Wonder Woman, the latest entry in the DCEU is out and, much to my relief, it’s really good. Here’s the review I wrote for Awesome Friday!
‘Wonder Woman’ Review: DC made a good movie and I am SO HAPPY
It’s been a long four years since Man of Steel premiered and started the new DCEU shared universe. It has been a universe of muted colours and asshole heroes, and one that has been hard to be optimistic about future entries in, but I am happy to report that Wonder Woman is a great movie and that you should definitely see it.
It’s not a movie without issues mind you, and it has a lot of the issues that even the best superhero origin stories do. The big CGI laden battle at the end is kinda blah. There’s a twist you might see coming from a mile away that leads up to said battle. There’s a huge lack of closure for some characters. None of this stuff is deal breaking though, and honestly I feel kinda nitpicky pointing it out. There are some things about good superhero movies that I can accept at this point, and a boring final battle is one of them because the big final battle with an ill-defined bad guy is ok when you have a hero who is incredibly well-defined and nearly perfectly portrayed.
Michael Zhang at Petapixel:
Google received praise from photographers last year when it made its $150 Nik Collection of popular photo editing software 100% free. But alas, all good things come to an end: Google has quietly announced that it will be abandoning the Nik Collection from here on out.
The announcement was made through a simple banner message found on the Nik Collection homepage.
This is a pretty sad day. I remember when Nik showed up on the scene. I was at a sales conference and they gave a 20 minutes presentation that at the 2 minute mark had the jaws of basically anyone who knew anything about photo editing on the floor. Later in the conference there was a trade show that lasted about half a day and it was sending room only at their booth from the moment it started until they kicked everyone out. This software was, at the time, fucking magic.
Most of its features have been rolled into, or copied by, other products now so it’s not really that surprising to see that they won’t be updating it anymore, but for those of you who are used to how easy it is to edit photos in apps like Instagram: understand that it wasn’t always like that, and that these tools are the ones that led the charge toward making things intuitive and easy.
The good news is that while they have now plans for future updates, you can still download the Nik Collection right now and keep using it. You should do so, in case they take them down for good.
Walt Mossberg writing his final column:
This is my last weekly column for The Verge and Recode — the last weekly column I plan to write anywhere. I’ve been doing these almost every week since 1991, starting at the Wall Street Journal, and during that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know the makers of the tech revolution, and to ruminate — and sometimes to fulminate — about their creations.
Now, as I prepare to retire at the end of that very long and world-changing stretch, it seems appropriate to ponder the sweep of consumer technology in that period, and what we can expect next.
Walt Mossberg is a titan in the field of tech journalism. Chances are you if you read about tech, you’ve read his work. This reflection on his career, and look forward, is a lovely last column to cap off his career.
This is awesome. Also, I can’t believe that it has been 25 years since Homer at the Bat aired.
Continue reading “Baseball Hall of Fame honors 25th anniversary of ‘Homer at the Bat’”
Apple has posted a whole series of videos to show you how to get the most out of your iPhone camera. If you’re a photographer you may not need these, but the videos are also just solid tutorials on the iPhone camera controls. It also explicitly calls out iPhone 7 but the majority of the info works for any iPhone.
Plus, it’s just a well designed page full of videos.
Check it out.
There are two types of people in the world. Those who prefer Star Trek and those who prefer Star Wars. I’ve always been the former, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the former. For the the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on home video I wrote a piece exploring why maybe I don’t love it as much now as many of the people I know.
On Star Wars, Then and Now
Both times there was this immediate rush. Star Wars is good again. What a time to be alive. The interesting thing about watching a movie twice in two days is that everything stands out. The stuff that works and the stuff that doesn’t. There’s a lot of stuff that works about the new Star Wars movies. I love Rey, Finn, and Poe. I love the new locations in Rogue One and the Jedi-less story it tells. I love the tone of the movies, and the effects are some of the best I have ever seen.
I just wish that they didn’t feel exactly the same. There are two George Lucas quotes I have been thinking about lately. The first is from the special features of The Phantom Menace. He’s describing the story of the prequels, how it will have familiar beats as the original trilogy, and he compares them to stanzas in a poem that rhyme. The second is from 2015, right after he’d seen The Force Awakens he was asked what he thought and he replied “I think the fans are going to love it, it’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.”
I finished watching Iron Fist season one and I had some feelings about it. They are not good feelings.
Iron Fist Season One Review: I Don’t Have A Good Pun To Tell You To Skip It (if You Haven’t Decided To Already)
that’s really the main problem here: the show feels cheap and phoned in. The first half of the show’s 13 episodes could probably have been reduced to two or three, and like Luke Cage they even set themselves up for some great standalone episodes and then ignored the opportunity. Once the plot gets going we’re still saddled with the fact that Danny Rand isn’t a likeable character, and when they try to do anything interesting there are almost no original ideas. Davos’s character arc in Iron Fist is exactly the same as Mordo in Doctor Strange. Colleen Wing’s story has exactly the same twist as Elektra’s in Daredevil‘s second season. There’s one fight in the middle that only seems to happen so that you know someone has seen Drunken Master and another toward the end that makes sure you know that someone really liked the Hong Kong office tower sequence from The Dark Knight.
Long story short, don’t bother watching Iron Fist.
Back when it was new I wrote a short piece on the High Frame Rate (HFR) movie filming and projection technology.
On Frame Rates:
HFR filming and projecting now doubles that frame rate to 48 and the result is that, basically, your brain doesn’t have to work as hard and everything looks much, much, much clearer.
So what does this mean to me? Quite a bit as it turns out because it turns out that I like it. I actually like it quite a bit.
Apparently this means I disagree with the majority of the critics but from what I’ve read most of the critics are just saying “it doesn’t look like a movie” which simply isn’t true. It does look like a movie, it just doesn’t look like movies always have.
It’s an interesting read now because HFR still hasn’t caught on yet. This is likely due to the fact that it still feels pretty undercooked but at the same time there is still so much potential for it to change the way we look at movies.
I used to build websites as a hobby. I even made a few back in the day for money, but mostly it was a hobby. After the rise of social media I stopped having a website just for me. For a long time it not longer seemed necessary, in this age of Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Letterboxd and SnapChat and Tumblr and every other platform it seems almost more important to build your profile up in all those places. The down side is that everything is everywhere, and thus kind of nowhere, and so as a result I’ve rebuilt Stretched.ca for the first time in years.
Continue reading “Welcome Back, Simpson”
The 89th Annual Academy Awards were last night. I had some thought about the performances, the host, and the big debacle at the end.
The 89th Annual Academy Awards took place last night. It was an … interesting show. While Simon and I live-blogged the whole thing I have a few follow-up thoughts on the spectacle.