Avengers: Endgame’ Trailer Sees Captain Marvel Join the Battle Against Thanos
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are willing to do whatever it takes to defeat Thanos. At least, the ones who survived the intergalactic villain’s deadly wrath in the last superhero mashup, “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Disney unveiled new footage from the highly anticipated follow-up, “Avengers: Endgame,” the fourth “Avengers” movie that closes out a major chapter in the MarvelCinematic Universe. The sequel sees Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and the remaining band of heroes devising a plan to take down Thanos after he wiped out half the galaxy.
“I keep telling everybody they should move on,” a somber Captain America says in the dreary trailer. “Some do — but not us.”
The Avengers are nothing if not resilient.
“Even if there’s a small chance, we owe this to everyone who’s not in this room to try,” Black Widow says.
Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, who will make her “Avengers” debut in “Endgame,” might just be the universe’s saving grace. Ahead of her on-screen debut in “Captain Marvel,” her character was teased during a post-credits scene in “Infinity War” that saw Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury page the heroine just before he turned to smithereens.
“I like her,” Chris Hemsworth’s Thor deduces after meeting the mighty Carol Danvers.
“Infinity War” directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely return for the new installment. “Avengers: Infinity War” generated over $2 billion in ticket sales worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
“Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26.
Film Review: ‘Wonder Park’
A fantasy amusement park becomes a projection of a young girl's distress in a winsome animated fable that's like 'Inside Out' minus the wonder.
With: Brianna Denski, Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz.Release Date: Mar 15, 2019
Official Site: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6428676/
Why is “Wonder Park” called “Wonder Park”? The heart of the new digitally animated feature, a co-production of Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies, is set in a spectacular fantasy amusement park, with train tracks shaped like a giant octopus’ tentacles, that’s nestled in a pastoral sunlit forest vista that looks like it could be the setting for Shangri-La. As much as any theme park in existence, it seems designed to fulfill any and every child’s dream. The name of the place? Wonderland. It’s possible that “Wonderland,” as a movie title, was seen as some sort of potential infringement upon the Lewis Carroll estate. But whatever the reason, the phrase “wonder park” is never uttered in the film, and that creates a slightly dislocated feeling.
So does the rest of the movie. It’s one of those kiddie features in which you can sense, in every scene, how hard the animators are working to please you. It’s as if they were saying, “Look at how catchy our concept is! A magical theme park! A little girl dealing with the trauma of her mother’s illness! And the park, which she imagined — yes, the whole thing is a projection of her creativity and loneliness — turning out to be a place that she has to repair, so that it can go on healing her.”
Watching “Wonder Park,” it’s hard not to see the tidy sentimental caution with which every scene has been assembled and polished. It’s also hard not to register the movie’s broad, if simplistic, conceptual resemblance to “Inside Out.” In this case, though, it’s tricky to know who exactly to hold responsible for the movie’s creative vision, since the director, Dylan Brown, was taken off the project in January 2018 after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. “Wonder Park” is the rare film that’s being released without a directorial credit. Who knows how that affected its final shape, but to judge from what’s onsceen the filmmakers are working so hard to wow and charm and touch us that it’s as if they’d conned themselves into not noticing what a sweet trifle their movie is.
And it is sweet. The heroine, June (voiced by Brianna Denski), is a precocious girl with shiny big green eyes whose loving relationship with her mother (Jennifer Garner) gets played out in the theme park that they imagine together. All the rides and characters are things that June makes up. They’re part of a story she’s telling, and she has gathered them into a pop-up scrapbook. The film, through June, presents an idyllic vision of childhood, until June’s mother announces (rather abruptly) that she is ill — seemingly with cancer — and needs to go away for a while, leaving June with her nice eager bumbling dad (Matthew Broderick). The trauma of the situation hits June in a way she doesn’t even realize. All she knows is that the last thing she wants to do is to go to math camp, where she is being sent.
The animation in “Wonder Park” is never less than textured, sculptured, world-class. There is barely such a thing anymore as a mainstream animated feature that looks less than miraculous in its witty sensuality and tactile precision, and “Wonder Park,” in its blockbuster storybook way, has images that ravish the eyes. Wonderland itself isn’t just a place of wonder but a place of unearthly beauty, with a magic-hour glow, and the movie catches us up in the antic glory of rides like the Sky Flinger, a humongous spidery contraption that looks like a “War of the Worlds” alien as it hurls customers across the sky inside spheres of glass.
When the bus stops on the way to math camp, June runs off into the woods and winds up at Wonderland. It’s the very place she imagined, now come to life! Except that it’s a shell of itself: broken down, not working, abandoned by the crowds who are there in June’s fantasy life. The animal mascots who staff the place are beside themselves, and they’re played, in a standard energized comic style, by a lively range of performers, from Ken Hudson Campbell as Boomer the goofy bear to John Oliver as Steve the neurotically civilized porcupine to Mila Kunis as Greta the stern task-master of a warthog to Norbert Leo Butz as Peanut, the brilliant chimp who sort of runs the place (but when everything falls apart, it turns out that he’s literally locked himself into a chamber of self-doubt). The voices are vivid, but the lines are cuddly rather than witty; the dialogue doesn’t pop.
And the plot of the movie seems to have been put together by fiat. The park has a tribe of stuffed chimpanzees, the Wonder Chimps, who turn into chattering Chimpan-Zombies (that’s literally what they’re called), who run amok like villains. But all we can think about these monkey minions is that they seem like knockoffs of the Minions (with a lot less variety and chattering verve). The notion of a larger-than-life theme-park world as a projection of what June is going through comes directly out of “Inside Out,” but the comparison does “Wonder Park” no favors, because the earlier film was a masterpiece of bursting ingenuity, leaving this one to play like the scaled-down toddler version. On that score, it must be said that little kids will like “Wonder Park” just fine. But there’s a difference between a great escape and a winsomely crafted pacifier.
Film Review: 'Wonder Park'
Reviewed at Regal E-Walk, New York, March 9, 2019. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 85 MIN.
PRODUCTION: A Paramount Pictures release of a Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Movies, Ilion Animation Studios production. Producers: Josh Applebaum, André Nemec, Kendra Haaland. Executive producers: Jonathan Gordon, Don Hahn, Karen Rosenfelt, Brian Witten.
CREW: Screenplay: Josh Applebaum, André Nemec. Camera (color, widescreen): Juan García Gonzalez. Editor: Edie Ichioka. Music: Steven Price.
WITH: Brianna Denski, Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz.
Happy Pi Day 2019! What is pi? Activities, facts, and why we celebrate the digits today
Happy International Pi Day!
Maths fans rejoice, because one of the most exciting days in the number-crunching calendar has arrived.
March 14 is recognised annually as Pi Day, a celebration of the mathematical constant pi.
This year's Pi Day is extra special, as Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao has calculated the value of the number pi to a new world record.
Observed in some parts of the world by consuming and throwing pies, National Pi Day has also been recognised by the US House of Representatives.
Here's everything you need to know about Pi Day.
What is International Pi Day?
- READ MORE
A Google employee has smashed the Pi world record... on Pi Day
International Pi Day is a chance for maths enthusiasts to celebrate the number pi - represented by its first three digits of 3.14.
Many use the day to discuss the number, recite its infinite digits and eat plenty of Pie.
It is celebrated on the same day every year - March 14, which this week is on a Thursday.
Why is it celebrated on March 14?
Granted, this method only works for those countries that write dates in the month then day format, but written down March 14 looks like 3.14, which are the first three digits of pi.
Since the exact value of pi can never be calculated, the numbers 3.14 are used to approximate the value of pi in other calculations.
However in a lot of countries, including the UK, the format is the other way round - meaning the day is written first, followed by the month.
Since this would make Pi Day look like 14.3, in many places outside America it doesn't make sense, which has led to calls for the celebration to be either scrapped or celebrated on Pi Approximation Day on July 22 (22/7 in the day first format) or Tau Day on June 28 (6/28 in the month first format).
What is pi?
Pi is a mathematical constant, which is a number that has a special meaning for calculations.
The constant Pi means the ratio of the length of a circle's circumference to its diameter - a value which is always the same for any circle.
The first 50 digits of pi are 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510.
Pi Day activities
If you're a teacher and want to get some of the youngsters involved in Pi Day, or you just want to celebrate it with your own children, there are a number of fun activities you do on Thursday.
You could try and memorise as many digits of pi as you possibly can - a fun but nonetheless tricky activity to try.
Otherwise, you could make a paper chain with different colours representing digits and decimal points.
Or you could even bake a pie, and try to fit in as many digits on the pastry lid as you possibly can.
- It is thought the concept of pi was first discovered around 4,000 years ago.
- We can never find the true meaning of pi because it is what is known as an "irrational number".
- Welsh mathematician William Jones was the first person to use the symbol we now use for pi more than 250 years ago.
- The Guinness World Record for most decimal places memorised is held by Rajveer Meena, who took 10 hours to recall 70,000 places blindfolded in March 2015.
- British mathematician William Shanks became famous for manually calculating pi to 607 places in the 19th century. However it later emerged the 527th number was wrong, making the rest of his calculations wrong by default.
- Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao has calculated the number pi to a world record 31 trillion digits today!
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‘Captive State’ movie review: Can John Goodman save the world (or this movie)?Today 10:15 AM
The enemy has infiltrated us. Our government leaders are colluding with them. It's up to the people to act if there's any chance of preserving our freedom. "Light a match," is the saying being used. "Ignite a war."
No, that's not a rundown of Democrats' election-season talking points. It's the backdrop for "Captive State," a fast-starting dystopian sci-fi thriller that would seem to have a lot to say about current events.
But while director Rupert Wyatt's film has a handful of things going for it -- alien invaders, bursts of action, sociopolitical subtext, a stern-faced John Goodman -- it is missing one key element: a soul.
Thanks largely to Wyatt's prioritizing of visual texture over character development, the perfunctory "Captive State" ends up telling an intriguing but ultimately unmoving story, one built around largely humorless characters that feel more like paper dolls than flesh-and-blood people.
It's set in Chicago, but not the one you know. Rather, Wyatt's story begins in earnest 10 years after aliens have invaded Earth and begun colonizing it.
Humans, who, we learn, failed in their efforts to rebel against the technologically superior aliens, have now become oppressed annoyances. Helping to hold them in check are human governmental leaders working with the alien "Legislature" to sniff out, and then snuff out, any simmering dissent.
Chief among those human collaborators: Officer Mulligan (played by Goodman; great, as always), a Chicago cop who is hot on the trail of an underground resistance movement known as The Phoenix. As he tells his co-workers and superiors, he's also certain members of that movement are planning an attack at a government-sponsored rally to "celebrate" the 10-year anniversary of first contact -- and at which members of the alien Legislature are scheduled to make a rare appearance.
Mulligan has good reason to be concerned. Because he's absolutely right. But knowing something is going to happen and doing something to stop it are two different things.
Chief among the rebels is Gabriel, played by "Moonlight" actor Ashton Sanders. (Yes, "Gabriel." Just like the archangel.) He's a reluctant rebel, still mourning the death of his parents in the decade-earlier invasion and of his brother in a previous uprising. But he's a rebel just the same.
Also in Wyatt's cast: Vera Farmiga, although she seems to be there mostly because it's always nice to have Vera Farmiga classing up a joint, not because her character is really necessary to the at-times muddled story.
By the time it's all done, Gabriel -- feeling no small amount of heat from Mulligan -- is going to have to choose sides once and for all, whether he likes it or not. But nobody should really be surprised at which side he falls on. While it has moments of suspense, "Captive State" is a largely predictable exercise, right down to its big third-act twist, which you'll probably see coming if you're paying attention.
What we end up with a film that feels faintly like "District 9" crossed with "The Hunger Games," but just without that crucial spark of creativity -- and one in which it's hard to muster the emotional energy to care about what happens next.
Consequently, while it's passable as entertainment, it won't likely live long in audiences' minds once they leave the theater.
Watching "Captive State" is like watching the fourth and final preseason game before the NFL season kicks. You want to be excited about it. You might actually even be excited just before kickoff.
But once it begins, you can't help but unplug -- and look forward to what's coming next week.
CAPTIVE STATE, 2 stars, out of 5
Snapshot: A sci-fi thriller set in a dystopian future in which a determined band of human rebels tries to mount a resistance against a race of powerful alien invaders and their human collaborators.
What works: It's a fast-starter with nice outbursts of sci-fi action and sociopolitical subtext.
What doesn't: The characters never feel fully developed, giving it all an empty, soulless feel.
Starring: John Goodman, Aston Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Machine Gun Kelly, Vera Farmiga. Director: Rupert Wyatt. MPAA rating: PG-13, for sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief language and drug material. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. When and where: Opens Friday (March 15) at the Chalmette Movies, Elmwood Place, Clearview Palace, Westbank Palace, Hammond Palace, Covington Stadium 14.
What to expect at Tesla’s Model Y event
After almost four years in the making, Tesla will finally reveal the Model Y compact SUV tonight at an event in Los Angeles. While we still haven’t seen a full picture of the new electric car, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have spent the last few years, months, and days leading up to the unveiling sketching out a decent outline of what to expect.
Broadly speaking, the Model Y will be a crucial car for Tesla that presents the company with a huge opportunity. Simply put, SUVs are selling like hotcakes these days. They currently account for about 49 percent of the new car market in the United States, according to JD Power, and more than half of customers who bought a vehicle last year in the $30,000 to $50,000 price range purchased an SUV.
SUVS ARE SELLING LIKE HOTCAKES
In other words, you could build an SUV out of Lego and sell it for five figures in the US right now. So if all goes well, demand for a car like the Model Y should be strong.
We don’t know exactly what is in store for tonight (and both Tesla and Musk seem to love surprises), but here are our best guesses.
The Model Y will share about 75 percent of the parts that make up the Model 3, so we can expect it to offer similar performance, style, and overall cost. We don’t have exact specifics on the Model Y yet, but Musk offered ballpark estimates on Twitter just 11 days ago. He said the Model Y will be about 10 percent bigger than a Model 3, cost about 10 percent more, and have “slightly less range for [the] same battery.”
That means the Model Y should eventually start at about $38,500, and run as high as about $63,800 (before options like Autopilot). Of course, it’s likely that Tesla will start by making and selling the most expensive versions of the Model Y when it goes into production in 2020 since those will have the highest margins. One thing to look for tonight is whether Musk offers a timeline for the base version of the Model Y.
If the Model Y has “slightly less range” with the same battery, that means the base version (which will likely be referred to as the “standard range Model Y”) will offer a little less than 220 miles on a full charge. The most expensive Model Ys will be capable of traveling about 300 miles.
Try to edit the newest shadowy teaser image that Tesla released for the Model Y in order to get a glimpse of what it looks like. I dare you. All you’ll really end up with is a slightly more washed-out image with a hidden message: “Nice try.”
That said, the difference between the new teaser image and the one that Tesla distributed a few years ago is significant. The new image really shows off the shape of the Model Y in a way that the old image didn’t. It’s never easy to get a sense of what a car will look like until you see it in full (which, duh), but Tesla’s newest teaser does give the impression that the Model Y will resemble a taller, more sharply angled Model 3. What it certainly won’t be is a car that is as big or bulky as the Model X.
THE LONG ROAD TO GET HERE
Musk first teased the Model Y in an October 2015 tweet, which he almost immediately deleted. Since then, the crossover SUV project has endured a number of shifts in scope. While it was originally thought that Tesla would build the Model Y on the same technological base as the Model 3, Musk said in May 2017 that Tesla instead wanted to build the Model Y on a “completely different” platform. He said at the time that the company could simplify the production process and dramatically reduce the length of electric wiring needed if it ditched the 12-volt battery architecture used in Tesla’s other vehicles. It would also have the Model X’s Falcon Wing doors.
But this was all said at a time when Musk was still fully gung-ho on automating a major amount of the production process. That has changed. Musk now says Tesla relied too heavily on automation, which was one of the reasons it took the company longer than it planned to get Model 3 production running at a steady pace. Musk eventually did an about-face on the Model Y, telling investors in August 2017 that it would share a platform with the Model 3 after all.
AT ONE POINT, THE MODEL Y WASN’T GOING TO SHARE ANYTHING WITH THE MODEL 3
“Upon the counsel of my executive team, to reel me back from the cliffs of insanity, the Model Y will, in fact, be using substantial carry over from Model 3 in order to bring it to market faster,” Musk said on that call. That’s remained the plan ever since, though Musk did admit this month that the Model Y now won’t have the Model X’s Falcon Wing doors.
Knowing the car has been in development for that long, something to watch for during the event is whether Tesla has come up with other ways to distinguish the Model Y from the Model 3. Will the interior be exactly the same? Or will Tesla mix things up by adding a few more physical buttons, a heads-up display, or something totally different? One thing’s for sure: expect a big touchscreen to dominate the Model Y’s dashboard.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
Where to begin? For one thing, Tesla and Musk haven’t fully committed to where the Model Y will be built. The company’s Fremont, California, manufacturing plant is so packed that Tesla had to erect a tent in order to build the Model 3 at scale there last year. Musk said it’s “likely” the Model Y will be built at the company’s Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada, and versions of the car due for China will also probably be made at the factory currently being constructed in Shanghai.
It’s possible that the Model Y will have a third row of seats, though it’s not a lock since that rumor was based on internal documents that a Tesla spokesperson called “outdated.”
While Musk has said the Model Y will start production in 2020, it’s not fully clear what the company’s timeline is for the new car. Tesla and Musk are notorious for missing deadlines, but any concrete dates announced tonight would help fans, followers, and Wall Street calibrate expectations for the Model Y over the coming months.
Ellis: Noem's victory on hemp had flair, but was only temporaryJonathan Ellis, Sioux Falls Argus LeaderPublished 1:07 p.m. CT March 14, 2019
Gov. Kristi Noem (Photo: Submitted)
Within minutes of what might go down as the biggest political victory in her first legislative session as governor, Gov. Kristi Noem released a video on social media in which she dunked on her opponents.
Her veto of a bill that would have legalized industrial hemp had just been sustained in the state Senate, shortly after the House had voted to override Noem’s veto. Noem had won, thanks to a thin four-vote cushion when the Senate failed to muster a two-thirds majority.
The governor had beaten an odd alliance of farmers, hippies, newspaper columnists, Republican lawmakers, Twitter trolls, Democratic lawmakers and business people. They had argued that hemp should be legalized, given its potential for economic benefit to the state’s ailing agriculture industry.
The latest Farm Bill Boondoggle passed by the federal government in December allows states to regulate hemp production, and other states are jumping into the market. At the same time Noem was vetoing the hemp bill here, her counterpart in Wyoming was signing a bill there.
But, as Noem made clear in her veto message to the Legislature, “South Dakota must stand as an example for the rest of the country, not simply go along with others.”
And so, an example we shall be. An example of what, you fill in the blank.
In the victory video, Noem had the swagger and self-assurance of someone who is secure in her belief. The video included a branding iron with the word “Veto,” a cool touch for an ag-state governor.
Still, her reasons for the veto aren’t beyond critique. For example, she noted that CBD oil, a hemp derivative used in health creams and other products, had not been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration. But if FDA approval is your standard, then you’d better shut down all the health food stores and criminalize vitamin cabinets. The Glucosamine I take to keep my knees in running shape would send me to jail because, as the label points out, the FDA has not evaluated its health benefits.
She noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture won’t finalize national hemp rules until later this year, so to her thinking, there was no point in putting together a state plan. However, had the state passed the hemp bill this year, it wouldn't have gone into effect until July 1, and South Dakota would have been ready in 2020, well after the national standards are in place.
An aside here, is it odd when self-avowed small-government conservatives lean on vast federal bureaucracies like FDA and USDA to justify their positions?
Finally, Noem argued that hemp is a Trojan horse to legalize its cannabis cousin, marijuana. And Noem is no fan of legalized marijuana.
“There is no question in my mind that normalizing hemp, like legalizing medical marijuana, is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws and make legalized marijuana inevitable,” she wrote in her veto message.
Indeed, she noted that the “overwhelming number of contacts” she received on the issue were from pro-marijuana activists.
On that front, I feel sorry for her. In my experience, the most ardent supporters of a cause are often its worst spokespersons. Marijuana in Colorado likely would have been legalized years before it finally was if hadn’t been for some of the burnouts pushing the issue. Or take firearms: The people who walk around in public with their AR-15s and other long rifles to make us “comfortable” with firearms do their cause no good. As someone who enjoys shooting firearms and thinks it makes sense to legalize marijuana, it’s painful to watch.
So Noem has stood athwart the hemp movement – already passed in 41 other states – and yelled stop. She wins.
But it’s worth remembering that her victory came against a tide of support within her own party. Their passions on the issue certainly vary, but a majority of the Legislature’s Republican lawmakers voted for hemp.
And they will do so again. Hemp will be back next year – by then South Dakota might be the only state in the union left not to legalize its cultivation – and Noem will have to decide if it’s worth fighting a second round.