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Tribune News Service

Entertainment Budget for Friday, October 9, 2020

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Updated at noon EDT (1600 UTC).

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^Bon Jovi digs deep with new '2020' album: 'As you see the world and its injustices, one would hope you grow'<

^MUS-BON-JOVI:SD—<Jon Bon Jovi and the band he has proudly led since 1983 achieved perhaps their biggest blaze of glory as 2018 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But the New Jersey-bred singer, songwriter and guitarist isn't about to rest on his laurels, especially not when the nation is beset with constant social and political unrest, widespread economic woes and the life-changing COVID-19 pandemic, which has struck two of his band mates and his 18-year-old son, Jacob.

That is why the Grammy- and Golden Globe-winning troubadour rolled up his sleeves, literally and figuratively, and set out to lend a helping hand.

"Hopefully, you do something to make the lives of others a little better," said Bon Jovi, who backs up his words with both dollars and elbow grease.

2550 by George Varga. MOVED

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^Jon Bon Jovi Q&A: What he learned while opening for ZZ Top and mopping floors<

^MUS-BON-JOVI-QA:SD—<Before he became top-selling international rock star, Jon Bon Jovi was a New Jersey teenager who played in bar bands, mopped floors and worked as a go-fer at Power Station, the famed New York recording studio co-founded by his cousin, Tony Bongiovi.

"What a place to cut your teeth while you're still honing your craft in bars with your own band," Bon Jovi, 58, said of his Power Station days. "When you're 19, you'd pay money to go fetch coffee (for musicians recording)! It was the greatest thing I could have asked for while I was still playing in bars and just out of high school."

The veteran musician and the band that bears his name have just released a new album, "2020," which features the most topical songs of his career.

In this Q&A, conducted on Sept. 11, Bon Jovi's leader discussed an array of other topics.

1900 George Varga. MOVED

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^Inside the making of 'Possessor Uncut,' the arthouse sci-fi thriller too extreme for the MPAA<

^MOVIE-POSSESSOR-UNCUT:LA—<Inspired by a sensation he couldn't shake years ago, filmmaker Brandon Cronenberg wrote what would become his second feature, "Possessor," a sci-fi horror tale about an assassin who hacks into strangers' brains and uses them to murder high-profile targets.

The real-life scenario from which the techno-thriller concept sprang, of course, was only slightly less extreme and nightmarish: It happened during the press tour for his 2012 directorial debut, "Antiviral." In interview after interview, Cronenberg had begun to feel as if another self was emerging. Once invented, that persona seemed to run wild beyond his control.

"It was like having a strange doppelg nger out in the world that you can't recognize yourself in. Like I was sitting up in the morning and into someone else's life," Cronenberg, 40, said over video chat from Toronto, where he's based and makes his films.

In his darkly satirical "Antiviral," borne out of a flu-induced fever dream, Cronenberg imagined a celebrity-obsessed society in which fans pay to be infected with the diseases of their idols. Brutal, cerebral and set in a jarring alternate 2008, "Possessor" follows a woman whose job is eroding her psyche and her soul — the problem being that the job involves taking over other people's minds, and her latest host isn't going without a fight.

1900 by Jen Yamato. MOVED

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^Broadway extends shutdown through May 2021 as Great White Way remains dark<

STAGE-BROADWAY:NY — The show won't go on along the Great White Way until the middle of 2021 — at the earliest.

Ticket sales for Broadway performances in the city were suspended through May 30, 2021, extending the Theater District shutdown into a second year, the Broadway League announced Friday.

200 by Larry McShane in New York. MOVED

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^MOVIES<

^More bad news for movie theaters. Pixar's 'Soul' goes direct to Disney+ for the holidays<

^MOVIE-SOUL:LA—<In the latest domino to fall as the film industry continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic, the Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that it will shift its upcoming Pixar animated film "Soul," which was originally slated to hit theaters on Nov. 20, to an exclusive Dec. 25 streaming release on Disney+.

450 by Josh Rottenberg. MOVED

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^Are you being watched? 7 of the best paranoid thrillers of the 1970s<

^MOVIE-ROUNDUP-70S-THRILLERS:MS—<The implosion of Richard Nixon's presidency looms in '70s films. It's even depicted in one of them, Alan J. Pakula's "All the President's Men." The loss of faith in government, cynicism about the presidency, fear of the impact a few powerful people can have on public policy and suspicion that the official version of events isn't true — these are all legacies of an era in which Americans saw a disgraced president resign and his henchmen go to the slammer.

The most trusted people in our country were lying to us. Of course we were paranoid, and the movies are always best when they tie into something audiences already feel.

This explains why so many '70s movies feature a protagonist who stumbles on a secret that leads to a vast government conspiracy. Besides reflecting the times, these stories offer freedom for a director to reshape material according to his style and interests. But the key is how closely the hero's journey mirrors our own as moviegoers.

950 by Chris Hewitt. MOVED

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^Review: 'The War With Grandpa' is a kind of family-friendly hell<

^WAR-WITH-GRANDPA-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA—<The calculus behind the family-targeted "The War With Grandpa" isn't hard to reverse engineer: One-sentence logline (kid and grandfather engage in "war" over who gets bedroom); loud score, kids and slapstick galore for the younger crowd; respected actors to draw the older. The cast includes Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Cheech Marin and, in the lead, Robert Freaking De Niro. That's a pile of parts, all right, but only Elmer's glue holding them together.

550 by Michael Ordo a. MOVED

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^Review: Two buddies' get-rich scheme is 'Faith Based'<

^FAITH-BASED-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA—<Is "Faith Based" the answer to the prayers of comedy-starved movie buffs? Not entirely, but it's no plague of locusts, either. Though its premise and stylized version of its title ("Faith Ba$ed") sound as if it's going to hammer religion and especially religion-for-profit, it's pretty gentle and is as much about Hollywood.

550 by Michael Ordo a. MOVED

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^MUSIC<

^Commentary: Happy birthday, John Lennon: Reexamining a flawed icon<

^MUS-LENNON-COMMENTARY:SE—<In this era of moral reckoning, when many men who were once regarded as heroes are currently considered unforgivably flawed, what can be said of John Lennon? Lennon, who has now been dead for nearly as long as he lived, would have turned 80 on Friday. How does the ex-Beatle hold up as a figure worthy of hero status when seen through the modern prisms of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and liberal woke culture?

Lennon's critics, of which there has never been any shortage, can point to his many failings as husband, father, son and friend, not to mention his alcohol and drug abuse, anti-social behavior and treatment of women. In the song "Getting Better " Paul McCartney laments, "I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved." Sir Paul wasn't singing about himself.

1200 by Joe Raiola. MOVED

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^Rock on, Eddie: Ranking the 10 best Van Halen albums<

^MUS-VANHALEN-ALBUMS:MS—<Not since Datsun cars with tape decks lined high school parking lots have so many people been listening to Van Halen as they are this week.

After Eddie Van Halen's death to cancer at age 65 on Tuesday, both new and old fans have been flooding record stores and streaming sites seeking his namesake band's canon of cannonballing rock 'n' roll. Jamie's crying, and so are we.

Here's a ranking of the band's best albums for those too young to have ever owned them, or those old enough to have not listened to them since their last boombox or Datsun went kaput.

450 by Chris Riemenschneider. MOVED

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^MUS-BLUEGRASS:OW—<Not moving this week.

^TV, DVD, STREAMING<

^Two networks. A writers' strike. COVID-19. Now, 'Supernatural' faces one last twist<

^TV-SUPERNATURAL:LA—<"Supernatural" has enjoyed 15 years of masked and made-up characters roaming the set, but in the final weeks of production, a different type of mask was on the minds of cast and crew.

"It was weird not seeing the faces that you've been looking at for 15 years, because they're covered with a mask," says Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean Winchester — a nomadic hunter of demons and other supernatural beings — on the show.

"It was unique, but I feel like 'Supernatural' has been through a lot. Writers' strikes and network changes and characters dying and characters coming back and families and births and deaths," says Jared Padalecki, who plays Dean's younger brother and fellow hunter, Sam. "'Supernatural' is used to change, so let's embrace it."

One last change looms: "Supernatural's" final seven-episode run began Thursday on the CW. When the show began, the CW was still the WB Network, and after the series airs its finale the completed 327 episodes will make "Supernatural" the longest-running sci-fi/genre show in the history of American prime-time broadcast television. (There's still a certain doctor to contend with in the U.K.)

2250 by Jevon Phillips. MOVED

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^TV-QUESTIONS:MCT—<Television Q&A: What French song is used in a recent Allstate ad?

700 by Rich Heldenfels. MOVED

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^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT—<'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' a fun ride

650 by Katie Foran-McHale. MOVED

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^TV-REMOTE-ADV11:CC—<Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for Oct. 11-17

600 by Chuck Barney. MOVED

^TCA VIDEO NETWORK <

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