Tag Archives: Entertainment

New ‘Black Widow’ Trailer Arrives Ahead of Disney+ Premier Access Debut This Summer


Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are currently watching The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but Marvel Studios doesn’t want anybody to forget about.

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Topsham – Smitty’s Cinema


Topsham – Smitty’s Cinemahttps://www.smittyscinema.com/wp-includes/js/jquery/jquery.js?ver=1.12.4-wphttps://www.smittyscinema.com/wp-includes/js/jquery/jquery-migrate.min.js?ver=1.4.1/wp-content/themes/smittys/assets/js/smittys.js?1620241074&ver=0.5//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/moment.js/2.17.1/moment.min.js//widget.thanx.com/smittyscinema.js?mobile_position=banner&desktop_position=desktop-bottom-righthttps://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-154432685-3 Skip to content Showtimes

Smitty’s Cinema, Topsham

65 Topsham Fair Mall Rd.
Topsham ME 04086 Get Directions

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UK free cinema ticket initiative expands ahead of venues reopening

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More than 200,000 free cinema tickets are to be made available in the UK, as venues prepare to reopen following months of closures as a result of the pandemic.

The National Lottery Cinema Weekend will take place from June 19-20 at more than 500 cinema sites across the UK if restrictions will be relaxed as planned from May 17. Organised in partnership with the BFI, the tickets are open to National Lottery players and can be used to watch any film screening across that weekend.

It is an expansion on two previous Cinema Days in 2018 and 2019, and marks a major increase in the 250 venues that took part in 2019, comprising multiplexes, independent and community cinemas. All venues will have committed to have safety measures in place in line with guidance for the prevention of the spread of Covid-19.

The Independent Cinema Office is the coordinating body on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network and the central contact point for cinemas.

The initiative marks the film funding carried out by National Lottery, through the BFI, which invests more than £50m a year in UK film and has contributed to the production of more than 600 features.

During the pandemic, the BFI has provided a package of measures worth more than £5m to support the film sector including: funding for productions that have had to halt before completion; a resilience fund for festivals and exhibitors; a contribution to the Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund for freelancers; a sales company support fund; and funding flexibility for its partners and projects.

The BFI is also administering the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion recovery package for arts and cultural organisations.

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Ghost of Tsushima movie: release date, cast, Chad Stahelski and the latest news

Ready your ghost stance — a Ghost of Tsushima movie is happening! And even though it was just announced from Sony Interactive Entertainment subsidiary Sucker Punch Studios, we’re already chomping at the bit to see it. 

Nate Fox, Game Director at Sucker Punch, broke the news in a PlayStation Blog post, revealing that Jin Sakai’s story of revenge is going to be re-told on the big screen. And expect an emotional ride, as Fox starts with his piece by talking about how “We’ve all been brought to tears in a movie theater surrounded by strangers,” crediting E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. 

In the announcement, Fox also explained some of the financial rationale behind the adaptation: Ghost of Tsushima is a hit with more than 6.5 million copies sold.

Of course, the Ghost of Tsushima movie has a high bar to meet in terms of cinematography and beauty. The game itself is as cinematic and as gorgeous as video games get. And just like the black and white Snyder Cut, Ghost of Tsushima offers a way to turn off the colors for a different look in its Kurosawa mode.

Ghost of Tsushima movie release date

Fox didn’t explain when the movie is expected, but since big movies typically take a little under 2.5 years to be made, we’d assume we’ll see the Ghost of Tsushima movie in fall/winter 2023. 

Ghost of Tsushima movie cast

There is no word yet about who will star in the film, but we expect angry tweets if Daisuke Tsuji — the voice actor for Jin Sakai — is left out. Just look online. The tweets are already demanding it.

Ghost of Tsushima movie: Chad Stahelski is directing

While we’re plenty excited to see the island of Tsushima on the big screen, the coolest news of the entire announcement is that Jin Sakai’s story is in just the right hands. Chad Stahelski, the maestro of the John Wick franchise, will be directing the Ghost of Tsushima movie.

And while John Wick movies are known for their “gun fu,” trust that Stahelski is going to be precise with the sword play. That’s because gun fu is more than just bullets, as Stahelski describes the style as a mix of “Japanese jiu-jitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, tactical 3-gun, and standing Judo.” 

And we expect he’ll be seeking input from all the requisite experts, including the team behind the game, for a faithful adaptation. The John Wick movies are nothing if not obsessed with meticulous detail in fight choreography. Just watch Stahelski explain gun fu in this clip about John Wick 2.

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GSC owner confident of cinema recovery after Covid-19 took unprecedented toll on industry

KUALA LUMPUR (April 13): PPB Group Bhd, which wholly owns Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC), is confident that the film exhibition and distribution sector will recover as Covid-19 cases are brought under control after the pandemic took an unprecedented toll on the film industry as cinemas were forced to shut for prolonged periods, and film releases were deferred or diverted to other distribution channels.

PPB managing director Lim Soon Huat said in the diversified group’s latest annual report, which was filed with Bursa Malaysia today, that for 2021, PPB believes that the impact from Covid-19 will be less severe than in 2020, although the group expects near-term growth to be affected by the reintroduction of stricter containment measures to curb the outbreak.

“The film exhibition and distribution segment performance will be weighed down by intermittent cinema closures, reduced seating capacity, and possible deferment of major movie title releases. Management is confident that this sector will recover as Covid-19 cases are brought under control.

“The Covid-19 vaccine rollout from February 2021 is also expected to lift sentiment and dampen the spread of the virus,” he said.

Lim said GSC is confident of the longer-term prospects of the film exhibition and distribution industry notwithstanding the present operating environment, and continues to prepare for the eventual recovery of the sector.

In line with the above, he said GSC entered into an agreement in February 2021 to acquire cinema assets from the former operators of the MBO cinema circuit. 

“The asset acquisition is targeted to complete by end-June 2021 and we expect this acquisition to accelerate our recovery when the operating environment returns to normalcy. 

“Looking ahead, the industry’s recovery will depend largely on the control of Covid-19 cases and the vaccine programme roll-out. With this in mind, we expect a gradual but sustained recovery to take place from the third quarter of 2021 as consumer sentiment improves, in tandem with an anticipated surge in ‘revenge spending’ due to pent-up demand. 

“GSC will however continue to be prudent and ensure stringent cash flow management, and explore other revenue sources,” he said.

Looking back, Lim said cinemas in Malaysia have struggled to recover as operators were unable to reliably predict the timing and duration of government-mandated movement restrictions.

He said Malaysia’s box office collections fell 85% to RM138 million in 2020 from RM905 million in 2019, largely mirroring the revenue performance of the global film industry, which dropped 71%. 

“Cinema closures which resulted in major box office releases being delayed, diverted or simultaneously released to streaming services during the pandemic, will put further pressure on box office collections,” he said.

“For GSC, the various movement restrictions meant that we were only open for about six months throughout 2020, and physical distancing requirements reduced available capacity by 50%. We also incurred higher operating costs on stringent health and safety SOPs (standard operating procedures). 

“To mitigate the impact and preserve cashflow, GSC cut all non-essential spending and stopped all capital expenditure. Other measures included furloughing of contract workers and negotiating for rental waivers and reductions,” Lim said.

According to him, GSC refocused its efforts to reach customers and maintain brand awareness with its strong presence on social media. 

These efforts included the development of a line of GSC-branded merchandise and GSC’s own e-commerce platform, according to him.

In Malaysia, Lim said GSC operates across 33 locations with 339 screens across the country.

In Vietnam, PPB owns a 40% stake in Galaxy Studio Joint Stock Co, which operates in 18 locations with 108 screens nationwide, according to him.

According to PPB’s website, PPB via PPB Leisure Holdings Sdn Bhd owns a 100% equity stake in GSC.

PPB’s diversified businesses include flour milling, property development and solid-waste management services, according to the group.

PPB also owns an 18.6% equity interest in Singapore-listed agribusiness group Wilmar International Ltd, according to PPB.

On Bursa today, PPB’s share price fell six sen or 0.32% to RM18.58 for a market value of about RM26.38 billion.

PPB has 1.42 billion issued shares, according to its annual report.

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MY CAMPUS: Beckman Institute Director Jeff Moore


jeff moore

Jeff Moore holds two degrees from the University of Illinois — a bachelor’s in chemistry (1984) and Ph.D. in materials science (1989).

Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette

You name it, JEFF MOORE does it at the UI’s Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology — work, eat, think, lead, meet, get tested for COVID and, starting Friday, help put on the first virtual edition of the building’s biennial open house.

The two-day event will kick off at midnight Friday at beckman.illinois.edu/openhouse and include many of the same family-friendly favorite features as in-person editions did. Plus more — from Bugscope, a for-the-kids look at insect specimens on Beckman’s environmental scanning electron microscope, to a videotaped conversation between Moore, Beckman’s current director, and Ted Brown, its founding director.

To set the mood, we asked Moore — a two-degree UI grad, Stanley O. Ikenberry endowed chair and professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering — to tell us about some of his favorite places and spaces on and around campus, several of them involving the interdisciplinary research hub he directs.

As a student, I enjoyed finding a corner table in the vending room in the Illini Union. As a faculty member, I found the greatest ideas came over meals shared with my colleagues, professors Nancy Sottos and the late Scott White.

We’d grab a bite to eat from the Beckman Café and sit outside or in the atrium. Many collaborative research ideas came from those lunch conversations. When we finished talking research, we’d commiserate about “daughter’s boyfriend” problems.

Most of my interview was spent in Roger Adams Lab, on the Monday after the Super Bowl in 1993.

I traveled down from Ann Arbor, Michigan the night before and I had no idea who played in the game. I had meetings with Professors Peter Beak, Scott Denmark and John Katzenellenbogen.

Only a few years earlier, each of them taught me organic chemistry in their classrooms. Now, they were considering hiring me.

There was an awkward feeling of what they’d remember about me as a student.

Insider

In Thursday’s News-Gazette: Editor Jeff D’Alessio’s weekly Illini Insider page.

I would almost certainly bring a visitor to the Illinois MRI Exhibit, which is located just off the Beckman Institute Atrium. There, you will see the magnets and equipment of the first-ever human MRI scanners.

This little gem will be featured prominently on the Beckman open house page.

I’d probably want to bring by visitors during an afternoon when the building is hopping, and all sorts of people are connecting around the atrium/cafe. Because of COVID-19, this isn’t a reality right now, but we’re using our virtual open house to give online visitors a sense of how groundbreaking the University of Illinois’ research contributions to MRI have been.

As an undergraduate, I fell in love with calculus. Professor Joe Miles taught the second-semester course in the spring of 1981. He lit a fire in me for the love of learning in the Altgeld Hall auditorium.

My dingy little basement room in Sigma Pi Fraternity, then on the corner of Second and Daniels in Champaign.

I had an 8 a.m. class, and my roommate, Jim Constertina, was taking his CPA exam that semester. He was intensely studying that semester, and couldn’t be distracted; I needed to be awake for the 8 o’clock, so we decided to adopt a schedule that limited human contact, maximized focus and helped me to be wide awake in the morning.

Sunday through Thursday evening, we slept immediately after dinner, wake before 2 a.m. and studied in the room until it was time to go to class. We’d often set the alarm just in time to order grinders or ‘za — Papa Del’s pizza — before closing.

It’s not one place but it’s a favorite 20-mile running route that covers Savoy, Urbana and Champaign. It’s beautiful on a crisp October morning, and especially memorable when friends like Lloyd Munjanja join me.

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The Beckman Cafe remains my favorite place on campus to eat. Our open house features a few recipes from cafe manager Joshua Walker.

Where you’d find me on Friday and Saturday nights as a student

I was a nose-to-the-grindstone student. My friend, Mike Gartlan, and I would spend our weekend evenings studying in the main library stacks, usually until closing, six or seven days a week during our freshman and sophomore years.

Occasionally, backpacks full of books, we’d swing by one of the campus bars to grab a beer on the way back home.

470 Roger Adams Lab, which I knew as a student as the office of professors Nelson Leonard and Eric Jacobsen.

I was humbled to be in that space where so much great chemistry had been discussed before.

Certainly Beckman. Beckman wants to be an excellent campus partner and hosting a testing site was a great way to contribute to keeping everyone on campus healthy. Plus, it offers proximity to the Beckman Cafe.

The best professional news has come from hearing about research breakthroughs, delivered straight from excited mouths of students who just had a big “ah-ha” moment.

One morning, sometime in 2008, I was in Roger Adams Lab when Stephanie Potisek and Doug Davis, two Ph.D. students in the Moore Group, pounded on the office door. They could not wait to show me that they had discovered the long-sought polymer that changes color when it’s pulled apart.

That was a key demonstration of the new idea we called mechanophores, useful for damage detection and repair. They knew they hit pay dirt and they had to share the news right away.

The Beckhenge sculpture, just south of the Beckman Institute. Each summer solstice, it offers is uplifting to experience the astronomical beginning of summer.

The spire from Beckhenge aligns with the exact center of the fountain closest to it.

jeff moore

In addition to serving as director of the UI’s Beckman Institute, Jeff Moore is a Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chair, professor of chemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette

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Sunset Magazine writer ventures to New Idria

Road washout forces her to go off-roading to reach destination.

There’s an adage, “The journey is more important than the destination.” It’s often quoted, but seldom attributed to anyone in particular.

It took two tries for Hannah McKelson to make it over impassable roads to get to New Idria. Photo courtesy of Hannah McKelson.It took two tries for Hannah McKelson to make it over impassable roads to get to New Idria. Photo courtesy of Hannah McKelson.

Where Hannah McKelson is concerned, a quote from Oliver Goldsmith, an 18th-century novelist and playwright, “Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations,” might be more appropriate.

When McKelson, a 21-year-old burgeoning writer for Sunset Magazine, pitched the idea of writing a series of stories about ghost towns to her friend JD Simkins, who writes for the WildLands section, she thought her first article would highlight the abandoned mercury mine and town of New Idria.

Initially, she may have had romantic visions of an adventure in exploring the past in the remnants of a town where saloons were frequented by overworked miners and cowboys rode pell-mell down dusty streets. What she wasn’t contemplating, though, was how difficult it would be to drive from her home in Pacifica to the depths of southern San Benito County.

She said if not for the pandemic she would be going into the office where she worked full-time in marketing, but since she’s been working remotely she has had the flexibility to search out other writing adventures. She has long been curious about California ghost towns and was already familiar with the more famous ones, such as Bodie and Calico.

Little is left of the once bustling mining town after the 2010 fire. Photo courtesy of Hannah McKelson.Little is left of the once bustling mining town after the 2010 fire. Photo courtesy of Hannah McKelson.

“Wildland, as a subset of Sunset Magazine, is also very interested in environmentalism and conservation, and a friend of mine asked me if I had heard of New Idria,” she said. “I hadn’t, so I did a bunch of research and I talked to some of my colleagues at the University of California Berkeley in the geology department and asked them how New Idria and the Clear Creek Management area came to be a Superfund site.”

A pile of ore tailings left behind after the mine closed in 1972. Photo by John Chadwell.A pile of ore tailings left behind after the mine closed in 1972. Photo by John Chadwell.

Part of her research involved talks with local rancher John Eade, reading some books he recommended, journals written by early explorers, and talking to geology friends about the mercury mining town.

The New Idria Mercury Mine site is located in the New Idria Mining District, which includes over a dozen smaller mercury mines. The New Idria mining claim was declared in 1854 by prospectors and investors. In 1857, the first brick furnace to roast cinnabar ore was built at the site. 

“I did the research to understand what happened with New Idria and how it fit in the ecosystem of that area,” McKelson said.

The town's post office also burned during the 2010 fire. Photo by John Chadwell.The town’s post office also burned during the 2010 fire. Photo by John Chadwell.

McKelson said Simkins loved the idea of telling the story of New Idria. Depending on her being able to get to New Idria and the other ghost towns, she said it could be a two-part story or possibly the first in a series.

On her first attempt to get to New Idria, Hannah McKelson was stopped by a 50-foot break in New Idria Road, eight miles from her destination. Photo courtesy of Hannah McKelson.On her first attempt to get to New Idria, Hannah McKelson was stopped by a 50-foot break in New Idria Road, eight miles from her destination. Photo courtesy of Hannah McKelson.

“The first part would be about the absolutely ridiculous measures I had to take just to get out to New Idria,” she said. “It’s very challenging because the closure of New Idria Road makes it entirely impassable, and then passage through the Clear Creek Management area on to the county road after you pass the R14 gate you have to have an off-road vehicle to navigate safely through the area. The road is practically undriveable.”

She first attempted to get there in her car on Feb. 20, driving three hours from her home into San Benito County and eventually to New Idria Road. Because of all the potholes she said it took another hour to get to the point where she was literally stopped in her tracks.

“We made it all the way through the flatlands to the washout, about eight miles from New Idria,” she said.

The second time, McKelson came up through the Clear Creek area and if not for another friend who is an experienced off-road driver and grew up in the area, she would not have been able to get to the town.

“It was another three-hour trip, then at least two hours if not three of off-roading,” she said. “There were multiple water crossings and thick mud before we were off BLM [Bureau of Land Management] land and getting on to New Idria Road [on the west side of the town].”

She said part of her research involved talking to the BLM.

“They were incredibly helpful,” she said. “It was eerily quiet, which was surprising because the area is fairly well known. I was also surprised by the sheer amount of clutter inside the buildings. One image, in particular, struck me. It was a child’s toy laying in a sea of trash and a bottle of ranch dressing in what looked like a convenience store. It was a peculiar show of former humanity that I was not expecting to see.”

McKelson’s story, One of California’s Lost Ghost Towns is Lost for Good Reason, can now be read at Sunset Magazine.

Former hotel at New Idria. Photo by John Chadwell.Former hotel at New Idria. Photo by John Chadwell.

 

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Anne Beatts, pioneering ‘SNL’ writer and ‘Square Pegs’ creator, has died

(CNN) — Anne Beatts, a pioneering writer for “Saturday Night Live” and National Lampoon who also created the sitcom “Square Pegs,” died Wednesday, according to a statement from NBC. She was 74.

A two-time Emmy winner for “SNL,” Beatts became the first female contributing editor to the humor magazine National Lampoon before being tapped as part of the founding writing team on the NBC latenight program in 1975. She worked on a number of memorable sketches, including several featuring Gilda Radner, among them the “Nerds” with then-writing partner Rosie Shuster. Beatts was also a writer on the 1980 film “Gilda Live,” a filmed version of Radner’s Broadway show.

In a 2009 interview with the Television Academy, Beatts recalled of those early days on the show, “Rosie Shuster and I collaborated a lot, and for most of the time we were the only two women. … We would always feel the responsibility to make sure that ‘the girls’ in the cast, as they were known, were covered.”

Beatts left “Saturday Night” in 1980 and created “Square Pegs,” a teen-oriented comedy that starred Sarah Jessica Parker but ran only one season.

Subsequent credits included “The Cosby Show” spinoff “A Different World” and producing “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Her writing also included books — co-editing a collection of women’s humor called “Titters” — and a column for the Los Angeles Times.

Beatts returned to “SNL” to contribute to its 25th anniversary special in 1999. Most recently, she had been teaching writing at Chapman University in Southern California through its school of film and media arts, having also taught at USC and Cal State University at Northridge.

Original “SNL” cast member Laraine Newman tweeted, “Our Anne — an OG SNL writer passed away yesterday.” In 2020, Vulture critic Jen Chaney wrote an appreciation of Beatts, saying, “Whether they realize it or not, every teen series and movie that followed ‘Square Pegs’ owes it, and Anne Beatts, a debt of total gratitude.”

She is survived by her daughter, Jaylene Beatts. The cause of death was not disclosed.

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