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Watergate movie was meant to be funny. Then came Trump

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BERLIN (Reuters) – The makers of “Watergate”, a film about the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon, first intended to make a lightly humorous study of the affair. Then came Donald Trump.

The movie, having its European premier at the Berlin Film Festival, recounts the fall of President Richard Nixon, starting with the break-in by thieves seeking material to help his election campaign at the Democratic Party’s offices in Washington’s Watergate complex.

It blends interviews with participants in the affair with original footage and dramatized re-enactments of Nixon’s conversations, using tape recordings from the listening devices the Republican president installed in the Oval Office.

Director Charles Ferguson started making the film before Trump became a candidate. But once the real estate magnate and former reality television star won the White House, Ferguson felt he had to adjust the tone.

“The original film had more humor in it and was more of a real-life political thriller,” he told Reuters on Tuesday. “As all these parallels unfolded … I came to realize that just wasn’t appropriate and I had to make a very serious film.”

Trump’s presidency, like Nixon’s, has been conducted in the shadow of an investigation by a special prosecutor. In Trump’s case, Robert Mueller is investigating Russian influence in the election. Several of the president’s top campaign aides have been indicted or convicted. Trump calls it a witch hunt.

“Watergate – Or: How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President” shows scenes of tense conversations in the Oval Office between a Nixon who is by turns charming, bullying, paranoid or furious, and associates including Henry Kissinger and Bob Haldeman. Nixon is played by the Tony Award-winning British stage actor Douglas Hodge.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporters who first revealed that the Watergate break-in was more than a simple burglary, are also interviewed.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Peter Graff

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Critics gush over the spectacle and story of ‘Avengers: Endgame’

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Critics gush over the spectacle and story of 'Avengers: Endgame'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Film critics unleashed overwhelmingly positive reviews on Tuesday of “Avengers: Endgame,” the highly anticipated final installment in a decade-long superhero story from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios.

Actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige pose for a picture during a ceremony to place their handprints in cement, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

As of Tuesday afternoon, all but one of 56 “Endgame” reviews collected by the Rotten Tomatoes website were rated as positive.

USA Today’s Brian Truitt called the three-hour film “Marvel’s glorious greatest-hits package” with callbacks to previous adventures that will thrill fans who have faithfully followed characters such as Iron Man and Thor.

“It’s also a singular, sprawling and hugely satisfying tale that begins with a brutal, emotional gut punch and takes you on quite the trip with the original Avengers crew,” Truitt said.

“Endgame” concludes a story that has unfolded over 21 previous films since 2007 and become the highest-grossing franchise in movie history. It picks up where last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” left fans hanging when several beloved heroes appeared to turn to dust.

CNN’s Brian Lowry said “Endgame” delivered a worthy finale.

“The filmmakers have sought to reward movie-goers with a spectacle that’s epic in every way,” Lowry said.

“The overall journey not only produces several genuine surprises – no small feat in this context – but plenty of humor, with an assortment of lighter moments to augment the stirring and, yes, emotional ones,” he added.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times said the movie provided the “sense of an ending,” even though many characters are expected to return in future films, and “a chance to appreciate what has been done before the timelines reset and we all get back to work.”

“We’ve lived with these characters and the actors playing them for more than a decade,” Scott wrote. “For the most part, it’s nice to see them again, and a little sad to say goodbye.”

Box office experts say “Endgame” may break the opening weekend record for ticket sales in the United States and Canada, which now stands at $257.7 million for “Infinity War.”

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Chris Reese

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‘Jeopardy!’ champ breaks record, surpasses $1 million in shortest time ever

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'Jeopardy!' champ breaks record, surpasses $1 million in shortest time ever

“Jeopardy!” champ James Holzhauer has just broken another record.

On Tuesday’s episode, the 34-year-old surpassed $1 million in the shortest time ever.

This is a developing story; please check back for updates.

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Kristin Cavallari says she doesn’t feel the ‘support’ from Jay Cutler: ‘We gotta get back on the same page’

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Kristin Cavallari says she doesn't feel the 'support' from Jay Cutler: ‘We gotta get back on the same page’

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler are trying to work on their marriage issues.

In a clip from this Sunday’s “Very Cavallari” episode, the couple is seen talking about the current state of their relationship while taking a boat ride.

“Listen, the other day, you know how we had the conversation about how I haven’t really been able to make time for you?” Cavallari, 32, asks her husband of nearly six years. “So I left that conversation and I was thinking about it and I was kind of like, ‘Hang on a second. Why is this all my fault?'”

KRISTIN CAVALLARI ADMITS SHE AND JAY CUTLER HAVE ‘PROBLEMS’ IN THEIR MARRIAGE 

Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari are pictured here during the "Uncommon James" launch on April 27, 2017 in West Hollywood, Calif. In a clip from this Sunday's "Very Cavallari" episode, the couple try to work on their marriage issues. 

Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari are pictured here during the “Uncommon James” launch on April 27, 2017 in West Hollywood, Calif. In a clip from this Sunday’s “Very Cavallari” episode, the couple try to work on their marriage issues. 
(Jason LaVeris/Getty Images)

“I just didn’t feel like that was very fair,” the reality star admits before going on to explain that she doesn’t feel like Cutler, 35, supports her.

“I feel like if you were really supportive and really encouraging of everything I have going on, I would want to make time for you,” she admitted. “It would be a different situation, but I feel like everything I have going on is a problem.”

The former Chicago Bears quarterback agreed with his wife. “Yep. I just gotta do a better job. You’re consumed with [Uncommon James] and you should be. That’s how you’re going to be successful and that’s how you’re going to run a good business.

“It is a lot of change this year,” he continued. “You going from 0 to 60 and I just gotta deal with it.”

KRISTIN CAVALLARI WANTS TO SEE A ‘HILLS’ AND ‘VERY CAVALLARI’ CROSSOVER EPISODE

In 2017, Cavallari launched her Nashville-based jewelry company Uncommon James, which quickly expanded to a home line, Uncommon James Home, and a children’s collection, Little James.

The E! personality also noted that she and her husband, who last played in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins in 2017, “have basically switched roles.”

“For sure. Completely,” Cutler acknowledged. “Whenever I was playing football you didn’t pressure me.”

KRISTIN CAVALLARI SAYS JAY CUTLER UNCLOGGED HER MILK DUCTS IN TMI CLIP

“When you were playing football, I had to give up my whole life and I had to just live your life and I never gave you a hard time about it,” Cavallari reminded her husband. “It just was what it was. I was at every game and I supported you and I did everything that I was supposed to do as a wife.

“I feel like since I’ve gotten really busy, I don’t have that same support from you,” she explained to her husband. “We gotta get back on the same page. I just don’t feel like we’re on the same page right now. We’re having a really hard time seeing eye to eye.”

“Okay. I can do that,” Cutler assured his wife. “It’ll be fine.”

KRISTIN CAVALLARI REACTS TO JAY CUTLER ASKING HER ABOUT RETIREMENT

Cavallari and Cutler tied the knot in June 2013, 10 months after welcoming son Camden Jack. The pair are also parents to son, Jaxon Wyatt, and daughter, Saylor James.

“Very Cavallari” airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. ET on E!

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