December·14·2017

Star Wars Recap | CNET

Richard Trenholm for CNET:

Are you ready for “The Last Jedi”?

It’s been two years since the newest Star Wars trilogy launched with 2015’s “Episode VII: The Force Awakens”. So we wouldn’t blame you if a few details of the story have slipped your mind as you head to “The Last Jedi”, opening this week. And there are loads of comics, novels and video games continuing the saga, which means there’s even more backstory to fill in.

Before you see “The Last Jedi”, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know in bite-size recaps. How did the Empire become the First Order? How did Luke, Leia and Han part ways? What’s up with those new characters Rey, Finn and Poe? And what’s happened since “The Force Awakens” …?

Be sure your ad-blocker is on because holy moly CNET’s ads will bring your computer to its knees. That said, I found the actual content well worth the read as I head in to the theater tonight. And I can’t tell you how excited I am for this film. Tim and I plan to talk about this Rian Johnson directed Star Wars film with one other special guest on Retake next week!

December·13·2017

Thor: Ragnarok | Retake

Official episode description from NightOwl.fm:

Asgard is in “Hela” big trouble, but Thor and Hulk are here to save the day, of course. Join Tim and TJ on this comedic thrill ride!

TJ and I are on a roll releasing two episodes these past two weeks! Well… we kind of cheated and recorded two back-to-back. Either way, I really enjoyed talking about Thor: Ragnarok. Not only is the name fun to say, this film was an exciting watch. This movie was filled with a great score, wonderful acting, and excellent character development for Thor and Hulk, making it the best Thor movie yet.

December·07·2017

Why ‘The Best’ is Important

Ben Brooks on The Brooks Review:

I search for, and try to buy, the best of each item I use extensively because I don’t like to be annoyed by the things I use often. This is the deciding factor for me, but not all the factors. It’s a bit of a balancing act, deciding if and when to expand the budget on something to get an item which is better. Often, I’ll forgo buying something I want or need, and wait until I can buy the best of that item.

There’s one thing none of us can get back, and that’s time, as cliché as that is. Time is not recoverable, and the time spent being annoyed by something is doubly wasteful as you both lose time and happiness.

Ben makes a great case here. I find myself feeling similarly. I’d rather wait, save up money, and buy the best thing than buy the cheap thing because it’s cheap. I actually have a perfect example for this.

Kelly and I have been wanting to get a new mattress and adjustable bed base. I’ve done lots of research and found the best one for us. This thing is over a $1000 and the matress is pretty pricey too. Amazon has an adjustable base for a little over $400, but it doesn’t have the features that my research has led me to know we’ll need. Will it take us a few months to save to buy the mattress and bed base we want? Sure, but we’ll only have to spend money once, bring this stuff in once, and set everything up once. I think that’s worth it.

December·06·2017

7 Things an Obi-Wan Kenobi Standalone Film Needs to Succeed | Nerdist

Eric Diaz on Nerdist:

So what can an Obi-Wan movie tell us about the character that six movies didn’t tell us? Well, keep in mind all those films were about Obi-Wan’s relationship to his fallen apprentice Anakin Skywalker. A solo film entirely divorced from the whole Darth Vader situation would be the perfect vehicle to explore who Obi-Wan Kenobi really is outside of the context of his relationship to his former padawan.

Even though this article is riddled with typos and grammatical errors, it’s still worth the read if you’re in the mood to infer what the writer was trying to communicate. I’m excited to see a movie tell the story of Obi-Wan. While I understand that Anakin Skywalker was a big part of his life, I agree with the article in him being excluded from this movie. We know very little of Obi-Wan’s beginnings, the work involved in learning to become a force ghost after death, and much more.

Avengers: Infinity War Trailer | Retake

Official episode description from NightOwl.fm:

TJ and Tim are here as earth’s mightiest heroes to avenge us all from infinity, or something like that. Join them to chat about the upcoming film ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and its recently released trailer.

TJ and I got together last night to record two back-to-back episodes. The first of which is on the new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. As you might imagine, we’re both excited for this one.

December·04·2017

Web Typography: Designing Tables to be Read, Not Looked At | A List Apart

Richard Rutter in an excerpt from his new book, Web Typography published on A List Apart:

Despite the huge variation in table size, complexity, contents and purpose, every table shares two simple design principles: they should be readable and support a sense of the data held within. They should not be prettied up to satisfy a sense of aesthetic when simply looked at. That said, a well-designed table can still be a thing of beauty but with the form following the function. Tables are not pictures of data: they are catalogues of data to be perused, parsed, referenced and interrogated. A well-designed table will enable the information to be read and understood, and will reveal the patterns and correlations inherent in the data.

I feel like we’re predisposed to hate tables. But this piece reminded me that tables can be readable and beautiful with some simple CSS. I’ll be honest, I learned some new CSS that I’m eager to use next time I need to style a table.

November·30·2017

Renting iTunes Movies and the Value of Ownership by Khoi Vinh

Khoi Vinh:

…it occurs to me that Apple could go even further in emphasizing the value of ownership by helping their customers convert rentals to purchases. If you rent a movie on iTunes, Apple should offer to let you pay the difference between the rental price and the purchase price to actually own it. To keep this reasonable, this offer could be limited to the rental period, which Apple also increased to forty-eight hours back in September.

Khoi’s idea is great. Kelly and I used to buy DVD’s, so our analog1 collection is pretty big. Recently, we’ve been purchasing all our movies digital. Or if I buy a Blu-ray, I’ll buy the one with a digital code. All this to say, we don’t just like to watch movies, we buy them too.

On the weekends, we rent movies. I’m a lazy person, so renting on iTunes is the most convenient and comes without the headache of remembering to return them on time.2 We rent a lot of movies, and this added incentive I think would convert us to buy more.

The most recent example of this being The Boss Baby. We went to watch it in theaters, then rented it when we had some friends over. I could easily watch this movie more—to me a sure sign we should own it. As Khoi points out:

With analog media, there was no practical way of allowing a customer to get credit for a previous transaction involving a specific piece of media. Whether you saw a movie in theaters or rented it from Blockbuster it didn’t matter because when you decided you wanted to own it for yourself, you were back at square one

Much like the “complete the album” feature in the music section of iTunes, this could really get people to buy more movies. But let’s say you’re still not motivated enough to purchase at that point, there’s no way to see the movies you’ve rented. Sure you can look at your purchase history, but there’s no page that shows you the movies you’ve rented with the option to buy.

I love having more and more of my movie collection with iTunes, but I feel like some small changes would make the whole movie experience better.

  1. Can you call DVD’s analog? 

  2. Kelly and I always argue about which one is the better deal. Sure, Redbox is cheaper than renting on iTunes, but is it? If you don’t return the movie by the right time the rental comes out to the same or more. 

November·29·2017

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Trailer

Infinity War is by far the darkest trailer I’ve seen Marvel put out. You can tell the Avengers get their butts kicked big time by Thanos. He looks huge, powerful, and Josh Brolin’s modified voice is perfectly intimidating.

Avengers: Infinity War debuts on May 4th, 2018.

November·28·2017

Jahlil Okafor Hoping for Resolution of His Future With Philadelphia 76ers | NBA.com

From NBA.com:

In short, the Sixers and Okafor remain in limbo. ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski caught up with Okafor and Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo to gauge their thoughts on the state of affairs. He reports that Colangelo has dropped his asking price for Okafor from two first-round picks to a first-round pick and a solid player to a second-round pick. Still, the Sixers haven’t been able to work out a trade for Okafor, which is frustrating the big man:

“This is my third year in the NBA, and I know it’s a business. I don’t know if it’s fair or not, but in talking to other people in the NBA, talking to retired players, one thing I’ve heard them say is that what’s going on with me isn’t right and they’ve never seen anything like this before.

“I know it’s business, but in my eyes, I don’t know if it’s good business.”

This is a disappointing situation. I find myself agreeing with Jahlil here, yes it’s a business, but this devalues the player which will therefore affect the offers you get for him. Maybe it’s because I’ve been paying closer attention to this stuff, but I feel like we’ve recently seen executives that are unprofessional.1 I think the Sixers mismanagement of this situation will be harmful for their organization in the long term.

  1. The cases of Eric Bledsoe and Carmelo Anthony are ones that come to my mind. Both are examples of executives not only being unprofessional, but very stupid. Both situations led to mediocre trades—where had they kept their trap shut—they could’ve received better offers. 

November·27·2017

‘Justice League’ Cinematographer Endorses Zack Snyder’s Cut as Fan Petition Crosses 75,000 Signatures

Chris Begley on Batman News:

By now you know the story: Zack Snyder turned in a cut of Justice League earlier this year but Warner Bros. wasn’t satisfied with it. Joss Whedon was brought in to rewrite the script, and WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara reportedly mandated that the movie be no longer than two hours.

Over the weekend, some of Zack Snyder’s deleted scenes leaked online, leaving fans wondering how much different his version of the movie was than the one that hit theaters.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: How many times does Zack Synder need to put out a bad film for people to understand that his “director cut” doesn’t change anything? Don’t get me wrong, Zack Snyder’s visuals are unparalleled, but a storyteller he is not.

Justice League looks beautiful, but the mess of a story is not Joss Whedon’s fault nor that of critics. It’s just not a great movie, and that’s ok. Warner Bros. ambitions however, are obviously much higher than that. If they were smart they’d either trash everything and start over or get Zack away from having any type of opinion on story and world building.

Cinematic universes don’t happen overnight, Marvel has been working on their’s for the better part of a decade now. DC needs to stop trying to compete with Marvel and instead do their own thing.