The definition of "political avenue" are built on the fact that a political decision affects the road of life-choices people have access to when they 'travel' through their lifes or the options politicians make available to them.
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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Britain's Prince William has arrived in New Zealand for a two-day visit to commemorate wartime soldiers and visit survivors of last month's mosque attacks.
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - University of Oregon community members are calling for potential layoffs and cuts to be routed back to the administration as Provost Jayanth Banavar proposes substantial budget cuts for arts and cultural programs.
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George Grande had no idea what ESPN was about to create when he anchored the first telecast of the NFL draft in 1980.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Demian Bichir announced the death of his wife, Canadian actress and model Stefanie Sherk, in a heartfelt message on Instagram.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - A representative for Ken Kercheval says the actor who played Cliff Barnes on the hit TV series "Dallas" has died. Kercheval was 83.
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Taylor Swift may be one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world — but the singer-songwriter herself also has plenty to say about what influences her. In an exclusive video for TIME, Swift explained three things that shape the way she thinks, from a social network that she adores to the iconic rock star she admires and the animals who bring her joy.
First up in her influences: the social media platform Tumblr. “I go on Tumblr and it’s like a window into what my fans are going through,” Swift says. “They post about what they think is cool, what they think is unjust or problematic.” Swift has long been known by her followers to hang around on Tumblr; eagle-eyed fans notice everything she likes on the platform and interpret her activity as hints about her work. But this pronouncement confirms it.
Next is a rock star who is also a role model to her. “I look at Paul McCartney and I see how he’s had just this amazing career—he’s created unparalleled art,” Swift says of the former Beatle, who just released his latest album, Egypt Station, last year at age 76. “He’s always been known to be kind to people, respectful and also really selfless as a performer.”
Finally, anyone who’s followed Swift more than casually will know that she’s a feline fanatic. “I have cats. I’m obsessed with them. I love my cats so much that when a role came up in a movie called Cats, I just thought, like, I gotta do this,” she says of her decision to join the cast of the upcoming live-action film adaptation of the classic play. “Like, this is my calling in life to do this—for the ladies.” (On set, there was even a “cats school” to help actors get in animal character.) As for what she appreciates about cats? “They’re very dignified. They’re independent. They’re very capable of dealing with their own life.” Sounds like the kind of influence we can all look up to.
Swift is expected to release a new project on Friday, after teasing a new era on social media for the past few months.
NEW YORK (AP) - By any measure, the release of "Avengers: Endgame" is a movie-theater event unlike any other.
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NEW YORK (AP) - President Donald Trump's prison-bound former lawyer candidly told actor Tom Arnold last month that he pleaded guilty to some crimes he didn't commit so his wife wouldn't "get dragged into the mud of this crap."
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The second episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones left no doubt in viewers’ minds at the Battle of Winterfell between the Living and the Dead would take place in the next episode. The White Walkers approached, and all our favorite heroes prepared for battle. HBO released new photos on Wednesday that hint that the battle to come could take an unexpected turn.
Jon, Daenerys and the rest of the characters laid out a plan of defense in the episode: They determined that if they are able to kill the Night King, all the wights he created will fall too. They decided Bran would lure the Night King to him, and Jon and Daenerys would wait far-off with their dragons. When the Night King appeared, they would swoop in and try to kill him with dragon fire. In the meantime, their army would try to hold off the rest of the White Walkers and wights from Winterfell.
Sure enough, in one of the photos, Jon and Deanerys look onto the battle from afar, presumably waiting for the signal from Bran. But Jon also looks shocked or perhaps even scared in one photo, which is concerning because he’s battle-worn at this point in the story.
In another photo, Varys and Tyrion confer in the crypts, Brienne and Jaime lead the ground troops, side-by-side, and Sansa and Arya exchange a surprised look from up on the wall.
See all of the new photos below:Courtesy of HBOKit Harington as Jon Snow. Courtesy of HBOEmilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Helen Sloan/HBOConleth Hill as Varys and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Courtesy of HBONikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth. Helen Sloan/HBOSophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. Helen Sloan/HBOSophie Turner as Sansa Stark.
Avengers: Endgame promises to bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we’ve known it for the past 11 years to a close. So it seems like the perfect time to go back and reflect on how we feel about the biggest blockbusters of the Avengers era. We polled Marvel fans at TIME to rank every single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
In order to make sure that our internal votes aligned somewhat with critical and commercial standards, we took a few factor into account. Our methodology calculates the votes of TIME staffers; a “public opinion” vote represented by opening weekend box office, adjusted for inflation; and a “critical vote” represented by the movie’s ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. Opening weekend data tracks very closely with worldwide gross data, so we chose opening weekend in order to more quickly update the list as more Marvel movies debut in the future.
An important note: Marvel movies tend to make far more than your average film — or even your average blockbuster. The Incredible Hulk has the lowest (adjusted) opening weekend for a Marvel movie with $55.4 million in 2008. That’s a solid opening weekend for just about any other film. But as Marvel has grown in popularity, its openings have become gargantuan. The team-up movies do especially well: Last year’s Avengers: Infinity War had the biggest opening weekend ever in U.S. history with $257.7 million. So when we note that lower budget Marvel films focusing on a single superhero like Ant-Man — with a $57.2 million opening weekend— only did OK at the box office, that assessment is meant to only be relative to other Marvel films.
Ten TIME staffers — ranging from culture writers who cover Marvel movies for a living to Marvel fans in the art, video, photo and copy departments — got 60% of the total weight. Our public vote, or box office, accounted for 20%, and the Rotten Tomatoes critical vote accounted for another 20%. In all three categories, the movies were ranked 1 to 21, according to popularity, with 1 being the best and 21 the worst. The final ranking was based on the weighted average, as described above.
When it came to the results, TIME staffers tended to fall in two camps: Those who love solo superhero outings, and those who relish team-ups, like the Avengers movies. And though there was some differences over where the movies in the middle belonged, ultimately fans, critics and our staff seemed to agree on which films belonged at the very top and the bottom.
Here is the definitive ranking of Marvel movies.21. The Incredible Hulk
This is the movie Marvel Studios would rather you forget that they made: Bruce Banner tries to master his Hulk abilities and fights another Hulk-like creature, Abomination. The Incredible Hulk was Marvel’s lowest-grossing opening weekend ever with $55.4 million, and it ranks as the second-worst among critics. Marvel has since replaced actor Edward Norton with Mark Ruffalo in the role and hasn’t made another solo Hulk movie. Unsurprisingly, this movie had all-around low rankings among staffers: All 10 TIME employees said The Incredible Hulk was among their bottom three Marvel films.20. Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World almost doomed the Thor franchise entirely: Apparently it took some convincing to get Chris Hemsworth to return for a third solo outing after this sequel, which involved Thor fighting a particularly boring villain called Malekith who wanted to turn the world dark — because he loves darkness. Yup, that’s it. With an opening weekend of $85.7 million, this movie falls in the middle of the pack in terms of gross, but received the worst ratings among critics. Eight TIME staffers said it was one of their three least-favorite Marvel movies.19. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Critics ranked this sequel in the middle of the pack: Many felt like the lighthearted tone of Ant-Man and the Wasp was a much-needed balm after the dire events of Infinity War. But TIME staffers placed Ant-Man and the Wasp significantly lower on their lists: the movie lacked a true villain, and too much of the plot is spent explaining the mechanics of shrinking. Fans didn’t seem to be too keen on the duo either: The Ant-Man movies are among the worst performers at the box office for Marvel Studios: Ant-Man and the Wasp brought in just $75.8 million in its opening weekend, ranking 16th among the Marvel movies — and the only ones below it are all earlier movies that premiered before Marvel was the phenomenon it is today.18. Iron Man 2
Fans flocked to the much-anticipated sequel to Iron Man, and the film almost doubled the money that its predecessor made in its opening weekend with $128 million. But critics were largely disappointed with the plot and particularly the film’s villain, Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash, who mumbled his way through most of the movie. Overall, TIME staffers were meh on Iron Man 2.17. Ant-Man
The original Ant-Man barely tops its sequel in the rankings: It brought in even less cash, with a $57.2 million opening weekend at the box office, and ranks lower among critics. But TIME’s staff gave the lighthearted romp OK scores, which bumped it up the ranks. It all just goes to show that as Marvel gets increasingly galactic in scale, it’s nice to know that they can keep things small and fun.16. Thor
Thor landed in the middle of many TIME staffers’ lists: No one loved it, and no one hated it. But the public and critical reaction means Thor ended up toward the bottom of our rankings. Thor’s origin story, during which his father casts him out of Asgard and down to Earth, is the third-lowest grossing movie in the MCU (at $65.7 million) and falls toward the bottom of critics’ lists.15. Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 is one of the most divisive films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: The movie deals with Tony’s PTSD after the Battle of New York in The Avengers and does little to advance the overall Marvel plot. TIME’s staff ranked it as their least-favorite Iron Man film. But the film is buoyed up the list by the critical score and box office success. Many critics have praised the bottle movie for its rejection of typical superhero tropes and quippy dialogue in favor of meditation on a hero’s psychology. And the movie made a whopping $174 million its opening weekend and went on to do extremely well overseas. It is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s second-most profitable standalone superhero film after Black Panther.14. Captain America: The First Avenger
Marvel fans were not particularly stoked for Captain America‘s origin story, set during World War II when the super-soldier fought a Nazi-offshoot called HYDRA. The movie brought in only $65 million its opening weekend, and became the second-lowest grossing Marvel film. Critics were mixed too, complaining that the movie was essentially a two-hour trailer for the Avengers, which premiered the following year. But TIME’s voters seem to have a soft spot for the hero. Captain America has evolved into the heart of the Marvel franchise, thanks to Chris Evans’ sensitive performance as a man lost in time. Plus, the Russo brothers’ inventive plotting in Winter Soldier and Civil War has helped propel the hero up the ranks.13. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Neither critics nor TIME staffers particularly liked Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers sequel in which Tony Stark creates an artificially intelligent being that wants to destroy humanity, and ranked it as the eighth-worst and fourth-worst Marvel movie, respectively. But, like all the Avengers movies, Age of Ultron did very well at the box office with a $191.3 million opening weekend.12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
You can’t really be mad at a movie that involves Baby Groot and a gold-hued Elizabeth Debicki as a secondary villain. But like many sequels in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t much advance the plot of the larger cinematic universe, and both critics and TIME viewers pushed it lower on the list for that reason. Still, the movie brought in $146.5 million on its opening weekend.11. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange earned high ratings from critics, many of whom cited its mind-bending visuals as a high point. In many ways, the movie felt more like an homage to the Matrix than a typical quip-punch Marvel film. It lands eighth on the critical list. But many of the Marvel diehards at TIME prefer that standard formula that makes so many Marvel movies work and ranked it much lower on their lists. Fans agreed, and, relative to other Marvel films the movie had a decent opening at the box office with $85 million.10. Captain Marvel*
Captain Marvel, which opened in March and has not yet reached its final gross, fared better with our staff than with the critics. This was Marvel Studios’ first movie starring a solo female superhero and broke ground in the genre. Many of our staff put Captain Marvel in their top 10 Marvel movies, while critics ranked it as 16th-best. Its box office opening buoys it on the list: Despite being a solo feature, Captain Marvel had the 9th highest opening weekend of any Marvel movie. The only solo Marvel film to do better are Black Panther and Iron Man 3.9. Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy proved divisive among TIME’s staff. Some people ranked it as high as number two on their list, others placed it as low as 19. Many felt that the movie about a rag-tag group of galactic superheroes that includes a trisyllabic tree, a talking raccoon and green-hued assassin should fall in the middle of the list — exactly where critics ranked it at number seven. The movie had a decent opening weekend at $94.3 million — especially for superheroes without major name recognition — but gained popularity through word-of-mouth.8. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Homecoming wisely did away with Uncle Ben’s death scene and other hallmarks of Peter Parker’s origin story that audiences had watched multiple before. Instead, they focused on a politically relevant everyman villain raging against the one percent. The movie was embraced by critics, who rated it as their fifth most popular MCU film. TIME took a more skeptical view of the film, perhaps because the Miles Morales-focused Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse movie that Sony Studios has since made (and thus is not technically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as created by Marvel Studios) skyrocketed to the top of many people’s Spider-Man movie rankings.7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
This movie ranked extremely high among the TIME staff, landing around number four in our internal rankings. The sequel raked in $179 million its opening weekend comes in at ninth among critics. The movie, which borrowed beats from Cold War thrillers, clearly impressed the brass at Marvel. The Russo brothers, who directed the film, proved with this movie that they understood Captain America and his vintage appeal. They went on to become stalwarts of the franchise, directing Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.6. Iron Man
Iron Man performed very well among critics: It’s number two on Rotten Tomatoes’ list. At the time, many critics were pleasantly surprised by the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that focused on a character that was, at the time, a B-list Marvel superhero. Audiences and TIME staff were less bullish on Tony Stark’s debut. Iron Man’s box office was $128 million, great for a cinematic universe debut but relatively small when compared to future Marvel behemoths. (For perspective, Iron Man‘s opening weekend fell short compared to those of Spider-Man and X-Men, two other buzzy superhero debuts.) And though Iron Man ranked among TIME’s favorite movies, some staffers have argued recency bias pushed a few films from the last year above this classic.5. Thor: Ragnarok
Taika Waititi’s quirky Thor: Ragnarok made the all-too-serious God of Thunder funny for once. It proved to be a critical darling, ranking third among all the Marvel films, and our staff loved it too. But it brought in less than half of the money Avengers: Infinity War made in their respective opening weekends, which brings it down in our rankings. (It’s still a huge haul though!)4. Captain America: Civil War
Half the fun of comic books is speculating about who would win in a fight: Captain America or Iron Man? Scarlet Witch or Vision? Captain America: Civil War, which included just about every Earth-bound superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was happy to answer that question and dozens more as the heroes divided themselves into two groups over a political disagreement. The Russo brothers wisely turned Iron Man into the villain (or at least anti-hero) of this movie, earning solid critical reviews and praise from TIME staff. The movie opened sixth overall on the list with $179.3 million.3. Avengers: Infinity War
Infinity War certainly defied expectations when it — spoiler alert — turned half its massive cast of characters into dust at the end of the film. The twist largely proved popular with fans: Infinity War ranked highly with both the public (it’s Marvel’s biggest opening weekend ever) and staff — three TIME employees ranked this movie as number one. But it didn’t do as well with critics, who complained that the epic was overcrowded with some 27 superheroes and that the knowledge that at least some of the “dead” characters will have to return eliminates any real suspense headed into the sequel. It ranks #11 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list.2. The Avengers
After properly laying the groundwork with several solo films, Marvel was the first major studio to release a superhero team-up film that actually worked. The studio also picked the best villain on their bench — Loki, perfectly played by Tom Hiddleston — to get up to mischief in this film. Though this formula would grow tired and bloated in later years, director Joss Whedon’s movie was a revelation at the time, propelling it to number four on the critics’ rankings. It was also a massive hit at the box office, easily earning a spot on the list of the highest-grossing movies of all time. It ranks second in Marvel opening weekends, outdone only by Infinity War.1. Black Panther
Black Panther‘s lofty perch at the top of this list probably doesn’t surprise you: It’s the only superhero movie to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. But beyond that, Black Panther did well in all of our categories: It’s Marvel’s highest-grossing movie domestically and the most universally beloved among critics. Three of 10 TIME staffers ranked Black Panther as their top Marvel movie. Seven of TIME’s staff ranked the movie in their top 3. It’s safe to say this one deserves the top spot.
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(NEW YORK) — There’s no truth to the rumor that James Holzhauer is a cyborg created to be the perfect “Jeopardy!”contestant.
But given how he’s made a level of excellence rarely seen on the television quiz show appear almost mundane, it sometimes seems that way. Holzhauer eclipsed the $1 million mark in winnings Tuesday on his 14th appearance. Not only has he won $131,127 to shatter the program’s previous one-day record of $77,000, he already has the top five one-day scores in the history of a game that has aired regularly since 1984.
The professional gambler from Las Vegas is quick on his feet and quick with the buzzer, displays an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and — true to his profession — is cold-blooded in his willingness to risk big sums of money.
The show’s most hallowed records, set in 2004 when Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row and earned more than $2.5 million, seem like a plausible goal.
“James is just a perfect ‘Jeopardy!’ machine,” Jennings told The Associated Press this week.
Like most of the game’s best players, he did his share of studying in advance, finding that books geared to young people were a good way to learn about unfamiliar topics. He built a replica of the show’s buzzer and practiced while playing along on TV, standing in his living room like he has to do now in front of a lectern. Holzhauer says he rarely guesses — he doesn’t like those odds — but seems never to have forgotten a fact.
“My goal was just to be less nervous than the other players,” he said. “Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I snapped my fingers three times and pictured a fun snow festival with my daughter.”
He did have one audacious goal: to honor his daughter by winning $110,914 in a single episode, since her birthday was Nov. 9, 2014. He accomplished that on his fourth show.
His strategy is to begin games with the highest-value clues, hoping to quickly build winnings and land on the one “Daily Double” in the first round. When he does, he usually bets everything, punctuating it with a motion that makes it seem like he’s pushing in all his chips. If he’s wrong, there’s enough time to earn more money. But he’s rarely wrong.
The two “Daily Doubles” in the game’s second round are also coveted. He doesn’t bet everything then, but he puts a lot on the line.
Holzhauer said show host Alex Trebek once told him that he doesn’t gamble because he could win $1,000 and not care, but that losing $20 annoys him.
“I’m not surprised that most contestants don’t gamble the way I do,” he said. “Loss aversion is a very real factor.”
The Final Jeopardy round gives him one more chance to place a big bet. On the show that aired April 17, Holzhauer bet $60,000 on the category of 20th Century literary figures. The clue was: His first name refers to the ancient district in which you’d find the Greek capital; his surname is a bird.
He correctly answered: Who is Atticus Finch?
“Most ‘Jeopardy!’ players never think about maximizing winnings,” Jennings said. “I never did. I just wanted to survive the game and get to play again. But he’s a sports bettor. Maximizing winnings is everything to him. I wouldn’t have the stomach to bet $60,000 on a Final Jeopardy clue. What if you get that wrong, and you have to come back in five minutes and play another game knowing that you just blew a year’s salary on a single trivia question? Psychologically, I doubt that I could have rattled off a long streak doing that. But James just seems to be made for those dangerous plays. He’s a cool customer.”
Jennings can envision future players trying to imitate Holzhauer’s strategy of building up big winnings fast. But in a lesser player, that could be disastrous.
“I’m not sure I can really bet any more boldly than I have already,” Holzhauer said. “I can keep my foot on the accelerator, though.”
For a show with a long history, his single-day achievements beg for some perspective. Consider it this way: It’s like a young Major League baseball player hitting 95 home runs in a season (the record is 73 by Barry Bonds), then following it up with a couple of seasons in the 80s.
Holzhauer often watches with friends as his streak plays out on weekday evenings (shows are taped well in advance). “People seem to think it is really cool to watch someone on TV while you’re sitting next to them,” he said.
He hopes his celebrity stays low-key. He gets recognized in public now but said most people are respectful, save one fan “who got a little too handsy with my bicep” at a hockey game.
With his style of play, Holzhauer considers Jennings’ earnings record a more achievable goal than the 74-game winning streak. Given the show’s schedule, which includes tournaments and reruns, fans wouldn’t know until September if he approaches the standard of consecutive shows. Since the show’s ratings are already spiking, producers won’t mind if he sticks around.
“I’ve been waiting 15 years for someone to make a run at me, and it’s finally happening,” Jennings said. “The closer he gets to the cash and game records, the closer I will be watching. I’m rooting for the guy.”
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Imprisoned actor Bill Cosby is renewing attacks on a Pennsylvania trial judge as he again seeks bail while he appeals his sex-assault conviction.
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Avengers: Endgame—the 22nd movie to emerge from the Marvel Cinematic Universe birth canal and the capper to the two-part saga that began with last year’s Avengers: Infinity War—makes more sense as an event than as a movie. The film has been meticulously crafted for people who care deeply about these characters, and it’s likely most of those viewers will leave the theater satisfied. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (also the directors of Avengers: Infinity War, as well as two of the Captain America films) and their team of writers have ensured, with machinelike precision, that each Avenger gets his or her proper allotment of sensitive moments, as well as heroic ones. Once in a while, Endgame is enjoyable on its own terms, though mostly, you’ll be better off if you have at least a rough working knowledge of the MCU movies that have preceded it. It’s an entertainment designed to please many, many people and disappoint as few as possible, extravagant without necessarily having a vision beyond its desire not to put a foot wrong. It’s bold in the safest possible way.
In other words, as movies that are part of multi-billion-dollar franchises go, Avengers: Endgame is good enough. I must note here that I have little invested in the Marvel movies as the result of any attachment to Marvel comics. But I do care about the work of the actors who appear in them, performers like Chris Evans and Scarlet Johansson, Chadwick Boseman and Robert Downey Jr., Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Renner. All of these people have been terrific in MCU movies, even when they could easily get by with being less than terrific. Watching Endgame, I realized that I do care about Marvel characters because these actors have made me care.
The skill those actors—along with some I haven’t mentioned, like Tessa Thompson and Mark Ruffalo and Benedict Cumberbatch—bring to the Marvel movies in general, and to Avengers: Endgame specifically, only makes me wish these movies were breezier and more inventive, and less obsessed with the high-stakes, big-money fan-pleasing game. But you can’t have everything, and Endgame at least gives these actors something to work with. (Minor-to-moderate spoilers follow, so if you want to experience Endgame with the naïve blankness of a tadpole freshly launched into the pond, please stop reading here.)
Endgame opens with an unnerving, gracefully filmed prologue involving Renner’s Clint Barton, Hawkeye when in his superhero guise. He’s enjoying an outdoor picnic with his family when it becomes clear that what we’re seeing is a moment connected to the tail end of Infinity War: The instant supervillain Thanos (Josh Brolin) snapped his fingers—after having captured the last of those six all-powerful nuggets known as the Infinity Stones—and destroyed exactly half the world’s population, leaving the other half to grieve and remember. (It’s more cruel, when you think about it, to destroy half the world than all of it.) This megalomaniacal act was Thanos’s way of cleansing what he viewed as a corrupt universe. But Hawkeye, having retreated from Avengers duty to be a family man, wasn’t around to witness Thanos’s big finale—and, as Endgame begins, he doesn’t yet know that half his friends have turned to dust. And so, in this moment, we know what’s going to happen before Hawkeye does: He turns away from his family for just a millisecond, and in a blink, they’re gone.
Next we see the other remaining Avengers pulling themselves together after the tragedy—or, in the case of Scott Lang/Antman (Paul Rudd), just waking up after a Quantum Realm-induced nap. Lang quickly gets up to speed on what he missed, and comes up with the germ of a plan: Might the Avengers go back in time to foil Thanos’s plan of half-destruction? Lang introduces his idea to remaining Avengers Steve Rogers/Captain America (Evans), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Johansson) and James Rhodes/War Machine (Cheadle). They bring this spark of an idea to the guy who might be able to make it work, Downey’s Tony Stark/Iron Man, who barely survived Thanos’s destructathon. First Stark says it’s impossible; then he changes his mind—but he also worries that if the scheme doesn’t work, he’ll lose all he’s gained in what has for him become a bittersweet time, an era during which he’s mourning his lost friends but also starting a new life for himself.
The plan to turn back time is less a major plot point than a mechanism to keep the story clicking, and the middle section—in which the Avengers break into groups to travel to specific places and years where they can grab one Infinity Stone or another before Thanos can get his dirty mitts on any of them—is the movie’s finest. Avengers: Endgame is a better movie than Avengers: Infinity War in one important sense: It relies less on milking tears out of us (for characters who have “died” but who we know will come back again—they’re too valuable to the franchise to be gone for good) than on focusing on what each of these characters might mean to us, given our history with them. The mid-section of Endgame shows the Avengers actors at their best. Chris Hemsworth, as a Thor who has slid into a state of pot-bellied depression post-Thanos, gets a chance to reunite with his long-dead mother, Frigga (Rene Russo), in the kingdom of his birth, Asgard. He greets her tentatively, almost shyly, nearly dumbfounded by the gift of seeing her again even for a few moments; she discreetly asks about his funky eye. The tenderness between them is lush and quiet, underscoring what’s most valuable about Endgame: There is only one gargantuan, booming fight scene, and it’s not the centerpiece of the movie. It’s as if the Russo brothers have finally acknowledged that bigger, noisier battles amount to less rather than more. At least we can hope.
Endgame does give us some arresting visuals: Thompson’s Valkyrie riding on a winged horse, anyone? But generally, the actors are Endgame’s finest special effect. Though we’re made to wait for the entrance of Boseman’s T’Challa/Black Panther, it’s worth it: He coasts into the movie on a regal cloud. And Robert Downey, after playing Tony Stark/Iron Man for perhaps too many years, snaps back into form. In the 2008 Iron Man, Downey brought a kind of frazzled elegance to the role of Stark—his nervous energy seemed to spark from his fingertips, as if it were too much for his body to contain. In the years since, his Iron Man performances have become more brittle, more reliant on tics. But in Endgame, Stark’s moments of doubt feel lived-in—Downey’s performance is alive with prickly uncertainty. Even when Endgame hits its generally predictable beats, you can still count on the actors to shift the mood into slightly uncomfortable emotional territory.
The Russos and their writers clearly took pains to give nearly each character a gratifying arc, and a proper—if not necessarily soft—place to land. That must have been a lot of work, and a few of the Avengers get short shrift: The ever-so-powerful Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) drops out of the movie for a long stretch, eventually returning with…a short haircut. Some arc.
But the Russos more than make up for that with the discreet, wistful coda they give Steve Rogers/Captain America. It’s the movie’s single most gorgeous element, perfectly fitting for a guy who entered a 70-year sleep right after finding the love of his life. Evans’ Captain America has always been, physically speaking, the beefiest of all the Avengers, as sturdy and wholesome as the “after” picture in a Charles Atlas ad. Yet Evans has also always been one of the most understated actors in the franchise. As Steve, Evans’ smile is easy, friendly, in a stock all-American way. But there’s never been any swagger behind it. It’s the smile of a guy who’s lost something valuable, whose view of the future is perpetually tinted with the color of what he left behind. Avengers: Endgame isn’t a great movie, but there are flashes of greatness in it, and quite a few of them belong to Evans. His Captain America rewards us with a revelation and escapes with a secret. The best thing in Avengers: Endgame is everything he doesn’t say.
NEW YORK (AP) - Best-selling novelist Nora Roberts is suing a Brazilian writer for copyright infringement, alleging that Cristiane Serruya has committed "multi-plagiarism" on a "rare and scandalous" level.
In papers filed Wednesday morning in Rio de Janeiro, where Serruya lives, Roberts called her romance books "a literary patchwork, piecing ...
The Associated Press is joining with the Religion News Service and the nonprofit publisher The Conversation to form a global initiative to expand news reporting on religion in the United States and around the world.
The collaboration is being funded by an 18-month, $4.9 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. ...
The Mother of Dragons has given us a lot of gifts in Game of Thrones’ seven (and soon-to-be eight) full seasons. But when Daenerys and Sansa finally spoke privately in the final season’s second episode on Sunday, Emilia Clarke’s acting resonated with viewers who felt they could understand exactly how she felt as her face curled into a tense smile.
It’s the hottest new meme to come out of Westeros.
Sansa (Sophie Turner), the Lady of Winterfell, clashed with Daenerys — naturally, some viewers characterized the meeting as passive aggressive, as both leaders wish to claim and maintain power. The episode also drew criticism for pitting the two powerful women against each other: TIME’s TV critic Judy Berman called the storyline an emergence of the “catfight” trope.
One moment in particular has captured the internet’s attention for its comedic potential: Daenerys smiling through a potentially awkward moment.
Dany’s smile, called “forced” and “passive” by Twitter users aplenty, may be one of the more relatable moments to come out of the fictional story yet. Some compared the look to moments of frustration at work or with family, while others pointed to everyone’s least-favorite awkward encounters.
This is exactly the look yo girl give yo female friends when she first meet them https://t.co/Jn0duDZEyk
— Its Freddy (@YoFuckFreddy) April 23, 2019
“….and you may need to work some weekends too depending on your workload”
Me during an interview: https://t.co/dm77XTXR7d
— Anu (@ChiefAnu) April 23, 2019
We must wait until Sunday for the next installment of Thrones, but in the interim, here are some of the best memes of Daenerys’ smile.
Customer: let me talk to the manager
Me getting ready to say that I am the manager pic.twitter.com/0ElaD0zsB5
— ᗄrii☥ (@UchihaAriii) April 24, 2019
Per my last email face https://t.co/xKjuwR94u8
— Matthew A. Cherry 🏁 (@MatthewACherry) April 23, 2019
When Grandad's talking Brexit https://t.co/POllC5bg5k
— Luke🕺🏼 (@LukeCB_) April 23, 2019
someone : "that’s my baby! isn’t he cute?"
me : "mhm" https://t.co/dzt3U8SCpf
— manon | endgame TODAY (@reedushiddles) April 23, 2019
how my mum smiles at me when I break something in front of guests
— Aasia (@aasiatweeter) April 23, 2019
GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling guns and compiling a hit list of prominent Democrats and network TV journalists looked at other targets: two Supreme Court justices and two executives of social media companies.
Those new allegations are contained in a court ...
NEW YORK (AP) - Whether or not there would be a final Cranberries' album hinged on what was on a hard drive on the other side of the world.
Last spring the surviving members of the Irish band began combing through unfinished vocals that singer Dolores O'Riordan sent to Ireland ...
NEW YORK (AP) - Sin City? More like Sting City.
Grammy-winning superstar Sting is heading to Las Vegas to launch a residency next year.
Sixteen performances of "Sting: My Songs" will take place at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, beginning May 22, 2020. Shows are also planned for June, August ...
NEW YORK (AP) - The Oscars have tweaked a few rules, but not any that would limit the eligibility of Netflix films at the Academy Awards.
The Academy of Motion Pictures' board of governors early Wednesday announced a handful of changes passed during its annual April rules meeting. But the ...
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) - A lawyer for Ugandan pop star and opposition figure Bobi Wine says the singer has been detained in his house on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala.
Medard Sseggona said Wednesday that Wine, a lawmaker who opposes Uganda's longtime President Yoweri Museveni, is unable to leave ...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country stars Dierks Bentley and Tim McGraw are playing free concerts in Nashville during the NFL Draft, but the hundreds of musicians working in honky tonk clubs just blocks from the draft stage want football fans to remember to tip the band.
With turnout expected for ...
DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) - A man who pawned rare coins stolen from Rob Gronkowski's home while the now-retired New England Patriots tight end was away to play in the Super Bowl has been placed on two years of probation.
A spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney tells The Sun Chronicle ...
NEW YORK (AP) - Thirteen state and local poets laureate will be receiving grants totaling more than $1 million.
The gifts from the Academy of American Poets, announced Wednesday, are for "recognition" of literary excellence and to support civic programs ranging from podcasts to community-based workshops. The $1,050,000 in funding ...
MADRID (AP) - A Spanish foundation has awarded one of the country's most prestigious awards to British theater and film director Peter Brook for opening "new horizons in contemporary dramaturgy."
The jury that awards the Princess of Asturias Awards said Wednesday that the 94-year-old Brook "continues to thrill in an ...
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