Tribune News Service

Entertainment Budget for Friday, February 14, 2020

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Updated at 4 p.m. EST (2100 UTC).



^Do cop shows like 'Chicago P.D.' reinforce misperceptions about race and criminal justice? A new study says yes<

^TV-POLICESHOWS-MISPERCEPTIONS:TB—<No one expects TV shows to reflect absolute reality. But what if the tropes writers rely on are reinforcing dangerous misperceptions?

According to a new report, cop shows, legal dramas and other crime-oriented series are loaded with concerning misrepresentations. Unjust actions by police are portrayed not only as routine and harmless, but acceptable and necessary. More to the point: "These series make heroes out of people who violate our rights."

1800 by Nina Metz. MOVED


^Why TV is obsessed with rebooting your favorite shows<

TV-REBOOTS:MS — A new streaming service is trying to drum up enthusiasm by promising to reunite six beloved "friends" who last flirted and fought their way into our hearts more than 15 years ago. But don't reserve a table at Central Perk just yet.

Peacock is bragging about bringing back "Saved by the Bell," the 1989-93 sitcom so tone deaf about teenage life that it made "Welcome Back, Kotter" seem like a documentary. The NBCU-owned newcomer, which launches in April, is also working on the further adventures of "Punky Brewster" and yet another reboot of "Battlestar Galactica."

Executives would obviously rather be promoting the return of Ross and Rachel, but these days programmers are eager to recycle any familiar titles they can get their hands on.

1150 by Neal Justin in Los Angeles. MOVED


^How 'Sonic the Hedgehog' director saved the movie from massive internet backlash<

^MOVIE-SONIC-DIRECTOR:LA—<After Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for its "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie last April, the film seemed doomed to an increasingly common fate in Hollywood — death by internet backlash.

Footage from the live-action/computer-animation hybrid, based on Sega's flagship video game franchise, drew fury from fans who described the famed blue speed demon's design as "nightmare fuel," with many citing his unnervingly humanoid teeth.

For Jeff Fowler, the first-time feature director tasked with bringing Sonic to life, the rebuke stung. But the 41-year-old visual effects veteran quickly rallied his team in Culver City to take the unusual step of redesigning the character to more closely resemble the hedgehog first introduced in 1991.

1200 by Ryan Faughnder. MOVED


^Prosecution closes in Harvey Weinstein trial: 'Abusive rapist' relied on 'power, manipulation'<

WEINSTEIN:LA — In her closing arguments Friday, the lead prosecutor in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial proclaimed that power, manipulation and abuse — as well as a "lack of human empathy" — are what led the producer to the charges he now faces in Manhattan criminal court.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told the jury of seven men and five women that Weinstein had underestimated his accusers.

"He made sure he had contact with the people he was worried about as a little check to make sure that one day, they wouldn't walk out from the shadows and call him exactly what he was: an abusive rapist," she said. "He was wrong."

500 by Laura Newberry and James Queally in New York. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED


^Harry and Meghan's secret visit to Stanford raises lots of questions<

BRITAIN-ROYALS:SJ — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle secretly jetted into the Bay Area Tuesday to attend "a brainstorming session" with professors at Stanford University, apparently as part of their efforts to launch their new Sussex Royal charitable organization after stepping away from royal life.

Of course, their visit wasn't so secret because the "Today" show on Thursday got the scoop and shared the viral news about their visit to the prestigious Palo Alto campus.

850 by Martha Ross in San Jose, Calif. MOVED



^Movie review: Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson give potent, star performances in 'Ordinary Love'<

^ORDINARY-LOVE-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA—<It's a paradox of films dealing with devastating illness — a cadre in which the newly released "Ordinary Love" is definitely included — that they're at their best when they are the hardest to take.

The gold standard for that category is Michael Haneke's pitiless 2012 Oscar winner "Amour," a once-seen-never-forgotten film starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, which details what happens to a lifelong marriage when the wife suffers a series of debilitating strokes.

As directed by Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn, "Ordinary Love" is not in that league (nothing else is, either), but it shares the benefit of having a pair of superb performers as stars, in this case taking us through a year in the life of a harmonious couple dealing with a wife's diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

750 by Kenneth Turan. MOVED


^'Fantasy Island' review: In reality, remake of late '70s TV show is a chore<

^FANTASYISLAND-MOVIE-REVIEW:TB—<Retooling the late '70s/early '80s ABC prime-time staple "Fantasy Island" as a sinister gotcha! outing isn't a bad idea.

That's the wheel. The spokes are everything else, and most everything else about the new horror movie, from the Blumhouse crew and director Jeff Wadlow, is not good.

450 by Michael Phillips. MOVED


^Why Blumhouse flipped the '70s TV classic 'Fantasy Island' into a modern thriller<

^MOVIE-FANTASYISLAND:LA—<Sooner or later, everything old is new again. Especially when you're in Hollywood.

Across television and film, remakes, reboots and revivals have dominated popular culture over the last decade, most noticeably across the horror genre. The latest reimagining (but surely not the last) is Blumhouse's "Fantasy Island," a PG-13 thriller that transforms the comparatively tame 1970s series into an ensemble horror movie.

1900 (with trims) by Sonaiya Kelley. MOVED


^With 'The Photograph,' Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield revive the black romantic drama<

^MOVIE-PHOTOGRAPH:LA—<The '90s and early aughts were a golden era for black cinema, in particular the black romantic drama.

With the release of films like "Brown Sugar" (2002), "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" (1998), "Deliver Us From Eva" (2003), "Two Can Play That Game" (2001) and "The Best Man" (1999), representation for varying shades of black love was at an all-time high.

Genre classics like "Love Jones" (1997) and "Love & Basketball" (2000) left an indelible mark on black filmmakers, the echoes of which can be seen onscreen today.

For writer-director Stella Meghie, who offers her own entry into the genre this weekend with Universal's "The Photograph," starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, the latter film — a Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps sports romance — presented a rare opportunity for her to see her own experience reflected in a major studio release.

1900 by Sonaiya Kelley. MOVED


^What the 'Sonic the Hedgehog' post-credits scene means<

^MOVIE-SONIC-POSTCREDITS:LA—<In "Sonic the Hedgehog," the live-action adaptation of the beloved Sega video game series, the lightning-fast titular character goes on a road trip to collect some gold rings and finally has a chance to make real friends. Of course, he encounters a zany villain who makes things a little difficult.

Those who have seen the film, which hit theaters Friday, know the answer to one very important question that plagues many a moviegoer: Does this movie have a post-credits scene?

550 by Tracy Brown. MOVED


^Tupac is alive! And living with the Navajo, new film will argue<

^MOVIE-TUPAC:SJ—<Imagine this: When Tupac Shakur arrived in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996 to attend a Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand, he learned of a plot to kill him.

So, the 25-year-old rapper worked out a plan to have a body-double ride in Suge Knight's BMW sedan. That way, when a white Cadillac pulled up alongside the BMW on Las Vegas Boulevard, and someone inside the Cadillac opened fire, Shakur was not the person who was fatally wounded.

This plan allowed Shakur to slip away from the hospital, catch a helicopter ride and seek refuge among the Navajo in New Mexico, where's he's been living ever since.

600 by Martha Ross. MOVED



^Review: Justin Bieber is a love-struck R&B bro on the very chill 'Changes'<

^MUS-BIEBER-REVIEW:LA—<The most striking image in "Seasons" — the thinly veiled 10-part commercial that Justin Bieber has been rolling out piecemeal on YouTube ahead of Friday's release of his fifth studio album — is the sight of the 25-year-old pop superstar zipping himself into an enormous oxygen chamber.

Proof (if you needed it) that pop superstars are nothing like the rest of us, it's a blunt visual expression of what the docuseries makes clear in plenty of other ways: Bieber, scarred from the experience of global celebrity, is in deep need of protection.

450 by Mikael Wood. MOVED


^Billie Eilish's James Bond song is out, and it's got the stank, so here's a very unofficial ranking of the best 10 Bond theme tunes<

^MUS-EILISH-BOND:TB—<Oh, dear. All we can hope is that the next James Bond movie, "No Time To Die," has more life than the theme track by Billie Eilish, released Friday.

Full props for confidence by the Grammy-dominating pop star, who rules the world before she's old enough to drink to her global dominion. Eyebrows were raised when she was picked to do the song, not only because of the legacy of "Bond" themes, but because well it's usually best if you can sing. Eilish can obviously sing by definition, but she can't really sing. "Bond" themes have customarily demanded this big, swoony sort of exploit for a super agent whose normal day is car chases and explosions.

1050 by Kevin Williams. MOVED


^Tove Lo is provocative, and she isn't shy about it, none of which would matter if her music wasn't always on point<

^MUS-TOVELO:TB—<Tove Lo has never been one to shy away from provocation. And she isn't stopping now.

"I don't want to do things where I always look or seem like my best," the Swedish pop star said on a recent morning, calling from Los Angeles. "I want to do things that make me feel challenged and uncomfortable. I want to attack that little thing that makes you uncomfortable. I want to be confrontational and explore all the emotions."

750 by Dan Hyman. MOVED


^Magic Giant is a delightful result of a happy accident as the result of a car accident<

^MUS-MAGICGIANT:TB—<It's probably safe to say nobody in the history of folk-pop has ever learned to play violin, dobro, banjo, cello, viola and guitar in the same way Zambricki Li did when he was 13. Growing up in New Jersey, he was hit by a car, then went into a coma. After he woke up, he was so dazed that people came to his house and spoke with him and he doesn't recall the conversations. He does, however, remember picking up a violin, and "after like a minute of having my finger on the strings, I figured out vibrato" — an advanced technique that takes months or even years to learn.

Li turned out to have a medical condition known as acquired savant syndrome, in which a head injury or stroke has the side effect of unlocking a hidden talent. Soon he was mastering the music from the Nintendo game "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!" on violin, unknowingly setting the foundation for his career. Today he plays guitar, violin and other stringed instruments in the sprightly Los Angeles band Magic Giant.

750 by Steve Knopper. MOVED


^Hollis Wong-Wear's debut solo EP is a departure from her work with The Flavr Blue<

^MUS-HOLLIS:SE—<Songwriter, musician, speaker, poet. These are just a few of the roles Hollis Wong-Wear has taken on in her life and career. Recently, she added yet another — solo artist.

Even as a self-proclaimed "compulsive collaborator," Wong-Wear always had it in the back of her mind that she wanted to release a solo project. She said she let herself walk through a lot of doors that have led to awesome experiences, but doing so put her further from herself.

550 by Yasmeen Wafai. MOVED



^MUS-BLUEGRASS:OW—<Reviews of bluegrass music releases

250 by Keith Lawrence. MOVED


^Gay rights documentary 'Visible: Out on Television' deserves to be seen<

^VID-VISIBLE-TELEVISION:MS—<Decades before Anderson Cooper became a CNN fixture, openly gay men had to be creative about getting time behind the anchor desk. Sometimes it meant breaking the law. Footage of activist Mark Segal storming the set of "The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite" on Dec. 11, 1973 — and the surprising aftermath of his live protest — is just one of the many freeze-frame moments in Apple TV's "Visible: Out on Television," a new docuseries that chronicles milestones in gay rights on the small screen.

There are plenty of opportunities in the five-hour project to celebrate just how far we've come. But viewers will also have to do a lot of wincing.

550 by Neal Justin. MOVED


^Hopper is back in Netflix's 'Stranger Things' Season 4 teaser. This is not a drill<

^VID-STRANGERTHINGS:LA—<There's a sheriff in the fourth season of "Stranger Things." But he's not new or in town.

Friday's teaser trailer for the next chapter of Netflix's hit sci-fi series features appears to feature police Chief Jim Hopper, despite David Harbour's fan-favorite character's apparent death in the third season. But it appears we're not in Hawkins, Ind., anymore.

300 by Christi Carras. MOVED


^Florida's most famous snake hunter battles Burmese pythons barehanded on TV<

TV-DUSTYCRUM:JK — Florida got its first official glimpse of a wild Burmese python on Oct. 24, 1979. Nobody knew where it came from. Maybe it had escaped its owner, a reptile fetishist perhaps. Maybe it marked the first of countless intentional snake dumps into the Everglades by exotic pet owners who had no idea what they were getting into.

The most popular chaos theory dates to August 1992, when Hurricane Andrew unleashed a Category 5 catastrophe across South Florida. Amid the wreckage was an imported-reptile breeding facility on the edge of the Everglades, where as many as 1,000 of the carnivorous constrictors reportedly went missing.

Whatever the gateway, more than 40 years after the Asian native first surfaced, its successors have swept like a plague the length of the peninsula.

2700 by Billy Cox in Jacksonville, Fla. MOVED



^TV-QUESTIONS:MCT—< Television Q&A: Did Yul Brynner make an anti-smoking ad to air after he died?

700 by Rich Heldenfels. MOVED


^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT—<New on DVD: 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,' 'Jojo Rabbit' capture depths of humanity

600 by Katie Foran-McHale. MOVED


^TV-REMOTE-ADV16:CC—<Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for Feb. 16-22

550 by Chuck Barney. MOVED



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