NBA 2K Players Tournament
March was disallowed from the sort of tournament-based entertainment many are used to, especially of the basketball variety; but April's got us covered on that front: ESPN will be airing head-to-head clashes between some of the NBA's biggest stars as they establish who among them is the best at NBA 2K20. Players including Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Zach LaVine, Derrick Jones Jr., Domantas Sabonis (hey, that's Arvydas' kid!) and the Blazers' own Hassan Whiteside (he's got the #3 seed, no less!) will be all be picking up controllers and putting on a show. Proceeds will benefit ongoing coronavirus relief efforts.
(Fri April 3, 7 pm, ESPN, Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, free, all ages, through April 11.)

The Conversation
One of the cruelest tricks coronavirus has pulled on Portland is denying us tonight's treat at the Hollywood Theatre: A special screening of a new 35mm print of Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, his paranoid thriller that too-often gets lost in the sauce, having come out in the same year as (and gotten dwarfed by) The Godfather Part II. A lot of people who swear up and down that they love Coppola's '70s output have never gotten around to seeing it, and tonight is as an good excuse as any to finally catch one of Gene Hackman's very best performances (which is saying something) and also to get lost in legendary sound editor Walter Murch's soundscapes. And if you want to really replicate the moviegoing experience, why not kick down the price of a movie ticket to the Hollywood before it starts, if you're feeling a little generous tonight.
(Now Streaming; Prime Video w/ subscription, Crackle free w/ ads)

Fix Your TV Already
We're depending a lot on our screens to deliver us to other places and share with us new experiences while we're all staying home and staying safe—it only makes sense that we should do what we can to make this window into other worlds as clear and beautiful as it can be. Unfortunately, most TV manufacturers aren't at all interested in any of that. They want your display as loud and garish as possible, and so they often preset everything to be as ugly as hell; the color temperature is iced over, the default settings are all eyeball melting, and of course, they've got the goddamn motion-smoothing on full blast. Basic how-tos like the kind here at are a godsend, promising not to strand you in the weeds of arcane nerd bullshit, but still making sure that after five or so minutes of basic menu-ing around, the stuff you're pouring into your eyes is as pretty as it should be. The resultant picture may take some getting used to, like when you go to a real restaurant for the first time after years of pounding Arby's down your maw, but it's worth it.

(Please, For the Love of Whatever Deity You Believe in, At the Very Least, Turn off the Goddamn Motion Smoothing. Thank You.)

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

We’re living in an emotionally draining time, and Never Rarely Sometimes Always is as sobering as it is affecting, so be your own judge as to whether you can handle viewing it right now. But if you have the bandwidth for it, you should allow this film about abortion access, misogyny, friendship, and the desperation of recognizing your own powerlessness to envelop you. Whatever you’re imagining this film to be like given its subject matter, you’re probably wrong—far from an in-your-face political film, it’s a tonal masterpiece, one that steeps the viewer in its significance rather than bludgeoning them with it. We can’t ever fully understand the experiences of other people, but if you’ve wondered what it’s like to be a pregnant teenage girl in a country that’s hostile to abortion rights, watching Never Rarely Sometimes Always is probably the closest you’ll get.

(Now Available, 48hr rental VOD, $19.99) BLAIR STENVICK

Noche Libre The latest installment of Noche Libre is a special "Isolation Edition," with DJs La Tati and Cuan putting their collections together to provide your ears and your feet plenty of top-notch reggaeton, dancehall, and house music.
(Fri April 3, 8 pm,, YouTube, free, all ages)

Jon Mooallem
Powell's was supposed to host a reading by author Jon Mooallem, who Executive Editor Erik Henriksen once described in an editorial meeting as "Great. He's just great. We should write about him." And so: Jon Moallem. He is great, and so is his latest book, This is Chance!, the story of how Anchorage, Alaska, was literally torn asunder by 9.2 earthquake in 1964, and how a working mother named Genie Chance got behind a microphone and helped pull the city back together. You can buy the book online, or have Ray Porter read it to you in audiobook form, too.

(Now available, Powell's; Audiobook via MultCo Library, or

Support The Portland Mercury

More articles have been written about how brilliant Community was than people have ever watched it, and that's kind of a crime (one we're contributing to right now, we know) because it really is an all-timer of a comedy show. It's an opportunity to see Donald Glover and Alison Brie at the very beginnings of their remarkable careers, it's the place where Glover and Ludwig Goransson met and became the engine that made Childish Gambino a world-conquering behemoth, and it also it became the launching pad from which directing team Joe and Anthony Russo wound up taking over the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's been on Hulu all this time, but it just dropped in full (yes, even that weird sixth season that premiered on Yahoo!) on Netflix, so.. maybe bump that viewer-to-writer ratio way up if you can.
(Now streaming, Netflix, $8.99 per month, free trial here; Hulu, $5.99 per month, free trial here)

Who is Harry Nilsson?
He was basically considered "The American Beatle," he might have been the first person ever described as "your favorite musician's favorite musician," and he was the most unassuming singer/songwriter/superstar the '70s ever turned out. Every couple years someone rediscovers his masterpiece Nilsson Schmilsson and gets their mind blown at how this one album just casually shambles through the all-time classics it has packed back-to-back-to-back like sardines. This documentary goes into Nilsson's brief rise, and then his slow, weirdly disappointing fall (How you gonna blow your whole voice out in a stupid screaming contest with John Lennon, my dude? Congrats on your "win," I guess. Goddammit.) and if you have a Multnomah County Library card, you can stream it for free through their partnership with Kanopy.
(Now Streaming, Kanopy, free w/ MultCo Library Card)

Some Good News
Boy, that Jim boy from Scranton, PA sure has done well for himself, hasn't he? What a lovely boy. I hope he and that one girl are still doing well. She did some really lovely drawings, didn't she? Or was that the one in Britain? Anyway, so nice to see some good news for a change...