quarantine watch list

Have you created a quarantine watch list yet? Good thing there’s always room for more, right?

Last Friday, writer/director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Super, Slither) shared a list of underseen movie recommendations to help keep film fans occupied while we all stay inside as much as possible to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Check out his list below, and learn about a new Google Chrome extension that lets you watch Netflix remotely with a group of friends. Read More »

vertical format blockbuster

The vertical format, which is common for short-form videos on mobile platforms, is making the leap to the big screen — by making the screen painfully small. Searching producer Timur Bekmambetov is developing the world’s first vertical format blockbuster with a film that is very aptly titled V2. Escape From Hell. Except this is a hell that we can’t escape.

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oscars cats segment

Everyone got in a good laugh about Cats during the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night, but the Visual Effects Society had their claws out. The organization representing visual effects artists released a stern statement condemning the Oscars Cats segment, in which stars James Corden and Rebel Wilson poked fun at the Tom Hooper-directed big-budget catastrophe by dressing up as their characters from the film.

“As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” the stars said. Apparently not, according to VES.

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Netflix autoplay

For years, every time I’ve scrolled through Netflix looking for something to watch, I’ve had to mute my television. Aside from Qwikster (remember that?), one of the company’s worst decisions was to implement a change to its user interface in which every time a customer would land on a title, a video teaser of that title would autoplay, complete with sound. There was no getting around it, so the mute button became my friend. But starting today, perhaps we can go our separate ways.

After a long period of inflicting this low-level suffering on its customers, Netflix has finally made it possible for users to opt out of this annoying nonsense and disable that functionality altogether. Not only that, you can also disable the feature which autoplays the next episode of a series that you’re watching. Find out how to live in a better, quieter, more peaceful world below.
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the mandalorian visual effects

The Mandalorian‘s blending of practical and digital effects is one of the major reasons for the Disney+ show’s success. The new technology, which allows the filmmakers to create controlled environments with screens that project real-time sets behind the actors, was cutting-edge, but the effect was of an old-school Star Wars film. But there is an even greater connection to the original Star Wars films hidden in The Mandalorian‘s visual effects — and the reason that the series feels so close to those first films.

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Spaced Out VR

During the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, I took a trip to the moon.

Spaced Out, a virtual reality experience from French digital artist Pierre “Pyaré” Friquet, is one of the most transporting, immersive things I’ve ever tried. Donning a bathing suit, a floatation device, and an underwater VR headset equipped with a snorkel, I floated on the surface of a pool while being visually transported across the surface of a psychedelic, kaleidoscopic moon, all set to the actual audio from the real Apollo 11 mission.

The best part? You may be able to experience it yourselves one day, because Pyaré hopes to expand it around the world. Read more about this experience below.
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super nintendo world

The first Super Nintendo Land is coming to Universal Studios Japan, and it is shaping up to be one of the most immersive and tech-forward theme park lands to date. Billed as “a life-size, living video game,” Super Nintendo Land may be the closest theme park guests will get to being dropped in the middle of a Super Mario game — barring the part where you grow to the size of a giant, probably. And it’s all thanks to new wearable tech.

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WarnerMedia WB Logo

Update: An in-the-know source has reached out to correct some of the information in this story. Turns out that Cinelytic is only being used by Warner Bros. International as an additive tool to help select release dates, and not, as many have suggested, in any sort of major creative capacity. Our original story continues below.

The frequent tug-of-war between art and commerce means that there have long been Hollywood studio executives whose jobs include looking at analytics and trying to assess whether greenlighting a certain film will be financially beneficial to their shareholders. Now Warner Bros. is inviting artificial intelligence into the equation, because the studio has signed a deal with a company called Cinelytic to use its project management system and “leverage the system’s comprehensive data and predictive analytics to guide decision-making at the greenlight stage.” Is this situation as bad as it sounds?

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the rise of skywalker hidden video

What does it take to get Disney and Amazon, two of the biggest corporations in the world, to join forces? The shared goal of making lots and lots of money off a little movie called Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

An exclusive Rise of Skywalker hidden video is currently accessible at a Star Wars merch page on Amazon, containing some soundbites from director/co-writer J.J. Abrams and his cast as they reflect on not just making this movie, but looking back at the Skywalker saga as a whole. And for those who have already completed your holiday shopping and aren’t sucked in by the siren song of Star Wars paraphernalia, you can just watch the video and abstain from the capitalism of it all (until you pay for a ticket to go see the movie, of course).
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pause ads

As cable and broadcast television networks stand in the face of streaming services, they’re having to come up with creative ways to make money. AT&T‘s solution? A newfangled video version of a “pause ad,” which is, unfortunately, exactly what it sounds like. Thirty seconds after you press pause on your remote, a full video ad (with sound!) begins playing on your screen. I guess AT&T wanted to dump a piece of coal into its customers’ stockings during the holiday season.
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