MoviePass is shutting down tomorrow

Graphic by William Joel / The Verge

MoviePass, the subscription service that spent enormous amounts of venture capitalists’ money subsidizing movie tickets in a bid to upend the theater business model, is officially shutting down on September 14th. The news, announced today via emails to subscribers and reported today by CNBC, marks the end of a tumultuous two-year saga that saw an once-popular platform go to extreme lengths to keep its business running, despite the obvious and fraught financial cost.

Last we heard of MoviePass, the company was laying off huge swaths of its staff, including the team responsible for brokering partnerships with movie theaters, following a sudden, supposedly temporary shutdown of its services in July. The company didn’t say when it would…

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Author: Nick Statt

CNN will stop running Juul and other e-cigarette ads after vaping deaths

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

CNN will no longer run ads for Juul or other e-cigarettes, following reports of a deadly lung illness linked to them. The Daily Beast reports that CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker announced the news at an employee meeting; the network also confirmed it in a statement to the outlet. However, it says the policy may change in the future as health agencies continue to investigate the disease.

“Given the recent news reports of serious illnesses and deaths linked to the product category and the subsequent warnings … CNN has revised its policies regarding e-cigarette advertising, and will not air ads in this category effective immediately,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast. The ban might be lifted if “new facts come to light” during the…

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Author: Adi Robertson

Pokemon Go Teasing A Bunch Of Gen 5 Pokemon

Pokemon Go‘s September Community Day takes place in only a few days, and shortly after the event, Niantic will roll out the game’s third and final wave of Ultra Bonuses. This last batch of rewards will include the first appearance Gen 5 Pokemon, and the developer has been teasing some of the new monsters that players can expect to encounter.

The latest teaser features a silhouette of Yamask, an unsettling Ghost-type first introduced in Pokemon Black and White. According to Yamask’s Pokedex entry, the Pokemon carries around a mask of the face it had when it was alive, and it would occasionally look at the mask and begin to cry. Yeah.

🕵 Reports show that each of these Pokémon carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry… 🎭

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) September 13, 2019

Niantic hasn’t confirmed how many Gen 5 Pokemon will initially arrive in Go, although this marks the fourth teaser the developer has dropped in the lead up to the final wave of Ultra Bonuses. Prior teaser images featured the silhouettes of Black and White’s three starter Pokemon: the Grass-type Snivy, the Fire-type Tepig, and the Water-type Oshawott. You can take a look at them below.

🕵️ Reports show that this Pokémon is very intelligent and calm and can photosynthesize by bathing its tail in sunlight.

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) September 10, 2019

🕵️ Reports show that this Pokémon can shoot fireballs from its nose. It also uses this ability to roast Berries before it eats them. 🐽🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🍓😋

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) September 11, 2019

🕵️ Reports show that this Pokémon has a scalchop on its stomach to use in battle and to break open hard Berries. For those who don’t know, a scalchop is a shell-type weapon.

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) September 13, 2019

The third wave of Ultra Bonuses will arrive on September 16. In addition to the aforementioned Pokemon, we know that Klink and its Shiny form will appear in Raid Battles, while Shiny Patrat and Shiny Lillipup will be available in the wild. Mewtwo will also return to five-star Raids during the final week of Ultra Bonuses, and this time, it’ll know the Psychic-type attack Psystrike. Players will also have a chance to encounter Shiny Mewtwo.

In the meantime, the second wave of Ultra Bonuses are still available, giving you a few more days to hatch region-exclusive Pokemon from 7 km eggs and encounter all four forms of Deoxys in Raids. This month’s Community Day, meanwhile, takes place this Sunday, September 15, and it features the Gen 4 starter Turtwig.

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Author: Kevin Knezevic

Amazon-owned Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for part-time workers

Whole Foods Market in Union Square in New York City...Photo by Michael Brochstein / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

National grocery chain Whole Foods, which is owned by multibillion-dollar corporation Amazon, is cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time employees, Business Insider reported today. The decision, according to the company, is designed “to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model,” a Whole Foods spokesperson told BI.

Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, and the grocery chain currently employs roughly 95,000 people. Amazon, on the other hand, is worth nearly $910 billion, making it the third most valuable company on the planet behind Apple and Microsoft, both of which passed trillion-dollar market valuations over the past 12 months.

Despite being the…

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Author: Nick Statt

How X-Men: Dark Phoenix Finally Brought Dazzler To Life

When X-Men: Dark Phoenix arrived in theaters, one of the biggest surprises of the movie had nothing to do with the Phoenix story or Sophie Turner’s portrayal of Jean Grey. It wasn’t even the major death that was spoiled ahead of the movie’s release that gained attention. Instead, it was a cameo by a well-known Marvel Comics mutant that fans of the franchise have been waiting to make an appearance–a cameo they’ll be able to watch again and again when Dark Phoenix hits 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD on September 17.

In a scene on the Xavier School campus, Dazzler–played by The Orville alum Halston Sage–is seen performing at a party on school grounds, with her power of turning sound vibrations into light on full display. It’s a tonal shift from the darkness in the film, which was very much the intention.

As writer/director Simon Kinberg explains in a behind-the-scenes featurette from the movie, “Dazzler, as her name indicates as well, is a brighter presence in the film. She brings this sort of vitality and fun and youthfulness. It’s just really the energy that Dazzler has.”

He also openly admits that finding the right person to take on the small role took some time, due to the character’s standing as a “fan favorite.” Based on how Sage approached Dazzler, though, it sounds like they cast the right person.

“I have been working with the choreographer on this scene to try to get the vibe of Dazzler down,” she explained. “We’ve been talking to Simon a lot about how we want the light show to respond with her movements and the rhythm of the music. And we wanted to make it something very unique, and new, and modern. Between the hair, the makeup, and the wardrobe, we’re pretty true to the comics.”

The only significant difference Sage notes between her portrayal of the character and her classic comic book appearance is the mask she wears. “The one thing we did change up a little bit is just the shape of the mask around my eyes,” the actress admits. “We have amazing makeup artists that do it specifically to my face.”

Still, seeing Dazzler finally brought into the live-action X-Men is enough to make you wish there would be more to see in upcoming films. At this point, though, the future of the X-Men film franchise remains something of a mystery.

In the meantime, you can purchase Dark Phoenix digitally now, or pick it up on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD on September 17. The release comes loaded with special features, which you can take a look at below.

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
  • Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix (5-Part Documentary)
  • Scene Breakdown: The 5th Avenue Sequence
  • How to Fly Your Jet to Space with Beast
  • Audio Commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker

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Author: Chris E. Hayner

Analogue’s new DAC lets you play its modern-retro consoles on old-school TVs again

Analogue’s console clones are fascinating pieces of tech. They’re modern spins on classic retro consoles that let you play your favorite original SNES or Sega Genesis games on a modern HDMI television. But what about players who want to experience those games the way they were originally meant to be played, be that on a classic CRT television or PVM display? Well, for those players, Analogue is introducing a new DAC (digital-to-analog converter), simply called the Analogue DAC, which promises the highest level of analog audio and video in a simple plug-and-play setup.

Setting up the DAC is simple: just plug the HDMI output for your Analogue console into the DAC and then hook up your analog input of choice. The DAC offers an HD-15…

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Author: Chaim Gartenberg

YouTube is changing how it counts views for record-breaking music videos after controversy

YouTube MusicThomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

YouTube is introducing a major change to its music chart system after discovering that artists and labels were using growth hacks to inflate how many people were watching their videos.

YouTube is no longer counting “advertising views” when it comes to the company calculating its music charts. Instead, ranking for top-watched music videos will be based on organic plays, according to a new blog post. Running music videos as advertisements in front of other YouTube videos has become common practice within the music industry since it can be counted as a view if it’s watched for a long enough amount of time.

This will help address calculated advertising campaigns that are launched specifically to land a music video on YouTube’s charts…

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Author: Julia Alexander

Amazon’s Undone makes a terrific double feature with Waking Life

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to Watch

Waking Life, an animated film that premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival alongside Tape, a low-budget drama shot on a camcorder. Both films were directed by Richard Linklater, and as his first films following his major studio release The Newton Boys, they helped cement his reputation for unpredictability. But where Tape mostly received…

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Author: Keith Phipps