Tribune News Service
Entertainment Budget for Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Updated at noon EDT (1600 UTC).
^Liam Neeson tapped his working mum's layoff to stoke a righteous anger in 'Honest Thief'<
^MOVIE-HONEST-THIEF-NEESON:PH—<The list of revenge targets in "Honest Thief" is long — this is a Liam Neeson action movie after all — but it all starts with banks.
Neeson plays a man who robs a bank because of the way its executives mistreated his father, a story element the actor responded to on a deeply personal level.
For Neeson, raised in Ballymena in Northern Ireland, it reminded him of the way his mother, Kitty, was laid off just short of qualifying for the modest pension she'd been working toward, one of the reasons she toiled in the same low-wage job for three decades.
1050 by Gary Thompson. MOVED
^The makers of Netflix's 'Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts' break down the final season<
^VID-KIPPO-AGE-WONDERBEASTS:LA—<This story contains spoilers from the third and final season of "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts."
In the third and final season of "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts," 13-year-old Kipo Oak attempts to pull off the impossible: Create a world where mutants and humans can live together peacefully.
It's a tough sell even to Kipo's closest friends. The animated DreamWorks/Netflix series is set in a postapocalyptic future 200 years after events gave rise to giant mutant creatures, driving humans into hiding for their survival. Even the various groups of "mutes," as they are known in the show, do not generally intermingle.
Kipo is one of the few characters who can see the humanity in everyone — mutes and humans alike — and her outlook feels particularly prescient at a time when the White House itself stokes xenophobic and racist fears in its drive to maintain political power.
2350 by Tracy Brown. MOVED
^Are the best 'Star Wars' stories now in video games? 'Star Wars: Squadrons' makes the case<
^VIDEOGAMES-STARWARS-SQUADRONS:LA—<Walking out of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" when I saw it last December, I had one, immediate reaction: what a disappointment — if only it had been built for video game consoles instead of movie theaters. I wanted to play it.
That's not to say video games' stories rank below their cinematic peers — far from it — but it is an acknowledgement that the "The Rise of Skywalker" was laid out like an old-fashioned video game, where one action set piece builds to a larger, slightly more difficult action set piece. Acrobatic fights while floating across desert landscapes, intense lightsaber duels and blaster battles on a starship — all of them revealing new heroic powers — really only make sense if your understanding of storytelling is to "level up."
There are better ways.
For all the deserved attention "The Mandalorian" series on Disney+ has received, the just-released game "Star Wars: Squadrons" reminds us that some of the best "Star Wars" stories in recent years have been in the video game space.
1450 by Todd Martens. MOVED
^Appreciation: Conchata Ferrell was the kind of actor you wanted to see in everything<
^FERRELL-APPRECIATION:LA—<When I read that Conchata Ferrell had died, I was suddenly, deeply and surprisingly sad. Not, perhaps, at the level of my brother who upon learning the news texted me, "That's it. Game over. Prepare for the Rapture" — he like many people, is a bit tense these days — but I was undeniably jolted.
And given the general state of things, the jolt bar is rather high these days, hence my surprise. I had not thought of Ferrell in years.
She was best known, as the many obits have noted, for her portrayal of Berta, the brash unflappable housekeeper in "Two and a Half Men," and certainly she was my favorite part of that show, which I never warmed to and watched only sporadically.
Berta, however, is not what I thought of when I learned of Ferrell's death. Nor was any other particular role — not Susan Bloom, all cigarettes and crazy statement jewelry in "L.A. Law," not "Mystic Pizza's" Leona, with her kerchiefs and secret spices. Not even April from the tragically short-lived "Hot l Baltimore," no clips of which can be found (at least by me) in the vast archival universe of the internet.
750 by Mary McNamara. MOVED
^Conchata Ferrell, the insult-slinging Berta of 'Two and a Half Men,' dies at 77<
^FERRELL-OBIT:LA—<Veteran character actress Conchata Ferrell, who played Berta in "Two and a Half Men" and appeared in dozens of other TV series and films including "Erin Brokovich," "Edward Scissorhands" and "Mystic Pizza," has died. She was 77.
The Emmy-nominated actress died Monday "peacefully surrounded by family" at Sherman Oaks Hospital after complications from cardiac arrest, her publicist, Cynthia Snyder, said Tuesday in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
750 by Nardine Saad in Los Angeles. (Moved Tuesday.)
^Movie review: 'The Devil Has a Name' adds clumsy melodrama to environmental legal thriller<
^DEVIL-HAS-NAME-MOVIE-REVIEW:MCT—<The environmental legal thriller is a reliable subgenre, especially since the success of Steven Soderbergh's "Erin Brockovich." They're classic David and Goliath stories with a human-interest angle and anti-corporate twist, and hopefully there's a bit of hard-earned justice at the end. But they have to be entertaining too, and that is where Edward James Olmos' "The Devil Has a Name" wildly overcorrects.
700 by Katie Walsh. MOVED
^Review: Netflix's Blackpink documentary offers a surprisingly intimate look behind the K-pop curtain<
^LIGHT-UP-SKY-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA—<Blackpink's debut album hasn't even been out for two weeks, and already the members of this K-pop girl group have the end in mind.
In fact, Jennie, Jisoo, Ros and Lisa were pondering their own obsolescence more than a year ago, as we learn in "Light Up the Sky," a new Netflix documentary about the quartet that starts streaming Wednesday.
Directed by Caroline Suh (who previously helmed Netflix's hit adaptation of Samin Nosrat's cookbook "Salt Fat Acid Heat"), "Light Up the Sky" climaxes with Blackpink's rapturously received performance at Coachella in 2019, where it became the first Korean girl group to play at the annual desert mega-festival.
700 by Mikael Wood. MOVED
^Fin Argus plays cancer-stricken teen in new Disney Plus movie 'Clouds'<
^MOVIE-CLOUDS-ARGUS:TB—<Fin Argus, a native of Des Plaines, Illinois, was a teenager when he came across the 2012 song "Clouds," written and performed by Zach Sobiech, a Minnesota teen battling a rare bone cancer.
"I loved the song," Argus, 22, told the Tribune. "I even went so far as to start learning it on the guitar, but at the time, I was like, I don't know if this sounds good with my voice. Fast forward to seven years later, I got the audition for this movie. It just seemed sort of meant to be."
Argus plays Zach in the new movie "Clouds," which is scheduled to drop Friday on Disney Plus. Zach wrote and recorded music to say goodbye to his friends and family after learning his osteosarcoma was terminal. His song "Clouds" reached the top spot on iTunes shortly after he died in May 2013 at the age of 18.
600 by Tracy Swartz in Chicago. MOVED
^MOVIE-FAMREVIEWS:MCT—<This week's family streaming picks
350 by Katie Walsh. MOVED
^MUSIC AND TECHNOLOGY<
^'The best tenor player in the world': Pharoah Sanders at 80<
^MUS-SANDERS:LA—<These days, the great tenor saxophonist and composer Pharoah Sanders shuffles when he walks, the result of a broken hip last year that's on the mend. The free-jazz titan moved slowly across the dance floor on a recent weekday at the music venue Zebulon, his friend and longtime saxophone peer Azar Lawrence by his side as they headed toward the stage to play a set at the Frogtown club.
Onstage, drummer Tony Austin and keyboardist John Beasley were sound-checking, in the process scoring Sanders' push toward the stage's staircase with an improvised breakbeat.
The occasion was Sanders' 80th birthday, which was Tuesday. The saxophonist dislikes the annual marker — "I don't really get into that celebrating," he'd say later. But he still plays his horn daily, so he jumped at the chance to get out of the house and create some music. The set they played, called "Another Trip Around the Sun," premiered on Tuesday as a livestream through Zebulon's website.
1100 by Randall Roberts in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Deep Sea Diver's Jessica Dobson carries the 'Impossible Weight' on Seattle rockers' radiant new album<
^MUS-DEEP-SEA-DIVER-DOBSON:SE—<Jessica Dobson often thinks in colors. The principal songwriter behind Seattle indie-rock unit Deep Sea Diver had just wrapped touring on their 2016 "Secrets" LP. The band's well-received "red" album, as Dobson considers it due to its "brooding, frenetic" nature, etched their place as Seattle rock favorites and the quartet quickly returned to the studio to work on the follow-up.
But it just wasn't clicking.
"Something happened to me internally where I just hit a wall and everything turned gray," Dobson says. "The recording situation wasn't right, it felt forced. The songs felt like they weren't quite ready."
Outside the studio, the life of an indie musician was catching up to the 30-something singer/guitarist who'd been in the biz since signing with Atlantic at 19. The resilient Dobson has faced her share of ups and downs throughout her career. After the major label shelved her early records, the ace guitarist built an impressive r sum as an in-demand mercenary, joining the touring bands of The Shins, Beck and other indie-rock elites.
600 by Michael Rietmulder in Seattle. MOVED
^CPT-SOUNDADVICE:MCT—<Sound Advice: Panasonic Home Chef 4-in-1 Countertop Multi-Oven an advanced technology microwave with a built-in air fryer
600 by Don Lindich. MOVED
^TV, DVD, STREAMING<
^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT—<New on DVD: Elle Fanning reigns in 'The Great'
600 by Katie Foran-McHale. MOVED
^TV-REMOTE-ADV18:CC—<Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for Oct. 18-24
600 by Chuck Barney. MOVED
^VID-REDBOX:MCT—<Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals
^TCA VIDEO NETWORK <
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