Cineworld also has screenings of some old favourites Batman Begins (2020 Re-Issue), Dark Waters, Dreambuilders, Military Wives, Misbehaviour, My Spy, Onward and Sonic The Hedgehog in its list to fill gaps left by many new releases being pushed back into August and later in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.
You’re definitely going to see a spike in pick-up and drop-off fees if you’re headed over to Hobby or Bush. Here’s why.
Shang Tsung’s schemes that rely on transformations are hard countered by Baraka’s sense of smell
Shang Tsung is often regarded as one of the most cunning villains in the Mortal Kombat series. Thanks to his scheming nature, Shang Tsung ended up playing a major role during the events of Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath’s story.
One very dangerous aspect about Shang Tsung is his ability to shape-shift into other fighters. Not only does he take on the traits and characteristics of those that are mimicked, but he’s even able to utilize any special abilities that they may have.
While this is normally extremely effective at deceiving and manipulating, it’s been shown on two different occasions that Shang Tsung’s shape-shifting is unable to fool Baraka’s sense of smell.
To improve their odds of success of obtaining Kronika’s Crown, Shang Tsung, Fujin, and Nightwolf elected to team up with Sheeva in an attempt to revive Sindel during Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath’s story.
It was believed that Sindel’s power would be necessary for the group to stand a chance against Cetrion, the Elder God of Life and Nature.
Completing this task required Shang Tsung, Fujin, Nightwolf, and Sheeva to transport Sindel’s unconscious Revenant form to the Soul Chamber located in Outworld. By this point in the plot, “Kitana Kahn” had taken control of Outworld.
The unlikely team correctly theorized that Shang Tsung would be attacked on sight due to Kitana’s disdain of the shape-shifting sorcerer. Shang Tsung opted to disguise himself as a Shokan warrior under the command of Sheeva.
Thanks to some bad luck, Shang Tsung and his allies ended up running into Erron Black, Baraka, and a group of Tarkatans. Although Shang Tsung attempted to maintain the facade of being a Shokan, Baraka immediately became suspicious.
“You are not Shokan,” boldly asserted Baraka upon getting close to Shang Tsung. “I know that scent. Smells like… Shang Tsung.”
Then, without hesitation, Baraka proceeded to pierce Shang Tsung in the shoulder with his retractable arm blade and then lift him into the air. It likely would’ve caused a major incident between the Shokans and Tarkatans had Baraka been wrong about his declaration.
But Baraka boldly attacked Shang Tsung because he was able to objectively determine the shape-shifter’s identity through his sense of smell. There was no room for doubt in Baraka’s mind.
Interestingly enough, this event seems to be a reference to Baraka’s non-canonical arcade ending in Mortal Kombat 9. While it might’ve appeared at a single glance that Baraka had betrayed Shao Kahn during the invasion of Earthrealm, it ended up that Shang Tsung was Baraka’s intended target.
“Shokan and Centaur alike were enraged that Baraka, Shao Kahn’s trusted enforcer, had turned on their master and killed him just as Earthrealm was in their grasp,” said the narrator during Baraka’s ending. “But their anger turned to admiration as the lifeless body of Shao Kahn transformed into that of the treacherous sorcerer, Shang Tsung.”
It was then explained that Shang Tsung’s deception was unable to fool Baraka as he was able to recognize his scent. This is one of the few arcade endings in Mortal Kombat 9 where Shao Kahn is not killed.
These two scenes are the only times in Mortal Kombat lore (the original timeline and the altered timeline) where a character was able to objectively detect Shang Tsung through his shape-shifting schemes.
In Baraka’s arcade ending in Mortal Kombat: Deception, it was even noted that Mileena’s sense of smell isn’t as efficient as a typical Tarkatan’s even though she was created as a fusion of Tarkatan blood and Edenian physiology. This possibly means that she would not be able to pull off the same feat as Baraka in these scenarios.
Shang Tsung’s deceptive shape-shifting was one of the main themes present in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks’ plot. By masquerading as Raiden, Shang Tsung was able to manipulate Liu Kang and Kung Lao to bolster his power by tricking them to collect souls for him.
The transfer of Kronika’s Crown from Fujin to Shang Tsung ended up being a pivotal plot point in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath as well. Despite being known as the God of Wind, Fujin was ultimately fooled by Shang Tsung when he took on Raiden’s form.
Being that Raiden is of a similar status to Fujin thanks to his existence as the God of Thunder and Earthrealm’s protector, this seems to imply that Raiden could be fooled by Shang Tsung’s transformations too.
It’s actually kind of ironic that such a trick could never be used to fool Baraka, who is generally regarded as the ultimate “jobber” of Mortal Kombat, but gods like Raiden and Fujin can be successfully deceived.
However, it’s worth noting that there’s never been a time where Shang Tsung attempted to fool someone like Cetrion, an Elder God, and Shinnok, the Fallen Elder God. It seems even less likely that Shang Tsung could trick a Titan like Kronika with his abilities.
Of course, Shang Tsung has also never tried to directly deceive Shao Kahn, the one who granted Shang Tsung his sorcery in the first place. It’s also unknown if Shang Tsung could fool someone like Kenshi, who is capable of “seeing” without eyesight.
While it’s very likely that other characters could see through Shang Tsung’s transformations without the need of some logical deduction, Baraka is thus far the only Mortal Kombat character that’s been shown to be able to do this.
The IndieWire Live Instagram series of video interviews continued earlier this month with comedian and actor Hannibal Buress, who joined IndieWire’s Creative Producer Leonardo Adrian Garcia for a discussion about his career, including his new comedy special “Miami Nights.” It’s currently streaming free on YouTube. Watch the IndieWire Live Instagram video above.
The special was inspired by a 2017 incident where Buress was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for disorderly intoxication after he asked a police officer to call him an Uber. The charges were dropped by prosecutors several days later. Buress told the Sun Sentinel in a 2018 interview that when he tried to go enter a bar to get a phone charger to call an Uber after the cop declined his request, he was told by the officer that he was too drunk to go inside.
In the IndieWire Live interview, Buress also discussed why he’s never seen any Hannibal Lecter content, and whether or not he’d ever guest-star in the possible revival of the cult series “Hannibal” for a Season 4. He also discussed the distress caused by becoming a meme (especially one where you’re shot), looked back on the movie “Tag,” and more.
Check out other IndieWire Live videos here. Other guests have included Elijah Wood, Guillermo del Toro, Danny Trejo, Eric Andre, Nicholas Britell, Julia Garner, Lulu Wang, Barry Jenkins, Diego Luna.
There’s been a lot of talk lately that Canadian pot giants Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) and Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA) have been discussing a potential merger. With competition in the industry on the rise and a potentially tough road ahead in the sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a merger is one way the two companies could strengthen their footprint in Canada and be in a better position to succeed over the long term.
Let’s take a look at whether a deal between the two companies is inevitable and what that might mean for investors.
Discussions were in “advanced” stages
According to BNN Bloomberg, in mid-month, Aurora and Aphria “held advanced talks” about a possible deal.
The talks did end up breaking down, but not before they went into the details, including that Aphria shareholders would come away with a majority (51%) stake of the new company and that Aphria’s current CEO, Irwin Simon, would be in charge of the new entity.
Image source: Getty Images.
Why the deal makes a lot of sense
A merger would give the combined company close to one-third market share in Canada and a presence in 25 countries around the world. And the two companies have reportedly already been able to identify approximately 200 million Canadian dollars in cost savings from working together. That’s no small figure given that in Aurora’s third-quarter results, which the company released back on May 14, the pot producer incurred a net loss of CA$137.4 million.
It makes sense that Aphria’s CEO would be leading the new company, given the Ontario-based pot producer’s low-cost operations and focus on profitability. The company has reported a profit in three of its last four quarters, while Aurora’s been profitable in just one of its past four quarterly results.
Another reason the two could come together: They’re both without a big partner from another industry. Unlike their common rival, Canopy Growth, which has a 38.6% investment from Constellation Brands, neither Aphria nor Aurora are able to tap into the deep pockets of a larger partner. By joining forces together, they add more resources to the mix and create more stability for their investors, and they don’t need to worry about a large investor nixing the deal.
Why the deal may be inevitable
A deal between the two companies didn’t end up materializing, but although the talks appear to be off for now, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. If the two companies went into the details of discussing who would be in charge and even looked for synergies that would result from working together, that suggests there’s real interest there. And the longer the pandemic goes on, weighing down the economy and also the industry, the more pressure there will likely be to make a deal happen.
Back in February, investment bank Ello Capital noted that Aurora was in horrible shape and that it had perhaps a couple of months of liquidity left.
In its third quarter, Aurora reported cash and cash equivalents of CA$230.2 million, but it burned through CA$288.3 million over the course of its day-to-day operating activities during the past nine months.
Aphria’s in a much stronger position. When it released its Q3 results on April 14, it reported cash and cash equivalents of CA$515.1 million. And it was also burning far less cash from its operations — just CA$124.4 million over a nine-month period.
Aphria’s strong cash position looks like it could give the company the upper hand right now. If Aurora continues to struggle and burn cash, it may become more desperate to work out a deal. And all it takes is one side in a negotiation to get desperate for a deal to come together quickly, which is what could very well happen if Aurora’s financial position deteriorates as the year goes on.
What this means for investors
A deal involving these two Canadian pot producers will instantly create an industry leader, one that would be poised to take advantage of the U.S. market once marijuana is legal across the country. A combined entity would also make for a more stable investment over the long run, as it would have greater resources and market share.
As of today, however, all of that means nothing. Talks are just talks, and investing in a company because of a potential deal can be risky. Things can change quickly in the industry, and a better partner for a merger or acquisition — for either company — could emerge, putting these discussions to a definitive end.
However, whether it’s Aurora and Aphria or another pair of cannabis companies, it’s likely that a large deal will happen at some point over the course of the next 12 months. Marijuana companies are struggling, and as it becomes more difficult to raise cash and expand, consolidation will be much more attractive.
Year to date, shares of Aphria are down 1% while Aurora’s stock has crashed more than 55%, which is worse than the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF‘s (OTC:HMLS.F) loss of 20% over the same period.
If you’re a contrarian investor, Aurora may be an attractive buy today given the potential the stock has to skyrocket if a deal with Aphria or another company is announced. However, for long-term investors, Aphria offers much more stability right now and is the better overall buy.