Thursday, July 18, 2019

Past NOSTALGIA and New EXCITEMENT Promised in “TOP GUN: MAVERICK” Trailer



Using cinema as recruiting propaganda for organizations and agencies is nothing new, but usually that is a conscious and deliberate element in the movie’s production. But if a film created primarily to entertain becomes a recruiting tool then that can be a happy accident. “Top Gun,” the 1986 air combat action blockbuster which made Tom Cruise a star, also spurred many hot-blooded moviegoers to flood US Navy recruiting desks hoping to make it as aviators. The film became an instant modern classic, with a sequel starting conceptualization nearly 30 years later. At last, ahead of its premiere next year, a first trailer has been released.

ALASKA-MERALCO Game for Last PLAYOFFS Spot in PBA COMMISSIONERS CUP



The second portion of the 2019 PBA Season, represented in the Commissioner’s Cup, will soon enter into its Playoffs stage. As it stands, seven of the eight starting berths for the playoffs quarterfinals have been filled by the top performing PBA teams in the elimination round. The franchises that have already qualified here are Talk & Text, NorthPort, Blackwater, Ginebra, Magnolia, Rain or Shine, and San Miguel. Phoenix, Columbian and NLEX have already been eliminated from contention, leaving just two teams to fight for the eighth spot: the Alaska Aces and Meralco Bolts. Their fates will be decided Friday night in the final elimination game.

First TRAILER for UNIVERSAL’s “CATS” Musical Film ENCHANTS and Discomfits



Yesterday, Universal Pictures gave the first little peek inside their big-budget adaptation production of “Cats,” the iconic musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber based on the poetry collection by T.S. Eliot. It was actually a behind-the-scenes preview of the production, with the cast rehearsing their catlike choreography in some fairly impressive sets that evoke the characters as cat-sized in a large human world. It also included short interviews with the principal stars giving their piece on their participation in this momentous film. All this was but an appetizer for an actual first trailer. We will not have to wait for it any longer; here it is.

Final THERESA MAY Speech as UKPM Calls Out Current Global Political Trend of ABSOLUTIST POPULISM



When the UK voted in referendum to leave the European Union in 2016, it led to a new Leadership Election of the ruling Conservative Party following the resignation of then-Prime Minister David Cameron, who was opposed to the “Brexit” initiative. Public support for her was high from those who voted to leave, and she promised a withdrawal from the EU that would be a compromise that would benefit the UK and not adversely affect the EU.

ABS-CBN LICENSE RENEWAL Woes Escalate as TV5 License Successfully EXTENDED



Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys a strong trust rating among Filipinos, a good sign that the country is supportive of most if not all of his policies. And while President Duterte is sanguine towards supporters, he is also harsh towards critics and opposition figures. ABS-CBN felt this first-hand when, having decided not to run a paid-for Duterte campaign ad before the 2016 Elections in lieu of one from vocal opponent Antonio Trillanes, then a Senator, the President has seemingly blocked all legislation to have the major network’s license renewed before it expires next year. Meanwhile, its other rivals have successfully renewed theirs without much incident.

ARSON Attack Severly BURNS KYOTO ANIMATION Studio with 13 DEAD



International audiences of Japanese anime are often awed by the visuals, setting and storytelling of many such productions. Certain standout anime series and movies are all about action, danger, and probably a large amount of violence, with a possibility that it is all set in that country. It would be unusual considering Japan is one of the most violence-abhorring countries in real life with very restrictive firearms laws almost ensuring only police and the JSDF can carry weapons. So when something violent happens in real-world Japan, the world or at least Asia will notice, like what just happened to a certain anime studio this Thursday.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES Preview of UNIVERSAL’s “CATS” Musical Film, Ahead of First TRAILER



It can be surprising how one can create a full narrative story out of a book collection of poems, but that is exactly what happened T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” transformed by Andrew Lloyd Weber into the iconic long-running musical “Cats.” From its West End opening in 1981, the musical has exploded in productions around the world, and even the most casual fan of musicals will know of “Cats” through one of its memorable songs, “Memory.” A “Cats” musical production has already been made into a video-only film in 1998, but this year, Universal is due to premiere a real big-budget adaptation.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

NINTENDO Announces UPGRADED SWITCH Hybrid Game System with Extended BATTERY Life



The Nintendo Switch, released back in 2017, has proven to be a best-selling innovation in gaming from the iconic Japanese videogame manufacturer, now that it has been on the market for two years. Players have totally been engaged by the device’s hybrid concept, being playable as a big-screen home console, a tabletop multiplayer magnet, or a personal portable experience. With the Switch having established itself as a major, if relatively new, gaming platform, Nintendo can now begin developing revisions for the system. One was a pure-handheld variation in the Switch Lite, revealed last week. The other, a hardware-improved version of the basic Nintendo Switch, has been newly announced this week.

PHILIPPINE AZKALS to Face Tough Opponents CHINA, SYRIA in 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP Asian QUALIFERS



The Philippine Men’s National Football Team, better known as the Azkals, can be credited for making association football, aka soccer, a favorite sport among Filipinos again, almost as important as basketball even. This stems from their “Miracle in Hanoi” match against Vietnam in 2010 during the AFF Suzuki Cup, the tournament that marked a turnaround in the team’s performance from the middling returns that came before. In the years that followed the Azkals has been a constant presence in tournaments even if they never qualified for the FIFA World Cup. That might finally change in their latest campaign for Qatar 2022, now that their qualifier bracket placement has been revealed.

New “PEANUTS” Special “SNOOPY IN SPACE” for APPLE TV+ Gets Trailer During APOLLO 11 Anniversary



There are many media that started in printed comics which could argue to have had become an integral part of American pop culture. Aside from the usual suspects from superhero comic books, there are those from newspaper comic strips. One iconic example was “Peanuts,” created by Charles M. Schulz, which was popular enough to get animated TV specials and movies. After Schulz’s death in 2000, all “Peanuts” assets were packaged into a company currently held by Canada’s DHX Media. In 2018 the whole animated “Peanuts” library was acquired by Apple for digital streaming, and a new animated special is being produced for the launch of the Apple TV+ streaming platform.

LEAKED Images of SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S6 Ahead of Unpacking Event




As the big Unpacking Event by the Korean mobile device manufacturing giant Samsung for August draws near, some strategically-timed leaks of images for the new gadgets that would be officially unveiled then are already circulating on social media. During that time we got the first look at the Galaxy Note 10 phablet, with one of its color options being similar to Huawei’s P30 Pro. Now, another leak has confirmed one other Samsung device making it public debut. It is yet another Galaxy Tab, just shortly after the ultra-thin Tab S5e came out. The Galaxy Tab S6 is coming, and it has got that weird feature which will intrigue longtime Apple users.

TAIKA WAITITI Returning to WRITE and DIRECT MCU’s “THOR 4”



In the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise, certain superheroes and their associated films tend to represent particular storytelling genres from the original comic books they were sourced from. We have Iron Man as the tech-using hero, Captain America as the empowered soldier, Hulk as the monstrously strong force of nature, and Doctor Strange for the magically-themed adventures. Then we have Thor, whose genre seems to shift from “supernatural” to “cosmic” to “comedy” in three successive films. The third, 2018’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” actually was helped by its combination of spacefaring action and quirky hijinks. Marvel Studios seems to be sticking with that for “Thor 4.”

“GAME OF THRONES” Gets NOMINATION RECORD for 2019 PRIMETIME EMMYS



There was a time, in past Primetime Emmy Awards this decade alone, when the nominations were utterly dominated by one show, and from that show, one network. It was the medieval fantasy epic series “Game of Thrones” from HBO, which hooked audiences with its bloody violence, steaming sensuality and subversive nature in terms of storytelling. Years passed, streaming platforms put forth their own original productions, and critical franchise fans became disillusioned by the latter seasons of “Thrones,” especially the divisive eighth and final one, months ago. That has not stopped the series from racking up the Primetime Emmy nominations for HBO one last time however, breaking a new record too.

JANE DE LEON Cast as “DARNA” for Stalled ABS-CBN Film



One might almost think that the latest “Darna” movie in development under ABS-CBN following their acquisition of exclusive rights to the Mars Ravelo media stable has some curse on it. First the initial choice to play – or rather reprise – Darna, Angel Locsin, was nursing an injury, and then later declined for reasons of age. Liza Soberano was then chosen as a replacement only to make her exit as well, due to a painful-looking finger bone fracture that required surgery. The studio has since been spending months searching for a new actress to portray the greatest Western-style Philippine superhero. Finally, they got their new Darna actress.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU" is the New ALL-TIME HIGHEST-GROSSING Videogame MOVIE



In May, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures presented the world with what many who watched it are now claiming to be the best movie adaptation of a videogame ever. Based on the famous “Pokémon” franchise from Nintendo, and specifically a spinoff title that is atypical to other games in the main series, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” nevertheless charmed viewers with its vibrantly realized world that blends real actors with CGI creatures, driven by a positively received main cast. And now, months after its release, the box office statistics have made official what initial emotional pronouncements were made. This film is tops.

FDCP Floating Idea for Holding SECOND MMFF During the SUMMER



Fans of Hollywood blockbuster movies that are scheduled to release during the holidays in the Philippines tend to worry if those premiere dates fall on the latter half of December. That is because Christmas Day to early January next year are reserved exclusively for the entries of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the biggest film-fest and major awards ceremony in the country. They tend to displace overseas films for weeks if they land on the MMFF dates. Much as the festival helps promote mainstream Philippine cinema, how would moviegoers take it if the festival organizations adds a second festival period during the summer?

“LITTLE MERMAID” REMAKE Might Get HARRY STYLES as PRINCE ERIC



The live-action Disney remake of 1989’s “The Little Mermaid” has net to film a single scene, busy as it is right now with casting. But already it has generated a lot of interested and a not-insignificant degree of criticism by casting African-American R&B artist Halle Bailey as the main character Ariel. While the production is weathering the social media storm of “#notmyAriel” protesters pining for the Caucasian redhead from the animated movie, they may have hit upon another casting choice that may blunt the vitriol from fans. The remake has pegged a potential Prince Eric, one that could make One Direction fans squee with joy.

ABSCBN Series ANG PROBINSYANO Under PNP Scrutiny Again Following Female Officer RAPE SCENE in Monday Episode



Ever since it premiered on ABS-CBN back in 2015, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” a tele-serye adaptation of a 1997 film by the late Philippine action movie king Fernando Poe Jr., has had the wide support of the country’s viewing audience in its grasp. Even government officials and the Philippine National Police have given the show accolades over the years. But this relationship with law enforcement authorities is not always smooth. While the PNP has limited creative control over the production, it does make its opinions publicly known on storylines and plot developments. And recently “Ang Probinsyano” has its narrative questioned anew.

50-Year Anniversary COMMEMORATION of APOLLO 11 MOON Mission in 1969 Starts on LAUNCH Date



On July 16 of the year 1969, the greatest adventure mankind has ever embarked on to that point began. While the climactic moment will not be until a few days later, July 20, the launch of the Apollo 11 spaceflight fifty years ago as of this Monday was both the end of the US-Soviet Space Race and the beginning of humanity’s efforts to both reside longer in and go even further into space. On the golden anniversary of the first lunar landing mission, Apollo 11 is commemorated by the one astronaut on the team that did not walk on the moon, but was close by.

“SUPERGIRL” Getting COSTUME PANTS for Season 5 on THE CW



While something of an integral part of DC Comics’ “Superman” mythos, the character of Supergirl, Kryptonian cousin to the Man of Steel (in most versions) has never quite been a presence outside of print, except maybe for the DC animated universe by Warner Bros. That changed when Berlanti Productions and DC TV developed the live-action series starring Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, which aired first on CBS and then on The CW. It has enjoyed four successful seasons of Supergirl fighting for Truth, Justice and extraterrestrial rights on Earth. But now that her show mythos has been established, it is time to make some changes.

TWITTER Debuts NEW DESKTOP Website



If you happen to use the micro-messaging news and social media platform Twitter, and spend as much time or more with its desktop website version that than one on your app and tablet, then you might have noticed some significant differences with the former at the start of this week. If one would look at the bigger buttons, the larger navigation icons and the feeling of bigger space on twitter.com then you have just seen their latest desktop refurbishing at work. In a way, it seems as if elements from the mobile app version have been transplanted to the website.

“STRANGER THINGS” SPOOF Teased on “SIMPSONS” Season 30 HALLOWEEN Special



From their prototype form as animated shorts that were included in “The Tracey Ullman Show” back in 1987, “The Simpsons,” created by Matt Groening, would premiere as an animated sitcom on their own in 1989. They would then become a successful franchise for Fox TV and a major component of American TV programming for the following decades, with 30 seasons to its name. One of the iconic elements of “The Simpsons” was its occasional spoofing of pop culture, usually seen it its intro sequence “couch gag” and even as episode plots. That is what fans will expect to see for the show’s 30th Halloween special.

Monday, July 15, 2019

EARTHQUAKE of Magnitude 6.1 Near BALI, East Java Damages Temples and Homes, Causes Hotel EVACUATIONS



Just a week after the little earthquake that disturbed Mindanao on a Monday evening, and not even long after the Sunday tremor that struck the Moluccas islands of Indonesia, the country was once again rocked by a seismological disturbance just a short distance away from its busiest tourist destination. According to ABS-CBN News, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) the undersea quake was registered at magnitude 6.1 early on Tuesday, July 16, due south of Bali. The internationally famous resort island was rocked by the vibrations, along with the neighboring areas of Lombok and East Java.

CINEMALAYA FILM FEST Going NATIONWIDE on 15th EDITION this 2019



In 2005 the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) partnered with Econolink Investments Inc. to form the Cinemalaya Foundation, an NGO whose purpose is to help develop and promote independent filmmaking in the country. This intent is crystallized in the Cinemalaya Film Fest, the first of which was held that same year at the CCP, and has been that way for 14 editions of the festival. Ten indie filmmakers chosen from a pool of submitted proposals are given investments by Cinemalaya to produce their films, to be judged and given appropriate prizes. While the event was limited to Metro Manila, this year they plan to go national with their screenings.

LINDA HAMILTON Talks Reprising SARAH CONNOR for “TERMINATOR: DARK FATE”



Skydance Media’s “Terminator: Dark Fate,” the latest film in the long-running sci-fi action franchise involving killer robots from a post-apocalyptic machine-ruined future, is due to premiere this November. The film series, while still financially viable, has been in something of a creative rut despite the involvement of the definitive star Arnold Schwarzenegger in the last installment in 2015. But perhaps it might get revitalized with “Dark Fate,” the story of which is co-written by original director James Cameron, who is also producing, as well as the return of original heroine Sarah Connor, portrayed by Linda Hamilton nearly three decades after 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”

CLARKSON in SBP's GILAS PILIPINAS Pool for FIBA WORLD CUP



Next month, 32 countries will send their men’s national basketball teams to China, where from the last day of August until the middle of September they will battle it out on hard-courts across 8 venue cities for global basketball supremacy under the auspices of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Not only is national pride on the line, but also a chance to qualify their teams for another international event, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics next year. The Philippines’ own GILAS is looking to go as far as it can in this FIBA World Cup to make up for losing its 2019 hosting bid to China.

TRAILER of “LUPIN III: THE FIRST” CGI Movie Impresses Fandom



While his creator passed away only this April, “Lupin III” has already come a very long way as a multimedia icon of Japanese pop culture. Ever since the late Kazuhiko “Monkey Punch” Kato introduced the character in 1967, Arsene Lupin III has stolen the hearts of fans, particularly of the multiple anime series, films and other media like videogames that have come out over the decades. One of these movies is even considered an all-time best anime film ever made. It even got a live-action big-screen adaptation in 2014. But there has never been a 3D-animated “Lupin III” movie ever made, until one announced recently.

JUDY ANN SANTOS Returning Soon to TV on “ANG PROBINSYANO”



The name Judy Ann Santos is easily recalled and arguably recognized as the queen of TV soap operas, being a prominent star in ABS-CBN’s productions from the original soap opera days to their pioneering of the “tele-serye” concept. “Juday” has certainly spent a great many years on the small screen with occasional forays into cinema thrown in, growing from teen icon to mature actress in doing so. She has not been seen much on TV lately, but fans of Santos need not fret. Judging from some recent social media pictures, Juday will soon become a supporting character in the nation’s police drama, ABS-CBN’s “Ang Probinsyano.”

LUCASFILM’s ILM Opening New SYDNEY Studio, to Work on “STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER”



“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the last portion of the space opera franchise’s “Sequel Trilogy,” as well as the reported final chapter in the film series to focus on the eponymous family of Jedi who are strong in the Force, is due to premiere in the last month of this year. Even as fans of the now Disney-owned franchise wait to find out if the evil Emperor from the Original Trilogy does return as the “Skywalker” trailer hints, Lucasfilm is finishing up SFX on the movie via its Industrial Light and Magic arm. On that note ILM is opening a studio in Australia, with “Skywalker” as its inaugural project.

MANNY PACQUIAO Ready for THURMAN One Week Before VEGAS Fight



There is just one week left before Senator Manny Pacquiao once again climbs into the boxing ring for his latest fight as the People’s Champ of the Filipino people, and the stakes perhaps have never been higher. His American opponent, Keith Thurman has one specific goal in mind. While past Pacquiao opponents have generally talked of beating the one-time Eight-Division World Boxing Champion decisively, Thurman has emphasized his goal of permanently retiring the Pambansang Kamao from the sport he intends to give his whole lifetime. Manny has let his foe talk his talk as he prepares for Saturday night/Sunday morning, when the two will clash for Thurman’s title in Vegas.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

KONAMI’s TURBOGRAFX-16 MINI Retro Console to RELEASE on MARCH 2020



Today’s generation op videogame systems are incredibly powerful in terms of graphical prowess, sound, and programming content, that every title played on them is almost always like an experience of another life. In exchange for that however, gaming device prices, especially for the major consoles, are prohibitively high. In some quarters this has fueled wistful nostalgia to earlier generations, when games both simple yet memorable were played on affordable platforms. This was the advent of the “Mini” consoles emulating past-gen hardware and software. Nintendo, Sega, and Sony have all released mini-versions of their past best-selling consoles. Now it is Hudson Soft’s turn, or rather Konami.

“IDOL PHILIPPINES” Top 6 Finalized with SHELAND and FATIMA ELIMINATION



It is amazing how time just can suddenly fly as the destination of a journey comes ever closer. The third weekend of the Live Shows for “Idol Philippines” on ABS-CBN has come and gone last Saturday and Sunday, and the number of surviving idol hopefuls grows ever smaller. From the 20 that came into the Do or Die rounds four weekends ago, only a Top Eight remained when the reality singing competition came on again this July 13 the hopefuls sang the cream of the crop among the most-streamed songs in the Philippines. When the third live show ended Sunday, Fatima and Sheland bowed out.

US COMPANIES Might RESUME Component SALES to HUAWEI, 2-4 WEEKS



One of the flashpoints in the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China has been Huawei. The smartphone manufacturing giant has been a major brand across the globe in recent years, but has also been hobbled by accusations that its devices offer a tool for spying by the Chinese Communist Party, especially as the company was founded by a former PLA officer. This was President Donald Trump’s primary reason to order the blacklisting of Huawei for government and commercial use, not just for the US but also its allies. With the recent easing of restriction on the company however, there is a chance that Huawei can restart stateside sales.

TD FALCON to Hit CAGAYAN WEDNESDAY; No STORM SIGNALS Raised



For the 2019 Pacific typhoon season, from which all weather disturbances that might affect the Philippines this year are classified in, the last time a storm hit the country in 2019 was Tropical Depression Chedeng, clipping southern Mindanao before dissipating in the Sulu Sea. That was during the heyday of the El Niño phenomenon. When the rainy season arrived, all notable disturbances beginning June gave the archipelago a wide berth even while entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility. That however might change with another TD that formed early this Sunday, as it is projected to hit Luzon at around mid-week.

Friday, July 12, 2019

“HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” Season 6 is FINAL



In 2014, ABC premiered a series that became the latest in the time-honored American TV tradition of courtroom drama, charmingly titled “How to Get Away with Murder.” Starring Viola Davis as a law professor with a complicated past, who gets her law students entangled with her deep secrets even as she teaches them and leads them in court cases, the series has been one of ABC’s prize shows. After all, it did win for Davis a Drama Lead Actress Primetime Emmy, the first African-American woman so honored. It has spun an intricate and engaging story over five seasons, but will finally conclude on its sixth.

SOUVENIRS, PRODUCTS Running LOW in STAR WARS: GALAXY EDGE, DISNEYLAND



If there is any more solid indicator that Marvel, one of the pillars of American superhero media, and Lucafilms, production studio of the legendary “Star Wars” franchise, are both under the umbrella of entertainment giant Disney, it is the fact that attractions and whole themed areas based on their properties are being developed in the various Disney theme parks around the world. “Star Wars” actually got its expansion area, Galaxy’s Edge, opened in Disneyland Park this May 31. Its deep-immersion presentation and the wide variety of unique merchandise to be had there, has made Galaxy’s Edge a must-visit destination. Perhaps it is too well-visited, if they are short on merchandise.

PAROKYA NI EDGAR Regains ADMIN Control of HACKED FACEBOOK Page



Social media was originally conceptualized as an online space where one can get in touch with other people – friends, family, co-workers, idols and (conversely) fans – in an environment that facilitates communication. That ideal has long been subverted and exploited by mean-spirited or sinister users that have made exploring a social media platform potentially dangerous. Pinoy rock band Parokya ni Edgar understands this well, since last May their official Facebook page was hijacked by hackers and used to distribute explicit images to its followers, essentially making it a porn site. After over a month of fretting, the Parokya’s nightmare finally ended.

“SPACE JAM 2” Adds MCU Veteran DON CHEADLE to Cast



NBA and basketball legend Michael Jordan, in his prime or not, is no natural actor by any stretch of the imagination. But that, and the resultant middling critical reviews, did not stop the 1996 film “Space Jam” by Warner Bros. from grossing enough from the worldwide box office to become the all-time highest earning basketball-themed movie. While the idea was popular enough to fuel sequel discussions, they only became serious by 2014, only now with LeBron James taking Jordan’s star spot. Following an announcement of other NBA players joining the cast (as with the original), an actual actor was added.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

KAHTRYN BERNARDO Says Dream Project to Work with MARIAN RIVERA



The Star Cinema film “Hello, Love, Goodbye” is coming pretty soon at the end of the month. Much deal has been made regarding the featured love team, each a half of an established showbiz couple and from different networks to boot. But both Alden Richards and Kathryn Bernardo are making it work on and off camera, with the latter taking the former, a GMA7 talent, on a tour of ABS-CBN. There appears to be an imperative on Kathryn’s part to reach out stars from her rival network to discuss future projects with, particularly with one of GMA7’s top leading ladies.

“SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME” is the Perfect MCU Saga EPILOGUE



It would be perfectly understandable if fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise thought that April’s “Avengers: Endgame” was the promised climax of Phase 3, the most important and longest storyline arc in over ten years of the interconnected superhero movie series. It was the conclusion to the epic cliffhanger of “Avengers: Infinity War” last 2018 after all. And really, seeing the existentially threatening cosmic baddie first revealed at the end of Phase 1 go down seems like an appropriate saga sendoff, before new stories are told. But that final ending actually takes place in “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” which is actually thematically right.

Raptor KAWHI LEONARD Joins CLIPPERS with OKC Thunder's PAUL GEORGE



By now the story of the 2019 NBA Finals must still be fresh. One the one side was the two-time consecutive defending champions the Golden State Warriors, aiming to do a three-peat. On the other was Finals first-timer the Toronto Raptors, invigorated by the idea that they could take the NBA championship out of the US for once. Ultimately the Canadian team succeeded in their objective. But as they prepare for the next season to keep their hands on the prize, they would have to do it without one of the architects of their victory, after Kawhi Leonard departed to play on the West Coast.

NICKI MINAJ Cancels Performance in SAUDI CONCERT to Protest Women and LGBT REPRESSION in Country



An ongoing socio-economic policy in Saudi Arabia means to develop the country to become less dependent on its petroleum industry while also pursuing a modicum of societal liberties to achieve that same end. These included the resumption of the cinema industry after a decades-long ban, allowing women to drive and other freedoms. But this phase of progressivism by one of the most religiously conservative nations in the world also seems to be running parallel to a renewed campaign of restriction that global human rights watchdogs are concerned with. So when a number of major recording artists were invited to perform at a cultural festival in Jeddah, they were approached by activists and asked to refuse.

DISNEY Recalling “TOY STORY 4” Merchandise Due to CHOKING HAZARD



When Disney and Pixar released “Toy Story 4” last month, most of the earlier criticism of the 3d-animated film over its supposed superfluous existence following the emotional “Toy Story 3” back in 2010 was somehow overcome. This was due to several factors, being the surprising emotional storyline, as well as the introduction of interesting new characters. One in particular is Forky, a doll made primarily out of a plastic spork and garbage that pushed the elements on what made a toy alive. Disney knew the character would be a hit and made merchandise of him. Unfortunately these products are being recalled barely a month later.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10 “Image LEAKS” Confirm Some External Features



At the start of July, Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung made the first teaser of their successor to the Galaxy Note “phablet” series with word of an unpacking event in August. This will be the Note 10, the third model following that one disaster with the Note 7 in 2016 that nearly sunk this phablet line and damaged Samsung’s reputation. As with its predecessors, the Galaxy Note 10 offers some new functionalities of the current year being added to the device for a more powerful experience. The Unpacking Event poster did not show images of the new model, but apparently images of it have been leaked.

CAYETANO Talks EXTENDING Representative TERMS, To Take Effect NEXT CONGRESS



The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines sets the term of the lower house of Congress, known as the House of Representatives and more commonly as just Congress (distinct from the upper house or Senate), as lasting only three years, with possible consecutive election of only three terms. This is in synergy with the six-year term of the President, although according to newly elected Representative of Taguig-Pateros Alan Peter Cayetano is of the opinion that in this present time, the three-year term and three-consecutive-term limits have become far too short for the Representatives to do their jobs. He believes a lengthening of Congressional terms is overdue.

NINTENDO Introduces SWITCH LITE, Portable Variant of Bestselling HYBRID Console



The year 2017 was the year legendary videogame manufacturer Nintendo introduced a new evolution of the gaming experience. That was when the Nintendo Switch was released. Combining the graphical prowess of a console and the convenience of portability in a hybrid system, the Switch became a heavy best-seller to rival contemporary-generation consoles that have been released longer than it. Earlier this year, Nintendo teased at least two variants of the Switch gaming device, one of them being a purely portable version that would also be affordable compared to the base model. That portable Switch variation was finally revealed this week.

PGH to PUBLIC: Favor OTHER HOSPITALS While WE Undergo RENOVATION



Founded during 1907 during the pre-Commonwealth Insular Government, the Philippine General Hospital served double purpose as a state-owned public hospital as well as a teaching and training school for medical students, especially from the University of the Philippines which administers and operates it. Over the decades the PGH offered affordable medical care while weathering tropical epidemics and World War II among others. As a favored hospital of first resort the PGH is almost always filled with patients going beyond its estimated 1,500 bed capacity. Not even their announcement of a lengthy interior renovation could stem the tide of incoming patients.

NETFLIX Adapts Another VIDEOGAME Into STREAMING Series: "THE CUPHEAD SHOW"



In 2017 and independently-developed videogame was released on Microsoft Windows and Xbox One that became popular enough to be ported to other platforms in the following years. What could have been a basic “run and gun” action game went beyond thanks to its character design and presentation, which evoked the “rubber hose” animation style from the early 20th Century, prominently used in “Popeye the Sailor Man” and even Disney characters before Walt began producing animated movies. Now, “Cupman” by creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer makes its first big step outside the gaming arena by having an animated series produced, by none other than Netflix itself.

BEYONCÉ Producing Companion Album for “LION KING” Remake: “THE GIFT”



When a major blockbuster movie comes out, there is a probability that an original soundtrack album will be released. That probability increases when the film is musical, and is a certainty when the movie is a Disney animation. Soundtrack albums in this case tend to be showcases of the sweeping background score with insert songs as well as the pop numbers that might play on the credits. But sometimes a second album of curated songs might come out that features music inspired by the movie as well, like with Marvel’s “Black Panther” as curated by Kendrick Lamar. The same will apply for the remake of “The Lion King” this July, and Beyoncé is spearheading it.

RICO BLANCO Stirs SOCIAL MEDIA with Opinion that PINOY Celebrities Not Be COMPARED to FOREIGNERS



There has been something of an informal practice with fans of Philippine showbiz personalities to find commonalities between them and foreign celebrities. It may be attributed to the sentiment of “colonial mentality,” but sometimes that is how it goes. Gary V once got counterpart comparisons to the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, for example. Reactions of Filipino stars can range from positive to negative. Recording artist Rico Blanco, formerly of rock band Rivermaya, has recently expressed a pushback against this habit, alleging that Filipino celebrities are personalities in their own right and should not be compared willy-nilly to foreigners.