The Lego Batman Movie, Big Little Lies, For Honor, and More – The Weekend Chill

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The Lego Batman Movie, Big Little Lies, For Honor, and More – The Weekend Chill
Highlights
  • The Lego Batman Movie released in IMAX 3D
  • Big Little Lies will air on Star World Premiere in India
  • For Honor is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Last Friday, Marvel released a featurette for Avengers: Infinity War, which will bring together everyone involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, be it Iron Man, or Star-Lord. The film’s director duo – Anthony and Joe Russo – also talked about their vision for the film, and why Thanos is to be feared. Avengers: Infinity War lands May 4, 2018.

On Sunday night, history was created at the 2017 Grammys, with Chance the Rapper picking up the Best Rap Album award for his mixtape Coloring Book, which also happened to be one of our favourite albums of 2016.

Apple provided the first look at its Carpool Karaoke series during the Grammys as well, showing the different host-guest pairs from the 16 half-hour episodes we’ll get this year. As we’d already been told, there are segments that take place outside the car.

There aren’t many details on the next X-Men movie, but Sophie Turner – who was part of the third instalment, Apocalypse – revealed at the BAFTAs that shooting on the next chapter will take place this year. With Fox yet to comment officially, take the news with a pinch of salt.

As part of Disney’s plan to update its animated classics with live-action versions – Cinderella was first, and Beauty and the Beast arrives next month – Mulan has found its director. Niki Caro, who became famous after 2002’s Whale Rider, will helm the ship. With that, she became only the fourth woman to direct an over-$100-million budget movie, which shows the sad state of affairs in Hollywood.

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:

TV:
Big Little Lies
Based on Liane Moriarity's novel of the same name, this David E. Kelley adaptation tells the story of how the perfect-looking lives of three mothers – Celeste (Nicole Kidman), Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), and Jane (Shailene Woodley) – end with someone committing murder. Each of them have a same-aged kid, and their friendship begins at the start of the kindergarten year.

Kelley, of course, is the creator of The Practice and Boston Legal, among many others, and his newest has also been praised by critics for its addictive storytelling, and the twists upon twists, all happening under the normal routine of school functions, and kids’ birthday parties.

Of course, it helps that the show boasts of an all-star cast – there’s also Alexander Skarsgard, and Laura Dern in addition to the aforementioned trio, all of whom live up to their billing. The mini-series, of seven episodes, has been entirely directed by Oscar-nominated Jean-Marc Vallée.

How to access: HBO US, Sunday 9pm; Hotstar, Monday; Star World Premiere, Tuesday 10pm
Time commitment: 1 hour, each week

Movies:
The Lego Batman Movie
After Will Arnett’s satirical portrayal of the Dark Knight won many fans in 2014’s The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. and DC gave him the natural upgrade – a standalone spin-off film, where audiences would get more of the zany version of Batman, who only “works in black, and sometimes very, very dark grey.” That’s what The Lego Batman Movie is ultimately about: it lets loose his egomaniac personality, and the seeming obliviousness to anything around him.

The good part? It works, and works great. Supporting Arnett as part of the voice cast are Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, the butler; Michael Cera, who plays Dick Grayson, Batman’s adopted son who adopts the codename of Robin; Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon, the new commissioner of Gotham City; and Zach Galifianakis as the crazy Joker, Batman’s arch enemy who wants acceptance of the very thing.

The Lego Batman Movie takes place at a frenetic pace for the most part, but is still clever enough to know when to insert clever pauses that add the requisite emphasis. Kudos to director Chris McKay, and the three editors – David Burrows, Matt Villa, and John Venzon.

How to access: Out in cinema halls
Time commitment: 1 hour and 44 minutes

Moonlight
Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight tells the story of a young man through three defining chapters of his life – all while he grapples with his sexuality, and the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love.

The film has been heralded for its moving portrait of the African-American experience, and is one of the frontrunners going into next week’s Oscars ceremony. Moonlight has a total of eight nominations, including Best Picture, and Best Director – and it’s already won in the former category at last month’s Golden Globe Awards.

Praise has also been directed towards Mahershala Ali’s performance, Jenkins’ screenplay, and its handling of the subject matter. Janelle Monáe and Noamie Harris are part of the supporting cast.

How to access: Out in cinema halls
Time commitment: 1 hour and 51 minutes

John Wick: Chapter 2
In the 2014 original, Keanu Reeves’ eponymous character – a retired expert assassin – navigated grief over the death of his wife by connecting with a puppy she left for him as a posthumous gift. So when a bunch of thugs break into his house, and kill the dog, Wick is furious. You wouldn’t know it from his demeanour, but his actions are the obvious proof. And that’s what made the movie so exciting – the well-choreographed action.

That film ended with Wick narrowly escaping death after a bounty had been placed on his head. The sequel picks up shortly after, with Wick forced back out of retirement – it just keeps happening to him, doesn’t it? – to help stop a former associate from, …let’s be honest, it’s not like anyone cares about the plot anyway.

Most critics agree the action is still as much fun, and captures the visual style of its predecessor. But the film’s doubling down on the action can bring a sense of tiredness to it; doesn’t everyone know by now that sending unidentifiable henchmen after Wick will never work out? Maybe try something a bit more… unique?

How to access: Out in cinema halls
Time commitment: 2 hour and 2 minutes

Hidden Figures
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe star in this true story about African-American women who worked as “computers” – that is performed mathematical calculations – for the engineers at NASA, and helped them in the 60s Space Race against the then-USSR. Henson plays Katherine G. Johnson – a Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee – who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury, the US’ first programme to put a man in space.

The film, directed by Theodore Melfi, is based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction book of the same name, which hit the top position on The New York Times’ non-fiction best sellers list. Its cinematic adaptation has received tons of praise too – it’s currently nominated for three Oscars at next week’s ceremony, including Best Picture.

Hidden Figures also stars the likes of Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, and Mahershala Ali. Hans Zimmer provided background score for the film.

How to access: Out in cinema halls
Time commitment: 2 hours and 7 minutes

Other mentions:
Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi masterpiece – Arrival – was one of our favourite films from 2016, and has eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and Best Director. It’s now available on home media, so give that a watch if you haven’t yet.

The sixth and final season of Girls began on HBO (in the US) earlier this week. If you’ve been following the lives of Hannah and her Brooklyn friends, well Hotstar is your new best friend.

Two British shows that have already aired in the UK – Planet Earth II, and Humans – start their US telecast this week. The first of those will be available on BBC America, and the second on AMC.

The Edge of Seventeen, a coming-of-age comedy about a socially awkward high schooler, has arrived on Blu-ray as well. Although the premise may sound a bit too familiar, the film has received high praise for its script, and its young star’s – Hailee Steinfeld – terrific performance.

As for more streaming options, you can always refer to our monthly Netflix guide.

Video games:
For Honor
Ubisoft’s latest game, For Honor, is set in a fantasy medieval setting where three factions, in Knights, Vikings, and Samurai, have been at war for a thousand years, either owing to their own differences, or goaded into it by another force – the game’s primary antagonist, Apollyon. But that story merely exists as a dressing on top of what For Honor is designed to be, a multiplayer-focused action-fighting game.

Although the controls are easy to pick up, For Honor is anything but a button-mashing experience. Combat in the game is a far cry from the jumpy physics world of modern FPS titles – the amount of armour heroes wear, and the weight of their weapons feels pretty true to what it must have been like in the Middle Ages.

On surface level, the game may have the visual vibe of Ubisoft Montreal’s famous series – Assassin’s Creed – but For Honor is anything but that. It’s an exercise in patience, and as much in experience.

How to access: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Steam for Windows PCs
Time commitment: As much as you want, really

Sniper Elite 4
Have you heard of Simo Häyhä, the Finnish marksman who lived during World War II? Häyhä was a great shot, so good in fact that he was nicknamed “White Death” by the Red Army, Finland’s primary opposition during the 1939-40 Winter War. During that period, he is said to have killed 505 men, and when asked later in 1998 how he became so good, all he had to say was: “Practice.”

You can't play as Häyhä in Sniper Elite 4, part of an award-winning video game series. But at its best, Sniper Elite can give you an insight into his life, without the physical and emotional trauma that comes with it. The game is set in 1943 Italy, and takes players through its beautiful landscape – from the “sun-drenched Mediterranean coastal towns, to colossal Nazi mega structures, daunting forests and giddying mountain monasteries inspired by Monte Cassino”.

For the armchair sniper, Sniper Elite 4 is like an essential buy – the game lets you enjoy that carnage in its most brutal form (with the X-Ray kill cam), and doesn’t apologise for it.

07 sniper elite 4 The Weekend Chill Sniper Elite 4

How to access: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Steam for Windows PCs
Time commitment: As much as you want, really

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.

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Akhil Arora Akhil identifies himself as a stickler for detail and accuracy, and strongly believes that robots will one day take over most human jobs. In his free time, you will find Akhil beating the computer at EA Sports FIFA or streaming new highly-rated TV series. More
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