Last weekend, the Oscars took place, and turned infamous at the very end, thanks to the historic mix-up in announcing the Best Picture win. The people-in-charge backstage handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope – Best Actress which read ‘Emma Stone / La La Land’ – so Dunaway said La La Land was the winner. It was only minutes into the producers’ speeches that someone realised the mistake, and a correction was made. If you’re unaware, Moonlight was the actual winner.
In response, the firm responsible – PricewaterhouseCoopers – has said the accountants responsible won’t be involved in any future Oscars business. The Academy is also reviewing its long-standing relationship with the company.
The new Star Trek series was initially planned for an early 2017 release, then moved to May, before being pushed back again. Now, Leslie Moonves, the chairman, president, and CEO of CBS, has revealed that Star Trek: Discovery will arrive sometime in “early fall”. Make of that what you will.
With Sherlock possibly airing its final episode in January, Benedict Cumberbatch has found his next TV project – Patrick Melrose. Showtime is producing an adaptation of Edward St. Aubyn‘s Melrose novels, with shooting set to begin in August. There’s no release date, yet.
Tuesday brought a new trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and it gave us the first look at Kurt Russell’s Ego the Living Planet, who is supposedly the father of Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord. We’ll find out more when the film arrives May 5.
Ubisoft has decided to publish another Avatar game, despite the terrible no-good Avatar: The Game (2009). The new one will be made by Massive Entertainment, and it will use the same engine as The Division.
Kubo and the Two Strings was one of our favourite films from last year, and its director – Travis Knight – will next take on a Transformers spin-off, featuring Bumblebee. We wonder who asked for this. Oh wait, we know the answer – it’s all the billions of dollars the franchise keeps making at the box office. The untitled film rolls into theatres June 8, 2018.
That’s all the entertainment news for this week. Welcome back to The Weekend Chill, your one-stop destination for what to watch, play, or listen to this weekend. Here are the best picks:
Ryan Murphy, the acclaimed screenwriter and producer, responsible for American Horror Story, and American Crime Story, brings his talents to another anthology series for FX, called Feud. The first season, of eight episodes, is subtitled Bette and Joan as it focuses on the legendary rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during their Oscar-nominated production of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).
Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon play the parts of Crawford and Davis, respectively. Feud will explore what the two women had to undergo, from ageism, to sexism, and misogyny, as they did their best to hold onto the little fame they had left towards the remaining days of their movie careers. Early reviews have praised the performances, writing, and its re-creation of ‘over-the-top’ 60s Hollywood.
Brad Pitt served as an executive producer on the series, via his production company, Plan B Entertainment. A second season, focusing on Prince Charles and Princess Diana, has already been greenlit.
How to access: FX on Sunday, February 5 10pm ET
Time commitment: 1 hour
In what Hugh Jackman has said is his last outing as the X-Men character, an aging Wolverine – now simply going by Logan – is slowly losing his regenerative powers after everything he’s been through. Alongside, he is also caring for an ailing Charles ‘Professor X’ Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is now a nonagenarian, and needs medication to keep violent seizures that can have devastating consequences in check.
Their fragile world is upended by the arrival of a young mutant called X-23 – real name Laura, played by 11-year-old Dafne Keen – who has a lot in common with Logan. She is being pursued by a mysterious organisation, Transigen, led by their head of security in Donald Pierce (Narcos’ Boyd Holbrook). Logan and Xavier are forced on the run with Laura, as they are chased across the American mid-west.
The film is filled to the brim with violence, and its R-rating (‘A’ here in India) allows it to explore that in a startling, new way. The heart of the film is the triangular relationship between Logan, Xavier, and Laura – each side presenting a dynamic of a family they never had. It’s easily the best solo Wolverine film, and the saddest superhero tale by a stretch.
How to access: Out in cinema halls
Time commitment: 2 hours and 17 minutes
If you read about the Oscars this week at all (or above), you’ve probably heard of the historic mix-up that happened with the Best Picture announcement. Moonlight was the actual winner, in what will go down as an infamous end to the Hollywood ceremony. The film picked up two other Oscars as well – Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, a first for a Muslim, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Barry Jenkins, and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Moonlight tells the story of a young man through three defining chapters of his life – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood – all while he grapples with his sexuality and identity, which brings pain, abuse, and trauma from falling in love. Jenkins wrote and directed the film, based on McCraney’s play called In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.
Apart from Ali’s performance, and Jenkins’ screenplay, praise has also been directed at the movie’s handling of its subject matter. Moonlight is even more important for America at large as it paints a moving portrait of the African-American experience, and it became the first LGBTQ film, and one with an all-black cast to win Best Picture.
The film’s Blu-ray version features a commentary track, a making-of doc, and a look at how the music was created.
In Doctor Strange – Marvel's 14th addition to its ever-expanding universe – Benedict Cumberbatch plays a highly-ambitious egotistical neurosurgeon called Dr Stephen Strange. After a horrendous car accident leaves him with irreparable nerve damage, Strange ends up travelling to Nepal looking for a cure.
There he meets the Ancient One – played by a flawless Tilda Swinton – who tells him to open his eyes and learn the ways of the multiverse. As we noted in our review, Doctor Strange is a visual marvel – excuse the pun – combining magic, Inception's world-folding ideas and a whole lot of spell-casting to make for an enjoyable entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Unfortunately, its villain Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) and side characters – Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor – aren't too well served, and the plotline isn't very original.
The Blu-ray version of Doctor Strange includes deleted and extended scenes, bloopers, and behind the scenes featurettes on fight choreography, costumes, and the background score.
March just began, which means there’s a lot of new content that Netflix just added to its service. Check out our monthly Netflix guide to find out the options at your disposal, including Anurag Kashyap-directed Ugly.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Amsterdam-based game developer Guerrilla Games made five titles in the Killzone franchise between 2004 and 2013, before deciding to embark on a new IP. In 2017, that has arrived. It’s called Horizon Zero Dawn, a PlayStation 4 exclusive, set in a post-post-apocalyptic future where human society is in a tribal state, but giant robot dinosaurs roam the lands. And oh, did we mention the flora that has grown around and over futuristic architecture built pre-apocalypse?
We loved the work put in by the developers in creating the game’s gorgeous environments, as we noted in our review. In Horizon Zero Dawn, the main protagonist is Aloy, a skill hunter, who craves to explore the vibrant world full of mechanised creatures, outside her community. Her journey will not only uncover her past, but determine the fate of the planet too.
Plus, the combat is accommodating and fun; it’s got a great story, and sports meaningful conversations with NPCs, who aren’t cardboard characters. It’s still early days for 2017, but it’s the best PS4 game out there right now.
How to access: PlayStation 4
Time commitment: About 30 hours
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Nintendo Switch is here for the people who pre-ordered one, or walked into a store early in the morning. The problem, though, is that it barely has any big games at launch – except this new Zelda title. Thankfully, the new Zelda is a delight in all sorts of ways, and currently sits in the top 5 games of all time on Metacritic.
Breath of the Wild features an open-world environment that is supposedly 12 times larger than the overworld in 2006’s Twilight Princess, and gives you unrestricted access to the ruined kingdom of Hyrule, from its fields, through forests, to mountain peaks. The game starts with barely any instruction, allowing you to explore at your own pace.
As you move about, you’ll come across towering enemies, and wild beats that you’ll need to fight. Each one of them needs its own attack strategy, so you will need to think on your feet, and find the right one. Plus, there are more than 100 Shrines of Trials, dungeon-like puzzles, in the new Zelda game, which will have you working through a variety of traps to earn items and rewards.
Alongside the Switch’s release, there are half a dozen other titles as part of the launch line-up, including Just Dance 2017, Snipperclips - Cut it out, together!, and Super Bomberman R. If you’re picking up Nintendo’s latest, keep those in mind.
For everyone on other gaming systems – PS4/Xbox One/PC – there’s a new role-playing game in Torment: Tides of Numenera, which set the record for highest-funded video game on Kickstarter back in 2013.
Infinite Worlds by Vagabon
Infinite Worlds is the debut full-length release for New York-based indie artist Lætitia Tamko, building on the demos she has created and released in the independent scene over the past two years. On her Bandcamp website, Tamko explains the meaning behind the album’s name: “Within [my] songs, there are infinite worlds: emotional spaces that grow wider with time, songs within songs that reveal themselves on each listen.”
Tamko is a multi-instrumentalist, and that displays itself marvellously on the first album; there’s a bit of synth, keyboard, guitar, and drums. And although the record is short – eight songs just over 28 minutes of listening time – each stands out from the other, delivering electronic beats, acoustic ballads, and a sprinkle of punk rock.
The singer-songwriter grew up in Cameroon before moving to the US in high school, and the songs draw on her personal story, and the culture shock. Plus, she was also influenced by the music she heard growing up, including traditional West African songs.
What are you planning to do this weekend at home? Tweet your suggestions to us @Gadgets360 with #WeekendChill or let us know via the comments.