Alexa is coming to LG’s 2019 TVs staring this month

Later this month, LG’s 2019 range of TVs in North America will be updated to support Alexa voice commands. Europe and Asia will have to wait a little bit longer.

The addition of Amazon’s voice assistant feature was originally announced when the TVs were revealed back in January, and works via the Alexa app and the TV remote’s Amazon Prime Video button. You press the button, and then speak as you would to any other Alexa-equipped device. The TVs support Alexa skills and routines, and can be used to control other Alexa-compatible smart home devices.

This isn’t the first time LG TVs have supported Alexa in some form, but with last year’s models you needed an external Alexa smart speaker to use voice commands to control your TV. This year…

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Author: Jon Porter

Amazon preparing a wearable that ‘reads human emotions,’ says report

<em>Amazon Echo speaker.</em>” src=”https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/yVPzedOE35TmbiUHv0XtOTmh9Xo=/0x0:2040×1360/1310×873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63884353/dseifert_181120_3099_2251.0.jpg”></p><p>In a week of eyebrow-raising headlines surrounding the US-China trade spat, this latest report from <em>Bloomberg</em> still manages to stand out: Amazon is said to be working on <a href=a wrist-worn, voice-activated device that’s supposed to be able to read human emotions. This would be a rather novel health and wellness gadget, of the sort we’re more used to seeing feature in tenuous crowdfunding campaigns instead of from one of the world’s biggest tech companies.

Bloomberg has spoken to a source and reviewed internal Amazon documents, which reportedly show the Alexa voice software team and Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division are collaborating on the wearable in development. The wearable, working in collaboration with a smartphone app, has microphones…

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Author: Vlad Savov

Fujifilm’s GFX 100 is a medium format camera that performs like a mirrorless

Fujifilm has just officially announced its next medium format camera, the GFX 100. The latest GFX, the new model joins the GFX 50S and GFX 50R, released in 2016 and 2018, respectively. The GFX 100 introduces some major leaps over the prior models, including a much higher resolution, in-body image stabilization, and much faster performance. It will be available starting on June 27th for $9,999.95.

Unlike Fujifilm’s prior medium format bodies, the GFX 100 features a full-size design, meaning it has an integrated vertical grip and a much larger stance than the typical mirrorless camera. It’s much closer in size to Canon’s EOS-1D X than even Fujifilm’s own GFX 50R. Inside that hulking, three-pound frame is a new, 102-megapixel sensor and…

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Author: Dan Seifert

Aladdin Review Roundup (2019)

Disney’s latest live-action remake of one of its classic animated movies, Aladdin, hits theatres this weekend in time for the Memorial Day long weekend in the United States.

Directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch), the film features Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Will Smith as the Genie in a role that mixes CG and live-action shots.

The film follows the same basic story of the acclaimed 1992 film where the “street rat” Aladdin finds a lamp containing the Genie who grants him wishes. The new movie features a number of songs from the original, including classics like “A Whole New World” and “Prince Ali.”

Ahead of Aladdin’s release, reviews for the film have started to appear online. We’re collecting excerpts here to help you get an idea for if the movie is worth your time and money. For more on the critical reaction to the film, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

Aladdin

  • Directed By: Guy Ritchie
  • Written By: John August, Guy Ritchie
  • Starring: Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Marwan Kenzari.
  • Release Date: May 24 (United States)
  • Runtime: 128 minutes

GameSpot

“Aladdin is good. It’s not perfect, but it’s a big, extravagant musical that’s filled with fun performances, bright colors, and some exciting moments. Will Smith’s turn as Genie isn’t better than what Robin Williams brought to the character, but it’s different enough that it stands on its own merit. And, if you’re into this sort of thing–and you should be–Smith has a new rap over the end credits that is themed to the movie.” — Chris Hayner [Full review]

The Seattle Times

“It’s got a flying carpet. It’s got an enchanted lamp. It’s got a shape-shifting genie. But alas, Aladdin lacks real magic. Instead, Disney’s misconceived live-action remake of the studio’s 1992 animated classic offers the audience overstuffed musical-production numbers that look like they’ve been edited with a meat ax. Chop, chop, choppy.” — Soren Andersen [Full review]

The Guardian

“It still holds up as a tale whose central couple’s deceptions and entrapments and self-discoverings have a pleasing symmetry to them, and whose ‘it’s what inside that counts’ morals are in the right place. That’s really all anyone wanted out of a new Aladdin: not a whole new world, just a slightly updated old one.” — Steve Rose [Full review]

Slant Magazine

Certainly there was a lot of room to bring a contemporary perspective to this material—to counter the original’s problematic representation of its Middle-Eastern milieu and deepen its characters. Instead, the film settles for telling you a joke you’ve already heard and botching the delivery. — Jake Cole [Full review]

San Francisco Chronicle

“Aladdin, the live-action remake of the 1992 Disney animation, is more than a pleasant surprise. It’s a complete delight that stands on its own and is, in many ways, an improvement on the original.” — Mick LaSalle [Full review]

Screen Crush

“There’s still noting that this Aladdin does better–or as well–as the original. Even the parts pulled directly from the 1992 Aladdinby Ron Clements and John Musker, like the songs, have lost something in translation. (The whole new world of ‘A Whole New World’ now looks like a generic CGI city.) The nicest thing I can say about 2019’s Aladdin is in its best moments it reminded me of a movie I liked a lot as a kid.” — Matt Singer [Full review]

USA Today

“Ritchie’s Aladdin doesn’t sing or soar like the 27-year-old cartoon still does, and headier themes might bypass little moviegoers, but it’s nonetheless quite a cool and nostalgic magic carpet ride.” — Brian Truitt [Full review]

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Author: Eddie Makuch

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood First Reviews And Reactions Are In

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week, and the first reviews are incredibly positive.

The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor falling out of prominence and his stunt double who is played by Brad Pitt. This is all happening in Hollywood during the summer of 1969. DiCaprio’s character lives next door to the actress Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie in the film), who would be murdered by the Charles Manson family that same year.

Reviewers are calling the movie one of Tarantino’s most personal films, and a love letter to the Hollywood industry. The movie also features other huge-name actors such as Al Pacino, James Marsden, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, and Kurt Russell, while Luke Perry appears in his final role before his death.

We’re breaking out some review excerpts here, but the movie isn’t coming out until July in the US, so only a small handful of press were able to see the film at the famous French movie festival. You can also check out a 30-minute Q&A with Tarantino, DiCaprio, Pitt, and Robbie in the video above.

The Guardians’ Peter Bradshaw said about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, “Quite simply, I just defy anyone with red blood in their veins not to respond to the crazy bravura of Tarantino’s film-making, not to be bounced around the auditorium at the moment-by-moment enjoyment that this movie delivers–and conversely, of course, to shudder at the horror and cruelty and its hallucinatory aftermath.”

Writing for Time, Stephanie Zacharek said, “This is a tender, rapturous film, both joyous and melancholy, a reverie for a lost past and a door that opens to myriad imagined possibilities.”

David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter summed up his thoughts thusly: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodis uneven, unwieldy in its structure and not without its flat patches. But it’s also a disarming and characteristically subversive love letter to its inspiration, in which Tarantino rebuilds the Dream Factory as it existed during the time of his childhood, while rewriting the traumatic episode often identified as the end of that era.”

Below are some other thoughts and opinions about the film that were posted on Twitter:

I’m a fan of watching great actors. There is no better actor than Leo. There are moments in #OnceUponaTimeinHollywood that are mind-boggling. Movie within a movie. Acting within acting. Crazy.

— Tatiana Siegel (@TatianaSiegel27) May 21, 2019

This standing O is going to go on for awhile. Here’s a taste. #OnceUponATimeInHollywood pic.twitter.com/wSbG7KT3SJ

— Tatiana Siegel (@TatianaSiegel27) May 21, 2019

To be completely honest I’m not yet sure what to make of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Need to let this one marinate, don’t have an instant reaction. Most of the film is pretty good, I’m having fun watching them play around in late 60s Hollywood. Then the finale is HOLY FUCK.

— Alex Billington @ Cannes (@firstshowing) May 21, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Historically dubious, thematically brilliant, QT finds his form in film that could win Palme d’Or or be picketed by audiences, or maybe both. Thrilling, provocative, blackly comical, intensely unsettling masterwork. #cannes2019

— Jason Gorber – at #Cannes2019 (@filmfest_ca) May 21, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: Tarantino wasn’t joking when he said this was the closest to PULP FICTION that he has come. He juggles a mosaic of characters and story-lines in this one, eventually stringing them together for a relentlessly playful and touching finale. #Cannes2019

— Jordan Ruimy @ Cannes (@mrRuimy) May 21, 2019

I’m thinking #OnceUponATimeinHollywood is going to divide critics. Heck, I’m divided, and I’m just one critic. But I think the side of me that enjoyed it is going to win out. #Cannes2019

— Chris Knight (@ChrisKnightfilm) May 21, 2019

Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is so gloriously, wickedly indulgent, compelling and hilarious. The film QT was born to make. The world is a more colourful place in Quentin Tarantino’s twilight zone. Round two, please. #Cannes2019

— Joe Utichi (@joeutichi) May 21, 2019

Go to GameSpot sister site Metacritic to see a further breakdown of the critical reaction to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens July 26 in the US, August 14 in the UK, and August 15 in Australia.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

This New Handheld Game System Has An Actual Hand Crank

A new handheld video game system has been announced, and it’s anything but traditional. The system, called Playdate, features an actual hand crank that can be used to play games (or not).

The system is yellow and it is small enough to fit in your pocket. It features a black and white screen, and it plays all kinds of games. It’s being made by the software developer Panic, which has been in business for more than two decades. Recently, it started a publishing business and some of its marquee titles have included Firewatch and the soon-to-release Untitled Goose Game.

Oh yeah, the crank! No, it doesn’t power the device. It’s a flip-out rotational controller that puts a fresh spin on fun. Some games use it exclusively, some use it with the d-pad, and some not at all. pic.twitter.com/XYW97nLZKK

— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019

Panic wanted to do even more, and that led to an idea to make a handheld game system. “What if we could push ourselves even further? What if we could build something? A real something that you could hold?” Panic said. “It was harder than we thought, but it’s here.”

Panic worked with independent game designers Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy, and Shaun Inman to create the Playdate console. “We showed them Playdate and asked, “Want to make a game for it?” Then we lost our minds when they said “Yeah!” Playdate said.

In terms of game releases, the Playdate will get 12 “brand-new games,” one released each week. Panic is keeping them a secret now so their release comes as a surprise. “Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun,” Panic said.

As for the Playdate’s most unique feature, the hand crank, the rotating analog controller flips out from the side of the system. Some titles will use the crank exclusively, but others won’t use it at all. The console also has traditional A and B buttons, along with a D-Pad. The system also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, as well as USB-C and a headphone jack.

The Playdate console launches in 2020, priced at $150 USD. All 12 of the games in Season One are included for that cost. Presumably further seasons of games will follow if the system succeeds.

You can read this detailed FAQ to learn more about the Playdate console.

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Author: Eddie Makuch