and LGBTQ issues. Haaland’s campaign priorities include working to close the pay gap for black, Latina, indigenous, genderqueer and transgender people, and fighting “bathroom bills” that restrict trans people from using public restrooms.

She’s unabashed about her criticism of Trump, too. Haaland’s called out the president’s immigration policies, which have separated thousands of children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, and she is vocal about abolishing ICE. “It’s history repeating itself for no reason, other than a president who is just putting forward the most racist immigration policies we’ve almost ever seen,” she says, comparing the historic separation of Native Americans to the separation of migrant children from their parents.

But what makes Haaland so accessible, such a beacon for her community, is that she feels free to bare it all. Like many women who ran for office this election season, she didn’t hide parts of her story that might traditionally hurt a candidate. In one of her campaign ads, she climbs Albuquerque’s Sandias Mountains while revealing that she’s 30 years sober.

“Deb Haaland’s campaign for Congress is a representation of the culture shift that is being led by Native and Indigenous women to build a future that is safe, abundant and connected,” says Vanessa Roanhorse, CEO of Roanhorse Consulting and cofounder of Native Women Lead. “We need a voice that can advocate for women’s reproductive rights, pushing for stronger laws to protect women and children from violence and closing the pay equity gap that women, specifically Native American women face, and a voice that has directly experienced the disparities themselves,” she continued.

“Deb is that voice and solution.”

What isn’t lost on Haaland is how this moment almost didn’t happen. While enrolled in Emerge New Mexico, a leadership and training program that she graduated from in 2007 with the goal of increasing the number of Democratic women in public office, she says she learned that if you ask a man to run for office, he’ll say yes the first time. Women, Haaland says, have to be asked seven times before they’ll actually run.

“I bet that’s one of the reasons why women don’t say yes right away,” she says. “If it were my mom, she would think who’s going to cook for my kids the way that I do?”

It’s a good thing she did: Along with Davids, Haaland’s historic win means that two Native American women—on the land where her indigenous ancestors lived—are now U.S. Representatives. It took more than two centuries from the time Congress was established in 1789.

“Representation matters,” Haaland says. “I feel like some young native women are seeing me and saying, finally, somebody who looks like me.”


Jessica Militare is a journalist living in New York City

MORE: Donald Trump Calls Her ‘Wacky’—Democrats Call Her the Key to Winning Big

Why Overlord’s Director ‘Selfishly’ Used Practical Effects Over Visual Effects

Thanks to the progression of computer-aided digital effects, there’s essentially nothing that you can’t create in the movies today. However, while one might assume that such effects were used potentially excessively in order to create the Nazi zombie’s of Overlord, it turns out that whenever possible, director Julius Avery used practical effects and prosthetics. He, along with actor Pilou Asbaek spoke to CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg recently and spoke about his “selfish” decision to use more practical effects, because it made his job easier capturing performances while also keeping the movie grounded, to a degree. According to Avery…

While the premise of Overlord is certainly fantastical, iIt’s clear that Julies Avery wanted to make the movie feel as realistic as possible. As impressive as most CGI is, often it still looks animated to a degree and not like it exists in the same world as reality. While that’s usually fine for your average comic book superhero movie that is meant to look larger than life, it’s not what the director wanted here.

For many directors, digital effects might seem like the more selfish option. It’s all done in post-production meaning that you don’t have to wait for actors to spend hours in makeup chairs in order to look the way you need. However, Julius Avery says he really wanted to be sure that the actors were behind the performances that were given, even if those performances were behind significant prosthetics. It’s easier to get a performance from somebody who’s supposed to be playing a monster when they actually look like a monster.

Pilou Asbaek, who plays one of those roles that required hours in the makeup chain only supported Julius Avery’s statements. While he admitted getting the prosthetics done was a pain, he felt it was the effort once filming began.

While it’s understandable that an actor might feel more “in character” themselves thanks to prosthetics, the way that it impacts the other actors can’t be ignored. When you’re using digital effects an actor has to imagine whatever it is they’re supposed to be seeing but if they can actually see it, of course, it’s going to improve things for everybody involved.

Overlord is in theaters now. Check out the full conversation about the value of prosthetics in the video below.

6ix9ine And Kanye Were On Video Set Reportedly Hit By Drive-By Shooting

A music video film set with controversial young rapper 6ix9ine and Kanye West was interrupted by gunfire on Thursday night (November 8), TMZ reports. No one was harmed, though reportedly eight shots were fired at the rented $80 million Beverly Hills estate while the pair were inside.

Nicki Minaj was due to arrive on set to be in the video as well — for a song featuring the three of them due to appear on 6ix9ine’s upcoming album — though she was reportedly not there at the time of the shooting. Kanye apparently left immediately after. TMZ has reported it as a drive-by shooting.

It’s not the first time 6ix9ine has dealt with violence. The 22-year-old rapper, who previously pled guilty to using a child in a sexual performance but avoided any jail time, was arrested in July for allegedly assaulting a 16-year-old at a mall in Houston.

Shortly after, 6ix9ine was reportedly kidnapped, beaten, and robbed of jewelry and money in New York City. His collaboration with Nicki, “Fefe” — which Minaj later performed at 2018 VMAs without 6ix9ine — had just come out days earlier.

And in late October, one of 6ix9ine’s bodyguards was reportedly shot in the stomach after an altercation at a dinner in Manhattan. (Vulture compiled a handy timeline of the rapper’s controversies as they wind into his career — you can check that out here.)

No one from 6ix9ine’s or Nicki’s camps have weighed in publicly, though 6ix9ine’s lawyer told TMZ it likely won’t affect the rapper’s probation as he was a victim. But on Friday, Kanye took to Twitter to report his safety. “Thank you for everyone’s prayers. Our family is safe and close,” he tweeted.

This is a developing story and we’ll update as more information comes in.

Sebastian Stan Denies Talks About Becoming Captain America

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a big mystery right now, as the dust (pun intended) is still settling after the wild events of Avengers: Infinity War. The Russo Brothers did the impossible, balancing action and heart for a stunning ensemble project. Fans are waiting to see what comes next with the still untitled Avengers 4 movie, especially since it brings the end to many of the stars’ contracts.

One actor who seems to be headed to the door is Chris Evans aka Captain America. His Steve Rogers is a staple of the MCU, and it’s unclear what the studio is planning to do with the franchise upon his exit. Many are hoping that another Avenger might take on the mantle of Captain America, such as Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. He was recently asked if there were plans, saying:

Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. While Marvel actors have to be appropriately cagey about most questions, Sebastian Stan pretty much denies that he’ll be taking on a shield and leading The Avengers. Considering the character’s current trajectory, that would stand to reason.

Sebastian Stan’s comments come from his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and may put to bed some of the myriad fan theories currently flying around about Captain America. Chris Evans has seemingly already said goodbye to Steve Rogers, but it’s unlikely that Marvel Studios would abandon one of its tried and true properties. But that means someone else is going to need to replace Steve as Cap.

Bucky Barnes seemed like a prime target, considering his long tenure with the Captain America franchise. Bucky has been in all three of the trilogy, in addition to his role in Avengers: Infinity War, and brief cameo in Black Panther. He knows Steve better than anyone, and now that he’s free of mind control; it would be the perfect time to the Winter Soldier to take on a new mantle.

But it looks like Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes will get new life in an interesting way: a possible TV show on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+. The series is set to focus on Bucky and Falcon (Anthony Mackie), as they presumably fight crime and continue their superheroic buddy comedy. Empire writer and co-executive producer Malcolm Spellman is slated to write the series, as Marvel’s biggest and best chracters transition to the small screen.

Falcon is another character that fans thought might take on the mantle of Captain America, so it’s interesting that they’ll be put together on a TV show. Tom Hiddleston will also get his own Disney+ series, as well as possibly Vision and Scarlet Witch.

Bucky will presumably return to the MCU when Avengers 4 arrives in theaters May 3rd. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Message Behind The Grinch Will Warm Your Heart

The world could use a little less garlic in its soul, and Benedict Cumberbatch is here to help. His new movie The Grinch shares a classic message that happens to also be especially timely. As the actor put it, in his own inimitable voice,

It sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch’s own heart grew three sizes just making the computer-animated movie, which is now open in theaters. The Grinch is based on Dr. Seuss’ 1957 children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The 1966 TV special — with Boris Karloff voicing the Grinch — is a classic, and tough to live up to. The 2000 film starring Jim Carrey as The Grinch is might not be quite as critically beloved, but it made a ton of money at the box office.

Benedict Cumberbatch told CNN he liked the challenge of playing the Grinch, noting that it’s not the first iconic character he’s been asked to play, and he hopes it won’t be the last. His self-confidence is well-earned, as well. He’s already played real-life icons like Thomas Edison, Alan Turing, Vincent van Gogh, and Stephen Hawking; plus fictional icons like Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Stephen Strange, and Smaug..

The Grinch may include a warm message of love and kindness, but Benedict Cumberbatch recently admitted he loves those “cruel” Grinch billboards cropping up around New York and L.A. The actor also explained why his Grinch is an American, instead of going full Boris Karloff with his own naturally sinister British accent.

One difference between this movie on The Grinch and previous versions, is we get some backstory on the character. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Grinch is shown to be an orphan, and the star said that isolation leads to his anger and vengefulness. It makes sense that he would lash out during Christmas, which is often a time of loneliness for outsiders.

So The Grinch helps fans empathize a bit more with the title character, making the full message of the story all the more poignant. Will it work for viewers? So far, critics have been mixed on the film. Audience reactions are just starting to trickle in, but if you’ve seen the film by now you can share your own thoughts below.

Voicing the Grinch must’ve been a nice break for Benedict Cumberbatch — from the darkness of his Showtime series Patrick Melrose to constantly being asked about Doctor Strange’s end game from Avengers: Infinity War to spring 2019’s Avengers 4. His silky voice will next be put to good use December 7 with the Netflix release of Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, featuring Cumberbatch as (who else?) Shere Khan.

Sebastian Shaw Denies Talks About Becoming Captain America

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a big mystery right now, as the dust (pun intended) is still settling after the wild events of Avengers: Infinity War. The Russo Brothers did the impossible, balancing action and heart for a stunning ensemble project. Fans are waiting to see what comes next with the still untitled Avengers 4 movie, especially since it brings the end to many of the stars’ contracts.

One actor who seems to be headed to the door is Chris Evans aka Captain America. His Steve Rogers is a staple of the MCU, and it’s unclear what the studio is planning to do with the franchise upon his exit. Many are hoping that another Avenger might take on the mantle of Captain America, such as Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. He was recently asked if there were plans, saying:

Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. While Marvel actors have to be appropriately cagey about most questions, Sebastian Stan pretty much denies that he’ll be taking on a shield and leading The Avengers. Considering the character’s current trajectory, that would stand to reason.

Sebastian Stan’s comments come from his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and may put to bed some of the myriad fan theories currently flying around about Captain America. Chris Evans has seemingly already said goodbye to Steve Rogers, but it’s unlikely that Marvel Studios would abandon one of its tried and true properties. But that means someone else is going to need to replace Steve as Cap.

Bucky Barnes seemed like a prime target, considering his long tenure with the Captain America franchise. Bucky has been in all three of the trilogy, in addition to his role in Avengers: Infinity War, and brief cameo in Black Panther. He knows Steve better than anyone, and now that he’s free of mind control; it would be the perfect time to the Winter Soldier to take on a new mantle.

But it looks like Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes will get new life in an interesting way: a possible TV show on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+. The series is set to focus on Bucky and Falcon (Anthony Mackie), as they presumably fight crime and continue their superheroic buddy comedy. Empire writer and co-executive producer Malcolm Spellman is slated to write the series, as Marvel’s biggest and best chracters transition to the small screen.

Falcon is another character that fans thought might take on the mantle of Captain America, so it’s interesting that they’ll be put together on a TV show. Tom Hiddleston will also get his own Disney+ series, as well as possibly Vision and Scarlet Witch.

Bucky will presumably return to the MCU when Avengers 4 arrives in theaters May 3rd. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Missing Link Trailer Is Bonkers Animated Fun

Making a stop-motion animation film is time consuming, but it sure does yield beautiful results. So every time someone like Laika Studios trots out a trailer or some footage for a new project, it feels like a cheerful and beautiful surprise. Please enjoy the first trailer to Laika’s latest cheerful surprise, Missing Link.

An interesting spin on the theory of the missing link between humanity and its primate ancestors, Missing Link introduces us to Mr. Link, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, a creature that is looking to connect with his family on the other side of the world. But if he’s going to have any chance of succeeding, he’s going to need some help.

Enter Hugh Jackman’s Sir Lionel Frost, an explorer that Mr. Link reaches out to personally, in hopes that can assist him in his crossing to his ultimate destination: Shangri-La. While Mr. Link is looking for help, Sir Lionel is looking to make the discovery of a lifetime by providing proof of Mr. Link’s existence. Rounding out the group is fellow adventurer Adelina Fortnight, voiced by Guardians of the Galaxy’s Zoe Saldana. Together, this trio of adventurous characters look to be on the path to great revelation, and a pratfall or two.

Right from the beginning, Missing Link shows off the gorgeous visual style and charmingly funny content that the studio behind such hits as Coraline, Paranorman, and Kubo and the Two Strings has become famous for. And in every frame, the magic of stop-motion animation shines through, in the most amazing level of detail.

It’s trailers like the one for Missing Link that truly help us appreciate the miracle of quality stop-motion animation. While the trailer certainly goes all in on the film’s gentle, but effective, humor, there’s undoubtedly going to be a strong emotional component to this journey.

Also starring the vocal talents of Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, and Matt Lucas, Missing Link clearly has a lot of surprises waiting for its audience. But for now, the first proper look we’ve been given does promise one thing, and that’s that Laika Studios haven’t lost their touch.

Missing Link will make its way to theaters on April 12th, 2019. Should this have your interest piqued, you can feel free to take a look at the rest of the 2019 release schedule, to see what other potential wonders await you.

Check Out The Rock’s Jungle Cruise Castmates Surprising Him On The Set Of Hobbs And Shaw

Dwayne Johnson may already be on to his next project, but he’s still hanging out with his Jungle Cruise co-stars. Recently, the hardest working man in showbusiness shared an image of himself on the set of Hobbs and Shaw but he’s not hanging out with Idris Elba or Jason Statham. Instead, he’s chilling with Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall. Check it out.

While the Rock is a serious action hero, he’s rarely the guy in the photo who’s being the most serious, and yet, here we are. Rocky looks stoic, but on his right is Emily Blunt making a funny face, and on his left is Jack Whitehall wearing a weightlifting belt incorrectly. They certainly make for an interesting trio.

Exactly why both of them decided to drop by the set of Hobbs and Shaw together isn’t clear. Perhaps this is just part of The Rock’s marketing deal with Disney. In addition to the three actors being in Jungle Cruise together, both Blunt and Whitehall are also in Disney movies this year. Jack Whitehall plays a soldier in the recently released The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and Emily Blunt plays the title character in next month’s Mary Poppins Returns.

Dwayne Johnson makes sure to mention these things in his Instagram post, so while it could be that these three actually became close friends on the set of their movie, it could also just part of The Rock’s massive marketing power. The only reason the picture was likely taken on the set of Hobbs and Shaw is simply because The Rock never stops working and that’s the only place where you can catch him. Who cares, it’s a fun picture.

It’s such a fun picture that it makes it a little sad that we’re not going to get a chance to see these three on screen nearly as soon as we thought. Originally, Disney’s Jungle Cruise was set for release in just under a year, October of 2019. However, it was recently pushed back to July of 2020.

This is probably good news for the movie itself. The prime summer release spot means Disney thinks the film will do well there, which means the movie could be quite good. The expectations for a summer movie are still high and Disney wouldn’t put Jungle Cruise in July if it didn’t think the film could compete. However, if it’s that good, it’s that much more annoying that we have to wait.

Comparisons have been made between Jungle Cruise and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, at least in what Disney is trying to accomplish. Both are action-adventure films based on Disneyland attractions. The first Pirates movie was a pretty massive hit, both commercially and critically, the sequels were only able to achieve success in the latter category. It would seem likely Disney is hoping to do both things well once again. If it is able to be a success on the level of The Curse of the Black Pearl we can be nearly certain this will be the beginning of an all-new franchise.

7 Movie Villains Who Had Ridiculously Complicated Missions

A hero is only as good as their villain, but what is that makes a villain good? Some will say that it’s the motive, which can help make the villain more sympathetic and well-rounded. Most villains will sink to any means to achieve their mission, and this usually involves a master plan, a grandiose chain of events that the villain has sketched out to a tee to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The smarter the plan, the better the story — because it’s a disaster when no one in the audience can actually follow the logic.

There’s nothing better than when an airtight plan comes together, but sometimes villain plots are way too complicated to follow. More often than not, this happens in comic book movies and blockbusters with larger than life characters. These antagonists love coming up with the craziest scheme they can, even if it means they could have achieved their goals in much simpler ways. Here are a few villain missions that might have been a bit more complicated than necessary.

Loki’s Avengers Battle Plan

Loki is the God of Mischief and loves concocting schemes, but maybe he should have stuck to turning into snakes instead of leading a war. In The Avengers, Loki wants to bring the Chitauri to Earth and conquer it. Simple enough, right? However, Loki takes a major detour to tear apart the Avengers, the only people that can feasibly stop him. The problem with that is the Avengers aren’t a team at that point, and they only come together because Loki announced his intentions theatrically to Nick Fury right at the beginning of the movie. Then he kept pushing buttons (instead of, you know, killing them), until they were all pissed off enough to unite under one flag. Loki’s a diva, so it plays to his character, but with Thanos breathing down his neck, he probably shouldn’t have gone the complicated route.

Voldemort in Goblet of Fire

Through the first half of the Harry Potter series, Voldemort’s mission is cut and dry: come back to life. After that: take over the world. I don’t think he ever really thought out that second part, but he sure had time to plan the first half. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort finally achieved that goal, and all it took was a mix of intricate planning, luck, and sheer happenstance. Voldemort’s resurrection depends on a magical ritual that requires Harry’s blood. He decides the best way to get this is to manipulate the Tri-Wizard Tournament into letting Harry compete, cheat so that he makes it to the final round, hope that he wins the tournament, and then teleport him via portkey to a graveyard. There was no guarantee Harry would reach the portkey first or that he would survive the tournament — even with help. Voldemort had a man on the inside the entire time (Barty Crouch disguised as Mad-Eye Moody), so why couldn’t Barty just kidnap Harry? Voldemort lived IN Hogwarts for years on the back of some guy’s head, so Hogwarts security isn’t the best.

Lex Luthor And His Granny’s Peach Tea

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is almost legendary now for how overcomplicated it is, and a lot of that falls on the shoulders of Lex Luthor. Luthor likes to say he’s the smartest guy around, but complicated does not equal intelligent. In order to get Batman and Superman to destroy each other (the reasons for which are just as complicated), Lex is revealed to in some way be responsible for almost everything that happens prior to them fighting. It’s hard to list every detail of his plan but some of the highlights include: Framing Superman for the murder of an African village; hire criminals to kill people with bat-brands in prison; bribe an African villager to give a false testimony so Congress will call Superman to testify; blow up the courtroom by smuggling in a bomb in a wheelchair he gave a disgruntled WayneCorp employee who wasn’t receiving his disability checks because Luthor blocked them; invite Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne to the same gala and introduce them; kidnap Superman’s mom; manipulate a senator to giving him access to the Kryptonian ship; turn Zod’s corpse into Doomsday JUST IN CASE none of the above works out. It’s insanely convoluted with tons of holes in it, but it makes BVS one unique movie.

Joker, Agent of (Planned) Chaos

For a guy who likes to say that he doesn’t have a plan, the Joker sure thinks things through. The Dark Knight’s take on the classic villain was an instant revelation, but that doesn’t make the character’s plan in the movie any less convoluted. The Joker just wants to watch the world burn, but he’ll do everything he can to make that happen. For one thing, he plans to be captured by the police, having planted an escape route through a cell phone stitched into a prisoners stomach. He also sends all of Gotham into a panic though intricately timed attacks against city officials with the ultimate goal of forcing citizens to blow each other up. (He even has a backup plan should they not play by his rules.) To cap it off, he manipulates Harvey Dent into becoming Two-Face, which was like a whole mini-plan hiding inside his main one. It’s a lot to keep track of.

Lex Luthor Again

Lex Luthor just loves a complicated plan. In 1978’s Superman, Lex Luthor (played by Gene Hackman) set out to achieve the most villainous goal of them all: real estate. Yes, all Luthor cares about is buying up a ton of land and profiting from it as much as possible. His big plan is blowing up the San Andreas Fault Line, causing a chunk of the country to fall into the ocean so that land he owns becomes the new West Coast. It’s delightfully over the top comic book stuff, but one can’t help but think that there are other ways to make a buck. In Luthor’s defense, his unnecessary get-rich-slow scheme actually works. Superman fails to stop the missile and has to turn back time in order to stop Luthor. Luthor would go on to have real estate-themed schemes all the way to the soft reboot of Superman Returns, where he created an entire continent with little concern for the vast geographical impacts that would have on the planet he lives on.

Zemo’s Master Plan

Zemo builds a very complex plan to take down the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. Zemo’s plan is proof of just how hard it is to find a VHS tape in this day and age. Much of Zemo’s plan relies on hoping things work out and taking advantage of what’s out of his control. To find the location of this tape, Zemo needs to speak with Bucky and the “best” way to do that was to frame Bucky for bombing the UN, hoping that someone can find and capture Bucky. He then has to replace the chosen interrogator — without wearing a disguise — and hope that no one knows what this guy looks like. After a timed-EMP attack helps him escape, it’s off to Siberia where Zemo lucks out super hard when Captain America, Bucky, and Iron Man all arrive together. I think Zemo was mostly adapting to things that happened after he bombed the UN, but he still went above and beyond to track down 30 seconds of raw footage.

Skynet Sends John Connor To Kill John Connor

It’s almost a given that any movie involving time travel is going to get out of hand, but Terminator: Genisys really pooped the bed. The reboot/sequel/prequel was playing fast and loose with the Terminator timeline by jumping between three different time periods, but it also gave zero shits about logic. In the movie, Skynet turns resistance leader John Connor, the man its been trying to kill for years, into a Terminator. This advanced supercomputer then decides the best use of its new creation is to send him back in time to kill his parents, thus preventing his own birth. That’s dumb on a few different levels, but how does something like this not break the universe in half? If John Connor was never born, then the evil John Connor isn’t sent back to kill his parents… which means that he WILL be born. Then again, John Connor sends his own father back in time to impregnate his mom, so time travel has never exactly been crystal clear in Terminator.

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