Best movies to look out for this June

Wonder Woman

The fourth entry in the DC Extended Universe – after Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad – Wonder Woman is this summer’s most anticipated film. It’s also one of the season’s most unique, despite being a superhero film: the comic book character’s first solo theatrical outing after more than 75 years of existence is also the first female-led superhero movie to be released in 12 years. On top of that, the action feature starring Gal Gadot as Diana of Themyscira is set in World War I, combining superpowers with No Man’s Land.

Director Patty Jenkins (Monster) opted to shoot on film rather than digital, saying “there’s a certain type of epic grander escapism that film gives you that you cannot… [get] on video”. It’s not just escapism that fans are after, however: some commentators have asked whether the big-screen Amazonian princess will push identity boundaries, after a DC Comics writer confirmed the character’s bisexuality. It doesn’t look like the merchandising will, though, with promotions including make-up products and diet bars. On general release from 1 June.

 

My Cousin Rachel

Roger Michell (Notting Hill) writes and directs this mystery-romance based on a 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier, in which a young Englishman (Sam Claflin) falls in love with a cousin (Rachel Weisz), despite believing she murdered his guardian. Co-starring Iain Glen, Holliday Grainger and Simon Russell Beale, it’s the first feature film adaptation of du Maurier’s novel since a 1952 version starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton. There’s plenty of suspicion and distrust mixed in with passion and heady cups of tea, as a story penned by the writer of The Birds and Rebecca ramps up the tension. Released 8 June in Australia, 9 June in the US and 24 June in Singapore.

The Mummy

In the latest reboot of a franchise that dates back to 1932, Tom Cruise awakens an ancient princess in her crypt beneath the desert. Cruise plummets from the sky, runs around a lot and wakes up naked in a body bag – but it’s Sofia Boutella as the Mummy who steals the show. “Making the Mummy a woman is a whole other modern way to go that feels utterly necessary,” director Alex Kurtzman (People Like Us) has said, describing how Boutella bowled him over with her mute performance in Kingsman: The Secret Service. “If you look at her eyes… there’s a whole performance going on here. And in not saying anything but conveying that much to me, I thought oh my God, no matter how much prosthetics we put on her, no matter how much CG we put on her face, if I see this, she’s going to convey something very emotional to me.”

It’s the first instalment of the Dark Universe film series, yet another shared cinematic universe: lacking a stable of superheroes, Universal Pictures instead chose to bring together different classic monsters (the studio has already lined up Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man, Russell Crowe as Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster). Kurtzman claims that monsters like these have endured because they relate to “us all having a monster inside of us… they’re all weird reflections of aspects of our personalities”. On general release from 8 June.

Whitney: Can I be me?

Film-maker Nick Broomfield remains in the background in his latest documentary, which according to Variety “gets us to know Whitney Houston, to feel her pain and grace and dizzying spiritual rifts, in a way we haven’t before”. Its title refers to something Houston said early in her career, referring to the music she was allowed to make: but, as Variety argues, “the line comes to mean: Could she express all the human being – the princess and the ghetto sister, the pop and the R&B star, the lover of women and men – she really was?” Broomfield mixes interviews with Houston’s siblings and members of her inner circle with previously unseen footage shot by music video director Rudi Dolezal during her 1999 tour, just before her drug addiction overtook her singing.

Broomfield wasn’t just aiming to document her downward spiral, however. “What we tried to do was to explain it from her point of view,” he says. “The irony is that the wonderful person she actually was is so much more interesting than the image that was created around her.” Released 8 June in Germany, 16 June in the UK and 24 June in the US.

Okja

As a Netflix commission with no French theatrical release in contention for the Palme d’Or, the latest from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer) has caused controversy at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Organisers have issued a statement saying that streaming-only films would be banned from competition starting in 2018, while the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar – who is Cannes jury president – and US director Sofia Coppola have come out in defence of the big screen.

None of this has stopped critics praising the film, however: BBC Culture’s Nicholas Barber argued that, if the swearing and violence had been cut, the satirical sci-fi romp would have been “a 21st-Century ET The Extra Terrestrial, except with a bilingual script and a hard-hitting pro-vegetarian message”. Following a young girl (played by An Seo-hyun) who attempts to prevent her pet mutant pig from being turned into sausages by the CEO of an evil conglomerate (Tilda Swinton), Okja had a five-star review from The Guardian, which says “the pure energy and likability of this film make it such a pleasure”. Streamed online from 28 June.

Baby Driver

Ansel Elgort (The Fault in our Stars) is a getaway driver forced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey) in what’s been described as “a fresh, funny spin on the classic heist flick”. Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx and Lily James co-star in the comedy-action-romance from British writer-director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), which is as much about the soundtrack as the visuals. The result, says The Telegraph, is “a crime caper that feels like a musical, but is mercifully free of the earnestness that has made La La Land such a lightning rod”.

Wright came up with the idea 22 years ago, listening over and over to Bellbottoms by the Jon Spencer Blue Explosion – which features in the film – and tried out the idea in a music video he directed in 2003 for the band Mint Royale. Yet according to Indiewire, Baby Driver isn’t just a series of song setpieces. Instead, it finds its form “in the elegant, rapid-fire synthesis of movement and sound… rooting its fancy surfaces in legitimate emotions and the recklessness they cause”. Wright has created a sophisticated take on the action genre, a world away from The Fast and The Furious: “If Busby Berkeley made Grand Theft Auto, it might look something like this.” Released 28 June in Canada and the US, and 30 June in Turkey.

The House

Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler star as a couple who set up an illegal casino in their basement with a neighbour (played by Jason Mantzoukas) after spending their daughter’s college fund in this comedy directed by Andrew J Cohen. Show-stopping scenes include an all-girl fight club, with Ferrell telling EW: “It turns into the Fall of Rome.” One trailer reveals debauched gambling and Ferrell’s character attempting to stem bleeding with a Croc shoe after accidentally hacking off a gangster’s finger.

Yet there are tender moments too, as he revealed. “We take a hard right turn when we drop our daughter off at college,” he says. “We have this moment where we realise we are each other’s best friend. We played that very real, and we are both crying. I don’t think I could have done a scene like that without kids and without being married for 17 years.” He imagined dropping his eldest son, who’s currently 13, at college. “I put myself in that situation… I’ll probably be crying like a baby at some point.” On general release from 29 June.

After the Storm

This complex family drama “has what the Japanese call mono no aware, which translates as ‘the pathos of things’,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It is a film that is aware of the transient, impermanent nature of life.” Hiroshi Abe stars as Ryota, a divorced father who was once a prizewinning novelist but now works as a private detective, blowing his earnings on gambling. After the death of his father, he renews contact with his family and attempts to regain control of his life as well as find a connection with his young son (Taiyo Yoshizawa).

Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Our Little Sister) has created a “solid yet subtly sphinx-like new drama”, according to The Washington Post. “As with all of Kore-eda’s films, very little happens that is conventionally cinematic. Even the titular storm takes place largely off camera.” When the storm allows the father and son to bond, it’s no conventional happy ending. Instead, “there’s a glimmer of hope that life might someday offer Ryota, if not the salvation of more soppy melodramas, then maybe a bit more breathing room”. Released 25 May in Argentina and Italy and 2 June in the UK and Ireland.

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman’s 2012 novel proved an unexpected hit, becoming one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports since Stieg Larsson’s thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Its feature film adaptation has been equally popular, drawing praise as “Sweden’s answer to Frank Capra’s Yuletide classic It’s a Wonderful Life” and becoming one of the country’s biggest ever comedies. Following an isolated retiree (Rolf Lassgård) who has given up on life, trying – and failing – to kill himself, before finding a way back through an unlikely friendship with his Persian neighbour Parvaneh (Bahar Pars), it has all the tropes of a conventional tearjerker. Yet, despite veering close to cliché, with a grumpy old man showing he really has a heart of gold, it “hits all of the genre’s sweet spots, without ever tipping into the saccharine”, according to The Globe and Mail, managing to be “touching and endearingly sentimental in a way that would seem cloying if attempted by any American studio”.

The familiar storyline is lifted by “the moving twists and turns of the love story and the bright comedy”, says The Washington Post, while Lassgård has drawn particular praise for his “beautifully nuanced performance”. EW picks out writer-director Hannes Holm for creating “a darkly funny, tragic, and ultimately heartwarming tearjerker about the life of one lonely but extraordinary man”. Released 25 May in Hong Kong, 30 June in the UK and 14 July in Poland.

​Chinese phone maker Vivo  official sponsor of World Cup 2018 and World Cup 2022

Vivo announced that it signed a six-year partnership with FIFA and will be an official sponsor of its tournaments in the period, covering two cycles. The partnership begins with the Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia, following the pinnacle of football – the World Cup next summer. The deal will also cover the World Cup 2022 in Qatar and its concomitant Confederations Cup a year earlier.

During the partnership, the Vivo logo will appear on advertising boards, tickets for the venues, any related programs and leaflets and other key promotional areas. The company also promises to launch a unique phone that will offer a one of a kind experience for football fans.

Along with the deal, all FIFA staff are required to use vivo smartphones while the tournaments are going on.

vivo keeps going with the aggressive marketing and brand positioning, aiming to strengthen international recognition. This deal is third major one for the company after becoming the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League and signing a strategic partnership with NBA China. vivo even managed to invite Stephen Curry as an ambassador for thevivo Xplay 6.

Another 2 years for Wenger at Arsenal

The Gunners boss has extended his stay at Emirates Stadium until at least 2019 despite numerous protests against his management from disgruntled fansArsenal have confirmed that manager Arsene Wenger has extended his contract at the club until 2019.

The Gunners made the announcement on Wednesday after Goal had earlier revealed that the Frenchman had agreed to two more seasons at the helm.

Arsenal target Mahrez to snub Monaco

The new deal for the man who has spent over 20 years at the club was approved after a private meeting between Wenger and majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in a secret location on Monday.

Details of the Frenchman’s contract were then confirmed 24 hours later in a boardroom meeting, and Goal understands that despite widespread talk of a Director of Football model, the structure of the club is set to remain the same.

GFX Arsene Wenger Arsenal extension

Wenger’s future has been shrouded in uncertainty for the entire 2016-17 season, with Arsenal finishing fifth in the Premier League table to accelerate rumours that a managerial change was going to take place.

It is the first time that the north Londoners have failed to qualify for the Champions League under Wenger – a competition that once again ended in disappointment for the Gunners in the current campaign after they were humiliated by Bayern Munich back in March.

Arsenal did, however, claim FA Cup glory after a 2-1 win over Chelsea, with the announcement over Wenger’s extension now having arrived four days after that success.

Demonstrations and protests from various fans against Wenger’s reign have been commonplace over the season, with the likes of Thomas Tuchel, the now unemployed former Dortmund manager, and Eddie Howe having been mooted as possible replacements.

But Wenger clearly maintains support at boardroom level and will now look to step up preparations for the 2017-18 season, with the club’s supporters undoubtedly keen to see their team challenge for the title.

Following the announcement of his extension, the Frenchman told the club’s official website: “I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement. We are looking at what we do well and how we can be stronger everywhere. This is a strong group of players and with some additions we can be even more successful.

“We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season. I am grateful to have the support of the board and Stan in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.”

Extending the contracts of star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who both have one year remaining on their current deals, will be a top priority for Wenger in the summer months.

Who is Arsenal target Onyekuru?

Goal understands that Manchester City are adamant that they will be able to lure Alexis to the Etihad Stadium and have held talks, with Bayern Munich having also been linked, while Ozil has also been continually linked with an exit.

Arsenal return for pre-season training in the first week of July before jetting off to Australia for matches against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers respectively.

Android phones have been hit by a malware called Judy

Android robotImage copyrightbenkabuula.com

More than 36 million Android devices may have been infected with ad-click malware, a security firm has said.

Researchers at Check Point said they found the malware, dubbed Judy, on about 50 apps in Google’s Play Store.

The apps contain code that sends infected devices to a target webpage, where they generate fraudulent clicks on the site’s adverts to make money for its creators.

The infected apps have been removed from the Play Store.

More than 40 of the apps were from the South Korean developer, Kiniwini, which publishes games to the Play Store under the name Enistudio.

The games, all of which feature a character called Judy, have been downloaded between four million and 18 million times.

‘Hid undetected’

The malicious code was also found in several apps from other developers.

“It is possible that one borrowed code from the other, knowingly or unknowingly,” said Check Point.

Between them, the infected apps may have been downloaded up to 36.5 million times.

Check Point said it did not know for how long the malicious versions of the apps had been available, but all the Judy games had been updated since March this year.

Screen grab of Chef Judy game on the Play StoreImage copyrightCHECK POINT
Image captionThe malware has been named after the main character in the affected games

The oldest of the apps from other developers was last updated in April 2016, which Check Point suggested, means that “the malicious code hid for a long time on the Play Store undetected”.

Because it is unclear when the code was introduced to each of the apps, the actual number of devices likely to have been infected is unknown.

Ad clicks

The apps got past the Play Store’s protection system, Google Bouncer, because they do not contain the malicious part of the Judy code.

Once downloaded, the apps silently register the device to a remote server, which responds by sending back the malicious ad-click software to open a hidden website and generate revenue for the site by clicking on the adverts.

This kind of delivery “has become commonplace”, Andrew Smith, a senior lecturer in Networking at the Open University, told the BBC.

“There are many tools available, and the advantage is that the malware distributor can change them remotely, which makes it difficult for anti-malware software to keep up.”

The apps also display numerous adverts themselves, some of which cannot be closed until a user has clicked on them.

​Reddit adds post geotagging through Foursquare

While Twitter is a social network but wants to become your go-to messaging service, Reddit is basically the 21st century incarnation of a huge online forum – one that really seems to want to become a social network. The “front page of the internet” is adding new features left and right to help achieve that (wise?) goal. Profile pages are being revamped, for example.

And now a new partnership with Foursquare has been announced. This lets users geotag their posts with a location or a venue, thus providing more (though not necessarily useful) context for everything that goes up on Reddit.
This should already be available today. The Foursquare API is used to make the geotagging possible. It’s an opt-in feature, so if you don’t care for it you can just ignore it and go about your day as you normally would. As with competing social networks’ tagging features, if you choose to use the functionality you’ll be given a list of nearby places to pick from, and you can also search for a specific location. Redditors are being assured that neither Foursquare nor Reddit will store or share that data if you never select a location.

​YouTube for Android officially gets bottom navigation bar

Ever since September 2016 YouTube has been testing a new UI for its Android app. This has gone through a few different iterations throughout the testing phase, and today it’s finally ready to officially make it to every single user of YouTube for Android.

The main new thing you’ll see once the update goes live for you is a bottom navigation bar. This features clearly labeled tabs, so you no longer have to wonder what you’re about to tap on. It’s also visible on all pages (except when watching videos).

Account and Library are now separate sections, making it simpler to find what you want. Your videos (playlists, watch history, uploads) reside within Library, while Account and Settings can be reached from your profile icon at the top.

Additionally, the app now remembers where you left off in each tab, and when you go back you can easily pick up from there.

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