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The Best Blockbuster Movie Released in April Will Be Exclusive to …

Here are the major movies coming out during the final two weeks of April this year:

  • Elvis & Nixon Michael Shannon as Elvis, Kevin Spacey As Nixon. They sit down for some awkward chats.
  • The Huntsman s Winter War Snow White? Who s that? Never heard of her. That one movie you re thinking of was always just about Chris Hemsowrth as the Huntsman, and I ll listen to no more sass about that from you. That was his movie, and this one is too. Oh, also, Charlize Theron s back. So they ve got that going for them.
  • Keanu Comedy from Key & Peele
  • Mother s Day Gary Marshall s latest attempt to do an Americanized Love Actually around a specific holiday. Last time it was New Year s Eve.

    This time it s Mother s Day. He got Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and a bunch of other people to be in it.

  • Ratchet & Clank Animated adaptation of the video game, featuring the voices of Rosario Dawson, Paul Giammati, John Goodman, Sylvester Stallone and Bella Thorne.
  • Same Kind As Different As Me No idea. It s apparently qualified as Christian film1, and it stars Renee Zellweger and Djimon Hounsou.

Winter War is the only blockbuster in that bunch. However, I just watched a trailer for what looks to be April s best blockbuster movie by far. It comes out in North American on April 26th. Small problem, though: It s not a movie; it s a video game.

Behold, the story trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief s End:

Naughty Dog has been making Uncharted 4 (and continually delaying its release date) for at least three years now, dumping untold millions into it. This will be the first new Uncharted game to debut on the Playstation 4. It might not live up to the standards of its three Game of the Year-caliber predecessors since the director and writer of those games, Amy Hennig, left Naughty Dog in an ugly divorce in 2014. Plus, recent highly-touted video games like Batman: Arkham Knight and Watch Dogs ended up disappointing after months if not years of hype. Still, this is being positioned as the game to inspire any remaining PS4-holdouts to finally join the next generation of video gaming. What struck me about the trailer, though, was how cinematic it looks, particularly with the stunning visuals and nuanced cross-cutting to communicate the sense that at this point in his journey Nathan is torn between his home life and need for adventure. Hollywood has actually been trying to make an Uncharted movie for a while, but it s been stuck in development hell2.

Part of the problem is that it s difficult to make a copy of a copy and have it feel fresh3. After all, Uncharted has always been a modern day Indiana Jones riff. Moreover, video game movies have had bad track records at the box office lately. So I m not saying Uncharted 4 should have been a movie instead of a video game. Indeed, much of the emotional content is lost on you if you ve never played any of the prior games. I m merely taking a wider look at the entertainment canvas and wondering if the most cinematic experience action/adventure enthusiasts can hope for in late April (if not the entire month even with the release of Disney s The Jungle Book) will come from a video game instead of any actual movie. It s an on-going problem as console video games increasingly resemble interactive movies, and eat into ticket sales4.

According to Bloomberg News5, at this point the video game industry easily dwarfs the film industry worldwide, and Uncharted 4 will be the crown jewel in April.

Uncharted 4 comes out April 26th in North America. Here s the plot synopsis from Wikipedia6:

Nathan Nate Drake7, now retired as a fortune hunter, settled into a normal life with his wife Elena Fisher8. His world is then turned upside down when his older brother Sam, long believed to be dead, suddenly reappears seeking Drake s help.

Together they embark on a globe-trotting journey in pursuit of a conspiracy behind Libertalia9, a long lost pirate colony, and its fabled pooled pirate treasure.

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References

  1. ^ It s apparently qualified as Christian film (www.boxofficemojo.com)
  2. ^ been stuck in development hell (www.imdb.com)
  3. ^ a copy of a copy and have it feel fresh (screencrush.com)
  4. ^ eat into ticket sales (www.wsj.com)
  5. ^ Bloomberg News (www.bloomberg.com)
  6. ^ Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)
  7. ^ Nathan Drake (character) (en.wikipedia.org)
  8. ^ Elena Fisher (en.wikipedia.org)
  9. ^ Libertalia (en.wikipedia.org)

What to Watch Friday

Photo From left, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws. Credit Universal Studios

Amazon has added Lost in Translation to its streaming service. On television, Guy Fieri and his son go on a European vacation, Vice returns to HBO and Animals makes its debut.

What s Streaming

LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) on Amazon. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are drawn together by loneliness in this moody, funny film from Sofia Coppola. An American actor, Bob, who has sheepishly gone to Tokyo to shill for Suntory whiskey, meets a woman, Charlotte, who has been left alone by her husband, a photographer.

At karaoke, she sings the Pretenders Brass in Pocket, and he sings Roxy Music s More Than This. It s a pleasure to watch. A joy of filmmaking pervades the movie, and an instinctive understanding of the medium is evident, Elvis Mitchell wrote in The New York Times1. Sound is used so beautifully it takes your breath away; in a scene where Bob carries the dozing Charlotte to her room, the hotel corridor is gently dusted with aural density; the noise of air-conditioners and fluorescent lights becomes a part of the milieu. (Image: Mr. Murray and Ms. Johansson)

Photo Bill Murray and Scarleett Johansson in Lost in Translation. Credit Focus Features

What s on TV

GUY AND HUNTER S EUROPEAN VACATION 10 p.m. on Food. In this new series, Guy Fieri and his oldest son, Hunter, take a monthlong trip to Europe. They begin in Athens and make their way to Crete, where they milk sheep and fish for lobster. With Guy Fieri as the host, this won t be rote travel television.

Photo A scene from Animals on HBO. Credit HBO

JAWS (1975) 10:15 p.m.

on Encore. Steven Spielberg directed this summer blockbuster classic. Amity Island, a beach town, is on alert after a shark attack, but officials want to avert economic disaster at the height of the tourist season. Roy Scheider, as the new police chief, teams up with an oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss) and a grizzled fisherman (Robert Shaw) to hunt the shark. It may not look like much, but it puts good actors to the test, Vincent Canby wrote in The Times. They have to work very hard just to appear alive, and Mr. Scheider, Mr. Shaw and Mr. Dreyfuss come across with wit and easy self-assurance. (Image: From left, Mr. Scheider, Mr.

Shaw and Mr. Dreyfuss)

VICE 11 p.m. on HBO. The fourth season premiere features a new correspondent, Kaj Larsen, a former member of the Navy SEALs, who travels to Nigeria to report on Boko Haram s effect on the region. In the second part, Isobel Yeung reports from Brazil, Scotland, China and the United States on the gene-editing technology Crispr and its implications.

ANIMALS 11:30 on HBO. This series, about the lives of animals in New York City, has its premiere with an episode titled Rats. The actors voicing the animated characters include ASAP Rocky, Eric Andre, Kurt Vile, Ellie Kemper, Jessica Chastain and Cobie Smulders. (Image: a scene)

A version of this schedule appears in print on February 5, 2016, on page C19 of the New York edition with the headline: What to Watch Friday.

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References

  1. ^ Elvis Mitchell wrote in The New York Times (www.nytimes.com)

Duterte forces smoking tourist to swallow cigarette butt

‘Papiliin kita: barilin ko ang bayag mo, i-preso kita, o kainin mo ang upos ng sigarilyo mo,’ asks the feisty Davao City mayor of a tourist caught smoking

Published 3:49 PM, September 03, 2015

Updated 5:39 PM, Sep 03, 2015

Duterte Forces Smoking Tourist To Swallow Cigarette Butt

YOU. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte attends the 17th founding anniversary of the VACC as guest speaker in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines A tourist literally got a taste of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte s non-conventional style of law enforcement. A Filipino tourist was forced by the mayor to swallow the butt of the cigarette he was smoking after refusing to follow Davao City s famed smoking ban, according to a Facebook post2 in a page calling for Duterte s presidential bid.

The post was written by former North Cotabato governor and former journalist Manny Pi ol, who openly supports a presidential candidacy for Duterte. The tourist was in the city for the Kadayawan Festival when he dared to smoke in a restaurant one night, read the post, crediting sources close to Duterte for the information. The restaurant owner informed the tourist of the anti-smoking ordinance in the city which prohibits smoking in public places.

The smoker allegedly asked, On whose orders? Bakit pera ba ni Duterte and binibili ko ng sigarilyo? (Why, am I using Duterte s money to buy a cigarette?)

Unfortunately for the tourist, the restaurant owner turned out to be a friend of Duterte. The owner asked the police to inform Duterte of the tourist s transgression. A few minutes later, the mayor himself walked into the restaurant, prompting the shocked tourist to drop his cigarette and step on it. Duterte then sat beside the tourist, pulled out a snub-nosed .38 revolver and poked it at the man s crotch, Pi ol wrote.

The mayor then allegedly told the smoker: Papiliin kita: barilin ko ang bayag mo, i-preso kita, o kainin mo ang upos ng sigarilyo mo (I ll give you these choices: I ll shoot your balls, send you to jail, or you eat your cigarette butt). To these the smoker could only muster a measly Sorry Mayor before picking up the cigarette butt and swallowing it, wrote Pi ol.

Dare to challenge the law?

Before leaving the restaurant, witnesses heard Duterte tell the smoker, Never ever challenge the law. Duterte has earned adulation for his hands-on leadership style that many say helped turn Davao City into one of the safest in the country.

But his vigilante style of justice and open support for killing criminals has also sparked outrage among human rights advocates3 and even Justice Secretary Leila de Lima4. Surveys tag him as a popular choice for president in the lead-up to the 2016 national elections. In a May 8-18, 2015 survey done by Laylo Research Strategies, Duterte and former president Joseph Estrada were tied at 3rd place with their national rating of 10%.5

Though Duterte is yet to declare his presidential bid and although he has been sending mixed signals about his real intentions for 2016, he has been going around the country explaining his would-be platform and all-out support for federalism in the Philippines.

Discovering DavaoDEFIANT SMOKER’S LESSON:DON’T DARE RODY DUTERTEBy Manny Pi olA local tourist who was in Davao City…

Posted by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for President 2016 on Wednesday, September 2, 201567

Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

References

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