Category Archives: MOVIES

Thief of Thieves Comic

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Thief of Thieves is a monthly comic book series published by Image Comics’ Skybound imprint which premiered in 2012. Created by Robert Kirkman, the comic centers on Conrad Paulson, a highly successful thief who quits the business and begins a new life stealing from other thieves. The series will feature a rotation of writers, including Nick Spencer on the first story arc, and art by Shawn Martinbrough. The first three issues sold out upon release, and a television series based on the comic is in development at AMC.

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Mexican Drug Cartel Boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman caught

The Daily Mail Article -

As Mexican marines forced their way into his main hideout in Culiacan just days ago, Guzman slipped out of through a secret door beneath a bathtub
He climbed down a corrugated steel ladder into a network of tunnels and sewer canals that connect to at least seven other houses in Culiacan, officials said
A set of photographs show the houses that appear unremarkable from the outside
But at each residence, the Mexican military found the same thing: steel reinforced doors and an escape hatch leading to a series of dank, smelly interconnected tunnels in the city’s drainage system
While Guzman escaped through the tunnels on this occasion, days later he was ultimately arrested after fleeing to the beachside resort of Mazatlan

Fascinating images have emerged showing the intricate tunnels through which the world’s Most Wanted Drug Lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman escaped last week only to be nabbed days later at a beachside resort.

As Mexican marines forced their way into his main hideout in Culiacan just days ago, Guzman, whose nickname means ‘Shorty,’ slipped out of the home through a secret door beneath a bathtub.

He then climbed down a corrugated steel ladder into a network of tunnels and sewer canals that connect to at least seven other houses in Culiacan, officials said.

Elaborate tunnels: Guzman escaped firstly through an open steel reinforced door leading to a series of interconnected tunnels in the city's drainage system in the city of Culiacan. The above picture shows one of about seven of these doors

Elaborate tunnels: Guzman escaped firstly through an open steel reinforced door leading to a series of interconnected tunnels in the city’s drainage system in the city of Culiacan. The above picture shows one of about seven of these doors

Caught: Just days after infamous Guzman escaped through the tunnels, pictured, linking his Culiacan homes, he was finally accosted at a beach side condo

Caught: Just days after infamous Guzman escaped through the tunnels, pictured, linking his Culiacan homes, he was finally accosted at a beach side condo

Got him: Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, pictured, was arrested Saturday but days earlier he evaded authorities by escaping through the tunnels

The photographs show the houses that appear unremarkable from the outside, but at each residence, the Mexican military found the same thing: steel reinforced doors and an escape hatch below the bathtubs.

Each of the trapdoors led to a series of dank, smelly interconnected tunnels in the city’s drainage system.

An Associated Press reporter who walked through one of the tunnels had to dismount into a canal and stoop to enter the drain pipe, which was filled with water and mud and smelled of sewage.

About 2300 feet in, a trap door was open, revealing a newly constructed tunnel.

Large and lined with wood panels like a cabin, the passage had lighting and air conditioning.

At the end of the tunnel was a blue ladder attached to the wall that led to another of the houses Mexican authorities say Guzman used as a hideout.

Working on the information gleaned through wiretaps and from Guzman’s bodyguards who were arrested in a series of raids from February 13, marines swarmed the house of Guzman’s ex-wife

But they struggled to batter down the steel-reinforced door, which gave the cartel boss the time he needed to flee.

Once law enforcement were inside, it was too late. Guzman was gone.

However, U.S. intelligence was good. Officials knew that he had been spending time at the beachside resort of Mazatlan, and they even knew where he liked to stay while there.

Way out: The drug lord went to great lengths to ensure he could escape, and the tunnels worked - at first

Way out: The drug lord went to great lengths to ensure he could escape, and the tunnels worked – at first

Intricate: The tunnels in the city's drainage system link seven homes, including this one

Intricate: The tunnels in the city’s drainage system link seven homes, including this one

Back door: Officials arrested one of Guzman's top aides a day after he fled and the aide told investigators that he picked up Guzman from a drainage pipe and helped him flee. This photo shows another home linked by tunnels

Back door: Officials arrested one of Guzman’s top aides a day after he fled and the aide told investigators that he picked up Guzman from a drainage pipe and helped him flee. This photo shows another home linked by tunnels

As he traveled south to Mazatlan, leaving behind grenades, rifles, ballistic vests and armored cars, because he didn’t have time to bring them, hot on his heels was a team of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

The DEA officers set up a base of operations with Mexican marines in the city, according to a U.S. law-enforcement officials.

Early on Saturday morning, Guzman’s reign came to an end without a shot fired.

Marines closed the beachside road in front of the Miramar condominiums, a 10-story, pearl-colored building with white balconies overlooking the Pacific and a small pool in front.

Wouldn't know: At each residence, including that pictured, the Mexican military found the same thing: steel reinforced doors and an escape hatch below the bathtubs. Each of the trapdoors led to a series of dank, smelly interconnected tunnels in the city's drainage system

Wouldn’t know: At each residence, including that pictured, the Mexican military found the same thing: steel reinforced doors and an escape hatch below the bathtubs. Each of the trapdoors led to a series of dank, smelly interconnected tunnels in the city’s drainage system

Drug lord: Joaquin 'El Chapa' Guzman is led into a military helicopter following his arrest early Saturday morning

Drug lord: Joaquin ‘El Chapa’ Guzman is led into a military helicopter following his arrest early Saturday morning

Raid: He was finally arrested during a raid Saturday at his condo, pictured, in Mazatlan, with his young wife

Raid: He was finally arrested during a raid Saturday at his condo, pictured, in Mazatlan, with his young wife

Smashing down the door of the condo, they seized the country’s most-wanted man at 6:40 a.m. without a shot being fired from either side.

‘He didn’t put up any resistance,’ Mike Vigil, a retired senior DEA official briefed on the arrest told The Washington Post. ‘He was physically tired from the stress of being hunted.’

The 56-year-old was marched outside in front of scores of hungry media and taken by helicopter to a maximum-security prison in Almoloya de Juarez, outside Mexico City.

It’s unclear yet whether he will be tried in the U.S. or Mexico.

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Batman: Arkham Knight Trailer Father to Son

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In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever.

Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise. The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.

Batman: Arkham Knight is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license and will be available exclusively for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows PC. The game is scheduled for release worldwide in 2014.

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Karl Lagerfeld Turns the Grand Palais Into a Grocery Store for Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2014 Show

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Known for his rather extravagant ideas when it comes to the backdrops of his fashion shows, Karl Lagerfeld one-upped himself yet another time. For the recent Chanel runway show at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014, he had a full-blown grocery store built inside the Grand Palais, complete with fresh produce and shelves that stocked Chanel-branded bread, coffee, ketchup and champagne, among other things. The shopping baskets featured the label’s famous chains as seen on their luxury handbags, while models pushed shopping carts around the store.

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Swedish Pharmacy Ad Features a Woman Whose Hair Blows in the Wind When a Train Passes

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Incoming trains are blowing the hair of a female model, featured on the Stockholm’s subway platform ad, interactive commercial for Apotek, a Swedish pharmacy brand.

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Parko vs Fanning: 21 Days Red Bull Surfing

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Episode one of 21 Days tells the story of Mick and Joel heading into 2013′s first event at Snapper Rocks.

The first world tour event of 2013, the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast, is just about to fire up. And while Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson have been sitting behind the rock at Snapper during their downtime, sharing barrels and riffing stories, come March 3 they’ll be donning jerseys and doing battle. Two best friends since childhood, two top 10 world tour surfers. A strange but endearing relationship, that’s easily the most engaging element of the coming contest.

The Quiksilver Pro, Snapper Rocks, gets closer and closer, and Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson can feel it looming. The surfing world’s collective shoulders tighten and even Snapper itself can feel the heat coming.

Mick and Joel, well and truly out of holiday mode now and deep into prep are as ready for the first event of the year as they’ll ever be. While Joel would never begrudge his media commitments (everyone wants a piece of you when you’re a world champ), he’s itching to get started on the year and get back into his competitive rhythm. Mick is focused as ever on training, building cardio and confidence in equal measures, using his love of challenges as motivation to push it.

With Joel the immovable object, and Mick the unstoppable force, episode two of 21Days documents another step towards impact.

The contest start date is in sight as both surfers make final preparations for the season opener.

Episode three of 21Days: Parko/Fanning is the last chapter documenting the lives of these two sportsmen as they ready themselves for the first test of the new year. The final lap before the flag drops might be the most nerve-wracking, but it’s also the most exciting.

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I Love Ugly Chalk Series

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Originally I Love Ugly was an Art Collective with strong roots in Illustration and Street Art. It was those Art pieces and illustrations that lead to screen printed T-shirts which continued to expand to other mediums and finally to the I love ugly you know today.

Art is something that will always have a major influence on I Love Ugly so we will continue to strengthen that message in all aspects of I Love Ugly.

The Series is based around a Chalk Mural that was drawn in the original I Love Ugly studio roughly 2 years ago and re-created by our Creative Director on a much larger scale in the new creative studios.

This Mural was then interpreted as the motif print for this capsule collection, featuring on Shirts, Jacket, watches and Pants and even being released as a Fine art Print.
Aspire to inspire before you expire.

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Godzilla

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http://godzillamovie.com
https://www.facebook.com/GodzillaMovie

In theaters May 16th.

An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla,” which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

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Amazing Tongue Twister Rap from A to Z

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FULL LYRICS HERE:
I…Adamantly attack the alphabet
with an anecdotal algorithm made of Adamantium
I’m like an Adderrall addicted anaconda or an alcoholic
an asshole, like A-Rod, no anabolic s,
But I, brutally and beautifully butcher the banging beat
brushin’ bubbly allover your booby and booty beef
cause I’m a carpenter, when I come carvin’ your carcass
leaving all these carp fish crushed on the carpet
crumble chron’ with my Colorado and my Cal cronies
cram it full of condiments like it’s a Calzone
delicious! but I didn’t drive and drink
whether diamonds or dimes man I’m diving deep like an
electric eel, I’m elegantly eloquent and every cent I’ve ever earned
just entered me in the election
I got eleven brains like an enormously educated Einstein with Elephantitis
of the erection
a freak! I’m fighting with a flatfooted felon
five falcons just flew to a fountain, and fell in
Googling googly-eyed girls to get inside
golly gee from GlasGow to Guatemela’s gentrified
a hippopotamus is high on heroin he heckles me
and hires Haitian Hank to hand his hoe a hysterectomy
in hateful hieroglyph I hurl-out hyperbolic hubris
and hang with Hipster Helen the hooker with huge hips
I’m ill. I’m Icarus. I ignite idiots in idioms and issues
jumpy jargon I joust like Jacare jivin Japanese Judo and Jiujitsu
killin em like a kid.. got a Kilogram of Ketamine for Kwanza
in a knitted Kimono made out of Komodo Dragon skin
I’m richer than a Klingon kickin it at the Kremlin
but I kick through your door, kall me Kramer Kardashian
Lethal. Literally litter a little limerick
that be littler than a Leprechaun
a menace that’ll manifest the melancholy mayhem
makin a metamorphosis until mechanized like Megotron
Nick Nolte: a nerdy native of Nebraska
needs a neon ninja and a nectarine from NASA
Ominously, I mean it’s obvious you see a:
orthodontist oozing out oodles of onomatopoeia
Oswalt: Patton
pickin a pocket pluckin a patent
I pickle purple poop in Patron for pure passion
I got a question, I gotta quiz ya
should I quirk up the quotes and make the flow quicker
really getting ready for the revolution
reeled a rotten rhythm ring around a Russia Ronda Rousey resort
serve a simple sentiment a simile that’s smokin
like a sheet of Sudafed i’m swiftly swimming like a seahorse
TITTIES ON ATILLA TELL A TELLER THAT’LL TOE TAG
TERMINATOR GUN INSIDE A TURTLE TATTERED TOTE BAG
THUGS
ARE UN-AMERICAN UNATTRACTIVE AND UNWANTED AS AN UGLY PAIR OF UGG’S
VIVID AND VIVACIOUSLY VENOMOUS
With the wicked wombats only walking where women is
gettin xenophobic at the Xanadu
XoXo
Yippy-ki-yay,!
Yours’ Truly,
Mac
YES YO!!!

Oh shit, I forgot Z….Zebra.

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The Wolf of Wall Street: The Hollywood Reporter in depth Interview

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The star and director, along with Jonah Hill and writer Terence Winter, join THR’s Stephen Galloway for an in-depth look at their awards contender. The Oscar-winning helmer shares the advice that he got from Steven Spielberg and DiCaprio opens up about playing one Wall Street’s biggest players Jordan Belfort.

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Red Bull Storm Chase Final 2014: Windsurfing through hurricane conditions

Red Bull Storm Chase

Frenchman Thomas Traversa was crowned the champion of the storm surfing universe. Despite weighing just 60 kilos, Traversa won the final leg of the Red Bull Storm Chase in hurricane conditions off the coast of Cornwall, UK, in front of Marcilio Browne from Brazil and Leon Jamaer from Germany.

With building-high waves and gusts of wind reaching 70 knots, only the best were nominated to participate in the “Red Bull Storm Chase”. During an 18-month holding-period, ten of the world’s best windsurfers waited patiently to catch three of the biggest storms on oceans around the globe to determine who was the very best. After Mission 1 in Ireland (January 2013) and a second mission in Tasmania, Australia (August 2013), Red Bull Storm Chase picked the storm-ravaged coast of Cornwall, U.K., for the third and final location for a showdown between the remaining four.

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THUNDERCLOUD

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Indie filmmaker, Talon Clemow, on his attempt to do justice to the greatest day of surfing in living memory

From 2010 through to the unforgettable events of the Volcom Fiji Pro in 2012, Cloudbreak – the reef off the island of Tavarua – witnessed a series of harrowing surfing performances that shook the sport to its core. Even more remarkable was that the men behind it all were in fact not the lauded million-dollar-a-year World Tour surfers, but part-time professionals happy to risk their lives for nothing more than the pure thrill of splitting a 20-foot tube. Thundercloud is an exceptional feature documentary by Gold Coast-based filmmaker, Talon Clemow, exploring all this and more.

At what point during that famous day in 2012 did you realise you were watching history unfold?

TC: When I saw (Ian) Walshy’s wave. That was the point when I was like, oh my god, this is next level. He took off, came off the bottom and as I zoomed in I could see this thing just rifling down the line and he pulled into it and just got really, really deep. I thought he was gone and then it spat and he just came flying through the spit. It was incredible, one of the deepest barrels I’d seen. I just went, woah! Up until then it had been (Dave) Scardy’s barrel in 2010 and Hippo in 2011 that were the benchmarks but that had definitely surpassed it.

You’ve put together an incredible feature film that takes place over not only on the events of the super swell of 2012 but also the similarly significant swells of 2010 and 2011. Was it obvious to you at the time that surfing was changing before your very eyes?

In 2010 when the decree changed (prior to that only guests of the Tavarua resort were allowed to surf Cloudbreak) it was in July and a big swell popped up in September and we went because it was the first time we could go. We had a good crew of Laurie Towner, (David) Scardy, Dean Brady and Shaun Cansdell but as soon as we arrived we realised all the guys were under gunned. They paddled out with the expectation of surfing without a ski and catching waves under their own power. Some guys were towing that morning. I think (Ian) Walshy got a mad one but when I saw Laurie try to paddle in to that big one that he didn’t make the drop on, on his 6’8, that to me was a changing point for Cloudbreak. Up until that point waves like that had been towed into out there.

The way the surfing is captured in Thundercloud; the sheer size of the waves; the way they thunder so symmetrically down the reef; and the way surfers so smoothly scoop up and into the waves of their lives – it all just seems so meant to be.

One hundred percent. That reef is 100% the best reef on the planet. It’s amazing. It’s incredible what it can handle. I don’t think there is another wave in the world that can break from two-feet to 20-plus and still maintain its shape and size. The shape of the reef and the different ledges it breaks on as it gets bigger, just the whole set up out there it’s meant to be, you’re right. It’s a wonder of the earth and a wonder of god’s creation.

There was some controversy on the day though and your film doesn’t shy away from it. 

Nah, well it’s all part of the story. That day was special for so many reasons. I think what transpired on that day was meant to be in order to allow for all the action that took place. The decisions that were made I think gave us a little bit of everything; freesurfing in the morning, then the event went on hold, then they ran it when the wind dropped and the wind picked up again and it was terrible when they called it off. When it was on hold all the big wave guys charged out there but the waves weren’t good at the start, then they got better. There was controversy but a lot of it came from commentary from people that weren’t there. I think the guys who were there made the right decision. Saying that, now they’re prepared for it. They (World Tour surfers) know to take an 8’0 to Cloudbreak. If it happens again there is no way they won’t surf it.

The way you cover the controversy in the film definitely reflects on some people better than others. Some of these guys are surfers you’ve worked with very closely over a long time. Were you concerned with how the film might affect your relationship with them?

Yeah, for sure. But my job as a documentary maker is to document the facts and I brought both sides to the table. I haven’t just made a biased opinion of it. As a documentary maker you have to bring two sides to the story. You know, I spoke to Bede this morning and said to him it would be great for him to come and have a look at the production. I wanna know what he thinks of it and I had the guy from the ASP, Matt Wilson (the contest director at the Volcom Pro in 2012) come to the office and look at his stuff. He was concerned after he saw the trailers that it was gonna be a stitch up. I said, look it’s not, I’m just reporting on the facts and I want your story. He gave me the all clear. I haven’t cleared it with the surfers but the parts with Bede and Taj, they’re in the firing line because they were in the next heat and they weren’t ready and weren’t prepared to surf but at the same time I think all the stories they told me were just their version of events and I’m bringing that to the forefront. I hope they don’t think I’ve stitched them up because I don’t feel like I have. I’m just letting them tell their story.

The guys who stole the show that day were largely part-timers – Kohl Christensen installs solar panels back in Hawaii for a day job, Dave Wassel is a lifeguard on the North Shore, Kala Alexander works at a chemistry lab. Yet they risked their lives for the pure challenge of getting one of these waves. How important was it to tell their story?

Well, first and foremost I don’t think any of those guys are part-timers. They’ve grown up surfing and around the ocean and have committed their life to big wave surfing. They might not be on the same sponsorship deals as some other guys but they are totally committed to big wave surfing and surfing in general so they live to surf. But apart from that their stories are 100 percent relevant because they participated and they were pushing the limits along with everyone else that was there. Their contributions will be remembered and revered and hopefully encapsulated in Thundercloud.

Can you describe what kind of characters the likes of Kohl, Kala, Wassel and Healey are?

All four are pretty individual. Trying to group them together is pretty hard. I know Healey the best out of all those guys. I’ve stayed at his house over the last few years in Hawaii. It’s kind of hard to say: Healey is a maniac but a very calculated maniac. He puts himself in positions because he wants those kinds of waves and you’ve gotta be a bit of a maniac to want a 20 foot wave that’s pitching up like those things are but at the same time he thinks and plans everything out because that’s what he wants.

Your favourite part of the film?

Surfing-wise it’s hard. There are so many high points in that movie. I think the story about that big set is the culmination of the whole movie – the set where (Mark) Healey had his board in the lip. There are so many stories just about that wave itself – Kohl was trying to catch it, Healey was too deep but tried to look back and work out where he was at so he could catch the next wave like that, Makua and Joel were on the ski talking about going to tow one of them and then that thing came in, there’s the story of the photographer who shot it and won the Nikon photo of the year award. I don’t think a wave like that has been seen anywhere on the planet but the way global warming is going and the fact all the storms are getting bigger and gnarlier, we’re gonna see bigger and better.

In order to bring this film to a public audience, I understand you made some pretty big sacrifices?

Yeah, I’ve done everything 100 percent independently. It’s been a big task – a big task. Taking it on individually wasn’t that hard of a decision but I think the experience of going through it financially and funding it has been tricky. I basically had to cash in a life insurance policy that I had because I needed money and I didn’t have any. It’s been hard. I’ve got a little boy that’s 18 months old, a wife, a mortgage all sorts of stuff. But yeah, seeing it all on the big screen and people enjoying it will be worth it.

By Jed Smith

Thundercloud World Premiere – Thursday February 13, Hayden Orpheum, Sydney

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Transcendence: Official Trailer 1 & 2

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Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

Cast: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins, Jr., Morgan Freeman
Director: Wally Pfister
Writer: Jack Paglen
Producers: Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, David Valdes, Kate Cohen, Marisa Polvino, Annie Marter, Aaron Ryder
Executive Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas

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The Line Animation

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The Line is a BAFTA nominated collective of designers, directors and animators based in London. Our focus is on unique characters, compelling design, and well-crafted stories.

We use digital tools to expand on a skill-base that has been shaped by years working on feature films, shorts and commercials. We aim to bring a traditional sensibility and classical expertise to the changing landscape of digital filmmaking.

 

WALLFLOWERS  Directed by Bjorn-Erik Aschim

Another self initiated short film for The Line.  Designed and directed by Bjorn, Wallflowers shines a light on the people on the fringes of a night out.

EASY – MAT ZO & PORTER ROBINSON – Directed by Wesley Louis & Tim McCourt

The video for Porter Robinson’s track ‘Easy’ has been a cult hit online, garnering attention from Porter Robinson fans, and anime fans alike. The video has now racked up well over two million views on Youtube. Fan art and homage videos have contributed to its cult success.

DRAWING INSPIRATION – Directed By Wesley Louis & Tim McCourt

Drawing inspiration is the directorial debut from Louis & McCourt. This personal project was crafted over 9 months and involved a team of 10 artists and animators. Since its completion it has been screened at national and international film festivals picking up numerous awards.

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Google’s Aquires Artificial Intelligence Firm Deep Mind

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Daily Finance Article -

Over the past few years, Google has become much more than a search engine by branching out into clean energy, self-driving cars, health care, robotics, and smart thermostats. In a previous article, I noted how these deals were realizing both utopian and dystopian sci-fi fantasies.

Google recently acquired DeepMind Technologies, a London-based company specializing in artificial intelligence, for $400 million. Although $400 million is pocket change for the search giant, which finished last quarter with $54.7 billion in cash and equivalents, the purchase is a significant one that could eventually spell trouble for Nuance Communications and Apple .

Why Nuance and Apple fear Google

To understand why Google acquired DeepMind, we should first take a closer look at Nuance and Apple.

Nuance is best known as the maker of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, but it also has a huge footprint in health care with its voice capture, recognition, and documentation products, which assist physicians in improving their daily workflow.

The big problem with Nuance’s business, however, is that its health care segment is outgrowing its mobile and consumer segment by a wide margin. In fiscal 2013, revenue at the health care segment (which accounts for 49% of Nuance’s top line) rose 36% year-over-year. Meanwhile, revenue at the mobile and consumer segment (which accounts for 26%) fell nearly 6%.

The rise of Google Android smartphones, tablets, and hybrid devices was a major contributor to Nuance’s decline in the consumer segment, since its fate is so closely tied to Apple’s. Google is also pushing Android into smart TVs, smart appliances, and cars, which have all steadily eroded the importance of iOS.

A car with an Android OS installed. (Source: 531bwb.com)

Most importantly, Google’s own “Siri”, Google Now, is considered a direct continuation of AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton’s groundbreaking research known as “deep learning” technology.

Since Google Now uses voice search to tie together Google’s entire ecosystem of essential apps — Maps, YouTube, Docs, GMail, and Search — it is a more attractive choice than Siri for users dependent on those services.

When Google Now became available for iOS last year, Apple clearly panicked, changing Siri’s default search engine from Google to a combination of Yelp, Wolfram Alpha, and Microsoft’s Bing in iOS 7.

Nuance’s defense: Project Wintermute

Nuance, in response to Google’s aggressive growth into AI and voice search technologies, started developing Project Wintermute, a new AI system ironically named after the insane AI of William Gibson’s Neuromancer.

Wintermute, which is still in the early stages of development, evolved out of Nuance’s Dragon TV voice control system, which was originally designed for set-top boxes, cable boxes, and smart TVs. Nuance aims to turn Wintermute into a fully cloud-based, cross-platform assistant that can work on smartphones, tablets, PCs, or home entertainment systems.

Wintermute, Nuance’s successor to Siri. (Source: Thenextweb.com)

For example, if you were listening to a song in your cloud-connected car when you got home, you could walk into the living room and tell your smart TV to “keep playing the song in the car” — and the TV would resume the song at the point where the car left off. In addition, Wintermute is being trained to learn complex, casual commands — such as “throwing on the game.”

Nuance is also developing Wintermute to prepare for a future after Siri, since Apple has long been rumored to be working on a Nuance-free version of Siri.

So what’s Google’s play?

Google has already laid the technological foundations with the widespread use of Android, which now respectively dominates 81% and 67% of the global smartphone and tablet markets.

With that kind of dominance, Google Now’s voice search feature is well poised to become as useful as its traditional search box — and that thought horrifiesApple and Nuance.

DeepMind was founded by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg, and Mustafa Suleyman in 2011. The 37-year old Hassabis has had an illustrious career as a child prodigy chess player, a world-class games player, a computer game designer, AI programmer, and neuroscientist. In other words, he’s a genius jack of all trades.

Prior to Google’s acquisition, Facebook had expressed interest in acquiring DeepMind, but the talks ultimately stalled out.

Many of Google’s services — such as language, translation, image search, and voice search — rely on machine learning and AI technologies. The more data they process, the better they become at recognizing objects and predicting needs.

An example is Google Now’s use of “predictive analytics” — which combines location data with calendar entries, emails, and past search queries — to predict what a user will do next. The app then accesses and displays pertinent data without being asked, as seen in the following image:

Google Now’s predictive technologies at work. (Source: Google)

While Google Now’s abilities already seem advanced, adding more AI algorithms could make it a trulyliving virtual assistant, especially since DeepMind has a stated goal of combining “the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms.”

In addition, Google’s interest in AI goes far beyond mobile devices. In May, the company launched a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, hosted by NASA’s Ames Research Center, inviting researchers from around the world to study how quantum computing (which is considered exponentially faster than binary digit-based classical computing) can advance machine learning.

If we put the pieces together, we can see the future of ubiquitous computing as envisioned by Google taking shape — a power grid, smart homes, personal computing devices, robots, and transportation — all linked together by a learning machine customized to each organization, business, or individual user.

Will Google take us to a utopia or a dystopia?

Google’s bold steps show that no company’s ambitions can compare to its vision for the future.

Apple is treading water with iPhones and iPads, Microsoft is still trying to survive the transition from desktop to mobile devices, and Yahoo! is merely trying to stay relevant as a search portal in a Google-dominated world.

However, will Google lead us into a utopia where the definition of “modern conveniences” is completely redefined, or a dystopia in which privacy becomes non-existent and people become defined by predictive technologies?

Let that sink in for a moment, dear readers, and let me know your thoughts on Google’s acquisition of DeepMind in the comments section below!

Want to learn more about Google’s dominance of the smartphone industry?

Want to get in on the smartphone phenomenon? Truth be told, one company sits at the crossroads of smartphone technology as we know it. It’s not your typical household name, either. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of it! But it stands to reap massive profits NO MATTER WHO ultimately wins the smartphone war. To find out what it is, click here to access the “One Stock You Must Buy Before the iPhone-Android War Escalates Any Further…”

You Will Turn Off Your TV 

Television is on its way out. And you’re going to be thrilled. Because that means… as soon as 2014, you could ditch your cable company… along with all the headaches.

But that also means the $2.2 trillion entertainment industry is up for grabs. And The Motley Fool knows exactly which three companies are poised to hijack your cable provider’s profits. Our newest FREE report details everything you need to know to line your pockets as cable crumbles.

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Facebook Timeline Designer Releases Reporter App

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The creative mind behind Facebook‘s timeline, Nicholas Felton, has just released a new app capable of measuring your entire life and summing it up in a range of aesthetically pleasing graphs. Named “Reporter,” the app works as a survey tool, notifying the user to answer a series of questions at randomized times during the day. Default questions include “how many cups of coffee have you had?” and “who are you with?,” as well as personalized questions that can be created and answered with either multiple choice, fill in the blanks and yes/no options. Aiming for efficiency, the app is designed to ask and record your answers in less than 10 seconds, working to integrate seamlessly into your life.

Originally created as a private app for Felton, the infographic designer used the technology to track the last two years of his life. Known as the Felton Report, he then released each year’s data as limited-edition graphic prints for sale. Currently the app is more about gathering data and the curiosity that comes with it, however, ultimately its intuitive design will undoubtedly lead to merged technologies. For example, a fitness band can only monitor so much on its own, but by adding your daily food intake quickly into the app, the two can work together much more efficiently. The app will no doubt adapt and be refined once more users get on board. To purchase “Reporter,” head here.

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China’s Web Junkies: Internet Addiction Documentary

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China is the first country to label “Internet addiction” a clinical disorder. With extraordinary intimacy, Web Junkieinvestigates a Beijing rehab center where Chinese teenagers are deprogrammed, focusing on three teens, their parents and the health professionals determined to help them kick their habit.

“…what starts out as an already-fascinating look at ways that technology may be destroying the lives of Chinese youth quickly becomes something more. As the unorthodox psychological sessions continue and the teenage boys begin to share with their parents the reasons why they feel more connected to disassociated voices in cyberspace than to their families, Web Junkie chronicles the results of a nation going through one of most drastic transformations in human history. In honest and wrenching ways that transcend national borders, this film is a thoughtful examination of a society in flux and a technology-addled generation on the precipice of an unknown future.”
-S.S. Sundance

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Incredible movie magic video showing off the VFX you didn’t even notice in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

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Here’s an awesome video that shows off some of the more challenging shots that were put together by a VFX team in Martin Scorsese’s new film The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s always crazy to see a film you’d think would be all practical use so much movie magic to make the final product happen.

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A Guide To American Football by Fraser Davidson

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For Liberals, Ladies & Limeys.

Directed, written and animated by Fraser Davidson, kindly voiced by the great guys over at Adventures in Design podcast (aidpodcast.com). All sound work by Morgan Samuel.

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The Hypebeast Hundred

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Check out the complete list of Hypebeast’s Hundred HERE

Whether by effort, skill or often both, 2013 offered up many names deserving of accolades; newcomers and veterans, varying in practice from music, art, and fashion to technology and media. Aiming to sensibly account for all achievements worth noting in 2013 is a lofty task, and while there are many deserving of commendation, this list pays respects to those that made the biggest leaps.

The big picture seems to revolve around the continual growth of a global culture through which news and trends can instantaneously spread. It is no longer surprising when something goes viral, rather it is expected. The digital age persists in creating and killing celebrities, seemingly offering a new name each day. In 2013, the overlap carried on; and never has there been a more eclectic mix involving street culture, with high fashion, sportswear and hip-hop all playing their parts. Street goths, bucket hats and floral prints arrived in full force, activewear and function became more prominent, rappers co-mingled with streetwear influencers, and multinational corporations patiently took notes. Meanwhile, we bore witness to Miley’s twerk seen around the world, Kanye unleashed the brilliance of Yeezus and a following barrage on radio programs, and it was our mission to keep you updated along the way. We present to you our inaugural listing of The HYPEBEAST Hundred.

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