The prologue to Alien: Covenant. With Michael Fassbender in one piece

Monday, 27 February, 2017

Alien: Covenant, the sequel to 2012’s Prometheus, graces cinema screens in May. In the meantime, director Ridley Scott has released a prologue to Covenant.

Here, those aboard deep space vessel Covenant are enjoying a final meal, before going into cyrosleep for the long voyage to a planet in a distant solar system, that they intend to colonise.

All looks to be well. But is it?

Michael Fassbender features, as you can see. But wasn’t he in several pieces, when we last saw him in Prometheus? Scott has hinted though that Fassbender plays two roles in Covenant.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Covenant and Prometheus will tie together.

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You haven’t seen Rogue One until you’ve seen it in the original 8-Bit

Thursday, 2 February, 2017

An eight-bit rendering of Rogue One, that imagines the Star Wars anthology series film as an arcade game. Directed by Norwood Cheek, and animated by Dilara Mundy.

Be warned, contains SPOILERS, of sorts.

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Robots won’t take all jobs, they don’t know how to do all of them

Tuesday, 31 January, 2017

This is a topic we’re not going to stop hearing about: the threat to jobs from robots, or artificial intelligence. Robots can be taught to do one thing, and another, and they can perform those tasks well, but they still struggle to work in the same way as a person. A human has a mix of skills, flexibility, and judgement, something that cannot easily be automated.

But the new jobs panic is exaggerated and misplaced. For one thing, political and social caution may block some of the potential uses, such as self-driving cars. For another, many jobs will continue to require a blend of skills, flexibility and judgement that is difficult to automate. David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argues that such employment requires “tacit” expertise that cannot readily be codified.

A good job too. I’m (still) writing a book that’s set 400 years in the future. Robots and artificial intelligence feature. They do much of our heavy lifting, but people still have jobs of a sort. It seems to me there’d be no story if robots performed every last function, and people didn’t even need to do trivial things, such as make phone calls.

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Hyper-realistic black pen dot artworks by Alessandro Paglia

Monday, 30 January, 2017

Artwork by Alessandro Paglia

Milan, Italy, based artist Alessandro Paglia renders all of his works, dot by dot, using a black ink pen. In an article published on BoredPanda, he said that some artworks take 250 hours to complete. That’s an endeavour requiring more than motivation, that requires commitment.

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And the title of Star Wars, Episode VIII, is…

Wednesday, 25 January, 2017

The Last Jedi.

In order for balance to be restored to the galaxy permanently, both sides of the Force, light and dark, must be destroyed. That means doing away with the Jedi and the Sith. Hence the last Jedi.

That’s just my take. Otherwise, let the speculating as to the meaning of the title, begin.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is due for release in December.

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Epoch, a journey of epic proportions through the solar system

Wednesday, 18 January, 2017

Dim the lights, turn up the volume, and go into full screen mode for Epoch, a journey to the far reaches of the solar system.

By Ash Thorp, whose video NONE I linked to last October, and San Francisco based Danish art director and motion designer, Chris Bjerre.

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Star Wars Downunder, a fan made film by Michael Cox

Thursday, 12 January, 2017

It’s a fan made film, so I know you sometimes need to be in the right place, at the right time, to hear about these sorts of things, but I’m still not sure how I missed Star Wars Downunder. Made by filmmaker Michael Cox in 2013, “Downunder” brings a distinctly Australian taste, in the form of beer no less, to the popular sci-fi saga.

See the full film here, 30 minutes in length, or take a look at the trailer for a preview.

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Astray to the spacedge, a road trip in outer space

Friday, 23 December, 2016

A group of bikers go on a road trip with a difference… a short film by Paris based motion designer Morgan Matyjasik.

The question though, is this a short film, or a trailer?

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Rogue One, a new trailer, and a new hope for the Star Wars films?

Monday, 12 December, 2016

This is a red-letter week for fans of the Star Wars films, with the first of the Anthology series movies, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, opening on 15 December. I doubt I’ll be going to the one minute past midnight screenings that some cinemas are scheduling, but I’m sure I’ll have seen it by this time next week.

In what I hope is an encouraging sign, Star Wars creator George Lucas, has already seen the film (I wonder how you manage to do that?) and, according to Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, “really liked the movie“. This in contrast to his comments after seeing the J.J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens:

“I think the fans are going to love it. It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.”

How circumspect is that? The Force Awakens wasn’t quite the film I’d hoped to see, and I think J.J. Abrams went a little too far with his penchant for rehashing earlier storylines. Whether Rogue One will be a good film, or a better one, remains to be seen, but there’s no harm in keeping our fingers crossed, and hoping for the best.

In the meantime, immerse yourself a in little more of the Star Wars hype, with another of the latest batch of Rogue One trailers.

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The second trailer for the next Star Wars film, Rogue One

Monday, 17 October, 2016

Not long to go now until the first Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One, opens in cinemas.

Just two months. I hope hope hope this will be good. The new trailer, released late last week, looks hopeful.

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