Since the start of the crisis, Mexican brewery that produces Corona beer has been the punchline of jokes and memes...

    David Zalubowski/AP


    Since the start of the virus crisis, Corona beer has been the punchline of jokes and memes, and an online rumour said sales in the US dropped by about 40 percent after the outbreak.

   However, in late February, Constellation Brands, which owns the Corona label, denied the rumour and said sales had stayed strong in the US even as the virus spread internationally.

   Mexico's government has said only key sectors such as agribusiness will be able to continue to function.

    Grupo Modelo said it was ready to operate with 75 percent of its staff working remotely to guarantee the supply of beer, if the government agreed.

    Mexico's other major beer producer Heineken - which makes the Tecate and Dos Equis brands - could also stop activities on Friday, the Reforma newspaper said, although the company did not confirm the report.

On Wednesday, the northern state of Nuevo Leon, where Heineken's Mexican operations are based, said it would stop the production and distribution of beer, which led to panic buying. Mexico has so far registered more than 1,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 50 deaths.


John Wick: Chapter 3


Movies can be simple. As the first “John Wick” showed, all you really need is a car, a gun, a dead dog and Keanu Reeves. 
Alas, nothing in today’s movie-land stays minor. “John Wick” has spouted into a three-and-counting series. What was once a taut, minimalist action movie has grown into a franchise with a overcooked subtitle and de-rigueur world-building.
“Parabellum” finds Stahelski, who has directed all three films, moving beyond Wick’s origins and into a more extravagant action thriller. In its ever-expanding  realm, “Parabellum” isn’t so dissimilar from a superhero movie, only one with blood, a body count and, yes, better action scenes.
     It starts right where we left off. He’s on the run in New York having violated the enforced rules of the High Table, an international assassin’s guild. Ruthless as the world of John Wick is, it’s an ordered one, full of fidelity to a warrior code that’s part samurai, part magician. There’s a $14 million bounty on Wick’s head, posted by the High Table, which has begun a soon-to-conclude countdown to make Wick “excommunicado.” For every other bounty hunter, it’s open-season on John Wick. 
      The visual landscape of “Parabellum” — a nighttime New York downpour with dashes of neon — is vivid, nearly turning Time’s Square into Hong Kong. With little time, Wick heads to where all hitmen go in times of need: the library. Beginning with the Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library (where Wick, wielding a tome, fights a giant played by 76ers backup center Boban Marjanovic), “Parabellum” excels in its locations. Cinematography Dan Laustsen and production designer Kevin Kavanaugh are the movie’s potent weapons.
     With pursuers all around, Wick stealthily seeks out old associates for help, including Anjelica Huston, as a kind of ballet-and-wrestling instructor, and Halle Berry, who has a fiefdom in Casablanca and a few lethal dogs that severely test the bounds of “good boy.” He appeals to them on the basis of old bonds.
      Along with returning co-stars Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick and McShane, “Parabellum” is well-stocked in top-flight character actors. No movie that includes Fishburne bellowing “I am the Bowery!” isn’t without its acting pleasures — including Reeves, himself, who has found in Wick a match for his spare style and physical presence. Added to the mix here is Asia Kate Dillon as the Adjudicator, sent to arbitrate violators of the High Table’s code.
But most come to the “John Wick” films for the hyperkinetic action sequences. With a seamless mix of CGI and stunt work, Stahelski fluidly choreographs ballets of bullets and endless violent encounters across a grim cityscape. In some sequences, the action is clever, stylish and syncopated. There are sleek showdowns surrounded by reflective glass; inventive weapon selections, when assailants corner Wick in a corridor of antique knives; and chases on horse, under an elevated subway, and by motorcycle, in a blur across a bridge. In one moment, a tussle plunges underwater and the action takes on a slow-motion beauty.
     There is no doubt that these sequences are  a cut above what most any other action film is currently doing. But “Parabellum” often squanders its finesse by resorting, countless times, to execution-like killings. As the body count swells, the sound of gun blasts, and the occasional knife stuck in a skull, begins to pulverize. Fans will surely eat it all up, but the “John Wick” films have nothing to say about gun violence despite its absurd abundance. As laudable as the filmmaking is here, it’s an abdication — and one that’s hard to fathom, given the parade of shootings today — that sullies the whole enterprise.
      You could say, well, it’s just a movie. That’s true. No one would confuse “the Wickian universe” for our own. But not because of all the gunplay. Because everyone plays by the rules.


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