Tribune News Service
Entertainment Budget for Friday, March 20, 2020
Updated at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 UTC).
Adds MOVIE-CORONAVIRUS-STREAMING:TB, MOVIE-HUNT-GILPIN:LA, HBY-CORONAVIRUS-COMICBOOKDAY:LA, VID-SELFMADE-REVIEW:LA, MUS-CORONAVIRUS-SEATTLE:SE, VIDEOGAMES-CORONAVIRUS-CONFERENCE:LA
^From 'Outbreak' to 'Contagion': What postapocalyptic movies can teach about coping with the coronavirus pandemic<
^MOVIE-CORONAVIRUS-LESSONS:SE—<While I 100% do not recommend watching "Contagion" at a time like this (it strikes way too close to home!), I did.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and everyday slices of life begin to resemble scenes from post-apocalyptic movies, I watched several popular apocalyptic pandemic films to see how the stories we put on screen compare to our real-life fears, hopes and reactions to these kinds of crises.
Eight movies and more than 16 hours later, here's what I've learned from the experience. It's a sunnier picture than you might imagine.
1950 by Crystal Paul in Seattle. MOVED
^Get your museum fix here: Six Google art discoveries for your coronavirus quarantine<
^ART-CORONAVIRUS:LA—<Coronavirus closures may mean months could pass before you can stand in front of a museum masterpiece again. If you have time on your hands and a deep need for cultural sustenance and succor, be it for yourself or your children, it's time to get familiar with a resource so obvious it's not: Google Arts & Culture.
This Google project launched nearly a decade ago, and while you likely were forgetting about it, the platform expanded exponentially. It now features thousands of high-resolution images from more than 1,200 museums globally, including the National Gallery in London, the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
You can visit Google Arts & Culture as a website on your laptop or desktop, but the project is at its immersive best when engaged via the Google Arts & Culture app, which you can download for free on your smartphone or tablet. The great joy is its ability to transport you into the textural world of a piece of art.
800 by Jessica Gelt. MOVED
^Mary McNamara: Suddenly, everyone's a TV critic. Here are some tips for your binge from an old pro<
^TV-CORONAVIRUS-MCNAMARA-COLUMN:LA—<Our wonderful theater critic, Charles McNulty, recently tweeted his thoughts about Season 1 of "The Crown," and all I could think was, "Great, now everyone's going to become a TV critic."
I mean, think about it. Virtually every event space in America has been closed, which means no new movies, no new music, no new exhibits, no live events. Obviously, our first thought should be with the many people who are losing their jobs, especially lower-wage and freelance workers.
But Charlie's tweet revealed another ghastly, and mercifully comical, aspect to this whole mess — all those closures means a lot of displaced critics. Many of whom, forced into self-isolation, may be watching television for The Very First Time. And will, no doubt, have many, many things to say.
800 by Mary McNamara. MOVED
^Amid coronavirus shutdown, Seattle's livestreaming surge brings live music straight to the living room<
MUS-CORONAVIRUS-SEATTLE:SE — The timing was particularly bad for Guy Keltner. The Acid Tongue frontman and Freakout Records co-founder was on the verge of releasing his band's sophomore album when the cancellations started. That's typically the leanest financial period for a young indie band, having invested time and money into an album and hoping to make it up on the road and selling records.
Boom, the outbreak struck. Suddenly, the Seattle/Los Angeles duo's European tour was off, a festival-slot paycheck was gone and the physical release of their "Bullies" LP was delayed in Europe over distribution issues.
The icing on the cake: The garage rockers' hometown release show at the Tractor Tavern, scheduled for March 13, was nixed at the last minute due to King County's restrictions on gatherings to try to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
1600 by Michael Rietmulder in Seattle. MOVED
^In times of controversy and coronavirus, Betty Gilpin makes her movie star turn in 'The Hunt'<
^MOVIE-HUNT-GILPIN:LA—<"The Hunt" should have been Betty Gilpin's big Hollywood breakthrough, but then a lot of things were different a year ago, a month ago and even last week. With it the actress stars in her meatiest film role to date, in a career that took off three years ago when she began playing soap actress-turned-pro wrestler Debbie Eagan on the Netflix series "GLOW."
Instead, the R-rated action-satire about Americans being hunted by other Americans saw its September theatrical opening canceled in a climate of tragedy and controversy. Last month it was uncanceled and reset for release. Right as it opened nationwide, America's coronavirus pandemic escalated.
By the time Betty Gilpin reads this, everything will have changed — again.
2250 (with trims) by Jen Yamato. MOVED
^Despite coronavirus, GDC held a virtual conference, and had lessons on getting into games<
^VIDEOGAMES-CORONAVIRUS-CONFERENCE:LA—<With so many of us being asked to work from home — and remain at home during nonwork hours — video games have become a source of entertainment and a way to connect. But it's worth remembering that the way games play to a developer, to an avid player and to a newcomer are often extremely different. This was one lesson from the Game Developers Conference, which was expected to draw close to 30,000 people before the pandemic hit hard but instead had to live online only.
In conversations and game showcases that would have been presented in San Francisco this week, an underlying themed emerged: Games must be better at speaking to the unconverted.
It was somewhat of an accidental theme.
1350 by Todd Martens. MOVED
^Free Comic Book Day has been postponed amid coronavirus outbreak<
^HBY-CORONAVIRUS-COMICBOOKDAY:LA—<Diamond Comic Distributors announced Thursday that Free Comic Book Day 2020 is officially postponed.
Generally observed on the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day is a day where each person who visits a participating shop is guaranteed one free comic book from a selection of FCBD titles.
450 by Tracy Brown. MOVED
^Here's how to watch 'The Invisible Man,' 'The Hunt' and 'Emma' at home<
^MOVIE-CORONAVIRUS-UNIVERSAL:LA—<Since you can't go to the movies, Hollywood is scrambling to figure out how to bring its movies to you, even if it means upending deeply entrenched business models. With theaters across the globe shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Universal Pictures will be among the first to jump into the breach, taking the unprecedented step of making three of its current releases available for at-home viewing starting Friday.
400 by Josh Rottenberg. MOVED
^Pixar's 'Onward' is coming early to Disney+ after coronavirus disrupted its release<
^MOVIE-CORONAVIRUS-ONWARD:LA—<First "Frozen 2," now "Onward."
Disney has announced the early digital release of yet another title amid the coronavirus outbreak. Pixar's "Onward," featuring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, will be available for digital download in the United States Friday night before landing April 3 on Disney+.
300 by Christi Carras. MOVED
^Now streaming: New movies available to watch at home during coronavirus<
^MOVIE-CORONAVIRUS-STREAMING:TB—<Jane Austen — meet Elisabeth Moss in a fight for her life against something she can't even see.
The quarantined citizen's home streaming life just got a little more interesting, and crowded, with the unprecedented early online viewing availability of some major 2020 titles. The films, to varying degrees, were laid low by COVID-19 and the cumulative global shutdown of movie theaters, along with virtually everything else.
Here you go, and there you have them.
600 by Michael Phillips. MOVED
^ 'Blow the Man Down' review: New Amazon film features fresh sea air, a quaint fishing village and a slight case of murder<
^BLOW-MAN-DOWN-MOVIE-REVIEW:TB—<"Blow the Man Down" wafts in at the end of a miserably strange week like a sea breeze carrying the scent of brine, fishheads and a faint trace of blood. It's an efficient, well-acted thriller from the writing-directing team — relative newcomers to features — of Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole. Filmed two years ago around Harpswell, Maine, north of Portland, and streaming as of Friday on Amazon Prime, it serves handily as a staycation inside whatever walls currently proscribe your field of vision.
500 by Michael Phillips. MOVED
^Shut inside? Open your window and start singing. You'll feel better<
^MUS-CORONAVIRUS-SINGING:LA—<You may have seen those videos of quarantined Italians, serenading each other from the balconies of their apartment buildings, snapshots of isolated people reaching for a connection. They're singing local anthems, breaking out the folk song "Volare," doing the Macarena (and changing the refrain to "Hey, Quarantena!") and highlighting why more households here in the States need to have tambourines handy in the event of a global pandemic.
Watching these displays of solidarity, shared on social media, has been a balm in these times of social distancing, inspiring people throughout Europe to follow suit. Italians singing "tell me what it is which makes us feel like we're together, even when we're apart" hits home, and even if you don't understand the words, the emotion comes through. We're all feeling lost right now.
850 by Glenn Whipp. MOVED
^Country music stars to perform intimate sets from home for CBS special<
^MUS-CORONAVIRUS-ACM-AWARDS:LA—<The Academy of Country Music Awards show was recently postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, but it turns out the performances will go on — in the comfort of everyone's homes.
On Thursday, the academy announced "ACM Presents: Our Country," a CBS television special that will feature at-home conversations and acoustic performances from country music stars.
250 by Dorany Pineda. MOVED
^MUS-BLUEGRASS:OW—<Not moving this week.
^TV, DVD, STREAMING<
^NBC News technician who had other health issues dies of coronavirus<
^TV-CORONAVIRUS-NBCWORKER:LA—<An NBC News employee has died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
In a memo sent Friday to staff, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said longtime audio technician Larry Edgeworth died on Thursday after being diagnosed earlier in the week. His age was not disclosed.
300 by Stephen Battaglio. MOVED
^16 to stream: What to watch as we wait out the coronavirus<
2250 by Lauren Hill, Nina Metz, Scott L. Powers and Tracy Swartz. MOVED
^'A Hidden Life,' Terrence Malick's best film in years, is both a poem and a polemic<
^VID-HIDDENLIFE:LA—<A lyrical, forceful drama of spiritual and political resistance, "A Hidden Life," now on home video, is Terrence Malick's best film since "The Tree of Life." It tells the fictionalized story of Franz J gerst tter (August Diehl), an Austrian peasant farmer and devout Catholic who became a conscientious objector, refused to fight for Germany during World War II and was imprisoned and executed in 1943.
200 by Justin Chang. MOVED
^Daniel Dae Kim shares his coronavirus journey, from scratchy throat to drive-through testing<
^TV-CORONAVIRUS-KIM:LA—<"I guess it's nice to be mentioned in the same breath as Tom Hanks and Idris Elba — two of my favorite actors. I think I'm in some pretty good company."
That's what actor Daniel Dae Kim said Thursday in a video announcing that he was diagnosed the day before with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. He posted the 10-minute video, which describes his path to diagnosis step by step, on Instagram.
550 by Christie D'Zurilla. (Moved Thursday.) MOVED
^Coronavirus has shut down the box office. Faith-based romance 'I Still Believe' heads for VOD<
^VID-I-STILL-BELIEVE:LA—<In the latest example of film distributors scrambling to salvage their current releases amid mass theater closures, Lionsgate announced Thursday that it will make the faith-based romantic drama "I Still Believe" available for viewing on-demand across various platforms on March 27.
The film, which stars KJ Apa and Britt Robertson and is directed by Jon and Andrew Ervin, is based on the life of Christian music singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp and his first wife, Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer shortly before their wedding.
350 by Josh Rottenberg in Los Angeles. (Moved Thursday.) MOVED
^Review: In Netflix's 'Self Made,' Octavia Spencer gives an unsung heroine her spectacular due<
^VID-SELFMADE-REVIEW:LA—<"Hair is power. You can't imagine what it's like to lose it," proclaims the hero of Netflix's fresh, lively and fast-paced period drama about America's first self-made female millionaire — a woman you've likely never heard of.
"Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker" chronicles the rise of the hair care pioneer (Octavia Spencer), a black entrepreneur whose "Cain versus Abel relationship" with her hair was the catalyst for a beauty empire that revolutionized 20th century ideals about female enterprise, African American commerce and beauty standards for women of color.
700 by Lorraine Ali. MOVED
^TV-QUESTIONS:MCT—<Television Q&A: Is 'Blindspot' coming back?
700 by Rich Heldenfels. MOVED
^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT—<New on DVD: '1917' stunning World War I story
600 by Katie Foran-McHale. MOVED
^TV-REMOTE-ADV22:CC—<Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for March 22-28
550 by Chuck Barney. MOVED
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