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Happy Death Day 2U Has A Bunch Of Clever Back To The Future Tributes

This feature is loaded with spoilers for Happy Death Day 2U**, so stop reading now if you haven’t yet seen the sequel.**

Happy Death Day 2U does exactly what most sequels should aspire to do: Instead of just regurgitating more of the same that audiences liked about its predecessor, it steps back and looks at the first movie through a new prism. In doing so, Happy Death Day 2U shifts from a slasher-horror exercise into a dense, twisty sci-fi/time-travel adventure that still fits the pattern established by the original.

Naturally, when a movie plays with time travel, and established timelines, it needs to pay homage to one of the greatest time-travel adventures of our generation: Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future trilogy. There are a bunch of references to the BTTF films in Christopher Landon’s Happy Death Day 2U, some blatant, and some that were less obvious. How many of these did you catch? And what ones did you see that we missed?

The BTTF conversation

Once Tree (Jessica Rothe) starts to describe the phenomenon that she might have woken up in a slightly different version of her reality, Carter (Israel Broussard) and Ryan (Phi Vu) immediately reference Back to the Future Part II. It’s a table-setting conversation, so that the audience will know that the references are coming. Yes, it’s funny that Tree admits to having never seen the BTTF films. But it also frames the plot of Happy Death Day 2U moving forward, so we can see how Tree and her friends will have to interact with the events of the first movie, and reset her timeline.

Biff’s Tree Cutting Service

At one point during the movie, Tree determines that it’s easier for her to commit suicide than it is to be stalked by the Baby Face killer. So as the time-travel team tries to run through scenarios that might close the currently open loop, Tree absorbs the science behind their trials, then kills herself in spectacular fashion to restart the day. In one such death, she dives head first into a woodchipper, and the company doing the work is Biff’s Tree Cutting Service, a nod to the bully Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) from the BTTF trilogy. Bonus Sighting: In another death in the montage, Tree skydives without a parachute .Right before she jumps, there’s a sign in the plane that says “Like A Leaf.” It’s a fantastic nod to the joke Biff always messed up, “Make like a tree and leaf.”

88 mph

Tree knows that every time she dies, she restarts the day. She remembers what happens, but no one else does. After Tree decides to stay in the current timeline and live in an existence where her mother is still with her, she learns that Carter is murdered at the hospital. Tree can’t live with that, so she drives into a Power Station in order to kill the power in the city and stop Ryan’s time machine from resetting the loop. I know. It makes more sense in the movie. But as she’s racing toward the massive power grid, the camera shows Tree’s speedometer, and you bet your ass it’s on 88 miles per hour. Let’s call that scene, “The Power of Love.”

The dorm-room poster

This one is about as obvious as the actual Back to the Future Part II conversation. But whenever Tree wakes up in the dorm room, there are visible posters on the wall behind her. They Live! is prominent, as is Repo Man. The red poster right behind her, though, is a BTTF poster I’ve never seen before, and it’s so different from the traditional one-sheet with Marty standing in front of the Delorean, looking at his watch, that you might almost miss this blatant nod.

The Alan Silvestri musical cue

Back to the Future has one of the most memorable movie scores, thanks to the genius of Alan Silvestri. Happy Death Day 2U composer Bear McCreary puts musical nods to Silvestri’s score all over his sequel, though the most obvious is the twinkly, stars-falling music that happens at the :25 second moment of the above clip.

Should I stay, or should I go?

This one is a little more obtuse than the others. But the central conceit in Christopher Landon’s Happy Death Day 2U finds Tree (Jessica Rothe) deciding between living in an alternate reality where her mother is no longer deceased, or going back to her “normal” existence, where she’s together with Carter (Israel Broussard) – and he’s no longer with the horrible Danielle (Rachel Matthews). While not a direct lift, it’s similar to the conundrum that Dr. Emmet Brown faced in the concluding chapter of the Back to the Future trilogy. Stranded in the Old West, Doc (Christopher Lloyd) meets and falls in love with Clara (Mary Steenburgen). So when Marty (Michael J. Fox arrives to “rescue” Doc, he has to make a very tough decision of whether he should stay in this world, where he’s happy, even if he knows he’ll be shot to death.

You don’t need to know much about the Back to the Future trilogy to fully enjoy Happy Death Day 2U. The movie works entirely on its own if you have as much knowledge about Robert Zemeckis’ seminal films as Tree does. Meaning, none. But you absolutely do need to watch the original Happy Death Day in order to get the most out of this sequel, as the events of the new movie intertwine beautifully with everything that you remember about the first movie. And though this sequel is a total genre switch from slasher to time-travel thriller, they work together in continuity.

Writer/director Christopher Landon told our own Eric Eisenberg that he does have an idea in place for a third chapter in this story. And our own Mike Reyes wrote about how the mid-credits sequence in Happy Death Day 2U shows where a third chapter might be going, if in fact enough people turn out to support this movie, and warrant the greenlighting of Part Three. Are you going to check out Happy Death Day 2U? Or did you go already, and spot more BTTF references that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Robyn Lets The Youth Have The Spotlight In ‘Send To Robin Immediately’ Video

Robyn‘s music radiates a thick, sweet musk that is heavy on emotion and atmosphere. Her eighth studio album Honey dropped in October. “Send To Robin Immediately,” one of the LP’s standout tunes, is perhaps one of its most breezy numbers and it has finally received its due video accompaniment. Taste the experience below.

“Send To Robin Immediately” is all about the collective dream that it immerses the viewer in; from its opening forest scene made up of dancing kids and mountains of wafting mists, to the behind the shoulders viewpoint of its ending that follows a trek through a vast field. In between these shots and sets are vignettes of youth that either recalls memories or make you anxious to create similar ones of your own. Shirtless lovers embrace on a dock as the sun burns into the surrounding river, teenagers sit precariously perched on a cliff at night time basking in the beauty of a far off city’s lights, a spinning camera captures a pair’s passionate kiss followed by genuine, heart-racing smiles. Robyn’s weightless vocals and the ethereal production round out the mystifying experience.

In December, Robyn released an equally captivating video for Honey‘s title track. In contrast to the fuzziness of “Send To Robin Immediately,” the video for “Honey” centers around warmth that comes from its red hues and influx of nameless, voiceless, dancing bodies. If it wasn’t clear yet through the course of her 24-year career, Robyn knows exactly what she’s doing with this video thing.

War Machine’s Armor May Be Getting A Major Upgrade For Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently on a precipice, with just a few months left before Phase Three concludes with Avengers: Endgame. Moviegoers have waited a year to find out what happened after Infinity War, where Josh Brolin’s Thanos succeeded in accruing the Infinity Stones and wiping out half the galaxy with the snap of his big purple finger. Fans and the surviving heroes were left mouth agape as the MCU was changed forever, and countless character turned to dust before our eyes.

The original Avengers were somehow spared from The Snap, alongside characters like Nebula, Rocket, and War Machine. The latter will once again be played by Don Cheadle, and is briefly seen during the first trailers for Endgame. Now it looks like War Machine may be getting his own Hulkbuster armor, as shown in leaked images of Endgame‘s Lego sets. Check it out below.

Is anybody else geeking out right now? With Tony Stark currently stranded in space, it looks like Rhodes is going to get a major upgrade to his tech, and take on a massive Hulkbuster suit previously worn by both Tony and Bruce Banner.

The good guys lost a great number of heroes during Thanos’ finger snap of death (aka The Decimation), so the surviving Avengers are going to need all the help they can get in order to fight the Mad Titan and hopefully reverse its affects. While Captain Marvel and Ant-Man will no doubt play a major role in Avengers: Endgame, it looks like War Machine has his own way to stepping up to the plate. And if the leaked Lego designs (via Reddit) are to be believed, Rhodes is getting some serious firepower in The Russo Brothers’ upcoming blockbuster.

It should be fascinating to see how each of the surviving heroes factor into the narrative of Avengers: Endgame. While Thanos believed in the snap because its victims were randomly selected, The Russo Brothers no doubt have a very specific plan for each of the characters who didn’t turn to dust before our eyes. With Tony currently stranded in space with Nebula, perhaps War Machine will step up to the plate as the primary mechanized Avenger. Although rumors also indicate that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts will be suiting up in armor of her own.

If Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony spends most of Endgame separate from the rest of the surviving Avengers, one has to wonder how War Machine’s possible Hulkbuster armor will be constructed. It’s possible that Tony already had it made, as the genius playboy billionaire philanthropist has been planning ahead since the Battle of New York in The Avengers. Or perhaps Rhodes and Pepper will unite to craft this new armor, and give Don Cheadle’s signature Marvel character some extra firepower in the battle to come.

Alas, only time will tell how it all shake out. Marvel Studios is keeping its cards close to the chest for Endgame, with the first trailers only offering brief glimpses of the post-snap world. This includes a shot of Rhodes and Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang gearing up for an impending battle.

All will be revealed when Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

‘Sex Meditation’ Is a Thing—and It Totally Changed My Sex Life

Day two focused on different types of orgasms. Day three was all about foreplay. Day four introduced the idea of why the heart is important during sex. Day five, which quickly became my favorite, was a sensual meditation on breast massage. Some of the details were so specific—36 strokes in one direction, and then in the other—I became turned on just by listening. As the week of sex meditations wore on, I noticed myself doing exactly what Silva described: becoming more attentive and aware of my own senses and desires.

On day six, things got really interesting: it was time to talk “slow self-pleasuring.”

I’m no stranger to masturbation, especially as a form of stress-release and self-care, but this wasn’t my usual afternoon quickie. Instead, the pleasant female voice walked me through a detailed plan of slowing down masturbation in order to focus on my body and what I was feeling. At least 20 minutes of self-pleasure, the meditation directed. I followed orders.

By this point, it had been a full six days since I have tried to have an orgasm (though not required, I’d decided to pause doing anything sexy with my husband or solo in order to fully experience the meditation app) so I was eager to give it a go. My last several attempts had been frustrating at best—even using my best moves, I was too distracted by money worries and career anxiety to fully enjoy myself. But nearly a week of sex meditation had paid off: after 20 minutes of what I can only describe as mindful foreplay, I had a very intense orgasm.

On day seven, it was time to think about bringing my partner into my new Zen approach to sex. I was tingly, I realized, in the same way that I get tingly after my husband or I has a work trip and we’re about to be reunited. “When we center ourselves it’s often easier to be present with others,” says Liz Powell, Ph.D., a psychologist in San Francisco. “Taking the time to meditate can help you clear out the junk from the outside world that piles up between you and those closest to you.”

When my husband and I finally got down to business, I noticed a subtle but powerfully sensual shift. I was more attentive to each touch, purposefully slowing down, focusing on foreplay, and enjoying every little moment without wondering when we were going “get to the point,” so I could get back to my to-do list.

I’m not sure if it was the advice stop trying to “chase the orgasm” (a gem from day seven), the reminder to “keep breathing and stay with each other,” or simply the fact that I was more focused on my body’s enjoyment and less focused on checking one more thing off of my to-do list, but I could definitely tell we were much more in touch with each other’s needs than we have been in months. I was more connected to myself, and in turn, more connected to my partner.

On top of that, I finally found a meditation routine I want to stick with. Something about meditating for better sex worked for me in a way regular old mediation never has. Not only did the mindfulness techniques really help me get better in touch with myself but the guided sessions also taught me quite a few things about how to seek my own pleasure. I know exactly how my husband and I will be spending our Valentine’s Day weekend.

Irina Gonzalez is a freelance writer and editor based in Florida, covering food, wellness, relationships, travel and Latinx culture. Follow her on Instagram at @msirinagonzalez.

Jumanji 3 Has Begun Filming, Here’s How Dwayne Johnson Celebrated

People weren’t sure what to expect when Dwayne Johnson announced a sequel to Jumanji. Many were worried the film wouldn’t live up to the memories they had of the beloved original that starred Robin Williams. However, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a massive hit so you can be sure a lot of people are looking forward to yet another sequel. That movie went into production yesterday and Dwayne Johnson celebrated the announcement on Twitter.

Dwayne Johnson wished everybody a Happy Valentine’s Day yesterday while also using the opportunity to make fans of Jumanji aware that the new movie has begun production. This movie is looking to have an incredibly fast turn around as it is currently set to hit theaters this December.

Along with the announcement comes a single image. We see a pair of hands holding the Jumanji video game cartridge from the last movie. It’s a little beat up but appears to be in one piece. Remnants of smashed electronics are visible in the case in the background.

At the end of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the four kids smashed the hell out of the Jumanji game and console in an attempt to be sure nobody ever accidentally played it again. It seems somebody has picked up the pieces.

Perhaps these hands belong to one of the kids who played the game initially, if they discover a reason they have to go back into the game world. We do know that all four teenagers who played the “real world” versions of the four game avatars will be back, making this new movie a more direct sequel to Welcome to the Jungle, than that film really was to the original Jumanji.

Alternatively, this could be some other character who has come across the game. The question then becomes if this person actually knows what they have or not.

Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, and Awkwafina have all been added to the cast of the new Jumanji, though we don’t know anything about the roles they’ll be playing.

It will be very interesting to see what Jumanji 3 does to make itself feel as fresh and unique as Welcome to the Jungle did. That movie updated the premise of the original Jumanji by turning the board game into a video game and putting the characters inside game avatars, played by Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart.

With the new movie being a direct sequel with all of the same main players, will going back into the video game world for another adventure be enough or has the new film found another way to update the premise to give new life to this new adventure? We’ll find out on December 13 when Jumanji 3, though it almost certainly will be called something else, hits theaters.

Ben Affleck Explains Why He’s Leaving Batman Behind

The DC live-action universe has had a fascinating run theaters, full of peaks and valleys. While Warner Bros. is currently surfing the massive success of Aquaman, it’s clear that the original plans for the DCEU are no longer coming to fruition. This includes Ben Affleck’s role as Batman, as the Oscar winner has officially hung up the cape and cowl for good, following the disappointing performance of Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

This news was a major bummer for DC fans, who enjoyed the hulking and jaded energy that Ben Affleck brought to his version of Bruce Wayne. But once he dropped out as a director and then star of Matt Reeves’ The Batman, thinks were looking bleak. Now Affleck has confirmed and explained his departure, saying:

Turn off the Bat signal, because Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne won’t be answering the call anytime soon. He’s officially left his superheroic role, making way for another director and actor to take the mantle and bring the Dark Knight to theaters with The Batman.

Ben Affleck’s comments come from his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and is the first time he’s spoken about leaving his DC role at length. While it was rumored for a number of months before this confirmation, the news will no doubt be disappointing for DC fans who appreciated what he brought to the role. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice might have been critically panned, but Affleck’s performance was largely considered the saving point of the movie. He also popped up briefly in Suicide Squad, before taking on a larger role in Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s Justice League. But after all three of those movies were poorly reviewed, it seems that Affleck was ready to say goodbye to the bat.

Fans were eager to see what Ben Affleck would as the director of a Batman solo flick, considering his long tenure as a filmmaker. But it appears that he simply couldn’t figure out the right story to bring to the silver screen, which is why he ultimately stepped down and made room for Matt Reeves. And while he was originally going to star in the developing project, it was recently revealed that Reeves is bringing another actor in to play a younger version of Bruce Wayne for the noir-inspired blockbuster.

While Batman fans may be walking around with Sad Affleck faces, hope isn’t lost for the character in the DC Universe. Matt Reeves seems to be moving forward with the development of The Batman, and Gotham City’s finest will be a major focus with projects like Birds of Prey and Joker. Now we’ll just have to see who ends up replacing Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight.

The next installment in the DC Universe will be Shazam! on April 5, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Here’s What Falling in Love on Reality TV Is Really Like

Your first crush is a rite of passage. The fixations that follow it are just life. Nervous, awkward, sublime. Disastrous. Transcendent. Here, we celebrate infatuations, obsessions, and passions in all their exquisite splendor. Meet our “It’s Just a Little Crush” series. Isn’t she divine?

Since reality TV’s earliest days, countless shows about dating have entered our zeitgeist and stayed in our queues. The Bachelor. Love Island. Dating Naked. Are You the One? Joe Millionaire. I Love New York. The Dating Game. They span networks, platforms, casts, conceits, but they all share one central mission: finding love. (Or at very least, lust.) Why we love—and love to hate—these shows has been much debated, but I have a new theory to put forth: What if we’re all just in it for the crush? How intoxicating to see the exact moment a spark starts! It’s why The Bachelor‘s First Impression Rose is treated like a holy relic, and why Love Island is so quick to add new characters to the mix.

Finding love on reality TV has now become so common, in fact, it’s happening on other shows, ones not based on romance. Take Dancing With the Stars and Big Brother. They may be about competition, but they’ve produced their fair share of relationships. I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise—put any like-minded individuals together long enough, remove them from the rest of society, and something’s going to happen. What is surprising, though, is when these relationships actually last. One could say these couples have truly found love in a hopeless place.

Below, we talked to three women who met their partners through reality TV.

Rachel Lindsay on Being Engaged to Bryan Abasolo. They Met on The Bachelorette.

I was dating someone off-and-on for five years before I auditioned for The Bachelor. I was in my late twenties and genuinely thought he was the man I was going to marry. But we grew apart—both chasing our careers, not focusing on the relationship. I’d tried casually dating in Dallas after things with my ex ended, but that wasn’t really panning out, either. Then, one day, my coworkers came into my office and said: “You should do The Bachelor!” “You’ve got to be kidding,” I said. “Why would I do that show? I don’t even watch it!” But auditions were down the street, so I figured: Why not? Crazier things have happened. I’m cynical, and I didn’t actually think I was going to fall in love, but I was open to the possibility of it, so I went to the audition.

Fast forward a few years and ABC is approaching me to be on The Bachelorette. At first, I actually said no. It didn’t work out for me the first time when I was a contestant on Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor, so I thought: Why would this time be any different? I truly didn’t believe they would be able to find somebody I’d connect with. What’s more, I knew I would be the first black lead for the franchise, and I didn’t know if I wanted that pressure. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I did want to be the first black lead. I felt I could do it right, and I knew it was bigger than me. If nothing else, I’d be breaking the franchise mold.

But wow, was this time different. Yes, you’re on the same show. Yes, you’re dealing with the same producers, but now you’re in the driver’s seat. I had this group of amazing guys, many of whom I was developing real connections with, and the producers kept telling me, “Have conversations, be open minded,” so I really tried to do that. From the beginning, I knew I connected with Peter and Eric. I also really connected with Matt, which nobody saw—you just saw how emotional I was when I sent him home. Maybe in another time or place it could have worked out with one of the other guys. But somewhere along the way, I fell in love with Bryan.

At the beginning, I was cautious about Bryan. He was a charming guy, and I wondered if there was any sincerity behind the charisma. But moving through the season, I learned what sort of questions to ask to find out. Call it being 32. I just knew how to dig deeper, cut the BS, and get below the surface. With Peter, I felt as though he was still trying to figure himself out. Dean was a lot of fun, but definitely not ready for marriage. With Bryan, I saw that everything I was looking for was there. I actually told his producer, “He’s the one,” which is why, in the end, Bryan got my final rose.

I Tested 19 ‘Crush’ Lipsticks and Had Some Feels

Your first crush is a rite of passage. The fixations that follow it are just life. Nervous, awkward, sublime. Disastrous. Transcendent. Here, we celebrate infatuations, obsessions, and passions in all their exquisite splendor. Meet our It’s Just a Little Crush series. Isn’t she divine?

There are makeup products with purposefully provocative names, like Nars’ Orgasm collection and Kat Von D’s short-lived “Underage Red” lipstick shade. Sex sells…right?

But the word “crush” brings to mind something totally different. Crush makes me think of the Valentine’s Day dance in seventh grade, during which I slow-danced with this boy named Kevin (leaving room for the Holy Spirit, as one does) and promptly launched a years-long campaign to win his heart. (If you’d like to know how that turned out, here’s a spoiler: I attended his wedding a few years ago! As a guest, with my awesome boyfriend in tow!)

But that’s the appeal of a crush: It’s low-stakes. Puppy love. Butterflies in your stomach. It’s relatively innocent, since a “crush” implies that you haven’t crossed into “makeout sesh at your college bar” territory. So when “crush” appears in the name of a lip color—and it does a lot—I assume it’s similarly tame. To test that theory, I got my hands on every tube of crush-themed lipstick I could find. As it turns out, I’m kind of right: Of the 19 shades I tried, not a single one got close to vampy, sexy, or taboo. If anything, there were too many soft-pink neutrals.

But within the range of nudes to fuchsias, there’s a lot of variety, and some good shades at that. So I tested all of them to see which really were crush-worthy—and which weren’t. Buckle up.

10 New Shoe Brands to Shop in 2019

Even in the age of Konmari, it’s hard to shake the feeling of wanting something new in your closet to welcome a new year or season. That doesn’t mean updating every single thing in your wardrobe—sometimes, the key to making your favorite pieces feel fresh is throwing one new item into the mix. Where better to start than with your shoes?

Over the past few years, there have been a lot of exciting new shoe brands bubble up on our social feeds and in street style. They’ve brought fun and flair into the footwear space, as well as offered plenty of exciting alternatives to the classics—the plain black boots, the low-heeled sandals, the rounded-toe flats.

From Nicole Saldaña’s cutesy, chunky-soled styles to M. Gemi’s fine-crafted Italian pieces, get to know these new shoe brands out there, vying for a spot in your closet.

Miley Cyrus Just Shared a Ton of Never-Before-Seen Wedding Photos

Miley Cyrus‘ wedding is the gift that keeps on giving. So far, the pop singer and her husband, Liam Hemsworth, have shared a handful of moments from their private, secret ceremony that took place right before Christmas Eve. On Valentine’s Day, though, Cyrus posted an even larger batch of photos that may as well be their full wedding album.

“My Valentine every single day ❤️ @liamhemsworth,” Cyrus wrote in the caption of the first photo she shared: where she and Liam embraced in a candid moment. She also talked about how supportive Hemsworth is in another post, sharing, “Thank you for always bending down to hug me … I promise I will always meet you in the middle on my tippiest toes! I love you Valentine! @liamhemsworth.”

The photos also offered a closer look at her Vivian Westwood dress, their flower-laden wedding cake and the white Vans that Hemsworth wore.

Cyrus and Hemsworth were slow to trickle out wedding photos initially after their surprise ceremony. When they made their first red carpet appearance as a married couple in late January, though, Hemsworth opened up about their wedding, calling it a “really nice, beautiful day with our immediate family and a couple of close friends.” He also said that even though they’re married, their relationship is pretty much the same. “It doesn’t feel like a lot’s changed—but on the other hand it has,” he said. “It’s wonderful. I’m loving it.”

Cyrus, meanwhile, confirmed that the pair were indeed married with two words. “My love,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing their first wedding pic and adding a heart emoji. She also shared a selfie of her and Hemsworth with the caption, “This is probably our one – millionth kiss ….” In the comments, when someone congratulated the singer on marrying “the hottest man [in] Hollywood,” she replied, “I knooooowwwww right.”

While Cyrus has yet to update her Instagram, she is apparently going by Miley Ray Hemsworth now, as Hemsworth recently revealed. “She will still be, obviously, known as Miley Cyrus, but she took my name, which is great,” he said. “I think that was honestly one of the best things about it. I didn’t ask her to take my name, and then she was like, ‘No, of course I’m taking your name.’ I’m like, ‘[Gasp] that’s awesome!'”