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See What 11 Popular Films Look Like With and Without Their Visual Effects

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Visual effects can often make or break a film. Recognizing the difference between amazing effects and terrible ones is pretty easy, but most people rarely see a side-by-side comparison of what a film looks like before the digital magicians step in and work their moviemaking magic. Check out the clips below to see just how essential these VFX artists are to today's cinematic landscape.

1. JURASSIC WORLD (2015) // IMAGE ENGINE

Chris Pratt is charming, but without these visual effects, Jurassic World probably would not have made the humongous splash that it did at the box office.

2. THE WALK (2015) // ATOMIC FICTION

THE WALK Visual Effects Breakdown Reel from Atomic Fiction on Vimeo.

This film takes place in a real location in the past, so the visual effects artists were tasked with building a digital time machine to restore New York City landmarks (including the Twin Towers) to what they looked like in the 1970s.

3. CHAPPIE (2015) // IMAGE ENGINE

Combining motion capture and some truly stunning visual effects, Image Engine turned a film with very little critical support into something worth seeing.

4. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014) // INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC

Making giant military vehicle explosions in the sky look remotely realistic is no easy task. This clip from the Captain America sequel also shows how the characters were able to swap faces.

5. THE GREAT GATSBY (2013) // ANIMAL LOGIC

This entire film is a showcase of impressive effects work by visual effects supervisor Chris Godfrey and Animal Logic. We're not even sure whether Leonardo DiCaprio was there at all.

6. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013) // BRAINSTORM DIGITAL

You may not have realized that a lot of the landscapes and architectural elements of this Martin Scorsese film were digital creations. Which means that Brainstorm Digital did their job well.

7. PACIFIC RIM (2013) // RODEO FX

Pacific Rim - VFX Breakdown from Rodeo FX on Vimeo.

Though reviews on the film were mixed, there's no denying that Pacific Rim was a visual feast, as evidenced by the number of visual effects award nominations it received, including six from the Visual Effects Society.

8. GRAVITY (2013) // RISING SUN PICTURES

Another Academy Award-winning display of talent, this time by Australia-based Rising Sun Pictures. The clip above from the "reentry sequence" comes with audio commentary to explain exactly how the effects were achieved.

9. LIFE OF PI (2012) // RHYTHM & HUES STUDIOS

Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik De Boer, and Donald Elliott won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for this film in 2013. Even the two-minute clip above makes it easy to understand why.

10. THE AVENGERS (2012) // INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC

Hulk smashing all over a crumbling New York City is not something that Mark Ruffalo can take credit for. This movie (and most of the other superhero films of the past couple of decades) would be unwatchable were it not for these kinds of mesmerizing effects.

11. X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (2009) // RISING SUN PICTURES

An unfinished cut of this film famously leaked online and a lot of people got to see behind the curtain. The clip above shows some of that early footage, alongside the completed footage. It turns out that Hugh Jackman's muscles are real.

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5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
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Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.

1. WE'LL BE GETTING EVEN MORE EPISODES.

The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"Madmax"
"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.

2. THE KIDS ARE RETURNING (INCLUDING ELEVEN).

Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):

3. THE SHOW'S 1984 SETTING WILL LEAD TO A DARKER TONE.

A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."

4. IT'S NOT SO MUCH A CONTINUATION AS IT IS A SEQUEL.

When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”

5. THE PREMIERE WILL TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF HAWKINS.

Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

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Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in October
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Netflix subscribers are already counting down the days until the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. But, as always, in order to make room for the near-90 new titles making their way to the streaming site, some of your favorite titles—including all of 30 Rock, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle—must go. Here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in October ... binge ‘em while you can!

October 1

30 Rock (Seasons 1-7)

A Love in Times of Selfies

Across the Universe

Barton Fink

Bella

Big Daddy

Carousel

Cradle 2 the Grave

Crafting a Nation

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Daddy’s Little Girls

Dark Was the Night

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (Season 1)

Day of the Kamikaze

Death Beach

Dowry Law

Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief

Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-5)

Happy Feet

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Hellboy

Kagemusha

Laura

Love Actually

Malcolm in the Middle (Seasons 1-7)

Max Dugan Returns

Millennium 

Million Dollar Baby

Mortal Combat

Mr. 3000

Mulholland Dr.

My Father the Hero

My Name Is Earl (Seasons 1-4)

One Tree Hill (Seasons 1-9)

Patton

Picture This

Prison Break (Seasons 1-4)

The Bernie Mac Show (Seasons 1-5)

The Shining

The Wonder Years (Seasons 1-6)

Titanic

October 19

The Cleveland Show (Seasons 1-4)

October 21

Bones (Seasons 5-11)

October 27

Lie to Me (Seasons 2-3)

Louie (Seasons 1-5)

Hot Transylvania 2

October 29

Family Guy (Seasons 9-14)

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