Article – Films, an Exercise in Selling you Stuff.

TL;DR – While films are here to entertain, they also have an increased chance of selling you all sorts of things

CAT in Skyfall. Image Credit: MGM.

Article

Today one of the biggest films in recent memory Avengers: Endgame has launched and with it comes reviews, calls for no spoilers, marketing and PR, but also a similar trend we see with every major movie release recently and that is comments about product placement. This is something that is not new for the movie universe, indeed it was being lampooned all the way back in 1992 in Wayne’s World. However, it does feel like it is becoming more of an issue these days, or at the very least it is more in your face.

So why is this important? Well, for many reasons, the first being that companies are using films to pepper you with ads when your subconscious has lowered its usual defences that it uses to ignore advertisements. Sometimes these are very obvious like when on Chuck they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Cougar Town when they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Community when they … okay look Subway does this a lot. Fun fact, when writing this article I double checked I was right about the Subway integration and lo and behold before the YouTube videos of the shows was a new ad for Subway. While this is all a bit silly, it is also important because advertisers pay a lot of money to do it. PQ Media found a 14% increase in spending on product placement in 2017 alone.

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked from Best to Last (2019 Update)

Back in 2018 we had a look at ranking all the current Marvel Cinematic Universe films from best to last. We at least, what ranking they were for me. Well I have just walked out of Endgame and as there are no more films (that we know of) left for 2019 it is time to revisit the list.

With these lists, I don’t rank them 1-10 as I feel that does not adequately reflect my feeling about each of the films and where they fit in relation to each other. As you can see in our X-Men countdown (see here) what we do is the group the films into categories Fantastic, Great Good, Ok, and Trash.

Fantastic are those films which get as close to perfect as we can on this side of Heaven, with compelling characters stories and visuals. Great are those films which I thoroughly enjoyed but they did not move me emotionally. Good are solid films that while they have some issues they still work and are still enjoyable. Ok are films that work, they have some good moments, but you can start to see some of the flaws that almost scuttle the film. Trash are those films which just don’t work, whether it is the story, the characters, the visuals, or a combination of all three, they are simply letdowns.

Also within those categories, I have listed the films not in a ranked order but in chronological order of when they were released.

So let’s dive into a world of gritty spy thrillers, fun heist films, moral tales on not watching your AI experiments as you steal alien technology, high school drama, a Technicolour Dreamcoat, and the greatest collection of Chris’ since the invention of the word Chris.

Also be warned, at the time of writing two of these films are still in cinemas, so be careful with [SPOILERS].

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Map-It – Slow Mo Time: Mapping Planet Slow Mo

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited during the Slow Mo Guy’s ‘Planet Slow Mo’ series

Tank shooting. Image Credit: The Slow Mo Guys.

Article

Article

Today we are exploring something close to my heart. One of my first ever dives into the world of YouTube back in the day was this little channel (well not so little anymore) of these two guys out of Britain filming things in slow motion.

As a film making technique I have always been captivated by slow motion and to see it used to capture weird and wonderful sights is something I have always love. Over the years whenever there is a new video I always make time to watch it and to this day they are always amazing like creating a fire tornado or blowing up 10ft balloons or even exploding airbags.

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Article – Why I Love Farscape

TL;DR – This is a show that is bold, funny, weird, and heartwarming, one of the best Science Fiction shows I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

Farscape. Image Credit: The Jim Henson Company.

Review

Last year I had some time and sat down to write about my love for Star Trek Deep Space Nine and the impact it had on my like and joy of film/TV. Since then I have been looking for the next subject to write about and it never quite worked out. However, with the announcement that Farscape is about to drop on Amazon and a whole new generation of people will be able to understand what frell means, well sometimes life lines it up for you. With this in mind, today we will be exploring what makes Farscape so special for me, and why you should check it out.

So to set the scene, John Crichton (Ben Browder) is an astronaut from Earth, from a family of astronauts. He is testing a new slingshot engine on Farscape-1 hoping to use the Earth’s gravity to send astronauts across the Solar System. Only on this test flight he accidentally stumbles across a wormhole that flings him across the galaxy and into the middle of a war. On board the prison transport Moya, the prisoners Ka D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe), Pa-u Zotoh Zhaan (Virginia Hey), and Dominar Rygel XVI (Jonathan Hardy) have escaped and are trying to remove its control collar. While captain Bialar Crais (Lani Tupu) is sending Prowler fighter crafts to take the ship back before it could escape. The prisoners detect John’s unusual ship and bring it on board not before John accidentally crashed into one of the pursuing Prowlers sending it crashing into an asteroid (it may have had Crais’ brother on-board). Everyone was able to get the control collar off with thanks to Moya’s pilot Pilot (Lani Tupu) and she starbursts away, dragging one the Prowlers with then containing Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) a Sebacean that looks very human. Aeryn is declared contaminated and has to go on the run with the rest as they flee pursuit by an insane military commander while doing everything to find a way home.

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Map-It – Worth-It

TL;DR – We map out every restaurant featured on Buzzfeed’s Worth-It

Image Credit: Buzzfeed.

Article

Much to my own frustration, it has been a while since I have been able to fly overseas and explore the world. As a way of at least exploring the world and its food vicariously, I have been rewatching Buzzfeed’s Worth-It for like the fourth time.

In the show, the team of Steven Lim and Andrew Ilnyckyj, along with Adam Bianchi and Annie Jeong, explore food from around the world using a very interesting formula. For example, if the theme is Hotdogs they will visit an inexpensive, medium, and expensive restaurant to see which is the most worth it for the given price (hence the title of the show).

Image Credit: Buzzfeed.
There is so much amazing chicken in this show. Image Credit: Buzzfeed.
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Article – Oscars 2019 Predictions

TL;DR – Today we run through the 2019 Oscars Nominees to predict who we think will win

Article

Today is Oscars day and in a couple of hours, we will know all the winners in what has been one of the more fraught Oscar campaigns that I have personally seen. But as we prepare for the night of glitz, glamour, and maybe not having an awkward opening monologue that still has to live in Hugh Jackman’s shadow, I thought I would take a moment to look at the nominees to give our views as to who we think will win.

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Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Article

This week, well two days ago at the time of writing, the new and second expansion for Civilization VI called Gathering Storm was released. It added new Civilizations, City States, World Wonders, Natural Wonders, and most interestingly Geographical Features (see all new features HERE). With that in mind, I knew I had to immediately jump in and update our Full Civilization VI Map.

Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.

Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data.

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