Category Archives: Image cache

‘Rogue One’ sizzle reel shows off ‘Star Wars’ practical effects (New poster inside!)

The very first standalone Star Wars movie is coming soon, and to (ahem) celebrate, Disney and Lucasfilm shared this Rogue One sizzle reel at Star Wars Celebration in London this week. The nearly three-minute reel takes you in front of and behind the camera, giving you an inside look at how much effort is going into making the world of Star Wars come to life outside the confines of the three trilogies. Episode VII director J.J. Abrams was praised for his use of practical effects in The Force Awakens, and it looks like Rogue One helmer Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) is taking a page out of Abrams’ playbook. The gritty war zones that makeup Rogue One are littered with real explosions and imaginative creature costumes. Of course, these moviemakers simply couldn’t put on the show without pushing the limits of CG animation, but it’s good to know that where possible, what we end up seeing on the big screen is the real deal.

Go on and enjoy the reel; in it you’ll also hear from the cast and crew and maybe learn a little more about the resistance fighters’ daring mission to steal the Death Star plans. Celebration attendees left the panel with the first official poster for Rogue One, and you can eyeball it after the break; that tropical locale in the teaser and sizzle reel now has a name and it’s Scarif. Also screened at the panel but not released on the Internet (yet) was the second teaser trailer for the flick; spoiler alert, it ends with the mother of all teases: Darth Vader is back!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theatres December 16, 2016. READ MORE ‘Rogue One’ sizzle reel shows off ‘Star Wars’ practical effects (New poster inside!)

Nintendo celebrates its history with retro NES console release

Nintendo is on a roll. In the midst of surging in popularity thanks to the overnight success of the augmented reality smartphone app Pokémon GO, the house that built Mario has announced a new console. No, it’s not the highly anticipated next-gen NX. Ninty’s playing its most reliable card, nostalgia, by releasing a miniaturized version of its very first video game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which originally debuted in the States in 1985. The company describes it as a “near-identical, mini replica” of the NES and it’s compatible with all modern TV sets as it utilizes an included HDMI cable to display audio and video. In addition to the cable, the package comes complete with an AC adapter for power and one NES Classic Controller for gameplay input. The wired controller is patterned after the iconic rectangular design of the original NES gamepad. You can even connect it to a Wii Remote to play Virtual Console NES games with it on the Wii and Wii U.

Speaking of games, the mini NES, which easily fits in the palm of a hand, comes preloaded with 30 classic and cult NES titles including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN, and Kirby’s Adventure. Though Nintendo doesn’t divulge into details, it seems like your dreams of blowing into cartridges and jamming them into the console’s slot-tray have been dashed here. What is cool, however, is that each game has multiple suspend points, so you won’t have to worry about manually saving your progress and locking it with a password. Additionally, some of the onboard games will support two players, and NES Classic Controllers will be sold separately for $9.99. Update: A Nintendo spokesperson confirmed to Kotaku that the “Chamber Lid” will not accept cartridges or any other kind of physical media for that matter. In addition, the console does not connect to the Internet, so the games library here is capped to the 30 that come preinstalled. Engadget adds that original NES controllers will not work with the new NES due to differing connectors. So there you go.

The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition hits the market on November 11 at the reasonable price of $59.99. Be sure to jump after the break to view a full list of all the preloaded games, as well as an image of the retro product’s packaging.

Update (7/21): Ninty’s dropped an especially retro commercial to promote the mini console; it evokes its marketing campaign from the 80s with the classic tag, “Now you’re playing with power!”

[Via BusinessWire] READ MORE Nintendo celebrates its history with retro NES console release

What to watch this summer: ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Mr. Robot,’ ‘You’re the Worst’ & more

School’s out and to celebrate this fine occasion, I’ll be recommending a handful of quality TV shows to keep you busy in front of the boob tube over the long, dog days of summer. The months of June, July, and August play host to many of your favorite returning series including Orange is the New BlackMr. Robot, and You’re the Worst. Haven’t heard of them? Stop playing neighbors with Patrick Star and get with the programs! Release dates, times, and trailers are posted after the break. READ MORE What to watch this summer: ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Mr. Robot,’ ‘You’re the Worst’ & more

Upfronts: Preview NBC’s fall schedule including time travel drama & afterlife sitcom

NBC is the first of the Big Four Networks to unveil its new series for the upcoming 2016-17 TV season. In total, the Peacock has 7 new dramas, 5 new comedies, and 3 new reality series in the pipeline to debut next season. Of the 15 new shows, only three will rollout in the fall, and the rest will remain on tap for midseason.

Time travel drama Timeless from Eric Kripke (RevolutionSupernatural) and Shawn Ryan (Last ResortThe Chicago CodeThe Shield) has landed NBC’s most powerful timeslot, the plumb Monday-at-10 hour behind ratings juggernaut The Voice. On Tuesday, ensemble drama This Is Us from Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) is sandwiched between a second hour of The Voice and the returning Dick Wolf procedural Chicago Fire. This past fall’s breakout hit Blindspot is relocating to Wednesday to give Timeless a fighting chance, where the Greg Berlanti-produced thriller will lead into Law & Order: SVU and Chicago P.D. Comedies will open Thursday nights, with the returning Superstore leading into Michael Schur’s (Brooklyn Nine-NineParks and Rec) next surefire hit The Good Place. The second half of NBC’s “Must See TV” evening is comprised of Chicago Med and The Blacklist. Genre fare Grimm remains on Fridays perched at the 9pm hour, SNL rules Saturday night as is tradition, and football dominates Sundays.

New series being held for midseason include spinoff The Blacklist: Redemption, another Dick Wolf spinoff Chicago Justice, Wizard of Oz-inspired Emerald City, mystical Midnight Texas, a prequel series Taken based on the Liam Neeson movie franchise and sitcoms Great News (from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock), Marlon Wayans’ Marlon, DC Comics-based Powerless, and Trial & Error with John Lithgow. Reality series warming the bench include The New Celebrity Apprentice spearheaded by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Better Late Than Never starring Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, and George Foreman, First Dates executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres, and The Wall EP’d by LeBron James. Special event programming include Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, Hairspray Live!, and A Few Good Men Live!.

Jump after the break to view the full fall schedule and preview NBC’s new fall and midseason series with video clips and descriptions. READ MORE Upfronts: Preview NBC’s fall schedule including time travel drama & afterlife sitcom

Experimental band Xiu Xiu resurrects ‘Twin Peaks’ score with poise

If you ever tuned into David Lynch’s cult mystery drama Twin Peaks, then you are well aware of composer Angelo Badalamenti’s instantly iconic score. Every episode of the short-lived show kicked off with scenic views of the not-everything-is-as-it-seems town, including shots of The Packard Saw Mill and The Great Northern Hotel. Elevating these gorgeous shots to greater heights? Badalamenti’s score, which happened to mesh perfectly with Lynch’s overall vision for the show; the sounds and songs of Twin Peaks were grandiose, eerie, edgy, disturbed even. It’s been confirmed that Badalamenti is teaming up with Lynch again for the now-in-production third season of Twin Peaks, coming to Showtime sometime next year. For now, though, there’s this. READ MORE Experimental band Xiu Xiu resurrects ‘Twin Peaks’ score with poise

Apple announces newer, smaller iPhone & iPad, springs fresh Watch band collection

Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook led a town hall meeting packed with press to introduce new products including expected, iterative updates to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Though the presentation did not include many surprises, it was still an exciting affair, especially for those of you who are still clutching your 4-inch iPhone 5s for dear life. Looking to upgrade your iPad but the iPad Pro is too big for you to lug around town? You too will also like what you see here. Own an Apple Watch and want to spice up your band collection? Look no further. Go on, jump after the break for a full breakdown of all the major announcements coming out of Apple’s latest keynote. READ MORE Apple announces newer, smaller iPhone & iPad, springs fresh Watch band collection

Sony solidifies PlayStation VR launch details with bundles starting at $399

Virtual reality is on the cusp of going mainstream. While VR innovators Oculus and HTC are readying their headsets, Sony is prepared to attack the market with PlayStation VR. You see, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require powerful computers to run effectively, and not everybody invests in such pricey machinery. PS VR, formally known as Project Morpheus, simply requires a PlayStation 4 video game console to run, and Sony has the most potential to succeed here first because it can rely on its 36 million PS4 units sold since the console’s release in 2013. No doubt about it–advantage: Sony.

As we inch closer to fall, Sony’s finally made some key launch details known. PS VR releases this October starting at $399. At that price you’ll get the VR headset and all of the required cables plus stereo headphones. On launch day (still TBA), the PlayStation Store will offer a free copy of The Playroom VR so new owners of the headset will have an immersive game to demo when friends come over.

What doesn’t come in the $399 package is the PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move motion controllers, the former a required PS4 accessory to make PS VR work. The Camera tracks your movement and the controllers bring your arms and hands into the action. The Camera ($49.78 at Amazon) and Move motion controllers ($28.85) have always been sold separately from the PS4. When PS VR comes out, however, Sony has also prepared a “launch bundle” that will include the Camera and two Move motion controllers, in addition to an exclusive title PlayStation VR Worlds. This $499 package will be available to preorder starting Tuesday, March 22 at 10AM ET at participating retailers, including Amazon. The aforementioned “core bundle,” which assumes that you at least already own the Camera, will not be available for preorder at this time. Update: Sony’s performed an about-face here and has decided to make the core bundle available for preorder on Tuesday, March 29 at 10AM ET.

Launch lineup and spec talk after the break. READ MORE Sony solidifies PlayStation VR launch details with bundles starting at $399

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ comes home in April with bonus content galore

Chewie, you’re coming home. Disney’s announced that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will become available to own next month. It initially rolls out across digital platforms on April 1, followed by Blu-ray and DVD releases on April 5. A 3D version is also in the works for those of you with capable living room setups. Both the Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack and DVD releases will come packaged with lots of bonus content including a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary including exclusive interviews with the cast and filmmakers. For the full breakdown of bonus content, which also includes deleted scenes and featurettes on building BB-8 and an inside look at John Williams crafting the iconic score, pop after the break.

Now here comes some more good news (or sour news), depending on your perspective. Disney is teaming up with retailers Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and its own Disney Store to offer fans even more exclusive bonus content. Each retailer offers unique collector’s packaging and special goodies inside. For example, Target’s includes 20 minutes of new content including exclusive interviews with the cast and a special look at the movie’s costumes and weaponry. The Disney Store, on the other hand, is including a limited lithograph set inside. All of this extra stuff is welcome, but retailer-exclusives pretty much forces fans and collectors to hunt down various copies of the same movie! Be sure to click after the break where you’ll find images of these bundles and links to order them.

J.J. Abrams latest resurrection was a box office smash, breaking records left and right. It’s most significant record has to be outpacing James Cameron’s Avatar to become the highest grossing domestic film of all time. It raked in $928.79 million in North America (compared to Avatar‘s $760.51 million). It could not, however, steal the golden crown from Avatar. Cameron’s technological marvel performed better internationally and that amounted to a worldwide gross of $2.79 billion. The Force Awakens ended up resting at a still wildly impressive $2.05 billion overall gross. READ MORE ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ comes home in April with bonus content galore

What to watch this month: ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Daredevil,’ ‘Bates Motel,’ ‘The Americans’ & more

Spring is fast approaching as we enter the month of March and typically this would mean that most shows begin their sprint to the May sweeps and then hibernate until fall. That’s still true, but today we live in a different TV landscape where networks are prone to promote and debut new and returning series throughout the year, not just in September and midseason. Throw in streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and this March all of a sudden is the new September in TV land. Preview the many must-see shows premiering this month after the break. READ MORE What to watch this month: ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Daredevil,’ ‘Bates Motel,’ ‘The Americans’ & more

Kanye West finally releases new album, but it’s a Tidal-exclusive (for now)

At last, Kanye West has dropped his seventh studio album, now officially titled The Life of Pablo. Originally, it went by So Help Me God, and then it turned into Swish, and then Waves. Moving on! The album was first previewed to the public at Madison Square Garden last week where ‘Ye hosted a massive gathering to also show off his Yeezy Season 3 fashion line. The plan was to drop TLOP on Friday, Feb. 12, but due to production delays, he ended up formally announcing its availability following his two live performances on SNL. Interestingly, the album does not include previously released tracks such as “Only One,” “FourFiveSeconds,” and “All Day.” Of the 18 total tracks, fans will instantly recognize these four: “Real Friends,” “Wolves,” “No More Parties in LA,” and “Facts.” Production and vocals on the final versions of these songs, mind you, were tweaked from their original incarnations, so you might want to hold onto both versions in your collection. Eye the album’s questionable artwork after the break.

And now for some sour news for Kanye fans all over. On SNL, West told fans to head to Tidal to stream The Life of Pablo. News came out that the album would be a Tidal-exclusive during its initial launch period of about a week or so. Turns out that window will go on indefinitely. The meddling rapper has been ranting on Twitter lately, and a tweet that stuck many fans (myself included) right in heart reads, “My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.” This very well may be a marketing ploy to get his fanbase to sign up for Tidal subscriptions, and TLOP may still be on track for a regular major release across the other music streaming services. But this stings. If Kanye indeed has this power over his label, he is doing a massive disservice to his fans who don’t subscribe to Tidal and instead rely on iTunes/Amazon/Google or even the collection of physical copies of CDs. As a longtime fan and supporter of West’s contributions to music and the rap scene, I am incredibly displeased with all of this. Not cool.

Among his many recent Twitter rants, Kanye is pleading Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other wealthy individuals to give him money so he can live out his creative dreams. Hey Kanye: If you released your new album on more than one platform you’d make yourself some more money! According to TorrentFreak, “an estimated 500,000 people” have illegally downloaded a copy of TLOP on torrent sites like BitTorrent and The Pirate Bay. Of course, illegal sharing and downloading of albums, movies, etc. is a normal occurrence these days, but I think it’s safe to say that ‘Ye could have curbed this astronomical number by selling his album on the industry’s most popular platforms like iTunes. Here’s to hoping he comes to his senses, or his label strong-arms him into sharing his latest work (which has been receiving solid reviews) with the rest of us.

Update (2/17): Kanye’s uploaded the album’s credits on his website; big talents like Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, Rihanna, and The Weeknd can be spotted. Unfortunately, there’s no update on TLOP extending its reach beyond Tidal. For now, make due with Stephen Colbert’s scathing review of the rapper’s recent tweetstorm. READ MORE Kanye West finally releases new album, but it’s a Tidal-exclusive (for now)

‘Sports Illustrated’ unveils three sexy ‘Swimsuit Issue’ cover models

As is tradition, here’s your look at 2016’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover models. Going against tradition, however, is SI‘s decision to feature not one but three separate cover models. In the past, the print magazine has featured three models on a single cover, but this year marks the very first time it’s releasing three different covers with each showcasing a different model. How about that!

This year’s Swimsuit Issue cover models are Hailey Clauson, Ashley Graham, and Ronda Rousey. SI assistant managing editor MJ Day elaborates on the zine’s support to promote varying body types.

“The three covers of Hailey, Ronda and Ashley celebrate the new SI Swimsuit. All three women are beautiful, sexy, and strong. Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all.’ Beauty is all around us and that became especially obvious to me while shooting and editing this year’s issue.”

Clauson, 20, appeared in last year’s Swimsuit Issue and the blonde bombshellbe the obvious choice to grace the cover. In a surprising and gracious move, SI is proud to present to the world newcomer and plus-size model Graham, 28, and fierce MMA fighter Rousey, 29, in their respective covers. Clauson’s topless cover is certainly the most risqué. Graham exudes confidence in her purple and yellow-laced bikini. And Rousey sports nothing but intricate body paint.

Enjoy photos and video from the trio’s photoshoots in the links provided above (get a taste below), and click here to browse the full collection of 2016’s Swimsuit Issue models. See full-size versions of the three covers after the fold. Oh, and did you notice the VR logo on the covers? Brace yourselves because now you can experience the models in virtual reality. Even if you don’t have a VR headset paired with your mobile device you can still watch SI‘s shot-for-VR beachside video featuring past cover models Irina Shayk, Nina Agdal, and Hannah Davis. You’re welcome.

[Via Sports Illustrated] READ MORE ‘Sports Illustrated’ unveils three sexy ‘Swimsuit Issue’ cover models

10 premieres to look out for this month: ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘American Crime Story,’ ‘Fuller House’ & more

It may be a mild winter for east coasters, but that’s not stopping the incoming storm of highly anticipation programming from hitting the airwaves this month. There are a whopping five series premieres you cannot miss (including FX’s American Crime Story and Netflix’s Fuller House), plus the sophomore runs of AMC’s Better Call Saul and HBO’s Togetherness, among others. Jump after the break for the full rundown. READ MORE 10 premieres to look out for this month: ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘American Crime Story,’ ‘Fuller House’ & more