Silicon Valley, A Way Out, and More – The Weekend Chill

Last Friday, HBO released a batch of new images from the upcoming second season of Westworld, which premieres April 22.

Marvel released a second and final trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, the biggest superhero mash-up yet that involves Black Panther, Guardians, and everyone in between. On Monday, the runtime for Avengers: Infinity War was revealed. The film clocks in at 2 hours and 36 minutes, which will make it the longest Marvel film to date. Considering there are so many characters in one movie – Thor actor Chris Hemsworth thinks there are about 76 – this makes sense. Infinity War is out April 27.

That very day, Deadline reported that Disney had found a director for its live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp: Charlie Beam, who made The Lego Ninjago Movie. Indiana Jones 5 will start filming in April 2019, director Steven Spielberg revealed in an interview this week, while accepting an award in the UK. Harrison Ford is attached to star as the titular archaeologist, and David Koepp (Jurassic Park) is penning the script. Indiana Jones 5 is set to release July 2020.

On Tuesday, Netflix revealed that it had acquired Amy Poehler’s next film, Wine Country, which she stars in alongside Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph. The Parks and Rec actress is also the director and producer.

On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter brought word that Tessa Thompson (Annihilation) was joining her Thor: Ragnarok co-star, Chris Hemsworth, in the Men in Black reboot (which might need a title change) in the works. F. Gary Gray (Fast and Furious 8) will direct, and it’s slated to release June 2019.

On Thursday, Fox gave us a full-length trailer for Deadpool 2, which confirmed the X-Force’s presence in the sequel. Deadpool 2 is out May 18. Later that day, a profile of Chris Evans in The New York Times revealed that the actor will be leaving the Marvel universe after Avengers 4 in 2019. He’s the second superhero star to say so, after Chris Hemsworth, back in January. Most of the other stars also have contracts ending after Avengers 4, which might clear the slate for a whole new roster of heroes, but that’s not set in stone yet.

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:
Silicon Valley
After four seasons of struggling, the boys at Pied Piper – Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch), Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani), Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), and Jared (Zach Woods) – are teetering on the brink of success at the start of Silicon Valley season 5, after Richard’s idea for a new, decentralised Internet accidentally proved to be a working concept, thanks to smart refrigerators.

In times like these, it’s important to remember the show’s premise when it debuted: “In the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.” The new season, premiering Sunday, finds Richard being under pressure to deliver, with ample funding at his disposal, while Dinesh and Gilfoyle wonder if they’re capable of making good decisions.

Reviews are scarce for Silicon Valley season 5, but you can expect creator Mike Judge to bring his usual satirical lens to everything the show touches, which included everything from on-demand economy, AI, patent trolls, to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 last year, to great effect for the most part.

Silicon Valley Season 5 Trailer: Dogs, Bears Invade Pied Piper

How to access: HBO or Hotstar
Time commitment: 30 minutes, weekly

Barry
Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader, and Alec Berg – a writer on Seinfeld, director on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and executive producer on Silicon Valley – are behind this new HBO dark comedy, which stars Hader as a low-level hitman named Barry, who travels to Los Angeles to kill an would-be actor and finds his calling may actually be to act.

Hader is also co-writing and directing some episodes in the eight-episode first season which premieres Sunday in the US, and Monday in India. Barry also stars Sarah Goldberg (Broadway’s Clybourne Park), Glenn Fleshler (Billions), Anthony Carrigan (Gotham), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Stephen Root (NewsRadio). Goldberg plays an acting student whom Barry is drawn to, Winkler is an acting teacher, and Root plays Barry’s handler.

Barry has been praised by most critics. Uproxx’s Alan Sepinwall said it’s familiar and timid in the first half, but “Barry’s actions towards the end felt right and honest to me, and elevated the series”. Writing for RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico was more enthusiastic in his review, calling it “one of the best new comedies of the last few years,” and “a wonderful showcase for Bill Hader’s dry sense of humour”.

How to access: HBO or Hotstar
Time commitment: 30 minutes, weekly

Movies:
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Making a standalone sequel to a frivolous movie seemed like a dumb idea on the surface – but the new Jumanji is proving to be a good idea for some. The film begins with four kids in detention: gamer Spencer, football jock Fridge, popular girl Bethany, and wallflower Martha.

When they come across a multiplayer game in the school’s basement, they end up getting sucked into it and literally become the avatars. Spencer turns into a tough, muscular adventurer (Dwayne Johnson), the jock turns into a short zoologist (Kevin Hart), the popular girl becomes an overweight, middle-aged professor (Jack Black), and Martha turns into a gorgeous, badass warrior (Karen Gillan).

The film could easily have been pointless and shallow, but a charming cast and twist make up for it, according to most critics. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “a likeable film which borrows liberally from everything and everyone”, and it’s 76 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, though a middling 58 on Metacritic. It’s now easily available on digital rentals.

How to access: Amazon IN, Amazon Video US, Google Play IN, iTunes IN, or Microsoft Store US
Time commitment: 1 hour and 59 minutes

mother!
Last year’s most divisive film, owing to how the marketing differs from the product, the endless explanations delivered by director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), and the polarising ratings from critics, is part Bible retelling and an allegory for climate change that presents itself as an R-rated version of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.

The premise, if there is a way to convey that, goes like this: a young woman’s easy-going life at a country home, where she spends her time painting and decorating the house, is disrupted by the arrival of a couple who are big fans of her author husband’s work. From there, it progresses in unimaginable ways, with scenes that are audacious, bizarre, and jaw-dropping.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as the woman, alongside Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. It has been lauded as one of the best films and one of the worst, depending on who’s talking about it, so this is a movie you’ll need to see for yourself.

How to access: Amazon IN or iTunes IN
Time commitment: 2 hours and 1 minute

Other mentions:
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now on Google Play in India, ahead of its Blu-ray release next week.

The Work, a prison documentary that follows three men from outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts, is now on Blu-ray and digital rentals. It was named best documentary at last year’s SXSW Film Festival.

It’s been a quiet week for streaming services. The only noteworthy additions include the Aamir Khan production Secret Superstar, and Disney’s Pocahontas on Netflix, and Angie Tribeca season 3 on Amazon Prime Video.

Jessica Jones, Annihilation, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and More on Netflix This March

Video games:
A Way Out
Josef Fares, the game director behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, returns with another cooperative adventure in A Way Out, which follows two separate inmates – Leo and Vincent – in a prison. Their individual stories are told simultaneously always, and the game can only be played in local or online split-screen co-op. There’s no single player mode in A Way Out.

Thankfully, you won’t have to own two copies to play. Friends can join your session even if they don’t own A Way Out on their platform on choice. As the stories progress, you’ll build a relationship between the two and help them break out of prison. On the run from the authorities, you’ll learn more about the two convicts, and take part in car chases, stealth passages, melee fights, shootouts and more.

A Way Out seems to be a hit with most critics. IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey called it «a memorable, variety-packed cinematic adventure», while Polygon’s Colin Campbell said it «has many faults, but a lack of heart isn’t one of them. Seeing that heart translated into a cooperative play experience makes the journey worthwhile.»

How to access: Origin for PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One
Time commitment: 6-8 hours

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Six years on from the original Japanese release, developer Level-5 is back with a Ni no Kuni – literally translated as Second Country – sequel titled Revenant Kingdom. The new character you control is Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum, a young king who was usurped from his castle and sets out to reclaim his kingdom. During certain battles, you get to control other characters.

An open-world role-playing game, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom finds artist Yoshiyuki Momose working on character design, with music created by Joe Hisaishi. Though Studio Ghibli was involved with the production of the earlier game, that’s not the case with the sequel. But their presence is heavily felt on Revenant Kingdom, as seen from trailers and reviews.

Writing for The Guardian, Steve Boxer showered praise on its “gorgeously lush visuals”, and added it “puts forward an irresistible case for your attention” despite being a 50-hour adventure at least. The Verge’s Andrew Webster said “Revenant Kingdom isn’t the Howl’s Moving Castle game I’ve always dreamed of. It’s something much better.”

How to access: PlayStation 4, or Steam for PC
Time commitment: 50 hours

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